Our nation has no religious pecking order
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I found the article "Straying From Our Roots" (Feb. 7 Perspectives) by Robert M. Schwartz disturbing. In reality our Founding Fathers were anything but Judeo-Christians. Our country is "unofficially" a "Christian nation" because it never was stated as such.
Our Constitution never mentions the words Jesus, Christianity, Judaism, Bible, Creator or God -- not once. The only statement made was this: "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." (Article 6). This provision was drastic in its day, giving equal citizenship to believers and nonbelievers alike. Our Founding Fathers wanted to ensure that no religion could make the claim of being the official, national religion, as in England.
Mr. Schwartz is more upset that President Barack Obama addresses "Muslims" before "Jews." He mentions twice Jews are greater in number. So what? What matters is that we can have diversity, yet come together as a great nation -- that each group, no matter the "number," is treated equally. That's the freedom my father served 20 years protecting. It's arrogant to think there should be a pecking order, as if one is more worthy than another.
Let us consider that the 1796 Treaty of Tripoli states that the United States was "not in any sense founded on the Christian religion" (Article 11). This treaty was written under the presidency of George Washington and signed under the presidency of John Adams. So I don't think Mr. Obama was unwilling to mention our country as a Judeo-Christian society. I think perhaps it is just that he has had more history classes than Mr. Schwartz.
First Published February 15, 2013 12:00 am