Aug 11, 2010

Aug. 11 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Letters - SunHerald.com

Nice to know someone else with a brain lives in Mississippi

America’s wall of separation actually protects religion

I’m so weary of letters extolling the incorrect views that this nation is a Christian nation and has been from its inception. Read your history! Most immigrants to this country were not religious. The Founding Fathers were mostly Deists and Freemasons. 

Many conservative religious activists try to rewrite history, but their claims simply don’t hold to the historical evidence. Nowhere in the Constitution do you find the word “God.” It is a secular document, meant to be that way to avoid the inherent problems with theocracy that had been evidenced in Europe for centuries. Thomas Jefferson interpreted the First Amendment in 1802 in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, calling it a “wall of separation between church and State.” Madison wrote that “Strongly guarded … is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution.” 
The wall of separation actually protects religion. There are more churches in the U.S. than fast-food establishments. Keeping religion separate allows atheists and religious groups to practice their beliefs without government intervention.

As the young nation began to delve into international affairs, few foreign nations knew about its intentions. In the 1700s the U.S. sent a letter called the “Treaty of peace and friendship between the U.S. of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli, of Barbary.” It stated, “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; … it is declared that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.” 

The words “In God We Trust” on money and “One Nation Under God” in the pledge of allegiance were placed by congressmen who were followers of the radical fringe group “The Family” founded by Abraham Vereide. They owned the now-infamous townhouse on “C” Street in Washington.

I was raised as a Christian, before that word became a name for a radical view of the scriptures. As a Christian I firmly believe in that wall of separation. We only have to look to Iran to see how a theocracy comports itself in the world. 

CAROL STROHMETZ
Bay St. Louis

Aug. 11 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Letters - SunHerald.com

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