Matt Chielpegian’s letter (Jan. 6), appears to lack research on his issues.
Thomas Jefferson, in his description of the “separation of church and state” to the Danbury Baptist association, meant that all religions, regardless of size or title, are entitled to religious freedom and equal representation within the sphere of religion and not fear government interference in their rights of religious conscience.
The “Bill Of Rights” of 1791 gave the American people these rights. Jefferson was a deist, but had great respect for what he called the “One and only God” known to the people of the colonies. The phrase “This country was not in any sense not founded as a Christian religion” was coined by President John Adams, when it was added in a 1879 treaty with Tripoli by his ambassador.
It was done to please the Barbary powers. The Pasha of Tripoli, insisted on the added phrase with ransom payment. In return, they promised no more hijacking of American ships. The hijacking continued. In 1801, the U.S. with warships and marines invaded and captured Tripoli.
In 1805, The U.S. forced Tripoli to sign a second treaty with the U.S. This phrase was removed from the treaty.
Manuel Madrid, Reedley