Letters to the Editor

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December 7, 2006

11:37 PM

**Jeffersonian principles**
**To the Editor:**

p. The Act for Establishing Religious Freedom, originally introduced in 1777 by Alumnus Thomas Jefferson, helped abolish official state religion for the Commonwealth. This model was later extended to the national stage. Though you or I might like an established state religion, I might choose a different religion from you. We can thank Mr. Jefferson for protecting me from you, and you from me. Wise leaders respect the rule of democracy while wisely codifying the value in protecting the many from the few, as well as the few from the many.

p. I respect that the Wren Chapel was historically a place of Christian worship; and at times it serves as a chapel even to this day. If it was a church separate from the College, I would expect to see a cross there at all times. When my friends and colleagues desire to assemble for religious purposes in the Wren Chapel and to stand or kneel in the presence of their chosen symbol of faith, I expect a cross to be displayed without reservation or hesitation. When or if the Chapel functions as a classroom or for any secular purpose, I expect it to be a welcoming place for all members of the College community. The College in the 21st century has become a home for higher learning for all faiths, a place where all are to feel welcome to pursue knowledge. May it ever be so.

p. In a world where principles are almost passe and in a land where leaders govern based on polls and political winds, President Nichol has shown the courage to live based on Jeffersonian principles. By doing so, he stands strong with his distinguished alumnus and with the principles that helped form and shape our great nation.

p. **__— Daniel Shaye, ’90__**

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