The Religious Right – Corrupting Republican Principles

There’ll be a crowd in Orlando this next week all sucking up to Robertson, Falwell, and Dobson. McCain, Romney, Brownback, and Huckabee will be among the obsequious aspirants who hope to prove their “conservative” credentials. I respect Rudy Giuliani for not stooping to this sycophantic farce.

What does any of this have to do with traditional conservatism? What happened to a government that keeps its distance and respects the individual to make his own choices? Whatever became of the Republican mantra of smaller government and states’ rights? Is this the Party that professes to respect individual accountability and promote personal liberty?

Those principles sound hollow in a Party that has grown bureaucracy with No Child Left Behind, the Real ID Act, and the uber-Department of Homeland Security. This “less intrusive” administration has tapped phones without warrants and banned internet gambling. They would rewrite the Constitution to define religious rites to supersede civil relationships, protect the flag from arsonists, and ignore the principles of habeas corpus when dealing with infidels.

What about these candidates as they kowtow before the Grand Pooh-Bahs of the Religious Right? McCain, who once called Falwell an "agent of intolerance," is now Falwell's favorite; he'll say whatever his audience wants to hear. Romney will try to explain his flip-flop stand on abortion. Brownback is at least consistent in his crusade to legislate what a woman does with her uterus; he's been at it for years. Huckabee? He wants a nation with a $9 trillion debt to provide music and art instruction via federal mandate - a fine curriculum option, but an issue constitutionally reserved for state jurisdiction.

My gripe? Why can't the Republican Party stick to the basics? The Constitution calls for relatively few things from the federal government, and the 10th amendment reserves the rest for the states or the people. The Bill of Rights should keep the government off our phone lines and protect us from oppressive do-gooders. The Republican Party has long suggested that "the government that governs best governs least." Let's see the Party get behind the notion that "to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution" is adequate. Nothing less is acceptable, nothing more is needed.

Michael Smith, Republican Candidate for President

Posted by Michael Smith at February 14, 2007 11:52 PM
Comments
Comment #208190

It truly is amazing how the GOP so easily prostituted its limited government and personal liberty agendas for the votes from the religious right who demanded government intervention on ever grander scales into citizens personal lives, schools, and workplaces.

Was it Newt Gingrich who architectured that bit of planned obsolescence into the GOP’s future? I forget.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 15, 2007 1:03 AM
Comment #208191

I would hope that if you are elected, one of your first actions would be to work with Congress to outlaw the presidential signing statements which have so radically undermined our Constitution’s checks and balances between its branches. The last 4 presidents have used them to subvert the laws of the people, and Bush has outdone the three previous presidents combined, in this effort.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 15, 2007 1:07 AM
Comment #208194

David, I agree with you and the American Bar Association that the signing statements are a problem. If I were president, and didn’t like a law, I’d exercise the veto option. Pretty simple, transparent process.

Posted by: Michael Smith at February 15, 2007 1:16 AM
Comment #208199

Your articles keep tempting me to vote for a Republican presidential candidate in ‘08. Do you have any idea what kind of cognitive dissonance that creates in my head? :-)

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 15, 2007 1:39 AM
Comment #208200

Michael, I hope for the sake of this Country you win this next election and get rid of the foolishness known as the department of homeland security, stop the national ID insanity, renounce the insult to the American people perpetrated by Gonzalez regarding Habeus Corpus and throw the religious right out of politics and back to the churches where they belong. And if you could get a grip on the excessive waste in the department of defense and get the federal debt under control that would be nice to.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 15, 2007 1:49 AM
Comment #208206

Another guy who emboldens the enemy. Have you forgotten 9/11? We are in a World War fighting for our very existence against people who hate our freedoms. Would we have won WW2 if we had so many people like you weakening us? Sure… mistakes were made… but these are only setbacks in the ongoing war. We’ve had setbacks before and the winners kept moving forward!!!

Sigh… its really disappointing to see such unamerican comments appear in this column. You’d think you were in the girly side of Watchblog. It shouldn’t surprise me, ofcourse. There were certainly enough precedents for this. So-called Republicans who have forgotten God and morality. The so-called Libertarians who support drugs and removes God from schools. Just last week, these traitors once again prevented Creationism from returning to Kansas… taking God away from our children!!!

A disappointment… and a waste. Turn away from your sins, Mr. Smith!!! The Almighty God still has a place inside his heart for you.

Posted by: Juan dela Cruz at February 15, 2007 7:41 AM
Comment #208209

Just last week, these traitors once again prevented Creationism from returning to Kansas… taking God away from our children!!!

And once again we see a Republicans true colors….Juan the constitution is very clear on keeping religion and state separate… please don’t try to force your religion on my children.

Posted by: 037 at February 15, 2007 8:32 AM
Comment #208210

037

Why do you people need to keep being reminded that separation of church and state is a theory and a myth. It is an idea that was created by people who love to sue and reap and rape the dollars of many people. Re-read the 1st amendment and tell me where the government is trying to establish a church and be honest show me how the free excercise of religion is being thwarted. The free exercise clause is every bit important as the balance of the amendment.

Posted by: tomh at February 15, 2007 9:00 AM
Comment #208211

tomh, Seperation of Church and State is a myth only if you are home schooled by the religous right.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 15, 2007 9:08 AM
Comment #208212

j2t2

I am not home schooled by the religious right. I still believe that “separation of church and state” is a myth. It is reading into the Constitution something that is not there.

BTW-your phrase “home schooled by the religious right” I took as a slam. But, I also expect it so it is nothing new, just the smae ol same ol. Just to remind you, the first amendment says the government cannot establish a church state, or interpret that as a national religion. It does not state anywhere that a separation must exist. Now, liberal minds will surely expand and interject all the nuances possible to get something that to them resembles a “separation” clause, but it simply does not exist.

Posted by: tomh at February 15, 2007 9:29 AM
Comment #208215

tomh,

Do you understand the concepts of “precedence” and “Stare decisis” in our legal system?

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at February 15, 2007 10:19 AM
Comment #208218

Tomh, I don’t understand you, if there is no seperation beween the church and the state then aren’t they the same entity. The first amendment prohibits the fusion of church and state into a single entity, so there must be some seperation

The only difference in opinion is where to draw the line, some people at the extremes want the government to endorse Christianity and other extremists wish to remove all evidence of religion from public life. My opinion is that while the government should not sponsor any particular religion (this means that no taxpayer dollars fund religious programs), the government must recognize that many people are religious and make allowances for them by not prohibiting them from praying or worshiping on public property.

Posted by: Warren P at February 15, 2007 10:26 AM
Comment #208219

Juan and tomh, there are plenty of candidates eager to pander to your view - I am not. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” That seems clear enough to me - if a law is based on intrinsically religious dogma, it respects an establishment of religion. If a law seeks to impose religious principles on the people, it respects an establishment of religion. If government acts to codify, endorse, display, insinuate, inculcate, or coerce religiosity, it violates the first amendment.

And I get the distinction between basic religious values like “do unto others as you would have done unto you” versus specific dogma. Nearly every culture throughout history has adopted certain norms for civil conduct - the Ten Commandments are not a requirement for a law-abiding society. We do not throw people in jail for mowing their lawn on the Sabbath, or saying “goddammit” when they stub their toe. I can have a pork sandwich for lunch and send my daughter to school because we are not a theocracy.

If by defending the Constitution, I embolden our enemies, then hallelujah! Enemies take heart! I will not establish a theocracy to combat their theocracy. I will allow the enemy to hold a monopoly on theocratic oppression.

It’s been quoted and misquoted, but is always relevant. Ben Franklin said something like, “Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.” Amen.

Posted by: Michael Smith at February 15, 2007 10:34 AM
Comment #208228
Why can’t the Republican Party stick to the basics?

Because the Republican party has been hijacked and split into by both extremes. The liberals (Bush, Chaney, and the likes) have most of it, and the neocons (Falwell, Robertson, and the likes) have what’s left. There just aint any room left in it for true conservatives.
It’s surprising that there’s a Republican Party left at all.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.

Where does that say religion can’t influence government? It looks all one sided to me.
But then folks these days seem to be able to read things that aint there. Our educational system must be better than I thought.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 15, 2007 11:37 AM
Comment #208231

“The heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism” - R. Reagan.

Odd, considering he had no qualms about injecting a person’s personal religious views onto others. The primary tennet of libertarianism is letting people live their lives how THEY see fit, not how you think they should. By introducing any religion into politics you are doing just this.

That the conservative movement has moved away from libertarianism so far (as well as liberals, from a different direction) is telling. And possibly why they were abandoned in 2006 by the libertarians in the US resulting in their loss.

Perhaps they should consider again why they were elected for to begin with? Certainly not to tell me how to live my life, what I can do in my own bedroom, who I can love, etc…

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 15, 2007 12:09 PM
Comment #208240
The liberals (Bush, Chaney, and the likes) have most of it, and the neocons (Falwell, Robertson, and the likes) have what’s left.
It’s really hard to take that seriously. But I think Ron is serious and Juan was joking.

Michael, good post.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at February 15, 2007 12:46 PM
Comment #208242
But I think Ron is serious and Juan was joking.

I agree, at least I HOPE that Juan was joking…

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 15, 2007 1:01 PM
Comment #208251

Re-read the 1st amendment and tell me where the government is trying to establish a church.

tomh ~ Creationism is a religous concept, one not even held by a great deal of the population. It has no place in a science classroom. That is what is on the plate in Kansas. Teaching religion in a science class.

Posted by: 037 at February 15, 2007 1:53 PM
Comment #208253

Juan’s posts remind me of a very short poem by Robert Frost:

It takes all kinds of in and outdoor schoolin’
To get used to my kind of foolin’.
Posted by: Trent at February 15, 2007 1:57 PM
Comment #208261

037, in addition, there is Buddhist creationism, Hindu creationism (very creative), Australian Aboriginal Creationism. If Christian creationism is to be taught in the schools, then Constitutionally, those Christian students MUST be taught these other forms of Creationism as well. For to teach one religious view over others in government run and funded institutions is a clear violation of the Establishment Clause.

Actually, handled Constitutionally, it might not be a bad thing to teach all forms of creationism. Then students can decide whether the rigors of the empirical method or the mythological basis for the others is more suitable to them. The human mind being what it is, the vast majority will choose the empirical version, though they may not confess it on Sunday.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 15, 2007 2:57 PM
Comment #208278

I’d like to know where in the U.S. Constitution is the article or amendment stating seperation of church and state. I know of the establishment of a state church which the constitution forbids.

Posted by: KAP at February 15, 2007 4:44 PM
Comment #208283

The religious right isn’t just corrupting Republican principles, and repeatedly showing complete disdain for the first amendment, they are in fact, corrupting religious principles also.
For instance, Donohue Devotees Call for Sodomy, Rape, Murder of Dem Staffer

Quote:


Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, has now rallied his followers to escalate his war against Democrats—taking what was an obnoxious smear campaign to the hitherto unimaginable level of violent, criminal threats on the life of female campaign staffer.

Email sent to the personal website of Amanda Marcotte, Donohue’s supporters have now issued threats calling for her to be sodomized, raped and murdered.
This is the America we live in, ladies and gentleman.
This is not made up.
Bill Donohue waged a cynical campaign to destroy the Presidential hopes of a Democratic candidate, and as a result, Donohue incited his disciples to destroy the life of a young woman.

These people are about as religious as Ann Coulter is religious — in other words, not at all.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 15, 2007 5:10 PM
Comment #208285

037

The view that science takes on the origin of the earth is theory. Any scientist will say so. Theory is not proof. So why teach something tht is not proof or truth?

Let me repeat. The liberal mind will expand on the word “establish” and make it say something that is not so. Just because some legal mind of liberal bent says there is an establishment clause that says “separation of church and state” does exist does not mean it does in fact exist. It is a myth in that person(s) mind. The purpose in the first amendment is to protect religious beliefs. It is there so that somebody cannot come along and make this nation a Baptist nation, or Congregationalist nation, or Roman Catholic nation, or Methodist nation, etc. That is what is meant by no establishment of religion. All these arguments did not come about until the 20th century when men became “wiser” (sic). Nobody on the right or religious right or extreme right has tried to set up a national church. If anything the left has tried to set up a religion of materialism and humanism through the court system. By taking away religious rights that have become institutiionalized and are harmful to nobody, and replacing them with special rights or having the displaced rights replaced by no rights, then nobody can practice their religious preferences. But, for some the blinders are solidly in place. Some lace the ability to see that far ahead. Compassion should be applied to those.

Posted by: tomh at February 15, 2007 5:23 PM
Comment #208289

okay tomh, if the first amendment means there is no separation between church and state, and any and all religions can enter freely into the affairs of government, I guess the government is now allowed to enter freely into the affairs of religion. Therefore, to give just one example, the Democratic Congressional majority can now try to pass legislation requiring children in Sunday schools all across this country to spend part of that time learning about the wonderful achievements and progressive changes that liberal politicians and thinkers have brought to America.
How does that grab you? Will it make you happy when you ask your children what they learned in Sunday School, and they start describing in detail about how Union workers demanded and fought bloody and violent battles in order to get an eight hour working day and overtime pay?
You see, if the first amendment isn’t about a separation of church and state, these things are going to have to be allowed to work both ways.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 15, 2007 5:48 PM
Comment #208290

Adrienne-

Tomh is being a literalist. So the government only has the powers literally given to it in express writing via the constitution. So you can’t say you’d regulate his church, unless it was part of interstate commerce, for example. Something literally in their power to do. Lets play with that.

