America the free?

Our U.S. Constitution is a secular document. It begins with “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 under the United States.” (Article 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. If America is a Christian nation, why doesn’t our Constitution say so? We are governed by the Declaration of Independence. Its purpose was to “dissolve the political bands” and not 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 until 1956. The original U.S. motto chosen by Adams, Franklin and Jefferson is E pluribus unum (out of many, one), celebrating plurality, not theocracy.

Ignoring history, 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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