Letters to the Editor

Proud legacy

"The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries." -- James Madison, fourth president of the United States.

The First Amendment is as clear as can be: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." The religious right disrespects the memory of the Founding Fathers when they attempt to undermine the separation of church and state.

As the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli (developed by George Washington's administration) states, "the government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion." The wall between church and state has allowed the U.S. to develop a long history of tolerance, diversity and freedom of religion. It's a legacy the Founders would be proud of -- and one the religious right will do anything to destroy.

Jess Smith

Coalinga

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