There is confusion from the head of our government on down to those who write editorials as to what liberal democracy, the Declaration of Independence, the Consitution and the Bill of Rights mean. Put simply, these are secular concepts and documents that created a government separate from churches and religion. It is the replacement of religious dogma with reason based evidence and the replacement of divine authority with the consent of the people.

You can see this confusion when on July 16, James Price wrote that government should give money to churches so that they may improve attitudes, living conditions and the upbringing of children in a Christian-based America. The First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion.” In colonial America talk, this means that there is no state recognized church and no taxpayers’ money to churches.

I am not sure what film Janice Wise (July 17) watched. A foreign student observes that religion was the foundation of our democracy. Janice Wise says of the writers of the Constitution: “They assumed that the government of the people, by the people and for the people would be a government under God and wrote their words accordingly,” and “If we continue to move more and more towards a godless society, God’s protection will be removed from our nation.”

I have never been pretentious enough to say that I know the will of God or claim his authority. There have been many Gods and many religions. Janice Wise seems to feel that it is her God and religion that counts. To say that we are in moral decline because we have not hearkened to the commandments of a particular local god, to me does not hold water. I put much greater faith in the moral integrity of humanity as a whole. Yes, liberal democracy is in danger when the confused follow false prophets.

As a bit of a history for those who laud the religious founding’s of Colonial America, in 1628 the Puritans helped form the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Yes, they fled European oppression, but in doing so here they oppressed others who would not agree to their strict dogma. One only has to read about Roger Williams and his defense of the freedom of conscience or the oppression of the Quakers, to understand that unrestrained religion is not guiltless.

Chris Conklin

Inverness

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(10) comments

JAMESMCINTOSH

Adopted by an Act of Congress in 1782, America's motto was "E Pluribus Unum." In 1956, under a zealous congress and president, our motto became "In God we Trust," though under Trump and his Republican sycophants, it's more like "Gott Mit Uns."

MichaelTrombley

NOWHERE is the US Constitution will you find the words Christian or bible.

lifelonglearner

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were both slave owners. Please tell me how Christian it is to own another human because of their skin color, and refusing to allow them the freedoms they demanded from King George III and Parliament. Jefferson was also the author of the Virginia Constitution that presented the separation of church and state.

GMEN

George Washington: "While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian."

CitrusCo Citizen

. . . and when acquiring workmen for Mount Vernon, George Washington wrote to his agent, "If they be good workmen, they may be from Asia, Africa, or Europe; they may be Mohammedans [Muslims], Jews, or Christians of any sect, or they may be Atheists."[21]

GMEN

Thomas Jefferson:"God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever..."

CitrusCo Citizen

. . . and Thomas Jefferson, a "founding father", fathered 6 children by his slave, Sally Hemings, as proved by DNA results in 1989. Sally first became pregnant by Jefferson at 16 when Jefferson was 46. There are now scores of descendants of Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson.

GMEN

Patrick Henry:"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here."

CitrusCo Citizen

"Question with boldness the existence of a God". Thomas Jefferson. "The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion." President John Adams "Religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together." Thomas Paine "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust of the United States." The U.S. Constitution, Article VI, Section III

CitrusCo Citizen

Patrick Henry, 1788: "That religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence, and therefore all men have an equal, natural and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion according to the dictates of conscience, and that no particular religious sect or society ought to be favored or established by law in preference to others."

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