Letters to the Editor

We must continue to campaign against immoral practice of abortion

The overturning of the Roe versus Wade judgment by the United States Supreme Court has catapulted the abortion/pro-life debate into headline international news, as nothing else has done in recent years.

As a society which has had abortion laws forced upon us by Westminster, we should take note. These laws have been described as extreme – in reality all abortions are extreme because they involves the unjust termination of a most innocent and vulnerable human life.

Roe versus Wade gave women in America a constitutional right to have the lives of their unborn babies terminated in every state throughout the Union. Fifty years later liberal America has failed to win the argument.

The debate of course in America is not over. Women will travel to states where abortion is available just as women once travelled to Great Britain from throughout Ireland.  But secular liberalism in one of the world’s leading countries has been pushed onto the defensive and that for me is to be welcomed. My prayer is that women in crisis situations will think again and avail of the support that is available – support and care - which will not lead them to make such a tragic decision.

But why has Roe versus Wade been overturned when it was supposed to be the epitome of human rights?  The answer is – abortion is a human rights issue not for women but for their unborn babies. The Christian argument that all life is sacred will never go away nor will it be defeated. Christian ethics, a mother’s instinct and even science teaches us quite clearly that the child formed within the womb is a person, a precious human life.  Writing in the 19th century, Philip Schaff, Church historian, gave his assessment as to why Christianity succeeded even though the Roman Empire did its utmost to exterminate it: “The Christian minority with its ideas already controlled the deeper current of history.”

The secularists today who pontificate about the woman’s right to choose, who speak of abortion as a health care issue, who wring their hands condemning the Supreme Court decision are on the wrong side of history. One day the world will reflect on the abortion industry of this generation with horror in much the same way as we reflect with rightful indignation upon the horrors of our past, such as slavery.

We pray for and must continue to campaign for the total abolition of this immoral and wretched practice.

REV PETER McINTYRE
Clogher Valley Free Presbyterian Church

 

Confusion over arson definition

Recently a bonfire was lit in Edgarstown, said to be somewhere in the Portadown area. Immediately the local DUP MP, Carla Lockhart, labelled it a blatant sectarian attack although as far as I am aware, no-one knows who did it. The PSNI stated that it was being investigated as arson. Now I was a bit confused about this so I looked at the legal definition of arson which stated that it was “the act of recklessly or intentionally setting fire to personal or real property”. Did someone own this bonfire? Was it someone’s personal property? Who? The definition of real property refers to “land, buildings, structures and equipment permanently attached  or fixed to it”. I don’t think the bonfire could be considered real property but maybe the land is. Who owns the land? Did whoever owns it object to a bonfire being on it that may cause damage to the land? Was it legally alright for the PSNI that certain people could burn this bonfire but for others it is arson, a criminal offence? Surely any investigation by the PSNI from the point of view of arson is totally lacking any credibility.

On the other hand when Orangemen were videoed singing a song glorifying the murder of Michaela McAreavey, which was blatantly sectarian, the Justice Minister had to make a referral to the PSNI to ask it to investigate whether any offences had been committed. When someone removed a banner saluting Wesley Somerville, part of a UVF unit that targeted the innocent Miami Showband, the person who removed it was initially charged with theft. The University of Ulster has said that various agencies are empowered to take legal action against bonfires on environmental, pollution, blocking roads and fly tipping but none of them seem keen to enforce those powers. Instead when one of them is burnt prematurely the PSNI is hunting the perpetrators to charge them with arson. 

SEÁN O’FIACH
Belfast BT11

 

Action needed to help farming industry

With the devastating impact the fuel, meal and fertiliser prices are having on not only the farming industry but also on the price the consumer pays in the shops for their food can I ask what help Edwin Poots, as minister of agriculture, is putting in place to try and alleviate this unprecedented attack on the farming industry and rural dwellers in general?

We all see the devastating affects a shortage of oil and gas supplies has on our economy, imagine if our farming industry goes under and we are left at the mercy of foreign imports to feed our people!?

At a time when farmers in the Irish Republic are receiving extra help to survive the department here in the north seem to be asleep at the wheel under Mr Poots stewardship.

I would call on him even at this late stage to formulate a package of measures to help with the extra meal, fuel and fertiliser costs farmers are experiencing so that farmers can survive and consumers don’t suffer any further from food price rises of locally sourced foods.

I look forward to his prompt reply and more importantly to his swift action before it is to late.

Cllr SHEAMUS GREENE
Sinn Féin, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council

 

Poor state of Belfast

With 20 years of Alliance holding the balance of power in Belfast City Council they now blame the poor state of the city on the absence of an executive at Stormont. This sounds very similar to, after 20 years of sharing power in Stormont, Sinn Féin blaming the state of Northern Ireland on the Tory government in London’s austerity policies. It is worth noting the Tory government in London provides around £9 billion per year to Northern Ireland over and above the amount raised through local taxation.

Alliance will have at least one policy in common with Sinn Féin when they join them at the top table in Stormont.

JAMES MARTIN
Dromore, Co Down

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