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Reader's view: Establishment Clause is not hard to understand

A letter writer June 30 stated, "Anyone who can read and comprehend knows there can be no violation of the first clause of the First Amendment apart from a law made by Congress. Further, anyone who can read and comprehend knows such law must eith...

A letter writer June 30 stated, "Anyone who can read and comprehend knows there can be no violation of the first clause of the First Amendment apart from a law made by Congress. Further, anyone who can read and comprehend knows such law must either establish a religion or prohibit the free exercise thereof."

Such an elementary understanding said with such condescension about arguably the most important law created in our history insulted me, and should insult everyone who read it.

Anyone who can read and comprehend and had even a minor understanding of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment would know that in addition to prohibiting the establishment of a national religion by the Congress or the free exercise thereof, it prohibits the preference of one religion over another, non-religion over religion, or religion over non-religion. It is not as limited as another letter writer would have you believe. There are several Supreme Court decisions affirming this understanding including, most notably, Lemon v. Kurtzman.

Anyone who can read and comprehend and has a minor understanding of the history surrounding the creation of the Establishment Clause would know that the clause itself was seen as a reaction to the Church of England, established as the official church of England and some of the colonies during the colonial era. Therefore, anyone who can read and comprehend and had even a minor understanding of the history surrounding the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment would know that it was, in fact, created to protect government from religion, not religion from government.

Anyone who claims to know otherwise has little understanding of the Constitution, no real expertise or knowledge of the Constitution, should (from now on) best be ignored, and should work on their reading and comprehension.

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Joe Matthes

Duluth

This letter is being republished because of an editing error.

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