Letter: Definition of USA not what many think

From: Mark Duwe


On patriotism we must first learn how to define our country and we can do this mostly with the U.S. Constitution. I am not going to tell anyone how to define the USA, but I will definitely show one how we cannot define it.

Religion. The United States is not defined by any religion in any way. That is the reason for the "Establishment Clause" of the Constitution. So, this means that if one asked the question, “If there were no Christians in this country, would this still be the good old US of A?” The answer is yes, of course. We are not defined by religion — the end. Even if every American were atheist, it wouldn’t change anything except maybe they would take "In God We Trust" off the money, which, based on a Supreme Court ruling, does not refer to any deity nor is it an expression or declaration of faith. That would violate the Establishment Clause. The ruling says that it is just a motto.

Skin color. “If there were no white people in America would this be a different country?” Nope! That wouldn’t change a thing. We are not defined by the color of our skin.

Language. “If no one in America spoke English?”

Gender identity: “If no one in America were heterosexual.”

Gender: “What if no one in America were male?”

None of these things would actually change the definition of America because that is contained in the Constitution. It is also contained in the good hearts of the people who live here.

The problem is that some people believe that some of the people I mentioned don’t have good hearts. If one believes one should or actually can judge an American to not have a good heart, then maybe one should take a look in the mirror.