No right to freedom from religion

  • Follow Editorials

This is how far we've slipped in this country:

- A Portland, Ore., elementary school dropped the Pledge of Allegiance from a year-ending ceremony in order not to offend some folks with the word "God."

A mother at Capitol Hill Elementary School said the principal told her in an e-mail that the pledge was dropped "out of respect for the diversity of religious faiths."

In other words, mentioning the word "God" might be offensive to some.

- A school district in Wisconsin is being sued for allowing the Child Evangelism Fellowship of Wisconsin the same access to after-school meeting facilities it grants to all other nonprofit organizations.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has brought the suit, claiming that allowing a religious organization to use public facilities is unconstitutional.

In short, it's not enough to get God and prayer out of schools. Some people want to ban religious people, as well.

The name of the organization itself -- the "Freedom From Religion Foundation" -- indicates a fundamental ignorance of the U.S. Constitution. There is nothing in the words of the founders of this great nation that provides anyone a guarantee of freedom from religion.

In fact, it is utterly the opposite; you have the freedom of religion, as expressed in the opening phrase of the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ..."

Barring religious groups such as the Child Evangelism Fellowship of Wisconsin, and singling them out based upon their religiosity, is clearly and blatantly "prohibiting the free exercise" of religion.

So, too, incidentally, is the occasional school district's attempt to prevent valedictorians from mentioning their faith in commencement speeches.

The Constitution transparently orders government to be neutral to religion -- not hostile to it. Prohibiting the use of public facilities based solely upon religion is being hostile to religion.

Bright minds, legally educated minds, know this. And still some of them persist in attempting to drive not just God and prayer from the public square and school, but to drive out religious people as well.

The good folks of faith in Wisconsin need to know that they are not alone, and that those of us who know, understand and honor the Constitution will not allow our fellow people of faith to be banished from public life.

As for saying the Pledge of Allegiance in school: When the word "God" is so offensive that the Pledge of Allegiance is dropped, we have fallen far indeed.

Comments (113) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
lord griggs1947
0
Points
lord griggs1947 06/15/08 - 03:40 pm
0
0
Your post hoc nonsense about

Your post hoc nonsense about things being just fine before certain other events shows that you need logic triaining. Don't rationalize with the fact about the black enslavers. Now,our deistic founders did proclaim Providence as to their feelings but also gave recognition to the separation of church and state.So, one is taking out of context when one only mentions the former. Their desim would have allowed for evolution and not for creationism in the public schools. Jefferson found fault with Christinsanity but did find some relevance of Yeshua's teachings. Now with the theory of evolution and eternal Existence, he would probably now be a naturalist, I daresay! We call on our own resources when in crisis alone rather than with divine help! We should take credit for that instead of saying that we cannot live abundantly without God, who acts as a mere placebo! The Court rightly establishes habeas corpus for those folk as our constitution implicitly recognizes rights of non-citizens period! Right wingnuts make a mountain out of a mere mole hill as federal courts can easily handle those combattants. What is so distressing is that some released ones are killers!

bone
23
Points
bone 06/15/08 - 03:52 pm
0
0
less exclamations, please,

less exclamations, please, griggsy. your arguments seem sensible enough without hystrionic displays.

No_Longer_Amazed
5146
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 06/15/08 - 07:29 pm
0
0
A short history lesson.

A short history lesson. England was Catholic. Henry VIII wanted a divorce to get remarried, but the Pope said "NO." So Henry VIII created his own church, declared himself the head of the church, and decreed that all the English people HAD to belong to his 'Church of England.' Religious turmoil resulted and among other things people came to America. When it came time to write the Constitution, is it no wonder that freedom FROM a state mandated religion was included?

No_Longer_Amazed
5146
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 06/15/08 - 07:35 pm
0
0
When I went to school in

When I went to school in England in the 1940s and 1950s, religious instruction was mandatory. They were just as fanatical teaching the 'state' religion as other religions are today. In fact, if you were any religion other than 'Church of England,' you had to leave class for the period of instruction.

JesusIsComing
9
Points
JesusIsComing 06/15/08 - 08:32 pm
0
0
Does the Constitution mention

Does the Constitution mention Christianity? The Constitution acknowledges Sunday as a day of rest: "If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law. . ." (Article I, section 7). Also, there is a direct reference to the Lord Jesus Christ in the Constitution: "DONE in convention by the unanimous consent of the States present, the seventeenth of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth. In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our Names."

JesusIsComing
9
Points
JesusIsComing 06/15/08 - 08:36 pm
0
0
From George Washington's

From George Washington's "Inaugural Speech to Both Houses of Congress," April 30, 1789: "Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties & happiness of the people of the United States a government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes - No people can be bound to acknowledge & adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency - We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order & right which Heaven itself has ordained & since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty & the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered as deeply, perhaps finally, staked on the experiment...."

JesusIsComing
9
Points
JesusIsComing 06/15/08 - 08:37 pm
0
0
In Thomas Jefferson's Second

In Thomas Jefferson's Second Inaugural Address of March 4, 1805, he made the following comment:
"In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the General Government. I have therefore undertaken, on no occasion, to prescribe the religious exercise suited to it; but have left them, as the Constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of state and church authorities acknowledged by the several religious societies".

JesusIsComing
9
Points
JesusIsComing 06/15/08 - 08:39 pm
0
0
John Adams and John Hancock:

John Adams and John Hancock: We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus! [April 18, 1775]

JesusIsComing
9
Points
JesusIsComing 06/15/08 - 08:54 pm
0
0
John Adams: "The general

John Adams: "The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity."

