Your Opinion: Response on 'Christian Nation'

Dear Editor:

A nation of Christians is not a “Christian Nation.” In a series of Steve Sampson letters you may think he is saying the former. Who would deny we are a nation of Christians? But if Sampson is really advocating something else, then his Oct. 15 letter would make more sense. That letter ended by saying, “Make it a great day, Christian Nation deniers.”

Sampson’s letters are dog whistles for those who understand the message. That would be those who are a part of the fundamentalist right wing Christian network. Sampson’s many out-of-context quotes from prominent Americans are meant to convey the idea that America really meant to establish Christianity as a state religion.

This is the ultimate goal of Dominionists and Reconstructionists who seek Biblical law to replace what they call secular law. The Calvinist theologian R.J. Rushdoony made this his life’s work. He advocated public stoning for Biblical infractions. He said slavery was preferable for blacks to our welfare system. He taught that Christianity was incompatible with democracy. That is why his advocates call America a republic much like America’s Articles of Confederation. They believe a few chosen ones should decide for the many.

David Barton is the primary fundamentalist evangelist today touting the “Christian Nation” concept. He is a Texas minister, founder of WallBuilders and former co-chair of the Texas Republican Party. His books are dedicated to the idea that America should reject the concept of separation of church and state and institute Biblical law. Former senator Arlen Spector wrote in 1995 that Barton would “... make a law establishing all Christian denominations as the national religion, and each state could pass a law establishing a particular Christian church as its official religion.”

Certified historians call Barton a Christian “revisionist.” They question the source of his many out-of-context quotes of American notables in his works. Often Barton cannot provide credible sources. Why bother? He is the toast of the fundamentalist world selling his books, getting exposure from Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee and others.

I have no problem with letters from Sampson and others supporting these ideas. I do have a problem when their goals are not clearly stated. Never-the-less, it is the responsibility of you the reader to assess the value of these ideas. Myself, I firmly support the separation of church and state. Such separation provides the best support for all religions.

Issue-oriented letters to the editor in response to this or about other local topics are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published. Send letters for publication to editor@newstribune.com

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