Washington would be saddened by S.B.’s ban on holiday displays

The most recent ban on holiday displays in South Brunswick Township is very sad.

I feel compelled to write in response to what has been at best using the Constitution, as well as the Bill of Rights, as a proof-text of sorts for personal bias or opinion.

A good number of people have argued against holiday displays, using as their basis the First Amendment. It should be noted that the First Amendment referred to a wall of separation "guaranteed" between church and state, not between government and the public, and notably between the federal government and the states.

The guarantee of the First Amendment is that Congress shall not set up a state religion, along the lines of the church of England, as was established by law.

I think we should be careful how we use or misuse the Bill of Rights. After all, the second part of the First Amendment is the guarantee of the practice and expression of religion.

While the first part is truly an anti-establishment clause, George Washington and a number of the founding fathers, would be saddened by the recent decision to ban holiday displays. After all, he himself, though not very religious, was a strong advocate of the tolerance of religious expression.

Michael P. Burns

Kendall Park section

of South Brunswick