Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Mr. Baca has stated I pass along misinformation since it is opinion but he then applies his own paraphrase of his own opinion as if he thinks it is fact.
The fact is the vast majority of Americans do believe in God and religion is and has been a strong foundation upon which they depend to fill many needs in their lives—regardless of which religion they follow.
Religion was so critically important to the Founders, that effective Dec. 15, 1791, America ratified its position on the relationship between religion and government and summed it up very clearly and simply in the very first section of the First Amendment of our Constitution. Religion was the ‘first of the first’ so to speak in the eyes of our Founding Fathers:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...” - First Amendment.
While Baca and the other back benchers want to change what the founders have stated and prohibit people from mentioning God, the church or religion in and around the American state is a perversion of the facts. On the contrary, the First Amendment very clearly says that it is the state, in the form of Congress, who cannot prohibit the free exercise of religion by the people; it doesn’t restrict or prohibit the people from freely expressing their religion in any way!
Free exercise thereof means exactly that to my simple way of interpreting this and I have to believe the founders knew exactly what they were writing when they put pen to parchment— it’s the people that are the free element here and congress the restricted element. Congress shall make no law prohibiting that freedom of the people, no mention or restriction of where, when or how as I read it. In fact, everything the founders did in the first Ten Amendments was designed to specifically protect individual rights.
Dec. 13, 2009