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updated: 2/7/2014 5:29 PM

Founders' statements show religious beliefs

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Defending historical record is a good thing. Rewriting it as Michael Lee did in his Feb. 2 letter, "Founders didn't make a Christian nation," not so much. Mr. Lee states: "Thomas Jefferson never believed that God shaped people's lives and never believed that America should be a Christian nation." Yet, as the primary author of the most consequential document in American history, it is irrefutable what Jefferson meant in the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness ... And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence ..."

Shaped lives? Most certainly. And referencing his literary work, "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth," Jefferson wrote to a close friend that this proves he is "a real Christian" and a "disciple of the doctrines of Jesus" which is the "most sublime code of morals that has ever been offered to man."

Then Lee states: "Article 11 of the Tripoli Treaty had everything to do with the fact that we are not a Christian nation." However, reading Article 11 in its entirety, it is clear the authors were simply assuring the Barbery nations that America was not a Christian nation akin to that of the Crusades which Muslims had an inherent hatred for.

Finally, Mr. Lee writes, "John Adams stated in later life that 'this would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion at all.'" Unfortunately, Mr. Lee forgot to mention the all-important rationalization Adams used to finish his thought, "Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company -- I mean hell."

Frank Gabl

Prospect Heights

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