I am appalled at the irresponsible journalism of some organizations such as The Associated Press.

In "Group opposes cross at Army hospital" (article, April 30) the reporter writes: "A religious watchdog group says a cross and religious motto on the emblem of an Army hospital in Colorado violate the constitutional requirement for separation of church and state and should be removed."

I would like to point out that the separation of church and state clause is a myth, taken out of context from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to a religious group to assuage its fears that the government would interfere in its business.

The U.S. Constitution provides for the free exercise of religion and prohibits the government from establishing a religion for all citizens to follow. It does not say that all mention of God or any religious symbols should be stricken from the public square. If it did, then from the beginning, crosses and religious quotes would not have been allowed in buildings and on monuments. But they are there. Why?

The founders of this country were religious people. There is reference to a creator in the Declaration of Independence. Countless state-owned buildings and monuments dating to the founding of the U.S. are emblazoned with religious symbolism. If the founders had a problem with said monuments and symbols, they’d have been removed long ago.

So to be completely fair to the anti-religious, I would like to do them a favor and remove all religious symbols from state-run or -owned things in their lives so that they are no longer offended. They can start by sending me all their money, which clearly says "In God we trust" on each and every piece, right down to the last penny.

Senior Airman Lucas M. HarbinAli al Salem Air Base, Kuwait

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