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  1. #101  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    In the quotes I posted, the "founding fathers" refer to Christianity and Jesus. In the ones you posted, they speak about god, which is not necessarily the god Christians refer to.
    parsing are we? Can you speak to a religion these men followed other than Christianity?
  2. #102  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    In the quotes I posted, the "founding fathers" refer to Christianity and Jesus. In the ones you posted, they speak about god, which is not necessarily the god Christians refer to.
    Just FYI Clulup, Abe Lincoln was not a "founding father." Why you quoted him in that group is a mystery.
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  3. #103  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Besides, here some quotes:

    George Washington -
    The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian doctrine.

    Thomas Jefferson -
    I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature. 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 classified with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.

    Abraham Lincoln -
    The Bible is not my book, and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma.

    John Adams -
    The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and... foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity.
    I like history. These were very complex men, and most of them faced personal tragedies in the lives several times over and over and far greater that I dare say most of us has faced that did sway them one way or the other and sometimes back again. And as such a case can be made for either side of the camp for each man. Here are several other quotes and perspectives from the same men:

    George Washington
    • While encamped on the banks of a river, Washington was approached by Delaware Indian chiefs who desired that their youth be trained in American schools. In Washington's response, he first told them that "Congress... will look on them as on their own children." That is, we would train their children as if they were our own. He then commended the chiefs for their decision:

      You do well to wish to learn our arts and our ways of life and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention.

      (George Washington's Speech to Delaware Indian Chiefs on May 12, 1779, in John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, The Writings of George Washington, Vol. XV (Washinton: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1932), p. 55.)
    • President George Washington, September 17th, 1796 "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible"
    • "To the distinguished character of a Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of a Christian."
    • The draft of the circular letter is in the hand of a secretary, although the signature is Washington's. Some have called this concluding paragraph "Washington's Prayer." In it, he asked God to: "dispose us all, to do Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the Characteristicks of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation."
    • George Washington as he resigned his commission as general of the Continental Army on December 23, 1783. "I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my official life by commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God and those who have the superintendence of them into His holy keeping."


    Thomas Jefferson
    Today religious conservatives portray Jefferson as a sympathetic figure, unaware of his religious beliefs, his understanding of religious freedom or his criticisms of evangelical religiosity. Thomas Jefferson religous views ranged from a personal nature religous view, to accepting Jesus but being opposed to many of the christain sects and their priesthoods, to agreeing with Unitarian Christian views. And depending on the time in his life (which was actually filled with a great deal of tragedy from losing his wife at a young age and having 5 of his 6 children die, 4 of them in infancy) we can find a wide range of quotes for and against Christianity.
    • Thomas Jefferson: Deist or Christian?
      http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/ar...TICLE_ID=28006
    • He considered Jesus the teacher of a sublime and flawless ethic. Writing in 1803 to the Universalist physician Benjamin Rush, Jefferson wrote, "To the corruptions of Christianity, I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence, and believing he never claimed any other."
    • Jefferson found the Unitarian understanding of Jesus compatible with his own. In 1822 he predicted that "there is not a young man now living in the US who will not die an Unitarian." Jefferson requested that a Unitarian minister be dispatched to his area of Virginia. "Missionaries from Cambridge [that is: Harvard Divinity School] would soon be greeted with more welcome, than from the tritheistical school of Andover." Jefferson's christology is apparent in these and similar letters, and also in one of his most famous writings, the "Jefferson Bible." published by congress, in 1904.
    • The Works of Thomas Jefferson in Twelve Volumes. Federal Edition. Monticello, January 9, 1816
      This work bears the stamp of that accuracy which marks everything from you, and will be useful to those who, not taking things on trust, recur for themselves to the fountain of pure morals. I, too, have made a wee-little book from the same materials, which I call the Philosophy of Jesus; it is a paradigma of his doctrines, made by cutting the texts out of the book, and arranging them on the pages of a blank book, in a certain order of time or subject. A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen; it is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus, very different from the Platonists, who call me infidel and themselves Christians and preachers of the gospel, while they draw all their characteristic dogmas from what its author never said nor saw.



