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Today's Supreme Court decision on the Hobby Lobby case contains a lot of important threads and declamations, but the one that I would like to address is the idea that this decision 'stands as a victory for religious freedom', as our local Representative put it earlier today.

We all favor religious liberty, both to practice and not to practice, to practice it in the way we perceive our faith and live our beliefs the best we can, but what this ruling says simply is that a certain segment of for-profit companies don't have to provide certain contraceptive care if they don't want. It specifically didn't talk about the ability of other religious group to avoid mandated vaccinations, other groups to avoid transfusions, nor grant other groups the ability to avoid having to offer mental health care care if it didn't see fit according to its beliefs. It specifically and expressly limited the freedoms of business owners with different objections in the practice of their religious beliefs. 

All of this deeply suggests that today's ruling was most definitely not about religious freedom, but rather about a slim majority of justices catering to a certain segment of the population who don't feel that all Americans have the right to a full panoply of affordable contraceptive care. As Democrats, we reiterate our position that affordable health care, and contraceptive care to those who choose, is an important part of personal well-being and a building block for a healthy and whole society.  

Doug Zylstra

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    Serving as a school board member is one of the most important responsibilities a citizen can undertake. You, if elected to serve, and your fellow board members will establish educational goals that will help shape the future of your community and society.

    Being a board member is a complex and varied job, sometimes frustrating as you struggle long hours with problems that never seem to be resolved. But it also is rewarding as you watch students achieve, succeed and lead happy, productive lives as a result of an environment you'll help to provide.

    School board members are charged, by law, with providing quality education for the youth of your community. You should work for the best interests of all pupils and all citizens, a task requiring constant effort and a strong commitment to serving other people. If you are truly interested in devoting your time and talents to meeting this challenge, your local school administration and your state school boards association applaud your decision to run for election and wish you the best of luck. We stand ready and willing to serve you.

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