So, You Were Offended! Boo! Hoo! Hoo!

3 06 2012

Once again, someone has used his own inaccurate interpretation of the U.S. Constitution in an effort to promote his personal agenda. A guy in Oakland, California has written a letter to the Oakland Zoo and the City of Oakland complaining the monument on display in the zoo bearing the Ten Commandments violates separation of church and state and thus, his First Amendment rights.  In his lengthy diatribe, the writer states he rented space at the zoo as a venue for his daughter’s wedding unaware at the time that the monument was there. He goes on to say that when he and the wedding guests saw the monument following the wedding, guests were shocked and he was speechless and offended.

In his misguided ignorance, this writer stated, “There was no warning to us by the officials at the Oakland public office of administration where we paid our money – that we were subject to the laws of the ‘Ten Commandments’ at our own daughters wedding.” I hardly think he and his guests felt subject to the Ten Commandments. Surely there was no heavenly guard patrolling the zoo enforcing the Commandments on zoo patrons.

Here is just one more thing on my list of things I don’t understand. Why would anyone be so enraged by the mere presence of a religious inscription that they would be speechless or offended? Maybe if someone is shocked and speechless by the written word they should seek therapy. If you don’t like religion then ignore the symbolic display and move on. Why try to take it away from others who might appreciate it? We are bombarded by anti-religious symbolism each day and while I may not like the anti-God things I see or hear I can’t say I have ever found myself speechless or even angry about it. For someone to insist on having his way by forcing the removal of religious symbolism is bigoted and selfish.

Like so many narrow-minded secularists, his interpretation is wrong. It was never the intent of our forefathers to prohibit any and all displays of any religious symbol on public property. Nor was it their wish to refrain from any mention of God or religion during public or government functions. History speaks for itself.

The First Congress convened in April 1789. Among their first actions was to create the office of and appoint a Senate Chaplain. The fact this was one of their first actions as a governing body proves the importance of religion to the builders of this nation. Since that time, Congress has been continuously served by Chaplains of at least nine different religious denominations. The Senate Chaplain opens the Senate each day with prayer. Other duties include spiritual care and counseling for senators, their families, and their staffs, discussion sessions, prayer meetings, and a weekly Senators’ Prayer Breakfast. Clearly, it was Congress’ intent to include God in Congressional proceedings and the lives of its members-not to make religion compulsory or to stifle it for others.

The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” This is simply saying that our legislators are not permitted to create religious law nor take any action that prohibits anyone from exercising their own religious beliefs.

Many entities have succumbed to pressure from individuals such as this thin-skinned liberal and the ACLU. Many have been defeated by the courts and removed nativities, Ten Commandments postings and other religious displays and in so doing have violated the First Amendment rights of those who put them on display. What else would you call it when government prohibits the free exercise of religious freedoms by mandating removal of a religious symbol?

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