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Archive for Wednesday, July 7, 1999

CHURCH-STATE LINES

July 7, 1999

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To the editor:

In the light of what appears to be an escalating level of violence in this country, especially by our young people, steps like allowing the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms and establishing a National Day of Prayer "feel" like moves in the right direction.

I suggest, however, that when initiatives that blur the line between church and state start to gather serious support in Congress, we -- as freedom-conscious individuals -- do a little more thinking and a little less feeling!

Isn't your religion the right religion and your God the only true god? Don't the faithful of all religions feel their beliefs just as strongly as you do? The atrocities we humans have visited upon one another through the ages -- and continue to visit upon one another on a daily basis -- in the name of our gods, cause those committed by the godless to pale in comparison.

Those clever fellows that devised our system of government recognized that freedom of religion was fundamental to the pursuit of happiness and a democratic way of life. More importantly, they recognized that without the absolute separation of church and state, a country governed by majority vote CANNOT maintain any degree of religious diversity. A single religion will inevitably harness the power of the state, become dominant and suppress the religious freedom of those with different beliefs.

How many times in the course of history must this lesson be learned?

Is the world really going to hell in a hand-basket? Perhaps as "the barrel" continues to grow the percent of "bad apples" is actually becoming smaller -- they just are better armed and get more media coverage! The issue deserves some serious thought.

If the daily examples presented to us by the media of "man's inhumanity to man" scare or intimidate us into allowing our representatives to broach the separation of church and state -- and the genuinely awesome power of the United States government is wielded with religious fervor by any dominant religion - we may all wish we could return to the relatively pleasant time of The Inquisition.

Gary Stussie,

2217 Killarney Ct.

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