THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
From our readers
To the Editor:
When Thomas Jefferson explained that the legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof he meant the government could not do what England had done by declaring one religion to be the one that all of England should practice.
The founding fathers made it clear they escaped from England so they would be free to practice openly the religion of their choice. Our founders wanted to make sure that no persons religious choice could be criticized, punished or shaped by government. That is why they added the language, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
Eliminating the right of Christians to express their faith before public meetings or events is in direct conflict with the wishes of our founding fathers and the freedom granted in our constitution.
Thomas Jefferson never promoted the concept of a secular state. While serving in the Virginia House of Burgesses, he was the one who personally introduced a resolution for a day of fasting and prayer in 1774.
Then while president, he also chaired the school board for the District of Columbia and authored its plan of education using the Bible and Watts Hymnal as reading texts. He also proposed a treaty with the Kaskasian Indians, which included federal money to build a church and support a clergyman.
When he established the University of Virginia, he encouraged the teaching of religion and set apart the rotunda for chapel services. He also praised the use of the local courthouse in his hometown for religious services.
Our founders definition of separation of church and state was a far cry from the way it is interpreted by the courts and secularists of today.
Citizens of this nation need to protect the freedoms so many died for to secure by encouraging everyone from every religion to pray and celebrate their faith.