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French people perfected separation of church and state

Editor,

Like our U.S. Constitution, the French Constitution defines a secular government. Unlike us today, but like the earlier years of our own government, the French enjoy religious freedom without government meddling.

French citizens are free to marry at any church or religious service. In France, however, a religious or church marriage is not recognized; one must be married at the Town Hall. There, a friendly chat, appropriate for festive occasions, is given by the mayor with the subject of marriage and family. A number of couples may participate in this marriage ceremony.

Beginning with the President, French government officials are forbidden to invoke God or religion when delivering speeches or speaking in their official status. They must obey their secular constitution prohibiting government involvement with religion.

During the Christmas season, the display of creches, menorahs, etc., is forbidden in front of City Halls, fire stations, etc., but is permitted on church property. Al are free to say "Merry Christmas" or to sing religious carols.

The French people are unanimous in their preference for a strict separation of church and state.

Franch has a 1,000-plus-year tradition in the Christian religion. Most citizens profess the Catholic faith. Joan of Arc is the patron saint.

Public schools are rigorously secular. Students are not permitted to wear ostensibly religious garb or jewelry.

Like the government of our Founding Fathers, Franch has no pledge of allegiance. A "pledge of allegiance" is incompatible with personal freedom.

George Washington's closest friend was a 23-year-old French nobleman, the Marquis de LaFayette. Commissioned a major general in the Continental army, he distinguished himself by his bravery and leadership. He played a major role in the victory at Yorktown which assured as our independence. He later returned to France. To celebrate with us the centennial of July 4, 1776, the French created the Statue of Liberty in Paris. It was then erected in New York Harbor.

Lee Kemble

Portland

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 August 2014 18:17

Hits: 18

Chamber: 'Freeport is very supportive of the planned layover facility in Brunswick'

(Editor's note: The Freeport Chamber of Commerce raised concerns that a delay of Downeaster service improvements — like the Brunswick layover facility — will harm local businesses and will have a negative economic impact on the entire region. The chamber wrote the following letter on Aug. 19 in support of Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority's planned Brunswick facility, "which will allow increased ridership and services throughout the region," the chamber noted.)

The Honorable Paul LePage
Governor, State of Maine
No. 1 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0001

Dear Governor LePage:

The Greater Freeport Chamber of Commerce, representing more than 200 local businesses, fully supports the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority in their efforts to maintain and increase passenger rail service to Freeport and Brunswick. Business owners in town regularly comment on the positive economic impact that the Downeaster train riders have brought to Freeport.

In 2013, over 16,000 passengers arrived and departed in Freeport. Additionally, over 10,000 inquiries of local businesses have been made at the Train and Visitor Information Center located adjacent to the train platform. The passenger train service has been critically important to the success of the many restaurants, shops, and lodging properties in the area. Freeport is very supportive of the planned layover facility in Brunswick. Having trains overnight and be serviced in Brunswick will allow for the scheduling of more round trips to and from Boston that stop in town. Our local businesses have an important stake in the facility because it will allow visitors from all along the Downeaster line to make more frequent trips that comfortably fit their individual schedules. NNEPRA has planned for this increased trip frequency knowing that more trips mean more capital flowing to Freeport, Brunswick and the southern mid-coast region.

Tourism is Maine's largest economic driver and allowing visitors the option of train travel reduces the strain on the state's transportation infrastructure and air quality and aligns with Freeport's heritage of environmental sensitivity. The expanded use of mass transportation, such as the Downeaster rail service is not only supportive of local and regional business, but is also in keeping with a long tradition of environmental awareness and a focus on reducing automobile congestion and emissions.

The Freeport Chamber of Commerce is concerned that the delay of Downeaster service improvements – like the Brunswick layover facility – will harm our local businesses and will have a negative economic impact on the entire region. We, therefore, urge your support of NNEPRA's planned Brunswick facility, which will allow increased ridership and services throughout the region.

Sincerely,

Michelle Allott, President
Greater Freeport Chamber of Commerce

Cc:
U.S. Senator Susan Collins
U.S. Senator Angus King
U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree
The Honorable Olympia Snowe
State Senator Stan Gerzofsky, Senate District No. 10
State Representative Sara Gideon, House District No. 106
Commissioner David Bernhardt, Maine Department of Transportation
Carolann Ouellette, Director, Maine Office of Tourism
John McGough, Chief of Staff
John Butera, Senior Economic Advisor
Patricia Quinn, Executive Director, Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 23:36

Hits: 37

Will DISCLOSE Act include resolution to Angus King campaign questions?

