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Resident Opposes Religious Symbols on Town Property

The Menorah lighting on the Town Green offends former Town Councilman Chris Catropa as a libertarian and an atheist.

To the Editor:

I write this letter in opposition to the Menorah lighting on Monroe's Town Green tomorrow. Religious symbols on public land using taxpayer dollars violates the Constitution and individual freedoms. This offends me as a citizen of Monroe just as much as it offends me as a libertarian and an atheist.

Martin Luther was a major influence on how our founding fathers thought about separation of Church and State. Luther believed that every individual should form his own relationship relative to God. He knew that this relationship should not be left up to the Government to force upon us. The founding fathers put this notion into our Constitution with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

A Menorah is a religious symbol (not unlike a Nativity scene would be) with religious significance that has no right being on public property that my tax money goes towards.

If there is an individual volunteer in Monroe who would like to place this Menorah on private property, then I say bravo! Display it with pride and in all its beauty. But these religious symbols have no place in our town square. It violates the separation of church and state and our individual rights as citizens of Monroe. We all have different beliefs in Monroe. Some are Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists and a variety of other faiths. All should be respected. Our government should be a secular place for all to enjoy.

I have contacted the Libertarian Party of Connecticut, the American Atheists and the Connecticut ACLU to join me in this fight. I hope that more residents will join me in honoring the separation of church and state and let Monroe Town Hall see that religious symbolism on government land, or funded in any way by taxpayer dollars, should not be allowed.

Chris Catropa,

Monroe Resident

Chris December 14, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Hi Mike, i am sorry you do not want to have a discussion about keeping religion and government separate. that was truly my intention. there is no nativity scene on govt property in Monroe (although of course i do mention i would equally opposed in my letter to that as well). i am an atheist- so i really have no "preference" of religious beliefs- christian, buddhist, jewish, muslim, etc. i am not a believer. also, i did not mention i "cross out" god we trust in money. i dont know where you read that. I wish we could have some more civil discourse on the thread- but the personal attacks are hurtful. i would just like to see no religious symbols on town property- so it can be kept secular and all can feel included. i know you disagree, but please chill with the personal atacks if possible.
Chris December 14, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Hi Bob, sorry you feel that my opinion makes me a "cry baby." I guess my point of view (different from yours) is why leave anyone out? it is impossible to have all religious represented on government land, so why not keep it secular? that way everyone feels welcome. just my opinion. on private lands of course, anyone can be free to express themselves. i just think that perhaps we should keep gov't and religion separate. i wish you didnt have to attack me personally.
Chris December 14, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Hi Jim, I have no alias on here. everything i post i do so with my name. if i wanted to hide, i could have left my name off this letter. although with the hurtful comments you make, directed at me personally, i certainly wish i never submitted it. i still believe that it would be best if we keep gov't and religion separate. you obviously disagree- and that's fine. but the personal attacks are hurtful. i wish we could have a more civil discourse.
jim laguardia December 14, 2012 at 03:56 PM
you keep saying i am attacking you.... how exactly am i attacking you?? specifics please
jim laguardia December 14, 2012 at 04:13 PM
ok lets try this again.... To all of the people who are coming out of the woodwork to attack ME, all of the nice things said to my face by REAL people last night at the Menorah Lighting over power your nasty comments. if the author of the letter had used the term "questioning" the menorah lighting or "religious symbols" instead of calling out the Menorah in his first sentance... things would have been different

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