Our government is meant to be secular | Bemidji Pioneer
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Our government is meant to be secular

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In response to the July 10 letter to the editor ("We shouldn't promote a gay lifestyle.")

The writer asserts several incorrect notions as romanticized narratives regarding the founding of our nation as opposed to documented facts. One assertion is our nation was founded on Christian principles, ignoring the fact that only six of the original colonies were founded for religious freedom. The others were for business ventures.

Secondly stated, "Our currency claims that it is, 'In God We Trust.'" There was no mention of God on any United States coinage until 1864, or about 100 years after our nation's founding.

Thirdly, the writer states, "This is a Christian country -- one country under God." Correct. The U.S. is a country where the majority is Christian, but our government was designed to be secular. It is true that religion helped shape political ideas, but made no mention of the church as the founding fathers were aware of what calamity could occur when the line between church and state becomes murky. The document known as The Treaty of Tripoli states unequivocally that "...the Government of the United States is not in any way founded on the Christian religion." It was signed by President John Adams in 1797 and approved and ratified by the senate at the time. It might be noted that neither Thomas Jefferson nor Benjamin Franklin were Christians; both were deists.

The purpose of this writing is not to take a stance for or against gay marriage, but rather challenge the writer of the July 10 letter, as he/she did to the June 23 letter writer to research United States history.

Scott Lee

Tucson, Ariz.

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