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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Leave religion out of government

By Ken Bateman | Published Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I had just finished listening to a news piece on my car radio about a new trend by certain groups trying to rewrite American history when I stopped at my mailbox and found a copy of the Messenger with a picture of a new veterans’ memorial plaque in Alvord on the front page. The plaque reads, in part, “We pray that we put God back in our government.”

I have to wonder who decided all veterans agree with this highly-charged, currently-faddish political statement, but I certainly do not wonder about the education of the person or persons who made this decision.

Perhaps members of the committee that chose the plaque are followers of the foremost U.S. history revisionist and Texas evangelist, David Barton.

Mr. Barton speaks widely and is often seen on so-called religious TV shows rattling off “facts” that are total figments of his historical imagination. Recently on The Trinity Broadcast Network, Barton stated, “You’ve been taught the Constitution is a secular document. Not so! The Constitution is laced with biblical quotations.” Fact is, the U.S. Constitution has exactly zero biblical quotations in it.

Barton has also asserted that the US. Congress paid for and published the first American Bible in 1782. Fact is, Congress never published or paid a dime for the 1782 Bible. It was printed and paid for by Philadelphia printer Robert Aitken.

Barton goes on to claim that Thomas Jefferson was some kind of fundamentalist Christian, when in fact, Jefferson wrote and spoke despairingly many times about Christianity and even wrote his own version of religion called “The Jefferson Bible.”

The facts are, folks, that the United States of America is and has always been ruled by a secular government – the best idea of governance ever devised – based on freedom and justice for all and on a separation of church and state. In the time of the writing of our Constitution, less than half of Americans attended church, none of our founders were religious fanatics and some, like Ben Franklin, were openly agnostic.

As far as bringing any gods into any government, ask veterans of Iraq or Afghanistan what kind of miseries take place daily in nations where religion and government are mixed together.

Groups who want or have wanted more God in government: Taliban, al-Quaeda, the Spanish Inquisition.

Let’s honor our veterans for their service and sacrifices and leave the nut-case drivel out of it.

Ken Bateman
Rhome

7 Responses to “Leave religion out of government”

  1. cody lee says:

    The Continental-Confederation Congress, a legislative body that also exercised executive power, governed the United States from 1774 to 1789 and left an impressive list of accomplishments, not the least of which was winning the war with Great Britain, the greatest military power of the age. Congress, as it was always called, contained an extraordinary number of deeply religious men, some of whom — John Dickinson, Elias Boudinot and Charles Thomson, for example — retired from public life to write religious tracts and commentaries and publish new translations of the Bible.
    The amount of energy that Congress invested in encouraging the practice of religion throughout the new nation exceeded that expended by any subsequent American national government.
    Congress appointed chaplains to minister to itself and to the armed forces; it sponsored the publication of a Bible; it imposed Christian morality on the armed forces; and it granted public lands to promote Christianity among the Indians. Most conspicuous were the national days of thanksgiving and of “humiliation, fasting and prayer” that Congress proclaimed at least twice a year throughout the war. These proclamations were always accompanied by sermonettes in which Congress urged the American populace to confess and repent its sins as a way of moving God to grant national prosperity.
    Scholars have recognized that Congress was guided by “covenant theology,” a Reformation doctrine especially dear to New England Puritans, which held that God had bound himself in an agreement with a nation and its people, stipulating that they “should be prosperous or afflicted, according as their general Obedience or Disobedience thereto appears.” Wars and revolutions were, accordingly, considered afflictions, as divine punishments for sin, from which a nation could rescue itself by repentance and reformation. Year in and year out, therefore, Congress urged its fellow citizens to repent “of their manifold sins” and strive that “pure undefiled religion, may universally prevail.”
    The Continental-Confederation Congress, the first national government of the United States, was convinced that the “public prosperity” of a society depended on the vitality of its religion. Nothing less than a “spirit of universal reformation among all ranks and degrees of our citizens,” Congress declared to the American people on March 19, 1782, would “make us holy, that so we may be a happy, people.”
    Looks like we got another one that can’t see the forest for the trees. HA!

  2. Please provide references to your charges agains David. I follow David and his articles regularly and have never heard him say once that there is mention of God in the constitution. The fact is, and Mr. Barton states this, that the reason they didn’t mention God in the Constitution is that many states did so in their constitutions, and they wanted the freedom to not tie people to that. That does NOT mean God wasn’t involved at the government level.

