Letters to the Editor

I think someone needs a refresher lesson. The battle between the Church of England and the Catholic Church is precisely why we have freedom of religion in the First Amendment. The U.S. is a Christian nation, but there is no established church; people are free to worship as they see fit. Freedom of religion is the second clause in the First Amendment (β€œor prohibiting the free exercise thereof") is overlooked by the left because it protects cake bakers from having to participate in gay weddings, and folks who want to pray in school.

To reiterate my earlier letter, the separation of church and state is nowhere in the Constitution. It was in a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association assuring them government would not interfere in their religious affairs. It also said that there would be no opposition for religious citizens to fulfill their social duties as their faith guided them. The bottom line is that the "wall" Jefferson referred to was one-way – religion can play a role in government, but not vice versa. However, the Supreme Court is the culprit which tried to wipe out the second clause, no thanks to Supreme Court Justice (and former Klansman) Hugo Black, who used Jefferson's phrase in a court decision to reverse the one-way wall such that government can force religion out of the public square and interfere in its practices – no more free exercise.

As for abortion, a Supreme Court true to the Constitution will likely do the right thing – reverse Roe v. Wade and return the resolution of this and other issues back to the states where they belong. Only a delusional person could think all 50 states would enact total bans on abortion if this happened.

I'm disheartened to learn religious groups have "vast properties" on which they pay no tax. Perhaps the letter writer would like to see their tax-exempt status removed, thus wiping out thousands of churches across this country. The truth is, lots of churches are fighting for survival these days (no thanks to government interference). Feel free to write your Congressman with your proposal and see how much support it gets.

Finally, I'm saddened to learn an ordained minister can be incorrect for so many years. It's easy to forgive, because there was only one perfect human being who ever lived.

Richard Rustad

Aiken