In land of the free, free to leave pastor's sermon

July 14, 2014 

Mr. Gerrard Wilbur, I am sorry you were upset about a sermon you heard in your church representing your pastor's point of view regarding "how America was founded on biblical principles, and the need to put God back into the White House, schools, etc." (Letters, July 7).

I believe you missed the most important message of that sermon. It is your belief that the sermon was, in your words, "being forced upon a captive audience, including impressionable children who (in your words) still believe in Santa Claus."

You also suggested that "Pastors who want religion forced into every aspect of the lives of everyone, everywhere, needed to understand that America isn't their giant church" -- again, your words.

You also pointed out atrocities in the Bible that were committed in the name of religious beliefs. How far back do you want to go?

One other thing: When you said "Religion doesn't own America -- that Americans of all faiths, of no faith and of all backgrounds own America," you used an incorrect word.

Americans do not "own" America. We are privileged to live free in America to believe what we choose to believe and if you did not like the sermon you, sir, were free and privileged to walk out, and no police would come to your door.

That is what you missed; America is free.

And when at the end of my pastor's remarks, he received a standing ovation, And when we sang "God Bless America" at the end of mass, there were not too many dry eyes in His house, especially when the congregation sang "God Bless America."

Kathleen M. Pasquariello

Sarasota

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