To the Editor:
I am writing this in response to the letter written by Kenneth Rindeikis who explained away the quotes I stated from our first presidents regarding their intent to keep a wall of separation between church and state and that our nation was not founded on any particular religious faith. They formulated their statements with clear intent and they shouldn’t be dismissed so easily.
First, let me state that I live my life striving to follow Jesus and his teachings and pick up my cross daily attempting to emulate his love and forgiveness for others. I wrote what I did last week because I am tired of the Christian fundamentalists distorting facts to suit their agenda. When they continue to repeat the notion that our government was founded on the Christian religion, there are numerous facts to dispute it.
Many historians classify the Founding Fathers as freemasons and deists. There are dozens of different quotes that attest to that fact and despite their belief in a Creator; their convictions were at odds with the religious community of their day. Thomas Jefferson went so far as to create the Jefferson Bible where he removed all the miracles of the Bible along with the resurrection of Jesus. Some of the strongest words against religion came from James Madison. All the Founders went to great lengths to prevent the imposition of theocratic beliefs on others. Thomas Paine had a great influence on them and he was a deist in every sense of the word. There is good reason why the Constitution makes no mention of God despite the urgings of the Christian clergy of that era. Even the Declaration of Independence barely makes mention of God in a general sense when it talks about our God-given rights.
I cherish my Christian faith, yet I would never choose to impose those beliefs on anyone. I respect religious diversity and realize there are many beautiful, ethical people of different religions. It is that wall of separation that has protected our religious community and allowed individuals of different faiths to thrive. It is my hope that wall remains indefinitely.