Like you Mr. Pyle, I was raised miles from churches. On the other hand, my father, who holds a B.A. in history, taught me about the rationalism of the enlightenment, rather than religion.
He showed me that, because the Founding Fathers were men of various religious backgrounds, they left the words God and Christianity out of the Constitution completely. The only references to religion within that document are, in fact, exclusionary. In article VI, it reads, “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust.” Also from the First Amendment, of course, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
This is a secular document and we are a nation of laws. President Obama gave a speech on April 14 maintaining just that. His words were these: “One of the great strengths of the United States is (we have a very large Christian population) we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”
Another president, Thomas Jefferson, wrote in a letter to Thomas Cooper, “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”
I am not a Christian, Mr. Pyle, and I will never “sit down and shut up” and I won’t ask you to do so either, though sometimes I wish you would go away. It has been over a decade since, at my induction into the U.S. Army, I swore an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution. This included the First Amendment — which, Mr. Pyle, gives you the right to offer your opinion.
Alan R. Hudson