Freedom of speech means that you can yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theater. Or “RAT!” in a nice restaurant.

Freedom of the press means they can print stolen classified documents on the front page. And libelously slander a rape victim.

I have gotten half way through one amendment and I’m scared out of my pants by this line of thinking.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 15, 2007 6:08 PM
Comment #208291

Now people are using the word establish to enforce interference. As I said above the word “establish” will be expanded in its use by the liberal establishment.

Adrienne

All religions have and can continue to get involved in the affairs of government. That is a basic right that is practiced by all religions. And NO on the example of Democratic Congressional majority passing aforementioned legislation. That would be an infringement of free practice of ones religion. There are already some churches that teach that type of liturgy.

Also why do you think Mr Donohue had anyting to due with those evil e-mails. Mr. Donohue has much more integrity than that. There are always wackos who say they are left or right but if truth were known they would be anarchists.

Posted by: tomh at February 15, 2007 6:14 PM
Comment #208293

Kevin23
You are mixing powers and right up as if they are interchangeable. The 1st amendment only says the government cannot do thus and so. That means they cannot interfere with the practices mentioned in the 1st amendment. They have no power period over churches or the press. This also does not refer to separation of church and state. All persons of all faiths or no faiths can be active in government at all levels. The government cannot legislate involving churches or the press or speech. There are responsibilities that come with that. Publishing government documents that have security levels on them is irresponsibile. There are rights in speech also. One cannot slander or libel someone. In the manner of religion, there can be no law to prohibit the free exercise of ones religion, period. If someone is standing in the middle of Times Square shouting religious statements, he can be arrested for public nuisance for the activity. He cannot be arrested for the statements he makes. He is exercising his religiious freedom, but the nuisance is a violation of other law.

Posted by: tomh at February 15, 2007 6:27 PM
Comment #208296

Tomh-

I confuse nothing. The supremacy clause says the constitution trumps all state and local law. The words “shall make no law” means exactly that, does it not?

So a disrupting of the peace prohibition would only affect those that were not engaging in federally protected activities. That is the only literal answer as it is an affirmative right with no stated restriction.

I’m merely using your approach.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 15, 2007 6:33 PM
Comment #208302

If religion can’t use it’s influence with government, then science can’t use it’s influence with government.
The only thing the establishment clause does is prevent the government from favoring one religion over another. When government recognizes one religion over another that religion then takes over the government and the result is tyranny. The same happens when religion is completely removed from government.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 15, 2007 6:47 PM
Comment #208303

tomh:
“Now people are using the word establish to enforce interference. As I said above the word “establish” will be expanded in its use by the liberal establishment.”

Oh the government won’t be “establishing” liberalism on your church or anything. The Church will just have to teach the children about liberal achievements along with teaching them about their religion. No big deal — just some information that the government believes should be disseminated everywhere.

“Adrienne

All religions have and can continue to get involved in the affairs of government. That is a basic right that is practiced by all religions.”

I understand what you’re saying. You believe that there is no separation between church and state.

“And NO on the example of Democratic Congressional majority passing aforementioned legislation. That would be an infringement of free practice of ones religion.”

Not at all. Churches will still be allowed to freely practice their religions, but the government now wants to requires them to additionally spend a few minutes teaching the kids about liberal achievements each time they meet. That’s all.
If there is no separation of church and state, I’m sure no one will mind this a bit.

“There are already some churches that teach that type of liturgy.”

Yes, but the government might feel that not enough of them do.

“Also why do you think Mr Donohue had anyting to due with those evil e-mails. Mr. Donohue has much more integrity than that. There are always wackos who say they are left or right but if truth were known they would be anarchists.”

Oh I never said that Donohue asked his followers to send the e-mails, but that’s just what those “religious” people chose to do as a result of Donohue very vocally attacking those bloggers for having the collosal nerve to think differently than he does.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 15, 2007 6:48 PM
Comment #208309

tomh asked: “Theory is not proof. So why teach something tht is not proof or truth?”

Because it is verifiable and disprovable potentially. That is what makes it science and not religion. Regardless of people’s penchant to believe that farting angels are what produce the pressure to push pistons out in a engine, the theory of oxidation as a mechanism for generating heat and expanding gases is nonetheless verifiable and so far, NOT disproved.

Try that with the existence of GOD or validating that Jesus was the direct spawn of God’s figurative loins. You can’t. Neither is verifiable nor disprovable, hence they are religion and not science.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 15, 2007 7:02 PM
Comment #208310

Kevin23

Re-read what I wrote. It is straight forward.

Posted by: tomh at February 15, 2007 7:04 PM
Comment #208311

Tomh-

So is what I wrote.

Is this a contest?

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 15, 2007 7:09 PM
Comment #208317

Adrienne
Re:Comment #208303
So according to y’all liberals it’s OK for the Government to interfere with religious teachings and force churches to teach y’all beliefs. Regardless of what the first amendment says. And that’s just what your so called ‘liberal achievements’ is, teaching liberal beliefs. And after that then what? Forcing them to quit teaching about God?
I find this very interesting sense y’all get up tight if someone even mentions God in school. Y’all want to violate the very establishment clause y’all claim the ‘religious right’ is violating. Who’s trying to force their beliefs on who?
Are you willing to let my preacher go into public schools and teach Baptist beliefs in them on school time?
Liberal beliefs are a matter of politics. Not religion. Keep your liberalism out of my church.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 15, 2007 7:28 PM
Comment #208318

David R. Remer

This is drifting away from the main post.

Science verifies the Bible.

The Bible verifies science.

Posted by: tomh at February 15, 2007 7:31 PM
Comment #208321

Addrienne, your quote claims that the head of the Catholic league launched “an obnoxious smear campaign” against Amanda Marcotte, but that is utterly absurd.

Amanda Marcotte is the one who wrote, among other things, “What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit?” on an Edwards blog.

Now, I support her freedom of speech to say whatever she wishes, but I can also understand why a Catholic leader would take offense and complain. Seems to me that it would only be natural for a Catholic to protest such comments. Calling it an an “obnoxious smear” to complain about such material seriously discredits the source you name.

As for these “emails from Donohue’s supporters,” to Marcotte, we have no evidence whatsover that they are actually from Donohue’s supporters. Have you read Marcotte’s blog posts? The language of those emails is pure potty-mouth, and frankly, sound more in character for Marcotte herself.

Any of us could produce a series of unverified so-called “e-mails from our detractors” and claim that they came from our opponents. Material like that is worthless.

Here’s an example. Only today I got emails from two Democrats saying “We support Al Qaida” and “We vote Democratic because we hope for the destruction of the United States!” These are real emails I got from Democrats! Don’t you believe me?

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 15, 2007 7:37 PM
Comment #208325

Ron, what I wrote isn’t what I want to have happen at all. I happen to believe very strongly that the first amendment spells out a clear separation between church and state. tomh doesn’t agree. He seems to want what I described to happen, because he doesn’t believe there is a separation of church and state at all. He seems to think that the church can meddle in the affairs of government without the government feeling that they can do likewise? Why would it remain so one sided? My posts were just to point out the direction that this country might go down if people no longer respect the idea of the wall of separation.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 15, 2007 7:42 PM
Comment #208328

Interesting ideas:

Creationism taught in schools (government run), Ten Commandments in courthouses (government run), and on down the line.

I did think that any government institution should promote any one religious idea over another?

Gosh, we liberal christians must be so wrong!

Posted by: womanmarine at February 15, 2007 7:48 PM
Comment #208330

Loyal O:
“Amanda Marcotte is the one who wrote, among other things, “What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit?” on an Edwards blog.”

No she didn’t write that on an Edwards blog. You don’t know what you’re talking about. She wrote this years before on another blog, but Donohue tried to make an issue out of this to smear Edwards because of things she’d written before she came to work for him. It’s bull$!#t.

“Calling it an an “obnoxious smear” to complain about such material seriously discredits the source you name.”

No it doesn’t. It was an obnoxious smear. Almost anyone can dig up something negative about someones past, but most don’t then try to make what THEY said stick to the BOSS that later hires them to do some work.

“Have you read Marcotte’s blog posts? The language of those emails is pure potty-mouth, and frankly, sound more in character for Marcotte herself.”

Have you heard the kinds of things that Donohue says? He’s a total hatemonger, and frankly it’s no wonder his wacko followers decided that he was inciting them to violence.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 15, 2007 7:54 PM
Comment #208334

Based on the initial post the issue here is whether all groups have the right to particpate in and influence the political process. What I find interesting about the separation of church and state crowd is that anytime they have an opinion on a political or social issue that differs from the opinion held by a group such as the Christian right they drop their trump card of separation of church and state and claim that the issue is no longer open to debate since the opposing opinion is really just pushing your religion on me and is therefore invalid(or illegal). The initial post blasts the so called Christian Right for having the audacity to express their views to politicians. Funny how I never see posts blasting democrats for campaigning in Black churches. or blasting the Rev Jackson or Sharpton for telling the democratic party how to vote. I know this will dissapoint the left but regardless of your feelings on it Christians will still get their votes counted in the 2008 elections even if their basis for deciding how they vote is 100% determined by their religious beliefs. I can’t say I’m personally a big fan of the Rev’s Falwell & Robertson but I do believe they have the same rights to participate in the political process as the Rev’s Jackson and Sharpton do and it scares me the way the left tries to silence those who disagree with their agenda.

Posted by: Carnak at February 15, 2007 8:10 PM
Comment #208336

Addrienne, I got an email from someone who told me they know Marcotte personally, and this email says that she made it all up about being threatened in order to make the Catholics (who she hates) look bad. That’s all the evidence I need.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 15, 2007 8:15 PM
Comment #208339

Last week I went to my daughter’s class to watch her present a project. After the bell rang, all the students were required to stand, put their hand on their heart, and recite along with the principle on the loudspeaker the Pledge of Allegiance, including the phrase “under god.” Some silly people will say any kid who didn’t want to be forced to pay homage to superstition can just leave, and maybe they can. But tell that to kids who are highly susceptible to peer pressure. That phrase added during the Red Scare needs to be deleted.

Posted by: Trent at February 15, 2007 8:22 PM
Comment #208341

Loyal Opposition,

What a coincidence, I just got an e-mail that told me that Donohue is actually satan worshipper who has violent sex with all his followers, and that he incited those freaks to send out those death-rape-sodomy-threat e-mails. Is that all the evidence I need, too? Funny how these Rovian tactics can work both ways — just like tearing down the wall of separation might come to work both ways, also.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 15, 2007 8:23 PM
Comment #208343

Trent
You need to study thoroughly the founding fathers and their writings concerning the dependence upon Almighty God. They relied upon his wisdom and guidance in their daily activities.

Posted by: Tomh at February 15, 2007 8:30 PM
Comment #208345

Michael Smith,
You’re making the same mistake the other lefties make when they speak of the “conservative” Republican Party. It isn’t conservative and hasn’t been for a long time.
The Neo-Conservatives co-opted the Republican Party during the 1980 presidential race and came to power during Reagan’s administration. They’re still in power.
Neocons are Trotskyist, internationalist, authoritarian… and leftist. Neo-Conservatism as an ideology is a variant of socialism. It doesn’t take very extensive research to verify what I’m saying.
People assume that a politician, especially a president, is conservative simply because he’s a Republican. History doesn’t bear this out. Nixon was supposedly a conservative because he was a Republican. While not a neocon, his record shows that he wasn’t a conservative, either. Bush is supposedly a conservative but his record shows that he’s to the left of Clinton.
It isn’t the “religious right” that’s to blame for the rape of the Constitution.
I think you’re right in some of your stands on constitutional issues and way off in left field in others, most notably abortion.
The disagreement comes from the two sides viewing the issue in different terms. The so-called “pro choice” argue that women have the right to avoid the consequences of their actions and dispose of something that’s inconvenient. Theirs is a brutishly selfish position.The “religious right”, however, see that that inconvenient thing is a human child and argue that mothers don’t have the right to kill their children.
It isn’t a question of what a woman does with her uterus, it’s a question of what she does with the most innocent and vulnerable member of society.
Everyone, even atheists, acts based on their religious beliefs. The left and the right each views the Constitution through the lens formed by their beliefs. To want to steer society in the direction you believe is right is a natural desire in all people and the wellspring of politics.
To ascribe evil motives to those you disagree with is hypocrisy. After all, they’re doing exactly the same thing you’re doing.
It isn’t the “religious right” that’s corrupting Republican principles (or republican principles). It’s people like you.


Posted by: traveller at February 15, 2007 8:37 PM
Comment #208347

Tomh, you too would be wise to study the times of our founding fathers and the customs of speech and the hard fought reformation which was still hot topic of the day, and place their words and ideas within that context.

Many of them, if alive today, would subscribe to String and Brane theories as far better explanations of our Universe and creation than those of popular intercourse of their day. They would do so recognizing that explaining creation in no way impacts upon the belief or disbelief in a creator, a prime mover, as they termed it in their day, borrowing from the Ancient Greeks.

