Marilyn Loeffel of the Memphis Commercial Appeal doesn’t like the fact that the Freedom From Religion Foundation is trying to stop the Memphis City Council from opening sessions with prayer.
And she uses her brilliant insight to tell us why FFRF is wrong:
A group in Wisconsin is interfering with our lifestyle down here in the Bible Belt. They want the Memphis City Council to discontinue opening its meetings with a prayer. If they knew how much this city needs prayer, they would stop meddling and mind their own business.
I say shame on believers for staying in their holy huddles and letting this intimidation happen. We have allowed the atheists to dictate where, when, how and if we pray. They got prayer out of public schools and we now reap the consequences, opening the door for more drugs, rape and school shootings. That’s why Memphians need to contact their council members and tell them to stand firm.
Wow. That’s a lot of crazy in one sentence. Atheism isn’t the cause of those problems and religion certainly isn’t the answer.
This isn’t that hard to understand, so I don’t know why Loeffel can’t wrap her mind around it.
Anyone can pray anywhere they would like. However, when the government gets involved, as it does in public schools, city council sessions, and taxpayer-funded programs, there can be no endorsement of one religion over another or religion over no religion.
If students want to pray at school, that’s fine. If teachers want to lead a public school class in prayer, that’s not fine.
If individual city council members want to pray, that’s fine. If they want to lead the entire council in prayer, that’s not fine.
Every “freethinker” in the world screams for tolerance. They want conservatives to tolerate liberals, believers to tolerate nonbelievers, right to tolerate left — never accepting the opposite to be fair. They are an example of the adage that if you tell a lie — such as the myth of “separation of church and state” — often enough, it becomes accepted as truth.
That phrase does not appear in our country’s founding documents. The First Amendment guarantees that one particular religion or denomination would not be forced upon the country, that no one would be allowed to infringe upon our rights to exercise and express our religious beliefs. It was, quite clearly, freedom for religion, not from religion. I interpret that to say that this Wisconsin group is wrong. It is their turn to tolerate us.
One of the commenters left a nice little message for her on the paper’s website:
As a person who is religious, I do not want anyone in my child’s school teaching him how to pray. Ever.
That is my job and something I will do in the privacy of our own home. It is inappropriate for a school teacher or official to impose their religious standards, many of which are different from what I choose to teach my child.
And, Marilyn, if you allow Christian prayers in schools, then you also have to allow Muslim prayer, Buddhist prayer, Hindu prayer, Satanic invocations, etc. If you allow one, you certainly allow them all, and none of these do I wish my child to be forced to learn.
Also, I do not for one moment believe that the moment prayer was removed from schools that it was the same moment drugs, rape and shootings began. That is a result of many more elements than the lack of a prayer.
I am a religious and political conservative, Marilyn, but unlike you I do not wish to live in the America that you prescribe. I do not wish for your religion to become the governing body of our state or nation. I do not wish for other religions to do this either. If this would happen, we’d end up as a bunch of warring theocracies, no different than the middle east.
You, madam, are little more than a ranting and raving nut job, and I continue to find myself ashamed of your half-witted columns. You disgrace TRUE conservatives. I suspect that is the real reason the CA employs you.
I couldn’t have said it any better myself.