Sunday, October 02, 2005

The following letter appeared in the Tulsa World on Sunday, October 2, 2005. Randy is currently vice-president of the Humanist Association of Tulsa.

Judge rules correctly

Judge Lawrence Karlton's ruling is correct. The phrase "Under God" violates school children's right to be "free from a coercive requirement to affirm God." I would prefer that Oklahoma officials support the U.S. Constitution rather than gloat that the majority has the power to force its superstition on the rational.

A persistent misrepresentation made by the religious in America is that our Founding Fathers desired to make America religious. This is not true. They argued vehemently against the governments providing support to religion. Of our first six presidents, none attended an established church. During the term of our second president, the U.S. Senate agreed unanimously, in the Treaty of Tripoli, that the United States was in fact not a Christian nation.

Language cannot be more plain than that used by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to William Short:
"I have examined all the known superstitions of the world and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth."

Randy Bradley, Tulsa


Linda said...

I appreciate your article in the Tulsa World. I whole-heartedly agree with everything you said, except for the following statement. "A persistent misrepresentation made by the religious in America is that our Founding Fathers desired to make America religious."

Not all religious people are so ignorant of the intent of our ancestors. As a pastor, I contend our ability to practice the religion of our choice is a privilege; the right of people to not practice a religion is also a privilege of living in this country. The fact that we do not live in a theocracy (yet), gives us all freedom to practice, or NOT practice the religion of our choice. I am so glad our founding fathers, and mothers, had the wisdom to make such provision.

As a religious person, I value the freedom we all have to approach religion in any way we choose. Any religion that is crammed down my throat is not a true religion; I am so glad I have the freedom to choose. I may be a pastor, but I am not the "church police", nor am I in favor or a theocracy or rewriting history to coerce anyone into a particular set of beliefs designed to control people by guilt or misrepresentation of the truth.

Rusko Elvenwood said...

I'm just amazed that the Tulsa World would publish that article in this bible-belt city.