LIBERALS say Obamacare is not government-run health care, but given the many edicts from the federal bureaucracy on what insurers must cover soon, it's obvious that is not true.
The latest rule from on high is a requirement that all health insurance policies provide birth control ser-vices. The rule does not apply directly to churches, synagogues, mosques or temples, and faith-based nonprofits are exempt as long as they serve primarily members of their own religious communities.
This has the Catholic Church in an uproar,
because if it holds, Democrats will have forced the church to provide something it thinks is a sin.
Bishop Michael Bransfield of the Wheeling-
Charleston Diocese said the rule "is a severe attack on religious liberty.
"Even those who are not in agreement with
the Catholic Church's teaching on the sanctity of human life recognize that this is a radical break with the tradition of religious liberty and respect for conscience rights," he said.
Delegate Patrick Lane, R-Kanawha, pointed out on the House floor Thursday that the rule also "means that the Catholic Church can't operate a food bank unless it only lets Catholics in."
Lane said his church would have to choose
between following the law or its mission as laid out by Jesus Christ, and is wholly at odds with what many churches have done for more than 2,000 years — serve all mankind.
It could also affect church-supported schools that welcome all students, and church-supported hospitals as well.
For congressional Democrats to have enabled
government to dictate to religious people what they may and they may not do betrays a truly dangerous
arrogance and disregard of the First Amendment:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech . . . "
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THE overall valuation of all property in Marshall County shot up a whopping 17.5 percent this year, yet not a single property owner complained to the Board of Equalization and Review, also known as the county commission.
It turns out the increase of $278 million in assessments reflects growth in the natural gas industry as drillers use fracking to tap the Marcellus shale.
Marshall County Assessor Chris Kessler said
only $15 million of the increase comes from owner-occupied structures, including $5 million in new
Kessler is calling for a decrease in the tax rates to reflect the increase in valuations.
Certainly, that kind of increase in commercial property values should make it possible to lower homeowners' tax bills while increasing revenues for schools and county government.
Just another benefit of economic growth — and another reason why state officials should provide the kind of competitive policies that encourage it.