Honorable David Price U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 Wayne Aiken PO B

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Honorable David Price U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 Wayne Aiken PO Box 30904 Raleigh, NC 27622 Dear Representative: I am aware that many right-wing religious groups, such as Dr. D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries, are currently canvassing all U.S. Senators and Representatives in an attempt to influence your position relative to "issues important to Christians." As a non-Christian, it concerns me greatly that these groups ask you to "vote to support the religious values and freedoms our Founding Fathers intended us to have", when in fact the only values which these groups espouse are their own narrow sectarian ideas. Issues such as the Supreme Court's flag burning decision, AIDS, abortion, equal rights for gays, and school prayer are issues which these groups approach and seek to influence based solely upon their particular religious beliefs, instead of a fair and objective analysis of the facts, with deference to equal rights and benefits to all under the law. It also concerns me greatly that many irrational and false charges made by these groups against non-believers are also echoed by those in the highest levels of governments. During his 1988 campaign, George Bush made the statement that "atheists cannot be considered as patriots, nor can they be citizens. This is one nation under God." This idea flies completely in the face of the notion that one's patriotism and protection under the Constituion is completely independent of one's religious beliefs, as outlined in the First Amendment. It is also contradictory to the pledge he made in accepting the office of the President to uphold the Constitution. To this day, Pres. Bush refuses to apologize or retract this statement which disenfranchises at least 10% of the population. As a Congressman, I urge you to investigate and clarify this situation. To use the position of the Presidency of the US to advocate particular positions with regard to religion denigrates not only the freedoms of those who do not believe, but also of those who do worship as they freely choose. Regardless of your own personal beliefs, I urge you to use your position of responsiblity in a fair, honest, and rational manner. Many groups are attempting to use their "freedom of religion" at the expense of the rights and freedoms of others. As an atheist, I support freedom of the mind above all else, and that includes granting freedom to all to adhere to any belief or non-belief they choose. Many religious organizations cry that they are being suppressed, when all that is truly being suppressed is their desire to control the lives and minds of others. These same organizations are quick to flood the offices of government with pre-printed letters in an attempt to appear that they represent the majority opinion, when in fact they do not. I thank you for your time and consideration of this matter. Wayne Aiken


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