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16 words that are most misunderstood in history of USA

To The Daily Sun,

A lot has been written and published in The Laconia Daily Sun lately, passing as opinion based on fact. However, just for the record, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, after much debate and several drafts, was finally ratified by the several states on Dec. 15, 1791, and is a part of what is unfortunately known as the Bill of Rights to the Constitution. I say "unfortunately" because it should have been called the "Bill of Limitations", because it was written exclusively and positively to be limits on the power and actions of the federal government, as relates to their power and relationship to the people.

It reads (insofar as it pertains to Freedom of Religion), as follows:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...,"

That's it. Those 16 words have been more misunderstood by more constitutional scholars than any other legal writings in the history of this country (with the possible exception of the Second Amendment, which when read from the "limitations" point of view, is also totally misunderstood and administered). Those who insist that America was not intended to be a "Christian nation" point to the obvious absence of specific directives regarding Christianity in the federal Constitution. The popular, albeit false propaganda since the 1960s has been that "the irreligious Framers did not want the nation to retain any attachment to the Christian religion." Such an assertion is a monstrous lie and an erroneous perversion of historical fact!

The truth of the matter is that the founders were fearful of the potential interference by the federal government in its ability to place restrictions on the free exercise of the Christian religion. Consequently, they desired that the specifics of religion be left up to the discretion of the several states.

Nevertheless, we must not think for a moment that the federal framers did not sanction the nation's intimate affiliation with Christianity, or that they attempted to keep religion out of the Constitution. On the contrary, the Christian religion is inherently assumed and implicitly present in the Constitution. In fact, the United States Constitution contains a direct reference to Jesus Christ! Consider three pesky, but undeniable proofs for these contentions (See Constitution of the United..., 1789).

First, consider the meaning of the First Amendment to the Constitution. We have been told that, by "establishment of religion," the framers meant for the government to maintain complete religious neutrality and that pluralism ought to prevail, i.e., that all religions (whether Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, or Hinduism), though equally tolerated, must not be given any acknowledgement in the public sector.

But such an outlandish claim is absolutely false. All one has to do is to go directly to the delegate discussions pertaining to the wording of the First Amendment in order to ascertain the context and original intent of the final wording. The facts of the matter are that by their use of the term "religion", the framers were not talking about the major world religions, rather, they were referring to the several Protestant denominations.

Their concern was to prevent any single Christian denomination from being elevated above the others and therefore made into a state religion — a circumstance that the Founders had recently endured under British rule when the Anglican Church was made the state religion of the thirteen colonies of early America, and wanted to prevent a recurrence at all costs.

The "Father of the Bill of Rights," George Mason, actually proposed the following wording for the First Amendment, which demonstrates the context of their wording:

"All men have an equal, natural and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that no particular sect, or society of Christians, ought to be favored or established by law in preference to others." (as quoted in Rowland, 1892, 1:244).

By "prohibiting the free exercise thereof," the Framers intended to convey that the federal government was not to interfere with the free and public practice of the Christian religion — the very thing that atheists, leftists, and the courts have been doing since the 1960s.

Second, consider the wording of a sentence from Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution: "If any Bill shall not be returned by the president within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it...." "Sundays excepted?" The government shuts down and does not transact business on Sunday? Why? Because Sunday, the first day of the week, is the day Christians assemble and worship God. No other day of the week is authorized for Christians to assemble and worship God in all of the New Testament.

If this provision had been made with respect to Jews, the Constitution would have read "Saturdays excepted". If provision had been made for Muslims, the Constitution would have read "Fridays excepted". If the Founders had intended to encourage a day of inactivity for the government without regard to any one religion, they could have chosen Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Instead, the federal Constitution reads "Sundays excepted", proving conclusively that America was Christian in its orientation and that the Framers themselves shared the Christian worldview and gave political recognition to and accommodation of that fact.

Third, if these two allusions to Christianity are not enough for some people, consider yet another. Immediately after Article VII, the Constitution closes with the following words:

"Done in Convention by the unanimous consent of the states present the seventeenth day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth....

Did you catch it? Their work was done "in the Year of our Lord". The Christian world dates all of human history in terms of the birth of Christ. "BC" means "before Christ," and "AD" is the abbreviation for the Latin words "anno Domini," meaning "year of our Lord." If the framers were interested in being pluralistic, multicultural, and politically correct (which they weren't, knowing those emotion-based characteristics have no place in the public affairs of men), they would have refrained from using the BC/AD designation. Or they would have used the religion-less designations "CE," Common Era, or "BCE," Before the Common Era. In so doing, they would have avoided offending Jews, atheists, agnostics, and humanists. Or they could have used "AH" (anno hegirae—which means "in the year of the Hijrah" and refers to Muhammad's flight from Mecca in AD 622), the date used by Muslims as the commencement date for the Islamic calendar.