    Abraham Lincoln
    The Christian character of President Lincoln is an American enigma. A lifelong non-churchgoer, Lincoln has been the subject of numerous speculations concerning his faith. He was more intensely spiritual than almost any other American President, yet the confusion about the genuineness of Lincoln's Christianity I think comes from his early years and his trails of faith during the long and trying times of the Civil War.
    • March 1861. "Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him, who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulty." God, in other words, would stick with the Americans, whose own virtues would lead them out of trouble.
    • March 1865. "Fondly do we hope—fervently do we pray—that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bondman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.' "
    • After the death of his 4-year-old son, Edward, in 1850, he regularly attended Presbyterian churches in Springfield and Washington, pastored by doctrinal conservatives. Yet he never became a member of any congregation.
    • "That I am not a member of any Christian Church, is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular. … I do not think I could, myself, be brought to support a man for office whom I knew to be an open enemy of, and scoffer at, religion. Leaving the higher matter of eternal consequences between him and his Maker, I still do not think any man has the right thus to insult the feelings, and injure the morals, of the community in which he may live … "
    • "In regards to this great Book (the Bible),
      I have but to say it is the best gift God has given to man.
      All the good the Saviour gave to the world was communicated through this Book.
      But for it we could not know right from wrong.
      All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are found portrayed in it."
    • "I believe I am an humble servant in the hands of our Heavenly Father;
      I desire that all my words and acts may be according to His will."


    John Quincy Adams
    • When it was feared that Christian influence was waning in New England, he prepared a lecture on Truth, which he delivered in many places. The premise was: "A man to be a Christian must believe in God, in the Bible, in the Divinity of the Savior's mission, and in a future state of rewards and punishments."
    • Adams wrote a series of letters to his son on "The Bible and its Teachings" which were published in the New York Tribune, in which he stated: "I have myself for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year. I have always endeavored to read it with the same spirit and temper of mind which I now recommend to you; that is, with the intention and desire that it contribute to my advancement in wisdom and virtue ... My custom is, to read four or five chapters every morning, immediately after rising form my bed. It employs about an hour of my time, and seems to me the most suitable manner of beginning the day."
    • June 28, 1813. “The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity…I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and the attributes of God.”
    • “We recognize no Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus!” April 18, 1775, on the eve of the Revolutionary War after a British major ordered John Adams, John Hancock, and those with them to disperse in “the name of George the Sovereign King of England."
    • "July 4th ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”
      letter written to Abigail on the day the Declaration was approved by Congress
    • "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." --October 11, 1798
    • "I have examined all religions, as well as my narrow sphere, my straightened means, and my busy life, would allow; and the result is that the Bible is the best Book in the world. It contains more philosophy than all the libraries I have seen." December 25, 1813 letter to Thomas Jefferson
    • "Without Religion this World would be Something not fit to be mentioned in polite Company, I mean Hell." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, April 19, 1817
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 06/28/2005 at 07:43 PM.
  4. #104  
    Background on that Washington quote. Washington wasn't even the president when the treaty was signed.
  5. #105  
    Quote Originally Posted by treo2die4
    parsing are we? Can you speak to a religion these men followed other than Christianity?
    Most of the forefathers were freemasons.
  6.    #106  
    Quote Originally Posted by Insertion
    Just FYI Clulup, Abe Lincoln was not a "founding father." Why you quoted him in that group is a mystery.
    What he meant was Lincoln is on the $5 bill
    Well behaved women rarely make history
  7. #107  
    A Penny for his thoughts...

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  8.    #108  
    "The Continental-Confederation Congress, a legislative body that governed the United States from 1774 to 1789, contained an extraordinary number of deeply religious men. The amount of energy that Congress invested in encouraging the practice of religion in the new nation exceeded that expended by any subsequent American national government. Although the Articles of Confederation did not officially authorize Congress to concern itself with religion, the citizenry did not object to such activities. This lack of objection suggests that both the legislators and the public considered it appropriate for the national government to promote a nondenominational, nonpolemical Christianity.

