Letters, Camden Herald
A sad farewell
My last Rockport Town News column for the Camden Herald after a 28 year tenure was recently published and I didn’t have the opportunity for a “formal” wrap-up and thank you to all the column readers and contributors over those 28 years.
Thanks to neighbors Mac and Marge Whittet, in late 1986 CH Editor Sally Murdoch approached me and asked if I’d be interested in writing a West Rockport Town News column (eventually phased into the Rockport Town News column). I was terrified (and flattered). We’d just moved to Rockport that June and I’d only met a few people on our own street and Rockport town officials, some local merchants, Unitarian Church folks and the library “family” - Margie Dodge, other staff and volunteers and Friends of the Library members.
I decided what better way to get to know my new world than by saying “yes” and doing the column. That decision proved to be a winner. Writing the column over the years is a key reason our life in Rockport turned out to be even better than we’d anticipated. Writing the column afforded me (sometimes forced me) to jump into Midcoast community life with both feet, to see well below the superficial and learn about the real Rockport and its people, often from the inside out.
Saying farewell is bittersweet. In those 28 years, hundreds and hundreds of you were responsible for the Rockport Town News column -- countless individuals/families, as well as folks representing all phases of Town Government, every type of organization under the sun (profit and nonprofit), school personnel and volunteers, social services groups, even the medical community and more. As you might imagine, the “cast of characters” changed many times, but that just enriched the column and my experiences.
Thank you seems such an inadequate phrase to express gratitude to each and every one of you for the privilege over the years of sharing your lives through the Rockport Town News column. Your contributions and feedback (positive and negative!), were the heart and soul of my work and you are/were appreciated more than you can ever know.
In both the Camden Herald and the Courier Gazette, Gene Graves wrote an excellent article entitled, “God is the Foundation of Good Government.” Mr. Graves presented facts of early explorers and founding fathers, who realized that faith in God was the primary building block of a free society.
Revisionist history has attempted to change much of the thought regarding the Christian heritage found in the founding of the United States. What cannot be changed is the fact that innumerable pages of documents from those early years attest to a faith in God. A recent letter writer attempted to explain away the concept of a Christian nation by referring to the first amendment to Constitution and Bill of Rights. While this amendment states that the Congress shall not establish an official national religion, it says nothing about separation of church and state. The first amendment also expressly states that government shall not restrict the free exercise thereof and this clause is abused regularly today against Christianity. Others have also attempted to deny God as a foundation by citing that the Constitution does not mention God while completely ignoring that the Declaration of Independence has references to “Nature’s God,” the “Creator” and the “Supreme Judge.”
The recent letter writer also attempted to deny a Christian founding by citing various transgressions by the early colonists. Christianity follows a perfect God and not perfect men. Men have frequently failed to perfectly abide by a perfect God, but it is not the men that are perfect. The letter writer is correct that we are not a theocracy nor do we have a state religion. However, that is not a correct thesis to deny a Christian heritage by the founding fathers.
For those who are interested there is a very good film production of the Christian heritage from England to the Netherlands and then to America. The film is entitled “Monumental” and is available on Netflix or Amazon as a download or a DVD. Watch it, it is very enlightening.
Dale E. Landrith
United States of America, a Christian nation
It is interesting, however, rather sad to have a secular progressive, like Mr. Grima, state in a recent article that our country was not or has not been a Christian nation. He spends a significant amount of time attempting to explain many Old Testament statements that involved an agrarian economy in comparison to today. No effort is made to discuss the New Testament and the message of love and forgiveness expressed by Jesus Christ. This is understandable when you consider the outlook from his progressive viewpoint.
Let us review some facts regarding the individuals that signed the Declaration of Independence and also the U. S. Constitution.
There were 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence and they utilized the following phrase. “they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Individuals that were not of Christian belief would not use this terminology. Of this total 26 were Episcopalian, 12 Presbyterian, 11 Congregationalists, 2 Quaker, 2 Unitarians, 1 Roman Catholic, and the 2 Deists, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.
There were 39 signers of the Constitution. Of this total 12 were Episcopalians, 7 Presbyterians, 5 Congregationalists, 4 Quakers, 2 Roman Catholics, 2 Methodists, and 4 Deists, and 3 not determined. There is no way at this point in time to know with certainty the degree that any of these individuals placed on their religious beliefs, but the values that have been a hallmark of our history strongly indicate that religious faith has been of the utmost importance.
With these facts in mind also consider since 1861 In God We Trust is inscribed on either our coins or paper currency. In 1935 when the current Supreme Court Building in Washington D.C. was built the Ten Commandments are prominently shown along with the figure of Moses.
Lastly since 1954 our Pledge Allegiance to our flag includes "one nation, under God." These are each a recognition of the belief in God.
I personally have no idea to whom or what a secular progressive prays to for direction or in time of trouble, but I recommend that they consider offering prayers to our Almighty God. I believe it is far wiser to depend on God rather the vision of man.