MISSING THE POINT
To the Sun:
The easiest way to make an illegitimate political argument is to state a fact, state an opinion, and pretend the two are related. This tactic was demonstrated beautifully by Randy McMillan in his recent letter.
The First Amendment is unrelated to the supposed separation of church and state. U.S. Justice Richard Suhrheinrich said in 2005 that the phrase "separation of church and state" has grown tiresome. It never appears in any of this nation's founding documents.
Another easy tactic is to take a partial portion of a quote and use it apart from context. A simple reading of the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli makes it plain that the Founders were affirming that our federal government harbored no inherent religious animosity toward the Muslim nations. We wanted diplomacy, not holy war. After all, James Madison said plainly that "We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, (but) upon our capacity to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."