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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Letter to the Editor

Faith communities need to foot costs


I don’t see this pandemic any more political than the Spanish Flu, the Diphtheria  epidemics, or the Black Plague.  Working in Maryland’s Lower Shore I see up close how covid is affecting not only the health of our communities, but the economy, and society as well.

Taking religion to the lowest common denominator: “Do No Harm;” it is clear that our institutions are failing us.

In the past, faith communities have served to remind us of our better nature not only by doctrine but example — building hospitals, schools, orphanages, colleges, assisting migrants, feeding the poor, caring for the aged and mentally ill; most serving without discrimination.

They acquired extensive real estate that is tax exempt.

Most of these services are now provided by the state and federal agencies and these buildings are crumbling.

Very few religious institutions provide extensive services they once did.

Pre-covid, these faith communities had become a public charge as they were, and continue to be, investigated for abuses; misappropriation of funds; and other dealings.

Now, by not encouraging the most simple pandemic precautions (masking, social distancing, hand washing) and not supporting  voluntary vaccination they are culpable in the uptick in hospitalizations and the spread of the variants.

Since all covid-related health care is covered by the Relief Act (the public purse), these same people, when they become infected,  become a public charge.

If we the people have to pay for these replacement services, preventable illness, and consequences of bad behavior — then the faith communities are no longer serving the greater good and should pay their fair share.

Ellen Willinghan
Ocean Pines