Many were highly pragmatic and very technological and science oriented even for their day. Meaning many revered empirical inquiry into cause and effect over rhetorical logic of the sophist kind.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 15, 2007 8:40 PM
Comment #208352

The Traveler said: “People assume that a politician, especially a president, is conservative simply because he’s a Republican.”

NO! They assume he is a conservative because he campaigns on being one and appeals to conservative voters, which is precisely how he gets elected. Conservative is defined by the voters, not some esoteric eggheads making up terms in some think tank.

What is amazing is how voters who believe in small government and limited intrusion into citizen’s lives embraced reelecting GW Bush whole hog so to speak, in 2004. It would seem to indicate conservative voters are a bit slow on the uptake. They didn’t fully realize until 2006 how incredibly duped and gullible they had been.

But, then, it is rather understandable from a psychological point of view. Conservatives are more prone to take things on faith, and slow as molasses to part from their loyalty oaths to their party, right or wrong, than independent voters are.

Democrats suffer the same loyalty oath affliction, but, they are not as susceptible to taking things on faith just because their leader said it. Though I suspect that is changing somewhat, as we speak. At least that is what the polls indicate. GW Bush could not get reelected today if only Republicans were allowed to vote, given Guiliani and McCain and the other Republican candidates on the slate.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 15, 2007 8:51 PM
Comment #208355

Carnak said: “Funny how I never see posts blasting democrats for campaigning in Black churches.”

I think we should do away with tax exemption for churches altogether, and let them be as political as they want. The entire idea of tax exemption religion was one of the worst policies ever initiated in America. Churches have always been in the business of political lobbying in the literal sense of political. Just as no special interest should govern all other interests in America, no religion or doctrine of anti-religion should govern other religions from the halls of government. Our Government was designed to maximize representation of all its citizens, and protect the rights of all, not a favored few, or one.

Religion has no place in public schools, since, government mandates that all children attend school and only an elite can afford to choose a private school. And government has no business promoting one religion over another upon the children of other faiths or no faith in those schools mandated by law for attendance upon the parents. To go any other route, only leads to a far more expensive and less focused educational system including vouchers and school choice.

Save and restore public schools to what they were always intended to be, places of indoctrination into good citizenship and reading, writing, and aritmetic. Pay teachers competitive salaries with instructors in the private sector, bust unions which fight teacher proficiency standards and replacement of bad teachers, and establish national minimal standards for curriculum in reading, writing, arithmetic and civics history.

The days of the one room school with all grades being taught by one Christian teacher in a rural farm community ARE GONE! Let’s do away with the mental concept of local school curriculum control. If we don’t, we will continue to lose competitive advantage to the far better and more efficient prepared students of school systems in Japan, China, and Taiwan.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 15, 2007 9:07 PM
Comment #208359

Religion used to have far greater implied power over the government. Much of that power was legislated away in the 1960’s. It is not a coincidence that the Protestant religious school movement coincides with the death of segregation. There are other reasons for such schools but that was the catalyst The religious right does not wish to establish a state religion. They only want to have the implied power to influence the laws that we live by.

Posted by: jlw at February 15, 2007 9:17 PM
Comment #208361

Creationism Global Warming is a religous concept, one not even held by a great deal of the population. It has no place in a science classroom. That is what is on the plate in Kansas. Teaching religion in a science class.
Posted by: 037 at February 15, 2007 01:53 PM

Posted by: jimmyray at February 15, 2007 9:30 PM
Comment #208364

Gosh David….you’re so smart. I can’t imagine the power you have - seeing that you can know what our founding fathers would think today.

I’m sure they’d be impressed with the results of our godless society - born, nurtured, and raised by our wonderful godless schools. Teen suicide, pregnancy, STD’s, obesity, etc. etc. is just some of the “physical” evidence. A culture of victimism, laziness, indecency (teen porn sites, teen videos of drunkeness and nudity) lack of respect shown authority and slothfulness towards education (I see increasing number of high schoolers not prepared for even entry level jobs at my business).

Wow - what an accomplishment.

Its kind of funny to watch it all play out …. this “godless” is good philosophy. The evidence just keeps mounting against that this is “good”. But you must live in some utopian, hypothetical world up in your ivory tower somewhere. The truth is - well - the results scream so loud they drown out all your words.

Posted by: echop8triot at February 15, 2007 10:01 PM
Comment #208365

echop8triot,

Wow, all these teen problems and no mention of parents anywhere.

Obviously this is a societal problem.

Posted by: Rocky at February 15, 2007 10:04 PM
Comment #208366

Yes Rocky - the parents are at fault.

Duhhh, where were the parents educated?

you’re point??

Posted by: echop8triot at February 15, 2007 10:09 PM
Comment #208368

Duhh:

Where are the churches? The ones the parents go to and raise thier children in? These good parents certainly don’t expect the schools to teach the faith of choice? Isn’t that the job of the parents and the churches??

Posted by: womanmarine at February 15, 2007 10:30 PM
Comment #208370

There are many churches that do the job they are supposed to do. Some don’t. Some children take the bad road no matter what their upbringing was and is. Some live in conditions that for most people are hopeless, but some how they come out of their situation and become good law abiding citizens. Enough blame to go around for many people.

A continued thought on church/state relationships. Of 20 top colleges/universities/schools dating back into the 1600 and located in the US, 16 had a religiious affiliation and 4 were non-sectarian, and one of those four was founded by Anglicans.
Most of the founders were prominent members of the governments at that time.

Posted by: tomh at February 15, 2007 11:07 PM
Comment #208372

Michael, it’s nice to know there are still some real conservatives out there. I may not agree with you on everything, but I respect you.

Good luck and don’t sell out your conservative principles.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 15, 2007 11:15 PM
Comment #208373

echop said: “I’m sure they’d be impressed with the results of our godless society”

Our society is anything but Godless. The overwhelming majority of people in America believe in God. So, I suggest you find a theocracy somewhere to live in, that would meet your quota for 100% believers and death to all unbelievers. America is a country you obviously know little about. “Godless society” indeed. The ignorance of factual information that passes for opinion sometimes overwhelms me.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 15, 2007 11:16 PM
Comment #208377

tomh,

If you’re claiming that the founding fathers were not immune to superstitution, I agree. Your post was a non sequitor.

Posted by: Trent at February 16, 2007 12:15 AM
Comment #208381

echo:
“Gosh David….you’re so smart. I can’t imagine the power you have - seeing that you can know what our founding fathers would think today.”

Yes. David is smart because he is able to look closely at the characteristics shared by many of our founders, and is then able to use the power of his imagination to bring these men into our own times, imagining what sorts of things they would be studying, and enthusiastically endorsing today.
The founders of our government were very much men of the Enlightenment Era. While many of them did give lip-service to religion and the bible for personal reasons, just as many did so for political reasons, instead. Most of these men read alot of philosophy and were great supporters of scientific research and progress. They were also wild about mathematics (basically a revolution took place in this subject during this whole era). They devoured the works of the Greeks and Romans, and were highly influenced by the writings of Galileo, Pascal, Spinoza, de Montaigne, Kant, Descartes, Von Herder, Newton, Rousseau, Hobbes, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Hume, Adam Smith, (and of special importance) John Locke, and many others. Rather than being Christians, a lot of these guys considered themselves Deists —sometimes while being very faithful and regular churchgoers.
I agree completely with David. Judging by what they were interested in back then, these men would have been fascinated and excited by everything he mentioned.

“I’m sure they’d be impressed with the results of our godless society - born, nurtured, and raised by our wonderful godless schools.”

Actually, aside from the fantastically huge advances in hygiene, overall education, medicine and technology, our times would probably strike the founders as being pretty much like their own times.

“Teen suicide, pregnancy, STD’s, obesity, etc. etc. is just some of the “physical” evidence.”

Except for the obesity (which was for the most part reserved for the rich who had servants to labor for them) they had all those things in our founders times. It’s just that nobody talked about suicide, or girls who got pregnant out of wedlock. Pregnant girls who weren’t married were often sent away to have their children out of sight, and then left those babies with others to raise. (Also a huge number of women in general died in childbirth back then.) Syphilis and Gonorrhea and crab louse were spread by prostitutes to men, who in turn would give it to their wives. Penicillin hadn’t come along yet, but horrible cures were tried — most were unsuccessful. Of course, no one wanted to talk about these things either.

“(teen porn sites, teen videos of drunkeness and nudity)”

Of course, they didn’t have the internet or video, but back then a much older man could easily marry a thirteen year old girl with the approval of her father and the community (and if she died in childbirth as so many did, he could turn right around and marry another teen girl). This was not considered or called pedophila back then. As for drunkeness, it was rampant. Hard cider and ale were very much the preferred drinks of the masses, because they were very reliably free of parasites and harmful bacteria unlike the water was in many locations. Brewers often became rich and powerful figures in Early American days. Everyone from the youngest to the oldest drank alcohol, and there was no “drinking age.” Alcoholism wasn’t really talked about, until it became so obvious that a person was basically drunk and rambling all the time.

“slothfulness towards education”

In their day, educating children wasn’t a mandatory thing. A great many people couldn’t read or write.

“But you must live in some utopian, hypothetical world up in your ivory tower somewhere.”

People who read history tend not to be utopian, because the more history one reads, the more one realizes that people really haven’t changed all that much, and that history tends to repeat itself.

“The truth is - well - the results scream so loud they drown out all your words.”

The truth is, the founders had all the things you listed happening in their own time, even though religion was practically mandatory for social and political reasons. Religion didn’t keep any of these problems from occurring, but it did make the people believe that they shouldn’t talk freely about them.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 16, 2007 2:04 AM
Comment #208382

echop8triot,

All the time I hear conservatives/neocons say things like that, that all this “godlessness” is the result of some liberal conspiracy. I don’t think any specific political ideology is at fault, but more a ultra-consumerist/capitalist-oriented society where everyone demands instant gratification. Policies that created this, however, have been essentially conservative.

Take TV for example, the most “liberal” TV most people can think of is PBS. It has very intellectual, commercial-free programming, which isn’t good for ratings (which of course isn’t it’s purpose). Now look at Fox, owned by ultra-conservative “News” Corporation. It’s the one with all kinds of day-time trash and shows whose only purpose is to get ratings and sell commercials. If you mean things like bad language, disgusting depictions of religion, offensive clips with no purpose than to offend, then South Park is IMO the biggest offender, and it’s a (far) right-wing show, not liberal.

Also, atheism isn’t the reason for it, it’s more indifference and a desire for instant gratification, despite the consequences (I’d say buying an SUV or large hummer if you don’t need it to be similar). Most people like that, haven’t thought things through rationally and decided they didn’t believe in God, they just don’t care.

Posted by: thom at February 16, 2007 2:34 AM
Comment #208388

It seems to me that if enough people prefer God in their hearts and government, it should be allowed. Certain God-fearing States certainly have the population needed to win any referendum. Let the rest of the heathens exist without God if they want. Allow those who wish to alter the State’s laws do so.

The problem is that you Liberals envy our devotion and purity. You use the Federal Government to limit us and Hollywood to poison us. Your hate will be your downfall!!!

Posted by: Juan dela Cruz at February 16, 2007 5:09 AM
Comment #208392

David R.Remer,

“What is amazing is how voters who believe in small government and limited intrusion into citizen’s lives embraced reelecting GW Bush whole hog so to speak, in 2004. It would seem to indicate conservative voters are a bit slow on the uptake. They didn’t fully realize until 2006 how incredibly duped and gullible they had been.”

W was elected both times largely because of the Dem nominees. They were both so awful that a lot of conservatives held their noses and voted for Bush. Some voted for him because they believed he was the best man for the job. Given the choices presented, that was a reasonable belief.
Since the media marginalize third party and independent candidates a lot of people didn’t even realize there were other choices.

btw-I’m traveller, not The Traveler.

Posted by: traveller at February 16, 2007 7:18 AM
Comment #208393

Anybody who thinks they can institute a religious society on Earth is more likely to found a pious society, because the most any government can impose on people is piety. After all, all you can govern is external behavior. When people encourage piety, the evil and the weak of character put on facades of respectability. People are smart enough to make this work, often enough.

However, there is something to be said for abiding by ethical and religious principles. I wouldn’t be a Christian and a Liberal at once if I did not think there was some overlap in those beliefs. The stereotypical religious conservative would try to force their religion on others, The stereotypical liberal would would be anti-religion, at least western religion.

But the truth is, very few people exist as stereotypes. We have some common ground, in all actuality. The Religious conservatives who push religious dominion over the state, though, often believe in the utter corruption of their opposite number, as do the most extreme of the secularists. Between them, during the culture wars, each side has managed to convince the other that most folks are either deluded hypocrites or hedonistic degenerates.

I went to a university that definitely qualified as religious conservative but this university’s academic stance was for the separation of church and state. How could this be? Because Baptists were among the early supporters. They didn’t want to be told how to worship, to have the then-dominant mainline protestant goverments determine who could be a preacher or not.

