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Letters to the Editor

Readers write about displaying American flags in churches.

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Ironically, it was Christianity's failure to accept this social contract that brought it into conflict with the empire.

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Sandy Ferguson
Invermere, British Columbia

Regarding the recent piece on flags in churches: Many Americans, enraptured by the tinsel of patriotism, allow a government in thrall to the rich, a society based on the inequality of wealth, to make a mockery of the country's democratic pretensions. The ruling elite takes refuge in patriotic banalities, balancing self-interest, avidity for profit, and the will to dominate against the claims of justice and Christian compassion.

American patriots, whatever their economic and social status, must heed the truth of Samuel Johnson's words, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."

Gabriel Gersh
Forest Hills, N.Y.

Regarding Ms. Akers's commentary about the United States' flag in church: She seemed to neglect one real possibility for having it there – as a reminder that we should pray to the God that we worship, even to the point of vigilance, that the government in power – which the flag represents – never pass laws that will override the freedom of religion (yes, that includes freedom from religion) that our Founding Fathers promised in the First Amendment of the Constitution. Persecution ignored or overlooked is persecution condoned.

Robert S. Rail
Omaha, Neb.

Regarding the recent Opinion piece, "Does the American flag belong in a church?": Yes, I believe it does. It is not there to be worshiped or exalted above God. It simply needs to be present as a silent reminder of our First Amendment rights "peaceably to assemble" and permit "free exercise of religion."

If some churches wish to show their gratitude by affirming their allegiance, so be it. I am certain God understands. Too many of God's children do not have the ability peaceably to assemble in a church and worship him as they please.

Gregory A. Krager
O'Fallon, Ill.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, 210 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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