Instead, the framers chose to utilize the dating method that indicated the worldview they shared. What's more, their reference to "our Lord" does not refer to a generic deity, nor does it refer even to God the Father. It refers to God the Son, an explicit reference to Jesus Christ. Make no mistake: the Constitution of the United States contains an explicit reference to Jesus Christ — not Allah, Buddha, Muhammad, nor the gods of Hindus or even Native Americans!

So, let's get this straight once and for all: The Declaration of Independence contains four allusions to the God of the Bible. The U.S. Constitution contains allusions to the freedom to practice the Christian religion unimpeded, the significance and priority of Sunday worship, as well as the place of Jesus Christ in history.

So, according to the thinking of the ACLU and a host of other liberal organizations and educators, politicians, and judges, atheists, the far-left kook fringe, et. al., the Constitution is — unconstitutional! Go figure!

Jim McCoole

Laconia

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When Right-To-Work is passed, workers quickkly give up unions

To The Daily Sun,

Recent letters from Tom Dawson (March 20 and March 25) and Tony Boutin (March 26) address an important topic — Right-to-Works Laws. Dawson argues for compulsory unionization while Boutin argues for "Right-to-Work".

Dawson makes the absurd claim that forcing workers to join unions empowers workers. Compulsory unionization doesn't empower workers, it empowers union bosses and the politicians they support.

Progressives fight for compulsory unionization because most union leadership uses union funds to support progressive politicians and their progressive political agenda.

In my youth, America was world leader in every aspect of industry, mining, manufacturing, transportation, etc. American industry provided most American families with comfortable lives on a single income. Yet as government increasingly grew and implemented progressive policies, new rules and regulations have greatly increased the cost of doing business making companies fail, reduce wages and/or cut jobs, or move jobs overseas. Jobs that provide high value products or services and thus support good wages have been eliminated increasingly leaving only jobs providing little value which only can provide low wages.

For example, the American steel industry has almost disappeared and thousands of American manufacturing businesses have been forced to close, eliminating tens of millions of good-paying jobs.

World-leading economic freedom enabled the U.S. to become the world-leading economic power providing economic growth, opportunity, and prosperity for most American citizens. But progressive policies have reduced our economic freedoms (reducing our ranking to 12th) and stifled our economic growth. For the first time ever, fewer U.S. businesses were created in 2014 than went out of business. No wonder millions of Americans have trouble finding good jobs and earning a decent living.

Most American workers don't have Ivy League degrees, but they are not stupid. American workers know that their employers must succeed for them to keep their jobs or get raises and that the more our economy grows the more opportunities there are for American workers. Yet they see their unions supporting progressive politicians and policies that make it difficult for businesses to succeed and stifle American economic growth.

Workers see progressive government regulations destroying and preventing the creation of good jobs in mining, energy, manufacturing, etc. They see apparent favors to special interests and big donors like Buffett and Steyer that prevent creation of thousands of good jobs building the Keystone XL pipeline which would lower American energy costs, improve safety, and help make us become energy independent. They aren't happy with the prospect of paying the Obamacare Cadillac tax on their health insurance that their union leadership supported. Workers see their unions actively supporting politicians who encourage legal and illegal immigration which drive down wages, take jobs from Americans, and take welfare benefits (meant for down-on-their-luck Americans) driving up their taxes.

Recently, as big donors Gates, Zuckerberg, and others desire, President Obama increased the number of L-1B visas, allowing American companies to bring foreign high tech workers to work here at the wages far below typical American wages or even below our minimum wage.

Many American union members see progressive policies as anti-American, anti-individual freedom, anti-prosperity, anti-opportunity, and pro-special interest. They see poor futures for their children because progressive policies lock them into poor and dangerous schools, leave them faced with an enormous national debt, and are destroying our nation's future prosperity and freedoms.

Whatever the intent, progressives and their policies are destroying middle class America. In President Obama's years alone, despite the rich getting richer which should raise the median income, the American median income has declined 4 percent — $2000.

Many union members also disagree with union policies that protect disruptive, non-productive, or even criminal workers. They see union corruption and union bosses with fat salaries, generous expense accounts, and fully funded benefits while their benefits aren't fully funded. They see union bosses making deals that aren't in workers best interests, e.g., that send workers into unsafe mines.

Thus, when a Right-to-Work law is passed, many workers quickly give up their union memberships and happily negotiate their own wages, benefits and working conditions (like most other American workers).

The purpose of Right-to-Work laws is not to eliminate unions, as Boutin indicates, but to empower workers. Right-to-Work laws do not interfere with the ability of workers to form a union or stay in a union if they wish, those laws are unchanged. Right-to-Work laws simply give workers the freedom to work without joining or paying a union.

Right-to-Work laws force unions to provide value and be responsive to union members' wishes, otherwise they will lose members, income, and power. Right-to-Work laws force unions to win members by providing desired services in acceptable ways at an acceptable cost, just like anything else Americans purchase in the free market.

Don Ewing

Meredith

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