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The Journal Gazette

Friday, May 12, 2017 1:00 am


Order countermands Founders

Lord Acton said: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The power and corruption of the early Catholic Church led to the Protestant Reformation. The rebellion of the American Colonies was, in part, due to the official religion of England, the Anglican Church, having powers of taxation. It has been proven, time and time again in countries worldwide, that giving power and preference to one faith invites corruption of any democratic ideals. One only has to look at Mideast theocracies and the Buddhist persecution of Islam in Myanmar to see how this plays out.

The Pennsylvania Declaration of Rights (Sept. 28, 1776) stated: “That all men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God, according to the dictates of their own consciences and understanding…” Interestingly enough, most of the colonies did not permit active clergy to hold any civil office to avoid corruption of the democratic process.

So, those who believe it is proper to follow the precepts of the Founding Fathers should be incensed by President Donald Trump's executive order on religious expression. This is the heart of “separation of church and state” that has been central to the United States for 240 years. Priests, ministers, rabbis and imams should tend to the religious needs of their congregations and stay out of politics in the pulpit.

Patricia G. Stahlhut

Fort Wayne

Baby box better than alternative

I am a strong supporter of the Safe Haven Law. I believe that if a mother can't, for whatever reason, care for a child and her last option is the Safe Haven Law then this is a better alternative than a Dumpster.

I am concerned with the misinformation in the May 5 editorial. First, to give accurate stats regarding the Safe Haven Law, there have been 3,317 babies safely surrendered in the United States since Texas passed the first Safe Haven Law in 1999. All states and the District of Columbia have since enacted their own version; Indiana enacted its version in the early 2000s. In the Hoosier state, there have been 33 babies safely surrendered under protection of the Safe Haven Law. This is when a woman walks into a fire station, police station or hospital and surrenders her newborn baby younger than 30 days old. In that same time period, there have been 39 illegal baby abandonments in the Hoosier state, 21 of which were fatal. Some of these babies were left at the doors of a Safe Haven location. It concerns me that no one is worried about those39 babies, only the “saves.”

The most ridiculous comment in this editorial is: “While nearly 3,000 infants have been surrendered safely since the law went into effect, tragic endings still occur. That's the outcome when a young parent is scared, ashamed and doesn't want to be found.”

So the author just accepts that “when a young parent is scared, ashamed and doesn't want to be found,” that dumping the newborn in the Dumpster is just a “tragic ending”? When did we stop fighting for the least of these?

We can accept the reality that “when a young parent is scared, ashamed and doesn't want to be found,” they are going to dump their child illegally, or we can stand up for the child who needs us to give his mother another safe option other than dropping the newborn on the steps of a fire station wrapped in a blanket.

Lastly, I would like to clear up some misconceptions concerning Safe Haven Baby Boxes. My wife Monica, who was abandoned as an infant, founded this organization to help women make a better choice than abandonment. Monica travels the country speaking at high schools, colleges and churches on the Safe Haven Law in hopes that she can save some of the 100 to 150 babies dumped every year across this country. The box is and always has been the last-resort option she recommends for women in crisis. The baby box has never been the best choice for a woman in crisis, but it is when you consider the potential alternative like a Dumpster or trash can.

Joe Kelsey


Put tax hike to a vote

I want to thank Norwin Stoppenhagen for his excellent letter (May 8). He expressed my concerns exactly as I would have. My wife and I have lived in Fort Wayne for 50 years, are also retirees worried about deteriorating infrastructure, are concerned about the tax increase and continue to observe misplaced priorities from the city administration.

With that said, I have one more thing to ask. Why can't this tax increase be put into a referendum? Let us taxpayers decide. With Councilman John Crawford promoting the tax increase and Mayor Tom Henry having closed door, one-on-one meetings with City Council members to try to gain their vote, I feel that we taxpayers are at a distinct disadvantage in this issue. Yet we are the ones who will pay the tax increase for years to come.

Why can't this issue be put to a referendum?

Michael L. Noll

Fort Wayne