The First Amendment grants and protects religious freedom for all citizens. It has been assaulted for years by individuals who are convinced their belief systems should be “the law of the land.”
Greg Jayne’s March 9 column, “Senators Rivers, Benton on wrong side of bigotry bill,” exposed the incursions of religious practices into schools, businesses and government. He exposed the true purpose of Senate Bill 5927.
The First Amendment is being poked with holes. Soon, it will result in a flood of religious zealots breaching the protective “wall of separation.” We all know what that flood will look like. Think of Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan and the religious wars that have shed the blood of millions. The First Amendment has prevented that horror in our country.
I have seen religious bigotry in many forms. The bullying of schoolchildren by their classmates because of religious beliefs. The incursion of religion into government proceedings violating citizens’ right of freedom from religion. The manipulation of religion to enable bigotry.
If Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, and Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, truly believe in “protecting everyone’s freedoms” and “in standing for those who have an objection to participating in a ceremony they, personally, do not believe in,” then they must also protect everyone’s freedom from religion.
SB 5927 is a thinly cloaked attempt to legalize bigotry.