Be thankful that we keep church, state separate Like...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 23, 2001

Be thankful that we keep church, state separate

Like many Americans, I prayed last week. Among my prayers were thanks to God for our separation of church and state. A contradiction? I don't think so.

It has been suggested by many talk-show callers and letter writers, not to mention the Rev. Jerry A. Falwell, that we are finally reaping the whirlwind for our secular way of life and our exile of God from public schools. Don't they realize that, for the believer, God is everywhere and the banning of prayer -- communication with God -- is impossible.

Our laws do not keep us from talking to God, but do keep us from telling fellow citizens when, how and whom they worship.

Our nation has divisions but, thanks to our secular society, Catholics and Protestants are not killing each other in our streets. Jews and Muslims are equally free to vote and to live where they please.

People of minority faiths -- or of no faith -- enjoy freedom of conscience and freedom from oppression.

Those who long for a Falwellian paradise, God-centered and purged of liberals, feminists, homosexuals and religious dissenters, might look to Afghanistan. Is this what we want for America?

State-sponsored religions do not bring us closer to God. They divide us from each other.

Lynn W. Jensen

Baltimore

Dividing faith, patriotism helps bring country together

The Sun was right to leave out "under God" out of its patriotic flag insert.

That phrase was not part of the original Pledge of Allegiance. And the point is that, regardless of our various beliefs, we are one nation united.

The joint services we saw Sept. 14, featuring speakers from many faiths, would not have been possible in a nation such as Afghanistan, where they do not keep their faith and patriotism separate.

Carl Aron

Baltimore

Revive our Christian heritage to save families, freedom

I commend President Bush for proclaiming a "National Day of Prayer and Remembrance" for the victims of Sept. 11th's horrific tragedy. And while we are praying for the victims and their families, let us also ask God's forgiveness for turning away from Him.

While Sept. 11's terrorist attack has rekindled our patriotism and united us in spirit, let it also serve as a wake-up call to our nation to make God a priority in our daily lives and in our nation as a whole.

Let's restore a time of prayer in our public schools. Let's post the Ten Commandments in prominent public places. Let us forgo our "right to choose" and give our unborn the right to live.

It is time for this nation to return to its Christian heritage. It is time for our leaders to make decisions based on sound doctrine, instead of a few liberal voices.

It is time to reverse the downward spiral of immorality, which threatens to erode not only our families, but the very freedom and security of our nation.

Carol Burnette

New Market

Don't rush to undermine protections of our liberties

I oppose the Bush administration's request to have a law with 40 measures restricting liberties passed within one week ("Broad anti-terror measures sought," Sept. 18). Citizens need to hear what these proposals are and have a chance to dialogue with our representatives.

If it's good to be deliberate in planning our strategy against terror networks, shouldn't we be equally careful in revising laws that protect our freedoms at home?

Charlie Cooper

Baltimore

Our assertive stance calms world's violence

Has anybody noticed how quiet it is out there? Yasser Arafat is suddenly on our side as is Syria and the mullahs in Iran. It also appears Hamas, Hezbollah and the Islamic Jihad have simultaneously run out of bombs and ammunition.

It must be a coincidence that this has happened at the same time America has decided that it hasn't paid to be politically correct and we should defend ourselves.

I like the quiet.

W.C. Harsanyi

Pasadena

Blaming the victims won't stop terrorism

I have been bothered by comments that suggest this tragedy may have been avoided had our foreign policy been more responsive to the needs of the terrorists.

The comments are disturbingly similar to what abusers say to battered women: "If only you were smarter, thinner, a better cook, I wouldn't beat you so much."

Why must we keep blaming the victim? The people who did this terrible thing are filled with rage. We happen to be the target today. Tomorrow, it will be someone else.

We are kidding ourselves if we think that changing our foreign policy will fix this and prevent another attack.

Margie Tillett

Baltimore

Don't sacrifice justice to capture bin Laden

For many years we began school with a pledge. Its climax was "with liberty and justice for all." One person should not turn that dream to a nightmare.

America's Pledge of Allegiance means Osama bin Laden should be arrested, tried in a court, with a competent defense lawyer. Justice is too sacred to be sacrificed in pursuit of emotional satisfaction.

If the U.S. were to abandon due process and choose terrorism, the victory of lawless hijackers would be complete.

Robert Y. O'Brien

Severna Park

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