Truck’s religious art indicates affiliation

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: April 4 2014 | 12:33 pm - Updated: 7 April 2014 | 3:11 pm in

Firefighters are my heroes. I cannot imagine how they summon the courage to do what needs to be done in order to save lives and property. It is very understandable if their religion plays a part.

But because they are public servants, their responsibility is to serve everyone in need, even those who do not share their religious views. Fire trucks are public vehicles, purchased and maintained by public funds. When a public vehicle or building carries a religious display, it indicates an affiliation with that religion that may threaten or alienate others who believe differently.

All anyone would have to do to understand this is to imagine living in a country that has a mandated state religion ... that is not yours.

The United States does not endorse one state religion but provides tolerance of all religious beliefs and of no religious belief. It is appropriate for churches and places of worship to display their symbols so that people of faith can find them.

What does it mean when a public building or vehicle displays a religious symbol? That nonbelievers not apply? Nativity scenes donít belong in front of city halls. Crosses arenít on public schools. Crucifixes are not displayed in public libraries. Police cars donít have Stars of David on them. Firefighters do hard, valuable work and can draw strength from their religion, not from religious symbols on their public vehicles.

Amy White

Mount Vernon


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