Multifaith nation celebrates holidays many ways

Re: "Birth of Christ is real reason for the season," From Readers, Dec. 4

Angela McIntosh rightly notes that our country was founded by Christians. However, the Puritans who settled New England -- the spiritual ancestors of today's fundamentalists -- forbade and punished the celebration of Christmas.

Children actually attended school on Christmas in Massachusetts until the time of the Civil War. Massachusetts was the last state to do away with an established church in 1833.

The Bible does not tell us in which month Jesus was born. The early church in Rome "borrowed" Dec. 25 from the pre-Christian Roman religion, which celebrated the birth of Mithra.

In our great multifaith country, which pioneered religious liberty and church-state separation, let us all celebrate whatever holidays we prefer when and how we like.

Happy holidays.

-- Edd Doerr

Silver Spring

Cabinet pick will reveal administration's intentions

Re: "Obama defense pick could come sooner than expected," Dec. 3

Of the four candidates mentioned as a possible secretary of defense, former Sen. Chuck Hagel is the worst choice as far as Israel is concerned.

His comments about the course that our military should take in case Israel sent airplanes to attack Iranian nuclear facilities was that the U.S. Air Force should intercept them and shoot them down.

Hagel's previous statements indicate that if he were to become secretary of defense, he would reduce cooperation with Israel and even argue for reduced funding for any joint ventures such a Iron Dome. His selection would reveal the real feelings the current administration has toward Israel and future cooperation between the two nations.

-- Nelson Marans

Silver Spring

Cuccinelli has bipartisan support in Va.

Re: "Volume rises in Va. governor's race," Nov. 29

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is quite capable of being elected governor this coming year. Along with the support of Gov. Bob McDonnell, his history of enthusiastic activism will take him far.

Although Cuccinelli has irritated some people through his aggressive stance against Obamacare, we need a governor who is not afraid of taking a stand for us, the people of Virginia.

Cuccinelli's message of capitalism, free enterprise and lower taxes resonates across the board because of his time-proven record of honesty. Thus, he is also able to attract independent voters, as was dramatically shown in the 2007 election when he was the only Republican state senator to win in Fairfax County.

-- Rebecca McCullough