In response to Seri Lowell’s letter (Oct. 3), I must be one of those white-skinned, Bible-toting, radical religious extremists she referred to when writing about, ironically, being consistent with labeling. She wrote that “The nation’s founders took great care not to establish a ‘Christian nation,'” but let’s ask those men about that:

John Adams, on the general principles on which the Fathers achieved independence: “And what were these general principles? I answer, the general principles of Christianity, in which all these sects were united …”

John Hancock: “Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. … Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.”

Patrick Henry: “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity and freedom of worship here.”

There’s much more, but Lowell’s letter reminds me of the myth purveying view that claims that the “separation of church and state” is in the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut saying that “legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.” That’s where that phrase came from.

David Theriault, Rumford

Editor’s note: The words “separation of church and state” are not expressly written in the U.S. Constitution. However, in 1947, in the case of Everson v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court invoked Jefferson’s words on the issue and defined the First Amendment religious establishment clause as “a wall of separation between Church and State.” 

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