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  1. #141  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    I never doubted that many founders were Christians, but that does not mean Christian principles were of importance for the constitution or other foundations of the US.
    This is a key point that we agree on, is that most of them either were Christians, held Christian values, or even belonged to specific and varying denominations. When you are conducting anything in your life with a strong spiritual life, it has a bearing and influence on everything else you do in your life. I believe that anyone with a strong Christian belief would agree that it is hard to go against your belief system just because you are at work, on vacation, or starting a new gov. John Quincy Adams stated on 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.”
    I am in no way, and never had indicated, that they wrote the constitution in favor of Christianity. Because of the fact that a lot of the population started there because of religious persecution was a major influence to make sure that did not happen. They set it out so that everyone can choose to believe in whatever religion they wanted to, whether Atheist or Islam and any thing or specific sect in between. But, the fact that Christianity was a part of their life, it is inescapable that the principles it taught are the principles they tried to live by and in turn are principles in their daily conduct that would influence the creation of this new government.

    It is no more controversial as saying that Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, etc... governments have at one time been based on Muslim principles when they were originally founded.....except in those cases they made sure the main, if not the only choice, for the people was only Muslim and did not offer the religious freedoms that our founders offered us.
  2. #142  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    This is a key point that we agree on, is that most of them either were Christians, held Christian values, or even belonged to specific and varying denominations. When you are conducting anything in your life with a strong spiritual life, it has a bearing and influence on everything else you do in your life. I believe that anyone with a strong Christian belief would agree that it is hard to go against your belief system just because you are at work, on vacation, or starting a new gov. John Quincy Adams stated on 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.”
    I am in no way, and never had indicated, that they wrote the constitution in favor of Christianity. Because of the fact that a lot of the population started there because of religious persecution was a major influence to make sure that did not happen. They set it out so that everyone can choose to believe in whatever religion they wanted to, whether Atheist or Islam and any thing or specific sect in between. But, the fact that Christianity was a part of their life, it is inescapable that the principles it taught are the principles they tried to live by and in turn are principles in their daily conduct that would influence the creation of this new government.

    It is no more controversial as saying that Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, etc... governments have at one time been based on Muslim principles when they were originally founded.....except in those cases they made sure the main, if not the only choice, for the people was only Muslim and did not offer the religious freedoms that our founders offered us.
    You, together with Mr. Adams any many others, constantly mention "Christian principles" which supposedly were "the general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence".

    However, can you give me a single concrete example of such a Christian principle, a principle which was important for "achieving independence" etc.? Or maybe even two, three, or four? Anybody?

    This "Christian principle" story sounds great in principle , but there seems to be very little factual content behind it, judging from the examples I got so far.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
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    #143  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    You, together with Mr. Adams any many others, constantly mention "Christian principles" which supposedly were "the general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence".

    However, can you give me a single concrete example of such a Christian principle, a principle which was important for "achieving independence" etc.? Or maybe even two, three, or four? Anybody?

    This "Christian principle" story sounds great in principle , but there seems to be very little factual content behind it, judging from the examples I got so far.
    It actually was quite oppisite. We have gone over this before. Read this for a look inside the mind of one of the founders.
  4. #144  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    You, together with Mr. Adams any many others, constantly mention "Christian principles" which supposedly were "the general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence".

    However, can you give me a single concrete example of such a Christian principle, a principle which was important for "achieving independence" etc.? Or maybe even two, three, or four? Anybody?

    This "Christian principle" story sounds great in principle , but there seems to be very little factual content behind it, judging from the examples I got so far.
    Again....I think most of us are in no saying that the Constitution is Christian biased, as it is not. We are not saying that we are a mono-denominational Christian society, as we never have been. The Constitution is written to support the religious freedom of ALL religions. But if we agree that at least most of the framers had some Christian or at least religious or spiritual foundation or dedication in their personal lives......then do you then think that they really threw out all of their own personal principles to write the founding documents of this country? I would think that most people would hold those principles of basic conducts that they live by as a resource when establishing a totally new gov or do you think that they totally disregarded their total base of principles when writing these docs.....whether they were based in an actual organization, just a personal belief in Christ, or even in simply understanding of a Superior Being (which nearly all of the founders have subscribed to one form of this or another). If nothing else this shows the wisdom of our founding fathers as they did not try to impose their own personal beliefs on a new nation, but gave their new nation the opportunity to have each citizen decide for themselves.

