Exercise of Religion A Guaranteed Right
So Amy Lorber is offended by the local community's Protestant Christian churches' inviting graduating seniors to a religious service that is not "inclusive" of other religious groups (The Pilot, June 4).
When I graduated from Pinecrest in 1975, it was the Gideons International who were invited to the campus to present New Testaments and to give a devotional talk in which the gospel was presented. This presentation was not by invitation, or optional; we all convened in the cafeteria, and we all heard the same message.
Of course, this community was much more homogeneous then than it is now; nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of our local population is Christian, our communities were founded on Christian principles of governance and morality, and those principles are still cherished within our community today.
I knew of only one Jewish student at Pinecrest when I was there. She didn't have the option of not attending the Gideons' presentation.
I'm Roman Catholic (now), and I would probably not encourage my children to attend a Protestant service; however, I also do not object to, but rather cheer, the area churches for wanting to provide some spiritual service for our students who are about to graduate and formally take their place as adults in our community.
In protesting the event sponsored by several local churches, Lorber seeks to prohibit the free exercise of religion, which is guaranteed to us by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This attempted prohibition is even more gravely offensive than the presumed exclusion of non-Christian students from the spiritual service held on June 5.
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