Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Marsy’s Law, corporate welfare, religious exemptions, free press

Marsy’s Law

As citizens, we don’t often get an opportunity to vote on specific laws. We vote for legislators we trust, and believe that they will listen to what their constituents want. However, when there is a rare election where we get to vote on a specific issue, I personally would like to take that opportunity. Marsy’s Law, which would have strengthened Idaho’s constitutional rights for crime victims, is an issue in which I would like to show my support.

No one wants to be a crime victim; however, when it happens victims should know that the state will do its due diligence in ensuring victims’ rights and self will be protected. I am hoping that some of the new legislators in 2019 will look closer at Marsy’s Law for Idaho. If passed, this law would ensure crime victims are given the support and protection needed to recover from an unfortunate circumstance.

Elizabeth Hopkins, Boise

Corporate welfare

Corporate welfare is the largest welfare program in this country. It is living proof of how corrupt our political system is, but it rarely gets reported on by the mainstream news media.

This form of welfare is as old as our country and has come in many forms, such as shipping jobs overseas, tax relief, slavery, underpaid women, immigrants and children. Many of these people labored 12 hours a days/six days a week for subsistence-level wages with no benefits often under unsafe and sometimes deadly conditions. Polluting our environment was commonplace.

The next time our elected officials start pointing to public welfare as the problem, challenge them to talk about what they are doing about campaign finance reform and restoring a balance to corporate welfare.

Bill Rutherford, Meridian

Repeal religious exemptions

We hope many legislators will follow your call and repeal Idaho’s religious exemptions from therapeutic medical care. Some claim parents have a constitutional right to deprive their children of medical care on religious grounds, but courts have always ruled that they don’t.

Moreover, Idaho had excellent laws requiring parents to give children necessities of life, including medical care, without religious exemption from 1887 until 1971, when the Legislature enacted religious exemptions to nonsupport, criminal injury and manslaughter with no debate or discussion.

The Idaho Constitution guarantees “liberty of conscience” but adds that it “does not excuse acts of licentiousness or justify polygamous or other pernicious practices, inconsistent with morality or the peace or safety of the state.”

At www.idahochildren.org/articles/known/ is a list of 185 Idaho children and newborns who died after 1971 in sects opposed to medical care. Many died after great suffering. Surely depriving children of lifesaving medical care is pernicious and inconsistent with morality, peace or safety.

Idaho does not have religious exemptions for child sexual abuse or the duty to report it, and should not have exemptions allowing parents to deprive children of necessary medical care on religious grounds.

Rita Swan, president emeritus, Children’s Healthcare is a Legal Duty, Lexington Ky.

Free press

The main reason we have a free press and they have a constitutional right to exist is because our Founding Fathers knew they could not rely on elected officials to always tell the truth. The past two years a free press has been needed more than ever. We have seen a United States president call the press an enemy of the state and try to limit their access. When an event or action of the president is deemed to be unfavorable, the president cries “fake news.” It seems all news outlets except for Fox are guilty of “fake news,” when in reality the reverse is true. A free press must be allowed to do its job so all citizens can know what is going on with those in power. Beware those who criticize and try to harness the press. Those who do try are usually guilty of wanting total power and have much to hide.

Larry Chase, Boise