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  1. Micael's Avatar
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       #1  
    Ok, this one has bugged me for a long long time. Are we a Christian nation, or aren't we? If we aren't, doesn't that blast holes on many of the moral issues we stand on like abortion, gay marriage, bigomy, and prostitution? What do we use as a moral compass, if not an ideological one?

    Go ahead and talk amongst yourselves.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  2. #2  
    ^ LOL

    Ok,

    This one will be fun.

    Conveniently enough, I have to take my macbook pro in for repairs for the 4th time

    You guys start without me.
    Just call me Berd.
  3. #3  
    The last I saw, and I may be wrong, but 76% of the people in the US consider themselves Christian. Worldwide we're a minority, since 67% of the world is non-Christian.

    Each religious sect in the US look at those moral issues differently. Some sects look at dancing as bad.

    I think the separation of church and state in our constitution was a good idea, so one sect doesn't monopolize.
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  4. wjclint's Avatar
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    #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    Ok, this one has bugged me for a long long time. Are we a Christian nation, or aren't we? If we aren't, doesn't that blast holes on many of the moral issues we stand on like abortion, gay marriage, bigomy, and prostitution? What do we use as a moral compass, if not an ideological one?

    Go ahead and talk amongst yourselves.
    The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded upon the Christian religion.

    The fact that a majority of the citizens of the colonies were Christian does not make us a Christian "nation" any more than the fact that most of the fans at a professional hockey game may be Christian makes hockey a Christian based sport.

    Do a little research on the Treaty of Tripoli if you don't believe this. Our great country's first Senate unanimously ratified a treaty presented by John Adams that contained the words in the first sentence of this post. (The Treaty was negotiated at the end of Washington's term.) Those words could not have been missed and were not buried in a bunch of pork as they would be today. You can easily go to the Library of Congress website and find scanned versions of the original documents that lead up to the Treaty and see its history - including being read in its entirety, out loud, in the Senate, being sent to committee, being recommended by the committee for ratification, and being ratified.

    Religion, and hence Christianity, was very purposefully left out the founding of our government for both the protection of our government and the protection of religious freedom.

    Our representatives, in all branches of government, can draw from many sources for their "moral compass" and whether it be Christianity, Islam, Plato, common sense, or evolutionary tendencies, the source of their compass does not change the historical fact that the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded upon the Christian religion.
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  5. Micael's Avatar
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       #5  
    So I take it then, wjclint, that you are for gay marriage, since the argument against it seems to be a religious one.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  6. #6  
    The US is theoretically founded upon freedom from government intervention without some say by the governed as to when and how that intervention will take place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    So I take it then, wjclint, that you are for gay marriage, since the argument against it seems to be a religious one.
    Separate issue completely.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  7. wjclint's Avatar
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    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    So I take it then, wjclint, that you are for gay marriage, since the argument against it seems to be a religious one.
    Whether our country is, or is not, founded on Christianity has nothing to do with an individual's position on any political issue.

    Whether my "compass," as you call it, is based on Christianity or not does not affect whether this is a Christian nation. Whether a particular position on gay marriage is supported by Christian concepts, by equal protection concepts, or any other legal, moral, or religious idea, is a whole different thread.
  8. #8  
    i think a significant number of our founders were Deists rather than Christians per se
  9. Micael's Avatar
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       #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by wjclint View Post
    Whether our country is, or is not, founded on Christianity has nothing to do with an individual's position on any political issue.

    Whether my "compass," as you call it, is based on Christianity or not does not affect whether this is a Christian nation. Whether a particular position on gay marriage is supported by Christian concepts, by equal protection concepts, or any other legal, moral, or religious idea, is a whole different thread.
    Actually, its this thread. Please reread the opening message. It wasn't simply a yes or no question, but rather, depending on your answer how should it affect political and social issues.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  10. Micael's Avatar
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       #10  
    Am I reading this wrong? Or do we all agree that Gay Marriage is a civil right's issue and not a religious one, and the state should not be drawing distinctions between different groups, e.g., equal treatment under the law?
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    Am I reading this wrong? Or do we all agree that Gay Marriage is a civil right's issue and not a religious one, and the state should not be drawing distinctions between different groups, e.g., equal treatment under the law?
    It's going to be an important civil rights issue to some, and it's going to be an important religious issue to others. If the issue ever came up on a voting ballot for me, I wouldn't vote on it because it doesn't effect me in the least bit.
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  12. #12  
    Of course we have not noticed that most state government constitutions have the word "God" in them. Of course not. The government of the USA is founded upon the Christian religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by wjclint View Post
    The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded upon the Christian religion.

    The fact that a majority of the citizens of the colonies were Christian does not make us a Christian "nation" any more than the fact that most of the fans at a professional hockey game may be Christian makes hockey a Christian based sport.

    Do a little research on the Treaty of Tripoli if you don't believe this. Our great country's first Senate unanimously ratified a treaty presented by John Adams that contained the words in the first sentence of this post. (The Treaty was negotiated at the end of Washington's term.) Those words could not have been missed and were not buried in a bunch of pork as they would be today. You can easily go to the Library of Congress website and find scanned versions of the original documents that lead up to the Treaty and see its history - including being read in its entirety, out loud, in the Senate, being sent to committee, being recommended by the committee for ratification, and being ratified.

    Religion, and hence Christianity, was very purposefully left out the founding of our government for both the protection of our government and the protection of religious freedom.

