I was disturbed to learn on 6/17/99 that the House had voted to support the amendment to HR1501 allowing the display of the ten commandments in public schools and other public buildings and that the White House endorsed this measure. By allowing the display in those places of a document which contains such things as:
"I, the Lord am your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt , that place of slavery. You shall not have other gods besides me. You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or worship them... You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God in vain.... Remember to keep holy the sabbath day. Six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord, your God...." (Exodus 20:2-5,7-10)
clearly advocates the God of Jews, Christians and Muslims over the deities of other religions and above the belief that there is no god. This violates separation of church and state. It is both unconstitutional and unjust. By advocating some religions over others or over no religion at all, this amemendment creates the feeling that those who do not believe in the God of the Bible are meant to feel less than full citizens. This is wrong. If one wants to advocate a moral lifestyle through the government, one must do so through non-religious channels. Let the churches, handle the religious aspects of morality.

While I didn't include the following in my e-mail, I also believe that the inclusion of "under God", in the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance, and the motto "In God we Trust" also constitute state promotion of the Christian, Jewish, & Islamic deity over the deities of other faiths and over those who do not believe in any deity and are mild but pervasive violations of first ammendment principles.

I'm not certain if, before courtroom testamony, one is allowed to swear on one's honor or upon some holy object or text other than the Bible, but if not, than this practice too violates separation of church and state and should be reformed.

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Christopher B. Siren