JesusIsComing
9
Points
JesusIsComing 06/15/08 - 08:58 pm
0
0
John Quincy Adams: "Why is it

John Quincy Adams: "Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day (the Fourth of July)? Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?"

JesusIsComing
9
Points
JesusIsComing 06/15/08 - 09:01 pm
0
0
John Jay: "Providence has

John Jay: "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."

JesusIsComing
9
Points
JesusIsComing 06/15/08 - 09:04 pm
0
0
John Jay: "Whether our

John Jay: "Whether our religion permits Christians to vote for infidel rulers is a question which merits more consideration than it seems yet to have generally received either from the clergy or the laity. It appears to me that what the prophet said to Jehoshaphat about his attachment to Ahab ("Shouldest thou help the ungodly and love them that hate the Lord?" - 2 Chronicles 19:2) affords a salutary lesson."

JesusIsComing
9
Points
JesusIsComing 06/15/08 - 09:07 pm
0
0
Samuel Johnston: "It is

Samuel Johnston: "It is apprehended that Jews, Mahometans (Muslims), pagans, etc., may be elected to high offices under the government of the United States. Those who are Mahometans, or any others who are not professors of the Christian religion, can never be elected to the office of President or other high office, (unless) first the people of America lay aside the Christian religion altogether, it may happen. Should this unfortunately take place, the people will choose such men as think as they do themselves."

UncleBill
6
Points
UncleBill 06/15/08 - 09:44 pm
0
0
Wow, 108 comments. Too many

Wow, 108 comments. Too many to read at this late hour. Sufficie it to say, you can have all religion you want for yourself. You just can't use government funds to promote or in a place like school coerce people to participate. The point is that people get to pick their own religion, if any. You don't get to pick it for them.

JesusIsComing
9
Points
JesusIsComing 06/15/08 - 09:50 pm
0
0
Yes, people can choose their

Yes, people can choose their own religion or none at all - the sad thing is that those who do not receive Christ's forgiveness by trusting in His death for them on the cross and His resurrection from the dead, will suffer an eternity in Hell. I pray none of you neglect such a great salvation.

nightraiders
0
Points
nightraiders 06/16/08 - 05:16 am
0
0
This country was founded n

This country was founded n christian fait and principles and we should live by such. Coerced uncle bill, come on.

christian134
1
Points
christian134 06/16/08 - 05:23 am
0
0
People if you think times are

People if you think times are rough now just wait until this man Obama and his sidekicks, who have been brainwashed in the rantings of Black Theology, slinks into the White House.This man is the epitome of what it means to be a racist liberal...Christianity will become the next item on a list of "What or whom do we eliminate today?"...A sort of a check off list.... Oh just in passing why in the world would a potential president of the U.S speak directly to black dads about being good parents and not to all dads of all races? Just adds to the confirmation that this man is for all people as long as they are of black descent....

nightraiders
0
Points
nightraiders 06/16/08 - 05:44 am
0
0
I still have faith in this

I still have faith in this country. I don't believe the big "dumb down" and the great push to take God out of this country has reached the point this country would elect the character, osama barack!

WHATDIDIDO
0
Points
WHATDIDIDO 06/16/08 - 05:17 pm
0
0
OBAMA IS COMING, OBAMA IS

OBAMA IS COMING, OBAMA IS COMING. GEEZ, what a bunch of alarmists.

willistontownsc
55
Points
willistontownsc 06/16/08 - 06:39 pm
0
0
There is an ABSOLUTE right to

There is an ABSOLUTE right to from religion in the public arena. The problem starts when people like the idiots on this paper's editorial staff starts endoresing a church-state merger. When we start merging ANY religion -- let it be Christianity, Judaism or Islam -- with the state, the very terrorists we are fighting in the Middle East have won. That's why the Freedom from Religion Foundation is fighting this, to prevent exactly the kind of theocracy Iran currently have and the kind of theocracy that McCain and the Chronicle wants.

aveteran
136
Points
aveteran 06/17/08 - 02:06 am
0
0
Jesuscoming: your Patrick

Jesuscoming: your Patrick Henry "quote" is a proven fraud. The Constitution does NOT mention Jesus or God; the "reference" you cite is simply the date, rendered by the custom of the day.

aveteran
136
Points
aveteran 06/17/08 - 02:13 am
0
0
Seems all the religious

Seems all the religious hatred is coming from the "good Christians" on this board, combined with a disgusting dose of racism. Has the 21st century passed you people by?

JesusIsComing
9
Points
JesusIsComing 06/17/08 - 04:27 pm
0
0
"aveteran", Yes, it is

"aveteran", Yes, it is "simply the date" and He was simply the Savior.

aveteran
136
Points
aveteran 06/17/08 - 11:53 pm
0
0
In your opinion. Please

In your opinion. Please provide verifiable evidence.

christian134
1
Points
christian134 06/18/08 - 05:00 am
0
0
You will see the evidence one

You will see the evidence one day when our Lord comes until then I would like to suggest you read the Word...Old and New Testament with an open heart and mind....:-) Read the Treatise Law of Evidence by Dr. Simon Greenleaf, a law professor at Harvard..

Back to Top

Top headlines

Mayor's race historic, controversial

Hardie Davis is still waiting to take office after winning a mayoral race that featured no white candidates and saw one of his opponents drop out the day before the election.
Search Augusta jobs