Aug 04, 1995 10:05 AM
by Lewis Lucas
> Indeed, exactly why the role of coercion (sic. government)
should only be to *defend* freedom (religious, economic, etc.).
There has been much discussion about this on many e-lists and the
idea of good-relationships evolution and eco-freedom has been
proposed as a solution. **
Our local paper recently ran a story about a fundamentalist
preacher in town who is having a lot of success. He has his own
tv program that is going all over the country and recently built
a big new church. He also is building a new house on the lake
for over $400,000. The headline refered to him as a "superstar".
After a letter to the editor from another preacher critizing him,
saying Jesus should be the only "superstar" in a church, the Rev.
Franklin has written to the paper complaining of being called a
"superstar" and accussing the paper of bias coverage.
Yesterday a thoughtful reader had this to say about Franklin:
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM NOT LIMITED TO CHRISTIANS
In reading the Rev. Franklin's response to the feature article
published in The Times, I came across something rather disturbing
-- one that I feel everyone should be aware of.
In the beginning of the rebuttal, the Rev. Franklin defends his
church and congregation by saying: "This is still America, the
land of religious freedom."
Yet he decries the very freedoms he hides behind at the later
half of his article: "We shall be involved in every facet of
American life from the educational system our children are placed
in to the politics that run our city and nation."
It appears from his rebuttal that the reverend believes there is
a freedom of religion as long as it's his personal interpretation
of religion. If this is so, then he is truly ignorant as to what
this country was founded upon.
Freedom of religion means all people can worship, pray and
celebrate their creator as they interpret that being to be.
This freedom isn't limited to what is considered to be the
dominant religion of the area, but to all interpretations.
And incorporated in this freedom is the separation of church and
state, so that one religion does not try to impose itself onto
society through government influence.
That is precisely what the Rev. Franklin and others like him
plan on doing not only in Gainesville but to the whole country.
The Rev. Franklin is incorrect in believing that this country
was founded on Christian beliefs. This city may have been
founded on such beliefs, but the United States was founded on the
Constitution, a document which established religious freedom for
all -- not just for those in the Christian Coalition.
To believe otherwise is to tell those who are Jewish, Buddhist,
Taoist, Muslim, Hindu, agnostic and other non-Christian believers
that they are not welcome in this country. Would the reverend be
willing to cast that first stone? Would anyone?
By the way, hypocrisy isn't a virtue. Ask those who have
fallen from grace about it.
DAVID J. MATTHEWS GAINESVILLE
I think we should send people like David honorary memberships in
the Theosophical Society, and find other ways to encourage and
promote such "lucid thinking"...something at least as important
as "lucid dreaming". Would agree Keith? Lewis
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