    After pulling out a couple books for reference and quick search, Here are just some of the FACTS that you were asking for.......

    In the Declaration of Independence, God gets several nods: a reference to "the Laws of Nature and Nature's God," and the famous line about men being "endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights." Both of these refer to faith based principles in the original doc that started it all. Jefferson's initial draft left God out of the manuscript entirely except for a vague reference to "the laws of nature and of nature's God." Yet, even this phrase makes an implicit reference to the laws of God.

    What Jefferson was content to leave implicit, however, was made more explicit by the other members of the committee. They changed the language to read that all men are "endowed by their Creator" with these rights. Later, the Continental Congress added phrases which further reflected a theistic perspective. For example, they added that they were "appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the rectitude of our intentions" and that they were placing "firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence."

    Although the phrasing of the Declaration certainly follows the pattern of John Locke, Jefferson also gave credit to the writer Algernon Sidney, who in turn cites most prominently Aristotle, Plato, Roman republican writers, and the Old Testament.

    Locke explained that the "law of nature" is God's general revelation of law in creation, which God also supernaturally writes on the hearts of men. Locke drew the idea from the New Testament in Romans 1 and 2. In contrast, he spoke of the "law of God" or the "positive law of God" as God's eternal moral law specially revealed and published in Scripture. (1. Gary Amos, Defending the Declaration (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth and Hyatt, 1989), 57.)

    This foundation helps explain the tempered nature of the American Revolution. The Declaration of Independence was a bold document, but not a radical one.

    The influence of the Bible on the Constitution was profound but often not appreciated by secular historians and political theorists. 20 years ago, Constitutional scholars and political historians assembled 15,000 writings from the Founding Era (1760-1805). They counted 3154 citations in these writings, and found that the book most frequently cited in that literature was the Bible. The writers from the Foundering Era quoted from the Bible 34 percent of the time. Even more interesting was that about Nearly 80 percent of the political pamphlets published during the 1770s were reprinted sermons. As one political science professor put it: "When reading comprehensively in the political literature of the war years, one cannot but be struck by the extent to which biblical sources used by ministers and traditional Whigs undergirded the justification for the break with Britain, the rationale for continuing the war, and the basic principles of Americans' writing their own constitutions." (Donald S. Lutz, The Origins of American Constitutionalism (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1988, 140. )

    You brushed off John Quincy Adams quote as nothing. He played a MAJOR role in the foundation of our country. He was one of the principle negotiators for the winning the War of Independence. He knew the men who founded this country on a professional level and on a personal level. With this intimate knowledge, again, he stated:

    “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.”
    Patrick Henry is best known for his "give me liberty or give me death" speech on March 23, 1775, he became the first governor of Virginia.

    One of his most famous quotes, cannot be verified for sure: "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!" It's not found anywhere in his recorded writings or speeches.

    However, here's a verified quote from a letter to his daughter dated August 20, 1796:

    Amongst other strange things said of me, I hear it is said by the deists that I am one of the number; and indeed, that some good people think I am no Christian. This thought gives me much more pain than the appellation of Tory; because I think religion of infinitely higher importance than politics; and I find much cause to reproach myself that I have lived so long, and have given no decided and public proofs of my being a Christian. But, indeed, my dear child, this is a character which I prize far above all this world has, or can boast.

    Thomas Jefferson, the writer of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States wrote to Charles Thomson in 1816:

    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.
    Jefferson was a Deist who respected Christ's teachings, but rejected His divinity, His miracles, and His resurrection.


    Professor M.E. Bradford shows in his book, A Worthy Company, that fifty of the fifty-five men who signed the Constitution were church members who endorsed the Christian faith. (M.E. Bradford, A Worthy Company: Brief Lives of the Framers of the United States Constitution (Marlborough, NH: Plymouth Rock Foundation, 1982).

