Political correctness threatens freedoms
To the editor:
The level of tolerance for religious differences in this nation is much greater than the politically correct crowd would have us to believe. Freedom of religion is one of the basic tenets of the founding of our nation, and while we are primarily a Judeo-Christian nation, we are a nation of faith that encompasses many religions and beliefs. This nation was established to welcome all nonviolent people of every faith, and there was never any intention by our founders of excluding religion from our public or private lives.
This nation’s National Day of Prayer is a significant part of our heritage. In 1775, during a meeting of the Continental Congress, all of the colonies were asked to pray for wisdom as the policies to govern the nation were being formed.
George Washington said in his farewell address in 1796: “Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail to the exclusion of religious principles ... let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession.”
In 1863 during the Civil War, President Lincoln issued a proclamation appointing a National Fast Day of humiliation, prayer and fasting.
In 1952, President Truman signed a joint resolution from the congress officially creating a National Day of Prayer.
In 1982, the first Thursday in May was designated as the National Day of Prayer, and President Reagan issued a proclamation that signed into law that day each year as the National Day of Prayer.
However, in 2010, a U.S. district judge ruled that the government-sanctioned National Day of Prayer established by congress and always supported in the past with a proclamation from the president is unconstitutional.
Not only have polls shown that most (80 percent) of American citizens feel positive about a National Day of Prayer, but a 2010 Rasmussen report indicated 65 percent of American citizens also would prefer having prayer in schools.
Undoubtedly there are a few in this nation who are very uncomfortable with the highest levels of government recognizing and encouraging prayer. Unfortunately, once again the few have been successful in pushing their agenda to the top of the political correctness list.
The chair of the National Day of Prayer stated, “we have lost many of our freedoms in America because we have been asleep. If we do not become involved, we could end up forfeiting this freedom too.”
We often see state and federal judges who are legislating from the bench, interpreting law according to their own judgment, rather than by our nation’s history and Constitution.
Some presidents do the same, enacting regulations through executive orders often crossing into territory that is not theirs to influence.
Short term politically expedient based fixes and morality are frequently incompatible.
We must pray up, stand up, speak up daily so that we do not give it up forever!
— James Lee Elliott, Fairfield