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Religion is key to our free society [Letter]

This is in response to Nan Nelson's Sept. 16 letter to the editor, "History of traditions proves self-serving."

Nelson states that we are "experiencing culture change regarding old traditions and First Amendment rights." The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." It is the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights for good reason. But Nelson writes that "religious traditions should be discarded as basis for laws that restrict rights." Perhaps Nelson would take a chisel to the Ten Commandments that are engraved in the marble of the Supreme Court building.

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President George Washington said, "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports." President Thomas Jefferson asked, "Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are a gift from God?" President Abraham Lincoln addressed a war weary nation saying, "This nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom." President John F. Kennedy said, "The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God." And President Ronald Reagan said, "Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged."

So, I am inclined to believe that Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Kennedy and Reagan are right. But if Nelson is right, we are in trouble.

Michael Hurley

Eldersburg

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