Dear Editor:On July 4 my wife and I went to Downey High School for what I thought would be a patriotic fireworks show put on by the city. Evidently I did not read between the lines of the article in the Patriot that said the show would be "...under the sponsorship of Calvary Chapel, in partnership with the City of Downey..." What we were subjected to was instead an egregious violation of the intent of separation of church and state, as an apparent minister or preacher went on and on about being saved by his religion, including a plea to come forward to accept God. While I do go to church regularly, this made me feel very uneasy (some of the crowd around us voiced their dismay out loud) as it might have been an insult to anyone else there that was not a Christian, or even someone that did not believe in a god deity at all. To make matters worse, the fireworks show did not start until nearly 9:20 p.m. (while waiting for people to "come forward"), and once it did start, instead of rousing patriotic music we were subjected to an overly loud presentation of religious music (it was so loud it was easily heard blocks away). The entire meaning behind the 4th of July Independence Day celebrations is to celebrate our freedoms, and independence from England, both political, and yes, religious. As per the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, freedom of religion is guaranteed, and some may argue so is the freedom from religion. John Powell Downey Editor's Note: The Downey Patriot erred in stating the fireworks show was a partnership between Calvary Chapel and the city of Downey. The event was funded, planned and produced solely by Calvary Chapel.
********** Published: July 12, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 13