Letter To Our President
from Cliff Walker
From: Cliff Walker
Subject: Prayer mandatory in America in 1997
Date: Monday, May 05, 1997 8:51 AM
Bill Clinton Writes:
Our people have always believed in the power of prayer and have called upon the name of the Lord through times of peace and war, hope and despair, prosperity and decline.
All of us? Even most of us?
No, Mr. Clinton; many, many of us don't pray because there is no one to pray to. We are on our own and the only way to accomplish what we need to do is to do it ourselves -- either alone, or in a spirit of cooperation with others. However, several government employees have wanted to force me to pray anyway:
1. I was held after class by Mrs. McLeod in the 4th grade at Whittier Elementary School in San Diego in 1966 -- for refusing to say the daily prayer (a Christian Science prayer).
2. In 1988, after having experienced several emotional breakdowns and having spent three bitter winters living on the streets, I was apprehended and ordered to attend the patently religious Twelve Step programs by Judge Frankl in Portland, Oregon. Judge Frankl, a lawyer and a polititian (but not a doctor), mis-diagnosed me as being "an alcoholic" -- though I had no drug- or alcohol-related charges or convictions. For refusing, on religious grounds, to attend a program that ends each session with a recitation of the Protestant version of "The Lord's Prayer," Judge Frankl held me for 30 days. I finally agreed. Nine years later am still undergoing therapy to try to undo the indoctrination I received in the Twelve Step programs. This is because at a very early age I rejected superstition and the supernatural and chose, instead, to spend my Sunday mornings studying the lives of the great scientists such as Edison, Bell, Galileo, Copernicus, and Einstein.
3. 1997: President Clinton, by order of Public Law 100-307 wants me to pray to God (how am I to know whether such an entity exists, Mr. Clinton? or which one is the real one?), and reflect on what a successful endeavor prayer is.
Bill Clinton Writes:
Today within our Nation's Capitol Building, a stained glass window depicts General Washington humbly kneeling and repeating the words of the 16th Psalm, "Preserve me, O God, for in Thee do I put my trust."
Mr. President, I have studied the religious beliefs of our presidents. General Washington was not a Christian, he was a Skeptic and a Mason. As such, the stained glass window is just that: a stained glass window. I question whether it is an accurate depiction of history.
The account of General Washington's final moments by his personal secretary shows not a man who thought he was about to be gathered up into the heavenly realm to be in the bosom of his "Lord," but a man who was very concerned that he not be laid to rest until three days after he was pronounced dead. Mr. Clinton, General Washington was concerned that the best of doctors can and do make mistakes (nothing is infallible, Mr. President, even prayer), and he did not want to be buried while still alive and only appearing to have died.
Mr. President, many Americans throughout history have refused to believe and act on what we see as a fairy tale and a sick joke: namely, the Christian religion. Time and time again, acting on what we see when we open our eyes and look at our environment, atheists have been persecuted; atheists have been maimed; atheists have been denied opportunity; atheists have been fired (like I was from "WordPerfect Magazine" in Orem, Utah, only one year ago); atheists have been written off; atheists have been made the object of sympathy; atheists have been jailed (as I have for my unbelief); and atheists have been held after school (as I was for my unbelief in the fourth grade).
Mr. Clinton, please do what you can to restore religion where it belongs: the privacy of your own heart. For the government to think it can administer or promote religion is a slap in the face even to those devout among us.
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