Archive for Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Founders on faith

January 21, 2004

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To the editor:

Those who have written in to remind us of the devout faith of many of this nation's Founding Fathers contradict their own arguments that those founding fathers intended this to be a Judeo-Christian nation.

Think of those men in context. They had risen up against a monarchy from which many had fled religious persecution or oppression. They had staged and won a violent overthrow of that monarchy's colonial rule. They were in charge. Completely. They could have created any nation, in any style, that they chose.

And, yes, many of the Founding Fathers were devoutly Christian. So the fact that they deliberately enacted a constitution that forbids the establishment of a national religion proves that they intended to prevent any religious group -- even their own religious groups -- from taking over the country. Instead, they created a nation in which no one religious group could impose their beliefs and practices on its citizens; a nation in which all religions and spiritualities could flourish without fear of government intervention or reprisal.

Today, we face a very real constitutional threat from religious extremists who want to force on all of us their religious beliefs, morals, and practices. They're not Islamic or Buddhist extremists. They're Christian extremists. They have taken control of high-level offices of our government and are boldly and defiantly attempting to force their spiritual will on the nation.

But Washington, Jefferson and those other (Christian) visionaries of democracy stood firmly against the imposition of any religion -- including Christianity -- on Americans.

Mike Cuenca,

Lawrence

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