National religion a power grab? and more letters to the editors

National religion a power grab?

For many reasons, I was appalled at the televised scenes at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The most appalling were those connecting Christianity to hate and violence. Seditious people carried crosses, banners that read, "Jesus is my savior, Trump is my president," and showed Jesus wearing a MAGA hat.

Jan. 6 is the greatest example why our Founding Fathers separated church and state in the First Amendment. The First Amendment not only keeps government out of religion but keeps some singular religion from establishing a totalitarian government.

The latest First Amendment struggle is called Christian nationalism. Christian nationalism is not patriotic Christianity but conservatives wanting to restrict the rights of others.

A true American patriot declares and defends freedom of religion. Declaring a national religion is the ultimate step toward totalitarian government.

Evangelicals support disgraced Michael Flynn promoting Christian nationalism's "one nation, one religion." Whose religion? Flynn suggested Trump should suspend the Constitution, silence the press and hold a new election under military authority.

The Republican Party is overrun with immoral candidates with Christian pretensions. Mark 7:9: "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandments of God in order to establish your tradition."

David Bean

Chatsworth, Ga.

Urge Congress to support Forest Act

Just last month, President Biden reinstated protections for the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, preventing logging and other destructive activities in the 16.7 million-acre temperate rainforest.

As we've known for years, forests act as a major "carbon sink," pulling huge amounts of CO2 out the air. And while efforts to plant new trees as a way to increase this carbon sink effect are admirable, they can have unintended consequences when done without careful planning.

Preventing deforestation, then, should be our first priority. One way to do this is to support H.R. 5508, known as The Forest Act of 2021, which prohibits the purchase of products from land that has been illegally deforested.

Let's ask Rep. Chuck Fleischmann and Rep. Scott DesJarlais to join other Republican legislators in co-sponsoring this bill.

As citizens of the Scenic City and greater Tennessee Valley, we are blessed with pines, oaks, hickories, maples and many other trees in abundance. Let's use our voices to speak up on their behalf. They'll thank us with cleaner air and a cooler planet.

L.B. Blackwell