Our nation was built on the principles that are written within the Constitution. Two of the most important and fundamental of these principles is freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
Town voters in Estes Park, recalled Trustee David Habecker from office Tuesday because he refused to stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance at the town meetings. Habecker, who has served on the town board for 12 years, is an agnostic and objects to the wording "under God."
Habecker's rights as a citizen to free speech and religion are being violated. He should not lose his place on the town board because he is justifiably exercising these rights. The rules of the Constitution govern our entire nation and should be practiced in Estes Park as well.
Richard Clark, military veteran and organizer of the recall, said in a Rocky Mountain News article, "You have to be responsible to the electors, and he wasn't doing that."
Habecker was not misrepresenting the needs of his constituents, nor was his decision to refrain from the Pledge inhibiting his ability to do his job. Instead it is the voters who are not being responsible to their fellow citizen by persecuting him for practicing his first amendment rights.
By reciting something he does not believe, Habecker would be misrepresenting himself. A representative who cannot represent his or her own self is less likely to be able to represent the voters than one who does not pretend to hold false beliefs.