Readers Respond

On matters of prayer, what happened to 'live and let live'? [Letter]

Letter writer Brad Schwartz writes that no one is prevented from praying "outside the courthouse" and asks "how is that suppressing [an individual's] right to free speech?" ("Prayer -- even by a citizen -- shouldn't be allowed at Carroll meetings," April 8).

While the privilege granted to individuals to speak during a public comment period is "officially sanctioned," the content of their comments is not. If a government body, during an open forum, were to selectively bar only religious-based comments, the government would be suppressing an individual's freedom of speech, which is precisely what the First Amendment forbids.


As The Sun's editorial put it: "[T]here's a difference between board members who openly invoke sectarian or denominational religious references as part of their public duties and ordinary citizens who make similar statements as part of an open comment period" ("Religion and restraint," April 10).

The Constitution guarantees freedom "of" speech, not freedom from speech. People annoy other people every day by the way they drive, dress, act and, yes, by what they have to say.


There used to be a commonly accepted principle of social conduct known as "live and let live." Unfortunately, nowadays that principle appears to be all but dead.

David Holstein, Parkville


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