I just read Rebekah Metzler’s July 20 article on Gov. LePage’s Proclamation for a Day of Prayer and Fasting. It was disquieting to read what she had written and I felt her article to be critical of Gov. LePage as well as some of our lawmakers for calling on a people to pray and fast for their country!

Her article appeared to be prejudiced against evangelical people who believe in prayer.

Since when is it wrong for evangelicals to call on a people to pray and fast, if indeed that is how she interprets this proclamation? If she would read the proclamation closely, she would see it calls for prayer and fasting and anyone reading that proclamation can make the choice to pray and fast or not to pray and fast regardless of their faith.

I interpreted her article to be critical against evangelicals merely because of their faith. It has been said that “we see in others only what we find in ourselves.”

Carole Edgerly

Farmington

“Can elected officials pray? Better believe it,” a Press Herald editorial said on July 15.

Yes, they can. But privately.

The secular mandate of our Constitution by our political fathers has nothing to do with banning prayer. It does ban, however, such public manifestations of religion that offer insult to other faiths, no faiths, scientific evidence, etc.

Of the latter, only evidence is unprotected by law. Curious situation? Not really. Facts like the Earth’s age at 4.5 billion years may eventually settle at 4.25 billion, and both will be estimates. It is simply not 10,000 years as guessed at by some religions. Provably so.

I think reminding the Freedom From Religion Foundation that the First Amendment protects “freedom of religion” would be crowding tautology. The First Amendment protects religion, yes, but all religion. Not just yours.

Additionally, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is spending voter money on his private convictions, having nothing to do with his office. I correct myself: having only to do with his next election. Could a Taoist or Buddhist voter for Perry accept that? Could a Muslim, Jew or free-thinker?

Or, put another way, if Muslim populations outnumbered Christians in the states, would Perry submit to being called an infidel? Or go Muslim?

Robert Manns

Camden

The headline of the lead editorial on July 15 reads, “Can elected officials pray? Better believe it.” The defiant antagonistic tone no doubt has mass appeal, which The Press Herald certainly needs.

The editorial refers to those (read nasty) atheists and agnostics who oppose the Texas governor’s active involvement in a public prayer event. The chiding tone of the editorial is counterproductive.

At the federal convention in Philadelphia in 1787, our great U.S. Constitution was formulated. An incident took place during the debates which concerns prayer in government. On June 28 of that year, Benjamin Franklin made a motion that prayers be held every morning conducted by one or more of the clergy of Philadelphia. This was rejected out of hand by Alexander Hamilton, among others. There were not prayers at this most sacred moment in our history.

The Constitution contains three concerns about religious involvement in the government. The oath of office for the president given word for word in Article II excludes the British ending, “So help me God.”

In our time, this is violated at the inaugural ceremony. Article VI states, “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Another negative concerning religion in government is found in the Bill of Rights: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” The free exercise of religion is, however, protected for the private citizen.

Our enlightened founders never put “God” on their currency. Their motto was “E Pluribus Unum,” not “In God We Trust.” They never ended speeches invoking God.

President Nicholas Sarkozy of France, our oldest ally, ends speeches to the people with, “Long live the Republic, long live France.” If he were to end a speech with “God bless you, God Bless France,” he would be out of a job the next day.

Lee Kemble

Portland

I am proud of Gov. LePage and the legislators who agree with Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Joshua Chamberlain and so many other leaders who recognized the need and benefit of prayer.

I applaud them for the courage to urge Maine citizens to unite in prayer.

Gary Harlow

Turner

Desmond Tutu speaks out on proliferation dangers

It was May 1999, and I was among 10,000 people from 100 countries who attended the Hague Peace Appeal at The Hague Congress Center in The Netherlands. It was there I heard Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa.

He began with, “We, the people, have helped to end slavery. We, the people, have helped to end the Holocaust. We, the people, have helped to end the vicious system of apartheid.”

Now, in a recent statement, he has addressed the foreign ministers of the five professed nuclear-armed countries who met in Paris to discuss the nuclear-disarmament commitments that they made at last year’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference.

He boldly pointed out that nuclear apartheid will not stand, that the continued development of new nuclear technologies cannot be reconciled with a call for a world free of nuclear weapons. Furthermore, he pointed out, “The U.S. has allocated $185 billion to augment its nuclear stockpile over the next decade, on top of the ordinary annual nuclear-weapons budget of more than $50 billion.”

He explains that nuclear-armed drones are “H-bombs deliverable by remote control.” Echoing President Dwight Eisenhower’s last presidential words, Tutu cried, “Every dollar invested in bolstering a country’s nuclear arsenal is a diversion of resources from its schools, hospitals, and other social services, and a theft from the millions around the globe who go hungry or are denied access to basic medicines.”

As a supporter of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, he called on the political will to support a “nuclear-weapons convention similar to existing treaties banning biological and chemical arms to anti-personnel land mines and cluster munitions.” Now, “we, the people” must call on our leaders to stop the nuclear madness.

Sally A. Breen

Windham