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Reader's view: US wasn’t founded as a Christian nation

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The writer of the July, 13 letter, “Christianity is peaceful, our nation’s foundation,” clearly is sincere about her faith but was a bit off-base with her facts. She stated emphatically that the U.S. is and was founded as a Christian nation. It is not, and it was not. Our Founding Fathers were adamant their new country be a secular nation.

Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, approved unanimously by Congress and signed by President John Adams (a Founding Father) in 1796 states, in part, “The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.”

Most of our Founding Fathers were not Christians, but deists. These few quotes illustrate how they felt about religion in general and Christianity in particular: “The Christian God is a being of terrific character — cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust,” said Thomas Jefferson. He also said, “Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shown on man.” “Lighthouses are more useful than churches,” said Benjamin Franklin. And, “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it,” said John Adams.

Finally, to call the United States a Christian nation is an insult to all Americans who are Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists and others who are not Christian. It implies disenfranchisement. We may be a nation of mostly Christians, but we are not a Christian nation.

Harry Sarazin

Barnes, Wis.

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