Letters to the Editor

Reconsider insertion of religious belief into secular law

Using the resources of my Catholic college library (years before the internet), I did my theology term paper on the biblical basis for the church’s teachings on birth control and abortion. I learned that Thomas Aquinas, canonized saint of the Catholic church, believed the fetus does not receive its immortal soul until shortly before birth. He believed that during development the fetus has a mortal soul the same as plants and animals.

None of my reference resources directed me to biblical chapters/verses against all birth control, abortion. God did strike a man dead for violating a Levite law requiring him to impregnate his widowed sister-in-law (Genesis 38:9-11). I know of no Christian religious or Jewish sect that still follows that Levite law.

Irrespective of religious beliefs, a case can be made, based on humanitarian values, for civil laws putting limitations on late-term abortion. Separation of church and state is a fundamental American value assuring religious freedom for all. By mandating through civil law that all Americans abide by the religious beliefs of some is a fundamental violation of our religious freedom.

Rather than mandating religious beliefs into civil law, ‘Pro Life’ supporters should follow the example of Jesus Christ: Go forth and teach.

Patricia Meier

Cedar Rapids

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