Steve Chittock

Our founding fathers would not agree with Prop. 8

I've noticed lately in letters to the editor, mostly regarding Prop. 8 but now even Christmas, the argument that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and that our founding fathers based our laws on Christianity. This simply isn't true. Every founding document proposes the opposite.

Our first four presidents - Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison - were deists, not Christians. Their belief in God was not in a religious vein, but rather that the universe was governed by the laws of nature and pure reason. They considered religious dogma to be superstitious creations designed for the pursuit of greed and power, as exemplified by Adams in a letter to Jefferson where he proposes, "The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious scripture."

Jefferson believed religion to be incompatible with democracy. He wrote, "History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government." Madison saw governing by religion as a threat to individual freedom: "In no instance have the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people."

Documents establishing the laws of our land purposely excluded religion from our government. The Treaty of Tripoli, written during Washington's presidency and passed by the Senate, states emphatically: "The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion." The first amendment to our Constitution states: "Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," which Jefferson called, "a wall of separation between church and state." The intent of the first amendment was to avoid rule by religious dogma as well as the establishment of a national religion.

What I hear from those supporting Prop. 8 is they are following some kind of moral compass based on their religious beliefs. So leaving religion out of the Prop. 8 debate, what justification is there but to deny a sect of the population equal rights? Legislating morality on the basis of religion is just what the founding fathers hoped to avoid. They would consider Prop. 8 an abomination.

Katherine Kelly

Crescent City

Gratitude to those who helped woman in emergency

I woke up Monday morning with the horrible feeling that something was wrong. In a matter of seconds I felt a horrible pain in my chest above my heart. Along with the pain came the feeling of tightness, like I had my chest in a vise. This feeling quickly changed into what felt like an elephant sitting on my chest. Breathing became almost impossible.

My first thought was one I'd heard about many times: heart attack. I yelled for my husband, who called 911. Within minutes several dedicated volunteers from the Smith River Fire Department were at our door. These men came to my aid, a total stranger, and I will always be indebted to them. I didn't get your names but I want to thank each one of you for your willingness to take the time out of your busy lives to help total strangers. I'd like to extend this note of thankfulness to the paramedics that came to my aid, too. The unselfish work these men and women do to help others in need is priceless!

Once I arrived at Sutter Coast Hospital, I was introduced to Walt. I was told he would be my nurse. I'd met Walt before as he was my husband's ER nurse a few years back. Remembering how knowledgeable and professional, not to mention jovial, I knew I was in the best of hands. After taking many tests, I was told that I would be staying the night in ICU for observation.

My complete stay at Sutter Coast Hospital was outstanding. I've never been so pampered in all my life. Everyone treated me with genuine concern and compassion. My nurses waited on me day and night without any hesitation or complaint. The care I was shown during my stay is unsurpassed. When I had questions about my test results, the nurses went out of their way to get the answers for me.

I'd like to thank the following people from the ICU staff for the wonderful get-well card you sent me: Monica, Jean, Debbie, Carol, Diana, Kristy, Peggy, Lindan, Debbie H., Deanna, Kim, Cami, Lindsey, Ashly, Jennifer, Ronda, Lil, and Sheena Lynn.

I'm feeling much better now, a week later. I do have plans to see a cardiologist soon. Thankfully though, I now know that if in the future I should find myself back at Sutter Coast Hospital, I am confident that I will receive the best of care.

Brenda Woods

Smith River

Thanks to those who helped wih "Adopt a Child" project

We, of the Smith River United Methodist Church, wish to thank a multitude of people who have helped us with our "Adopt a Child" project.

We truly appreciate the shoppers, the sorters, the wrappers and the donors. Every one of you has helped to make Christmas a happier occasion for 106 local children. We are grateful each year as we again experience the wonderful giving spirit of our communities.

Thank you, everyone.

Elizabeth Musser

Smith River