Printed Letters: April 18, 2014
Laws preserving freedom ironically used to limit it
It is becoming increasingly difficult to wave off the aggressive efforts of the American Civil Liberties Union regarding the Fellowship Church activity center, panhandling in the city, Ten Commandments on display and their myriad of other forays against our American way of life.
At what point does atheism, humanism, or any other nontheistic system become less of a belief system than Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islamism, etc., etc.? Isn’t atheism the diametric opposite of theism, and as such isn’t it a religion? And isn’t it one whose efforts are a vector directed at imposing its minority beliefs on the majority?
It is a fact. Our forefathers, who put together the documents guaranteeing the freedoms we all enjoy today, were god-fearing men. Whether they belonged to a religious assembly or were Deists, they believed in a being far superior to themselves and made judgments and acted accordingly.
The biggest threat today to suppress freedom of speech and religion, are by the very ones making the most noise about defending them. The irony is that they use the laws guaranteeing our freedoms to dismantle our freedoms.
ROBERT A. TALLARICO
Incident in public school was quite simply proselytizing
This letter is in regard to columnist Rick Wagner’s recent rambling about religion, government and the relationship of the two.
Wagner seems to imply that morality flows from religion and without religion there would be no morality. What is morality? To me it is very simply the Golden Rule. Treat others in the manner that you want to be treated by them. You may differ.
Religion of some sort might be a big part of your life. In this country there is no state religion telling you that you should behave in a certain way and believe certain things. You are free to believe what you want, associate with others of the same belief and, in a nongovernmental setting, freely try to get others to join you in your beliefs.
Personally, I take offense at those who violate my personal space in attempting to convert me, such as people knocking at my door or stopping me on the street telling me to repent and join them in their beliefs. But they are free to do so. And I’m free to turn them away.
In a setting like public schools, I want to be free of such activities. That is a place where, above all, we recognize that others can have any religious beliefs they choose, or not.
I understand their zealotry in wanting converts because they feel everybody would benefit by believing as they do. And as soon as I leave that place recognized as being governmental — meaning established and run with the taxes we all pay — anyone is free to approach me in any manner he or she chooses, and I’m free to accept, or not, that person’s advances.
The incident in question was, pure and simple, proselytizing. It had no place in a public school. Morality is not the issue.
School activities that collide with Christian views protected
Maybe Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers should change its name to the Western Colorado Atheists and Freak-outers because freaking out seems to be what they do best. They really shouldn’t have the word “freethinkers” in their name, since it doesn’t appear to be what they do a lot of.
For some reason, it is OK to foist the theory of evolution on Christian students who attend, but when a teacher shows a short video about an optional activity that involves a Christian viewpoint, someone decides that people shouldn’t be allowed to think that freely.
Plenty of optional and mandatory activities at schools collide with the Christian viewpoint of some students, but they are protected because it promotes freethinking. Why shouldn’t people be exposed to the Christian side of thinking and be able to decide for themselves?
Teach academics and arts at school, morals at home
The recent column about showing of a religious video in our public schools has some strange implications. All societies have morals and rules of conduct, but that does not mean that any one religion should be promoted in our public schools.
It doesn’t take an extremist to feel that schools are for teaching academics and arts, and churches and homes are where we should teach our children morals. I would not want my tax dollars to pay for a history teacher to show a video promoting Islam or an English teacher to show a video promoting Buddhism.
Beauregard well-regarded by reader needing humor
With the daily bombardment of negativity and a dismal outlook of today’s world brought to us via multimedia, it can be hard to see a “silver lining” in today’s world. So, I just wanted to say thank you to The Daily Sentinel’s humor columnist Steve Beauregard.
I so look forward to reading his column every Thursday in the local paper. I must say I always smile and often laugh out loud at this good read. Once again, my thanks to Beauregard.