Letters for August 4, 2005

Separate religion and government
Re “Christian Nation 1” and “Christian Nation II,” (Letters, July 28):

I think some of your readers need a history lesson.

First of all, the Pilgrims’ search for a place freely to practice their religion had nothing to do with founding this country. The Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth 156 years before the American Revolution. The revolution occurred because the colonists opposed paying taxes to the King of England without having any say in what laws and regulations would apply to the new colonies. Thus the battle cry, “No Taxation Without Representation.”

Secondly, this country was not founded upon Christianity. There is no mention of Christ or the Judaic Ten Commandments in any of our founding documents. If the laws of this nation were based on the Ten Commandments, then adultery, lying, swearing and disrespecting your parents would be crimes, and much of our population would be in prison. The basic precepts of not killing or stealing are common to virtually every civilized society or religion.

Finally, without the benefit of modern scientific research, our founders and most other people at that time assumed that some higher being created life on earth. It’s important to note that in our Constitution, they chose the ambiguous term “Creator” rather than the word “God.” They purposely made no judgment as to who or what was responsible for our creation. In addition, the use of “In God We Trust” on our currency, as well as God in “The Pledge of Allegiance” came more than a century after the writing of the Constitution.

There are many voices out there these days claiming that our county was founded on Christianity. In fact, the most likely reason that religion holds such a prominent place in our Bill of Rights is simply because the Church of England was embedded in the politics of England at that time. The prevailing sentiment of the colonists was that the affairs of Church and State should be separate.

D.K. Eggleston

Power to the people
Re “War of the Energy Worlds,” (Cover story, July 21):

Thank you, Deidre Pike, for the article on coal vs. renewables in Washoe County.

I’ve signed the petition against the Sempra Energy’s plant on nevadacleanenergy.org, which has a wealth of information, and I am urging friends and family to do the same. This month’s National Geographic also has an article on “Future Power.”

Please continue to keep the community posted with similar articles.

There is one more thing: Streetalk by Dave Foto. This week’s question, “Does your fan keep you awake?” Are you kidding? Perhaps you could include questions like “Coal or wind?” and other issues that affect the community. (I wouldn’t even mind if they were in Spanish!)

Randi Jensen

Defeat religious fascism
The fight over the relevancy of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is all over the news. It saddens me that it is even taking place. This nation is in a battle, not for freedom, but ideology. The prevailing Christian religio-political attitude is one of conquest—even if there is no apparent reason to attack a cause, one will be found.

The witch-hunt nature of religion in America in these modern times must be fought. Faith, when internalized, creates a bright, moral, ethical and social creature, not just intent on the success of his or her group, but all groups. Faith externalized, surprisingly, creates an ignorant, opinionated, self-righteous, amoral buffoon who sees those with opposing viewpoints as enemies who must be destroyed.

The Dark Ages have returned, except in this modern age, new tools exist to create the ultimate ignorant, compliant society. The dissolution of C.P.B. is one of their aims, to crush any perceived threat to their religio-political movement, which happens to be, sadly, the New American Fascism.

The Crusades have returned, to the detriment of mankind, once again.

Karl G. Matsunaga

Disorder in the court
Re “Supreme stupidity,” (Right Hook, July 21)

The Kelo decision on eminent domain denounced by Mr. Lafferty can’t be attributed to liberals or Democrats. Two of the four justices Lafferty identified as “liberal judges,” Stevens and Kennedy, were appointed by Republican presidents—Justice Stevens was appointed by President Ford, and Justice Kennedy was appointed by President Reagan.

As for the Republican Party’s opportunity to reclaim the Supreme Court—it will have to reclaim it from itself. Only two of the current eight justices on the Supreme Court (after the retirement of Justice O’Connor, who was also appointed by President Reagan) are Democratic appointments: Justice Ginsburg and Justice Breyer.

On a local note concerning eminent domain, the Nevada Constitution (so says the Nevada Supreme Court) allows for the same result the United States Supreme Court reached in the Kelo case—as long as the private business interest is a mining company or an urban-renewal redevelopment agency.

Mike Powell
via e-mail