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Published: Friday, July 13, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Fourth of July

'Unchurched' are still real citizens

Bravo to the author of the Wednesday letter, "Despite ad, not a religious holiday." I too was disturbed by the full-page Fourth of July advertisement arguing that the United States must be a "Christian" nation.
I am particularly concerned about the efforts of some conservative Christian groups to equate their brand of religion with patriotism. The implicit conclusion of the ad was that adherents to other religions and the unchurched are somehow suspect as citizens.
The ad referenced selected historical quotes, but failed to mention that the "freedom of religion" clause in the First Amendment to the Constitution was heavily supported by the conservative, evangelical Baptists of the 18th Century, who were often deprived of civil rights and privileges by the official, state-endorsed, Anglican Church of Colonial times. James Madison, who played a major role in framing the First Amendment, had witnessed first-hand the persecution of Baptists in Virginia and was therefore committed to ending all religious discrimination in the newly-formed United States.
How ironic that some of today's spiritual heirs to the early Baptist tradition are attempting to curtail freedom of religion in the public square by conflating Christianity with patriotism.
Francis J. Lynch
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor:

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer:

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Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at or 425-339-3472.