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Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | OCTOBER 12, 2012 6:30 AM

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Vote for Loebsack

Mitt Romney and all other Republicans, including John Archer, have said they will take away health-care coverage from those who need it most if elected.

No matter your feelings on the health-care legislation passed in Congress a few years ago, that should scare you. Many people are lucky enough to have adequate health insurance, but many do not — including children and the poor.

The Republicans answer to people who ask about getting sick is to go to the emergency room. I don’t know about you, but the last time I was in an emergency room, I had to wait hours just to be seen by a nurse, and I have health insurance.

The health-care law we have now is a good step toward protecting those who cannot afford a private health-insurance plan and is a true blessing for individuals with pre-existing conditions.

More work needs to be done to improve the law, but I am pretty sure Congress isn’t going to get anywhere with the party of No in control. That is why I encourage all Iowans living in the 2nd Congressional District to vote for Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa.

Loebsack is committed to ensuring everyone has access to affordable health care, and he has acknowledged that the current health-care law needs work to make it more effective.

But he won’t do away with the legislation with nothing more than a “good luck” to the uninsured and under-insured like John Archer. Please vote for Loebsack, a person who truly works hard for those that need assistance.

Mary L. Larew
Iowa City resident

Religion with dogma

I read with interest Karlin Stutzman’s letter responding to the lead story about Unitarian-Universalism in Monday’s DI. In her letter, she says that Unitarian-Universalism cannot be a “religion without dogma” because all religions are organized around dogma.

As a member of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Iowa City, I am happy the article has provoked discussion of this point because it’s central to Unitarian-Universalism philosophy.

I don’t believe the seven principles listed on the website constitute religious dogma because they’re descriptive rather than prescriptive in nature. 

I was raised a Catholic, and I recall that Catholic dogma requires a belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ. Many Unitarian-Universalists believe that as well, but many do not — members who identify themselves as atheists, pagans, or Buddhists, for instance. Unlike dogma, the seven principles as Unitarian-Universalists understand and practice them are not fundamental teachings or rules of worship but values intended to guide our behavior, encouraging us to treat others with respect, care for the Earth, and work toward a more just, compassionate, and inclusive society.

Unitarian-Universalism champions these principles but does not insist on their being regarded as religious doctrine. We do not promote a single religious or spiritual truth but are open to the many “truths” embraced by our different-thinking members. A religion truly built around dogma would ask followers to adhere to a limited set of fixed beliefs.

Unitarian-Universalism’s underlying principles are general and flexible enough to allow re-evaluation, redefinition, and expansion. In that very important sense, those principles do not constitute dogma.

Phil Beck
Iowa City


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