U.S. was not made a Christian nation

Posted: Sunday, January 28, 2007

I commend Kelsey Stark (Jan. 24 Juneau Empire) for having the courage of convictions to write a letter to the editor at such a tender age. We sorely need a strongly involved citizenry in our nation these days. Nevertheless, at the risk of possibly offending those who believe as Kelsey does, I also want encourage this young person to keep an open mind, and in particular to pay very close attention in civics and social studies classes.

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I wish to point out that contrary to the opinions of some Christians, the United States is not a Christian nation. Ours is a country of many religions, as well as no religions, agnostics and even anti-religionists. Religion is covered in the very First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which we all treasure, that states in part: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

This means our country is a "secular" nation - meaning no religion, Christian or otherwise. So, by law it really does not matter what the Christian Bible, or any other religious belief may hold. No religion is sanctioned in our country and our citizens are free to practice whatever religion they desire, or none at all. The Bible does not apply, no matter how much any particular religion may wish that it did.

That is a fact - and is only fair to all our citizens, a great many of whom are not Christians. This was recognized by our founding fathers and boldly enshrined in that very First Amendment to our nation's Constitution.

Erik Lie-Nielsen

Juneau



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