Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Vox Populi

by Edd Doerr

The following letter was published in the Washington Examiner on 10-11-11.

"Planned Parenthood does not push abortion"

"Carolyn Naughton (letter, Oct 6) is wrong to blame Planned Parenthood for the social problems more properly attributed to poverty and its concomitants. Planned Parenthood did not cause these problems, but is working to solve them by providing health care services and family planning aid to those who can least afford it on their own. Only 3% of Planned Parenthood's budget is devoted to abortions, and these are provided only to patients who voluntarily wish to end a problem pregnancy. PP does not 'push' abortion or any other service on anyone. It is one of our society's most valuable organizations."

"Edd Doerr, Silver Spring"

So, a modest proposal. [First, however, let me note that Naughton and her husband have for many years flooded the Washington area papers with letters echoing and promoting the Vatican line on reproductive choice ad nauseam.)

We Humanists love to argue and write endlessly, but all too often this is carried out just among ourselves. We would do well to direct some of our effort outward -- through letters to editors and entries on newspaper blogs. Remember that the Federalist Papers were originally letters to the editor written us by Madison, Jay and Hamilton to sell the Constitution to voters.

I practice what I preach. Over the years I have -- in addition to editing three different journals (The American Rationalist, Church & State, Voice of Reason), writing columns in Humanist magazines for 40 years, and turning out a pile of books -- published several thousand letters to editors in papers and magazines throughout the US.

If every reader of this blog would get off just one letter per week to a paper or magazine, or post at least one comment per week on a widely read blog, I am sure that it would help to make a difference. I do not mean duplicating what the "new atheists" are doing with their books but, rather, addressing national and local problems where we agree with progressive people across the spectrum -- church-state separation issues, reproductive rights, civil liberties, the assaults on public education, the environment, politics, etc.

I have published several collections of my published letters and would be pleased to send a batch to anyone who requests them for $10 to cover costs. Write to me at PO Box 6656, Silver Spring, MD 20916.

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