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Opinion Letters FFRF Needs to “Chill”

If this was a less important issue I would be tempted to say the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) needs to “chill”, or has too much time on their hands, or perhaps needs to get a life. Has this gang nothing better to do than oversee Superintendent Brigman’s communications with his staff to insure no religious references trickle through to poison and corrupt our innocent youth?

I’ve tried to believe that conservative writers ranting about the “culture war” are over-reacting but, then again, if a School Superintendent can be taken to task for wishing his staff a Merry Christmas, maybe it’s time to reconsider exactly what the early framers had in mind when they composed the Constitution of the United States.

Is it possible the “grossly inappropriate” action is not what Dr. Brigman stated in his email but rather our collective inaction in not standing behind his right to say it? I am reminded of Captain John Parker (1729- 1775), a Revolutionary and Patriot. When confronted with a superior British force, he said, “Don't fire unless fired upon but, if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”

The Freedom from Religion Foundation intends to incite a war and will only declare victory when the last vestige of religious freedoms are expelled from public discourse. What better place to begin to do that than in our halls of learning. They intend to purge any trace of religion from our collective heritage and consciousness until the history of how this once great nation came into being is forgotten.

Before we allow this to happen it might do us all well to rethink what the founders truly had in mind when they penned the phrase “wall of separation.” Had they envisioned how future courts would misconstrue and distort their meaning of “wall”, they might have wisely chosen a different term.

On New Year’s Day, 1802, President Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut and used the wording, “wall of separation,” as a metaphor to describe the First Amendment relationship between religion and civil government. The letter read, “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”

I take that to mean the obvious concern was in the establishment of religion, not the prevention of proclaiming it. Dr. Brigman was well within the boundaries as set forth in the Constitution of the United States in wishing his staff, his community, and every child in his district, a Merry Christmas. Therefore, as William Shakespeare might say to the Freedom from Religion Foundation, were he alive today, “How now, wool-sack, what mutter you?”

David L. Snell — Dillsboro, NC





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