In regards to Ahmed Hussain’s letter to the Chronicle, let us quote from the documents that define the United States. First, from the Declaration of Independence:
“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…”.
These words, written and signed by the men who founded this country in a time when only one religion was known, are clearly those of believers in the Christian faith. This much is clear and undeniable. And now from the Bill of Rights, Amendment I:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
This is the extent of the Constitutional mandate for separation of church and state. Let us quote again for reinforcement: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”
That is the end of the discussion. Neither a monument displayed in a government building in Alabama nor an ancient bible displayed under glass in Houston create a national religion. Therefore, there is no Constitutional basis for challenging the right of local government to display them as these officials see fit.
Now let us return to the beginning of the Declaration of Independence. The meaning of these two all-important paragraphs is plain: the Founding Fathers of this country believed that the Christian God created men of all stations equal and embodied them with the right to seek their own independence.
It is therefore self-evident that the United States was created as a Christian nation and charged with the responsibility of creating the first nation on Earth where men of other faiths would be tolerated as equals.
As Mr. Hussain states, important contributions to our society have been made by people of all religions. Nevertheless, ours is a Christian nation at its core and it always has been.
It is the fundamental spirit of this nation and that religion that make toleration of other belief systems a principle that have stood the test of time thus far. Only those who deny the basic principals on which this nation was founded are disenfranchised within it.