Not a democracy

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, July 21, 2004

We've come to a point in American politics where we need to take a step back and look at the process. We no longer have honest politicians that work for the good of all. We no longer have a true separation of church and state. We no longer have a democracy of the people, by the people, for the people.

The idea of keeping the state from the church came about as a way to avoid influencing the America populace by enacting laws that follow any particular religion's views. To say America was not founded on religion would be blasphemy. However, we see religions' views imbedded in our laws constantly.

Marriage was, at one time, a religious practice that allowed the union of two people. You can now get married at the courthouse with nothing more than the minimal fee for your license. So can we say this is a religious practice, or is this a freedom offered to the American public? I say a freedom. I do not have to get married in a church for it to be a legally binding union.

Homosexual people, whether you like their lifestyle or not, are people too. They need the same protections heterosexual people have when in a relationship. They're not asking to get married in your church, just asking for the benefits they are entitled to as Americans.

Or an even older issue on our minds is the issue of abortion. I'll make no broad statement and say that all pro-life people are basing their views on religion, but I am willing to wager that the majority of them do. Our courts even see cases where religion is the fundamental basis for the pro-life argument, and we allow it to happen. But say "Under God" during the Pledge of Allegiance and the country will hang you out to dry.

The First Amendment states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The 14th Amendment reads: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Are we not abridging personal rights? Are we not allowing everyone equal protection of the laws?

America used to have a political system that understood its people, one that allowed freedoms without faceless restriction. America once had a country.

Ben Madison

Juneau



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