The 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America grants freedom of worship, speech & press; the right to petition the government & to assemble peaceably. Specifically with regard to "religion" it states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Many on the left have tried for at least 50 years to re-write history with regard to "separation of church and state" and to downgrade the religious beliefs of the founding fathers. This quote should satisfy both questions: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports ... and let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." George Washington, Farewell Speech, 9/17/1796 (from "Being George Washington"). The Liberty Institute lists the many & varied current activities to attempt to eliminate Religious Freedom in America. A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology by researchers at the London School of Economics and Erasmus University Medical Center found that the secret to sustained happiness lies in participating in religion. “The church appears to play a very important social role in keeping depression at bay and also as a coping mechanism during periods of illness in later life,” an author of the study said.

An Atheist Can Respect Prayer

By Andy Ngo,
from The Wall Street Journal,

A kind woman in a church taught me that mocking faith is a bad approach.

I once attended a series of debates between a local atheist and a pastor in a suburban Portland, Ore., church. It was 2011, heyday of the New Atheism movement led by men like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens. I had left Christianity only a few years earlier and found myself anxious and uncomfortable entering a church. I stood in a corner and kept to myself. A woman noticed my antisocial behavior and introduced herself as a member of the congregation. She welcomed me, asked about my life, and brought me a soft drink and pizza from the kitchen. She also introduced me to her adult son, who was equally welcoming. When I attended the next installment later in the summer, I saw the kind church woman again. As before, she greeted me warmly. I asked about her son, but she awkwardly declined to answer, which I found strange. Perhaps she could tell I was gay, I thought. I felt a bit duped, as if the prior nice act was just a bait-and-switch to get me to come back to the church. I chose not to sit near her this time. After the debate, she pulled me aside to the kitchen. I thought she was cornering me to proselytize. Instead, she told me her son had killed himself a few weeks earlier: “He used a gun.” She told me that prayers and her faith in God had barely kept her afloat: “It’s all I have.” A friend of mine, a fellow atheist, walked up. Reflecting on the debate topic, he proceeded to mock faith, the Bible and prayer. “None of it’s true and it doesn’t work,” he said, unaware of the woman’s tragedy. She began to shake, and tears welled in her eyes. My friend walked away, feeling triumphant in her silence. I vowed never to be that type of atheist again.

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