From Many, One 

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In response to the “Respect My Beliefs” [Letters, Sept. 20, City Weekly], in which a plea was made to support House Resolution 1179, allowing for opt outs under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in regard to contraception and other covered medications and procedures based on a provider’s religious beliefs, I would like to say I do respect Roberto Vizcarra’s beliefs. But in our democratic republic, we have to allow for things that go against our personal and religious beliefs. This is the principle behind the founding of our nation, and by that, I do not mean the Articles of Confederation—which loosely joined the colonies post-Revolutionary War—but the Constitution, which created a unified democratic republic. It is the concept of e pluribus unum (from many, one), which is found on our coins, along with the phrase, “In God We Trust.”

And this illustrates my point: I may not agree with the phrasing “In God We Trust” on our money, which to my belief system is inappropriate and violates the First Amendment (separation of church and state). But it is part of our heritage, and since I live in a democratic republic, I have to live with it. I also don’t agree with the death penalty, criminalizing drug use, fighting unnecessary wars and teaching creationism in public schools. One could even say these things go against my religious beliefs, and yet the government takes my tax dollars and pays for all of these things. While I could claim that my beliefs “should be respected and [the government] should not force me to violate my beliefs,” I know that this is the price I pay for living in a democratic republic.

I do respect your beliefs, Mr. Vizcarra, and I trust you respect mine. And I applaud your desire to use our democratic process to change the law. But please, do not make it a matter of “belief.” Rather, let’s look at any changes to the Affordable Care Act, and any laws in general, objectively—what is best for the country and its people, both the poor and rich, and women and men—instead of how it might go against one’s beliefs.

Salt Lake City

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