We should not denounce America's religious heritage

Published: Sunday, January 2, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 1, 2005 at 11:49 p.m.
In response to Robert Raulerson (Dec. 28), who fears George Bush is leading America towards a theocracy: The theocratic movement he fears is not afoot but has existed here for over 200 years.
Instead, it is an immoral, socialistic movement which is afoot, and against which middle America spoke loudly in the recent elections. A movement where charity is forced rather than tithed. A movement where laymen, pastors and rabbis are expected to accept the killing of unborn children and zygotes, the wedding of homosexuals or the removal of God and the Ten Commandments from our basic institutions.
One does not have to be religious to appreciate the influence of religions on the foundation of this country's sense of laws and values. To let these values be eroded by the ACLU or a misguided political party will surely damn us into some sort of Orwellian or Marxist state.
I agree with Raulerson that a Taliban-like system of government is unwanted, but to remove all influences and symbols of our religious heritage is equally unwise to an open-minded society. As any schoolchild could tell him, our country was founded on religious tolerance and freedom from persecution. And, no matter how many times I read the First Amendment, it always says to me that it promotes freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.
Ben Butler, Gainesville

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