Wichita church sign off-base

Review Editorial Broad

The Spirit One Christian Center in Wichita, Kan., posted a sign which read, “America, we have a Muslim president this is sin against the Lord! Ex. 20:3” Ironically, this center claims to be a “church without walls.” No walls indeed, unless you are anything but a white protestant.

While as journalists, we support the pastor’s right to say this, we think it is closed minded and perhaps indicative of an overall misinterpretation of the First Amendment. And, as per our rights, we are going to disagree with it.

In the First Amendment Center’s 2008 State of the First Amendment survey, 29 percent of Americans believe that the First Amendment “was never meant to apply to religious groups that the majority of the people consider extreme or on the fringe.”

So, apparently, if one is “on the fringe,” whatever that means, then one’s rights are curtailed. In the same survey, 46 percent of people believed that “The nation’s founders intended the United States to be a Christian nation.”

Then why have the First Amendment at all?

Why should freedom of the choice and practice of religion be enumerated?

Around this time of Thanksgiving, myths abound about the Puritans, the Pilgrims and their mythical turkey. While the Puritans and the Pilgrims did not emigrate to the North American colonies to establish religious freedom, the evolution of American ideology and legal basis is founded on the idea that church and state institutions should be separate.

President-elect Barack Obama stated, repeatedly, that he adheres to Christianity. Being a Christian does not automatically make one a good leader or an exemplary, moral individual.

Just look at Bill Clinton.

Americans should think about people like the reverend of the Spirit One Christian Center and think – what if there were a sign that said that about Baptists or Methodists or Presbyterians. Or you.