To the editor:
A recent letter to the editor contained a misguided mandate — that those who remain in America, as opposed to leaving because of some undefined frustration, must “love God.” As a Christian, I cherish the religious freedoms I have in America. The government may not create obstacles preventing me from worshipping who I believe to be God — ostensibly, the same deity mentioned in the original letter. Those freedoms are the same ones my Buddhist, atheist, (insert religious preference here) friends also enjoy. They need not “love [the Judeo-Christian concept of] God.” The government, bound by the Constitution, may not make laws “respecting the establishment of religion.” This, in effect, ensures that no one need “love God” to enjoy the benefits of citizenship. I welcome this prohibition. Just as my non-Christian friends do not want the government mandating religious observance, I am glad the government cannot compel me to worship Zeus or some religious being in which I do not believe. Ideas that anyone who is an American must “love God” erroneously conflate political and religious spheres, often in the name of fear and xenophobia. Driving out those who hold non-Christian beliefs is antithetical to our freedoms. Such action does not make our nation more “Christian,” assuming you define Christian as “Christ-like.”The letter closes with another reminder that radical Muslims perpetuated the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001. I continue to wait for reminders that radical Christians have perpetuated, and continue to perpetuate, violence across the world.
Manning told “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter, “Whenever a journalist makes a misstep, I think that they are put on notice now that the FBI and the Department of Justice are going to go after them on the administration's behalf.”