Clear amendment

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How can Connellsville's school board be attacked for displaying the Ten Commandments ("School Board Delays Decision on Ten Commandments," Sept. 12)? Let's take a look at the very short, specific First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which is in play here.

It opens "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Where does it specify "separation of church and state," so often quoted? Not there! "Shall make no law" -- insisted upon by George Mason, who would not sign the Constitution without the Bill of Rights -- is clear, is it not? Shall make no law? The second part of "Congress shall make no law" is abridging the freedom of speech.

Well, if freedom of speech doesn't cover Connellsville's allowing the sign to be displayed on its grounds, "Make no law prohibiting the free exercise thereof" (of religion) surely does.

Cannot our judges understand this so-plain writing? Where is the injury to the plaintiffs? Cannot they, like vampires avoiding sighting the cross, simply not read it when passing by?

JOHN LENKEY
North Side


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