Debate worth watching

Another Democratic debate is in the books, and the spin is well underway. But there’s one debate we’re not hearing about. Last month, Attorney General William Barr delivered remarks about “religious liberty” at the University of Notre Dame Law School to a closed group. On November 12, Pat Hackett, an adjunct faculty member of the Law School with degrees in government, theology, and law, and a candidate for US Congress, offered a rebuttal to Barr’s comments, which, notably, was open to the public.

Point by point, Hackett corrected Barr’s misrepresentation of law, history, and Catholic theology, specifically Catholic doctrine. She underscored Catholicism’s commitment to faith, reason, and science. She brought Catholic social teaching’s principle of reverence for the dignity of all humans regardless of religious affiliation to bear on Barr’s “disfigured theology of grace.” Barr’s “coercive religious construct,” she explained, has implications for the application of the rule of law. Witness the issue of marriage equality, the denial of reproductive health care to women of any or no faith, and the evolving policies on refugees and asylum seekers, especially if they’re Muslim.

It’s unfortunate that Hackett and Barr will never be on the same stage together. That, too, would be a debate worth watching.

Cheryl Snay,


 Jackson Street frustration

I was stopped at a red light on Jackson Street wanting to make a left turn but I couldn’t get to the left turn lane because of the cars in front of me waiting to go straight and the flower planter in the middle of the road, to my left. All I could do I sit there and watch the green, left turn signal continue through it’s cycle. Would it hurt to make the planters a little shorter so that traffic would not be hindered by them? I’m thinking that the primary function of the streets is to facilitate the flow of vehicular traffic.

Be sure to donate blood.

Pete Ostapchuk,


Reasons for rally

Everyone knows by now that there was a huge teacher’s rally in Indianapolis this past Tuesday, and that many school districts closed because of it. As a teacher in Elkhart, I am afraid that many people are unaware of the reasons why teachers felt the need to rally. I would like to let people know a few of the reasons why we (teachers) are fed up with the politicians in this state. Let me begin by saying that these issues are not Democrat vs. Republican. People seem to think that all Democrats are pro-education, and all Republicans are anti-education, but this is simply not true. A few of the real reasons why teachers felt the need to rally are:

1. Teachers want a raise. We haven’t seen a raise in at least eight years. We are not being greedy, we just don’t want to have to work two jobs or sell plasma to survive. Sorry, not sorry.

2. The state takes millions of taxpayer dollars and gives it to private/religious schools in the form of vouchers. It is not fair to steal money from public education and give it to private/charter schools when those schools do not have to play by the same rules that public schools do.

3. The state spends millions of dollars each year in standardized testing. The only people benefiting from this are the companies who develop the tests and the politicians who receive money (in the form of “donations”) from the testing companies.

Thanks for reading.

Michelle Fleischer,


Season of quitting

The New Year is near, and it’s a great time for fresh starts. If you’re a tobacco user, the best thing you can do this year is to make a quit plan. Smoking is still the number one cause of preventable death in Indiana. Making the decision to quit in 2020 can dramatically reduce your risk for life threatening diseases and even make all of your holiday meals taste better.

Quit plans:

n Combine quit smoking strategies to keep you focused, confident, and motivated to quit

n Help identify challenges you will face as you quit and ways to overcome them

n Can improve your chances of quitting smoking for good

A trained quit coach at 1-800-Quit-Now can help with a quit plan. includes the following steps for having a successful quit plan:

n Pick a quit date

n Let loved ones know you are quitting

n Remove reminders of smoking

n Identify your reasons to quit smoking

n Identify your smoking triggers

n Develop coping strategies

n Have places you can turn to for immediate help

n Set up rewards for Quit Milestones

Free, confidential help is available at 1-800-Quit-Now or Make 2020 your best year yet by making the decision to quit. For more information, please feel free to contact Tobacco Control of Elkhart County at 574-523-2117 or Minority Health Coalition of Elkhart County at 574-522-0128.

Adrienne Thomas, Project Manager

Tobacco Control of Elkhart County


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