    Congress appointed chaplains for itself and the armed forces, sponsored the publication of a Bible, imposed Christian morality on the armed forces, and granted public lands to promote Christianity among the Indians. National days of thanksgiving and of "humiliation, fasting, and prayer" were proclaimed by Congress at least twice a year throughout the war. Congress was guided by "covenant theology," a Reformation doctrine especially dear to New England Puritans, which held that God bound himself in an agreement with a nation and its people. This agreement stipulated that they "should be prosperous or afflicted, according as their general Obedience or Disobedience thereto appears." Wars and revolutions were, accordingly, considered afflictions, as divine punishments for sin, from which a nation could rescue itself by repentance and reformation."



    Library of Congress - Religion and the Founding of the American Republic

    Feel Free to Visit
    Well behaved women rarely make history
  9.    #109  
    Quote Originally Posted by Insertion
    A Penny for his thoughts...

    Hmmm...only President to be a double dipper
    Well behaved women rarely make history
  10. #110  
    Quote Originally Posted by clairegrrl
    Hmmm...only President to be a double dipper
    Some of the Founding Fathers dipped:

    http://www.doctorzebra.com/prez/g02.htm
    Adams also chewed tobacco, at one point betting a pair of gloves with his landlady (Mrs. Willard, 1856) that "she would not see me chew tobacco this month." The result: "Adams loved tobacco too much to give up the weed"
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  11.    #111  
    This penny was made in Denver, Colorado USA. I wonder if they can be made in China for less

    Well behaved women rarely make history
  12. #112  
    Quote Originally Posted by clairegrrl
    This penny was made in Denver, Colorado USA. I wonder if they can be made in China for less
    Now that is whole other thread!
  13. #113  
    Quote Originally Posted by clairegrrl
    This penny was made in Denver, Colorado USA. I wonder if they can be made in China for less
    Can they fit "Made In China" underneath the year?
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  14.    #114  
    Quote Originally Posted by Insertion
    Can they fit "Made In China" underneath the year?
    I guess they could put C but peeps might get it confused with Cleveland
    Well behaved women rarely make history
  15. #115  
    Quote Originally Posted by treo2die4
    Why not? I guess that's my point. I do not find them to be an endorsement and therefore have no problem with them being displayed.
    Treo2die4-Im not signaling you out, but I couldnt go back too far to raise the issue that I think is important.

    I think the argument for the government endorsing a religion is if it shows preference to one religion over others. (its arguable that it doesnt really matter what the display says versus how the symbol is viewed. Thats why I think the argument by clulup? and others about whether the words of the 10 commandments are in our laws or if they are unconstitutional and such probably isnt that important to the logical reasoning of the ruling). (Also, as far as defining if a symbol is predominantly religious versus historical (not saying it couldnt be both) I think the court is using a reasonable person standard...Would a reasonable person conclude that the 10 commandments are a religious symbol...yes.)

    For instance, its very arguable that if the courthouse puts a display of the 10 commandments on its walls AND does not put up the star of David or the upside down cross of satanism (or...the list goes on), then by deduction, its endorsing only Christianity.

    The counter argument goes something like this: By the courts not allowing the 10 commandments (which many could argue are the basis of at least some laws) then it is violating the freedom of religion clause of the 1st amendment (and arguably denying the country its christian heritage).

    Obviously the S.Ct. couldnt allow both (display and not display something) so the courts have upheld the first argument.

    In the recent court case, the courts took into account that christian symbols are all over the landscape (many have already been mentioned...money, oaths, bibles in courts, artwork, etc.) So it offered (as a policy argument) that if a courthouse has a christian symbol and its surrounded by secular symbols as to 'water down' the religious message, then it may be constitutional (however the court appears to want to decide this case by case). Why? Well because you can imagine how difficult, expensive and disruptive it would be if the court ordered some sweeping change that all christian symbols in all government sponsored displays should be removed.

