Edward Dowling, Morgantown
In his letter “A country without patriots cannot exist,” Jim Hinebaugh promotes an idea that far too many Americans unfortunately embrace. If you don’t agree with me, you aren’t a patriot. The implication is, of course, that you don’t love America, that you’re a traitor.
I disagree with much of what Hinebaugh wrote. Let me make clear: I’m a patriot; I love my country; I’m not a traitor. How dare Hinebaugh and others like him suggest otherwise.
There’s so much wrong in his letter, let me focus on the Constitution and Christianity.
Hinebaugh talks a lot about radical ideas. The idea that the Constitution is based on the Bible is about as radical as you can get. Its authors were influenced by the Enlightenment.
The Constitution is a secular document. Religion is mentioned twice: In Article VI noting no religious test to hold public office; and The First Amendment posits that all Americans are free to practice their own faith tradition without help or hindrance from the government, and without interference from those people whose faith tradition differs from their own.
Jesus isn’t mentioned in the Constitution, nor is any other religious leader. The Constitution also doesn’t reference any specific religion including Christianity.
If our founders wanted to establish a Christian theocracy, they would’ve made that clear. They believed in religious freedom, which should be celebrated, not denied.
For someone who claims to be familiar with the Constitution, Hinebaugh’s reading, if he’s actually read it, is selective. Certainly, he ignores what doesn’t support his agenda.
Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. It’s also the last refuge of the willfully ignorant and ill informed.