    Maryland representative Luther Martin said that a handful of delegates to the Constitutional Convention argued for formal recognition of Christianity in the Constitution, insisting that such language was necessary in order to "hold out some distinction between the professors of Christianity and downright infidelity". But even though some of them held this belief personally, they recognized the value of allowing free choice in the matter. Early national leaders understood that separation of church and state would be good for all faiths including Christianity. Jefferson rejoiced that Virginia had passed his religious freedom law, noting that it would ensure religious freedom for "the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, the infidel of every denomination."

    Even the U.S. Supreme Court in 1892, with Justice David Brewer declaring in Holy Trinity v. United States that America is "a Christian nation." It has rarely been cited by other courts, and the "Christian nation" declaration appeared in dicta a legal term meaning writing that reflects a judge's personal opinion, not a mandate of the law. Also, it is unclear exactly what Brewer meant. In a book he wrote in 1905, Brewer pointed out that the United States is Christian in a cultural sense, not a legal one.

    A more accurate and modern judicial view of the relationship between religion and government is described by Justice John Paul Stevens in his 1985 Wallace v. Jaffree ruling. Commenting on the constitutional right of all Americans to choose their own religious belief...with a possible nod to the Holy Trinity v. United States ruling, Stevens wrote, "At one time it was thought that this right merely proscribed the preference of one Christian sect over another, but would not require equal respect for the conscience of the infidel, the atheist, or the adherent of a non-Christian faith such as Mohammedism or Judaism. But when the underlying principle has been examined in the crucible of litigation, the Court has unambiguously concluded that the individual freedom of conscience protected by the First Amendment embraces the right to select any religious faith or none at all."

    Basically, back to the original theme of the thread. The United States, in short, was not founded to be an officially Christian nation or to espouse any official religion. Our government is neutral on religious matters, leaving such decisions to individuals. This democratic and pluralistic system has allowed a broad array of religious groups to grow and flourish and guarantees every individual American the right to determine his or her own spiritual path or to reject religion entirely. As a result of this policy, Americans enjoy more religious freedom than any people in world history. We should be proud of this accomplishment and work to preserve the constitutional principle that made it possible.

    But I also think it is important to be aware of the crucial role that religion played in America's revolutionary struggle, of the importance that many Constitution makers attached to it, and of the energy it gave to many American crusades for social justice. It is my thoughts there is a difference between reinforcing Jefferson's wall of separation between church and state (which in the constitutional sense is a very good thing) and seeking to silence any expression of religious values in public life in a society this is highly, traditionally, and historically religious. And again.....If nothing else this shows the wisdom of our founding fathers as they did not try to impose their own personal beliefs on a new nation, but gave their new nation the opportunity to have each citizen decide for themselves.
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 06/29/2005 at 11:49 PM.
  5. #145  
    Off topic.....but very interesting....

    Have you ever wondered what really happened to each of the signers of the Declaration of Independence? Did the Brits get them? Did they fight in the Revolutionary war? What did they do for a living? Etc...

    It is not terribly long, but very insightful:

    The Price They Paid
    Essay outlines the fates of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

    http://www.snopes.com/history/american/pricepaid.asp
  6. #146  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    But I also think it is important to be aware of the crucial role that religion played in America's revolutionary struggle, of the importance that many Constitution makers attached to it, and of the energy it gave to many American crusades for social justice. It is my thoughts there is a difference between reinforcing Jefferson's wall of separation between church and state (which in the constitutional sense is a very good thing) and seeking to silence any expression of religious values in public life in a society this is highly, traditionally, and historically religious. And again.....If nothing else this shows the wisdom of our founding fathers as they did not try to impose their own personal beliefs on a new nation, but gave their new nation the opportunity to have each citizen decide for themselves.
    well said
  7. #147  
    Two points I've been meaning to throw down:

    I) Many T|Cers have stated that, in their opinion, the 10 c displays do not serve to endorse religion(s). That's great, but plenty of our fellow Americans feel otherwise. United we stand, right? Respect for opposing opinion seems to be in very short supply these days.

