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Reader: 'God doesn't reward show offs' 

Hogging the microphone

Rev. Thomas Pedigo is wrong when he claims "... free speech is for everybody in America except Christians" in his recently published letter ("Threatened beliefs").

The First Amendment guarantees free speech in many forms: oral, published, public action as a group, to name the obvious ones. No one is prohibited from establishing a church, preaching a sermon, issuing a newsletter, etc. Governments at all levels make many accommodations Christians have taken for granted for generations: the crèche on the courthouse lawn, official deference toward Christian holiday schedules not given to other major faiths (school vacations, for example) and the National Prayer Breakfast (a largely evangelical Christian event) to name a few. A couple years ago, the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. (a taxpayer-supported government organization), removed a plaque outside the elephant exhibit explaining Ganesh, the elephant-headed Hindu god of wisdom, at the insistence of conservative evangelicals who were outraged their tax dollars were being used to "promote" religious beliefs other than theirs.

There is more outrage from many evangelical pulpits over the prospect of a cemetery being paved over for a parking lot than there is for the destruction of American Indian sacred lands to build a pipeline.

Conservative evangelical Christians need to understand that the rules they want to play by apply to everyone. There is a big difference between having your voice silenced and not being allowed to hog the microphone until your voice is the only one still heard.

In Matthew 6: 9-16 (Revised Standard Version) Jesus teaches his disciples what's commonly known as "The Lord's Prayer." The preceding eight verses are His instruction on how to pray. It begins: "Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them." Essentially, the Lord's instructions are, "Keep it to yourself. God knows what's in your hearts, and He doesn't reward show-offs."

— Rev. Gary Glover, Colorado Springs

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