All Americans are guaranteed religious freedom; Could the GOP nominee pass the cookie test?

As a religious Christian and patriotic American, I applaud Mitch Edelman’s August 5 comment that the United States is not a Christian nation.

Like him, I was mortified to see all the so-called “conservatives” in Texas this week at the CPAC conference adoring Hungarian autocrat Viktor Orban, who is a racist, pure white nationalist. Everyone who thinks that’s what we need in this country wasn’t paying attention in school.

In 1826, shortly before his death, Thomas Jefferson composed this epitaph for his tombstone: “Writer of the Declaration of Independence [and] of the Virginia Statute for Religious Liberty and Father of the University of Virginia. Of these three most significant accomplishments, he did not mention that he had been President of the United States. Virginia’s statute is the precursor to the First Amendment, which guarantees religious freedom to all Americans. Like all Founding Fathers, Jefferson understood that freedom could not flourish if he was seen as a strictly Christian country.

Bruce A. Hake, Union Bridge

If you discovered a box of cookies under your 4-year-old’s bed in violation of house rules, and the child told you (A) they weren’t my cookies, (B) that they were probably planted by mom, (C) they weren’t actually cookies because they were declared sugar-free and (D) and your Republican congressman suggested he needed to see the arrest sheet because he didn’t think they were “real” cookies, would you vote for him in 2022?

Harry Hammond, Finksburg

Our nation faces many problems, but none are more important than the state of our schools. COVID has caused significant learning loss that will be difficult to recover from and students have been very distressed to have to learn from home and wear masks all day. Carroll County Public Schools (with board member Tara Battaglia) has taken courageous steps to reopen schools and lift mask mandates during this time. This election, Battaglia will be joined by Jim Miller and Steve Whisler (aka “BMW”) on the ballot for the school board.

Recovering from learning loss is a central issue for BMW applicants. However, the very nature of how children are raised will also be on the ballot in November with the introduction of Critical Race Theory (CRT). CRT is a doctrine that promotes the idea that people belong to classes based on race, gender, etc., and that these classes should be in conflict with each other over who has power in society. This doctrine rejects the premise of the civil rights movement that we are all equal before the law and can share power simultaneously and live in harmony. The CRT seeks to achieve “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” (DEI) by actively discriminating against groups that are perceived to have too much power over others. We saw CRT results in neighboring counties as students testified before the CCPS school board that non-white students and women are given leniency in punishment compared to white men, and that there there was a lot of discord among the students. In practice, DEI is just code for bigotry, inequity, and exclusivity. It discriminates based on unchanging characteristics and creates a tribal mentality that pits students against each other.

More disturbing is the health program, which introduces the concept that gender is “fluid”. It does this at a critical age when young children are just beginning to develop their self-awareness and launches inexperienced minds into a confusing and false world of identities. Teens going through puberty are being introduced to various forms of sexuality and gender identity that will add further confusion to an already turbulent time for young adults. Both are destabilizing events for children and unequivocally abusive. Implementing this health policy is a blanket approach that will hurt the 99% for the benefit of the 1%.

Battaglia, Miller, Whisler are the only candidates opposed to the CRT. Vote BMW for BOE in November!

Joseph Cesca, Westminster

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