We are a nation established on the concept of numerous freedoms including two fundamental protections of:
1. The separation of church and state, the basic idea behind the establishment clauses of both the Alaska State Constitution and First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and
2. The freedom of speech, also established under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The Borough Assembly’s continued attempt to exert power over who and which “religious” associations can be heard represents a direct assault on both of our fundamental freedoms of religion and expression.
The mere use of the language “approved religious associations” must be considered unconstitutional, and therefore unacceptable, because, as stated, this language attempts to establish the Borough Assembly as an official arbiter of religious relevance and acceptability. Further, the Borough’s attempt to limit or suppress the expression of any “unapproved” points of view, surely violates another of our cherished freedoms, our freedom of expression.
To wit: That our Borough Assembly continues to spend money to attack two of our constitutionally established and protected freedoms, and particularly during a time of budgetary crises, represents both constitutional and financial malfeasance. Please do not spend our precious fiscal resources to appeal the recent court ruling that held as unconstitutional the current Borough Assembly policy limiting the participation in Borough invocations. Let’s invest our money in education, infrastructure and other projects that benefit us all.
— Taz Tally, Homer