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David M. Bresnahan
December 21, 2005

Regardless of religious affiliation, or lack thereof, every single man, woman, and child in the United States of America should be outraged at the latest attack on the First Amendment right of free speech and freedom of religion.

U.S. Federal Judge David Hamilton, Southern District of Indiana, ruled on Nov. 30 that the Indiana state legislature can have a prayer to open each session, as long as there is no mention of Jesus Christ.

Hamilton was named to the court in 1994 by Pres. Bill Clinton.

Hamilton ruled in response to a lawsuit filed by the Indiana Civil Liberties Union (ICLU), that any prayer that refers to Jesus Christ, Savior, or Son of God is unconstitutional. Any such reference, he said, "amounts in practical terms to an official endorsement of the Christian religion."

Many state legislatures, county commissions, city councils, and other government organizations begin with prayer. Usually some system is in place to enable members of the public representing the various faiths of that community to sign up for the opportunity to give one of the prayers.

No one is told how to pray or what to pray for. People listening do not always agree with the person giving the prayer, but toleration is the word of the day. Everyone knows that each person is free to speak as they wish without government control or mandate until now.

Fortunately all is not lost. There are many who are coming to the defense of freedom in Indiana, knowing that if the ICLU holds on to this victory, freedom will be lost in every state.

State Rep. John Hostettler, (R), a member of the House subcommittee on the Constitution, said the judiciary has no power to kill the legislature's prayer. He sent a letter to President Bush asking him not to enforce Hamilton's ruling.

House Speaker Brian Bosma, (R), said he would fight Hamilton's order "by all legal means," the Indianapolis Star reported. He has announced that the state will appeal.

"It is intolerable that a court in this free society would ask a person to censor the prayer they offer in the tradition of their faith," said Bosma in a press release. "The ruling today forbids invited ministers and members to continue to exercise their right to free speech and pray in the tradition of their faith."

If the government can tell anyone, Christian or otherwise, how to pray then that same government can dictate all religious beliefs. Which is also on the agenda of the ACLU. They will not stop until it is illegal for any religion to teach that homosexuality is a sin, but that is an issue for another day.

I claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of my own conscience, and allow all men and women the same privilege. Let them worship how, where, or what they may.

I cherish my right to believe as I wish, and I will defend the right of others to believe differently. We need to learn to live together in peace by focusing on our similarities, not our differences.

I remember a line from a poem that Judge Hamilton might do well to remember:

"I'll go to my church and you go to yours, but let's walk along together."

2005 David M. Bresnahan - All Rights Reserved

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David M. Bresnahan has a long history as a journalist, broadcaster, radio station owner, and talk show host. He received national awards for some of his investigative journalism and for the quality of his radio talk show.

He has been a prominent writer for many Internet newspapers, including WorldNetDaily, NewsMax, and He is also the author of a number of books, including "Cover Up: The Art and Science of Political Deception," and his most recent book "911:Terror In America."

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I claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of my own conscience, and allow all men and women the same privilege. Let them worship how, where, or what they may.