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Johnson may have his flaws but you can't argue he isn't honest

To The Daily Sun,

I had to take a shower after the debate (Monday) night because I felt so dirty. It is a sad state of affairs when two absolute abhorrent citizens are the best that our country can muster. I keep asking myself, "How did we get here?"

Hillary Clinton cannot get any charges to stick to her, but how can any intelligent supporter not see that she is a wolf in sheep's clothing? She's a chameleon of rhetoric depending on whichever crowd she is talking to and mired in too many lies to note here.

The Clintons have ambiguously walked the line between being polished politicians or an clever criminals for too many years, yet here we are again, about to vote them back into the White House so they can continue to reap in the cash and bask in shady backdoor deals and controversies.

Meanwhile the "new" Good Ole' Party cannot even muster an articulate, intelligent human being out of a population of about 300 million people. Donald Trump? Really? I'm still in disbelief.

He's a psuedo-celebrity egomaniac who knows nothing of the middle class or families. I can't even believe this guy is wealthy. I haven't heard an intelligent thing out of him ever. Argue that you believe in some of his policies until you're blue in the face. Have you heard him talk? People, he is 70 years old and has a 10-year-old son. Oh yeah, that's American values right there. The people in these pages who tout him as their champion should be embarrassed for themselves.

The debate was a debacle. Ten minutes pointing fingers at each other arguing who was for or against the invasion of Iraq? Does anybody really care? Aren't we over that yet, people. Hillary knows all the intricacies of fighting a cyber war with the world but she doesn't know what "wiping a computer" means?

I'm supposed to vote for Trump because of what he said to Sean Hannity eight years ago? What the hell is going on here? Donald stating that he has the better temperament between the two of them? Hillary implying that Donald has nefarious business dealings? I feel like I'm in Bizzaro world.

All I know is that I can say I'm proudly voting for a third-party candidate. Gary Johnson may have his flaws, but you cannot argue that he isn't honest and he certainly doesn't exude being a complete slime ball like these other two Manchurian candidates. William Weld and Gary Johnson ran state governments for 10 years. They both won governorships in states that were "blue" when they were "red" which proves they can work with others.

I think that the only silver lining in all this is that both of these ridiculous candidates have "one-term president" written all over them. Perhaps in five years our general population will smarten up, but I'm not going to hold my breath. If we survive this insanity, that is.

Thomas Lemay
Laconia

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'Violence by religion is the reason we have sparation of church & state'

To The Daily Sun,

Bob Meade is incorrect. He is wrong about the purpose of the First Amendment. The First Amendment didn't just ensure there would be no state-run religion, but ensured there would be no religion-run state.

Thomas Jefferson understood the First Amendment as establishing a secular, religion-neutral republic. To the Danbury Baptists he wrote, "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between church and state."

Now Mr Meade may think he knows more than Jefferson and maybe he thinks he knows better than James Madison, too, the "father of the Constitution." Mr. Madison reminisced years after the Philadelphia miracle when he wrote to Robert Walsh, dated March 2, 1819, stating, "The civil government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state." Notice Madison stresses separation of the church — from — the state.

Article Six of the Constitution is actually the precursor of the establishment clause of the First Amendment (Jefferson's Virginia Religious Liberty law of 1786 is its precursor). It states, after requiring an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution, "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." In fact, the statement, "so help me God" is not in the constitutional oath of office for the president. It's English tradition — an anachronism.

Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story authored the major work, "Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States" in 1833 and said this about the ban on religious tests: "The remaining part of the clause declares, "No religious test shall ever be required, as a" qualification to any office or public trust, under the "United States." This clause is not introduced merely for the purpose of satisfying the scruples of many respectable persons, who feel an invincible repugnance to any religious test, or affirmation. It had a higher object; to cut off forever every pretense of any alliance between church and state in the national government. The framers of the Constitution were fully sensible of the dangers from this source, marked out in the history of other ages and countries; and not wholly unknown to our own. They knew, that bigotry was unceasingly vigilant in its stratagems, to secure to itself an exclusive ascendancy over the human mind; and that intolerance was ever ready to arm itself with all the terrors of the civil power to exterminate those, who doubted its dogmas, or resisted its infallibility."

Maybe Mr. Meade knows more than Justice Story, too. As you can see above, Justice Story was concerned with the same things found in Mr. Vervaeke's statement, "Violence by religion is the reason why we have a separation of church and state in this country." So did James Madison in his "Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments" of June 1785, which laid waste to Patrick Henry's bill to have the State of Virginia support Christian teachers.

It is clear that Mr. Meade believes in the revisionist history of the Christian right wing but the courts don't see it his way at all. Furthermore, the Treaty of Tripoli, unanimously ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1798, is something the Christian right would like to make disappear. Article 11 states, "As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion — as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen — and as the said states never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

Yes, Mr. Meade, this is what is taught in high schools and universities around the nation and the globe. The only place where your one way wall doctrine is taught is in private religious schools and universities that embrace the historical revisionism of the Christian right.

James Veverka
Tilton

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