To the Readers' Forum:
A writer expressed surprise that a county legislator (a minister by day) raises questions about prayers before public legislature meetings. Objections have been raised nationwide on church-state separation grounds. Legislator Hoyer is upholding his oath to support the Constitution.
Church-state separation has a distinguished lineage. Article VI bans religious tests, supported by the First Amendment's anti-establishment clause. The team of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison articulated the importance of this key component to our liberal democracy. Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists, with the metaphorical wall makes this perfectly clear. Roger Williams allowed Rhode Islanders to worship as they deemed appropriate.
In Mark 12:17, Jesus said to the Pharisees: ''Render to Caesar the things that are Caesars and to god the things that are God's.''
Legislator Hoyer follows in the footsteps of Alabama's John Buchanan (Republican/Southern Baptist), who was the first President of People of the American Way and Pennsylvania's Bob Edgar (Democrat/United Methodist) who is a past president of the National Council of Churches.