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Letter to the Editor
Monday, March 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

For all those who say the Ten Commandment monument at Valley High School impinges on their First Amendment rights and want to remove it, let's give you an American political history lesson.

The First Amendment is actually Article 1 of the Bill Of Rights. It is written, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Looking at this carefully, the first part tells us that the government cannot establish a single religion for the people to follow and abide by that religion. The second part shows us that the government cannot stop the people from exercising their beliefs in the religion they choose.

The government is not allowed to interfere with a person's practice of religion. Hence: separation of church and state.

If anyone disagrees with the school district's display and wishes to have a change, Article 1 of the Bill Of Rights allows us to “petition” to make that change. Nowhere in Article 1 does it say to contact an attorney to sue to remove said offensive material.

If the petition fails, then you are permitted to put it on a ballot for vote, and then majority rules on whether the monument stays or goes.

I, and probably quite a few others, would vote to keep the monument right where it has been for the past 50 years.

Charles Stonage

Lower Burrell

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