Religious education 

I read with both great interest and amusement Douglas L. Thompson's letter ("Freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion," April 21, 2010, Gazette).

His letter makes a masterful statement of the woeful lack of knowledge about history, both American and world. His own statement that as of 1787 that 99.8 percent of the American population was Christian is completely untrue, some might even say false.

The Second Great Awakening, a religious revival in America, occurred from the late 1790 to about 1820. It is estimated that just after the American Revolution that church membership had declined to approximately 10 percent of the population and was almost nonexistent on the frontier.

This comes from "The New York Public Library American History Desk Reference," 1997, Page 401.

The Barna Group, a religious polling organization, ran an interesting poll a few years back. They asked those identified as people who had never belonged to, or received training from, any Christian church where they ranked evangelicals. No surprise they polled below used car salesmen, lawyers and politicians and just slightly ahead of prostitutes. My own opinion would flip-flop them, but that's another discussion for another time.

If you're a committed Christian whose goal is soul saving, that number should be eye-popping. When Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention bemoaned that New England now has less than 50 percent of the population identifying as Christian, someone might have sat up and taken notice.

When the number of people openly claiming that they're atheists goes from 8 percent to 16 percent in less than 10 years, maybe somebody ought to rethink proselytizing.

Whether it's Thomas 26, Luke 6:41-42 or Matthew 7:3-5, they all pretty much say the same thing. Worry about the log in your eye before you comment about the sliver in mine. America is not and was not founded by Christians for Christians. First, a person needs to stop lying about our history and start learning the difference between a deist and a Christian. It's pretty hard to follow someone to the moral high ground when they fudge the numbers and fib the facts.

"Carl Owen III

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Carl Owen III

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