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What we should do when we awake from this election nightmare?

To The Daily Sun,

As I sit looking out my window at the brilliant colors of October, I wonder at the good fortune of we who live in this part of the world. New England is like a slice of paradise. Sometimes, I think those who have lived here all their lives fail to appreciate what surrounds them. Once in a while people from "away" come to remind them that we live amidst pastoral beauty.

We, like others, have our own set of troubles. We look at our children grow to maturity yearning for the unattainable. Some of them leave to seek their dream elsewhere or get a mind-killing job with no future because their teacher and parents failed to inspire them. A few turn to drugs but find no answers except despair and early death.

So, here we are in the year 2016 and in the month of October, waiting for that date in November. We will spend the winter getting used to the results of our voting. In actuality, our most effective vote in a national sense, was made last winter when we or a portion of us helped choose one Republican from the buffet of candidates seeking the office of president.

One among them promised the impossible — "to make America great again." All the others had a plan, he had a slogan. The others were a cross-section of America. They were all Republicans, but they looked and talked like us and offered their version of what a president should do for the next four years. They got busy raising funds to finance their campaigns.

The man with the slogan flew in on his own plane and started trash-mouthing the opposition and repeating his "make America great again" blather. We all remember the name-calling of not only the candidates, but their supporters as well. The wall was to be built and the rest of the world was put on notice that the new "great America" candidate was taking charge in January.

Well, maybe that's the way all this will play out, but some of us, hopefully a majority, think otherwise. We see the real America, warts and all. Divided, yes, but dedicated to solving its problems. Some of the rancor of the last six years is regrettable and may have set us up for the current reality, but we have time to pull back from the edge the disaster that is looming.

What, then, should we be doing after we wake from this nightmare? Here is a suggested list:

1. Restore the Supreme Court to its full complement.

2. Examine our national security options and needs.

3. Get the congressional houses to realize their responsibility is to nation, not party.

4. Assure the world that we are still a rational democracy, ready to support our allies and oppose those who are out to create international grief and misery.

5. Create legislation that is bipartisan, start to finish.

6. Begin to realize our differences are our strength only if we can reach agreement on a course of action.

In closing, I admonish those who are discontented with our present to get involved in improving our future by finding and solving problems that can be remediated through cooperation. Fundamental differences aside, deadlock serves none of the parties around the negotiating table.

Bill Dawson

Northfield

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All of our founders had verifiable Christian church affiliations

To The Daily Sun,

In a recent letter, Alan Vervaeke stated "all the Founders (of our nation) were avowed deists, not Christians." This statement is blatantly false.

All signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution had verifiable Christian church affiliations. No affiliation to synagogues, mosques, temples or atheist organizations are to be found. Franklin and Jefferson were deists, but both had church affiliations.

Evidence destroying Mr. Vervaeke's false statements follow. This is but a very small portion of supporting material found in my 350-plus page treatise titled, "A Nation under God, In God we Trust."

George Washington: "Every officer and man...to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country," (First general order to his troops.) He also appointed Christian chaplains.

"To the distinguished character of patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian." (To troops at Valley Forge.)

The Annals of Congress record that following Washington's inaugural address: "The president, the vice president, the Senate, and House of Representatives, etc., then proceeded to St. Paul's Chapel where divine service was performed by the chaplains of Congress." (Note this was a Christian service attended by elected leaders en masse. Would a deist lead the whole government to a Christian service?)

John Adams: "We recognize no sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus."

"The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the principles of Christianity."

John Hancock: "In circumstances dark as these, it becomes us as men and Christians, to reflect that, every prudent measure should be taken to ward off the impending judgements."

"Sensible of the importance of Christian piety and virtue to the order of a State, I cannot but earnestly command you every measure for their support and encouragement."

Patrick Henry: "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians: not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ! For this reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity and freedom to worship here."

"Being a Christian is a character I prize far above all the world has or can boast."

"This is the inheritance I give to my dear family; the religion of Christ will give them one which will make them rich indeed." (In his last will and testament).

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of slavery? Forbid it Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

Alexander Hamilton: "I have carefully examined the evidence of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor."

On the Christian Constitutional Society: "Its object to be first: The support of the Christian religion. Second: The support of the United States."

Hamilton's last words after being mortally wounded by Aaron Burr: "I have a tender reliance on the mercy of the Almighty through the merits of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner. I look to Him for mercy: pray for me."

Samuel Adams: "The right to freedom being the gift of the Almighty may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institutions of the Great Law Giver and head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament."

"I resign my soul to the Almighty Being who gave it, and my body I commit to the dust, relying on the merits of Jesus Christ for the pardon of my sins." (Last will and testament.)

Thomas Jefferson: I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will be rallied to the unity of our Creator." (Written in the front of his personal Bible.)

"I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished anyone to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others."

"I have always said, and will always say, that the studious perusal of the sacred volumes will make us better citizens."

Jefferson was well versed in the Bible, approved of Jesus' teachings, but discounted his divinity, according to most scholars.

James Madison: From the Virginia Constitution, co-authored by James Mason and James Madison: "All men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience, and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other." This has remained unchanged to this day.

Roger Sherman: "I believe that there is only one living and true God, existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the same in substance equal in power and glory. That the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are a revelation from God and a complete rule to direct us how we may glorify Him."

And of Jesus, "Let us live no more to ourselves but to Him who loved us and gave Himself for us."

Of four references to God in the Declaration, one is specific to biblical scriptures, namely "The laws of nature and of nature's God." This statement is defined in Blackstone's Law Commentaries, well known to all the Founders. Excerpts: "Man must be subject to the laws of his Creator...This will of his Maker is called the law of nature. No human laws are valid if contrary to this ...The revealed or divine law ... found only in the Holy Scriptures ... is found to be really a part of the original law of nature. Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws. No human laws should be suffered to contradict these."

This concept was valid in jurisprudence at least through the 1892 U.S. v. Church of the Holy Trinity. This concept is now legally rejected but remains as part of our unmodifiable founding document and cannot be changed.

George Brunstad
Meredith

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