The Treaty of Tripoli, and Hell
(Sent to the Towanda Daily Review on 1/25/98, and printed on 2/15/98.)

In Tom Smith's letter (Review, 1/19/98), he implied strongly that the United States is a Christian Nation, and argues that our Founding Fathers never intended for a "wall of separation" between the Christian church and state.

In the late 1700s, "The Treaty of peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli, of Barbary", commonly referred to as "The Treaty of Tripoli," was written by George Washington. Article 11 states, "As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

The treaty became law with John Adams signature on June 10, 1797. It became law without dissent or argument from any involved parties, and remained in effect for eight years. This clearly showed the intentions of our Founders during the early history of the United States. Sadly, these intentions are now being diluted by politicians and legislators with little understanding of the First Amendment and the reasons for its inclusion in the Constitution, and who cater to Christian revisionists in exchange for votes.

Any official reference that our Government makes to a deity is to the "God of the Universe," a deistic reference to the God of Nature -- not the Christian God, not the God of any other religion. Claiming otherwise is an attempt to take back that which was never owned.

Judy Husted (Review, 1/18/98) responded to my letter (Review, 1/5/98) which referenced multiple Biblical moral proclamations, each with a hideous, monstrous, yet still Biblical counterpart. Briefly, the divine commands given are love/murder, mercy/rape, tolerance/slaughter, justice/cannibalism, and honor/mutilation. Husted wrote that I merely illustrated the contrast between the Old and New Testaments and the "huge difference" that Jesus made.

Isn't Christianity monotheistic? Is not the god described in the Old and New Testaments the same god? From Husted's position, it seems that the omniscient deity of the Old Testament is admitting serious mistakes by reappearing as a new improved deity of the New Testament. The same problem presents itself even if the Trinity explanation is invoked.

Is the God of the Bible repenting for past horrors? Maybe not. The writers of the seemingly "kinder and gentler" New Testament invented a new punishment for humans eternal torture in hell. It seems that mere death by torture, rape, or dismemberment is just not good enough for pagans or infidels.

John L. Ferri

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