I am writing in support of Daniel Warlop’s response of 2-2-16 to your editorial of 1-31-16 about local opposition to the removal of the “God Bless America” sign from the post office, what you call a “kerfuffle”. I think you trivialize the issue by using this term.
Let’s call a spade a spade. The sign was removed because the postal officials realized, most likely after consulting legal counsel, that the sign’s message violated the First Amendment, which prohibits the government from supporting any religion: The Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”. This prohibition was later clarified in the 1947 ruling in Everson v. Board of Education. Justice Hugo Black says in the majority opinion: The “establishment of religion” clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can…pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Black goes on to say, with regard to Thomas Jefferson’s opinion that the First Amendment erects “a wall of separation between church and State (sic)”, That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach. The sign on the post office was clearly a breach of the wall of separation.
In your editorial you wrote: “The ‘God Bless America’ sign on the side of the post office was, by the current (mis)interpretation of the establishment clause a "technical violation.” (my emphases) As is clear in Justice Black’s opinion from the mid-20th century, the decision to remove the sign was not a “current misinterpretation,” nor its erection a “technical violation.” Words count for something. You play fast and loose with them in your statement about what the First Amendment says and what the Supreme Court has ruled.
You also state: “It’s understandable why the good citizens were upset.”, referring to those who opposed the sign’s removal. Clearly, they are not the good citizens, because they support actions which violate the Constitution. The good citizen is the individual who lodged the “complaint” (your term) asking that the post office respect the Constitution.
Daniel Warlop asked you two basic questions in his letter: “Do you feel you have misrepresented this situation at all? Do you feel you have undermined the fundamental principles of our nation’s laws?” I think you owe Daniel a response, especially because as he says “I, like any prudent individual, am continually trying to refine my philosophies, principles and opinions.” In my opinion, Daniel is a role model for all of us.
Loss of banner and rights
I grew up in the Pittsburg area and I recently saw on the news about the post office having to remove a God Bless America" banner. I'm saddened that something those postal workers worked hard for to commemorate the loss of lives and to ask God for his care and guidance would be taken away by an opposing group, when the majority want it to stay.I believe most people believe in God and I believe our Founding Fathers meant for God to be included in the affairs of the United States. When there is a tragedy, we see people praying and comforting and that banner represented comfort and. healing. And, what happened to the rights of the folks who put up the banner and others who applauded it's addition? I don't care about separation of church and state. I care about our country and our people It appears that what used to be wrong is now right and what used to be right is now wrong. I am a believer that God needs to be put back in the courts and schools.
Lastly I want to praise all the folks who had signs put in their yards to stand up for their beliefs and for the business that made it possible.May God bless Pittsburg and all who got involved!Susan Drenik MercerBlue Springs, Missouri