To the editor,
When we first moved to Minnesota 30 years ago, Minnesota had a national reputation as a vanguard of freedom and work ethic. At the beginning of the Civil War, Minnesota was one of the first to send soldiers to fight against slavery in the nation.
The focus of our state has changed significantly. Minnesota currently has a surplus budget. Rather than returning the money to taxpayers, our legislature has decided to spend that money to further intrude into the lives of its citizens. One particular focus of this intrusion is to separate children from their parents.
Last year they enacted one of the most liberal abortion laws in the country. Opponents of the law asked for a few concessions to moderate the law. 1. Allow mothers to request pain medication so their babies would not feel the excruciating pain of being dismembered in the womb. 2. Require abortion clinics to be licensed. Read the law. Neither of these caveats are included. Apparently tattoos are serious. Tattoo parlors must be licensed in Minnesota; abortion clinics are not. I am old enough to remember when legalized abortion was first foisted upon the American public. One of the arguments was that legalization would allow government to monitor conditions in abortion clinics. Abortions would no longer be performed by anyone with a coat hanger on a kitchen table (their scenario, not mine). Obviously protecting women’s health is not the primary motivation of our current legislature, hence licensing is not required.
More recently, our legislature has taken another step to separate children from their parents – the Universal Lunch Act. Free meals for all public school students. That sounds good. Deception usually does. For decades, Minnesota has had a very robust free/reduced lunch program, providing food for economically disadvantaged students. However, now they are requiring all parents to cede fiscal responsibility for their children to the state. I asked my state representative, Brian Johnson, if the law included a provision for parents to opt out of the program. It does not. Parents can send lunches from home with their students, or purchase a la carte, if the school has that option. Otherwise, parents are expected to abdicate responsibility for their own children to the state.
The freedom and personal responsibility that once were hallmarks of Minnesota are being eroded incrementally. When I travel for work, I am increasingly embarrassed to have to admit that I come from Minnesota. We have come far from our roots, and not in a positive direction.
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