    I personally would like to see more christian symbols in government buildings. But if I take a step back and give it a fair 'read', then I can see how by allowing only christian symbols in courthouses, then the government is endorsing the christian religion over others (as always...IMHO).

    Plus, to be fair, it would really tick me off if I came to court one day and it had a big budda statue in the front (or any other religious symbol). Thats why I am for not having any.
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  16. #116  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    This is not true...Again answered a few posts back and a few forward in post #84. Historically, the Supreme court has not been consistant with it rulings on things of this nature. In the last two rulings they have been.
    To be fair, its not an easy concept to dissect and understand. Plus you have all those politics and emotions.

    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    I think it an interesting point that it took 173 years before anyone had an issue with anything even similiar to this. Any only in the last 50 years or so have there been court case laws on these types of topics. And these rulings have been consistant in only the fact that they have not been consistant.
    Although that may be true, I don't like to use the "Well we have done it for so long that it must be right" argument. We have seen too many time that what we have done in the past may not have been correct (slavery, womens rights, discrimination, etc.)
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  17. #117  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    Although that may be true, I don't like to use the "Well we have done it for so long that it must be right" argument. We have seen too many time that what we have done in the past may not have been correct (slavery, womens rights, discrimination, etc.)
    I meant that it is interesting if you take a look at how we as a national and society has changed resulting in increasing cases like this. How long it took to reach a point we had to face it, and then how fast it has been taken from there.
  18. #118  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    This is NOT a Christian document, but is a historical document that had religious roots that have been adopted by a wide range of religions that represent a vast majority of the population of the world....not just a view of a single thread of religion known as Christians.
    Hobbes: I like the argument for it being just a historical document, but would a reasonable person believe its not a religious symbol (dont most people think of the 10 commandments being brought down from the mountain by Moses?)

    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    And as such has had a tremendous influence over several millennia of the world's history. If the 10 Commandants are an attempt of proselyting, then for what religion? Jewish because they wrote it? Christians because they have adopted it? Or Islam because the honor it?
    A religious symbol doesnt have to make an attempt at proselytizing in order for it to be viewed as religious does it?

    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    The Establishment Clause of the constitution does not say the gov cannot reference anything religious (or our money, the oath in court, the pledge of allegiance, the oath in congress, and oath of the president, etc... would all be unconstitutional).
    I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    Madison's original proposal for a bill of rights provision concerning religion read: ''The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretense, infringed.'' 1 The language was altered in the House to read: ''Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or to prevent the free exercise thereof, or to infringe the rights of conscience.'' 2 In the Senate, the section adopted read: ''Congress shall make no law establishing articles of faith, or a mode of worship, or prohibiting the free exercise of religion, . .
    Although this is interesting, what you have to start with is what the constitution says. Courts begin with the plain meaning of the text (not supporting documentation in its creation).

    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    Two clauses of the First Amendment concern the relationship of government to religion: the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause. Although the clauses were intended by the framers to serve common values, there is some tension between the two.
    Totally agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    For example, some people might suggest that providing a military chaplain for troops stationed overseas violates the Establishment Clause, while others might suggest that failing to provide a chaplain violates the Free Exercise Clause rights of the same troops.
    I hadnt thought about the chaplain example, but, in support of the establishment argument, you can get a chaplain in the military for almost any religious denomination now.

    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    At an absolute minimum, the Establishment Clause was intended to prohibit the federal government from declaring and financially supporting a national religion, such as existed in many other countries at the time of the nation's founding. It has grown through court law to basically include that it cannot support the establishment of one religion over another,
    Its arguable whether it has 'grown' from court law or if it has always been there (via logical deduction). But I see your point.

    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    which the 10 commandant clearly does not represent just one religion or even just one form of religion.
    I dont think its clear. Again, using a reasonable person standard, its arguable (hardly clear) that its a religious symbol (doesnt matter if we define for which religion). Plus, most case law (I think) has already said that the 10 commandments are largely a christian symbol.

