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Opinion: Inauguration 2005: Express Religion Freely

All of the suits to remove Christmas crèches from public view are having an effect on the free exercise of religion in the public square, and no one realizes that more than atheist activist Michael Newdow.

If Irving Berlin was attempting to write his classic anthem “God Bless America” today he would be bumped and bruised by the current climate of political correctness and anti-religious bias. He would probably end up writing “Have a Nice Day America” instead.

The tide seems to be shifting against the free exercise of religious beliefs.

Now more than ever, we need a Supreme Court which will uphold the first and most important right articulated by the Founding Fathers — the right to freely exercise one’s religious beliefs.

Few people are aware that “the wall of separation between church and state” was one sentence in a letter by Thomas Jefferson to a group of Connecticut pastors. It appears nowhere in the Constitution.

Courts pray as they open each day, so do Congressmen and Senators. But school children face a cadre of lawyers and so-called civil libertarians every time they try to use the G word in a public school.

We need to restore some balance to this debate. America needs to remain the land of the free, and that includes those free to worship God.


Rev. Louis P. Sheldon is chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, a Washington-based coalition of over 43,000 churches across America.