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from a.r.m . . .

According to the "Standard-Examiner" in the "The Patriotic Religious Service of the American Legion's 78th national convention." Pres. Hinckley said:

"Without acknowledgment of deity, without recognition of the Almighty as the ruling power of the universe, the all-important element of personal and national accountability shrinks and dies."

To me just the opposite seems true. It is when people are taught to do good out of fear of punishment or out of expectation of some reward when people fail to properly develop morally. Atheists, on the other hand, fundamentally espouses the idea that one should do good simply for goodness sake which, in my mind, is a much more moral and benevolent position. This is a much more productive "value" to be taught to children in my opinion. It's morally damaging and hate inducing to be taught that rewards or punishment are necessary for moral behavior in this way. One should expect that one can choose to do good simply for goodness sake and not require being forced, by threat of punishment, or bribed into choosing it.

Brent Allsop

This (humorous) opinion showed up in the Salt Lake Tribune.

Hinckley also indicated that the US was a nation founded by Christians for Christian purposes. Is that true?

"All persons shall have full and free liberty of religious opinion; nor shall any be compelled to frequent or maintain any religious institution." -- [Thomas Jefferson, 1776]

"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." -- [Thomas Jefferson]

That's not all Jefferson said on the issue, and he was hardly alone in his opinions. Washington, Paine, Franklin, Madison, Adams, Lincoln (although not a founder), and other founders of the nation were highly critical of Christianity at times.

See the Freedom From Religion Foundation nontract "Is America a Christian Nation?" [an error occurred while processing this directive]