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(Flickr/Pacdog)
(Flickr/Pacdog)

It’s time to open up our inbox and hear your thoughts about our coverage this week.

On Monday, we talked about a letter written by Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley - a letter in which he says the Archdiocese may have to stop offering health insurance to church-affiliated employees.

That's because of a new Obama administration policy requiring employers to offer insurance that covers contraception ... a rule that O'Malley called a violation to Catholic conscience, and an assault on freedom of religion.

"Clare" disagreed. She wrote at radioboston.org that a "conscience clause" doesn't apply because Catholic run institutions employ many non-catholics. She added:

They should follow the same rules as other businesses of that type, otherwise they should not receive government funds or be providers for government sponsored insurance such as Medicare.

"Christian," however, felt the Obama Administration has overstepped its bounds. "This isn't about birth control, but about government control over religion," he wrote. "Bit by bit our freedoms are eroding. What will be next?"

On Tuesday, we talked about proposed changes to the definition of Autism that's currently found in the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Health Disorders, also known as the DSM-V — changes that could significantly alter the way the disease is diagnosed.

"The idea is not to narrow the definition of people who have [autism spectrum disorder] but to be more accurate in how we describe it," Catherine Lord, director of the Institute for Brain Development and member of the DSM-V task force, told us.

Some of you disagreed with Dr. Lord, fearing that this new diagnostic criteria is simply a veiled way of cutting costs — and cutting services to kids who really need them.

"Lisa," a mother of a son with autism, wrote on radioboston.org:

Autistic children can, and do, learn with appropriate supports. Changing the definition won't change how many children need help. It will only change who pays for the services — shifting even more financial burden onto families.

Some listeners were also uncomfortable with the story that opened the segment, about Benjamin Nugent, a professor of creative writing who was briefly misdiagnosed with Aspergers when he was 17.

"I was in college and my mother called me and said, you know there's this thing called Asperger's Syndrome that I think you have," Nugent explained to us.

Benjamin's mother is a psychologist - not a neurologist - who gave him the Aspergers diagnosis. They later decided he didn't have the syndrome.

"Jennifer" wrote:

Introducing this "anomaly" into the conversation is infuriating. His story is a destructive diversion and feels like a very premeditated attempt to discredit Aspergers, belittle Aspies and their families, and thereby undermine the significant gains we have made in understanding, educating, and advocating for them.

And finally, Monday's conversation with environmental activist Bill McKibbon brought this comment from Tim Weiskel:

Without doubt, Bill, you are the leading spokesman for a rational approach for our future. The importance of articulating this material clearly and deliberately — independent of the spin cycle of our political system — is crucial. Keep up the good work.

Listeners: keep your feedback coming. Here's how Get In Touch:

  • Twitter: @radioboston
  • Facebook: www.facebook.com/radioboston
  • Email: radioboston@wbur.org
  • Voicemail: (617) 353-1137
  • Snail Mail: 890 Commonwealth Ave., 3rd Fl, Boston, MA 02215

This program aired on February 8, 2012.

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