- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 19, 2009


The article “Criminal prayer case stirs protests” (Page 1, Aug. 14) garbles the constitutional issue. The free-exercise clause of the First Amendment is not a license for anarchy; it clearly says the exercise of religion shall not be totally forbidden, which is what “prohibiting” means. Not one word of the Constitution authorizes anarchy. In the United States, we obey the laws of the land, regardless of religious belief.

The constitutional objection is about the establishment of “religion” by a government institution, as distinguished from a private institution. Government is the essence of coercion, which is why public schools are not to be used to impose religion upon any American, even if all involved are of the same religious beliefs and opinions. In the United States, religion is to be completely voluntary and not to be imposed by the government at any level.

There is no “freedom of religion” that is exempt from constitutional principle. James Madison warned, “Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history.”

If public school administrators or students wish to pray at official functions, do so as Jesus commanded in Matthew 6:5-6.


Pittsburg, Kan.

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