Friday, January 07, 2005


A point of American history

Mr. Evan Engstrom of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, writes to The Economist to correct a point made by one of their authors—
SIR – It is incorrect to point at the use of the word “Creator” in the Declaration of Independence and say that “the place of religion in the public sphere has never been fixed” (“A hot line to heaven”, December 18th). America's founders attempted to establish a firm divide between religion and government. Evidence comes from Article 11 of the 1797 Tripoli treaty, which reads “the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” When you consider that this was included in the treaty to dispel fears of a war arising from religious differences between America and Muslim nations, the actions and opinions of George Bush and his religious, war-hawking, hyper-patriotic supporters seem eerily ironic.

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