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Monday, Nov 24, 2014
Letters To The Editor

Letters to the editor: Focus on the prayer

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Focus on the prayer

The recent Supreme Court decision, in a 5-4 vote, that the name of Jesus or whomever may be invoked in prayer at a public gathering may not be what I would have liked, but it’s now the law of the land. I find Rob Rowen’s letter (“Respect other religions,” Your Views) in Monday’s Tribune a naïve point of view.

I am Jewish, and I attended a Presbyterian grammar school and Catholic high school, both by choice. Hearing the name of Jesus in prayer was always the rule, not the exception. I belong to the Rotary Club, and more often than not the invoker does so in the name of Jesus. Rowen’s position that doing so is divisive is absurd. It’s the prayer itself which lends substance to the meeting, not whose name it may end in.

Perhaps Rowen ought to focus on the substance of the prayer, not whose name it may be asked in.

John Osterweil

Tampa

Proving one’s point

On May 9, Tommy Moore’s view was published about the Supreme Court’s ruling on the right to have prayer at a government meeting in Greece, N.Y. (“Shut the door,” Your Views). I noticed that most of the time people who disagree with there being a god of any sort quote from the Bible to prove their point. Maybe if they read the entire book, they would have found verses like Psalms 14:1 or Psalms 53:1.

They also may like to try Proverb 1:7.

It is a farce to pick out a short passage to prove one’s point without considering the entire meaning.

Steven Peterik

Wimauma

Constitution and religion

A letter criticizing the recent SCOTUS ruling allowing prayer to open a town council meeting is curious at best (“Shut the door”).

The writer reveals his atheistic tendencies by referring to “some imagined occult entity for which there is not one shred of cogent evidence.”

He then follows this anti-religion comment with a quote from Jesus.

So which is it — is religion merely a supernatural fiction, or is there a god whose son the writer just cited?

For once the Supreme Court has upheld the U.S. Constitution. For those who forgot or never learned the Constitution, there are two defining principles in it regarding the practice of religion.

The first is that the government may not establish a single official religion.

The other is that Americans have the freedom to practice religion without government interference.

We have the freedom of religion, not from religion, as atheists and other falsely claim. As long as public entities do not compel others to follow their chosen faith, their actions are constitutional, contrary to the rants of leftist judges, academics and politicians.

Josef Horowitz

Lutz

America needs prayer

I want to say thank you to Joe Guidry, Tribune opinion editor, for “Court says the right prayers” (Our Views, May 8). This editorial has so many thank yous attached to it from our local Christian community, and I appreciate the time he took to make sure our community had the chance to know the actions of our Supreme Court. This is something I wish all judges and Supreme Court justices would take seriously and know that America needs prayer in the public places. We have for so long gone in the wrong direction. Prayer needs to be back in our schools and all public places. Again, thank you for your time and effort to print this information. God bless you.

Ed Herndon

Riverview

Read it first

I subscribe to the KISS method (“keep it simple, stupid”) of interpreting the Constitution and the Bible. Tommy Moore’s rant in “Shut the door” is his religious opinion, but again, it is a convoluted reading of the Constitution. The First Amendment simply says Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. A town council chose to have various representatives pray at their meetings. Congress did not pass any law establishing religion, and the Supreme Court did nothing but acknowledge that the town council was not prohibiting the free exercise of religion. To prevent the town council from allowing various representatives to pray would be to prohibit the free exercise of religion. Atheists want to prohibit any exercise of religion outside of a home or church. That is unconstitutional.

Moore also misinterprets the Bible. In Matthew 6:1,6, Jesus is addressing motivation in prayer, not restricting its location. Jesus prayed in public when, in Matthew 14:19, Jesus prayed over food to be given to a crowd. His purpose was not to be seen by men but to feed over 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish, and then he went onto a mountain to pray on his own.

Moore has a right to his opinion, but if he is trying to convince others of his point of view, vituperative language, especially calling Jesus an “imagined occult entity for which there is not one shred of cogent evidence,” is more than likely not to produce the intended results.

I encourage all U.S. citizens and those who have come to this country to live to read the Bible and the Constitution — especially if you are going to comment on or interpret their contents.

Terry A. Larson

Seffner

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