Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

January 28, 2013

Address this problem with common sense, not religion

Chuck Bean said that I was, “educated by people who repeat what the last person said” (“Historical facts speak to our founding based on religion,” Jan. 24 Times-News

He is referring to Founding Fathers I quoted in my letter concerning religion and its place in American history along with the current trend in gun violence (“History says America wasn’t founded on religion and the Bible,” Jan. 20 Times-News).

If you read my letter, Mr. Bean, you will notice I don’t deny the historical facts that you have mentioned. You mention the founding of Thanksgiving as a religious holiday in the name of Jesus Christ and an embargo on the import of bibles as talking points for America’s founding solely on religion. More American history shows religious influence. For example Duke University in Durham, N.C., was founded by Quakers and Methodists.

My letter simply pointed out the involvement of some of our founding fathers in science, sociology and academic pursuit. It also points out that several founding fathers spoke out against the idea of organized religion.

The fact that the U.S. Congress historically founded a holiday based on religion and was upset by an embargo of Bible imports by Britain is unrelated to words spoken by Founding Fathers and the idea that religion is a cure all for gun violence.

When looking at violence, a topic point of my original letter and the letter it was in was in reply too, we can look at Christianity.

Christianity, at various points in history, has a bad habit of recruiting converts at the tip of a sword or the barrel of a gun. The Crusades and the treatment of Native Americans along with other historical references point to this.

I was merely suggesting that scientific, sociological and medical study, along with commonsense regulation, is a better approach to solving a gun violence trend, than shoving one religion down everyone’s throat.

I was also noting that several of our Founding Fathers dedicated themselves to the applications referenced above, rather than the pursuit of religion.

Some even spoke out against the idea of churches, calling them “human inventions set up to terrify mankind.” Interestingly enough, American religious commentator Glen Beck likes to dress up as Thomas Payne (who originally said those words) while preaching the integration of American policy with Christianity.

Jeremy Gosnell

Oakland

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