I long for a day where we can stop calling each other names, stop fighting with people that don't act like us or look like us. I really wish that we could all just get along. I mean, what harm could come out of a civilized nation? How nice would it be to just relax and enjoy every day, instead of seeking out the next person to argue with? Call me crazy, but I think we have it in us. Sure, it wouldn't be easy, nothing worth doing ever is, but it sure does beat the alternative. Below are just a few of the things we are fighting over right now.
As many of you have surely heard, the Obama administration, as part of the Affordable Care Act, is requiring all employers, including Catholic universities and hospitals, to cover contraception in their employees health care plan. This has Conservative leaders screaming that President Obama is stepping all over religious liberties. Now, I'm not one to talk about religion, that can be a touchy subject for many people. That being said, I'm sorry, I'm not buying into the whole President Obama is anti-religion nonsense. This mandate doesn't force anyone, not a single person, to actually use the birth control, or other contraceptive methods, it simply requires the employer to offer it up to its employees. For example, if you are a Catholic, and you feel that it is against your religion to use birth control (which many Catholics do use birth control, despite the cries coming from the Right), you are not required to use it. Conversely, if you are not a Catholic, and you are working for a Catholic university, you will be given the opportunity to receive birth control through your health care plan. Nobody is stepping on your religious beliefs. If you don't believe in taking a birth control pill, you still don't have to. That is left completely up to you. This isn't even about religion. This is about a women's right to choose what she would like to do.
Proposition 8 was ruled unconstitutional in the state of California, opening the door to allowing same sex marriage in the Golden State. This could be an interesting development, following in the footsteps of New York, where same sex marriage is now legal. The question of same sex marriage will be on the ballot here in Maine this November, and many feel that it will pass this time around, even if only by a small margin. This, also, has turned into a religious battle. My argument is this. Not everybody is religious, but everybody has the right to get married. The first amendment of the Constitution prohibits the federal and state governments from establishing an official religion, or from favoring or disfavoring one view of religion over another. That seems pretty clear to me that one view of religion doesn't reign supreme over any other, including that of someone who doesn't practice a religion. We can't pick and choose when a religion should apply to all people, it doesn't work that way. If two people love each other, and want to commit to each other, then who am I to tell them no. Let's do the right there here, what should have been done a long time ago.
There is a budget battle brewing up in Augusta, and if Governor LePage is in charge, it will surely get ugly. Republican and Democratic legislators came to an agreement early this morning on a budget that would get us through the end of fiscal year 2012, avoiding major cuts to DHHS, which could have affected many elderly, young and poor people across the state, as well as many related agencies that provide much needed programs for people of all walks of life. However, I'm sure Governor LePage won't find this compromise acceptable, as he has already stated that he will veto anything that doesn't look exactly how he wants things. The Appropriations Committee did what they were sent to Augusta to do, make difficult decisions, but come to a resolution. Let's hope Governor LePage does what he was sent to Augusta to do as well, and not just throw another temper tantrum.
These are just a few cases of people fighting against each other. I know that we all want what is best at the end of the day, and I also realize that we have different visions as to what actually is best. That being said, I think we all need to take a deep breath and relax. Yelling, screaming, swearing and name calling are not productive. I'm just saying...