"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 peacefully to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
This is the exact wording of the First Amendment as written and expressed by our Forefathers. Emily Davis' letter of Feb. 18 responds to Mr. James Finnegan's letter on abortion. She states that his "religious beliefs remain a personal value system, and they do not trump the rest of the country's right to freedom from religion."
This is where I must correct Ms. Davis. Clearly, the First Amendment states that our right is freedom of religion; not from religion. There is a huge difference. The Bill of Rights protects our right to choose our own religion and not have it be dictated by our government, and that our country will not espouse or adopt a national religion or preference one above the other.
Our Forefathers left Europe for many reason, one being religious tyranny and intolerance. Freedom from religion, on the other hand, can be construed as saying that our country was founded on the premise that we should have no religion. All religions, in their pure form, advocate serving their God and being of service to each other.
Ms. Davis may be right when she implies that many people believe the First Amendment right is from religion because it seems more people today live selfish, self-centered lives, serving only their wants. Living life to higher standards, treating everyone morally proper, being tolerant of each other is a teaching of most religions. So for me, I think of religion trumps from religion. Go in peace.
Paul J. Frost