One of the things I have come to look forward to when I open my Herald is a choice of columnists predicated upon intelligent discourse, whether I agree with the opinion stated or not. Where did Mona Charen come from? (“ACLU: Have no other gods before us,” Sunday).
There isn’t a single argument in her diatribe against the ACLU’s stand against government displays of the Ten Commandments that isn’t basted with jingoistic buzz phrases and frosted with homemade revisionist characterizations of opponents’ positions.
Those of us who believe that religious symbols have no place in government offices base our opposition to these practices in the sincere belief that such displays give official sanction to an attitude that those who would force people who are not of the predominant faith into marginal roles in the society are justified in this action.
When people of a religious minority are required to recite “under God” or even “maintain a respectful silence” instead, they are being forced to give assent that the Judeo-Christian majority has a right to a level of priority in their customs that is not to be reciprocated or even acknowledged as unequal.
Anyone wishing to engage those of us who believe this way must address these concerns if they want us to respect their countering opinion. You will not impress us by vomiting such claptrap as “our religious roots as a nation” when anyone who was paying attention in third grade knows that this nation was founded by people who were fleeing religious dictates.
These symbols of Judeo-Christian dominance are not harmless and no amount of pseudo-intellectual poo-pooing will make them so. Nobody is really free unless everyone is free to be what they are without threat of relegation to lesser status.
Get better columnists.
Harold R. Pettus