IBJOpinion

Constitution allows free exercise of religion

April 2, 2010
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

As Bruce Hetrick correctly points out in his [March 22] essay, “No Martha, the majority does not always rule,” the majority doesn’t always get its way. The United States is a republic and not a “democracy” per se, which is the reason for such seemingly arcane institutions as the Electoral College. However, he is incorrect in applying Ken Falk’s logic that you can’t vote to violate someone’s Constitutional rights. Quite the contrary, it happens all of the time.

Liberal jurists since World War II have stopped interpreting the founders’ original intent and instead use the Constitution to justify “progressive” legal interpretations. There are numerous examples of this, including Roe vs. Wade. It is up to Congress to pass laws, not the courts to issue laws by fiat.

In the case of First Amendment rights, liberal jurists have built an impenetrable “wall of separation” through use of the “Establishment Clause.” It takes liberal interpretation of the text contained within the Constitution to conclude that this wall even exists. This has been done to the exclusion of the other, equally important part of the same First Amendment, which says that Congress can’t pass any laws which prohibit the free exercise of religion. It doesn’t say what religion, just that there can be no prohibition.

Liberal jurists and extreme left-wing judicial activist groups like the American Civil Liberties Union conveniently overlook the other side of the First Amendment religious argument. To my knowledge, Congress hasn’t passed any laws with respect to free exercise or the establishment of a state religion, which renders any argument about the constitutionality of a school prayer moot.

Hetrick and Falk are both wrong on this one.

____________

Craig Gigax

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  • You Are Correct
    John Edmond you are exactly correct. People make way too much of that claim we are a republican and not a democratcy. Historians point to the language used at the time and that one of the definitions for republic is "democracy."
  • Democracy Defined
    I've noticed that for some reason people on the far right often point out(wrongly) that the government of the United States "is a republic, not a democracy." I'm not sure if they think it makes them look more knowledgeable, or if its just another way of suggesting that they're simply the oppressed victims of their represetatives in Washington. However, a republic IS a democracy. Indeed, my dictionary defines the term "democracy" to mean "government by the people or by their elected representatives."

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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