Letters: Joe Holland; Mount de Chantal and gay marriage
Joe Holland has strong beliefs
I have never written a letter to a newspaper, talked to the vent line, or seen fit to do anything like that. However, I feel driven to try and right a wrong that has been predicated on my employer.
I have worked for Joe Holland Chevrolet for 21 years and can honestly say that I have never worked for anyone more willing to look after his employees than Joey Holland. He has placed many strong-willed women in positions of authority at the dealership, and I for one, have never felt anything but cared for and respected. Unlike many dealerships in this valley, Mr. Holland pays a significant portion of our health insurance and contributes to our 401-k retirement plan.
I am writing this letter to clarify some of the misinformation that continually seems to be popping up in the newspaper. Mr. Holland is not against birth control. It has been covered by our health insurance for all 21 years that I have worked at Joe Holland. He simply does not feel that he should be forced by the federal government to pay for the morning after pill, which he believes is a form of abortion. Mr. Holland is a person of strong faith. Has he ever tried to force his beliefs on me? Absolutely not! Do I always agree with him? Absolutely not! I feel strongly about him having the right to his beliefs and his right to defend them.
I am extremely proud that in May of 2014, I will become the 33rd person to retire from Joe Holland Chevrolet. It is through Mr. Holland's strong support of women in the workplace that will allow me to have a secure lifestyle in the future. It has been my pleasure to work for someone with such high moral standards and who tries to do what he believes in his heart is the right thing.
Donna M. Smoot
Mount de Chantal gone before its time
Over two years ago, the demolition of Mount de Chantal began. Obliterating the National Register site took only 45 days, but the sting of injustice lingers.
Why did Diocese-run Wheeling Hospital tear down the Mount? The building was not in bad condition. Dr. Emory Kemp's expert assessment in late 2009: "[the] site is in remarkable condition by any measure."
Two years -- and nothing's been done to the property. Why the haste in tearing it down? Haste indeed makes waste.
In 2004, Bishop Bransfield stated, "Wheeling-Charleston is a [...] diocese with a long and noble history. I look forward to discovering more about it and to becoming a part of [...] its community." How to reconcile this with the destruction of the Mount by the organization of which he is chairman of the board? After all, Dr. Kemp proclaimed the site a "gem celebrating [...] the history of Roman Catholicism in eastern America."
If funds used to destroy the Mount were combined with financing for the new MdeC Conservatory at Wheeling Jesuit University, the Mount itself could have been the conservatory rather than merely the inspiration for a project in its memory. With practice rooms, Music Hall, art studio, and gallery space, it had everything needed for a conservatory. Had the Diocese/hospital/WJU met with preservationists, they'd have a lovely 19th-century performance space next door already.
Adaptively reusing the site would've also respected the Sisters' wishes to remain at MdeC (as mentioned in a 2008 article, "WJU To Rent The Mount").
Mount de Chantal Heritage Foundation
Morrisey rationalizes ban on gay marriage
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office has argued that a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of West Virginia's ban on same sex marriages should be dismissed because the plaintiffs did not demonstrate damages. Not being able to marry the person you love is not a damage? OMG (Oh my goodness.)
Attorney General Morrisey's position stands in stark contrast with U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby of Utah who recently wrote: "The State's current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason."
We can only hope that West Virginia courts follow Judge Shelby's reasoning and not Attorney General Morrisey's rationalization.