Friday: Church conflict caused by city

April 19, 2013 

— Religious freedom is a precious, guaranteed, constitutional right. This should encompass Rehoboth United Assemblies’ right to worship freely (“‘Joyful noise’ irks neighbors,” March 17). For sure, freedoms are not without cost.

To approve housing within 11 feet of a lively church is pushing it, redlining, asking for repercussions. It seems insensitive to both parties. What were Columbia officials thinking? In my view, construction is not completed until a sound barrier is installed.

The city may dodge contributory negligence culpability, but I see complicity. Like a car built with a gas tank likely to ignite on impact, it created this problem. It should complete the job.

Mayor Steve Benjamin should be a big-hearted, wise Solomon. Luke 14.28 counsels to count the cost before building.

Undermining established religious expression opens a Pandora’s box. Nations rejecting God (Cuba, Russia, China, North Korea) achieved no atheistic nirvana, no Camelot. America’s crime rate was lower before social institutions began jettisoning God, the Bible, prayer and the time-tested Ten Commandments. Rebellion ruins. Inconveniences notwithstanding, rigorously maintaining religious freedom serves a community best in the long run.

Fred Kerr

West Columbia

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