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Letters to the editor

December 08, 2003

Pilgrims hardly 'escaped' religion


To the editor:

In reference to the Sunday, Nov. 23, Letters:, Mrs. L.A. Funkhouser of West Virginia, wrote about the common misconceptions as to why our Constitution provides freedom of and from religion. She wrongly credits the First Amendment's rights to reaction to European events.

She perpetuates the absurd claim that the Pilgrims (and supposedly other founders of this country) "wanted to live in a land where no one could dictate how they worship." While generally believed, this is a total lie. While many of the settlers did come here to escape religious persecution, they did not want religious freedom. They wanted to make everyone believe their brand of religious insanity.

Just look at Massachusetts and the rest of New England where they burned non-believers at the stake. That is religious freedom?

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And look at the history of our own state of Maryland: Founded by Catholics, government fell into Protestant hands before the Revolution and they outlawed the Catholic church, barring Catholics from owning businesses, farms, homes, etc. Before our Bill of Rights, a traveler took his life in his hands every time he crossed from one colony into another where his religion might be illegal.

With most if not all of the 13 original states having an official religion, this country could not have become a "United States" without the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of and from religion, as the various states would have constantly fought religious wars.

While it is true most of our Founding Fathers were Theists, the common claim that they were Christians is wrong. Nowhere in the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, other early papers, or on our money and in the Pledge of Allegiance do you find the name Jesus Christ. All you will find are the names god and the nom de guerre "supreme being." Thomas Jefferson is a good example of a non-Christian, ranging between a vague theist and an atheist.

W. Bernard Randolph
Hagerstown




Nice present


To the editor:

Well, here we are again, it's the holiday season and for the second year in a row, the higher ups at GST have found it in their hearts to give their employees the greatest gift of all - unemployment.

Only this year there won't be any jobs to come back to. On the bright side, GST's management are giving people in Mexico a Christmas gift - "American jobs."

Last year around this same time I submitted a letter to your Letters to the Editor section which I felt represented how GST employees felt about being laid off during the holiday season.

For some reason, (maybe I forgot to add some things or maybe at that time nobody cared) the letter was not printed.

I an re-submitting last year's letter because it still fits the situation at GST.

My heart goes out to the GST employee's. Try to have a good holiday season. God Bless.

Mike Hanlon
Williamsport




Cruel penalty


To the editor:

It's back - the death penalty is a decade-old debate. Defense attorneys argue it's unconstitutional, The Supreme Court's Ring v. Arizona decision required a tougher standard. And the University of Maryland researchers did an investigation.

Maryland hasn't executed only five in more than five years. That's something to look at. Texas has executed 271 people with Virginia at 85 and Maryland at five.

We are the only state with five executions. It's still a cruel penalty that's deeply flawed and is in need of serious reform. It should be ruled unconstitutional.

Kevin W. Ward
Cumberland, Md.

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