    II) These displays are not being erected in a vacuum. The religious right is pushing their 'agenda' on several fronts. Allow me to list a few of my favorites:

    1) Stem cell research limitations
    2) Right to life part 1 - Anti-abortion movement
    3) Right to life part 2 - Living will (e.g. Terri Schiavo)
    4) Right to life part 3 - Federal trampling of states rights (e.g. Dr. assisted suicide in Oregon)
    5) Gay marriage ban
    6) Intelligent design theory/anti-evolution push in public schools
    7) Church endorsement of federal and state candidates/issues
    8) Overtly fundie United States president and high ranking federal officials
    9) Judicial witch-hunt
    10) Federally funded faith-based initiatives

    Note: I'm not listing these issues to illicit the typical pro/con debate, but to point out simply that they only serve to add more weight to the 10 c argument.

    These two points are very basic in comparison to the many thought provoking posts that have gone before in this thread. However, they play a significant role in shaping my views on this and other social issues. So the next time you have the urge to write 'what's the big deal', consider walking a mile in a fellow American's shoes.

    Peace out!

    http://www.cc.org/issues.cfm
  8. #148  
    Quote Originally Posted by NRG
    It actually was quite oppisite. We have gone over this before. Read this for a look inside the mind of one of the founders.
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    Again....I think most of us are in no saying that the Constitution is Christian biased, as it is not.[/IMG][/CENTER]
    Thanks for your answers, but I'm afraid you still get me wrong. I am not insinuating that the founders of the US were not Christians (or, quite frequently, Theists with a Christian background), I know many or most of them were.

    Adams said...
    “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.”
    ... and many others here have claimed the same: that the US (as a union of states) are based on Christian principles.

    I doubt this. The US and other democracies are based on principles like

    - Freedom of speech
    - One man/woman, one vote
    - Equal rights for everybody
    - Freedom of religion

    ...and others, but maybe those are the most important ones (add more if you know more).

    However, none of the principles mentioned are in any way Christian principles. Christian principles are e.g.

    - Believe in god
    - Jesus is the messiah
    - Love your enemies
    - Turn the other cheek

    There are more, of course (please add), but it has been a while since I was in church the last time...

    My point is: there is no overlap between truly Christian principles and the principles in the constitution, at least I don't know of any overlap, and so far, nobody presented one. That doesn't mean the US are anti-Christian, not at all, it just means that Christian principles were not important for the constitution. If you disagree, please state the Christian principles (name them, not just a general remark) which played a role.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  9. #149  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    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.
    Now there you go again. If you were really an atheist you would know that there is no such thing as god and that Moses made the Commandments up himself to establish a legal system in Israel. Thus, they would be legal history and NOT religion.
    ROOTING for WebOS makes me more sympathetic to Cubs fans.
  10. #150  
    Didn't Moses play for the Sixers?

    MaxiMunK.com The Forum That Asks, "Are You Not Entertained?"

    Remember: "Anyone that thinks the Treo should just work right out of the box, shouldn't own a Treo..."
  11. #151  
    Quote Originally Posted by pdxtreo
    bobc,

    So, walking around without a care in the world is what atheism is all about? You've really cleared things up here. I realize now that I'm not really an atheist either. Thanks.
    Actually, my only care in the world is that someday I will die. This really sucks for two reasons. If I am right about god, I am just dead and nevermore. If I am wrong about God, then I am really screwed for all this stuff I've posted. Either way it's going to be a pretty bad day all around. Nevertheless, you are welcome for my help on your self discovery of not being an atheist.
    ROOTING for WebOS makes me more sympathetic to Cubs fans.
  12. #152  
    Quote Originally Posted by Woof
    At the same time I have great respect for anyone of faith, because they have faith. I admire that. When our daughter was born early many many people called to say they would pray for us. I appreciated that because that was important to them and they thought enough of us to share their faith. That is pretty cool in my book. Regardless of my beliefs they were going to pray on my behalf. Pretty openminded as I see it.

    Now based on someones obvious hatred for all things religious, I would think if he were in the same boat as we were, he would tell those nice folks to keep their prayers cause he dont need em. Am I right Thomas? Or do you actually possess the capacity to respect someone elses beliefs, even different from your own, enough to be gracious and accept what they consider to be the best thing they can do for you? I doubt it based on your comments but maybe you'll surprise me. You don't seem to respect anyone who disagrees with you.

