To the editor:
I have some questions for the many letter writers who took their post-election sour grapes in a Biblical direction. I do not mean any of these questions scurrilously; I genuinely wish to understand the thought processes involved in arriving at these obviously heartfelt opinions.
My fellow Juniata Countian, Elaine Houdeshel, wrote: "Even though our president, Obama, will not call us a Christian nation, we know our Constitution was founded on God's son, Jesus Christ." Allow me to attempt an explanation: The President, a Christian himself, does not call us a Christian nation because he does not want to disenfranchise our fellow Americans who are Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, any other faith, or none. (16.1 percent of adult Americans identify themselves, like me, as "unaffiliated.") If the Constitution is, as you affirm, "founded on God's son, Jesus Christ," why do the words Jesus Christ, Bible, Christianity, Creator, or God not appear in it anywhere? Were the Founding Fathers, considered nearly infallible by the Tea Party, inexplicably forgetful when writing the primary founding document?
And are you aware of the Treaty of Tripoli, written and signed by Founding Father and second President John Adams in 1797, which begins: "As the Government of the United States of America is not,
in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,-"
The majority of Americans are certainly Christians - about 73 percent - 78 percent according to most figures. Do you suggest we ignore a quarter of our fellow citizens, convert them, or ask them to leave?
Frank Cunningham went Old Testament with his letter of Nov. 14, warning America that the fate of the Canaanites awaits us if we fail "to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today," referring to the Book of Deuteronomy. Perhaps Mr. Cunningham would suggest that his non-Christian fellow Americans should be treated as outlined in the seventh chapter of that book: "7:2 And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them; 7:5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire."
Deuteronomy, like Leviticus, contains dozens of "commandments and statutes" which are virtually impossible to comply with in the 21st century, yet it is specifically commanded that all of them be observed. How does Mr. Cunningham, or any other God-fearing American, decide which ones to ignore? Is homosexuality a greater abomination than, say, eating lobster (Lev 11:10) or wearing a cotton/wool blend (Deut 22:11)?
I guess the main question I have for all of the letter-writers who continue their faith-based opposition to President Obama is this: Does your Bible include the Book of Romans?
"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4. For he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. 5. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed."
How do you square your opposition to the President with this passage? Was Paul wrong, or are you?