Letters: September 22, 2006

Not opposed to religion, it’s to favoring one

Thomas M. Keeley III is energetic in his support for Christian prayer in schools. Contrary to what he claims, it is not that I, along with others, are arguing for the removal of all references to religion in our schools and other public institutions. Rather, we oppose references or conduct that indicate a preference for or promotion of Christianity over other religions in public institutions or at publicly funded events.

In 1790, George Washington wrote the following in a letter to a synagogue in Newport, R.I.: “It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.”

This concept of neutrality is reinforced by language in the Treaty of Tripoli (1797), signed into law by President John Adams and passed unanimously by the Senate. The Treaty stated, in part, “the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” It went on to say, “The United States is not a Christian nation any more than it is a Jewish or a Mohammedan nation.”

Tolerance is one of the founding hallmarks of our country and observing tolerance means religious neutrality in official government activities. Neutrality should not be equated with hostility toward religion. Rather, neutrality shows respect for all religions to ensure full freedom and practice thereof, without governmental bodies showing preference for one over another.

Mary K. Ryan

Dorfman expresses thanks to voters

I would like to thank all those folks that voted for me in the recent Bethany Beach election. I appreciate your trust and faith in me and I promise to listen to your concerns and ideas, while working hard to represent all the citizens of our town. I also would like to take this opportunity to welcome newcomers Steve Wode and Tracy Mulligan to the Council. I look forward to working together for the betterment of our town.

Jerry Dorfman
Bethany Beach

Windmill Road a sore spot for reader

Thank goodness for the patience and tolerance of the Sussex County citizenry. Windmill Road has been torn up for months and there is no indication that it will be restored in the future. For those readers who are not aware of the location of Windmill, it is a short but critical link between Bear Trap Dunes and Route 26.

Fred Kelley

Town of Bethany Beach has aesthetic charms

As the color begins to fade on all the beautiful flowers that have graced the streets and islands around Bethany Beach, I want to thank the Bethany Beach town employees and residents, for providing us with a spectacular array of color all spring and summer.

As a resident of the greater Bethany area, I enjoyed the beauty of your efforts and thought that the hard work involved in providing such a display should not go unnoticed.

As friends and relatives came to visit us this summer, they constantly commented on how pretty it was in Bethany Beach. The array of gorgeous color welcomed all of our visitors to the area and I wanted to let you know it was greatly appreciated by visitors and residents alike.

Thank you.

Sue Clarke
Bethany Beach

Hocker gets reader’s vote to keep his seat

I have lived in Sussex County for 13 years now, having moved here October 1993.

One of the first persons that I met was Gerald Hocker, at his place of business, which has now been greatly expanded. He was a gentleman then and is a gentleman today. It has become obvious that Rep. Hocker excels in the business world, not only providing a comfortable income for his family but also providing jobs for many in Sussex County and surrounding communities.

Are there other accomplishments too numerous to mention? Yes. Would I re-elect Rep. Hocker as state representative? Absolutely.

Ronald F. Atherton

Bethany candidate offers thanks

I wish to thank everyone who voted for me in the recent Bethany Beach election. My congratulations to the newly elected members of the town council.

Charles Gravatte
Bethany Beach