TERRE HAUTE —
Smoking ban a hypocritical law
John 8:32 reads, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” The majority of our Indiana citizens have sheepishly accepted the Indiana smoking ban law, never questioning the legislature’s true motives.
On July 1, 2012, Indiana, a state ratified on the principles of self-rule, equality before the law, and honoring the private property rights of its citizens, passed a law completely contrary to these time-honored principles.
Section 23 of the Indiana Constitution reads, “The General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.” But instead of the legislature sponsoring equal justice before the law and honoring the Constitution by passing a bill that uniformly applies to everyone, the legislature has given rise to the power of dispensation.
Just like the Roman Catholic Church set aside law in particular cases for its favored elite, the Indiana legislature has set aside the smoking ban law for its favored classes, such as the horse racing industry, fraternal clubs and casinos. But for the legislature to grant privileges to its special interests is to admit that the law was not based upon necessity or righteousness but only hypocrisy.
I have no compassion for a government that will use force to impose its ideals of morality upon a society. I don’t care if the bureaucrat tells you that the smoking ban was passed solely for the benefit of the public.
The truth is that this law is just another revenue-generating scheme for the government. Just because the smoking ban can make the government payroll swell doesn’t mean the legislature should view it as progress. I mourn for the old veteran, the addicted and the poor small business owner who will be subject to the excessive smoking fines of this law. The government will measure the revenue this bill will generate but the government cannot measure the economic and social pain this bill will cause to the citizen.
The truth is this law was written to increase the power of the state over individual liberty. The Indiana business owner will now be forced to put up nonsmoking signs and remove individuals who refuse to put out their cigarette. And if the land owner doesn’t comply with these regulations, he or she could face $1,000 charges. Smoking is a legal activity and it should not be prohibited on private property.
In a free society the private business owner would have the power to allow or not allow smoking on the land which he has title. I’m not a smoker, but I’m willing to stand up for a man’s right to live his own life. This prohibition by the nanny state will undermine respect for the law because it fines behavior many Hoosiers engage in.
This is a country of freedom, and a country of freedom should tolerate a man’s free will; not coerce him with threats in order that he lives another individual’s will.
— Clarence Leatherbury
IU law student
Local ‘Y’ shows support for group
We would like to extend our appreciation to The Terre Haute YMCA for providing a room for the monthly meeting of the Wabash Valley M.S. (Multiple Sclerosis) Self-Help Group. We meet the third Thursday of every month, except January, at 6 p.m.
We approached the YMCA when searching a new location for our monthly meetings. They welcomed us with open arms. We invite any interested persons, individuals with M.S., and caregivers to join us for fellowship and conversation concerning questions and any new information concerning M.S.
We are preparing for our annual Wabash Valley M.S. Walk on Sept. 15 at St. Mary-of-the-Woods campus at 10 a.m. We welcome anyone interested in walking or volunteering to contact 1-800-FIGHTMS.
Again, we would like to thank the YMCA for its continued community support and support of our organization.
— Connie Hinsenkamp
Facilitator of Wabash Valley
TERRE HAUTE —
Smoking ban a hypocritical law
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