  3. cody lee says:

    Sorry Craig you’ll never get Master bateman to provide references because he can’t. He like other kens that spew there hatred don’t depend on facts,they are tools of the great deceiver.What you can expect is these “smart people” to continue to fight against something they don’t belive exists; how smart is that?
    FYI Master bateman all the vets I’ve talked to say what the taliban and al-Quaeda and muslims pratice is not religon it’s pure evil.
    Romney,Ryan will put God back in goverment!
    If you want to stop the “nut case drivel” stop writing lte”s.
    HA!

  4. Again, we here from two people who just don’t get it. You two “conservative poster children” just don’t get it. Our founding father wanted to limit religious reference and religious pratice in government becuase “conservative poster childern” will then begin to say and seek “it their government because they are this religion” They understand that in order to govern, they need to represent all the people, not dependent on what their religious believes were. They represent the people, not their belief. When a government begins to practive, act and teach a particular religious few, then the government itself fails to represent ‘all the people” and becames a insturment of devision, distrust, and corrupt. Just because most of the people are “christians” does not give them clear license to run over everybody else idea and thoughts on this subject. The military and government are the number one place that must remain neutral in this country. There has been nothing less then assult on this thinking since Ronald Reagan put his big conservative arms around the religious right and welcomed them and their unpartiotic and anti American thinking into to the main political fold. It cancerous spread threaten all true believers of the True Constitution of the 1st Amendment

  5. Ken Hughes says:

    It’s all very simple and it’s also in the First amendment. The first ten words of the First Amendment, provided one can read and understand simple English, are American’s protection FROM religion and there are only six words that express the freedom OF religion, which also clearly means freedom not to practice ANY religion.

    Today an estimated forty-two-million, yes 42,000,000 Americans choose none of the above and we are a steadily growing percentage of the American people. With the exception of Baptists and Catholic, the non-religious already far outnumber all the rest, combined. It is also estimated that about 40% of the current younger generation of Americans express no interest in religion or compulsion to join any congregation and go about their lives without some amorphous invisible friend looking over their shoulder.

    The late Sam Kinison, who was a young “phenom” kid fundamentalist preacher eventually saw it all for what it was and like several other people I know personally and opted out. He would look at his wrist watch and say, “It’s been only 2,000 years, hell it could be any minute”! It’s time for a freethinker group to be formed in Wise County; hmmm. “Wise Free-thought Group” has a nice ring to it.

  6. Ken Hughes says:

    By the way Ken, thank you sir! I know several men who were atheists when they went into that foxhole and remained so after thay came out. One in particular, Ted Ringman who with his Marine Division rode in the opening asault wave at Guadalcanal and at Leyte. He called himself a “Concretalist”, if he could see it and touch it he believed it was real. Today there are women who are atheists in combat if not in foxholes and are neither afraid nor ashamed to say so.

    Ted Ringman of Chicago said he was in very intense firefights and watched the fleet at Guadalcanal sail away taking, as he put it, “Our beans, bombs and bullets with them” and never asked any god for help or assurance he would emerge from WWII alive. He was 97 when he passed a few years back, still an atheist who was in a foxhole and a man of sterling character; I loved him dearly.

  7. I’m going to shock you here by saying that I, too, am totally agains “religion”. You see, as a Christian (and I even wear that label reluctantly sometimes), I am defined by my Creator, my Savior, and by my faith. Religious people are the most ill spoke of in the Bible. God loves all people of all faiths, and those with a absence of faith. Christ gave His life for the lost, and that is all inclusive. So I reject all of your labels you are trying to place here, by calling me a “Conservative Poster Child”. My faith comes before my political association, and it comes separate from it. But my political association does include my faith and the positive aspects I feel come with my walk.

    Let’s talk about rights. I have a RIGHT given to me under the constitution to vote based on a man’s values, and even his “religious affiliation” if I so choose. I also have the right to want my government filled with Godly people, just as you all have a right to want no “religion” whatsoever in our government. Because you see, just because a government is filled with Godly people doesn’t mean it is governed by religion. The very freedom you are supposedly arguing for, you are attempting to rob me of.

    See you at the polls!

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