Share This Page

Adhere to First Amendment

| 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

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.