In his March 27 column, "The rise of the 'nones,'" syndicated columnist Michael Gerson asked if America is on the path to secularization. In the news article "Divided court weighs gay marriage ban," Justice Samuel Alito made the remark that "traditional marriage has been around for thousands of years." Both statements demonstrate the lack of knowledge about this country and religion in general that most people have.

First, America was founded as a secular nation contrary to the falsehoods put forth by the religious right. The founders saw firsthand the danger of religion and politics mixing and wanted none of it. We see it today with the intolerance and hatred being fostered by the religious right over gay marriage and other social issues that they champion. Conservative Christians, as they are wont to do, have simply ignored the Constitution from the beginning.

Throughout the vast majority of human history, marriage has been a nonreligious civil practice. The early church took no interest in marriage until the Council of Trent (1545-1563) when, among other issues, the church decided that marriage should be a religious institution (and a means to greater influence in government and power over the people, as well as amassing greater wealth for the church).

Right-wing religionists are trying to disenfranchise a minority population based on their interpretation of the Bible. Conservative Christians are trying to force their religious views on society at large and some Supreme Court justices seem willing to do the same.