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No establishment of religion in US

Reader comment on item: Confirmed: Barack Obama Practiced Islam
in response to reader comment: Mr. Erwin you slightly mis-state the constitution

Submitted by Joe Erwin (United States), Jul 23, 2008 at 11:26

While it is true that American voters may vote on the basis of religion, our constitution guarantees that there is to be no ESTABLISHMENT of any religion, or that there shall be no religious test of any candidate.

Suicidal violence is not unique to Islam, although it is clearly encouraged by some fanatical sects. We have had some examples of Christian-based cults too. There are many similarities. And, you may forget, that the KKK was a Christ-centered organization--violent, though not suicidal.

So Christians aren't violent? There are many past and continuing examples that falsify this. America was largely colonized by people trying to escape religious persecution from other Christians. And, of course, those who escaped the oppression of others often turned into enforcers of their brand of religion onto others. The early baptists were persecuted by the puritan congregationalists (e.g., my ancestors, Obadiah Holmes & Roger Williams), and established a tradition of tolerance--that has been abandoned by many adherents. When the Catholic Calverts attempted to make Maryland more tolerant and welcoming by installing a protestant governor (my ancestor, William Stone), he was deposed by intolerant Christians of a different protestant faith. And, yada, yada, yada.... World without end.

So, Bruce, we agree that extreme fanaticism can generate violence. My point is that Islam has no monopoly on that. Our enemy is ignorance, not Islam.

Submitting....

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