By Guy Page
According to one employee, as many as five abortions a day are being performed at the UVM Medical Center, since the policy of elective abortions was adopted last fall under the leadership of hospital president Allie Stickney, a longtime senior official for Planned Parenthood. The policy has been opposed by more than 1,000 Vermonters on an online petition, dozens of legislators who signed a letter of protest, Bishop Christopher Coyne of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington, and many of the 6,405 employees of UVMMC, Vermont’s largest employer.
U.S. Attorney General’s Office supports “bothersome” free speech on college campuses
On March 2, 2017, visiting speaker/writer Charles Murray was shouted down by Middlebury College students. Minutes later the professor escorting him was violently attacked and injured by an angry mob of hooded assailants. The “official response” was muted. No one was charged with assault, the college lightly disciplined a few students but refused to strongly condemn repression of free speech, and a resolution introduced by two legislators condemning the incident was ignored by the rest of the Vermont House of Representatives.
But now, Vermont institutions of higher learning, take note: the office of the U.S. Attorney General has taken an active interest in free speech on campus.
June 11, the U.S. Attorney General’s office enjoined the University of Michigan to permit speech even if others profess to find “bothersome.” The AG’s filing said: “Instead of protecting free speech, the University imposes a system of arbitrary censorship of, and punishment for, constitutionally protected speech. The University’s policies prohibit speech that any listener finds ‘bothersome’ or ‘hurtful’—an overbroad, vague, and subjective standard that is a paradigmatic example of the chilling of free expression prohibited by the First Amendment.” The filing also contains many statements and court citations supporting the First Amendment.
VT pagans cast spells against NRA, Trump
The National Rifle Association said it has been targeted by members of pagan religions casting spells and curses against its members, Fortune Magazine reported June 17. The Fortune story was interesting enough, but Facebook comments about it by two Vermont activists seem to indicate Green Mountain pagan are casting spells of their own. One well-known anti-nuclear activist commented, “I’ve participated in an excellent “un-binding” spell to release men from misogyny. (NRA inferred).” A State House lobbyist and leader of a prominent business group added, “I led a binding spell on Trump after his inauguration.”
Under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, pagans have just as much right to practice their religion as you and I do to practice ours. It just goes to show that everybody has a right to – and in practice does – mix religion with public policy.
Statehouse Headliners is intended primarily to educate, not advocate. It is e-mailed to an ever-growing list of interested Vermonters, public officials and media. Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership; the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare; and Physicians, Families and Friends for a Better Vermont.