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.