To the editor:
If the Cape Coral City Council wishes to show that it truly values "democracy and morality," as Mr. Dick Kalfus suggested in his Jan. 12 letter to the editor, it should use the secular power with which it has been entrusted for civil, not religious purposes.
Members of our government possess, as Alexander Hamilton wrote, "no particle of spiritual jurisdiction." "We the people" grant our representatives authority to run a secular government, not a Sunday school.
Officials who wish to pray should do so on their own time, not schedule prayers on taxpayers' time. If they wish to pray, why not schedule a moment of silence that would allow each citizen to pray, reflect, or not pray, according to the dictates of their own conscience?
Government prayer serves no purpose other than to alienate 62 million nonreligious Americans. It is supremely pointless - as is Kalfus's epistolary shrieking.
Kalfus appears unable to differentiate between keeping state and church separate and "the removal of God from our homes, and from our lives." This failure is unsurprising given Kalfus's tendency to pontificate on issues such as evolution, about which he is woefully ignorant. Evolution does not say that we "came from monkeys" as Kalfus contends. Evolution shows, among other things and with mountains of evidence, that humans and other primates share a common ancestor.
Kalfus's suggestion to hang the Decalogue in City Hall should be rejected, yet again. The Ten Commandments are most certainly not the foundation of our morality. The second commandment "punishes children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation." Exodus 20:4-6. The fourth and tenth commandments advocate slavery, thought-crime, and treat women as chattel. The few moral dictates - don't kill, lie, or steal - are universal human principles. It is the height of arrogance for Christians to claim these precepts as their own. Religion gets its morality from us, not the other way around.
The council should ignore Kalfus and uphold our secular and entirely godless Constitution. Stop prayers at government meetings.
Andrew L. Seidel
Attorney, Freedom From Religion Foundation