Letter: Response to column
Editor's note: We are re-running this letter due to a typesetting error:
Am I wrong in thinking the founding fathers intended the establishment clause of the Constitution to guarantee freedom of religion? You'd think so, to read Buz Williams' Jan. 8 column in which, as far as I can tell, he seems to be scolding the founding fathers for giving judges a legal stick to beat religion with, in some completely imaginary "war on Christmas" being waged by "rabid secularists foaming at the mouth," "radical leftist judges" and other straw men born of Mr. Williams' fervid imagination and historical confusion. The only one I've seen foaming at the mouth, in fact, is Mr. Williams himself.
But that aside, the purpose of the founding fathers in secularizing the government, far from being opposed to religion, was to prevent the government from favoring one religion or sect over all the others. Catholics didn't like the idea of living in a Protestant state and vice versa. In politics, secularism is not anti-religion, quite the opposite in that it makes religious freedom possible.
To be barred from celebrating your religion in that one small symbolic square in Prescott is a small price to pay for the huge and lovely freedom to celebrate it anytime in full dignity in the church or synagogue or mosque or temple of your own choosing, not the government's.
May I quote you, Mr. Williams, a lawman, as saying it's okay to break the law that guarantees your own freedom of worship or am I merely being a "sourpuss" for asking?