LOOK, MA, WE HAVE INTEGRITY!
Readers respond to "Obamacare Won" and "Godless in the Bible Belt" and
I simply could not let you spew nonsense in your latest editorial [Editor’s Note, “The War Is Over,” Jeffrey C. Billman, April 23] without a response. You actually publishing this would prove at least that you have some editorial integrity.
You liberals simply drink the Kool-Aid and move merrily along, mindless of reality. Just because a federal government office releases unsubstantiated claims, you publish them as gospel and ridiculously claim that “the war [over Obamacare] is over.”
You hail “reasonably priced” protection. Exactly who do you think is paying the bill for those “less fortunate” (or less motivated) individuals? You and I are. You hail that “children can stay on their parents’ plan until they are 26 years old.” A generation ago, living with your parents and being dependent upon them a day past your 18th birthday was a stigma, certainly not something to be proud of. How can anyone actually be proud of breeding government-dependent citizens?
How about researching some real facts before you spew mindless drivel? The Washington Post has reported that a great percentage of those signed up haven’t actually paid any premiums yet (and many won’t). Does Amazon or Ford count sales when no one paid for the merchandise? A great percentage of the newly signed-up are not previously uninsured, which was the primary goal of the health care act. Between 5 and 6 million lost their existing insurance last year because of Obamacare. These people signing up now in the program weren’t previously uninsured, and cannot be honestly counted. And many of the newly signed-up were previously insured, but now have less expensive premiums by qualifying for subsidized programs where you and I pay for the balance of their premiums.
According to McKinsey & Company, about 27 percent of the reported new signees for Obamacare were previously uninsured. A pretty dramatic failure. Goldman Sachs reported that approximately 1 million previously uninsured signed up for Obamacare before the March 31 deadline. Forbes reported three-fourths of the new signees say their new premium is higher than their previous health care premium.
When you look at the actual facts, the Affordable Care Act has been a dramatic failure.
The war is not over, far from it. Every day that passes, we find out more lies and hidden bad news in this killing legislation. There will be many, many more battles before this life-sucking legislation can be declared dead or alive. For our collective sake, I pray that it dies quickly.
Search for Truth
I read John E. Citrone’s article [Cover Story, “Godless in the Bible Belt,” April 23] with great interest. I grew up in Tennessee and was raised much as he is raising his daughter.
My father was an outspoken agnostic, my mother a non-churchgoer who dabbled in the New Age while never renouncing her Christian roots. They taught me to tell the truth, to work hard, to reject racism, to read widely and to think independently — and they left it up for me to decide for myself matters of faith, encouraging my interest in anything that was positive.
When I was 10, someone gave us a New Testament in modern English. I began reading it during my summer vacation and it started me thinking more deeply about moral issues and about God. A televised Billy Graham crusade a year later led to my conversation to Christ, which has lasted for the past 45 years. Literally overnight I changed from a selfish, insecure little bully who was tormented by fear-filled nightmares to a happy kid who made friends with the outcasts at school. I never had another of those terrifying dreams.
When I wanted to start attending church, my mother took me to the church of my choice (and later joined me), and my father, while maintaining his own opinions, made sure I always had a ride to church. I’m grateful that my parents gave me the freedom to choose my faith at a young age, even when my choices were far different from their own. My faith in Jesus Christ has been the greatest source of joy and meaning in my life. I’m incredibly thankful for parents who never force-fed me religion or unbelief, but lovingly supported me in my own search for truth.
Unfortunately, I think that my experience is the exception. Most atheist or agnostic parents seem to expend as much effort as any fundamentalist to ensure that their children do not stray from their parents’ worldview and value system. I’ve also observed that quite often atheism is less a rejection of God than a reaction to rigid, coercive parenting or to immaturity and hypocrisy among those who profess a faith which they don’t live well.
I hope that the freethinkers and agnostics in your article who are raising children will not repeat the mistakes their own parents made, but will give their children the freedom, even before they are fully grown, to explore faith and make real choices of their own.
Fire and Brimstone
I wanted to commend you on a well-written piece [“Godless”]. I was raised in a Catholic family but became a skeptic about age 10. My mother quit the church in 1962, when the pope issued his encyclical on birth control (“I’m not going to let some celibate old man tell me I have to be a baby machine”). We came to Jacksonville in 1968. I was flabbergasted by the fire-and-brimstone ravings of the local Bible-thumpers. I had never been exposed to anything like this in my life. I could only surmise that these people were insane. Forty-six years later, I suspect my first impression was spot-on.
Michael Ray FitzGerald, PhD