At the same time, many founding fathers were rationalists, deists, and even outright atheists. Their culture was more religious, but a lot of what they believed even today’s conservatives would reject as evil or misguided. A great deal of what even the most religious do today might be rejected by their forebears as well.

Fortunately, our founding fathers decided they would let the people decide this, rather than let the government determine religion and faith. You may not like what others do with their freedom, but it’s theirs, and you could never truly control what people think and believe anyway.

Let people decide for themselves. That’s what’s truly conservative, if we’re talking what the Founding Fathers decided, and truly liberal if we’re talking the tradition of free thinking that we Democrats embrace.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 16, 2007 7:45 AM
Comment #208403

If the founding fathers were alive today, they’d probably have a perminant migrane headache and love junk food.

Ah, yes. How fun it is to make outlandish speculations.

Anyway, the real issues here is the here and now. No one knows what the founding fathers would say unless they said something. Period. We just know that they wanted a working, stable government for the people, by the people. They argued over details, and made it so that we could too.

Now back to reality. The religious right should be its own party. That would solve a lot of these ideological problems within the republican party. Since that isn’t going to happen, we just have to hope there are enough of the new breed of conservative democrats to start siding with moderate republicans so things get done. I give it 5-1 odds.

Posted by: Kevin23 at February 16, 2007 11:07 AM
Comment #208405

womanmarine

Where are the churches? The ones the parents go to and raise thier children in? These good parents certainly don’t expect the schools to teach the faith of choice? Isn’t that the job of the parents and the churches??

They’re out there. And parents still take their children to them.
I can’t speak for all parents that take their children to church but I know I didn’t want any school teacher teaching my youngins about religion. Most folks don’t believe the way I do and I didn’t want them teaching my kids their beliefs.
I’m a Baptist because I believe that their teaching are the ones that Christ taught and that the Bible teaches. We have teachers in our schools that are Methodist, Catholic, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Presbyterian, Atheist, Satanist, and so on. While they have their right to believe what they do, and I’ll defend their right to believe it to the death, I didn’t want them teaching my children their religious beliefs because they’re not the same as what I believe as a Baptist. I also don’t want them teaching my grandchildren their religious beliefs either.
I strongly believe that it’s up to the parents to teach their children about whatever religious beliefs they want them to have. If parents want their kids to learn religious beliefs in school they need to send them to a school of the faith they want them to learn.
But I also believe that any child of any faith has the right to practice their faith in school.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 16, 2007 11:22 AM
Comment #208409
If parents want their kids to learn religious beliefs in school they need to send them to a school of the faith they want them to learn. But I also believe that any child of any faith has the right to practice their faith in school.

Ron Brown: I couldn’t agree with you more, except for the last sentence. Not in a public school. A simple prayer, said privately for themselves and God is fine, but not in any organized form, which is where it begins to be a problem. It IS a government institution. In a religious school, fine.

We’re really not that far apart :)

Posted by: womanmarine at February 16, 2007 11:56 AM
Comment #208412

Ron,

We agree somewhat.

Scary, isn’t it?

The major problem of allowing any child of any faith to practice their particular brand of faith in school, is there would be chaos.
All Christians don’t even agree what their practices of faith are.
There are literally dozens of offshoots of the Christian faith alone. All of them believing theirs is the one true faith.
There are Christian sects that even Christians call cults.
Some of the Christian faiths want their followers to stand out. They dress differently, or they proselytize.
I would agree that there are some basic tenents that are followed, but the subtlties of each sect are vastly different.

So if we allow prayer in school, for instance, whose prayers do we use?

Many in America want us to consider it a “Christian” country.

Whose sect do we recognize first?

Posted by: Rocky at February 16, 2007 12:14 PM
Comment #208413

Stephen
Your right. The Baptist were the biggest supporters of keeping anyone one religion from controlling government. And keeping government from controlling religion. And we’re still very hard nosed about that.
No one can force anyone to believe that same as they do. They might be able to force lip service to their beliefs. But they can’t force anyone to change what they believe.
If a law was passed making Islam the official religion of the US and outlawed the teaching and practice of any other religion all that would do is drive the other religions underground. On the surface folks would be giving lip service to Islam. But in their hearts they would still be whatever religion they were before the law was passed. They’d still teach their children that religion and practice it in the privacy of their homes.
Once the law is struck down or changed to allow freedom of religion again folks will go back to openly practicing whatever religion they had before. That’s because in their hearts they never changed their beliefs in the first place.
Anyone that wants to force a set of beliefs (religious or otherwise) on anyone is setting things up for tyranny to reign.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 16, 2007 12:16 PM
Comment #208414

Stephen Daugherty,

I don’t often agree with you but I think you got it mostly right this time. One disagreement with your post is that it wasn’t the Baptists who gave us freedom of religion, it was the Masons.
Many of the founders were Freemasons. Prior to the U.S.Constitution freedom of religion was a uniquely Masonic concept. The founders who were Masons codified this precept in the Constitution.
My other disagreement is the line about “the tradition of free thinking that we Democrats embrace”. Like political correctness and campus speech codes?

Posted by: traveller at February 16, 2007 12:17 PM
Comment #208416

traveller,

It was Jefferson’s association with the Baptists, because they were being persecuted at the time, that actually started the ball rolling toward religious freedom.

Posted by: Rocky at February 16, 2007 12:29 PM
Comment #208418

While we are speculating about what the founders believed,I would submit that if men got pregnant, the right to control their bodies would be in the Bill of Rights.

Posted by: BillS at February 16, 2007 12:52 PM
Comment #208419

Ron,
If you would not want a public school teascher educating your children about religion then I take it you would not want creationism and/or its offshoots taught in public schools? If you would not want a teacher instructing your children on religious matters, in the schools, then why would you want another student doing the same?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 16, 2007 1:09 PM
Comment #208422

Michael Smith, Your position on the religious right is admirable for someone looking for a spot on the repub ticket. It seems to me the religious right wants the tax status of a church along with the political power of a corporation. As part of your platform would you consider taxing churches, which it seems would then allow those Churches that chose to the right to preach to the congrgation on political candidates?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 16, 2007 1:24 PM
Comment #208424

Kevin:
“No one knows what the founding fathers would say unless they said something. Period. We just know that they wanted a working, stable government for the people, by the people. They argued over details, and made it so that we could too.”

I agree. But just for the sake of argument, we can take a quick look at what some of the founders did say about religion:

Thomas Jefferson:

Jefferson’s interpretation of the first amendment in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association (January 1, 1802):
“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.”

From Jefferson’s biography:
“an amendment was proposed by inserting the words, ‘Jesus Christ… the holy author of our religion,’ which was rejected ‘By a great majority in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mohammedan, the Hindoo and the Infidel of every denomination.’”

From Jefferson’s Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom:
“Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, more than on our opinions in physics and geometry…
“But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

From Thomas Jefferson’s Bible:
“The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”

Jefferson’s Notes on Virginia:
“Reason and persuasion are the only practicable instruments. To make way for these free inquiry must be indulged; how can we wish others to indulge it while we refuse ourselves? But every state, says an inquisitor, has established some religion. No two, say I, have established the same. Is this a proof of the infallibility of establishments?”

Additional quotes from Jefferson:
“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”

“They (the clergy) believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition of their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the alter of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

“I have examined all the known superstitions of the word, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth.”

“In every country and in every age the priest has been hostile to liberty; he is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.”

“Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear… Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it end in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue on the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise and in the love of others which it will procure for you.”

“Christianity… (has become) the most perverted system that ever shone on man… Rogueries, absurdities and untruths were perpetrated upon the teachings of Jesus by a large band of dupes and importers led by Paul, the first great corrupter of the teaching of Jesus.”

John Adams:

Adams signed the Treaty of Tripoli (June 7, 1797). Article 11 states:
“The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”

From a letter written to Charles Cushing (October 19, 1756):
“Twenty times in the course of my late reading, have I been upon the point of breaking out, ‘this would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.’”

Adams in a letter to Thomas Jefferson:
“I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved — the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!”

Additional quotes:
“Where do we find a precept in the Bible for Creeds, Confessions, Doctrines and Oaths, and whole carloads of trumpery that we find religion encumbered with in these days?”

“The Doctrine of the divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.”

“Thirteen governments (original states) thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.”


James Madison:

Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments:
“Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise…

“During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.”

Additional quote:
“Religion and government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.”

Ben Franklin:

From his autobiography:
“My parents had given me betimes religious impressions, and I received from my infancy a pious education in the principles of Calvinism. But scarcely was I arrived at fifteen years of age, when, after having doubted in turn of different tenets, according as I found them combated in the different books that I read, I began to doubt of Revelation itself.

“Some books against Deism fell into my hands…It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quote to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations, in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.”

Thomas Paine

Quotes from The Age of Reason:
“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of…Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and of my own part, I disbelieve them all.”

“All natural institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”

“The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries that have afflicted the human race have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion.”

“What is it the Bible teaches us? — rapine, cruelty, and murder.”

“Loving of enemies is another dogma of feigned morality, and has beside no meaning… Those who preach the doctrine of loving their enemies are in general the greatest prosecutors, and they act consistently by so doing; for the doctrine is hypocritical, and it is natural that hypocrisy should act the reverse of what it preaches.”

“The Bible was established altogether by the sword, and that in the worst use of it — not to terrify but to extirpate.”

Additional quote from Paine:
“It is the duty of every true Deist to vindicate the moral justice of God against the evils of the Bible.”

Posted by: Adrienne at February 16, 2007 1:36 PM
Comment #208425

tomh,It seems we started drifting away from the main point of Michael’s excellent post after the first few comments, so, When you say “Science verifies the Bible and the Bible verifies science” exactly what are you referring to? Certainly not the earth is 6000 years old nonsense. The reason I ask is my personal opinion is that one day the two, Science and Religion, will meet. Probably not in my lifetime but one day. Im not talking about the literal “did the Ark exist” type stuff, but on a higher level.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 16, 2007 1:44 PM
Comment #208427

Adrienne, Nice quotes from the founding fathers. I have seen the religious right use the T Jefferson quote “I have sworn upon the alter of God….” which I think is a quote on the Jefferson monument, as a defense for their position, so its nice to see the rest of quote used in your post.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 16, 2007 2:00 PM
Comment #208428

Adrienne, thank you for the work you put in obtaining these quotes. I’ve read two books recently (1776 + John Adams by David McCullough), both cite numerous quotations and actions by delegates questioning the inclusion of religion in the public process. Jefferson even threatened to walk out of a conference because some of the members wanted to begin with a prayer.
People portray the “Founding Fathers” as if they were some all-wise, monolithic group. In truth they were a diverse group with many differing opinions on the relationship between religion and the state. One cannot read the text of the Constitution without realizing that it is a finished document reflecting NEGOTIATION between parties with differing views and agendas.
The study of history should not end with the banal, half-baked representations of it made when you were in the 6th grade.

Posted by: charles Ross at February 16, 2007 2:11 PM
Comment #208429

Yes, Thomas Jefferson and the others were very wise indeed.

We established however some, although not all its [self-government] important principles . The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think themselves competent, (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves, in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved,) or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed;

No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.

—-Thomas Jefferson

Too bad people only believe so when it supports their views.

Posted by: kctim at February 16, 2007 2:21 PM
Comment #208430

womanmarine
I’m not talking about organizations. I’m talking about the student themselves praying, carrying religious materials, and even as Rocky said dressing according to the teaching of their religion.
If any religious organization wants to use school time for their activities I’m against that. Just like I’m against any other organization using school time for their activities.

Rocky
If your talking about teacher lead prayer I’m with you. Again I don’t want my grand kids being lead in prayer by someone who’s beliefs might be 100% opposed to mine.
If your talking about the individual student praying how can you stop them? How would you know a student is praying unless they’re praying out loud?
If a group of student want to pray before school and aren’t trying to force anyone to join them where’s the harm?
Some religions teach that their members need to dress in certain ways. A lot of this, specially with christian religions, is because they believe that the way most folks dress is immodest.
Are you for denying a students religious beliefs on how they should dress just because they where long dress with long sleeves that are buttoned up around their necks, or long sleeve shirts buttoned around their necks, or robes, or turbans?

j2t2
Why are folks against creation being taught then say it’s OK for the religion of evolution to be taught? And it is a religion. It’s part of atheism which is a religion. Even if they want to deny it.
Fact is if both are taught as theory where’s the harm? Parents can and do teach their children their kids which one they want them to believe.
I don’t want other student instructing my grand kids in religion. Read what I wrote to womanmarine and Rocky. You’ll see what I was talking about.

BTW, a lot of churches already preach about politics to their congregations. And as long as it stays that way where’s the harm? That’s their business. When they start preaching politics to the public then there could be a problem.
I personally don’t believe it’s the place of the church to tell me how to believe when it come to politics. But some folks don’t mind. If they want a church like that them let them have it.

Adrienne
It’s quite evident that Thomas Paine didn’t know the first thing about the Bible if he said all that.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 16, 2007 2:22 PM
Comment #208431

Adrienne - excellent compilation of quotes.

j2t2 - On the tax exemption; I’d like to see us go to a consumption-based tax like advocated by FairTax.org. Churches and preachers would have to play by the same rules as the rest of us. The current exemptions for religious and charitable orgs is a dubious attempt by government to shape society - perhaps well intentioned, but not well founded in its constitutional justification.

