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Saturday/Sunday, Feb. 11-12, 2012: Searsport terminal and contraception

Moratorium will hurt Searsport

Passage of the moratorium blocking DCP Mainstream from building the $40 million terminal in an industrial area will send a message to other businesses thinking of locating in Searsport. That message is, “Take your jobs and go someplace else. While you’re at it, take the families that are trying to survive on low-paying jobs produced by the tourist industry.”

The designers of the moratorium, mostly business owners who make a living from tourism, have put their own interests ahead of the families of Searsport. They are concerned a fragile tourism industry might be hurt by one more tank going into an established industrial area. As long as Route 1 goes through the center of Searsport, the tourists will come. Tourism is the biggest part of the town’s economy, but does that mean we shouldn’t diversify with some well-paying, year-round jobs?

Another concern was increased traffic on Route 1. These are the same people that don’t seem to mind the road being overrun with groups of motorcycles and miles of RVs every summer. It’s fine if the road is crowed with vehicles as long as it improves their bottom line. I live on Route 1 about two miles from the proposed tank site and I don’t think a few more trucks will matter, especially if having to wait a little longer to get out of my driveway means there is more tax revenue coming in and more people are making a living.

Denise Winslow


Catholic inconsistency

The BDN’s Feb. 1 editorial, “Insuring contraception is preventive care,” makes the case well but fails to rebut Bishop Richard Malone’s and Marc Mutty’s objection to being obliged to provide coverage for what they judge immoral conduct.

If the coverage were for abortion, Malone and Mutty would have a case since abortion violates the natural law prohibition of killing human beings. But that is not the case with contraception.

Malone and Mutty represent their consciences as “our” — the Church’s — “conscience,” an unjustifiable presumption. Paul VI did not represent his 1968 encyclical, Humanae Vitae, as infallible teaching; its contraception prohibition is not ironclad; many bishops advised their flocks to follow their consciences, and Paul observed that he expected people to do so.

While John Paul II and Benedict XVI have declared the prohibition obligatory, nothing popes say can trump the refusal of the people of God to accept that teaching: the Doctrine of Reception requires that a teaching be accepted to be valid and 95 percent of U.S. Catholics use contraception. Consequently, bishops and priests have been largely silent about the prohibition.

The Vatican and Malone would apparently end run that nullification by applying John Paul II’s and Benedict XVI’s anti-council redefinition of primacy of conscience as not what your heart tells you is right but what they say you should judge right.

Finally, as obedient papal spear-carriers, today’s bishops will not let good policy, church-state separation, religious liberty, freedom of conscience, even church doctrine inhibit their claims of authority.

William Slavick


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