This letter is in response to the guest editorial by Kimberly Blaker entitled "Religious reshaping of America" (Sun Advocate Dec 23.) I'm afraid Ms. Blaker is misinformed about the history of the United States and the meaning of the First Amendment to the Constitution ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...")
Secularism is what is new to the United States, not Christianity. Christianity has always been central to our nation's identity, history and government. The establishment clause of the First Amendment was meant to keep the government from establishing a national denomination like England had with the "Church of England." It was never intended to remove God or Christianity from the public square. The first act of Congress following their agreement of the wording of the First Amendment (including the establishment clause) was to ask President Washington to declare a national day of fasting and prayer. The U.S. Supreme Court in "Church of the Holy Trinity v. U.S." in 1892 stated: "These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation."
John Adams in a letter to Thomas Jefferson in 1813 wrote: "The general principles, on which the fathers achieved independence, were the only principles in which that assembly of young gentlemen could write... And what were these principles?
I answer, the general principles of Christianity, in which all these sects were united..."
John Jay, the country's first supreme court Justice said, "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rules, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."
Secularism is the new philosophy of the United States not Christianity. In the 1960's Bible reading and prayer were banned from our public schools and secularism took firm root. What has been the result of this 40-year experiment in secular humanism? For a few, since 1960, violent crimes are up 471 percent, the percent of children on welfare is up 357 percent, illegitimate births are up 528 percent, single parent families have increased by 314 percent, teen suicide rates are up 314 percent and students SAT scores are down eight percent.
Secularism has failed. We have nothing to fear from the Ten Commandments or Christian Fundamentalism.