Inbox - December 17, 2014

Dec 17, 2014 at 4:26 pm

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Octogenarian Response to Butler I’m in my eighties and in my dotage more opinionated than ever.  Don’t know how old Brian Butler is but he has some strong OPINIONS as expressed in the December 10 issue of LEO on The progressive war on Christmas. His belief “It is cultural suicide to systematically remove Christianity from public life.  And that is the goal of the radical left.” brought a smile to my well lined, well lived face.  Looks to me like Mr. Butler, an alleged Christian, wants to expand his religious freedom and impose it on others.

I’m in that group of 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics in the UnitedStates who refer to god without a capital G.

Bob Moore, 40242

‘Outrage’-ous War On Xmas Apparently your Mr. Butler has succumbed to the annual sickness that is Fox News’ fostering of outrage over the imaginary War on Christmas. Fox has learned that Americans enjoy being outraged and it drives ratings, whether or not the outrage is warranted or even true (see Benghazi, Birthers, etc.). Mr. Butler correctly states how the majority of this country is Christian and despite all the advantages he enjoys, they are still not enough. I will always champion his ability to teach his children about his specific religion, but I will not (and neither would our founders) champion our public schools favoring one over the other.

His argument is an all-too-often misunderstanding by the religious right (the majority of our founders were Christian, they wanted to escape persecution from the tyranny of the Church of England, ergo they must have wanted America to embrace Christian ideology). The truth is that since they WERE persecuted, they painstakingly incorporated measures to separate Church and State, NOT establish a national religion, and allow everyone to practice whatever they chose, favoring none.

The facts are the Christian religion has been government-favored for many years, and only recently as we become more of a melting pot has this favoring begun to disappear (as our founders intended). But since white Christian men have been in power for so long, any morsel that is removed from their plate is deemed persecution, despite their still-favored status.

In the wake of 9/11, outrage erupted over the plans for a new Mosque near ground-zero. Can you imagine if people wanted to block the placement of a Christian Church there? That is real oppression my friend.

Everywhere we look this time of year we are surrounded by Christmas, and it is the ONLY national religious holiday. At my public company, we get off for Xmas, Xmas Eve and Good Friday. If my Jewish co-worker wants to enjoy Rosh Hashana or Yom Kippur with his family, he has to take vacation. The calendars at public schools cannot list all the religious holidays, so listing any would be favoring. It doesn’t make the children any less moral, and they can still learn about the various religions of the world in history (hopefully not science) class.  You are free to buy the biggest Christian calendar you can find and place it in your home. Just allow the paltry 7 hours our children spend in our public education system to be free of religious bias. This is always the problem of the majority – they can’t empathize with the minorities.

David K Plummer, St Matthews

What our Founding Fathers really said The government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion. Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law. The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.

Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by the difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be depreciated. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind and monopolize power and profit. This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it. Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.

Although I share these sentiments, these are not my words. They were penned, in order, by John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Washington, Thomas Paine, John Adams again, and Benjamin Franklin. In other words, our Founding Fathers.

By using carefully selected quotes, Brian Butler might convince some that this nation was founded on Christian principles, but such an assertion collapses under the overwhelming weight of historical evidence. Our Founding Fathers were deists or non-believers who expressed amazingly strong objections to Christianity. But, like most politicians through the generations, they sometimes had to pay lip service to that religion in order to convince its followers to support the new Constitution. I’m afraid Butler has fallen for those empty gestures hook, line and sinker.

David Williams, 40208