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Your Views: US is a Christian nation, but will it continue as one?
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Much debate has been spurred by our president's comments that the U.S. is not a Christian nation. It takes just a little investigation to discover that America was founded as a Christian nation, but the real question is, "Does it matter enough for us to remain one?" The answer and subsequent actions will dictate our destiny.

Our Declaration of Independence refers to a Creator; 29 of the 56 signers of that document were educated in theology; the first session of Congress began with three hours of worship when five chapters of the Bible were read; the peace agreement signed with England after the Revolutionary War begins, "In the name of the Most Holy Trinity ..."; the first mass printing of the Bible in America was authorized and funded by Congress to be read in schools; and the list goes on.

America proclaims that we are a nation under God and our Constitution was signed, "In the Year of Our Lord, 1787." Who is this Lord? Lord Cornwallis? Hardly. It is Jesus Christ, and the "our" means "our nation's" Lord. That sounds pretty Christian to me.
So how did we end up with the elected leader of our country stating that we are not a Christian nation? It seems we have sacrificed truth upon the altar of appeasement and political correctness. Some influential people consider this PC view to be the apex of intellectual enlightenment, when, in fact, truth is that apex.

Jesus made an analogy, "I am the vine, ye are the branches (John 15:5)," implying a living dependence on Him. He also said, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)"

Every individual must ponder, and we as a nation must also decide, whether this is true. One cannot be sort of pregnant or simply vote, "present." Our Founding Fathers overwhelmingly believed and built into our Constitution this claim from Jesus to be true. He is defined as "our" Lord. So do we carry forward this truth or surrender it to apathy or appeasement?

We rightly have separation of church and state, but not God and state. Being a Christian nation does not mean dictating religion to its citizens. It allows choice. For the commission of the Christian faithful is simply to be a light to others and through good works, charity and speaking the truth in love (not in arrogance or self-righteousness), truth and love will win out.

Being a Christian nation is not just following Christian principles, though if everyone practiced them, we would not have crime, broken families and the financial mess we face. Being a Christian nation is the official acknowledgement of an Almighty God, the embrace of God's son and the sharing of His love to the world. It is this cornerstone belief that through the "vine" (Jesus), America (the branch) has prospered and produced such abundant fruit to become the most generous and giving nation in history.

This is one truth we dare not let slip away. For if we deny it, our requests of "God Bless America" will go unanswered. And if we allow our leaders through speech, legislation and judicial review to sever our country from our "vine," our destiny as a nation will be to wither and eventually die.

Tom McAllister
Gainesville

Health plan likely will mean a long wait for poor results
Land of the fleeced and home of the knaves. If an alien were to land in Washington and observe the doings of Congress these last few months, he'd likely conclude that he'd come to "the land of the fleeced and the home of the knaves." "Free" and "brave" have flown away, casualties of the broken oaths our lawmakers took on assuming their office.

Yet we in America have much to look forward to. I am reminded of the days back in the 1970s when the media couldn't run enough stories on how the Poles had to stand in long lines to buy bread, only to discover, at the end of the line, that there was no bread to be had.

H.R. 3200, America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, promises the same satisfactory result. At the end of our long wait, we'll be told (a) "You don't qualify," meaning "too old," or otherwise unsuited, or (b) "That person in front of you got the last one." Read the awful news under "Active Legislation" at http://thomas.loc.gov.

This is why members of Congress specifically exempt themselves from what they require us to do.

René L. Hinds
Gainesville

Perdue again puts teachers in a bind with furloughs
Can someone please tell me why Gov. Sonny Perdue hates education and educators? The suggestion of three-furlough days to schoolteachers is ridiculous.

Over the last six years, schoolteachers and state workers have withstood the worst of Perdue's fiscal plan. Our health care benefits have been reduced and our premiums have risen, and most local counties' teachers have taken a 2 percent to 3 percent salary cut. Some are no longer employed.

I assume legislators believe that since they decided to take a day off without pay, they can expect teachers to take three. What about those families with two teachers in the family? This is asking too much.

Tell the governor to take three days off without pay and then cut his Go Fish program! Better yet, why doesn't he call a special session and fix the revenue problem that he created.

Our local legislators need to stop shirking their constitutional responsibilities. Don't let a lame-duck governor do your job. It is time for you to take a stand.

Stephen Greene
Gainesville

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