Posted by: Michael Smith at February 16, 2007 2:29 PM
Comment #208432

Ron, Is evolution taught in any religion classes along side creationism that you know of?
When the preacher discusses political candidates in front of the flock during the sermon it violate their agreement with the IRS regarding the payment of taxes I believe.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 16, 2007 2:30 PM
Comment #208434
If a group of student want to pray before school and aren’t trying to force anyone to join them where’s the harm?

They could do this at someone’s house, not school grounds.

Why are folks against creation being taught then say it’s OK for the religion of evolution to be taught? And it is a religion. It’s part of atheism which is a religion. Even if they want to deny it.

Cmon Ron, I know you know better than that. Evolution is a scientific theory, not a religion, unless you think all those scientists are atheists. A large part of the science taught is theory.

a lot of churches already preach about politics to their congregations

It goes back to their tax-free status. Seems pretty clear to me.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 16, 2007 2:34 PM
Comment #208435
I’d like to see us go to a consumption-based tax like advocated by FairTax.org. Churches and preachers would have to play by the same rules as the rest of us. The current exemptions for religious and charitable orgs is a dubious attempt by government to shape society - perhaps well intentioned, but not well founded in its constitutional justification.

I disagree. I want them kept separate. I don’t want politics with my religion and I don’t want religion with my politics.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 16, 2007 2:37 PM
Comment #208436

kctim, yet another quote from the founding fathers that is wise and should adheared to. Im all for it, well except on commercial airplanes, at which times knives should be the choice of the well eqipped gentlemen and gentleladies.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 16, 2007 2:37 PM
Comment #208437

Adrienne,
What a marvelous post you wrote when you cited the quotes of our Founding Fathers.

You are definitely holding your own in this battle of the basically unknown. I totally agree with you.

I am trying to stay out of this argument solely because ‘traveller’ made me mad when he pretended in his post#208345 understand the Pro Choice stance on abortion.

Womanmarine,
Being is agreement with Ron Brown is a rather amazing thing!!!! More power to you for being willing to admit it. I’m not sure I would have the same honesty!!! (Actually I find I sort of agree with him too!)

Posted by: Linda H. at February 16, 2007 2:41 PM
Comment #208438

Ron,

“Are you for denying a students religious beliefs on how they should dress”

No, absolutely not.

That said, however, it does bring undue attention to their particular faith.
In grade school, for instance, children, being children, can be cruel only because they don’t know any better, or haven’t been taught differently yet. That could be seen by some as religious persecution. It’s not, it’s just kids being kids.

When I was in Catholic grade school we wore uniforms, and everybody was equal. Rich or poor, we all looked the same, and the competition was on academic grounds only.

I would not deny anybody their means of dress, but by the same token, I don’t want to hear any complaints about being treated differently because of it.
Their parents should know that there might be issues, and if the parents aren’t aware they have no one to blame but themselves.

Posted by: Rocky at February 16, 2007 2:41 PM
Comment #208439

Thanks much Adrienne.

Looks to me like Fallwell and all will not be happy until they have a system EXACTLY like Iran where they have the ultimate say so on any laws or actions by the government.They are clearly coercing Rep. candidates for president. Peas in a pod.If you put different hats on them it would be hard to tell them apart . That makes them dangerious to liberty.

Posted by: BillS at February 16, 2007 2:43 PM
Comment #208440

Ron, please don’t debase the the Theory of Evolution by comparing it to religious faith.
(the next time you have a bacterial infection and the doctor tells you that it is important to finish the entire course of antibiotics, ask him why.)

Posted by: Charles Ross at February 16, 2007 2:43 PM
Comment #208441

“They could do this at someone’s house, not school grounds”

“Freedom OF religion” Ms. Marine.
Govt does not have the right to tell us where we can and cannot practice our religion. But they do anyways.
It is our right to pray wherever we wish and to worship whoever we wish. Praying on school grounds does no harm and it is their right. Wearing a cross while teaching class establishes no religion and it is a right. Not like that though is it.

Govt dictates what is taught in their camps. They cannot dictate who, where or how its citizens practice a religion.

Other than partisanship, I really can’t figure out why some are so paranoid and afraid of the Christian people in our country but ask for compassion and understanding of other religions.

Posted by: kctim at February 16, 2007 2:47 PM
Comment #208442
Other than partisanship, I really can’t figure out why some are so paranoid and afraid of the Christian people in our country but ask for compassion and understanding of other religions….Posted by: kctim at February 16, 2007 02:47 PM
I for one am not afraid of Christian people. Or Muslim people, etc… What i’m afraid of is Religion taking over politics and forcing faith based laws into our society. The gov’t MUST NOT be in the business of choosing one religion over another which is exactly why religious expression must be seperated from gov’t. Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at February 16, 2007 3:03 PM
Comment #208443

womanmarine
No one can believe in God and believe something that denies his existence. So yes the scientist that believe evolution are atheist.

Charles
Sorry evolution is part of a religion and needs to be taken out of schools. Atheism is a religion and I aint run across an atheist yet that denies evolution. In fact they all claim it’s fact not theory. That makes it a part of their religion. And I know you don’t want your kids taught anything about religion in school.

I find it interesting that those that don’t want anything religious in school don’t realize that the same public schools the say they own belong to religious folks too. You know they’re public.
85% of this counrty claims to be Chirstians. But those 15% that don’t wants to deny the majority their rights. All the while not wanting their rights denied them. Just a little hypocritical I’d say.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 16, 2007 3:04 PM
Comment #208444

Kctim:

If they want to pray by themselves, fine. If it is a group it’s a different matter.

It’s not paranoia nor fear when folks disagree with you. Are you projecting perhaps? And am I afraid of myself? Not likely. Please disabuse yourself of the notion that everyone who disagrees with your interpretation is not Christian.

And I stand by my interpretation: i.e. not on school grounds. Nor in the courts, nor any public institution that is by it’s nature necessary to people of all religions.

No one religion should be practiced/displayed in or on government institutions to the detriment of any other religion that is welcome in this country. And it is called compassion and understanding for ALL.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it :)

Posted by: womanmarine at February 16, 2007 3:05 PM
Comment #208445

“Many in America want us to consider it a “Christian” country.”

It was founded as a Christian nation.


http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/politics/pg0040.html

Posted by: traveller at February 16, 2007 3:15 PM
Comment #208446

Ron:

I really hate to say this, but you are wrong. There are many Christians who are scientists. I don’t know who told you that evolution theory denies God’s existance. The scientists as far as I am aware believe it is all God’s creation they are trying to understand.

It’s so wrong to accuse all scientists trying to study evolution as atheist. It just isn’t true.

85% of this counrty claims to be Chirstians

So? Whose denomination? Whose Bible? And does that apply only to schools who happen to have no non-Christian students? If you want your children to be taught religion at school, send them to a religious school, you have that right.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 16, 2007 3:16 PM
Comment #208447

Traveller:

Did you expect a Catholic source to say differently?

Posted by: womanmarine at February 16, 2007 3:17 PM
Comment #208448

Rocky,
It is believed that Jefferson was a Freemason but it can’t be confirmed. The First Amendment was ratified in 1791, ten years before Jefferson was inaugurated.
The Baptists weren’t the only ones being persecuted in that time period.

Posted by: traveller at February 16, 2007 3:22 PM
Comment #208450

I’m glad so many of you liked those quotes.

Ron:
“It’s quite evident that Thomas Paine didn’t know the first thing about the Bible if he said all that.”

But it really doesn’t it matter though does it? All of us owe a huge debt of gratitude to Thomas Paine, because without his ‘Common Sense’ writings to praise their efforts and urge them on to victory, the resolve of our Revolutionary Army would never have held fast and delivered us from the tyranny and dictates of King George. Though Paine was a Deist, he fervently believed in the idea that America would be a free country where the religious and the non religious would all find themselves equal in the eyes of our government. Where we could worship or not worship as we believed, and where we’d have freedom of speech to speak our minds.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 16, 2007 3:26 PM
Comment #208451

womanmarine,
Nice ad hominem. Now refute the claims made in the article.

Posted by: traveller at February 16, 2007 3:27 PM
Comment #208453

Sorry traveller, I just thought it was a funny reference. And I will choose what I refute or not, thanks.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 16, 2007 3:28 PM
Comment #208454

Ron, your comments just aren’t reasonable. you say that:
Atheism is a religion
All atheists believe in evolution, therefore
All belief in evolution is religious.

Well, I’m not an atheist and I’m not religious but I still support the notion that species, over time and generations, through genetic variation select the best survival traits. That is evolution.
Again, Why, when you have a bacterial infection and are given a course of antibiotics as treatment, does the doctor insist that it is important that the entire course be taken?

Posted by: charles Ross at February 16, 2007 3:35 PM
Comment #208455

womanmarine
“If they want to pray by themselves, fine. If it is a group it’s a different matter.”

Only if the group is led by somebody who represents the institution.

“It’s not paranoia nor fear when folks disagree with you. Are you projecting perhaps? And am I afraid of myself? Not likely. Please disabuse yourself of the notion that everyone who disagrees with your interpretation is not Christian.”

I’m an atheist ma’am. Hard to say who is disagreeing with me. I am only saying that Americans have the right to practice religion whereever and whenever they wish.

“And I stand by my interpretation: i.e. not on school grounds. Nor in the courts, nor any public institution that is by it’s nature necessary to people of all religions.”

Those are institutions, I am talking about regular people being free to practice their religion.

“And it is called compassion and understanding for ALL.”

Yes it is. But ALL includes Christians.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it :)

As you should.

Posted by: kctim at February 16, 2007 3:39 PM
Comment #208456

I’m with Charles, Ron.
I don’t think atheism is a religion either. I don’t practice any kind of rite or worship monkeys or any thing even remotely close to what religious people do.

Posted by: kctim at February 16, 2007 3:45 PM
Comment #208457

womanmarine
If you don’t want your children taught religion at school send THEM to private school.
You don’t own the public schools anymore than I do. Why should everything be your way?
And don’t give me that crap about separation of church and state. It don’t wash with me. If you get right down to it it’s the federal government that’s band from establishing religion. The Constitution says nothing about state and local governments establishing a religion. The schools are run by local governments. That puts them exempt from the ‘establishment clause’.
Give me one reason other than separation of church and state why your so set against anything religious in school. Or are you just against anything that has to do with Christianity?

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 16, 2007 3:46 PM
Comment #208459

traveller,

Jefferson was raised an Anglican, but did not believe in the divinity of Christ. In later life he was a Deist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson#Religious_views

“On matters of religion, Jefferson in 1800 was accused by his political opponents of being an atheist and enemy of religion. But Jefferson wrote at length on religion and many scholars agree with the claim that Jefferson was a deist, a common position held by intellectuals in the late 18th century. As Avery Cardinal Dulles, a leading Roman Catholic theologian reports, “In his college years at William and Mary he (Jefferson) came to admire Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and John Locke as three great paragons of wisdom. Under the influence of several professors he converted to the deist philosophy.”

Dulles concludes;

“In summary, then, Jefferson was a deist because he believed in one God, in divine providence, in the divine moral law, and in rewards and punishments after death; but did not believe in supernatural revelation. He was a Christian deist because he saw Christianity as the highest expression of natural religion and Jesus as an incomparably great moral teacher. He was not an orthodox Christian because he rejected, among other things, the doctrines that Jesus was the promised Messiah and the incarnate Son of God. Jefferson’s religion is fairly typical of the American form of deism in his day.”

Jefferson also agreed with Unitarian beliefs.

I would have to say that he wasn’t your usual Christian.

Posted by: Rocky at February 16, 2007 3:50 PM
Comment #208460

traveler”
“It was founded as a Christian nation.”

womanmarine:
“Did you expect a Catholic source to say differently?”

Exactly. That whole article was completely one-sided. If they had actually added a large dose of the quotes that I put up earlier into that article, the entire premise would suddenly be thrown into serious doubt. And as we all know, doubt is the very last thing religious institutions want their followers to entertain.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 16, 2007 3:51 PM
Comment #208461

Ron:
“If you don’t want your children taught religion at school send THEM to private school.”

So, what you’re saying is that public school is now nothing more than a vehicle for various religions? A place where Reading, Writing, Arithmetic and History is secondary to it’s real purpose: spreading religions. That’s wacky.

“You don’t own the public schools anymore than I do. Why should everything be your way?”

Because parents can send their kids to religious instruction elsewhere, but whether they do or not, all kids to succeed in life have to learn Reading, Writing, Arithmetic and History.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 16, 2007 4:04 PM
Comment #208464

Ron:
“If you get right down to it it’s the federal government that’s band from establishing religion. The Constitution says nothing about state and local governments establishing a religion. The schools are run by local governments. That puts them exempt from the ‘establishment clause’.”

