Thursday, February 5, 2009

Targeting Conscience

I opened up my Arlington Catholic Herald today, since it always comes in the mail on Thursday, to see what's going on in the Diocese, and I see this headline on page 2: Pro-life pharmacy targeted by proposed law.

Now, it states that the bill was introduced into the Virginia House of Delegates as a "general bill" (Virginia House Bill 2373) by delegate David Englin from Virginia’s 45th district requiring "pro-life" pharmacies to put a sign in the window proclaiming that they don't sell contraceptives or abortifacients. But a quick search will reveal that DMC Pharmacy is the only one in Virginia. That means they were specifically targeted as an individual business -- which is illegal (I think) or ought to be.

Nation-wide there are only 7 publicly confirmed "pro-life" pharmacies, but the radical foaming-at-the-mouth types would have you believe it's an epidemic where you won't be able to get an aspirin if your doctor doesn't believe in it.

Other than the obvious religious bigotry, I have a personal reason for being incensed: I shop there. I know the pharmacist, Robert and Pam Semler, personally. (Nicer people you will not meet.) My family and friends go there precisely because they are pro-life. As Robert Semler said,
"We're not threatening anybody. We're just trying to serve a niche market of like-minded individuals."
And believe me, this is a tiny store; there are several other national pharmacies within two hundred yards of this one, including a KMart and a CVS. I don't sue Giant if they don't carry Pistachio ice cream (they don't, I looked); I don't draft legislation against Target because they have one check out line without candy in it -- some parents prefer that line. It's the same thing here: people will patronize businesses that have (or explicitly lack) things they want. Others go somewhere else. It's that simple.

Unfortunately, this is a small dose of a growing threat to personal conscience and values. Opponents worry they won't be able to kill the right people if doctors and health care providers are allowed to exercise their own freedom of religion (aka conscience).

The price of freedom: eternal vigilance.

3 comments:

Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

The culture of death can tolerate no dissent, no diversity, no contradiction.

Nod said...

I actually just wrote my first letter to an elected representative just now.

This Mr. Englin has motivated me (negatively) to "get involved" by telling him of my displeasure of his bill.

Ok -- he pissed me off!!

Anonymous said...

David Englin is my delegate. Unfortunately this is all too typical of his mindset. He is an intolerant religious bigot who is energetic enough to spend all his time legislating against diversity of thought in favor of EnglinThought. Sadly, his constituents are unaware of his intolerance and will re-elect him without proper evaluation. Sadly, the rather pathetic Alexandria Republican Party probably will not even offer a candidate who would at least hold him accountable during public community debates.

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