    Our representatives, in all branches of government, can draw from many sources for their "moral compass" and whether it be Christianity, Islam, Plato, common sense, or evolutionary tendencies, the source of their compass does not change the historical fact that the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded upon the Christian religion.
  13. #13  
    I believe it to be a states' right issue and up to the people of the individual state to make the decision. When you push the gay agenda, an exception is being made for a specific group of people and that is just not equal treatment under the law.

    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    Am I reading this wrong? Or do we all agree that Gay Marriage is a civil right's issue and not a religious one, and the state should not be drawing distinctions between different groups, e.g., equal treatment under the law?
  14. #14  
    <<Edited by Berd - Not an appropriate analogy>>
    Last edited by berdinkerdickle; 05/27/2009 at 11:49 AM.
  15. wjclint's Avatar
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    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    Actually, its this thread. Please reread the opening message. It wasn't simply a yes or no question, but rather, depending on your answer how should it affect political and social issues.
    The original question was directly related to the relationship between the nature (christian or not) of the founding of our country and the position one should take on particular issues. My answer is that there is no relationship between the two.

    There is certainly going to be a relationship between an individual's particular moral and ethical compass and their position on issues such as marriage between members of the same sex. People that argue the particular religious position of one of the many, many, founders of this country is support for some particular position, or has a relationship to that position, miss the point of Federalism, the Bill of Rights, and the republican form of government guaranteed by our Constitution.
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  16. #16  
    <<Quote Removed by Berd - Not an appropriate analogy>>

    I think that arguments can be made about whether our country was founded on a Christian basis. Given that many of the founders were Deists, that stating that we are a Christian nation would be an establishment of a state religion, and the fact that the founders overtly stated that there should be a separation of church and state, I would argue that we are not a Christian nation.

    In some ways, whether the country was founded on Christianity is somewhat irrelevant, because we currently are not a Christian nation - we have a large percentage of citizens who are not Christian (myself included), and our country needs to be accepting of all.
    Last edited by berdinkerdickle; 05/27/2009 at 11:50 AM.
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  17. wjclint's Avatar
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    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by Bujin View Post
    I think that arguments can be made about whether our country was founded on a Christian basis.

    This is where I think people get the argument completely wrong. There were 55 delegates to the Philadelphia Convention. There were about 1,071 state representatives that voted to ratify the Constitution. Assume for the sake of argument that they were all Christians (as has already been pointed out they weren't, but assume they were). Also assume that they drafted and ratified a document that founded a system of government that very specifically left religion separate and apart from the government. The fact that Christians set up a secular system of government does not make the government Christian.

    I have never understood why this is such a difficult concept. Lets say a bunch of Christians who are adamantly opposed to mixing government and religion form a club to fight attempts to mix government and religion. Does the fact that they are Christians suddenly make the idea of a secular government a Christian concept (try to follow that circular logic!). Or if a bunch of Christians open up an automotive shop does that suddenly mean we are all driving cars powered by faith?

    The idea that the Nation is Christian because some of the founders were Christian, or that it isn't because some were deists, is a logical fallacy. The argument makes the false assumption that Christians can't do anything unless it is based on Christianity, and that deists can't do anything unless it is based on deism.

    If you want to argue that the colonies had a bunch of Christians in them when the Constitution was adopted you are absolutely correct. If you want to argue that we are a Christian nation you need to find your evidence within the US Constitution - and it just isn't there. In fact if you look at the actual Constitution instead of the varied beliefs of the European settlers that drafted and ratified it, you will see that the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded upon the Christian religion.
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  18. Micael's Avatar
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       #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by palandri View Post
    It's going to be an important civil rights issue to some, and it's going to be an important religious issue to others. If the issue ever came up on a voting ballot for me, I wouldn't vote on it because it doesn't effect me in the least bit.
    I understand your point and perspective, but living in a country that discriminates against people for any reason affects everyone.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  19. Micael's Avatar
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       #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by Bujin View Post
    Gay marriage is a definite threat to my marriage: after all, I heard that if gay marriage were legalized in all states, straight marriage would become illegal. Or my marriage would become gay. Or something like that.

    I think that arguments can be made about whether our country was founded on a Christian basis. Given that many of the founders were Deists, that stating that we are a Christian nation would be an establishment of a state religion, and the fact that the founders overtly stated that there should be a separation of church and state, I would argue that we are not a Christian nation.

    In some ways, whether the country was founded on Christianity is somewhat irrelevant, because we currently are not a Christian nation - we have a large percentage of citizens who are not Christian (myself included), and our country needs to be accepting of all.
    Spoken like a true non-Christian! The problem is, many of those in power in our government DO consider this a Christian nation, that the state religion is defacto Christianity, and legislate accordingly.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by wjclint View Post
    This is where I think people get the argument completely wrong. There were 55 delegates to the Philadelphia Convention. There were about 1,071 state representatives that voted to ratify the Constitution. Assume for the sake of argument that they were all Christians (as has already been pointed out they weren't, but assume they were). Also assume that they drafted and ratified a document that founded a system of government that very specifically left religion separate and apart from the government. The fact that Christians set up a secular system of government does not make the government Christian.
    For the record, I totally agree. If they had left out all of that "endowed by the Creator" language, it would have made the issue much cleaner. As it stands, that very tenuous argument (the "God is mentioned, therefore it's a Christian nation" approach) is used as an excuse to try to push religious doctrine into our laws.
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