The controversy over "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas" requires that we examine what has happened to our right to "petition the government for a redress of grievances." This is one of our inherent and inalienable rights. We have a "property" in that right. This means that any prior restraint placed on that right constitutes a "taking of property without due process of law" unless we are given something of equal value in return.

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that pro se (non-lawyer) complaints are held to "less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers," and no matter who files the complaint it is not to be dismissed for any reason unless the plaintiff can prove no set of facts that would entitle him to relief.

We should remember that all property rights are adjudicated in a court of equity. The only law in equity is "that which is right" (that which is equitable).

All of the decisions, in equity, are based on the laws of God. These are the laws infused into the hearts of man, by the finger of God, at the time of creation, for his direction and his protection.

In 1844, Justice Story, speaking for the Court, said that "Christianity is a part of the common law." This can be supported by the rule of decision of the common law of Illinois and nearly every state in the union. Story, also, referred to our country as a "Christian country."

All of the 13 states under the Articles of Confederation were Christian states that required that you be a Christian in order to serve in their state legislatures.

During the convention (1787), Charles Pinckney, governor of South Carolina, successfully campaigned for the removal of the religious test. He wanted to allow non-Christians to participate in their government.

We should conduct a public forum on this important issue. First, we must examine the decision of the Supreme Court to be sure that we are aware of the basis for its decision that the First Amendment requires a "separation of church and state."

If the court based its opinion on Jefferson's letter (1802), there should be no problem. Jefferson was speaking of our right to believe and not our right of actions.

There is more support for the fact that we are a Christian country - not the Christianity of any church, but Christianity as it was grafted onto the Hebrew religion by Jesus Christ.

Let us start an open discussion on this subject.


Richard M. Boalbey

Rock Island

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