I had to question why I felt uncomfortable after reading the full-page ad “One Nation Under God” sponsored by Hobby Lobby on July 4.

I was raised in and still attend a Christian church. The principal of having the freedom to believe in any organized religion ... or not ... is protected and valued in this country.

The intent of the First Amendment of our Constitution is clear:

“Congress shall make no law respecting establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...”

The signatures on the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were white men (some slave holders, unorthodox Christians and Deists [Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin]) who were not unfamiliar with greed, injustice and the temptation for abuse by government.

Safeguards against excessive power were part of the framework of our country’s executive, judicial and legislative branches. Implying the nationalizing of a religion brings us closer to a state where religious conformity is demanded and then ... enforced.

Freedom demands constant vigilance.

Gary Brown

Mount Vernon

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