Letters to the editor – Sunday (8-2-09)

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 31, 2009

Government can’t promote religion
The First Amendment guarantees almost uninhibited personal religious freedom. But the First Amendment requires governments, including counties and boards, to remain religiously neutral; they may not promote either a religious or a secular way of life. Government may not recognize one religious faith as more valid than any other faith or secularism. It may not promote religion above secularism or secularism above religion. Government must remain neutral and respect all beliefs.
In court decisions regarding invocations before government bodies, invocations do not constitute private speech, which is fully protected. It is acceptable to mention “God” in generic prayers recited during invocations. But it is not permissible to mention a specific God or religion by name. So one can appeal for the protection of “God” in the generic sense. But one is not permitted to mention the name of Allah, Diana, Jehovah, Jesus, Krishna or any of the thousands of other gods or goddesses who have been worshiped by followers of different religions.
Like Jim Sides and Carl Ford, I am a Christian, and I pray to God’s son Jesus. But I am sure that Jim and Carl are not interested in having my progressive Christian beliefs promoted by government. No more than I am interested in having their conservative Christian beliefs being promoted by government. We do not share the same Christian beliefs.
In all matters of freedom, including religion, the Constitution protects the beliefs of the minority from the majority. The law aside, it boils down to respect. A respect and protection for all people who feel just as strongly about their personal religious views. To insist on praying to Jesus while serving on a city or county board, regardless of others beliefs, is disrespectful. As a follower of Christ, I do not find that to be Christlike.
ó Michael S. Young
Flintknapping and authenticity
I recently read an article on “flintknapping” in the Salisbury Post.
Please don’t misunderstand ó I fully appreciate good craftsmanship, being a craftsman myself.
The problem, however, is that some unscrupulous flintknappers have created an extremely deceptive market.
The novice or unsuspecting amateur collector or anyone else is often deceived by these unscrupulous flintknappers.
Many true collectors have spent hours, days, weeks, months and even years talking fields, creeks and riverbanks, searching for true artifacts.
This is extremely frustrating when you know there’s someone sitting at home chipping out a reproduction in 20-30 minutes and then possibly selling it as a true, ancient artifact.
I sure wish these guys would start woodcarving, etc.
After all, an appraisal of authenticity for just one flint point is $20 to $30.
ó Tom Lewis