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Pence owes public an explanation

The voters voted for Glenda Ritz to be superintendent of public instruction. They didn’t vote for her to be superintendent in name only. The voters voted for Ritz to raise the level of education to the highest level possible.

Tea Party Republican Mike Pence wasted no time in showing what kind of governor we now have, abusing his position to appoint a new committee to help with improving education.

For eight years Mitch Daniels, Indiana’s worst governor, just outright plain and simple bullied our schoolteachers and cut millions in much-needed education funding.

Pence needs to explain what his issue is with the voting process in Indiana. The voters voted for him to be the governor. That was OK with him. The voters voted for Ritz to oversee education. So what is the problem? Pence needs to publicly explain.

Until this feud gets settled and all parties understand what the voters wanted, the governor’s office should be closed. Same for the Statehouse and its members.

CURTIS J. RANSOM Spencerville

Forced charity not government’s role

Thomas Sagendorf’s harsh criticism of Rep. Marlin Stutzman (Oct. 20) regarding the separation of the federal food stamp program from the U.S. farm subsidy bill is completely unwarranted. The biblical support he offers for his admonishment is a non-sequitur.

First, the people deserve to know how much of their tax dollars are being used on these federal giveaways. This is Stutzman’s stated position. Second, I’m not aware that Sagendorf possesses any special powers to judge Stutzman unless he knows exactly how much the Stutzmans’ charitable contributions are. I doubt he does.

Lastly, and most importantly, there is no scriptural mandate that I am aware of that imbues in a government the power to act as proxy for individual giving. The Scriptures teach us that charitable giving comes from the heart of the individual. Federal distribution of one’s tax dollars can hardly be construed as voluntary giving. While the Scriptures do recognize the institution of government, there is no instruction that it serve as a substitute for individual giving to those in need.

Unfortunately, his is the shallow, illogical thinking that is pervasive today and that I believe is partly responsible for the erosion of the spirit of voluntary giving in the U.S. and the secularization of our once-great society.


Summit made obvious folly of passing HJR-6

Last month BioCrossroads held its annual Indiana Life Science Summit.

Ironically, virtually every CEO, president, vice president, founder and panelist represented an organization committed to diversity. Most offer domestic partner benefits, and several are actively involved in education and speaking out against HJR-6.

HJR-6 is a bill House Speaker Brian Bosma and Gov. Mike Pence have endorsed in the hopes it will pass in 2014 and become a ballot issue. It reads in part, “A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”

This means that the growth of Indiana’s biomedical industry in research, technologies, medical studies, etc., would be jeopardized. The skilled professionals of Lilly, Wellpoint, Cook, BioMed, IU, Purdue, Roche, Battelle and Dow are most certainly considering the detriments of expanding or locating their company in a state that would strip their employees of the health and other benefits they have offered.

I wonder whether as Bosma and the governor’s adviser applauded and complimented the participants and pledged to assist them regarding the regulations that they even realized how their own narrow focus will stunt this industry’s growth in Indiana, and more importantly, cause the companies and their employees to leave the state.

MARIE SIROKY New Buffalo, Mich.