“I am willing to go to jail. If we cease to believe our rights came from God, we cease to be America. And we’ve been told to ‘be careful,’ but we’re going to be careful all the way to communism and I say no to this ruling.”

– Robin Frazier, a commissioner in Carroll County, Md., refusing to comply with a judge’s order to begin county meetings with nonsectarian prayers. She was quoted by The Washington Post.

5 Comments

  1. The Founding Fathers of the United States of America would take the same position as Robin Frazier. What a sad time we live in when these men would be jailed for actions If performed present day.

    • No they wouldn’t.

      They hated the notion of government being linked with religious belief with a passion. Government established religion was something they purposefully sought to avoid.l

      Ms. Frazier sought to pretend that government was owned by Christianity.Her acts were selfish and obnoxious in nature. Giving the impression that those who do not believe as she does would not receive the benefits of local government. How very undemocratic, but typical of fundamentalists.

      • Just because a person holds a public office, doesn’t mean they check their beliefs at the door. One’s beliefs are the very thing that makes up who they are. That cannot be squelched by government or other individuals, who happen not to agree with those beliefs. If we go by what you are saying, many of our founding fathers and other office holders of various positions would not have been able to pray and speak what they believed in during public gatherings and official duties, yet we know they all did, as evidenced by many of their speeches. So that alone tells us all that your definition of what “separation of church and state” is not correct. The main point Jefferson was trying to make when he used that term was their should be no official, state church in the US, as was the case in England at that time. But all individuals still have their right to believe and say what they want, including office holders. If the public doesn’t like what is being said, they are free to vote that individual out of office. It’s that simple.

        • Actually to some degree you have to. Its part of not living in a theocracy. Its called showing respect for the position. Government officials can’t act in a way which attacks the faith of others nor can it be seen to favor one faith over others.

          You cannot give the impression that one’s religious beliefs are those of the official government position. The government is not beholden to her religious views or anyone else’s. It doesn’t matter if your faith demands that you proclaim your belief from the rooftops on a regular basis. It is disrespectful to do so in the capacity of a government official.

          What she did was essentially tell people that the government is for people who believe as she does and all others will be ignored or discriminated against. Having a strongly held belief is not an excuse for abusing one’s power in a civil position. Proclaiming that government is acting on the guidance of Jesus Christ is such an abuse.

          Just because Christian prayers were done 200 years ago, it does not mean it is appropriate today. The country of our founders was much less religiously diverse than it is today. Whereas in the past they could make a christian prayer in public as part of an official ceremony and be seen as being inclusive, this is not the case today. Far from it.

          Your take on the separation of church and state is ridiculously narrow to the point of being useless. It means more than the US having a de jure officially recognized church. It means not being seen as beholden to any given faith as well. Inclusion is the key here. Nothing about Ms. Frazier’s little prayers was inclusive.

          Religious neutrality is the important principle here. Either avoid religious expression or be inclusive of everyone. Prayers are OK provided they are ecumenial in nature. Embrace all faiths, not just Christianity. If they can’t do that, they are breaking the law and have given up any right to the office they hold.

          Civil liberties are not subject to popular vote. If a public official is abusing their authority to attack and abridge the rights of others, as Ms. Frazier had done, they need to be booted out.

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