Religion indeed part of founding
Jim Wilt’s letter March 3 purports to correct and admonish Dan Kessinger’s letter involving abortion, and what role religion played in the founding documents of our country.
Mr. Wilt posits that religion played no role, referencing two phrases in the Declaration of Independence he says support his position. His cherry-picking from the first two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence, deliberately omits references to God and our Creator in the same sentences.
The first paragraph of the Declaration states: When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them” … Mr. Wilt’s statement on this passage: “Its purpose was to ‘dissolve political bands,’ not to set up a religious nation.” Please note his omission of the founders saying the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” is what entitles them to dissolve those bands.
The second paragraph of the Declaration states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …” Mr. Wilt’s statement concerning this paragraph: “Its authority was based on the idea that ‘governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, never discussing religion at all.'” It is abundantly clear in the actual text of the Declaration that governments are not the authority, but rather, are instituted to secure the rights endowed by our Creator.
Mr. Wilt writes the Declaration of Independence is not a governing document. He is correct! However, it is the foundation and framework for the Constitution and Bill of Rights to follow that govern our country. Nothing in either document strays from the principles listed in the Declaration. In addition, he contends no reference to God is contained in the Bill of Rights and Constitution. The very 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights states, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” It is certainly a slight of hand to not acknowledge the word, “religion,” in the first sentence when religions mostly worship a Supreme Deity.
Mr. Wilt’s disjointed screed attacking Christ and the beliefs of his followers, then include this foolish and false statement; “if you believe in this god and believe abortion is wrong, fine. So, don’t get one or help anyone get one, but keep your religious beliefs in your home and in your church where you preach … which is where our laws say they belong.”
I challenge Mr. Wilt to cite the Constitutional passage, or Amendment, or law that prohibits citizens of this country from practicing religious beliefs outside their home or church buildings. What part of “Congress shall make no law … prohibiting the free exercise of religion” do you not understand? That same 1st Amendment grants all citizens the right of free speech, not just citizens who profess no religious beliefs.
Roger D. Propst