Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2010 10:52:47 -0400 From: M'Lynn Hartwell

Reply-To: Jim Carruthers <jccarruthers@gmail.com>, cwaldie@aol.com, chrisbzdok@gmail.com, bbudros2@ci.traverse-city.mi.us, jbergman@ci.traverse-city.mi.us, mgillman@conklinbenham.com, rsoffred@ci.traverse-city.mi.us, maryannmoore@charter.net, BBifoss@traversecitymi.gov

Subject: Re: Per your meeting tonight

I was called this morning by Pastor Waldie of the Living Hope Church and asked to issue a retraction to my message, he claiming that my message was fallacious.

fal·la·cious
adj \fə-ˈlā-shəs\

Definition of FALLACIOUS
1  : : embodying a fallacy <a fallacious conclusion>

Examples of FALLACIOUS
   1. <it's fallacious to say that something must exist because science hasn't proven its nonexistence>
source: Merriam Webster Dictionary

The summary I sent to you in my previous message was the result of Google'ing, the following search terms in various combinations:

My email was not intended to be an exhaustive or in depth study, but encouragement to each of you to do your own research in pursuit of your individual conclusions in this matter. It would certainly be my pleasure to be wrong in part, or in whole, to the conclusions I wrote in my summary, but there is evidence to support what I wrote. When I have time I intend to do more research in the matter of COH and Assemblies of God (Living Hope Church).

Unfortunately, I was unable to talk at length with Pastor Waldie, because I am up against a deadline on a project I am working on. However, I did encourage Pastor Waldie to respond to my email to this esteemed group, in order to dispute any of the information I published. It is my hope that Living Hope Church does not entirely subscribe to the intentions of their association, the Assemblies of God. Pastor Waldie did feel that church should play a role in determining civil law.

He did go on to say that "this is not what we are trying to do here." (Here being Living Hope Church)

As always, I listen to what people say, but most importantly, I watch what they do.

Other  "facts" for you to consider.

The American Family Association is classified as a "Hate Group" by several organizations that track such things (i.e. Southern Poverty Law Center). Many of the speakers at last nights meeting are associated with the AFA.

Separation of Church and State

In these times it is critically important that we protect the wall separating church and state. The United States much never become a theocracy, but must preserve religious freedom and work for civil rights and justice for all. I urge each of you to follow the principals laid down by our founders or this great nation.

The separation of church and state is a legal and political principle derived from various documents of several of the Founders of the United States. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution  reads "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ." The modern concept is often credited to the writings of English philosopher John Locke, but the phrase "separation of church and state" is generally traced to an 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists, where Jefferson spoke of the combined effect of the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause  of the First Amendment. His purpose in this letter was to assuage the fears of the Danbury, Connecticut Baptists, and so he told them that this wall had been erected to protect them. The metaphor was intended, as The U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted it, to mean that religion and government must stay separate for the benefit of both, including the idea that the government must not impose religion on Americans nor create any law requiring it.

In defense of our founding principals, I offer the following:

A Christian Nation: Mythbusting a Revisionist history popularly disseminated from pulpits today

One of the most common statements from the "Religious Right" is that they want this country to "return to the Christian principles on which it was founded".  However, a little research into American history will show that this statement is a lie. The men responsible for building the foundation of the United States had little use for Christianity, and many were strongly opposed to it. They were men of The Enlightenment, not men of Christianity. They were Deists who did not believe the bible was true.

When the Founders wrote the nation's Constitution, they specified that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." (Article 6, section 3)   This provision was radical in its day-- giving equal citizenship to believers and non-believers alike.  They wanted to ensure that no single religion could make the claim of being the official, national religion, such as England had.  Nowhere in the Constitution does it mention religion, except in exclusionary terms.  The words "Jesus Christ, Christianity, Bible, and God" are never mentioned in the Constitution-- not once.

