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June 22, 2007

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I don't know much about all this, but it seems to be often overlooked that most of the founding fathers were Christian and there was an assumption of Christian values, or at least a belief in God, being accepted in daily life. Hence, religious inscriptions on money, government buildings, etc.

I have no problem with this as it is part of our history, and Judeo-Christian values are at the basis of the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, ("certain God-given rights") and many of our laws. This radical movement to remove all traces of religious faith from the landscape seems fanatical and petty to me. So what if it says "In God We Trust" on some currency or the Pledge of Allegiance says "one nation under God", or a crucifix, long standing, is located in a park. This doesn't compel you to believe in God or Christ. They're just there. To many, these are just sayings or objects. WTF. Get a life.

I grew up with religious symbols all over the place and I said the Pledge of Allegiance every day at school. But I never felt forced by this to believe a certain way. Some of the kids probably felt the religious aspect of it more deeply than others, but most of us didn't care one way or the other and I think it was the same way with the faculty and parents. I remember wondering where God came from, and I'm sure others did too, but all this was just tradition and people accepted it. No big deal.

So, as long as government doesn't actively promote a certain religious doctrine, I have no problem with religious symbols, quotes, or references appearing occasionally, especially as they relate to our history and founding values because that's the way it is.

It's a good thing the founding fathers weren't Cha'an Bhuddists and it said on the money, "In the Non-existence of Existence we Trust". Let's see the parents and teachers try to explain that to second graders!

I agree with everything you said Tucson Bob except for the giant crucifixes in the parks! I believe THEY ARE actively promoting Christianity. Do we really need them? No, there are more than enough crosses on the fronts and roofs of Churches to remind us CONSTANTLY we live in a predominatly Christian country. I say let's rip all the crucifixes in the parks down!!

Dear Brian, Tucson Bob, et al.,

The phrase "under God" was not a part of the American "Pledge of Allegiance" until 1954, when - under the Eisenhower administration - it was added/inserted into a "Pledge" which previously had lacked the phrase. I personally omit the phrase when I participate in reciting the "Pledge of Allegiance." (Sometimes I also remember to change "with" to "seeking" - as per "liberty and justice for all." But I'm sorry to say that I feel less assurance of that from my experience of the last couple of decades.)

Robert Paul Howard

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