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Letters

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Web letter by Tom Swinehart: Catholicism’s ‘freeing truth’ is still an individual choice

In response to Mary Hilger’s March 23 letter, “Catholic Church offers women the best package deal,” I would like to say good for her. She has a loving relationship and a mythology that comfortably guides her.

Her beliefs are fine to give direction in her life, but the implication that others should use her beliefs to direct their lives is ludicrous. This is exactly what she was implying by thanking the Rev. Mark A. Gurtner for preaching “freeing truth.”

I would like to impart some freeing truth myself. First, it is incorrect to say that conception happens when a woman is taking birth control pills. The pill acts to prevent the woman from releasing an egg. So to say the egg is fertilized is factually untrue. There is no egg present to be fertilized.

Second, I know the church allows sophisticated ways to prevent pregnancy. Women are trained to be aware of their fertility cycles. Thus they have sex when the egg is not released from the ovary (what the pill does) or after the egg is no longer fertile. There seems to be some hypocrisy here. One form of birth control is OK, but another is not.

If the Catholic Church decided that only natural resuscitation was allowed, Hilger would have to wear a necklace saying she can only be revived by CPR, not artificial devices. This of course would also be made true for anyone working for a Catholic hospital.

Third, how often I have sex and the number of children I choose to have is up to me and my wife. It is not the business of the government or my employer, even if that employer has a religious affiliation. Hilger is free to practice any mythology she chooses. I respect her decision. I also respect anyone else’s choice to practice using modern birth control methods.

The health care mandate does not force woman to use birth control; it merely makes the option more available. In this debate of religious freedom, what is lost are the rights of the individual. Apparently, only employers are allowed to have religious freedom, which they should be free to force on all employees, even non-adherents.

TOM SWINEHART

Fort Wayne

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