For today's first letter to the editor about Jacksonville's “Day of Faith”, I am adopting a new style of response whereby I insert my comments between the text rather than place it all at the end. The letter by Rev. Marcius O. King was published today under the heading, “Day of Faith: Event was clearly defined.”
As a taxpayer, I am appalled at the city of Jacksonville giving in to a group of atheists. Although the amount of money seems small, it is the principle. We are allowing a small group to prevail in a city where the majority of its citizens are God-fearing people. It was stated that the city has agreed to pay the cost of mediation. This will take more taxpayers' money. Is it still a valid statement to say: In a democratic society, the majority rules?Yes, one principle of democracy is majority rule. There are, however, other principles such as minority rights and rule of law which this event violated.
The atheists' argument is that the event was called "A Day of Faith." I wonder if there would have been a problem if the event (the rally) had been called "A Day of Concern" or "A Unity Day Against Crime"?If it had had a secular name and secular nature, then there would have been no problem. It did not and that was precisely the point of the lawsuit.
Mayor John Peyton's repeated statements that the word "faith" denoted faith not just in God, but in our community as well, in my opinion, clearly defines the major intent of the event.Such concessions were mere lip service to secular interests, and they don't negate the fact that this event was an ecumenical church service funded by local tax dollars. The government cannot promote religious faith, regardless whether other types of faith are also promoted.
It is sad that the offense of any group takes precedence over the issue at hand, which is the homicide rate.Yes, rule of law indeed takes precedence over a rally whose only apparent affect was to create the illusion that the mayor's office was doing something special to decrease violence.
If this group is offended by this rally and the word "prayer," why not sue the federal government and the president of the United States when he calls on America for a "National Day of Prayer"?There are probably lawsuits regarding that.
People who believe in a supreme being are also taxpayers.People who believe in Xenu are taxpayers as well, but we don't spend tax money on Scientology rallies, do we? No, we maintain neutrality in government regarding religion, not fund the services of the largest group.
If we, as a people, believe in a higher power, then we believe we have someone to call on and have at least the possibility of having problems solved. If we fail to believe in a higher power, then we fail to believe that anything can be done.You, “as a people,” can use any of the hundreds or thousands of churches throughout the city to do exactly that without spending a dime from public funds. The mayor can even come to your church and speak without costing the city anything. The worst part is that you actually believe that an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving god has been letting scores of innocent people be murdered and would continue to do so unless you ask him to stop it. That sort of theology only makes sense for an imperfect, selfish deity, not the God you claim to worship.