Government can't impose beliefs on Americans

Friday, August 29, 2003

To the editor:

In his "In God I trust" guest column, which the always objective Southeast Missourian dutifully copied from The Wall Street Journal, the chief justice of Alabama, Roy S. Moore, seems unable to comprehend the obvious and necessary distinction that, although all Americans have the legal right to believe in and worship whatever concept of god they choose, no state or federal entity has the right, legally or otherwise, to impose on other Americans the specific god of a specific religion.

Thus, although Moore believes in the Judeo-Christian God who says in the Ten Commandments that "you shall have no other gods before me" and that if you do you must be "utterly destroyed," such a belief cannot be mandated by the state.

The blind, illegal and irrational behavior of Moore is the same blind and irrational behavior which infects masses of Christian laypeople, politicians and judges who seem incapable of understanding why many Americans are opposed to prayer in public schools and to having copies of the Ten Commandments posted in every public building in the land.

JOHN C. BIERK

Cape Girardeau