    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    The relationship between the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses varies with the expansiveness of interpretation of the two clauses. In a general sense both clauses proscribe governmental involvement with and interference in religious matters, but there is possible tension between a requirement of governmental neutrality derived from the Establishment Clause and a Free-Exercise-derived requirement that government accommodate some religious practices.
    I totally agree...I mentioned this in my earlier post.

    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    So far, the Court has harmonized interpretation by denying that free- exercise-mandated accommodations create establishment violations, and also by upholding some legislative accommodations not mandated by free exercise requirements. ''This Court has long recognized that government may (and sometimes must) accommodate religious practices and that it may do so without violating the Establishment Clause.''
    The difference can be drawn between accomodating a religious practice via a private person versus accomodating by allowing religious symbols on government property (its not quite the same). One seems to allow first amendment, the other violates the establishment clause (IMO).

    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    But the court rulings starting in 1947 have varied widely on many issues of this nature, which I personally believe depended more on whether the Supreme Court bench had more liberal or conserative members on it at the time of the rulings than anything else.
    It arguable and a good point.

    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    It is history. It is factual. It is historical....regardless of 10 commandment's religious origins. No matter what you believe, it has influenced the foundation of our country and if you live in America it effects you today because of this historical fact, no matter how many history books are changed or how many references to the 10 commandments are taken down.
    Although I can agree with most of this (some may argue that the 10 commandments arent factual in the sense of if they really came about via Moses and God) I dont see how this supports the idea that they should be posted on government buildings? The 10 commandments are NOT JUST historical but also religious?

    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    Since the 10 Commandments does not give preference to any one religion keeping true to the Establishment Clause....
    This doesnt appear to be true. Many religious examples (I think Clulup referenced this argument) could be brought up where they do not support all or some of the 10 commandments (i.e. witchcraft, voodoo, paganism, druids, etc.) so it would appear that the 10 commandments do show preference to 'christian' religions that believe in one God.

    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    And when placed in this historical context, no matter where our current laws or society may take us, I believe it is appropriate as a reminder of where we started as Americans.
    Its all our opinion (and you give strong arguments) but I don't think its reasonable to say that the 10 commandments are only a historical document).

    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    The Statue of Liberty..... Should I fight to have the Statue of Liberty removed because of it's French origin and recognition of a potential preference of France over our closest ally of GB or appreciate it for what it has come to stand for in our national history, despite it's origin and it's original intent?
    Hmm..I like the analogy but would a reasonable person conclude that the Statue of Liberty is a religious symbol? I dont think so.

    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    BTW I cannot wait until Saturday to watch Lance racing for 7! )
    Is he even human?
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  19. #119  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    I meant that it is interesting if you take a look at how we as a national and society has changed resulting in increasing cases like this. How long it took to reach a point we had to face it, and then how fast it has been taken from there.
    You're quite right...any hypothesis? Throw one out there and we can debate that too.

    (On a side note, I appreciate your willingness [and others] to engage in these often personal issues...kudos!)
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  20. #120  
    Quote Originally Posted by da
    Why do you keep trying to go down this road. The very definiion of the 10 coms is that they were handed down by the hand of gawd to that Moses guy. That would be religion.
    And if you believe the bible like I do (along with other historical evidence) then its arguable that they are religious AND historical The 10 commandments can be both...they are not mutually exclusive. (just want to make that clear in case its not).

    Quote Originally Posted by treo2die4
    If the information contained in them is "trivial" and practiced around the world in an entirely non-religious fashion, at some point they cease to be religious and become common knowledge, don't they?
    Why? Why would the 10 commandments cease to be religious if other people did what they said (but not in a religious way)? If I follow that line of logic, then is the catholic practice of crossing ones self less religious if non-believers do it (for example)? I don't think it makes it less religious...maybe more tolerated by people over all (and as you said...common knowledge).

    Another example...if I take communion in church and other people take communion in some other church (i.e. voodoo - sorry cant think of another religion) then what they do shouldnt 'water down' or trivialize what I do (I hope not... )
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