Letter to the Editor - Truncated!

A few days ago, I came across this post over at Agent Tim's Blog. It spoke about a letter to the editor that was published in the Daily Record on May 21. The writer of this letter, Jeffrey Huppert, claimed among other things that America was not a Christian nation and that most if not all the Founders were deists. Naturally, I had to set the record straight. I sent the following letter in to the Daily Record, but they truncated it quite a bit when it was actually published. Oh well! I got at least part of the word across.
While surfing the blogosphere, I came across a link to a letter to the editor in the Daily Record titled "America not a Christian Nation". I would appreciate it if certain people would take the time to get their facts straight. The only accurate statement in the letter was the opening sentence: "A recent letter claimed that the United States was founded on Christian thought." Jeffrey H., the reader who penned (or typed) the letter, apparently believes that the thousands of quotes from the Founding Fathers expounding upon the attributes of Jesus Christ are somehow irrelevant to the question of whether any of the Founders were Christian. I suppose that these letters, treatises, and speeches are the result of a massive conspiracy by the incorrigible Republicans to fool all the innocent populace. Mr. H. states that "References to gods and religions are purposely left out of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, as well as all amendments." This absence of direct reference to God in the articles of governmental arrangement obviously proves something. I'm just not sure what. I suppose that Mr. H. has never read the Declaration of Independence, the founding document of the United States. It states expressly that the inalienable rights given to men by Creator God form the basis for all government - and especially the United States government! And it gets worse. "The founders wanted government to leave religions alone and equally wanted religions to leave government alone. [...] Neither Franklin, Washington nor Jefferson believed in a personal God." It is becoming increasingly obvious that fewer and fewer people know how to accurately examine source documents. In Benjamin Franklin's 1749 plan of education for the public schools of Pennsylvania, he insisted that schools teach "the necessity of a public religion . . . and the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern." Likewise, Washington claimed on May 12, 1779, that what children needed to learn "above all" was the "religion of Jesus Christ," and that to learn this would make them "greater and happier than they already are". During the winter of 1777 in Valley Forge he charged his soldiers at Valley Forge that "To the distinguished character of patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian". Jefferson was another Founder who supposedly lacked belief in God or Christianity. And yet he himself stated "I am a real Christian, that is to say a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ." The very word "Christ" means Savior or Messiah. In the words of David Barton of Wallbuilders Ministries: "Perhaps critics should spend more time reading the writings of the Founders to discover their religious beliefs for themselves rather than making such sweeping accusations which are so easily disproven." Please get your facts straight. In Him, David S. MacMillan III
You can view the truncated version here, but they left out most of the best part. Phooey. In Him, David S. MacMillan III


Ednella said...

Too bad they left out the greater part of your letter. You collapsed the statement that Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin didn't believe in personal Gods.


Anonymous said...

No Free Lunch

you probably should read this blogpost, it has ramifications on the argument you keep repeating about how evolution is statistically impossible. Basically to put it simply, your arguments are far to simplistic to pass mathematical rigor.

David S. MacMillan III said...


First off I wasn't talking about amino acids like Dembski was. Also, I came up with my statistical impossibility calculations here not based on anybody else but based solely on my own calculations and information from Nature.

I'll ask the No Free Lunch guy to address my post, OK? Does that work?

Anonymous said...

it would be rude to do that. Because it would just indicate that you don't understand the point he was making about uniform random searches.

frankly the fact that you honestly believe that you have the expertise to address this sort of statistical problem, is mind-blowingly arrogant, and frankly not very christian behavior.

and the statistical argument I've read of yours most certainly did address amino acids. You do realize DNA is just an encoding of amino acids. For you even to suggest that it is somehow relevant that you were talking about DNA versus amino acid chains, just demonstrates your lack of compentence to even engage in such a calculation.

Remeber god will punish you for your sin of arrogance.

Nathan Straub said...

Readers usually skim very quickly, giving each article only a couple seconds, unless there is something that hooks their curiosity. This is true for op-eds or college entrance essays.

I recommend resisting the temptation to restate. Just quote your opponent's essential claim, only part of it if long and severable. Then say "au contraire," and give your best shot. You do the summarizing, let the quote do the emotional impacting.

For tips on conciseness, see Strunk & White, _The Elements of Style_.