Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

December 11, 2012

Questions were asked, but none was answered

Ed Joyce does not know me nor ever met me, but he writes that he knows what I mean (“Church and state both better off when kept separate,” Dec. 5 Times-News).

I never wrote anything that used any reference to the IRS; I never said that atheists are immoral (“Is the separation of church and state a two-way street?” Nov. 29 Times-News).

I did say government is lead by some immoral people. I never said anything about clergy endorsement of a candidate, or state that only religious people are moral. I asked questions, and he answered none of them.

Atheists are banning together across the USA to stop any government elected official from saying a prayer. The action of atheists trying to stop prayer is why I asked, “Why stop prayer, if to them God does not exist?”

I tried to explain that one person is not the government WE are the government. An individual is protected by the constitution to have freedom of religion.

The following is a question” If the person that is elected to a government job believes in saying a prayer before he starts his job, how can personal freedom be protected but yet denied at the same time?

The person is praying, not the government! I’m not of the Muslim faith but I know they believe in praying five times a day at set times.

If a Muslim is elected to any government position in the USA and needs to say a prayer will they be prohibited under separation of government and religion?

Isn’t that just one citizen exercising their right of religious freedom? I believe they have the right to pray. It is called tolerance of each other’s belief. Will the atheists persecute the Muslims like they do the Christians? Are Muslims ineligible to run for a government office unless they give up their prayers? Why can’t prayer be called chat to be politically correct?

The term “separation of church and state” is totally wrong. The Supreme Court used it to define respecting the establishment of religion in the first amendment. I looked at the definition of church on the internet.

Only Christians use the term church. Others use the term synagogue, temple, mosque, etc. If you apply a generic definition of church as a group of people of the same belief, then atheism is a group of people of the same belief. I’m looking for the two way street.

Some churches were criticized for speaking out against the marriage equality act because of the change in their belief of the definition of marriage.

They believe the state was telling them their belief is wrong and they have to change their belief. That is passing a law against religion.

I believe the marriage equality act would not have had as much opposition had it said a civil union of two people of the same sex is equal under the law as a marriage. The church has their marriage and gays have equality. But if it’s truly equality, why not more than two people?

You wrote some believe “involvement of religion in government corrupts both” I feel religion in government strengthens both. The more religions we have in government the more we understand each other.

Both government and religion try to guide our life. If they are separate they tend to conflict. Government and religion need to work together not fight.

I don’t have the answers, so I ask the questions looking for something that makes sense. I’m not telling anyone else what to believe.

Gary Kimmell

Cumberland

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