When are we going to say "enough is enough"? How long are we going to tolerate being beaten over the heads by the vocal minority in this country who continue to steal our rights and freedoms from us? When are we going to take personal responsibility for our decisions again? The sad, scary truth is that I think the answer might be never, especially if we continue down this road of apathy and "not my problem" -it is that has provided the platform to allow revisionists and radicals to rewrite our history.

As I get older, I question whether my age group attended the same schools I did and learned the same things about this country. Every generation has been challenged by crisis, some economic, some moral and some military in nature. There was the British, then the Mexicans, then slavery and soon after ourselves. After the Civil War, there was the Spanish, the Germans, the Depression, the fascists, the communists and now terrorists. These challenges defined us and who America is.

We live in the greatest country on this planet and with another school year around the corner, I decided to give a mid-term grade to a story I saw this week in the paper.

I am giving a big fat F to the Utah court system for requiring 14 crosses to be removed along the sides of highways in that state. Their reason is the cross is an overt Christian religious symbol and it allegedly violates the sacred separation of church and state. I'm not the first to ask this, but let me use the litmus paper of common sense, something I think the more educated of us seem to lose sometimes in pursuit of academic smarts.

When I see a cross on the side of the road, my first thought is "I wonder who died here." I would think many of you think that also. Why is it some radical secularist, the new fancy term for atheist, sees that and says "Oh, a Christian symbol on public property. I must fight for its removal"? He or she is probably the only person that gets offended by such an innocent marker on the side of the road. It's there because someone died, and not to offend them.

I will tell you what offends me. What offends me is how these atheists, secularists or whatever term they use for themselves today continue to persecute other religions using their flawed knowledge of what they think the first amendment represents and get away with it. Secularism or atheism is just as much a religion as Christianity, Judaism, Islam is.

Get a dictionary and look up religion. There is more than one definition. Of course the widely known and exploited one is a religion is a set of devotions and practices recognizing a supreme or sacred being, but a religion is also an intensely held set of beliefs and practices. Obviously the traditional religions meet the bill, but if we consider the WHOLE definition of religion then atheism is a religion as well no matter how hard they protest it. Their zealous imposition of their beliefs on the majority of this country violates the first amendment repeatedly.

Why? Because the first amendment, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …" states quite clearly that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of a religion or prohibiting the free exercise of one. The courts are playing fast and loose with these sixteen words and have extended their meaning far beyond what the amendment says.

I'm not a lawyer, but common sense to me dictates that those words say that our leaders cannot mandate us to practice a particular religion or sect, and it also states they cannot keep us from practicing our beliefs.

So please explain how a cross or a manger scene forces some secularist to practice Christianity. Does the Star of David smack these people upside the head if they get to close to it? I don't get it. A display of religion whether on private or public property does not require or mandate you or anyone else to practice that religion, but removing it does violate the other part of this amendment namely, "or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

While a display does not force anyone to do anything, compelling the government to deny me the right to express my freedom of speech on public property DOES violate the first amendment without much of a stretch in logic as the court system uses to prevent religious displays. What about the offensiveness of secularists using the court systems to mandate their religious beliefs on the rest of us whether Christian, Muslim or Jew? By banning my ability to freely display a manger or a cross or a Star of David or any other symbol, the government of this country is violating the Constitution by advancing, endorsing and establishing secularism as the litmus paper of public behavior.

These mandates push secularism as an alternative religion and do not allow those of us with other beliefs to freely express ourselves. This is wrong and it should be stopped. Someone should sue these secularist organizations and establish atheism as an alternative religion and then we can sue them for violating our right to free speech in this country.

Or maybe we should just continue to let them steal our rights. What do you think?

Til next time …