Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

February 6, 2013

Which contributed more to America’s greatness?

I would like to respond to Robert E. Surgenor, who claimed that I am ignorant because I quoted several founding fathers who were not religious and also because I commented that the Bible was a source of violent literary inspiration (“America’s founding fathers had reverence for God,” Feb. 4 Times-News).

Mr. Surgenor then quoted various founding fathers who were deeply religious and accused people who hold concepts, “like mine” responsible for America’s fall from greatness.

Mr. Surgenor, you are using the same basis for your statements as Norm Fitzgerald, the man whose letter (“America was founded on religion and the Bible,” Jan. 15 Times-News) I originally responded to (“History says America wasn’t founded on religion and the Bible,” Jan. 20).

The Holy Bible. Again, this is making the overall assumption that all people consider it the word of god, that all people believe that god’s wrath was fair judgment, (when it involved slaughter, suffering and murder) and that all people believe faith in god is paramount to the greatness of a nation.

In Buddhism, violence in any form is shunned. Followers learn that a cycle of karma creates a spiritual essence that carries into another life.

This continuous cycle is broken when a being reaches a state of enlightenment. In Buddhism there are many heaven realms and anyone can reach a god like state, though nothing lasts forever.

I was certainly not implying that some of our country’s founders were villains with no fear of god. Simply that they were not in support of organized religion.

The quotes I used speak for themselves. Just because someone lacks a fear of a god that you have chosen to believe, does not make them a villain.

I will back up my claim Mr. Fitzgerald, we are all very different.

A quick glance at ancient cultures show that a vast variety of beliefs were held about the nature of existence, the universe, creation and divine spirit.

George Washington’s actions further back up my claim of Christianity using violence as a tool to garnish conformity. If a solider cursed or swore, 50 lashings. A bit severe, don’t you think?

I don’t believe that we are “all sinners” as you state. I believe that we are all human beings. The product of millions of years of evolutionary biology. I believe we are a part of a natural cycle on planet earth, not apart or above it.

Religion forces constraints on people, requiring them to believe a set of ideals to gain acceptance, banishing those who don’t to an eternity in hell. To me, this weakens freedom of thought and the desire to ask questions.

Many of the events recorded in the Bible cannot be scientifically proven and defy any explanation using logical reasoning.

They also imply that violence can be used as a tool of judgment. It’s hard for me to understand or appreciate the Christian notion of a loving heavenly father that subjects his creations to harsh, cruel and violent punishment.

You did fail to mention several founding father’s contributions to science.

I would ask you Mr. Surgenor, what is more valuable to making America great: George Washington’s 14 hours a week alone, praying with his Bible, or the scientific ingenuity that produced American innovations that changed our world.

Jeremy Gosnell

Oakland

 

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • July 20, 1969 July 20, 1969

    When Apollo 11 landed on the moon 45 years ago today, it was until that time the mostwatched television programming in history.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stopgap

    Kicking the can down the road was one of the things American kids did to pass the time in the old days, particularly if they lived in rural areas where there was little traffic to contend with.

    July 16, 2014

  • Maryland on target to meet 2025 bay restoration goals

    July 16, 2014

  • Tough luck Tough luck

    The state has for a second time declined to help Allegany County get federal flood recovery funds in the wake of the June 12 storm.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Heard it all Heard it all

    Pesky thing, this requirement that political candidates file campaign finance reports.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Build it now Build it now

    Anticipated savings from demolition work that will provide ground for a new Allegany High School on Haystack Mountain may allow the addition of an auditorium at the school.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Get on with it

    Now that Maryland State’s Attorney General Doug Gansler has been asked to help with the investigation of the McCoole Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department it is our hope that the probe regains traction.

    July 12, 2014

  • A good turn A good turn

    “Do a good turn daily” is the slogan of the Boy Scouts of America. “Turn,” in this case, means a deed ... a good deed you didn’t really have to do, but you did it because it would make somebody else’s life a little better.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo