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Says 200 at park do not represent Manteca

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POSTED January 27, 2014 12:27 a.m.

Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

After reading the most recent letters to the editor from the local pastors involved in the events at the library, I must say that I find their response ingenuous to say the least. They and their followers obviously showed up at the library to disrupt the meeting of the free thinkers and atheists, who the pastors view with great contempt as they clearly expressed in their letters.

According to the courts, “freedom of religion means the freedom to hold opinion or belief, but not to take action in violation of social duties or subversive to good order”. If these same Christian groups should decide to occupy the space of another organization with whose religious views they disagree, perhaps the Islamic Center of Manteca, in the same numbers, filling up their parking lot, and surrounding that place of worship with a prayer circle because they feel that they have some right to be there, I believe that they would experience the same push back that they are getting from the freethinkers and atheists, and rightly so.

I am neither a Christian nor a freethinker or atheist. Though I have the utmost respect for my religious friends and neighbors, I object to the actions of these religious groups which I believe borders on bullying. I also question their belief that ‘this is their town’, and that Manteca was ‘created as a Christian community’, which I believe was expressed in earlier reporting on this issue by the Bulletin.

I am one of 72,000 residents of this city, and the actions of this group of 200 do not represent my beliefs, and I would venture to guess that they do not represent the majority of the views of my fellow citizens. Also, I would question the Mayor, the City Council, and the Chief of Police as to whether any group of 200 or more people, religious, atheist, gang, or other, can meet on city property at night, without a permit, simply because they feel that they have some ‘right’ to be there, God given or otherwise.

Stephen Breacain


Jab. 24, 2014

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