LETTER: Find appropriate place for 10 Commandments
To the editor,
I recently learned a vehicle crashed into a 10 Commandments monument at the public entrance to the Cloquet fire and police departments, tipping it backward. This gives the city an opportunity to find a suitable location for the monument.
Religious displays on public property give the impression of civic bias toward a certain religious preference and are unconstitutional. Certainly, the fire and police departments are for all Cloquet citizens of any and of no religion.
The monument is revered by many religious persons and indeed has some salutary suggestions. However, American states, cities and counties, etc., are for Americans of any religion as well as of no religion. They must not show a religious preference, as is currently demonstrated in Cloquet.
Imagine how the numerous other religions would chafe if one of them held governmental sway over all others. Consider Sharia or Hindu law, for example. How would they work for you? This is why President Thomas Jefferson coined the separation of church and state in response to the fears of a Baptist sect that Catholic or other religions might be favored in law. Jefferson wrote to that sect in 1802: "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and state."
The city of Duluth removed its 10 Commandments from the front lawn of City Hall. It now stands on private property. I hope Cloquet will do likewise.
William van Druten