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Those who oppose prayer in schools and other public places say they are doing so in order to maintain a separation of church and state, and some of them are sincere in their reasoning. However, banning prayer and other references to religious beliefs is having an opposite effect. A state religion, if not a state church, is being promoted. That religion is atheism.

By definition, atheism is the absence of a belief in God, and most of the atheists I know are tolerant of the beliefs of others and expect tolerance in return. The anti-theists, on the other hand, are as devout in their convictions as are the most rabid members of any other religious organization and are very diligent in proselytizing. They are seeking and receiving not only much popular support but also legal backing from government, the ACLU and the courts, including the Supreme Court. This is evidenced by the rulings that any public reference to religious influence is offensive to some who believe differently but that obscene or hateful utterances are merely expressions of free speech.The Constitution is cited as justification by the proponents of both sides of the issues. The Constitution seems clear to me me, but if an amendment is needed to restore the freedom of conscience envisioned by the Founding Fathers, then it should be enacted.

Floyd A. Johnson