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A Message to the Media

Dear Editor:

As a journalist you are undoubtedly more knowledgable than most on First Amendment principles. Certainly the thought of government dictating what you write, how you write, and where you write is anathema to your principles as a journalist and a free citizen of the United States.

Also, as you know, the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment precede the Press clause. Imagine how insulted you would be if government unconstitutionally dictated how and where you pray, or prescribed in detail your relationship with God. And yet the government does precisely this, and has done so for years.

On November 14, 1999 the U.S. Supreme Court refused to overturn, thus allowed to stand, a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ordering this violation to cease. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the high courts of the states of Tennessee and New York now have made the same ruling. Yet throughout the United States the federal and state governments continue to violate this cherished freedom of the people to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences. The U.S. Military is an especially egregious offender on this matter.

I am sending the enclosed open letter to the members of the Armed Forces of the United States, to you and to every major newspaper worldwide serving a significant U.S. Military population, and humbly request that you publish it, in hopes we may reclaim religious liberty for all citizens of our country.

Please allow me to leave you with the following quote: "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficial. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding." U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Louis D. Brandeis.


Tommy Perkins

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