Politics and religion don't mix

Dear Editor:Mr. Dan Cristea's argument that our economic and social troubles can be ameliorated, if not solved, by placing our national motto inside our City Council chambers is yet another attempt by a few to, not so tacitly, impose over others. ("In God We Trust Movement Comes to Downey," 10/23/09) Mr. Cristea surely does not speak for all taxpayers, religious or otherwise. Religious displays belong in places of worship. Although many, if not most, of our public representatives are profoundly religious-very few admit otherwise-Council Chambers are not such places, regardless of the people inside. Come to think of it, I don't recall ever seeing such a sign prominently displayed inside a place of worship. Maybe that's where Mr. Cristea should first focus his efforts. I imagine his suggestion would be well received there. Rather than placing one inside council chambers, how about attaching a sign-about the size the one Mr. Cristea would deem appropriate for City Hall-on a conspicuous area of his property; his front lawn for example or maybe the roof of his house. That would still qualify as a public display and nobody, except maybe some of his neighbors, would be at all concerned. What if all of Mr. Cristea's many supporters, including some of our elected officials, did the same thing? Prominent displays of religious faith on people's front lawns: Our economy would no doubt recover much faster. Doing this might even encourage others to express their personal views on religion publicly. Anyone who opts for my suggestion, though, might be wise to first check with the city's Code Enforcement Department. I'm not sure they'll allow it. If this happens to be the case, Mr. Cristea and his supporters should not despair. Let's not forget that people all across the land carry with them, in their wallets and purses, those same words imprinted across their money. Though I support freedom of belief, I cannot stand by while an outspoken minority tries to implement bandwagon kitchen epiphanies as recourse to correct what they perceive to be a chaotic and Godless landscape. I would argue that God has not "been taken out of the public square" as Mr. Cristea states. What has changed, to his obvious distress, is that many more are now willing to debate and even challenge religion in the public sphere. I strongly oppose Mr. Cristea's suggestion. I believe the act of placing such a religious display inside the halls of democracy does little more than satisfy some people's personal desire for religious vindication, and this is why some of us view such displays as a threat, not to our beliefs but to our freedom. - Miguel Rojas, Downey

********** Published: October 30, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 28

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