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Forum, Jan. 4: The U.S. Was Founded on Christian Beliefs


Thursday, January 03, 2019
The U.S. Was Founded On Christian Beliefs

I’ve bitten my tongue for a long time now as I read the radical opinionated letters published here, many of which are written without proper research, such as the one by Sharon Racusin (“Display Sends Wrong Message,” Dec. 26). She states that the Christmas display in Claremont was wrong and shouldn’t have been allowed because “Claremont is not a Christian town, New Hampshire is not a Christian state and the U.S. is not a Christian nation.”

I simply must reply to this ridiculous lie.

This nation was founded on Christian beliefs, and that’s on record as being so. The only reading material back then was the Bible. The first colleges taught only theological courses. Simply stated, even though New Hampshire ranks very low in national Christianity, it is indeed a Christian state, and the U.S. is, and always has been, a Christian nation. What it is not is anything else, as suggested by the past president.

So, speaking for the thousands of Christians in these two states who read this newspaper, Claremont should keep doing what it does at Christmas and display the Nativity scene in Broad Street Park. The nonbelievers will hate it, but God will love it.

And in the end, God is the only one you need to please.

W.B. Fisk Sr.

Post Mills

Founding Fathers Were Right About Religion

Sam Killay raises a valid point about the religious imagery on Claremont city property. They violate the separation of church and state.

Per the Constitution’s First Amendment, religious institutions cannot tell government how to govern, and government cannot tell a church, or you, how to worship or decide which religions are acceptable. The Constitution makes no reference to God or Christianity. The menorah and the crèche should be removed. Their presence sanctions specific religions and, by omission, not others, telling citizens which religions are approved by the city.

As for the removal of the menorah and the crèche, Killay is only the messenger. He should be thanked for reminding us why our Founding Fathers saw fit to separate church and state.

Contrary to common belief, the United States was not founded as a Christian nation and is not a Christian nation. As John Adams said, “(T)he Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion. ...” Thomas Jefferson was adamant about avoiding the dominance of religion.

The Founding Fathers feared that if church and state were not separated, then religion — not the democratic process — could overtake government. When that happens, human rights and freedoms risk being crushed. At the same time, the Founding Fathers protected religious freedom.

As disturbing is the bullying that Killay and his wife are experiencing by a Claremont city councilor. That an elected representative sees fit to taunt citizens, effectively inviting people by his Facebook posts to join the bullying, needs to be addressed, and quickly.

Perhaps the councilor should resign, or at least undergo sensitivity, diversity and communication training.

Jesus Christ was a radical because he taught compassion. Councilor Jonathan Stone’s words suggest that he does not understand what the crèche represents, or worse, that he rejects the golden rule — Christ’s central teaching.

I, too, request the City Council to find a more appropriate place for these religious displays.

And while they’re at it, remove the holiday display of British soldiers. We won the American Revolution.

Margaret Dean

Claremont

Solution in Claremont Is Across the Street

I was driving on Broad Street in Claremont recently and I noticed the Nativity scene that has caused so much concern for some. I also noticed that, directly across the street, from the Nativity scene is a church.

Why not just put the Nativity scene on the church lawn? It’s mere feet from the public park and visible to all who choose to celebrate a Christian holiday.

Sometimes the answer to a problem is so obvious that it is overlooked.

Kate Lynch

Springfield, Vt.

Claremont Should Make Everyone Feel Welcome

As a resident, property owner, taxpayer and voter in Claremont’s Ward 3, I second the sentiments expressed by Cappy Nunlist’s letter (“An Enduring and Worthy Message,” Jan. 3) regarding the inappropriate display of religious symbols on public land.

Sam Killay has raised a valid point. The response has been appalling and decidedly unchristian. Let’s get beyond the vitriol and statements that “it’s always been this way” — the same could be said of many unfortunate past practices. Isn’t it time to strive to make our community one that truly celebrates diversity? Having struggled with racist and anti-Semitic incidents here, my hope for the new year is that our City Council and my fellow citizens will recognize the benefit of making everyone, regardless of their faith (or lack of it), feel welcome in Claremont. Here’s to that “tastefully lit tree crowned with a dove”!

Liza Draper

Claremont

Don’t Blame Landlord For Bookstore Closing

With sadness, I’ve watched the Dartmouth Bookstore dwindle and close after 146 years in business on South Main Street in Hanover. Now, I’m watching the blame game begin (See Jim Kenyon’s “Closing the Bookstore,” Dec. 30). Was it the greedy landlord, an evil corporation or incompetent management that caused the Dartmouth Bookstore’s demise?

It was none of these convenient villains. Jay Campion is an excellent landlord charging fair market rates for rent. Barnes & Noble generously subsidized big losses for many years. The bookstore was well managed with a helpful and friendly staff.

So who’s to blame? Look in the mirror. It was you and your neighbors who closed the Dartmouth Bookstore.

Every time you clicked “buy now” on a distant merchant’s website, you deprived the Dartmouth Bookstore (and other local merchants) of the money they desperately needed to pay staff, buy inventory, pay rent, advertise, pay taxes and operate their businesses. Without your purchases, their businesses failed. That’s the inconvenient truth.

Next time you buy books, yarn, gifts, clothes or other items, consider buying from a local merchant, even if it’s less convenient or costs a dollar more. Besides keeping your beloved merchants afloat, your money stays in the community and supports local families, towns and businesses.

Joe Pych

Hanover