It is difficult for me to understand how the search for equal protection under the law and the separation of church and state make Mr. Orbison persecuted [“Walk a Mile in My Oxfords,” Sept. 5 Xpress].
It was the evangelicals, in particular the Baptists, who were the strongest advocates of the separation of church and state from the founding of our country until the 1960s. … It was not until the 1960s that they discovered the power of their numbers and began the attempt to make the rest of us, who do not share their religious beliefs, follow the evangelical/fundamentalist Shariah law of anti-LGBT, anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-sex education (except for total abstinence), anti-science, anti-evolution, anti-gun control, etc.
They fail to realize that the USA has always been a multicultural stew (and a rather delicious one, at that) of cultures, ideas, religions, customs, beliefs. Asking the government to prevent the ideas of a particular school of religious thought from being forced upon all the rest of us does not equal discrimination against Mr. Orbison. He is still free to practice all those religious beliefs. But the separation of church and state should prevent them from being forced on the rest of us.
Those who seek refuge in the idea that they live in the Bible Belt had best be on the alert. A 2009 Gallup Poll indicated that 21 percent of Americans now consider themselves agnostic, atheist or free-thinkers. More recent polls indicate that, when asked to choose from an extensive list of religions and denominations, the number who chose ”none” or “other” are the third highest group, greater in numbers than Roman Catholics.
Also, the fastest growing religion in the USA today is Islam. This is not the result of proselytizing but simply the result of a birth rate that is much higher than that of Christians. I don’t personally fear or dread any of that. I just mention it to point out that evangelical/fundamentalist Christians and Mr. Orbison may one day again appreciate the separation of church and state in this nation.
— John Fragale