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No, Dan, America is Not a Christian Nation

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A letter to the editor in Friday's Chicago Tribune has got my blood boiling. In it, Dan Schuchardt of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, wrote:
I am getting tired of President Barack Obama's pandering to Muslims. Despite his pronouncement America is not a Christian nation, the facts say otherwise. It's about time for Americans to wake up to the fact that Obama wants to change America into a secular nation, and the media is helping him accomplish that mission. If I'm wrong than let's see Obama proclaim his Christian faith as he did when he was running for office -- or was that just another lie?
First of all, despite the insistence of the Christian right-wing extremists, the U.S. is not a Christian nation. And, in fact, many of our most prominent Founding Fathers were not Christians. They were Deists. They did not believe in a personal god. And they did not believe in the Christian God. Dan needs to reacquaint himself with the U.S. Constitution, which makes absolutely no mention of God or Christianity. It was with good reason that this nation's founders wrote the "establishment clause" into the First Amendment, which states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." It was to protect the minority from tyranny of the majority (which today happens to be Christian). Our founders did not want this nation to sink into theocracy. They knew that theocracy always leads to oppression and loss of freedom. Our founders wanted to establish a democracy in which the government serves all the people, not just the Christian ones. But Dan in Glen Ellyn would apparently have it otherwise, and won't let the truth get in the way of his fantasy. Oh, and by the way, Dan, Obama did indeed proclaim his Christian faith during his address to the Muslim world on Thursday. In the seventh paragraph of his speech, Obama said, "I'm a Christian." So, Dan, next time you might want to actually research the real facts before propagating incorrect extremist talking points. Otherwise, you might just come across as an ignorant anti-Muslim bigot.
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Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views (more...)

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