Adhere to First Amendment
Adhere to First Amendment
Published: Monday, March 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Updated: Monday, March 11, 2013
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.
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Thanks for your professional opinion on the law but I'm guessing that those who are suing the school ARE petitioning the court for an injunction. The Supreme Court seems to disagree with the author of this letter. This is America so you are FREE to exercise your religion but not at the expense of other tax payers. Build the biggest church on the block, put religious monuments on any private property owned by individuals, but keep that propaganda off of public school property since the majority cannot vote away the rights of the minorities that are protected under the Constitution. I'm not sure why we need to see these religious messages on public school property when there is a church on every street?
Submitted by: Sam on Tuesday, March 12, 2013
The Bill of Rights describe basic rights to all Americans that cannot be voted away by a majority vote. You can't vote to shut down newspapers (freedom of the press), you can't vote to ban churches (freedom of religion), and you can't vote to ban all guns (freedom to bear arms). The separation of church and state also says the government can't promote a single religious view and 50 years of Supreme Court rulings have carved out exactly what this means. The courts have consistently said religious postings in public schools, such as the Ten Commandments, have no place. If you respect the Constitution, it is time to remove the monument.