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Letters to the editor

May 10, 2007

Evangelicals are not power hungry



To the editor:

Allan Powell's column stated, "the religious right is very serious in their efforts to control government policy regarding the place of religion in public life."

As an evangelical Christian, it is my intention to see that religion is not forced out of public life, which is not a power-hungry attempt of being in control, but a defensive action trying to secure that our First Amendment rights will continue to be upheld.

It seems to me that some atheistic people would like to misconstrue the law and thereby rid America of any public expression of religious thought. This is in direct contradiction of the First Amendment, which states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

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For the record, the phrase, "establishment of religion" was intended by the Founding Fathers to prevent the government from having a state church to which taxes would be paid as they were in England; it was not intended to prevent a public servant from expressing religious beliefs publicly, nor should it be used that way today.

This leads into another quote to address: "They do not accept the long-standing principle of the separation of church and state." This is also false. I believe in protecting the intended meaning behind the phrase "separation of church and state," which was to prevent the establishment of the aforementioned state church.

I do not accept the twisted use of the phrase, which attempts to maim the rights of church members to express their religious and/or political views. When Thomas Jefferson used the phrase in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Church, he was assuring them that the wall of separation of church and state was in place in order to protect church groups from the persecution they had fled from in England and other countries. This was not intended to prevent the church from influencing the political arena.

The column has a paranoid tone which makes evangelicals out to be irrational "zealots" who are power-hungry dictators who intend to rule America with an iron fist. I find this mindset to be ludicrous and downright scary. He quotes someone who I believe does not represent the majority of Evangelicals.

In fact, the only thing that I think was remotely accurate that he stated is that we "have as their goal the domination of all branches by having persons with their values, world view and conception of law in office." But I believe that statement is also true of atheists and any other group that exists.

No one sets aside their morals and values when they go to the voting booth. To state otherwise is just, in my opinion, unreasonable.

Edwin D. Mills
Hagerstown




Washington County needs all-night vet



To the editor:

I am writing about an issue that I believe needs to be addressed. You see, last night (April 29) my cat of 16 years had a medical emergency. We called every vet in Hagerstown, plus the surrounding area, and every one of them said that I would have to go to Frederick.

My cat was lethargic and had begun gasping for air. There would have been no way we could have made it to Frederick, a 20-minute drive and that is going the speed limit. If there had been an on-call vet for emergencies in Hagerstown, my cat could have made it. But needless to say, because there is none in this town we lost a very precious member of the family!

What if we treated humans this way?

Think about it: Someone is having a medical emergency and you call 911, only to be told you that the responders are coming from Frederick and will be there in 20 minutes to half an hour.

Now I know that a lot of you are thinking, "It's only a cat." Well, to a lot of people, their animals are members of the family and they would do anything in the world for them!

Our pets give us so much, such as unconditional love. In return, we are supposed to give them the love, attention and protection they deserve. Like I said, we would have never made it to Frederick, but if there had been some place closer, she might have had a chance.

I thought that vets became vets to care for animals, but it seems to me that they only want to work through the week and forget about the animals who may become injured or sick after hours! I believe this issue needs to be addressed and I am sure I am not the only person who feels this way.

Bev K. Murphy
Hagerstown

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