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Letter to the Editor: Restricting message would suppress activism


Editor:

Gene Rigelon in recent letters would restrict Christian faith to the inside of church walls. In this he demonstrates an apparent disconnect with the things he addresses. He seems oblivious to the fact that Jesus, in the same book of Matthew, which advocates caring for the "least of these," commands Christians to shout their message from the housetops even while facing opposition.

Adherence to this command of social activism propelled Martin Luther King Jr., a Christian minister, to take his message of racial equality to the streets. Would Rigelon have King keep his message in the home and church? It was the Christian principles of William Wilberforce that energized 30 years of labor in parliament to end Britain's slave trade. Along with other Christians, he also founded the Royal SPCA. Would Rigelon have him observe his faith only in the home and church?

While I strongly disagree with their doctrinal views, the homosexual agenda has advanced in part because some professing Christian faith have taken the conviction of a perceived injustice into the streets using the very scriptures Rigelon refers to. Would he have them stay in their homes and churches? Is it only a progressive view of Christianity which is protected?

Finally, he is woefully misinformed on the idea of the separation of church and state. The premise's intent was protecting the church from state interference rather than keeping the church from influencing the state. The phrase is not in the Constitution, ratified in 1789, but rather in a letter written 13 years later. A decade and a half before Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists, the Bill of Rights was constructed guaranteeing the free exercise of religion. In addition, every American is guaranteed the right to free speech.

What definition of free does Rigelon use while insisting the Christian world view and message is restricted to homes and churches? Would not the suppression of those rights be the very kind of injustice he seeks to amend? Let us hope that fair-minded Americans can answer yes.

William Shifflett, Edinburg


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