Actually Ron, the Supreme Court ruled against this idea back in 1948. The establishment clause of the first amendment, and the Equal Protection clause of the fourteenth amendment were both sited in the case:
McCollum vs. The Board of Education

Posted by: Adrienne at February 16, 2007 4:38 PM
Comment #208467
The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
—- John F. Kennedy Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at February 16, 2007 4:55 PM
Comment #208468

Adrienne
They must be. Liberals want to teach their religion of atheism in them.
If you’ve read my previous comments you’ll know that I don’t want teachers teaching my grand kids about religion. Schools should teach reading, writing and arithmetic.
I’m tired of that worn out liberal line being thrown at folks that don’t agree with their agenda for public schools to send their youngins somewhere else.
I was just throwing it back to see if y’all like it. Reckon ya don’t.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 16, 2007 4:56 PM
Comment #208471

Ron,

“Liberals want to teach their religion of atheism in them.”

No offence meant, but that is a pretty gross exaggeration.
Isn’t that like me sayin that all southerners wear white sheets and little pointy hats?

It’s probably about as accurate, right?

Posted by: Rocky at February 16, 2007 5:55 PM
Comment #208472

Rocky,
Jefferson was a proponent of religious freedom and a deist. That’s well known and indisputable. My point is that religious freedom was codified by the Masons. What’s yours?

Adrienne,

“That whole article was completely one-sided.”

And your post wasn’t? The author of the article I referenced presented quotes to support his argument like everyone does, including you. Did you even read the last paragraph, especially the last two sentences? If not you missed the point.


“Can America still be called a Christian nation? It is certainly a more religiously pluralistic and diverse society than it was during the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. There are increasing numbers of non-Christians immigrating to this country, and there has been a rapid rise in adherents to Islam among our population. There are millions of Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Shintoists, Unitarians, Hindus, Wiccans, Naturists, Agnostics, and Atheists, but Christians comprise roughly 84% of the population. Our constitutional legal system is still based on the Jewish/Christian Bible, not the Koran or other holy book. We still observe Sunday, the Christian Sabbath, as an official holiday. Easter and Christmas still have a special place in the holiday lexicon. The Ten Commandments are still on the wall behind the Supreme Court Justices when they take the bench. Our coins still display the motto “In God We Trust.” The US is still firmly part of a Western Civilization fashioned by a Judeo-Christian religious ethic and heritage. Alexis de Tocqueville observed more than a century and a half ago, “There is no country in the world, where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America.” That is still true today. We live, not under a Christian government, but in a nation where all are free to practice their particular religion, in accommodation with other religions, and in accordance with the basic principles of the nation, which are Christian in origin. It is in that sense that America may properly be referred to as a Christian nation.”

Those of us who argue that America is a Christian nation are not arguing for theocracy. We are arguing for recognition of the historical fact that the men who created this country were influenced by Christian principles and incorporated those principles into our basic governing ideology. Prior to the ratification of the First Amendment religious tolerence was almost non existent throughout the world, including in America, outside of Freemasonry. Religious freedom being one of the basic tenets of Freemasonry, the founders who were Masons made sure it was included in our charter of government.

Posted by: traveller at February 16, 2007 6:34 PM
Comment #208473

Ron, re: Public schools
“Liberals want to teach their religion of atheism in them.”

That is an entirely illogical and false statement. Liberals not wanting God to be mentioned in public school, so that the establishment clause of the first amendment and the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment are upheld does not equate with teaching a religion. For this to be a true statement, you would have to have atheism: the absolute denial that God exists, being taught in public schools. Liberals are not pushing for that, so you are wrong.
If you are referring to the teaching of evolution here, then why isn’t it possible for parents who don’t wish their children to be taught this scientific theory to have their children exempted from the classroom while this subject is being taught? Why are they trying instead to insist that creationism, which is religion, be taught to all the children as though it is accepted as scientific theory when it isn’t?

“I’m tired of that worn out liberal line being thrown at folks that don’t agree with their agenda for public schools to send their youngins somewhere else.”

WHAT agenda? If parents feel their child is either being damaged or harmed by rubbing elbows of children of various faiths or those of no faith, then they should remove those children from public school and send them to religious schools. Same goes if they think it is impossible or somehow unfair for their kids to attend public school without being able to burst into prayers or hymns whenever they feel the urge, or because their kid just can’t keep themselves from proselytizing for their religion during those hours of the day.

“I was just throwing it back to see if y’all like it. Reckon ya don’t.”

No, I don’t. Because it doesn’t make any sense to me. Why is it so necessary for religion to take up every waking moment of the day? Why isn’t making sure that children learn the educational foundations considered far more important than picking a religious fight?

Posted by: Adrienne at February 16, 2007 6:40 PM
Comment #208476

Ron:

One of the few places we seem to differ is your feeling that evolution is an atheist (religious) theory as opposed to a scientific theory (studied by scientists who are Christian, although you claim they can’t be) being taught in public school. I have never in all my reading seen any evolutionary scientist claim that evolution teaches that God doesn’t exist, most of the scientists I have read say they see God’s hand. I wish you could show me instances of evolutionary scientists claiming it disproves God as a significant idea held by evolutionary scientists.

Of course one of the other places we (and I guess I can include KCTim in this one) disagree is practicing any religion on the grounds of any public institution. Teaching, practicing, semantics I say.

Ah, I almost forgot. If the schools are run by local governments and you imply they shouldn’t be held to the above, I guess they don’t need the federal funding? And I think (I may be wrong about this) that it’s federal law that requires school attendance, is it not? That’s what the public school system is to provide. There is no requirement for higher institutions of learning so they can pretty much do as they please as long as they have paying students.

Oh, and KCTim: Anyone is free to practice their religion. That’s what makes this great. Just not in places where there can be any inference of government support or approval, unless equal time is given to all religions. What a mess that would be, huh? There are plenty of places, and times in life, no one needs them all.

Wasn’t it Arlo Guthrie who said that anything more than two is a movement? :)

Posted by: womanmarine at February 16, 2007 6:56 PM
Comment #208477

traveller,

“My point is that religious freedom was codified by the Masons. What’s yours?”

In your post at 3:22 you suggested that Jefferson might have been a Freemason.
He wasn’t.
While some Christian precepts were used, this nation wasn’t founded to be a “Christian” nation.

“In God we trust” wasn’t added to our money until after the Civil War.

“One Nation, under God” wasn’t added to the Pledge of Allegiance until the Fifties.

The Pledge itself was part of an advertising campaign to sell flags in 1892, has been changed several times, and wasn’t adopted as the official pledge until 1945.

The founders were, for the most part, educated men. Schooled in the philosophies of Francis Bacon, Plato, etc…

The pilgrims, for instance, originally came here seeking religious freedom, and the founders sought to keep the States from having “official” religions.

Jefferson wrote, in section 1 of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom;
“Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free”, never coerced anyone to follow him, and the imposition of a religion by government officials is impious.”
And,
“Civil rights do not depend on religious beliefs, and what a person thinks is no business of the government’s.”

A goodly percentage of the founders were Deists, and Freemasons or not, these men were all way ahead of their time.
They had just thrown off the yoke of Imperial England, where you worshiped as the King did.

They saw the evil in that, and intended to make sure it didn’t happen here.

Posted by: Rocky at February 16, 2007 7:15 PM
Comment #208479

I wrote:
“That whole article was completely one-sided.”

traveller:
“And your post wasn’t?”

No it wasn’t — because all my post consisted of were direct quotes from the founders. They were not my opinions, they were their opinions.

But now I’ll give you mine…

“the basic principles of the nation, which are Christian in origin. It is in that sense that America may properly be referred to as a Christian nation.”

I disagree that the basic principles of the nation were Christian in origin. Instead, I think that it’s clear and obvious that they were based on English Common Law, the founders studies of the Greeks and Romans, and very heavily influenced by Locke’s philosophical theory of a social contract.
Christianity in no way played a major role, despite the fact that the people of this country were predominently made up of Christians.

“Those of us who argue that America is a Christian nation are not arguing for theocracy. We are arguing for recognition of the historical fact that the men who created this country were influenced by Christian principles and incorporated those principles into our basic governing ideology.”

I think that the writer of this article is willfully ignoring the true historical facts about the men who founded this nation, and despite what he says, that he is doing so in order to promote a theocracy.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 16, 2007 7:22 PM
Comment #208480

Dave, great JFK quote!

Posted by: Adrienne at February 16, 2007 7:26 PM
Comment #208485

Adrienne

If you are referring to the teaching of evolution here, then why isn’t it possible for parents who don’t wish their children to be taught this scientific theory to have their children exempted from the classroom while this subject is being taught?

Most likely because if they were exempted their most likely wouldn’t be anyone in the classroom to be taught these lies.

“I was just throwing it back to see if y’all like it. Reckon ya don’t.”

No, I don’t. Because it doesn’t make any sense to me

And it don’t make sense to me either for y’all to say it to folks that disagree with ya. Remember conservatives own these schools too. What do y’all have against them having a say in what’s taught?


If parents feel their child is either being damaged or harmed by rubbing elbows of children of various faiths or those of no faith, then they should remove those children from public school and send them to religious schools.

There you go again. Your insistence that anyone who disagrees with ya needs to send their kids somewhere else just proves that y’all want everything your way or no way.


Are y’all afraid that if creationism is taught as theory only right along side with evolution that some kid might decide to believe it instead of evolution? That would be a complete failure on your part wouldn’t it? Can’t have kids choosing to believe something you don’t agree with can ya?
I don’t personally have a problem with evolution being taught as a theory. Right along side of creation as a theory. But then I’m not against a student learning the other sides ideas. Are you?
Your the ones saying creation can’t be proved. Neither can evolution. So what’s the difference if both are taught a theory only?

womanmarine
I never said a Christian scientist can’t study evolution. I said a scientist that believes it can’t be a Christian because he has to deny the God he claims he believe in. I know a science professor over at the local college that’s a Christian. He’s studied evolution extensively. The more he studies it the more he’s convinced that it’s not even science, much less fact.
Other scientist study it and get more convinced their right. But I’ve never heard of one of these say they believe in God. In fact according to the one I know they all are atheist.
There is absolutely no mention of God or any other supreme being in the theory of evolution. It is assumed that everything happened by chance. That no supreme being had anything at all to do with the world coming into existence. This denys that God exist and makes it an atheistic theory.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 16, 2007 8:07 PM
Comment #208488

I think that the writer of this article is willfully ignoring the true historical facts about the men who founded this nation, and despite what he says, that he is doing so in order to promote a theocracy.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 16, 2007

I think your engaging in revisionist history. But what new about that? Anything to have it your way, right?
Most our founding fathers were professing Christians. This country was founded on Christian principles. Our founding fathers put the establishment clause in the first amendment to keep this country from being a church run state. Which is what happen when government recognizes one religion over any other.
They didn’t put it there to keep the country from being Christian.
But I do agree with ya on one thing. With the way things are now we can’t claim to be a Christian nation now.
As I said before, 85% of this country claims to be Christian. If that was true we wouldn’t be having debates over abortion, the divorce rate wouldn’t be so high, teenage pregnancy would be almost unheard of, crime wouldn’t be running rampant, and our government would be representing the folks that elected them. And not selling themselves to the highest bidder.
If 85% of this country were Christians they’d be following the teaching of Christ. And Christ taught a completely different way of life than whats being practiced in this country.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 16, 2007 8:32 PM
Comment #208489

So Ron, the answer seems to be: all you really want to do is pick a religious fight?
How Christian is that?
You seem to think the only way that Christians can get religion into their kids heads is to break the establishment clause of the first amendment and the equal protection clause of the fourteenth by forcing other people and their children in public schools to accept that creationism isn’t religion, but science. You want to trample our rights, because somehow Sunday school religious instruction isn’t enough. Everyday is a crusade against people who don’t believe as you believe, and an opportunity to proselytize for your church.

In my opinion, the founders were so right to loathe and disdain this kind of religious tyranny and coercion, because it is so at odds with the concept of liberty and freedom.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 16, 2007 8:38 PM
Comment #208491

Wasn’t it Ghandi that said when asked about Christianity that he thought it was a very good religion and he would probably convert to it if he ever met a Christian?I concur.

Posted by: BillS at February 16, 2007 8:46 PM
Comment #208492

Ron:
“This country was founded on Christian principles.”

Okay, now everyone who keeps repeating this had better start backing this statement up. What principles exactly are you referring to, and what passages from the bible are demonstrably connected to these principles of our government? I want details and quotes from you all, or it’s nothing but a lot of hot n’ pious air.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 16, 2007 8:48 PM
Comment #208493

Ron:

I know a science professor over at the local college that’s a Christian. He’s studied evolution extensively. The more he studies it the more he’s convinced that it’s not even science, much less fact.


Other scientist study it and get more convinced their right. But I’ve never heard of one of these say they believe in God. In fact according to the one I know they all are atheist.

I’m disappointed. You’re basing this whole argument based on one scientist that you know?

You claim you don’t want religion taught in school? And yet you want creationism taught on an equal basis to evolution, even though it is a newly contrived religious theory I suspect “created” to enter the fray against evolution, which IS an accepted scientific theory.

Are you afraid that if creationism isn’t taught in school your kids won’t believe it? This appears to me to be the biggest argument. I have never seen nor read anything about evolution denying the existance of God. You know what assume means, right? You and your source ASSUME that since it doesn’t mention God it must be denying His existance?

