Freedom from and Freedom of Religion

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 1, 2009 | Go to article overview

Freedom from and Freedom of Religion


Freedom from and freedom of religion

The Feb. 9 letter of Nicole Glasgow and the March 9 letter of Elton Heimisoth raise the interesting question of whether we have the right of freedom of religion in the U.S. or the right of freedom from religion. Ms. Glasgow argues that if we have freedom of religion, that also means that we have freedom from religion and that those who have no religion should be able to run for and be elected to public office. Mr. Heimisoth, on the other hand, argues that candidates for office should be free to express their religious views and should not be disenfranchised because of their religion, and he asks whether we must be irreligious to qualify for office and must we all be free from religion? This requires some clarification. The First Amendment declares that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise clause deals with an individualAEs choice and means that each of us as individuals has the freedom to practice any religion we choose or none at all. This is what is referred to as freedom of religion. The anti-establishment clause deals with government imposition and means that no governmental body shall impose upon us any religion whatsoever, including that practiced by a majority of us. We are to be from any such imposition, and this is what is referred to as freedom from religion. So in the U.S. we have both freedom of religion and freedom from religion: We are free to practice any religion we wish or none at all, and we are to be free from the imposition of any religion upon us against our will. Most importantly, we should be grateful that our freedom of and from religion are individual rights guaranteed to us under our Constitution, and when we are dealing with such individually protected rights, the concept of majority rule does not apply.

Theodore M. Utchen

Wheaton

Man of convictions good in Wayne Twp.

I would like to congratulate and wish good luck to Tom Arends on his effort to be elected Wayne Township Supervisor on April 7. IAEve come to know Tom though our mutual involvement in local charitable work. Tom and I have served together on the board of directors of a local charity and we have cooperated on multiple occasions to donate and deliver thousands of pounds of food to the Hanover Township and Wayne Township food pantries. As a servant of the public weal, Tom backs up talk with action. HeAEs a reliable, dedicated worker. As a leader, Tom is a thoughtful man of conviction. He is forthright in expressing his opinions, yet welcoming and gracious in considering the opinions of others. Tom is also scrupulously attentive to high ethical standards, and heAEs the kind of man who accepts responsibility for his own actions. The residents of Wayne Township would do well to place Tom Arends at the helm.

Anthony Louis Troyke

Bartlett

Candidate backing by union untenable

The list of credible candidates for district 204 school board just got shorter. Doug DiFusco, Eric Hepburn, Jerry Huang and Don Moscato recently went and sought and received the endorsement of the IPEA and IPCA.

What are the IPEA and IPCA? They are the very union organizations with which Indian Prairie School District 204 is currently in negotiations.

The four are now running as a slate saying they are "the voice of the people." Yeah, right. School board candidates seeking the endorsement and/or financial contributions by school district unions, and any other special interest group, has the potential of influencing, creating bias and/or the appearance of bias in future decisions made by school board members.

Seeking the endorsement of the very unions with whom you will later have to vote on contracts and benefits is preposterous.

For all intents and purposes, these four candidates are the union. In fact, the wife of Doug DiFusco belongs to the union itself, and was on the unionAEs leadership board.

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