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home : letters : letters June 24, 2016

3/8/2013 1:19:00 PM

To the editor:

I am a secularist. And so is the Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Minister Barry Lynn. And so was deist Thomas Jefferson. Secularists, do not, as Pastor Shaw wrote in the Beacon last week, have a "presupposition that there is no God." Most secularists believe in a god.

I share the view of secularists - that government shall not impose a religion on its citizens. Most of the founders were also secularists - they authored and approved a Constitution excluding the words Bible, Christianity, God, Lord, and Jesus. The word religion was referenced just once... in an exclusionary, secular sense, "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office."

Pastor Shaw claims that secularists are moral relativists who claim they are their own gods. I don't know any secularist that believes such things. What secularists do believe is that Pastor Shaw's religious laws shall not be imposed on others even as he claims his scripture as inerrant authority. This includes the Ten Commandments which Pastor Shaw presents as a "higher moral law" - law which commands worship of Pastor Shaw's god... commands which day to worship... and commands the penalty for worshiping otherwise to be death. It commands children to honor their parents instead of commanding adults to protect children. It lists women among oxen, donkeys, and slaves as the property of men.

President John Adams and the U.S. Senate proclaimed our secularism - creating and unanimously ratifying the Treaty of Tripoli, which noted "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..." and "...that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

Most of these founders were Christian, and many were not Christian... but almost all were secularists. And those that founded this country and those that later delivered justice for blacks, women, and gays did so based on those conspicuously missing commandments to minimize suffering, secure freedom, and demand equality for all citizens. They knew then... and know today... good from bad.

Ken Kressin

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