Letter to the editor: Ruling doesn’t make sense


Ruling doesn’t make sense

A federal judge ruled that the Douglas County School District violated the law by promoting a Christian group’s mission trip. The case involved the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Cougar Run Elementary and a trip to Guatemala. A mother of a student objected. Known in court records at “Jane Zoe” she claimed her son “felt coerced into participating and contributing to this religious fundraiser.”

In her lawsuit, supported by the American Humanist Association, which advocates for a strict separation of church and state, she claimed fundraising violated the First Amendment, and as Judge R. Brooke Jackson ruled: “The constitutional rights of Ms. Zoe and her son guaranteed by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution were violated.”

The First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there of...”

So which is it? Government can’t make us follow a specific religion or stop us from following a religion? The issue of separation of church and state was raised by Thomas Jefferson’s 1802 Letter to the Danbury CT Baptist Association. He talked about his “sovereign reverence” for the “wall of separation.” 

The irony? Congress has its own chaplain beginning each session with a prayer. Outside and inside of the United States Supreme Court are posted the 10 Commandments! 

Yet a federal judge says a group of kids can’t raise money for a mission trip because it infringes on someone else’s rights. No one forced to donate. Just asked... to donate. In this day and age where we worry about violence in our schools, where kids spend hours hours playing video games, a judge says we can’t allow some kids to do something positive. To help some kids far less fortunate. To hopefully make a difference for a better world.

Brian Olson

Highlands Ranch


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