|To the Editor: First Amendment rights apply to everyone|
|Written by Gerry A. Troyer|
|Thursday, 05 July 2012 11:42|
I am writing in response to the recent letter of Lloyd A. Jones, who believes that elected officials should avoid any public displays of their faith.
He states that “such participation is a violation of the First Amendment of our Constitution.”
First of all, I am a strong proponent of the Constitution of the United States, and seeing what Mr. Jones quoted, he is not familiar with that great document, nor its content. The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Can Mr. Jones show me anywhere in that Amendment where it says “separation of church and state”? Can he show me any law on the books where Congress has enacted a law forcing Americans to adhere to a particular religion? Of course not! He also stated that whenever elected officials “demonstrate their piety”, it violates our Constitution. This is also immensely false. Any judge who has ever ruled in favor of the farce of “separation of church and state”, has done so according to his own bias, not according to the Constitution. Those judges should be removed from the bench.
If anyone is in violation of the Constitution, it would be those who hold the opinion of Mr. Jones, by “prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble.” These First Amendment rights belong to every citizen of the United States of America, regardless of who signs their paycheck.
That includes elected and non-elected officials. They are people, and citizens, too. If Mr. Jones does not want to display his faith, or lack thereof, in public, that’s his choice. But anyone who tries to keep someone else from openly displaying theirs, that is an attempt to blatantly deny another’s freedom and their Constitutional rights.
I can only hope that, before people jump on the “Constitutional separation of church and state” bandwagon (which does not exist), that they read the Constitution first, and know what it says. As citizens, our freedoms are for us to enjoy. But beware of those whose desire is to take them away!
Gerry A. Troyer
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