Letter: Praying mother didn’t force religion on others
Every morning at the Concord High School, I walked past a certain woman dressed in white. This woman stood atop the steps of the school every morning, praying for the safety of students and faculty.
She stood alone and prayed by herself, regardless of who watched or didn’t watch.
As an advocate of free speech, I was saddened to learn that Lizarda Urena, the praying mother, was met with hostility and discrimination, rooted in the efforts of the Freedom From Religion organization. I can personally testify that Urena never forced another student or teacher to pray with her. She never publicly advocated others to join in her religion. Urena never “forced religion down another person’s throat.”
Every morning she practiced her freedom of speech and possessed nothing but the best intentions at heart. But one organization decided to create trouble from a tranquil environment, causing the school to bar a fellow citizen from using her constitutionally protected faith to wish safety for the school community.
What difference exists between the Freedom From Religion group and the Westboro Baptist Church? Nothing. Both are groups that dislike other groups’ mantras – protected by law – and will do anything to silence the expression of ideas they don’t like. They are bullies. It goes without saying that.
Urena should be granted full rights to pray as she wishes on the steps of Concord High. She never hurt anyone else, so why should she be hurt in return?