Freedom Of Religion Is Not Restricted



I find it necessary to respond to four points made by publisher Richard Haddad in his Dec. 17 editorial.

1. You refer to a "movement in this country to take Christ out of Christmas." I can't even imagine how this could occur. As long as freedom of religion exists in the United States, we are all free to practice our beliefs. All Americans who honor the Constitution support this right and support your right to maintain your religious beliefs.

2. You believe there is a "pressure to dilute Christianity." I interpret this to mean that you believe the presence of every non-Christian in the United States is a diluting factor that weakens Christianity. Do you also believe that citizens whose origins do not trace back to Northern Europe are a diluting factor to the racial makeup of historical America?

3. You talk about "pressure being applied to lawmakers and civic leaders to censor any reference to Jesus Christ or God in our schools." I am a retired teacher who has never seen a school make an effort to obstruct freedom of religion. I have never interfered with a student who bowed a head in prayer prior to a test. I have even had an Islamic student who wrote a short prayer in Arabic on the top of her test papers. Although she was allowed to pray privately I am sure the community would have been upset if I had allowed her to verbally praise Allah. I hope you would react similarly to any child of any religion making a public proclamation of his religion in class.

4. Do you really believe you are being pressured to "bow to the ways of the world and mute our belief and trust in God?" Your editorial indicates that you have not been muted. You say "Let us not be afraid to express our prayers or belief in God." As long as you do not seek to make your beliefs public policy, you need not be afraid to express them.

Because of freedom of religion you may wear a cross, or any other religious symbol, around your neck. What I don't understand is why you fear that your freedom of religion is restricted because you are not allowed to place crosses around the necks of all Americans?

Bruce Berman, Payson

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