Letters to the Editor

Moderate, ex-churchgoer supports public prayers

As a liberal/conservative (I guess the term would be moderate), I agree with the writers who are for prayer at functions such as commission meetings and the like.

Jim Nagle and Mike McLeod have it right; it is not a right under the Constitution, but is found in the Bill of Rights. As such, any function, whether political or otherwise, if the participants wish to begin with a prayer they should be allowed to do so.

Although no longer a practicing Christian, I was raised in a Christian family. I attended church and have read the Bible several times, but I don‘t take it all literally as some do. That‘s their right as it is mine.

I was also raised to have an open mind, which allows me to accept the fact there are other religions and those who don’t believe in religion in this country. They have the rights under the Bill of Rights to practice their own beliefs, but each need to attend to their own business and not interfere with others.

What really angers me are those -- whether it’s about religion, no religion or politics -- who through their own conceit believe I should think, or try to make me think, the way they do. Well, it ain’t happening, folks!

Whether you’re ultra-conservative, ultra-religious or otherwise, practice your own beliefs along with those who agree with you and leave the rest of us to live our lives as we see fit.

If the Manatee County Commission wants to say a prayer, go for it. But don’t think I’ve changed my mind about the smug, sanctimonious, religious and political far-righters out there. With an open mind I’ve heard your opinions and, frankly, can’t accept them as they’re just too far out there.

Thomas Steveley

Bradenton Beach