June 4, 2010 in Letters

There’s more to the story

The Spokesman-Review
 

I would like to respond to Rod Foss’ letter (May 25) where he made the statement that the Supreme Court’s decision in Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States (Feb. 29, 1892) declared us a religious people and a “Christian nation.”

Many Christians use this as evidence. However, Justice David Brewer wrote this in dicta, as a personal opinion only, and it does not serve as a legal pronouncement. Later Brewer felt obliged to explain himself: “But in what sense can (the U.S.) be called a Christian nation? Not in the sense that Christianity is the established religion or the people are compelled in any manner to support it. On the contrary, the Constitution specifically provides that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’ Neither is it Christian in the sense that all its citizens are either in fact or in name Christians. On the contrary, all religions have free scope within its borders. Numbers of our people profess other religions, and many reject all.”

Gary Garoutte

Newport, Wash.


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