Letters to the Editor for May 16, 2014

False claims about church and state

To the Editor:

Even though I am not Catholic, I can see that Owen Strand’s April 25 letter contains so much misinformation about the Catholic church that it is hard to know where to begin with a 350 word limit. Instead, I will address another of Strand’s false claims about“…our constitutional separation of church and state.”

The phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear in our U.S. Constitution. The first amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

The “separation of church and state” concept was an ACLU invention coined by ACLU attorney Leo Pfeffer in 1947 in Everson versus Board of Education of Ewing Township, and has been used to harass Christians and churches ever since. It has been repeated so frequently that people have started to believe it. Vladimir Lenin once said, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”

Some claim that a quote from Thomas Jefferson establishes this concept. Jefferson said, “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and state.”

There are two problems with this claim. First, this quote was never authored by our founding fathers in any official government documents. Second, Jefferson’s original intent was that the church was to be protected from the government. He used this phrase (borrowed from a Baptist pastor) in a letter to a Baptist church in Connecticut to reassure them that the government would not establish a national religion, and would not make dictates to the church.

Let’s remember that our U.S. Constitution was founded on biblical tenets. Our founding fathers took principles from the Bible and incorporated them into our government with the intent that this would be a Christian nation.

There is virtually no constitutional support for the idea of “separation of church and state.” In fact, it is the exact opposite of what our founding fathers intended.

Barb Anderson
Champlin

We must never forget

To the Editor:

Memorial day is the day Americans set aside to honor those brave men and women who met tragic ends during times of war. WE must use this day to honor their sacrifices, to pray for their families and to bow our heads in recognition of their service. We must never forget.

You have seen their faces, heard their names and maybe even heard their voices – those who gave the ultimate sacrifice during all wars. This Memorial Day, American Legion Auxiliary Unit Coon Rapids Post #334 members would like to invite Coon Rapids residents to join us in remembrance of our nation’s fallen heroes.

The American Legion Auxiliary is the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, with nearly 800,000 members and 9,000 units in the U.S. The auxiliaries serve nearly 1 million veterans every year. In Coon Rapids, we continue to help mitigate the challenges our veterans face and deliver upon our mission by organizing multiple events throughout the year to support veterans and their families in civilian life.

I invite you to pause today to remember those who have fought for our freedoms.

Auxiliary members have dedicated themselves for nearly a century to meeting the needs of our nation’s veterans, military and their families both here and abroad. They volunteer millions of hours yearly, with a value of nearly $2 billion. Auxiliary volunteers across the country also step up to honor veterans and military through annual scholarships and with ALA Girls State programs, teaching high school juniors to be leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism. To learn more about their mission or to volunteer, donate or join, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org. The Coon Rapids American Legion Post #334 will be celebrating 60 years in existence this summer and I am a proud member of their auxiliary

Diane Bohlman
Chaplain and Public Relations Chairman
Coon Rapids American Legion Auxiliary #334

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