Despite my wholesome habit of ignoring the columns of the “Three Musketeers,” I was this time drawn into the slough by an incendiary title (“United States is One Nation under God,” Daily News, April 7).
The Musketeers contend that Benjamin Franklin performed a miracle “similar to those found in ancient Israel” when he inaugurated the practice of opening each daily session of Congress with a prayer.
Franklin so changed the “demeanor in the chamber” that months of tumultuous wrangling at the Constitutional Convention (1787) were cast aside to enable the “miraculous” completion of the United States Constitution “within a few short weeks.”
The truth is that Franklin was not exactly religious. For example: during the time that he lived in London from 1757 to 1775, he is known to have attended occasional meetings of a Hellfire Club organized by Sir Francis Dashwood and patronized by the aristocracy.
At these meetings, men performed black masses, drank heavily and consorted with prostitutes who were dressed as nuns. The Three Musketeers and their fellow Republicans were not taught this in grade school, so it didn’t happen.