Backward on liberty

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Columnist Kathleen Parker has it all wrong (“Religious Liberty Talk,” Feb. 10). It is those who oppose a nonbeliever’s choice to use birth preventatives who are guilty of the breach of religious freedom. Subscribers to health plans would not be forced into utilizing contraceptives or pregnancy termination; Catholic subscribers would be free to disdain their use.

The church’s prohibitions on interference with procreation may have been warranted back when life expectancies were 35 years and the world underpopulated, but with the present-day worldwide food shortages, the stance of the Catholic Church is irresponsible.

The so-called “deeply held beliefs” of their religious argument fall short when contrasted with the deeply held beliefs of, say, the Mayans in believing in human sacrifice, or the cannibalistic beliefs of certain African tribes. “Deeply held beliefs” should not have currency when they contrast with the needs of a secular society.

The church itself, despite its recent lip service of “respect for life,” also brought us the Inquisition, lest we forget.

The value of a fertilized ovum is sentimentally referred to as a “gift from a higher deity” in some circles. Forgotten is the fact that its value is not discernible until decades after its inception: Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin and many others also began as zygotes.

ANDREW GERENYI, M.D.
Franklin Park


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