Linda Athens’ April 13 letter, in which she claims America was founded by “Christians” based on “Jesus Christ and the Holy Bible,” calls for some correction, as with everything she writes.
Not only do the words “Christian,” “Christ,” “Jesus” and “Bible” appear nowhere in our founding documents, but statements made by the primarily Deist founding fathers themselves should put to rest any notion that America was founded as a Christian nation.
A letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams states “The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by a Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. We may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding.”
Jefferson also made clear that his statute for religious freedom in Virginia was meant to ensure equal freedom of expression for “the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mohammeden, and the Hindu and Infidel” (non-believer).
In addition, George Washington described his vision for a society that welcomed all faiths in a letter to a Jewish congregation, and America’s first treaty stated explicitly that “America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
The Constitution’s prohibition against a religious test strove to guarantee that public office would not be the sole province of people claiming to be Christian.
Right-wing fundamentalist Christians apparently feel entitled to force their discriminatory, backward beliefs and prejudices down the throats of the general population through legislation, and by proselytizing to captive audiences in public schools and in other public venues.
However, per the founding fathers, they are no more priviledged or “special” than anyone else.
Thinking people realize that there is sometimes a difference between what’s “legal” and what’s moral.
No matter how “legal” Christian indoctrination may become, it’s up to all people of conscience to strenuously object when confronted with this forced indoctrination in their communities.
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