Education is a wonderful tool and we should strive to educate ourselves at every stage of life, the current one included. God gave us hearts AND brains.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 16, 2007 9:00 PM
Comment #208497

As I understand the history of this country that we live in, Religious freedom was the major reason the pilgrims came here. The bible was the main book used to teach reading. Most of our laws come from God’s law such as “Thou shalt not kill”,”Thou shalt not steal”, “Thou shalt not bear false witness”. Maybe some of you might go back and read more of our history. You may be enlightened.

Posted by: KAP at February 16, 2007 10:29 PM
Comment #208498

God’s law? Interesting. Especially since Christians, Jews and Muslims all worship the same God.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 16, 2007 11:01 PM
Comment #208499

KAP,

“Most of our laws come from God’s law such as “Thou shalt not kill”,”Thou shalt not steal”, “Thou shalt not bear false witness”. Maybe some of you might go back and read more of our history. You may be enlightened.”

Bullshit!

Every country, Christian or not, has similar laws.

Posted by: Rocky at February 16, 2007 11:13 PM
Comment #208504

I’m all for teaching creationism at least in high school. I don’t know what exactly there is to teach aside from the basic hypothesis that every effect has to have a cause (who caused god?). If you have ever been in a high school classroom as a teacher it can be an intimidating experience. Thirty children, roughly the size of adults, sitting in their chairs, arms folded, legs extended with a look on their face that says “I dare you to teach me something.” At least creationism versus evolution is a controversy in the public mind ( a ridiculous controversy, but one nevertheless). It might provoke a little interest and that can’t be a bad thing.
By the way, Ron, you never answered my question: When a doctor prescribes antibiotics for a bacterial infection and urges you to take the entire course, why is that of importance? Is the doctor just being paid by the pill? What do you think goes on when you are given a twelve pill set of Neomycin but only take
six of them?

Posted by: Charles Ross at February 16, 2007 11:31 PM
Comment #208505

Charles:

I know!!! I know!!!!

Antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria are a huge problem, gonna get bigger too.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 16, 2007 11:40 PM
Comment #208506

Adrienne and womanmarine,

You two are working together like a ham and eggs!!! Ron has basically walked himself in to the proverbial corner - first he wants allow the schools to teach, then he wants to regulate what they teach. I am delighted to call you sisters - at least about this issue.

I would however like to add one point to your cause. The beliefs of the ‘Christians’ of the 18th century are vastly different from the beliefs of even present day ‘Christians’. Thank Goodness!!! There were no major issues regarding women’s rights, abortion, divorce,and evolution.

Before we start arguing what the Founding Fathers would have thought regarding our world on a religious basis, one really needs to study the actually beliefs of the time - something I don’t believe Ron, or some of the others here have done.

It would like to point out that this discussion has wandered away from the righteous right’s attempts at influencing our candidates.

Personally I don’t like the idea of ANY Presidential candidate feeling the need to get the backing of any religious group. I don’t care whether it is a ‘Christian’, ‘Islamic’, ‘Hindu’, or any other faith.

As a mater of fact I doubt I will even consider McCain, Romney, Brownback, and Huckabee as real contenders for any poitical office. I may, however, consider Giuliani if for no other reason than the man has the GUTS to think for himself.

The marvelous part about our country has been it’s diversity. Whether it has been because of culture, race, greed or religion, the vary differences are what have made us a great nation.
I believe this is why we are proud to call ourselves the Melting Pot of the world.

Posted by: Linda H. at February 16, 2007 11:43 PM
Comment #208512

“Most of our laws come from God’s law such as “Thou shalt not kill”,”Thou shalt not steal”, “Thou shalt not bear false witness”. Maybe some of you might go back and read more of our history. You may be enlightened.”

I’m not sure where you got your “enlightenment” but the idea that America is ruled by “God’s Law” is total bunk. The fact is, there is no invocation of God that exists in the US Constitution anywhere. That was no oversight. It was a DEBATED CHOICE made by the framers and accepted by the adopters. Amendments were proposed to add that kind of religious conotation and language to the Constitution during its drafting, yet ALL were defeated by the Constitutional Convention.

Whether you on the religious right like it or not, the personal religious opinions of our political leaders or their churches are entirely irrelevant with respect to matters of Constitutional law. They neither bind nor reflect Constitutional law or Federal case law, in any way, shape, or form.
America was created to be a nation of laws, not opinions — indeed our laws are created through advocacy and negotiation among our people, not by having someone open the bible and then decide for us what God had to say on a matter.

No higher authority like God or a King is intended to make our laws for us. We rejected postitive law in the form of the Divine Right of Kings in favor of Natural Law — an idea we took from English Common Law. Additionally Locke’s philosophy, which the founders followed (especially Jefferson and Madison), told us that authoritarian rulers went against the concept of unalienable rights shared by all (sound familiar?), and that such rulers always failed to protect “life, liberty, and property.” (Also sound familiar?) Locke also said that the People could justifiably overthrow the existing state and create a new one for themselves in the event of such a circumstance.(Also sound familiar?)

So, wishing to be free of Kings and Priests to tell us what our laws and our rights would be, the founders knew they needed a design for a government that wouldn’t have to keep being overthrown all the time — and they remembered the writings of Greeks and Romans like Plato, Aristotle, Polybius, and Cicero — all of whom wrote on the idea of a separation of powers. Polybius in particular wrote about how he believed that Republican Rome had avoided an endless cycle of tyrannical rulers by establishing a mixed constitution. A single state with elements of all three forms of government at once: monarchy (in the form of elected executives), an aristocracy (a Senate), and a democracy (House of Representatives). In such a mixed constitution, each of the three branches of government were able to check the strengths and balance the weaknesses of the other two. (Sound familiar?) Since absolute rule rested in no single body but was instead shared among these three, the corrupting influence of unchecked power was effectively abated.

But let’s return to the First Amendment. Since you all have brought up this idea of “God Law” ruling over us, and there being no separation of church and state, and since I know so many of you are such frightfully strict constructionists, let’s look at what James Madison said about the First Amendment’s original intent regarding the establishment clause. Remember, this is the guy who was the architect of the First Amendment and one of the primary architects of the whole Constitution — who guided this amendment through Congress and through it’s adoption by the States, and who as President also acted to enforce its provisions.

Congress should not establish a religion and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contary to their conscience, or that one sect might obtain a pre-eminence, or two combined together, and establish a religion to which they would compel others to conform.
(Annals of Congress, Aug 15th, 1789).

Here’s Madison years later talking about the establishment clause in a letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822).

Notwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, and the full establishment of it in some parts of our country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Government and Religion neither can be duly supported. Such, indeed, is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded against. And in a Government of opinion like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion on the subject. Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together.

So, to sum up, I don’t think Madison believed in “God’s Law” or most of the other things some of you have been saying.

PS. Thanks again, Linda!

Posted by: Adrienne at February 17, 2007 12:58 AM
Comment #208515

My wife is a Phillipine national. We were married over there in a civil ceremony. In the process of filling out the paperwork I was asked what religion I was. I answered that I am an American and am not comfortable answering that question to a government official.The interviewer left the room in aparent shock for a few minutes. He came back and said that was fine after checking with his superior. I felt proud of my country.
The R.P. has a constitution patterned on ours but without the strong church/state separation we have been blessed with. The Catholic Church is very powerful. As a direct result of that they have had a continious religious war,an exploding population with little means of addressing it,large church land holds where people live like serfs, many,many unsafe abortions. They also have good ports,resorces,hardworking,educated people. It should be a wealthy country. Instead it is one of the poorest and blame lie with religion interferring with good governance.No thank you.

Posted by: BillS at February 17, 2007 1:32 AM
Comment #208523

Ron said
“No one can believe in God and believe something that denies his existence. So yes the scientist that believe evolution are atheist.”

How does evolution deny the existance of God???
I find this hard to believe since 1) In all the evidence for evolution that I have heard God was never brought into it and 2) I learned of evolution from a Jesuit priest. His first words were ” evolution and God are in no way mutually exclusive”

Ken Miller does a great job of both defending evolution and religion in his book “Finding Darwin’s God”.

j2t2
You might want to read the book also. As well as “The Tao of Physics” They provide great insight in the overlap of science and religion.

Posted by: 037 at February 17, 2007 8:30 AM
Comment #208524

Good discussion blog. Enjoyed reading it. I would like to add some important points to Adrenne’s excellant posts on our religious history,

1.I think what is forgotten by many religious conservatives is that this country enjoys its religious freedoms and diversity of religions because of, (not in spite of) our secular constituion and the Separation of Church and State. Secularism has been the hand that has allowed religions to grow and flourish. Today many view secularism as the enemy. But to destroy secularism is to destroy your religious freedom.

2. It is my understanding that The establish clause was strongly influenced by the constitution and religious freedoms first written by Thomas Jefferson in The Virgina state constituion. James Madision was a younger man than Jefferson and Jefferson was his mentor. When the Bill of Rights was written, Jefferson was the Ambassador to France, so young Madison, through correspondance with Jefferson, wrote the Bill of Rights. When Jefferson talks about the “Wall of Separation” (Yes that is not in the Constitution) you have one of the authors telling you what it means. Is this not important?

I think the confict we have today between Religious conservatives and secularists is that our founders never relsoved these differences themselevs. There is a cultural history of Christianity being the dominate religion with strong connection of state sponsored religion both in Europe and pre-US revolution. The Colonies had stae sponsored religion(which consisted of religious oppression if you were the wrong Christian). So when when the constitution was ratified, it was a hard cultural change to let go of religion in Governemnt. Therefore it comes it conflict with our secular government. for example:

1. When the first constitutional congress opened, they opened with a prayer lead by a minister paid for by tax dollars. Madision objected. Not to the prayer, that is freedom of conciesnce, but to the paid minister with tax dollars.

2. Presidents Washington and Adams supported a National day of prayer. President Jefferson did not. In his view this was unconstitutional and led to his wall of separation statement.

3. When the US constitution was being ratified, many objected and lobbied against it becuase they saw it clearly for what it was - a secular document. For the next 60 years, religious activists have proposed numerous admendments to the constituion to invoke “The divine providence of God”. The last proposal being rejected by Lincoln.

What is interesting is that Religious activists in the 1700’s clearly saw the constituion as secular document and labled Jefferson in the 1800 Presidential election as “The French Infidel” - Since religious conservatives have historically lost all attempts to change the constitution, they now change tactics and redefine history. They call the constitution a Christian inspired document and call Jefferson a Christian.

Posted by: Stefano at February 17, 2007 9:28 AM
Comment #208531

Nobody said God’s law rules over us. But that God’s law is the basis for all law, and that is not just U.S. law but every country on this earth.

Posted by: KAP at February 17, 2007 11:03 AM
Comment #208533

Kap,

“But that God’s law is the basis for all law, and that is not just U.S. law but every country on this earth.”

Whose God?

I don’t want to give the impression that I eschew Christian precepts, but there are some “laws” that were around long before Christianity.

Civilization didn’t suddenly arrive with the Christians, or with the founding of America.

Read your world history.

Posted by: Rocky at February 17, 2007 11:14 AM
Comment #208534

Rocky
Did I say Christian? No I didn’t I said God’s Law. Read the first five books of the Bible. They were around long before Christianity came about.

Posted by: KAP at February 17, 2007 11:27 AM
Comment #208535

So what you’re saying is that the Sumerians, or the Babylonians had no such laws.

Both of these cultures had written “Genesis” stories at least a millenia before the Bible.

Posted by: Rocky at February 17, 2007 11:32 AM
Comment #208536

Rocky
I see what you are trying to do. Babalonians and Sumerians had laws but they to had a god or gods guiding them.

Posted by: KAP at February 17, 2007 11:45 AM
Comment #208538

KAP

“But that God’s law is the basis for all law, and that is not just U.S. law but every country on this earth.”

What do you base this on? Tibet was a Buddhist and atheistic state. Where did they get thier morality and basis of laws from? Certainly not God. Or do you consider them immoral?

Are you saying that without God’s law and religion you will behave immorally? That you do not know morality unless some religion or God tells you?

Christians (as well as all other book religions) cherry pick morality from their scripture as it fits their cultural needs and social evolution. Example, the bible supports slavery (Leviticus 25:44-46, Exodus 21:7-11, Ephesians 6:5, 1 Timothy 6:1-4). What about killing children that dsiobey parents and other non-belivers (Deutoronomy 21: 18-21). What about the bible’s support of polygamy(2 Samuel 5:13)? This is all clearly spelled out in the bible.

What moral basis do you use to reject such claims (assuming you do)? Certainly not the bible? I contend you had to(unconsciously) step outside of Christinaity to find morality in human secularism(it just doesn’t seem rational or right), then go back and wrap your conclusions in Christian dogma and justification.

Posted by: Stefano at February 17, 2007 11:47 AM
Comment #208539

Adrienne,
Where on earth do you find these marvelous and terrific quotes???!!!!

Don’t thank me for supporting you, you deserve all the credit and thanks for maintaining a
cool head on this issue. Between the two of you, womanmarine and yourself, you have out-sited, out-played, out-smarted, and out-discussed all of your opposition.

Keep up the good work!!!!

Posted by: Linda H. at February 17, 2007 11:53 AM
Comment #208540

KAP,

I would contend that Mesopotamia, India, the Mayan, China, Egypt, and the Greeks, all had written records independent of one another, and that “civilization” wasn’t confined to only the Jews and “God’s” law.

