Founders pointed to God, freedom
Those professing the separation of church and state should spend some time reading in the Declaration of Independence where the separation from the British crown is justified by the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” It goes on to say we are endowed by our “Creator” with unalienable Rights. The founders sum up the declaration by stating “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.”
The First Amendment clearly states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” A reasonable person would interpret those provisions of our Founding Fathers to mean, as have the courts, that government cannot force a religious belief and cannot prohibit those beliefs.
People of many differing religions have faced ridicule, prejudice, persecution and even death for their religious beliefs worldwide. Most of us are aware of the persecution and turmoil today in the Middle East and other parts of the world, usually sponsored by ruling governments. It seems only reasonable and prudent to keep our focus on government controls and honor the founders’ concerns for freedom of the people.
No right to impose
Unfortunately, ignorance abounds about church-and-state separation and religious freedom in America. I challenge our citizenry and politicians to learn more about the Constitution and our secular government.
For example, George Washington stated in a letter to Edward Newenham on Oct. 20, 1792: “Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing and ought most to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy which has marked the present age would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see their religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.”
That politicians believe religious freedom means having the right to impose one’s religious views on others, or to withhold services from others, is simply a perversion of our laws under the Constitution.
Great Plains Chapter, Americans United for Separation of Church and State
If someone wants to be a Puritan, he is free to do so. But this is America, the land of the free and home of the brave, and others should be free to do what they want. The Puritans need to stop changing laws to suit their purposes. This in 2015; deal with it.
I hope Gov. Sam Brownback and Secretary of State Kris Kobach pay attention. They put Kansas backward all the time.
KEVIN D. PLESS
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