“A nation under one God” probably leaves out your religion


For the publisher: Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s proposal to make America “a nation under God and a religion under God” is dangerous, delusional, divisive, and a distortion of history. (“No, Michael Flynn, America Doesn’t Need Just One Religion,” Opinion, November 20)

Besides, what would this single religion be? Obviously, from Flynn’s point of view, it would not be Islam or any of the myriad religions considered “Eastern”. And, no matter when the term “Judeo-Christian” was coined, it does not describe a religion, but rather a supposedly shared ethical belief system.

So, does Flynn mean Catholicism or Judaism? My guess is no. Protestantism remains. But even this includes many distinct denominations whose adherents vehemently disagree on minor and major tenets of their beliefs.

Flynn blows a dog whistle, hoping that everyone who hears him will believe his religion will be the chosen one. Even my dog ​​knows better than to listen.

Andrew Rubin, Los Angeles

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For the publisher: The vibrant religious culture we enjoy today as the most pious democracy in the West does not exist despite our secular tradition, but because of it. The tolerance, pluralism and free expression that we experience are only ensured by the freedom of conscience sanctioned by the state.

Flynn’s Christian nation argument is appealing. Many Americans would prefer an “established” state church and an implied covenant: If we revere God, He will protect and bless us.

But secularism has also added to our identity as a beacon of freedom. Without an age of reason, for example, the abolitionist movement would not have been able to decontextualize the implicit sanction of slavery and segregation in the Scriptures. The political emancipation of women would have been prevented, and marriage equality would be unthinkable.

Indeed, while the defenders of the Christian heritage see divine providence in the founding of the nation, the laity celebrate 1776 as the birth of a new type of high state, a society without a throne or an altar, where reason human is ascending. Reconciling these two impulses is a central challenge for our political system.

David DiLeo, San Clemente

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For the publisher: Flynn says America needs a God and a religion. Can I just say that if his brand of “religion” is what he promulgates, count me.

I could be wrong, but I have always lived under the concept that believers in God are moral, honest and honest persons. If anyone’s “lost sight of it,” it’s Flynn.

I repeat: count me.

Rebecca Hertsgaard, Palm Desert

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For the publisher: Randall Balmer, an episcopal priest, reminds us of earlier attempts to harness belief in God into some form of expression. President Lincoln and Mike Mansfield, Senate Majority Leader in the 1960s, helped thwart such attempts in their day.

I can’t help but remember Germany at a time when many of us were born – a time when a man hypnotized the nation against the Jews, who were murdered in unholy numbers.

God is too vast to be relegated to one religion. The 1st Amendment remains America’s best idea.

Mary Leah Plante, Los Angeles


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