Practice Your Religion,
But Don't Decide For Us
Amy Wood

From: "Amy Wood"
To: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
Date: October 01, 2001 1:59 PM

I would like to address the government's (Federal, State, and local) born-again interest in calling the nation to prayer. In this time of National crisis, prayer seems to be the only opiate that our government has to offer the masses. Predictably, this has led to another debate over prayer in schools. Clearly, if such an abomination were to come to fruition, we would have serious Constitutional violations at hand.

While I don't advise anyone to stop praying or reading scripture should that be their wish, I do acknowledge, accept, and appreciate the fact that we live in a multicultural society. What this means is that we have the right to practice whatever religion we prefer, or none at all -- at home.

In this free country, there are many gods, kinds of prayer, and scripture to represent. So, whose prayer and scripture do the public's tax dollars pay to espouse? That of mainstream Christians? Why, because they have the largest numbers? That argument is specious.

But, despite that flimsy argument, say that we choose to educate the masses in the faith backed by the largest numbers. What if those "numbers" were Hindus? What if the number of American Taoists were to grow overnight? Would we then preach the Baghavad Gita or the I Ching in schools? Would we waste our tax dollars to use the Census as a tool in determining which faith wins this year?

Let us not forget the millions of Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Native Americans, Sikhs, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jains, Buddhists, Shintoists, Taoists, Aborigines and Atheists who, together, make up an enormous percentage of our population. Their numbers are growing every day. Are we to ignore them all? Just erase their existence with one swift stroke of legislation?

Do we insist that their children sit idly by and have another faith's doctrine shoved down their throats each day as a part of their public education, while their parents' tax dollars pay for the privilege? Surely not, when we can leave religion to the private sector and keep the Federal and local government's noses out of our diverse multicultural business.

Protect our Constitution and your religion. Practice your religion at home, at temples, mosques, churches, and meeting halls. But don't decide for the rest of us. School is for learning facts. Religion is for learning faith. Never the twain shall meet for my tax dollars!

Thank you,

Amy Wood

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