On a daily basis, the Christian Right assaults our proudly established secular Constitution by attempting, in ways big and small, to get the state to sponsor its evangelical mission.
The Kalispell school district, with some of its choirs participating in an obvious Christian event at a Christian venue, is either willingly or unwittingly contributing to the Christian Right’s efforts.
Here, many feel the schools have crossed the line between educational opportunity and the active promotion (to students and the public) of a particular religious message/belief system.
I wish to thank Mr. Wackrow, Ms. Stearns, the Flathead Area Secular Humanist Association and the Freedom From Religion Foundation for having the courage and fortitude to meet and challenge these threats to our religious freedoms — religious freedom which has only thrived, and can only continue to thrive, in an environment where the state takes a neutral position regarding religion.
Do we really want to see a return of blasphemy laws, witch trials, mandatory worship, anti-Catholicism laws and/or theocracy, etc.?
In closing, some clarity appears needed regarding the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s mission/purpose. The foundation does not seek to limit anyone’s personal religious expression (indeed, as above, they seek to protect it).
The Freedom From Religion Foundation does, however, seek to limit/eliminate the ability of any religious sect to utilize the power of the state (such as the public school system) to further its message and goals — which generally include converting more people into that particular sect for the sake of “salvation.”
I hope that more people, both religious and non-religious, will come to the understanding that religious freedom is a hard-won, precious (and tenuous) right in the U.S. that has and will continue to need ongoing protection from brave and patriotic individuals and organizations. I hope you’ll educate yourself about these issues at ffrf.org or flatheadsecular.com and join the worthwhile effort.
Ian Cameron lives in Columbia Falls.