Posted by: Rocky at February 17, 2007 11:57 AM
Comment #208544

KAP,

“I see what you are trying to do.”

All I am trying to do is show that the Bible isn’t the be all, end all of civilization. That the America founders had many examples of civilizations stretching back many millenia, to draw from for inspiration. Not just Christianity.

“Babalonians and Sumerians had laws but they to had a god or gods guiding them.”

HUH?

Virtually all of mankind’s religions have had an element of fear, or a search for something outside themselves to prove their existence as their major precepts.

What does that have to do with not killing one another, and not stealing each other’s goods?

Posted by: Rocky at February 17, 2007 12:47 PM
Comment #208547

A pox on all three of those desert born,patriarchal,grim religions. There are beliefs that are much more fun and just as valid.

KAP
“”It is final proof of an omnicient God that he does not have to exist to change peoples lives ” John Paul Satre(paraphrase)

Among other things that means that an all powerful God is in no way subject to human definitions. God can be ,he,she ,it,many, one,or none. To insist on a human definition is supreme arrogance and limits the unlimitable. This is why we cannot provide “proof” of the existence of God even though many of us have that proof in our lives. To do so would be a human limit and we are not empowered to do so.

Posted by: BillS at February 17, 2007 1:14 PM
Comment #208550
Christians (as well as all other book religions) cherry pick morality from their scripture as it fits their cultural needs and social evolution. Example, the bible supports slavery (Leviticus 25:44-46, Exodus 21:7-11, Ephesians 6:5, 1 Timothy 6:1-4). What about killing children that dsiobey parents and other non-belivers (Deutoronomy 21: 18-21). What about the bible’s support of polygamy(2 Samuel 5:13)? This is all clearly spelled out in the bible.

Just because the Bible states that something happened doesn’t mean that is condones it. In Genesis 19 is a story about Lot’s daughters getting him drunk and having sex with him. When God gave the law to the Children of Israel (Jews) he forbid incest. In 2 Samuel 11 is the story of King David committing adultery with one of his soldier’s wife. It also tells that David had the soldier murdered so he could marry his wife. God had already forbid adultery and murder.
The Bible neither condones slavery nor does it condemn it.
While Deuteronomy 21:19-21 talks about stoning a rebellious child, in all likelihood this child is an adult. I say this because it say that the parents are to tell the elders that he’s a drunk and glutton. Believe or not back in them days folks were expected to listened to and obey their parents regardless of how old they were.
I see nothing there saying anything about killing someone that doesn’t believe the same as you do.
And no the bible doesn’t condemn polygamy as such.
But why would someone want more than one mother-in-law? ha!
The Law was given to the Jews to show that there is no way that man can do anything that would make him righteous enough to go to Heaven. That’s why it demanded death for anyone breaking it. Because it doesn’t matter how good ya are you still aint going to be perfect.
Christ was the only one to keep the law 100%. That’s why he was able to make the sacrifice necessary to ensure eternal life for all that believe on him. By fulfilling the law he took those that believe in him out from under it’s curse of death.


Posted by: Ron Brown at February 17, 2007 1:35 PM
Comment #208551

Ron Brown
Good point. That is why its better to marry sisters. Only one mother-in-law.

As others have pointed out,many quite admirable,Christian precepts are ignored or rationalized away. You have mentioned some. The Golden Rule? So a CEO should not outsource anyones job ubless he outsources his own? Forgivness and redemption.? I know you have the litany down by rote but when applied to capital punishment it is absurd. Limited access to healthcare? Those without should be first in line.

Posted by: BillS at February 17, 2007 1:58 PM
Comment #208552
Why are folks against creation being taught then say it’s OK for the religion of evolution to be taught?

Because your premise is invalid. Evolution is science, not a religion. The understanding of evolution is based on evidence and logical inference (Science), not on the acceptance of pronouncements from a deity (Religion).

Fact is if both are taught as theory where’s the harm?

Because only one is actually a Scientific Theory that has been developed as a result of analysing the evidence and coming to logical conclusions based on the evidence. Creationism is called a theory, but that’s because “Theory” and “Scientific Theory” are different things. Scientifically speaking, creationism is a hypothesis that was abandoned when it was found not to fit the evidence.

Scientifically, only one of the two is a theory, even if you want to deny it.

No one can believe in God and believe something that denies his existence. So yes the scientist that believe evolution are atheist.Sorry evolution is part of a religion and needs to be taken out of schools.

No, Evolution is science. Science should be taught in our schools. There are many scientists that are Christian and accept the science of Evolution. Being a Christian is generally regarded to depend on accepting Christ; it does not depend on accepting only a literal interpretation of every part of scripture. Otherwise, to be a Christian, you would have to believe that the breasts of Solomon’s lover were literally deer.

Atheism is a religion and I aint run across an atheist yet that denies evolution.

All dogs are animals. Does that make all animals dogs? Nope.

Please learn basic logic. That atheists generally accept a scientific explanation does not make that explanation part of atheism.

In fact they all claim it’s fact not theory. That makes it a part of their religion.

Believing something to be a fact based on evidence and logic makes it a religion? Huh?

Other scientist study it and get more convinced their right. But I’ve never heard of one of these say they believe in God.

Then you haven’t been listening. Someone above referred to a book on the matter. There are many other examples.

There is absolutely no mention of God or any other supreme being in the theory of evolution.

There is also absolutely no mention of “God or any other supreme being” in the rules of punctuation. Does that mean that anyone that knows how to use commas is an athiest? Of course not, but it’s as silly as your claim.

It is assumed that everything happened by chance.

Not at all. Random chance happens in the creation of mutations. However, it is by well understood processes that some random mutations die off quickly and some are spread. The randomness is simply an input.

That no supreme being had anything at all to do with the world coming into existence. This denys that God exist and makes it an atheistic theory.

No again. Evolution says nothing whatsoever about whether a supreme being was involved in making the world and its creatures. It just describes accurately based on evidence the process used to do so.

Some believe that there was a God that directed or invented the processes, some don’t. However, the belief in a higher power is outside the realm of the process.

As another analogy, is plate tectonics an athiestic idea because it describes the geological processes that lead to earthquakes and volcanoes instead of ascribing it to a God? Not at all.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 17, 2007 2:05 PM
Comment #208554

Ron,

I hope I don’t need to cite scripture to assert that Christ modified and reinterpreted OT law. The letter killeth etc. Your point that the canonical Judiac-Christian texts recorded some atrocities without condoing or condeming them is well taken; however, one must also admit that some actions commanded in these texts are fairly atrocioties. The existence of these passages are one reason that Jewish and Christian thinkers before, during, and after the middle ages employed “hermeneutics” to “save” the texts. (Some people believe this is the origin of modern literary criticism.) Of course, we still do this today — Google Psalm 137 for examples.

Posted by: Trent at February 17, 2007 2:10 PM
Comment #208556

More quotes

Alexander Hamilton
“I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a joror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man.”

John Hancock
“We recognize no Sovereigh but God, and no King but Jesus!”

Patrick Henry
“It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”

John Jay
“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”

Benjamin Rush
“If moral precepts alone could have reformed mankind, the mission of the Son of God iinto our world would have been unnecessary.”

Justice Joseph Story
“I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society. One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law. . .There never has ben a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying its foundation.”

Noah Webster
“All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”

George Washington
“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible.”
“What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.”

Posted by: tomh at February 17, 2007 2:41 PM
Comment #208557

Ron, Hey if you can throw creationism into the science class can I throw that talking mouse and flying elephant from the Disney cartoons into the science class. Also I would like to have evolution and modern art and electronics taught in sunday school and oh how about in gym class too. and after that we could teach music in history class and howe about geograhpy in …well I think you get my point.

Posted by: J2t2 at February 17, 2007 2:47 PM
Comment #208564

Tomh and Adrenne both posted excellant quotes from our founders, showing that they were not all in agreement and the constitution is a negotiated document. This makes my point that the issue of religion in society was not resolved by our founders. But being religious and devout Christians dose not neccessarily mean you want a Chriatian nation.

But also note, that Patrick Henry was a strong supporter of a church state religion in Virginia and the Constitution. As were many of the people tomh cites.

tomh - This quote from Washington ““It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible” is suspect. Although I can fine a couple of web sites quoting this, they do not reference a source for this quote. There are fictious quotes floating on the net. Do you have a source of this quote?

Posted by: Stefano at February 17, 2007 3:38 PM
Comment #208569

Ron

“Just because the Bible states that something happened doesn’t mean that is condones it.”

How do you know or decide what the bible condones and what is God’s law? What moral or historical reference do you use since the bible has contridictions?

“The Bible neither condones slavery nor does it condemn it.”

Not true. If you read the passages I listed my last post, the bible clearly gives God’s law on how to treat a slave as well as when slavery is allowed. Such as in paying back debts.

Going back to slavery. Slavery was an important part of American history. American Christians owned slaves and believed it was suported by the bible. During the anti-slave movement, the Rev John Mason of NY used biblical scripture to suppport slavery.

Again, it was economically prudent and part of our culture to own a slave. So we found justification in the bible. As social and moral evolution gets the better of us, we now find no justification in the bible for slavery.

So I ask, what changed in Christain thinking from pro-slavery to anti-slavery? The bible didn’t change. The constitution didn’t change. We the people changed. And Christians changed as well. So you change your interpretation of the bible to suit the current believes and culture of your time.

Posted by: Stefano at February 17, 2007 4:15 PM
Comment #208571

Linda:
“Where on earth do you find these marvelous and terrific quotes???!!!!”

Most I’ve gotten off the net, but I’m a huge quote collector, so I didn’t need to go searching for the ones I’ve put up. I keep a bunch of files that I cut and paste quotes into whenever I find ones that are interesting. Btw, I fully realize this is super-nerdy. :^)
Btw, I appreciate the kind support, and I think womanmarine rocks too!

Thanks Stepano.
Nice fencing, Lawnboy!

Hey religious righties, I see none of you were willing to make a list of founding principles and give the corresponding bible quotes they were based upon. Since you can’t back this claim up, I’m now officially calling it all hot ‘n’ pious air.

tomh, isn’t it interesting that with all those god-fearing men hanging around during the founding of our nation, that NOT ONCE did they allude to God in the Constitution?
That’s because they knew that religious and civil affairs would only lead to the corruption of both — and voted to keep all mention of God out of the document during the Constitutional Convention.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 17, 2007 4:43 PM
Comment #208572

Ooops. That should read: That’s because they knew that the mixing of religious and civil affairs would only lead to the corruption of both…

Posted by: Adrienne at February 17, 2007 4:47 PM
Comment #208583

Stefano

As you stated above the quote does appear a number of times without citation. I personally had it in my file from a source called “NCIAIA.org”. I put the org. in caps to read it better. That org. also did not give a citation.

Posted by: tomh at February 17, 2007 6:00 PM
Comment #208584

Adrienne

This is my opinion.

I believe that their reference to GOD was accomplished in the Declaration of Independence. I also believe that the reference to GOD in the Constitution was not inserted because people would question if it was the God of the Baptists, or Anglicans, or Methodists, or Calvinists, etc. That just says what you said about mixing religioius and civil affairs from a different perspective.

Posted by: tomh at February 17, 2007 6:05 PM
Comment #208600

No, I don’t think you are ‘nerdy’ at all - it just affirms my assessment of your intelligence. I wish I had just a little of the knowledge you expound when you write on this site.

I think both you and womanmarine rock!!! ;>)

Lawnboy - proud of you!!!

Posted by: Linda H. at February 17, 2007 7:17 PM
Comment #208648

mr. smith,

another excellent post. kudos.

michael smith, (the only) republican candidate for president.

Posted by: Diogenes at February 17, 2007 10:29 PM
Comment #208658

tomh and Stefano,

It appears that the quote in question is bogus. It’s very popular across the web, though.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 18, 2007 12:09 AM
Comment #208685

Excuse me, I’m going off topic here since I’m being censored and not allowed to start my own topics.

Does anyone remember the good old days? Pelosi taking power, declaring fiscal responsibility had arrived? Pay as you go? Balanced budgets?

I hear that Pelosi just passed a 1.8 billion dollar tax cut. Excuse me! Anyone remember “PAY AS YOU GO”? Where did she just cut 1.8 billion in spending? What happened to “pay as you go”?

Lets try to focus on the important stuff folks.

1) Balance the budget,
2) Fix social security
3) Fix Medicare
4) Fight the War on terrorism
5) Secure our nations boarders
6) Create national health care AFTER the budget is balanced and social security and Medicare are fixed.

Pelosi keeps spending and not accounting for it. What’s going on? Democrats promised us fiscal responsibility didn’t they? Aren’t they spending our children’s future away? Isn’t that still horrible to all of us?

Good thing the Bush tax cuts have tax receipts soaring. Possibly the strong Bush economy will bail out our high spending democratic party friends?

Posted by: Stephen at February 18, 2007 11:29 AM
Comment #208690
Good thing the Bush tax cuts have tax receipts soaring.

It’d increase your credibility if you didn’t intersperse jokes like this in the middle of your rants.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 18, 2007 11:42 AM
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