Editor:

My husband and I attended the Brotherhood Ride benefit for Joey Santos and Ricky Mercer held Saturday evening at the Elks Lodge, here in Arcadia. I would like to compliment Jackie Hughes and the rest of the volunteers who worked hard to make this a delightful evening. The hard work and attention to detail made the event a wonderful experience. Good Luck to the riders and ‘yellow shirts’ on the upcoming ride.

Algie Didlaukies

Arcadia

The U.S. is not a Christian nation

Our U.S. Constitution is a secular document. It begins "We the people," and contains no mention of "God" or "Christianity." It states, "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust (Art. VI). And, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" (First Amendment).

The presidential oath does not contain the phrase, "So help me God," or any requirement to swear on a Bible (Art. II, Second. I). If America is a Christian nation, why doesn't our Constitution say so? We are not governed by the Declaration of Independence. Its purpose was to, "Dissolve the political bands," and not to set up a religious nation.

Personal religious views are just that: personal. Our government has no right to promulgate religion or to interfere with private beliefs. The words "under God" did not appear in the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954, when Congress, under McCarthyism, inserted them. Likewise, "In God We Trust," was absent from paper currency before 1956. The original U.S. motto, chosen by Adams, Franklin and Jefferson, is E Pluribus Unum (of many, one), celebrating plurality, not a theocracy.

Ignoring history, many Christian fanatics are working vigorously to turn America into a Christian nation. These fanatics like to impose their narrow morality on the rest of us, resisting women's rights, freedom for religious minorities, unbelievers, gay and lesbian rights and civil rights for all people. America has never been a Christian nation, instead we are designed to be a free nation.

Lawrence Mraz

Arcadia

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