Opinion

Founders’ vision

To the editor:

In regards to the article Mr. Chasse placed in the April 5, 2017 newspaper condemning charter/private schools, and after reviewing the misinformation and revisionist history put forward by him; I believe his letter is the best evidence of why we need charter/private schools.

You see Mr. Chasse in bringing up some of our “learned” forefathers such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison regarding the 1st Amendment you failed to mention that Thomas Jefferson had little to do with that amendment or any other amendments for that matter because he was serving as the States’ Minister to France at the time the constitution was written. But in the writings he did do such as the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson mentioned God and man’s reliance on God four times.

Also in regards to his statement of “Separation of Church and State” (which he made in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Church) what Mr. Jefferson was doing was reassuring the church that the government had no authority to influence their practices, not the other way around. As voters, the people (even church people) have every right under the 1st Amendment to influence how government works. To this point, how many people know that Thomas Jefferson himself in 1803 negotiated a treaty with the Kaskaskia Indians in which Jefferson put forth federal funds to purchase Bibles and to pay missionaries to go evangelize the Indians. He also gave tax dollars so that after they were converted, the government would build them churches in which they could worship. Makes me wonder if Jefferson, who was the writer of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United States, truly understood the Constitution and the 1st Amendment?

How many people know that 95 percent of all schools were originally created by the churches? And of Harvard University, one of America’s most esteemed colleges, it was this principle which founded it: “Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life … And therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.”

In our young nation, the Bible was used as a textbook for the purpose of teaching children moral principles to live by. As time went on, the Bible was gradually replaced by other textbooks such as Noah Webster’s Primer that taught children to spell but was also filled with Bible verses. In the front of his Primer was his picture with the inscription, “Who taught millions to read but not one to sin.”

This is the exact opposite of the school curriculum today. The courts in this country have revised the First Amendment, thus erecting a wall of atheism around every public school in America, where in God is not allowed to be mentioned.

Trust me when I tell you this is not the same wall that Thomas Jefferson talked about or envisioned.

Craig Lawrence
Frenchville

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