President ‘needs all the prayers he can get’

To the editor:

I am writing in response to the extremely offensive letter published in the Call on Dec. 9 by Shirley Preuss.

The first point that I was offended by was the concept that Christianity is the only true religion and that all people should be Christians. Frankly, the basis for the founding fathers of the United States was a quest for religious freedom as they understood that not all people believe in the same deities/forms of religions.

On the basis of the letter, all Jews, Buddhists, Muslims and people of other religions should just go away as “Chris-tianity” is the only “true” religion.

Of course, there are many sects of Christianity and not all Christians believe exactly the same tenets, but maybe we should clarify it to say only “conservative Christians” are right. Why not go a little further, and say only “conservative, pro-life Christians” are the correct ones?

Frankly, that is insulting.

For much of my life I was around conservative evangelical Christians and it inoculated me against intolerance early. My spirituality and beliefs center on compassion, tolerance, love and generosity and are more in line with my understanding of what Christianity should stand for instead of what it obviously means to Ms. Preuss.

It amazes me that “conservatives” in America want less government and more religion while taking advantage of tax loopholes for churches that actively work against personal freedoms. I do not believe that other people’s “morals” should be guiding my actions. The pro-life people are the most offensive — it isn’t as though pro-choice people are walking up to them with guns in their hands saying they must have an abortion. Pro-choice people believe the decision is between individuals and their higher power, be it God, Buddha, Allah or any other deity.

Prayer in schools is another issue that we disagree on as it is discriminatory. Again, not everyone has the same higher power and, yes, there are even atheists out there.

Forcing prayer obliterates rights of people who don’t believe in the same things and singles them out for negative attention. A child has the right to be brought up in the religious traditions of his family, and, as noted before, not everyone is a fundamentalist Christian and, in fact, some families do not believe in God. It is not the purview of the schools to make this determination for children, thus prayer in school should not be permitted.

The only thing I can agree with Ms. Preuss on is that President Bush needs all the prayers he can get.

Terri A. Blunt