What we need is more tolerance

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I am writing in response to the letter to the editor from Barry Cook (“Religious issues prompt ‘what ifs,’ ” Oct. 20). He seemed to voice concerns that he was denied the free exercise of his faith in the classroom, locker room, football field and workplace because of Thomas Jefferson’s statement of “separation of church and state.”

I contend that Mr. Cook is not denied free exercise of his faith. He is only denied having the government choose his religion over anyone else’s. Mr. Cook can quietly pray wherever he chooses, but cannot require others of a different faith to pray with him.

I am not a Christian, though I have deep respect for those who are. But whenever I am at a public function – be it a club meeting, neighborhood picnic or ladies’ luncheon group – I must participate in a Christian blessing of the food before enjoying my meal. I bow my head out of respect, but I am uncomfortable praying within a faith that is not my own. I would prefer my own blessing, in my own way. Is that too much to ask?

Mr. Cook is incorrect if he seems to think only Christians believe in the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule. These things need to be taught in the home, along with tolerance for others who may believe differently but still are good people.

Mr. Cook and I want the same thing, but we need to be more tolerant when that “thing” isn’t exactly the same, but the sentiment is.

Mary Young

McCormick, S.C.

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deestafford 10/26/13 - 11:48 pm
A lack of reading of the Founders writings and the different

drafts of the First Amendment would understand that the intent was there would not be a national denomination established by the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. There was no intent to keep the states from establishing religions. As a matter of fact many original states contained references to Christ in their state constitutions.

Activist judges had used their authority to insert their personal anti-religious feelings into public life and restrict the free exercise thereof.

Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists was to tell them the federal government would never involve itself with the exercise of religion in the public square because the Second Amendment had erected a wall to separate the government from imposing any restrictions on the free exercise of one's religion.

Reading the writing of the Founders one finds they believe they were establishing the foundation of the country on Judo-Christian principles.

As far as tolerance goes, restricting religious holiday displays in schools, public squares, buildings etc. show a lack of tolerance rather than tolerance. It's sort of the idea of the only tolerance some will accept is what they tolerate. The spinning one hears by putting their ear to the ground is that of the Founders spinning in their graves at the deliberate bastardizing the true meaning of the First Amendment.

localguy55 10/27/13 - 07:55 am
Perhaps the letter writer has

Perhaps the letter writer has not kept up with current evens but Christans are being prosecuted world wide and murdered by Muslims who by the way like flying planes into buildings and stripping bombs to themselves and killing innocent people, not to mention the liberal government schools prohibiting Christan symbols such as the ten commandments and crosses while offering classes on islam . And this writer talks about tolerance. Go talk to the surviving victims of 911 about tolerance. Go to these liberal colleges and chalk up a conversation of christan beliefs on campus and see what happens, or better yet, dress your kid up in a T shirt with nothing more than a small cross just big enough for anyone to see and send him or her to school.
This thing called tolerance applies to most everyone except Conservatives and Christans.

rmwhitley 10/27/13 - 09:38 am
I've, pesonally,

suffered all of the tolerance I can stomach. Our muslim president has got to go.

KasparHauser 10/27/13 - 09:51 am
Ten Commandments

For those who Believe the Ten Commandments are something everyone can Believe in, they need to reread them and see how many of those commandments are a Gawd whining that "you better not be cheating on me!!", like some jealousy stalker...

Of the remaining commandments, at that point, there's nothing in them that isn't merely a requirement to live somewhat peacefully in a social group larger than a tentful of Bronze Age sheep... owners.

ragosta 10/28/13 - 09:32 am
Founders and Religious Freedom

Eighteenth century evangelicals, as well as Jefferson and Madison, understood both that government had to be kept out of the church and that church had to be kept out of government. They said that mixing the two corrupted both. See Wellspring of Liberty. And make no mistake, teachers are government employees; a teacher leading a prayer is the government leading a prayer.

While it is true that the First Amendment did not bind the states, and many states had Constitutions recognizing God (few recognized Christ expressly), this changed over the course of the nineteenth century as state after state adopted a Jeffersonian separation of church and state. See Religious Freedom: Jefferson's Legacy. They are now bound by the First Amendment because of the Civil War -- their refusal to grant people rights (see Dred Scott) resulted in the Bill of Rights being imposed, first through the 14th Amendment (see No State Shall Abridge) and later through Supreme Court decisions.

As Jefferson said, having the government lead prayer is not only a violation of the First Amendment, but a very bad idea.

myfather15 10/29/13 - 06:13 am
Mrs. Young says "Mr. Cook can

Mrs. Young says "Mr. Cook can quietly pray wherever he chooses, but cannot require others of a different faith to pray with him."

So, you're telling someone they can "quietly" pray, but in the same article claiming we need more tolerance?? Why can he not pray out LOUD? When you said you bow your head WITH your Christian friends, but weren't comfortable. In your FREE WILLED mind, were you praying a Christian prayer with them? What prevents you from just saying ANY other prayer in your head, while they are praying? Just because you bow your head out of respect, doesn't mean you have to participate with their prayer.

If I'm around a group of muslims, and they say their prayer; I might bow my head with them out of respect but inside MY HEAD, I'm praying in Christ's name.

Democrats CLAIM the "seperation of church and state", which isn't even in the Constitution; as their excuse for banning Christianity from the public arena. But in Mrs. Young's article, she isn't even talking about public property or government buildings. Notice she says "be it a club meeting, neighborhood picnic or ladies’ luncheon group – I must participate in a Christian blessing of the food before enjoying my meal." Then goes on to say "I would prefer my own blessing, in my own way. Is that too much to ask?"

Club meetings? Neighborhood picnic? Ladies luncheon group? All these are PRIVATE citizen groups or functions, NOT associated with the government!! Who is requiring you attend these Mrs. Young? So now you think it's inappropriate to have open prayer at these private group meetings? You would prefer they do away with these prayers to open the meetings? What if YOU are the only non-Christian there, should they still do away with the prayers? You said "Is that too much to ask?" I would answer YES!!!!! That is too much to asked if YOU are the only person there in objection to the prayers!! You are NOT required to attend these meetings, so if you object to the prayer at these PRIVATE meetings, stay your butt at home!!! There is your tolerance!!

Your letter of "tolerance" is a thinly disguise jab at Christians and it's not even a good disguise. Anyone with half an ounce of common sense could snuff out the point of this article!!

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