McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Opinion

August 17, 2012

Letter to Editor by Mike Morgan

McALESTER — Editor:

In reference to the news articles in your August 16, 2012, edition.

I am amazed that City Manager Pete Stasiak stated he cannot recall who complained about the silhouettes depicting crosses on city street signs. Apparently the person who complained didn’t think it was important enough to put it in writing or Mr. Stasiak didn’t think it was important enough to make a note of the complaint. And I take this to be a single complaint.

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States says in part “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”  Lawyers and judges, particularly the Supreme Court of the United States, have perverted the Constitution to the point it would be unrecognizable by the Founding Fathers. They were men of beliefs in various religions and some non-religious men. Their varied backgrounds from Europe had convinced them that the government should not be allowed to require participation in any one religion, nor prevent individuals from participating in their chosen religion. Nowhere in the Constitution does the phrase “separation of church and state” appear. This phrase was used by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 in a speech to a Baptist convention. The context of the phrase is that there should be a hedge to protect religion from the government.

The placing of silhouettes, which were not purchased with city funds, on street signs could hardly be perceived as the city establishing a religion or interfering with another religion. The vast majority of citizens, whether avowed Christians or not, would welcome and support the return of the removed silhouettes. The complainant should enjoy the silhouettes he chooses.

In a somewhat related article, the City Council voted to spend $18,500 to have a new city emblem created. What is wrong with the current logo? Is it because it has a cross on it? I recall a City firefighter threatened to sue the city because of the cross. How much will it cost to install a new logo on city property and equipment? Why doesn’t the Council sponsor a citywide logo contest? They might be surprised at the abilities of their citizens.

Mike Morgan,

McAlester

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