Here's a list of more "tiresome and offensive left-wingers" who believed in the separation of church and state: George Washington, John Adams, John Quincy Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

The Rev. Isaac Backus, a Baptist, observed in 1773: "church and state are separate, the effects are happy and they do not interfere with each other: but when they have been confounded together, no tongue nor pen can fully describe the mischiefs that have ensued." — Mary Kalakay, Medford

Regarding the story "Cops call man's actions 'predatory' " in the Aug. 19 paper: I squinted, put my glasses on, took them off, squinted again, and still don't see the link between a man suspected of fondling a male child's buttocks at the White City McDonald's and the fact that "there were trucks in the vicinity."

I guess truck drivers couldn't be eating at McDonald's or other eating places in the vicinity or using the ATM at Wells Fargo or buying groceries or exercising or buying supplies for their trucks. No, the child molester must be a truck driver because "there were trucks in the vicinity."

Unless and until police investigators positively know the man is a truck driver, that statement never should have been made.

When all this fondling and stalking was going on, where were the boy's parents? — Kelleigh Duncan, Medford

Why do our presidential candidates have to conduct a debate in "Pastor" Warren's cash cow, the Saddleback Church?

There is no rational excuse for making them walk the land with Christian symbols on their lapel, waving a palm leaf, or dabbing ashes on their foreheads. Their religious preference or their "faith" is totally irrelevant vis-a-vis the ability to head this democratic nation.

We are not a theocracy. We are a republic with a well-thought-out bicameral system of checks and balances, which has served us well (for the most part ), and the Founding Fathers, deliberately and wisely, excluded any religious flavor from the Constitution, other than the guaranteed freedom to pursue any system of worship. — Lee Carrau, Phoenix

What are we to make of Sen. Jesse Helms, who died last July? It is no exaggeration to say that this man spent many decades spewing prejudice, bigotry and hatred toward gay people, scapegoating gays for every evil imaginable. A more blatant example of an ignorant and bigoted Southern "yahoo" could scarcely be imagined.

To millions of gays in America — decent, law-abiding American citizens who have harmed no one — Helms represented a Ku Klux Klan-type mentality, constantly spreading hatred and bigotry against gay people at every opportunity. Is this what Jesus commands us to do?

Since 2005, we have learned of many right-wing, anti-gay Republicans who led secret gay lives for years before being publicly exposed. Rep. Mark Foley, Sen. Larry Craig and the Rev. Ted Haggard come to mind. The Bible tells us to love our enemy. These anti-gay haters must've missed that part.

Nazi Germany's Josef Goebbels was an acknowledged master at inciting anti-Jewish hatred over the airwaves. Unlike Helms, at least Dr. Goebbels made no pretense of being a devout follower of a "Love thy neighbor" type of religion. He may have been a Nazi bigot, but at least he wasn't a hypocrite. — James Snyder, Medford

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