Goshen News, Goshen, IN

March 13, 2014

LETTERS FOR MARCH 13, 2014: ‘Wall of separation’ misinterpreted


Goshen News

---- — Throughout much of our history, teachers read the Bible to students and Scripture was memorized. Students and teachers prayed together and the Ten Commandments were displayed in the schools. The teaching of creation was once the norm.

The philosophy that characterized America for centuries clearly has undergone a radical change over the years. For instance, the alleged “wall of separation between church and state.”

This often-used phrase is normally attributed to the Constitution. In reality it came from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson, in 1802, in response to the Danbury Baptist’s concern over a rumor they had heard that the American government was going to set up a national church, much like the Anglican Church in England. In the letter, Jefferson explained to the clergymen that the Founding Fathers had set up a wall of separation between church and state to prevent that from happening in America.

Thomas Jefferson had no intention of allowing the government to limit, restrict, regulate or interfere with public religious practices. He believed, along with the other Founders, that the First Amendment had been enacted only to prevent the federal establishment of a national denomination. In 1947 the Supreme Court took a simple statement intended to imply that government wouldn’t interfere with the church and they distorted it. The court used Jefferson’s letter to create a new interpretation of the First Amendment. The result was an interpretation that went well beyond the Framer’s original intent.

Belief in God is not an establishment of religion. Belief in a supernatural being who created mankind is not an establishment of religion.

The first and governing guideline in the interpretation of the Constitution is to discover the original intent of those who made it. It’s the duty of the court to protect the Constitution not change it.

— Ken Blinco

Shipshewana

Long-term unemployment benefits help the economy

As of early February, long-term unemployment has gone over 3.5 million people. Due to legislative impotence, our Congress has denied these individuals claims to unemployment benefits, despite studies showing this inaction by lawmakers is harmful to the economy. Our politicians continue to make excuses and avoid the topic.

A possible solution that might appease politicians on both sides of the aisle would be to shore up six months of unemployment benefits for those who need them while also buying time for representatives to consider the option to institute an effective back-to-work program. There continues to be a high demand for a work force in the IT industry, but obtaining training and skills in the field can be difficult and expensive. If we are concerned about giving the unemployed a “free ride” we should focus on viable options to get people back to work.

In the meantime I want to encourage everyone to contact their senators and representatives, especially Indiana Sen. Dan Coats, who could be a deciding vote on this issue. Please ask them to support extending long-term unemployment because it is the right thing to do and will encourage economic growth.

— Josh Nesbitt

Goshen

‘Gay marriage’ is fornication

There is no such thing as gay marriage. It is fornication; it is unnatural; it manifests the nature that characterizes all of mankind. It is not normal; it is sin; it does not conform to God’s standard.

Our jails and prisons are filled with men and women who have sinned. It was not God’s design when he created man.

The good news is found in the word of God. The Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote, “For I delivered unto you that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried and that he arose the third day according to the Scriptures” (I Corinthians 15:3-4).

“Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creation, old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new, and all things are of Go, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ” (II Corinthians 5:17-18).

Yes, there is forgiveness of sin and deliverance from a sinful lifestyle through repentance and faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. This is the message of Easter, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

— Brooks N. Henry

Goshen