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Letter: U.S. not founded as Christian nation

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013 7:37 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

A couple of quotes from early American history:

“No religious doctrine shall be established by law.”

• Elbridge Gerry, Annals of Congress 1:729-731

“The Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”

• 1797 Treaty of Tripoli, signed by President John Adams

Well, then, what basis do some folk have for claiming the United States was founded as a “Christian” nation? There is the clause (Article VI, pp 3) in the Constitution that states “The senators and representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

President Adams and Vice President Gerry (who served under James Madison) are only two of dozens of founders who had like opinions on the topic of keeping religion separate from government. So, from where does this claim of theocracy emanate? Obviously from lies repeated so often that people believe that they are the truth.

Eugene Desavouret

Malta

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