The Declaration of Independence gives us important insight into the opinions of the Founding Fathers. Thomas Jefferson wrote that the power of the government is derived from the governed. Up until that time, it was claimed that kings ruled nations by the authority of God. The Declaration was a radical departure from the idea of divine authority.

The 1796 treaty with Tripoli states that the United States was "in no sense founded on the Christian religion" (see below). This was not an idle statement, meant to satisfy muslims-- they believed it and meant it. This treaty was written under the presidency of George Washington and signed under the presidency of John Adams.



http://www.religioustolerance.org/deism.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_deists

One Nation Under God

Also last night, a fellow brought up a reference to "One Nation Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. Many people do not realize that the original Pledge did not include this phrase, but rather it was added in

In fact, the founders opposed the institutionalization of religion. They kept the Constitution free of references to God. The document mentions religion only to guarantee that godly belief would never be used as a qualification for holding office—a departure from many existing state constitutions. That the founders made erecting a church-state wall their first priority when they added the Bill of Rights to the Constitution reveals the importance they placed on maintaining what Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore have called a "godless Constitution." When Benjamin Franklin proposed during the Constitutional Convention that the founders begin each day of their labors with a prayer to God for guidance, his suggestion was defeated.

Given this tradition, it's not surprising that the original Pledge of Allegiance—meant as an expression of patriotism, not religious faith—also made no mention of God. The pledge was written in 1892 by the socialist Francis Bellamy, a cousin of the famous radical writer Edward Bellamy. He devised it for the popular magazine Youth's Companion  on the occasion of the nation's first celebration of Columbus Day. Its wording omitted reference not only to God but also, interestingly, to the United States:

"I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." By the 1920s, reciting the pledge had become a ritual in many public schools. The efforts to bring God into the state reached their peak during the so-called "religious revival" of the 1950s.

The campaign to add "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance originated via the driving force of the Catholic fraternal society the Knights of Columbus. In the early '50s the Knights themselves adopted the God-infused pledge for use in their own meetings, and members bombarded Congress with calls for the United States to do the same. Other fraternal, religious, and veterans clubs backed the idea. In April 1953, Rep. Louis Rabaut, D-Mich., formally proposed the alteration of the pledge in a bill he introduced to Congress.

The "under God" movement didn't take off, however, until the next year, when it was endorsed by the Rev. George M. Docherty, the pastor of the Presbyterian church in Washington that Eisenhower attended.  Docherty urged the inclusion of "under God" in the pledge to denote what he felt was special about the United States.The ensuing congressional speechifying offered more proof that the point of the bill was to promote religion. The legislative history of the 1954 act stated that the hope was to "acknowledge the dependence of our people and our Government upon … the Creator … [and] deny the atheistic and materialistic concept of communism." In signing the bill on June 14, 1954, Flag Day, Eisenhower delighted in the fact that from then on, "millions of our schoolchildren will daily proclaim in every city and town … the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty." That the nation, constitutionally speaking, was in fact dedicated to the opposite proposition seemed to escape the president.

In God We Trust

The motto IN GOD WE TRUST was placed on United States coins largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War. The motto first appeared on the 1864 two-cent coin, followed in 1866 by the 5 cent nickel  (1866–1883), quarter dollar, half dollar, silver dollar and gold dollars. It did not become the official U.S. national motto until after the passage of an Act of Congress in 1956.[2][3] It is codified as federal law in the United States Code at 36 U.S.C. § 302, which provides: "'In God we trust' is the national motto." A law was passed by the 84th United States Congress (Public Law 84-851) and approved by the President on July 30, 1956. President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved a joint resolution declaring In God We Trust the national motto of the United States. The same Congress had required, in the previous year, that the words appear on all currency, as a Cold War  measure: "In these days when imperialistic and materialistic Communism seeks to attack and destroy freedom, it is proper" to "remind all of us of this self-evident truth" that "as long as this country trusts in God, it will prevail.

Rev. M'Lynn Hartwell