Answering questions

I would like to answer the questions from Mr. DeVaul’s letter. His first Question, “Is Christianity a religion or the name describing several different religions?” Christianity is a religion based on the person and the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or its belief and practices. There are several sects that claim they are based on Christianity.

“Who settled this country in 1620?” Answer is the Pilgrims but not all who settled there on that date were Pilgrims. It is not the oldest established settlement in the continental U.S.; that would be St. Augustine, Florida, established by Spain in 1565.

“Who fought in the Revolutionary War?” It would be the American colonists against the British Empire. However, the American colonists had help from the New England state slaves and free Blacks and Native Americans. The British also had help from Native Americans and forced slaves to fight against the American colonies. There was also American colonists who were loyal to the crown and fought against the colonies, they were referred to as Loyalists. German mercenaries fought for the British and France sent ships to fight the British navy and the Marquis de Lafayette left France to join the American colonist in their fight and after France sent aid to the colonies Spain; the Netherlands followed.

“Who signed the “Constitution of United States’?” It was 38 of the 55 delegates sent by the colonies, except for Rhode Island. William Jackson, secretary of the Convention, was the 39th person and the only non delegate to sign the Constitution.

Mr. DeVaul claims that answering these questions proves that the United States is a Christian nation. I fail to see how he comes to that conclusion. He asks further questions.

“Tell me what countries allow more immigration than us?” If it is sheer numbers then the U.S. does lead other nations in allowing people to immigrate to the U.S. but new guidelines on admittance have been proposed by President Trump and that can change those numbers. However there is another measure that is just as telling as the actual number which is the percentage of immigrants to native population and this number shows the U.S. is behind other countries, notably Canada.

If assimilation was not working in the U.S., it would mean that the established culture has disappeared. No matter what people are stating about the American culture, it is still very much intact and dominates our nation. As it has always been, it is the second and third generations where immigrants become fully assimilated into the American culture. They add their heritage to our culture like so many immigrants before them.

“What is “Fully American” if not wanting to advance the ideals this country was founded on?” Not sure one can adequately answer such an open ended question. The motto on the Great Seal of the United States is ‘E pluribus unum’ – “From many, one”.

Historian Philip Gleason put it this way; “To be or to become an American, a person did not have to be any particular national, linguistic, religious, or ethnic background. All he had to do was to commit himself to the political ideology centered on the abstract ideals of liberty, equality, and republicanism. Thus the universalist ideological character of American nationality meant that it was open to anyone who willed to become an American.”

Charles M. Reeder

Montoursville

Submitted by Virtual Newsroom

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