Four-time Grammy Award winner Pat Benatar has eliminated her biggest...

Four-time Grammy Award winner Pat Benatar has eliminated her biggest hit, "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," from her concert set lists. Credit: Getty Images/Mike Coppola

1st Amendment’s religious protection

A reader believes faith can be practiced in the heart, home and house of worship. In support, she mentions “the separation of church and state as the intent of our Founding Fathers” [“Church and state must stay separate,” Letters, July 27]. The First Amendment protects her saying that.

However, the phrase “separation of church and state” isn’t in the Declaration of Independence. It’s a common misunderstanding. The First Amendment was written to guarantee our right to exercise religious freedom without government interference. It wasn’t granted to us but was a right we already had.

“Separation of church and state” originated in a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1802 to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut, where he stated that religion lies between people and their God and must be accountable to none.

He wrote that the First Amendment prevents establishment of a government religion, and prohibition of the free exercise thereof, “thus building a wall of separation between church and state.” This “wall” was to protect people from government interference, not the opposite.

The reader feels faith can be limited, but some believe faith isn’t internal or personal, but is part of life. My family believes in praying before meals, even in public. The First Amendment protects that.

 — Dolly Kalhorn, North Babylon

Biden received same COVID care

I take issue with Arthur Caplan’s opinion regarding President Joe Biden’s care [“Implications of Biden’s COVID case,” Opinion, July 26]. Anyone has access to two vaccinations and at least one booster. If you have comorbidities, or are older than 50, you are encouraged to get a second booster.

The additional care that Biden received, which included Paxlovid and Tylenol, also is available to all Americans.

To say that Biden is getting care that the rest of us cannot, is false. To say it is to improve his political career is just insulting.

The writer must be mixing up his presidents. It was former President Donald Trump who had access to remdesivir, which at the time the rest of us did not. It was vaccines that Trump received that the rest of Americans were having difficulty getting. And he had access to a helicopter to the hospital that the rest of us did not.

 — Rhona Silverman, Huntington Station

Today they’re heroes, but yesterday . . .

Former White House aides who have testified in the Jan. 6 inquiry are being hailed as heroes and saviors of our democracy [“Trump’s 187 minutes probed,” News, July  22]. While they are showing more courage than many of their former colleagues who are hiding behind a fictitious claim of privilege, I have to wonder where these people were during the riot in Charlottesville, Virginia.

A supporter of then-President Donald Trump killed someone in Charlottesville. Where were these people when Trump embraced Russian President Vladimir Putin and humiliated our intelligence community? Trump had a photo op holding a Bible during protests near the White House. And on and on.

Were all these apparently intelligent, principled people so enthralled by their proximity to power that, at those times, they checked their consciences at the door?

 — Chris Marzuk, Greenlawn

SCPD crackdown should be a start

Kudos to the Suffolk County Police Department for its weekend crackdown on illegal street car racing in the county [“Suffolk drag racing raid nets arrest, 100+ tickets,” News, July  25]. The intelligent operation resulted in stopping a dangerous situation.

I hope the efforts continue because our roads have become hazardous speedways.

I also hope future efforts target motorists who deface their license plates to avoid paying tolls and make it possible for criminals to commit crimes and leave the scene of accidents without detection.

 — Stephen Nasta, Great Neck

The writer is a retired NYPD commander.

Give Benatar props for giving up her hit

I applaud Pat Benatar for refusing to sing “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” her most famous song, at concerts anymore as a protest against all of the deadly shootings across our country [“Benatar won’t play hit after mass shootings,” Flash!, July 27]. The Lindenhurst native said, “You have to draw the line.”

She is a great person.

 — Jack Kagan, Melville

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