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Thursday, March 1, 2012: Church history on contraception, ‘takings’ compensation

History and contraception

In his Feb. 12 letter, William Slavick claims his Doctrine of Reception requires that a teaching be accepted to be valid. That certainly is not the teaching of the Catholic Church nor of Jesus Christ.

At first Jesus was not accepted by a majority, even claiming in John 7:7, “The world hates me because I bear witness concerning it, that its works are evil.”

From the beginning, the Catholic Church condemned contraception. From the Reformation onward, all Christian denominations condemned contraception until the Lamberth Conference in 1930, when the Christian teaching of 20 centuries was broken.

In the 1500s, Protestant theologian John Calvin declared that “Birth control was the murder of future persons.” In the 1700s, John Wesley declared that “taking preventive measures was unnatural and would destroy the souls of those who practiced it.” Martin Luther declared “that birth control was sodomy.”

In his 1968 encyclical “Humanae Vitae,” regarding the grave consequences of contraception, Pope Paul VI warned: “How wide and easy a road would thus be opened towards conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality …. Man may finally lose respect for the Woman …. considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment …. let it be considered also that a dangerous weapon would thus be placed in the hands of those public authorities who take no heed of moral exigencies.”

With divorce, sexually transmitted diseases, sexually abused children and women, pornography, complications from steroidal contraceptives and abortifacients in epidemic proportions, Pope Paul VI was indeed a prophet.

Robert Garrett


‘Takings’ concept too broad

A “takings” bill (HR 1810) now before the Legislature should get the scrutiny of landowners and nonlandowners alike. This bill provides that when a regulation reduces the market value of property, a landowner would be compensated. It sounds like a great idea, but its time has not come.

Constitutionally and historically, sovereign “takings” of land consist of a physical and legal transfer of all or part of a landowner’s property for public purposes to the state. The landowner is entitled by law to “just compensation,” not necessarily its fair market value (a floating matter of opinion).

It seems to this non-lawyer that the concept of “takings” relates to the denial of physical usage of land, not what it theoretically might sell for as a result of any negative regulatory impact.

Yes, landowners are at great risk that legislation will economically depreciate the value of their land, but I doubt if this condition can be corrected by state statute. I believe a federal constitutional amendment to the Fifth Amendment is required to limit the scope of “public purposes” and to expand the scope of “takings” to include those caused by state law and regulations, and to compensate all qualifying “takings” at the landowner’s tax cost for computing capital gains and losses, not at “fair market value.”

Carle G. Gray


Return Fethke to board

On March 6, the residents of Searsport will vote for two selectmen. We are most fortunate to have five candidates vying for these two positions. It is gratifying to know that there are people who are willing to devote their time to a demanding and sometimes thankless job.

All five candidates deserve our thanks for their willingness to run for this office.

One candidate, Aaron Fethke, deserves special recognition for the outstanding job he has done the past six years. He has been the board chair for the past five years and has served on the Board of Appeals, Gateway One and Comprehensive Plan committees. He re-wrote the Board of Appeals ordinance to make it fair and thorough. Aaron also helped re-write the Land Use Ordinance.

Aaron has worked very hard to present a town budget that is realistic in these difficult economic times. He is approachable and listens carefully to residents’ concerns. And, he possesses common sense, the sense that is not common. Searsport is fortunate to have had Aaron Fethke as a selectman for the past six years. It certainly would be advantageous to the town if we continued to utilize Aaron’s expertise and dedication by re-electing him as selectman.

Marjorie Knuuti


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