Editor,

Though I've moved away, I still follow the rantings and rambling of Maine politics. In Robert Libby's most recent column ("Money pol," Tuesday, Aug. 26), he pointed out our fair Senator Angus King's support for the DISCLOSE act, aimed at ending dark money in politics.
I certainly hope that support extends to finally wrapping up the Federal Election Commission's (FEC) investigation into Angus' campaign, including Eliot Cutler and his bizarre position at Americans Elect ... and how he suddenly had to resign from the board of AE once we figured out that doing so while serving as Angus' Campaign Chair was a violation of the law.
But then again, Ol' Barnjacket never took the bar exam.

Hope all are well.

Bob Higgins
Jacksonville, Fla. (formerly of Portland)

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 23:37

Hits: 44

Writer disgruntled with the councilors and newly elected mayor

Editor,
Open letter to the first elected mayor to Portland and to the city councilors:
Are you serious? You are even thinking about changing High Street's traffic pattern? This pattern has worked here in Portland for a good many years and still works quite well, really. "If it works, don't fix it." Have any of you ever heard that one?
Is it that one of our newer wealthy entitlement-seeking out-of-town buyers of the previous Eastland Hotel are putting in a monied request for this? Of course, this is what they did with attempting to buy our Congress Square Park, our only in-town park. They are still trying to figure out a way to build their reception center (or whatever it is they want to build) in Congress Square.
The councilors are, as we speak, trying to figure out a way for them to do this. Maybe they could build some of Congress Square Park on top of their reception center and then charge rent for use of their building?
Also, who got to vote on putting an elected mayor in Portland? I sure did not. Too many schools and other community needs are being cut down, why would anyone want to pay out extra money for an elected official?
Why not hire some local businesses to grow Portland, why the "big money" foreigners who are coming one after another to buy out Portland and redo it to their whims and wishes? Do they really care about Portland? I don't think so! Our local businesses do, for sure.
I am definitely on the side of Keep Portland Livable and Friends of Congress Square Park people, without a doubt. They care about Portland. They also need our help in their endeavor to keep our city livable for Portlanders rather than outsiders. The mayor and councilors are pretty powerful people to fight. We've seen some of their deceitful maneuvers already regarding selling Congress Square Park. They are still trying to keep the monied outsiders happy in some way regarding Congress Square Park, and at Portland's expense.
Totally disgruntled with the councilors and newly elected mayor here in Portland.
Ann J. Dillon
Portland

Last Updated on Monday, 18 August 2014 23:28

Hits: 50

Shenna Bellows wants to serve in the Senate, but she's an ACLU liberal

Editor,
Whatever happened to our rights to religion, freedom of speech and the right to bear arms?
Why did we fight WWII and Korea? Because we were attacked and we (the lucky ones) came home hoping to live in peace.
Then came the Cold War and at the United Nations meeting, after WWII, Khrushchev standing at his podium, pounded his shoe on it as to emphasize that they (Russia) would not have to fight the USA, as we would bury ourselves. How right he was. It took some time, but we had succeeded in doing just that.
We can thank the ACLU liberals. And the Supreme Court.
The ACLU brought the case to the Supreme Court that no prayer or anything pertaining to the Lord will be taught in the schools. No such thing as Christmas of the Lord being born. Or Easter as the Lord rising from the dead. Children cannot put their drawings in the windows as it predicted God, then they the teachers could not make the students stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance. Then they said no Christmas trees in schoolrooms or anywhere in the schools as it symbolized religion. Teachers cannot discipline students for being rude as talking, slouching, hat on their heads, etc. while she or he is trying to teach those slobs. Even though 95 percent of the population believes in the Supreme Being, the ACLU takes it to the Supreme Court, who agrees.
Then the ACLU said we will take away all monuments, statues and plaques that show anything religious and have them removed from sight from all public areas. And the Supreme Court agreed.
Now the ACLU says we will show who's running the country, we made it immoral, let's continue, we'll start turmoil among the whites and the minorities. We'll make it a law that all learning establishments and businesses will have a quota of minorities even if they are not educated or qualified to be placed in such college or workforce over the whites who will be rejected. The same went for the landlords in renting.
Then, the law that really made this country to cause dissent was the hate law. A person can't look sideways at a person, or tell a joke or anything a minority doesn't like, it's sue, sue, sue.
Now Shenna Bellows wants to run for Sen. Collins' seat. She being an ACLU liberal, and the atheists have taken away our religious rights and destroyed this country's morals and togetherness of all nationalities. Think about this when you go to the polls.
Richard C. Campbell
South Portland

Last Updated on Monday, 18 August 2014 23:31

Hits: 196

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