Here is an American history lesson for letter writer David L. Eilering, "Progressive values clarified."
Just weeks after George Washington took office he signed the Northwest Ordinance, which states: "Religion, morality and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged."
Numerous subsequent state constitutions included that clause. The law is listed in the federal code along with the Constitution, the Declaration and the Articles of Confederation as one of America's four "organic" or foundational laws.
Add these quotes of the Founding Fathers :
* "In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the savior. The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity." -- John Quincy Adams.
* "(T)he only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government is the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible -- Benjamin Rush, Father of Public Schools under the Constitution.
* "Religion (is) the basis and foundation of government." -- James Madison.
Include, "We, the people of the state of Illinois -- grateful to almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which he has permitted us to enjoy and seeking his blessing upon our endeavors ..." -- Preamble of the Illinois Constitution.
Russell C. Fette Collinsville