Christians should not have more rights than those of other religions

Posted: Friday, September 05, 2003

Hazel Schofield, yes, displays of Christianity have been erased from the public. This is only being respectful to non-Christians.

You see this as a disrespect to your beliefs, as taking away your freedoms and rights. There is nothing in the Constitution about Christianity being favored above all religions. Instead, there is the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

While the public environment is becoming more and more neutral, you still practice your religion at your place of worship (church) and in your very own home. The "heathens" practice their religions in the same places synagogues, temples, mosques and their homes. They have no more rights than you do.

To be restricted from exercising your beliefs at places of worship and in your home would be a violation of your rights and freedoms. And, if suddenly, laws from the Koran were hung in public schools or statues of Buddha were erected in town squares, there would be a violation of the rights and freedoms of all Christians, and all who are not Muslim or Buddhist.

Also, the "heathens" have played an integral part in the prosperity and greatness of our country. Our founding fathers and the Christian settlers made the first contribution, and it was the diverse peoples who immigrated here in the early 20th century who built our industrial society. They alone have not made our country great, but they have helped. It is as much theirs as it is yours and mine now.

As a Christian, you believe that your religion is the only righteous one, and I understand that. But I also understand that this is something every religious person feels. Non-Christians' beliefs differ from yours in great ways, but they feel the same and deserve the same rights, freedom and justice for all, including the "heathens."

Bethany Swenson, Kasilof

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