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rant

For those in need of a Call to Action...

... see
this post about the religious right's latest attempt to say America is a Christian nation. Read all the comments; minstrlmummr has found some truly inspiring evidence to the contrary.

Comments

So here's my letter to my member of Congress

I'm concerned about H.Res. 888, about "American Religious History Week", currently in the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

None can doubt that America has a long and rich history of religious faith. But the bill, with its 22 references to the Bible, 9 to Christ, 3 to Moses, and none to the major figures or scriptures of any other faith or philosophy, would lead one to the much more radical and repugnant conclusions that

(a) religion is an appropriate governmental activity, and

(b) the U.S. government prefers, always has preferred, and should prefer, (Judeo-)Christianity over other religions.

I strongly oppose this bill in its present form.

At the same time, I think it no coincidence that the bill was introduced less than a year before a major election; I'm sure the religious right would like nothing better than to use Congressional votes against it as ammunition in the upcoming campaign.

So instead, I suggest amending it to create an "American Religious Diversity Week", striking the most misleading "whereas" clauses, adding references to America's historical role as a haven for victims of religious persecution from the 17th century to the present, and quoting such seminal documents as
(a) the Flushing Remonstrance, with its explicit declaration of religious tolerance and pluralism, 1657;
(b) the Concessions and Agreements of West New Jersey, 1677;
(c) the Pennsylvania Charter of Privileges, 1701;
(d) the Virginia Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom, 1786;
(e) the Treaty of Tripoli, with its explicit statement that "the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion," 1797;
(f) letters from such Founders as Jefferson and Madison regarding the separation of church and state; and
(g) Supreme Court decisions forbidding the Federal and State governments from aiding or inhibiting either all religions or one religion relative to another.

Thank you for your attention, ...

Re: So here's my letter to my member of Congress

Niiice.

Have you considered sending a copy to the Oversight Committee Chair?

http://oversight.house.gov/contact/

Re: So here's my letter to my member of Congress

Yes, I sent it to both (with a few words changed).