    Until the governement starts lobbing 10 Commandment monuments into you living room, can you really point out any effect they have had on you? I do wonder how the monument outside the courthouse on the grass in Coeur d'alene Idaho has ruined your life. Please enlighten will you? Or just make you typical smug remark and move on like usual. I care not.
    I completely agree with you Woof. I would be very interested to hear Thomas reply but I doubt as well he would appreciate the prayers. So I'll just wait for the smug remark too. And until people start lobbing 10 Commandment monuments at me I'll concern myself with issues of an obvious lesser importance to non-tolerant, anti-religious radicals such as poverty and world hunger. With real issues abound, that's why it irks me so much to hear anti-religious issues in the news. In the grand scheme of things, it's just a few people making noise over their own personal issues more than about anything of a significant threat to humanity.

    BTW, congrats on the child. I'll say a prayer for the kid just in case.
    ROOTING for WebOS makes me more sympathetic to Cubs fans.
  13. #153  
    Quote Originally Posted by Insertion
    Didn't Moses play for the Sixers?

    Why yes he did. In fact, he led Philadelphia to their last championship in a major sport back in 1983. That's something like 4 teams x 22 years ago = 88 seasons without a single championship. It was a major part of the path on my journey towards atheism. What irony.
    ROOTING for WebOS makes me more sympathetic to Cubs fans.
  14.    #154  
    Hey Bobby...Go Iggles
    Well behaved women rarely make history
  15. #155  
    Shouldn't you be a Broncos fan? Aren't you going to help John Elway run for governor? Remember the first year they won the Super Bowl and the whole team went to the White House except for Elway because he's a Republican and didn't want to be caught shaking hands with Billy Boy? He said he had other reasons but we KNOW that is what it was.
    Last edited by Bob-C; 07/01/2005 at 10:14 PM.
    ROOTING for WebOS makes me more sympathetic to Cubs fans.
  16. #156  
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob-C
    I completely agree with you Woof. I would be very interested to hear Thomas reply but I doubt as well he would appreciate the prayers. So I'll just wait for the smug remark too. And until people start lobbing 10 Commandment monuments at me I'll concern myself with issues of an obvious lesser importance to non-tolerant, anti-religious radicals such as poverty and world hunger. With real issues abound, that's why it irks me so much to hear anti-religious issues in the news. In the grand scheme of things, it's just a few people making noise over their own personal issues more than about anything of a significant threat to humanity.

    BTW, congrats on the child. I'll say a prayer for the kid just in case.
    Bob, thanks on both counts.

    I won't hold my breath on a comment from peroxide boy either.
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  17. #157  
    LOL. Peroxide boy? I just don't get the reference. You couldn't mean DA, because I once read that in ancient times there was an order of monks who would peroxide their hair to express their passionate devotion to Christ. To this day, any male with peroxide hair is thought to be a religiously devoted individual. That MUST be DA's natural color otherwise I would think the implications would be devastating to him.
    ROOTING for WebOS makes me more sympathetic to Cubs fans.
  18. #158  
    woof,

    Something tells me that your bark is much worse than your bite. You come across as being very jealous of DT's metrosexual looks. Why don't you post a pic of yourself so we can all judge fairly?

    Yip, yip!
    Visor-->Visor Phone-->Treo 180-->Treo 270-->Treo 600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700P-->Treo 755P-->Centro-->Pre+-->Pre 2
  19. #159  
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob-C
    LOL. Peroxide boy? I just don't get the reference. You couldn't mean DA, because I once read that in ancient times there was an order of monks who would peroxide their hair to express their passionate devotion to Christ. To this day, any male with peroxide hair is thought to be a religiously devoted individual. That MUST be DA's natural color otherwise I would think the implications would be devastating to him.
    He admitted to bleaching in another thread.
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  20. #160  
    Quote Originally Posted by pdxtreo
    woof,

    Something tells me that your bark is much worse than your bite. You come across as being very jealous of DT's metrosexual looks. Why don't you post a pic of yourself so we can all judge fairly?

    Yip, yip!
    LOL, you write for TV? Something tells me you're not too bright or you'd go to my website and look for yourself. It's right there in my signature.

    I am not so insecure in my own appearance that I have to bleach my hair like a teenager so I can feel cool.
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
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