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J.T.-ACLU Q&A


To the Editor:

The other day I had an interesting discussion with the ACLU that I'd like to submit as a letter to the editor. To be more concise, I have reduced it to a Q-and-A format. ACLU is the American Civil Liberties Union. J.T. is me, Joe Trowern.

J.T.: I am of the opinion that you feel there must be a separation of Church and State.

ACLU: That is correct.

J.T.: What is your basis for this opinion?

ACLU The United States Constitution.

J.T.: What part of the Constitution?

ACLU: The Bill of Rights.

J.T.: I have a copy of the Bill of Rights in front of me. The only time religion is mentioned is in Article 1, which states:

"Congress shall make no law respecting the 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."

What this means is that Congress cannot mandate a religion. In other words, Congress cannot pass a law making all American citizens become Lutheran or Presbyterians, etc. It does not say that Congress shall have no relations with a religious group. There is not one word that states there must be a separation of Church and State.

ACLU: Well that's what they meant to say. Several courts and other legal bodies have studied the subject and agree that there must be a separation of Church and State.

J.T.: I thought that the only way you could change the Constitution was by making an amendment.

ACLU: It is.

J.T.: Then where is the amendment about Church and State?

ACLU: It hasn't been written yet, but it should be.

J.T.: It appears to me that your group has been flagrantly deceiving the American people by referring to the U.S. Constitution as your authority for the separation of Church and State.

ACLU: The Supreme Court has ruled in our favor on this matter.

J.T.: But you refer to the Constitution as your authority.

ACLU: It's a matter of interpretation.

J.T.: Then I can interpret it my way, and you can interpret it your way.

ACLU: I guess so.

J.T.: Then I suggest you point out to the American public that you have been misleading them all these years. You should also stop meddling with our schools that wish to have prayers included in daily activities. Your actions are like someone impersonating a policeman. Get out of our way and let AMERICA BE ONE NATION UNDER GOD!

Joe Trowern

Grosse Pointe Park

Joe Trowern
December 12, 2002

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