Government and religion do not mix

October 08, 2003

Dear Editor:

I publicly stand by my opinions expressed in the previous letter that I wrote on Monday.

The issue of a taxpayer-funded vehicle displaying a faith symbol is not an issue of my personal faith, no matter how many are determined to make it seem as such. This is strictly an issue of the separation of our government (and taxpayer-funded programs and services) and religion/spirituality.

If anyone supports a "Jesus fish" symbol on a police cruiser, they must also be fully prepared to likewise accept an officer who would choose to display a Star of David of the Jewish faith, crescent and star of the Islamic faith, a pentagram, a tree, or other religious symbol as a statement of their personal faith.

Just as some might consider these faiths to be "false" and "evil," there are people who hold those same beliefs regarding Christianity. Just as some would be offended by seeing any of these faiths' symbols, there are citizens who are offended by seeing the "Jesus fish."


However, this is not an issue of theology. This is not an issue of personal beliefs, or who is "right," "wrong," and "judged." This is an issue of conflicting interests between government/taxpayers and religion. The two do not mix.

If people accept and allow government and taxpayer-funded instruments to endorse a religion, do not be surprised when your own religious freedoms - be it Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Paganism, or another faith - are bastardized in some form.

Religion and public government cannot be bedmates. That is why the Constitution protects freedom of religious practices and beliefs. The United States is not a theocracy.

Lori Stipe


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