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  1. #361  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    In light of our shared understanding and this definition, which of the following do you find are not advocated by the Bible?
    I have already commented on that, see above. A principle advocated by the bible which is also advocated by eveybody else is not a Christian principle, but a general principle. A principle advocated by every religious group is also not Christian principle, but just a religious principle.

    Does the declaration of indepence mention a creator? Yes. Is that Christian per se? No.

    Is the fact that a creator is mentioned in any way important for the meaning and the consequences of the Declaration of Indepencence? No.

    Note that the Declaration of Independence mentions a creator (once) and speaks of "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God". So it is Nature's God, not just God. God belongs to nature, not vice versa... interesting, isn't it?
    Last edited by clulup; 09/23/2005 at 09:43 AM.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  2. #362  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    I have already commented on that, see above. A principle advocated by the bible which is also advocated by eveybody else is not a Christian principle, but a general principle. A principle advocated by every religious group is also not Christian principle, but just a religious principle.
    I specifically inquired about just this matter. You agreed that a principle shared by multiple groups belongs to each of them as well as all of them. So, how is it that you now say they are not christian principles?
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Does the declaration of indepence mention a creator? Yes. Is that Christian per se? No.
    agreed. Not "per se." However when linked with other principles, the "christian slant" becomes more clear.
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup

    Is the fact that a creator is mentioned in any way important for the meaning and the consequences of the Declaration of Indepencence? No.
    The founders presented it as a central tenet of their argument for cessation.
  3. #363  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Note that the Declaration of Independence mentions a creator (once) and speaks of "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God". So it is Nature's God, not just God. God belongs to nature, not vice versa... interesting, isn't it?
    The use of <apostrophe s> denotes relationship, not necessarily ownership. Example: The God of the Bible is shopharim's God (shopharim belongs to Him)
  4. #364  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    I specifically inquired about just this matter. You agreed that a principle shared by multiple groups belongs to each of them as well as all of them.
    So from this follows that you would say not peeing into the wind is a Christian principle?

    From a stictly logical point of view the statement above is not false, but 99.99% of the people would not say that not peeing into the wind is a Christian principle.

    However, this is not going anywere. You seem determined to make the point that "there is a creator, all men are created, all men are equal, rights of men are derived from their creator" etc. are specifically Christian principles. I think very few people would have named any of this as a Christian principle, but if indeed you find your point convincing, so be it.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  5. #365  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    So from this follows that you would say not peeing into the wind is a Christian principle?

    From a stictly logical point of view the statement above is not false, but 99.99% of the people would not say that not peeing into the wind is a Christian principle.

    However, this is not going anywere. You seem determined to make the point that "there is a creator, all men are created, all men are equal, rights of men are derived from their creator" etc. are specifically Christian principles. I think very few people would have named any of this as a Christian principle, but if indeed you find your point convincing, so be it.
    If "not peeing into the wind" were advocated by the Bible, I would claim it as a christian principle. However, Ihave not found such a reference.

    Which of the initial 6 principles do you find not advocated by the Bible?
  6. #366  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    If "not peeing into the wind" were advocated by the Bible, I would claim it as a christian principle. However, Ihave not found such a reference.

    Which of the initial 6 principles do you find not advocated by the Bible?
    See comments in earlier post.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  7. #367  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    As you mentioned yourself, I have never said that the US were not founded by people who were, in their majority, Christian, even though quite a high number were not Christian but e.g. Deists who do not believe Jesus was the son of god etc..

    So yes, it is a fact that the founders had a Christian background and lived in a society dominated by Christian values. But that doesn't change the main point of the discussion whether Christian principles played a role in the founding of the US.
    Do you really believe that anyone can live a life with a strong religious (any denomination) founding that they practice and live up to on a daily basis in their personal lives and live in a undeniable Christian society of the time....and yet throw them all aside when they go to work? Inspiration from a source is quite different than being dictated by a source.

    I know that the way I deal with my co-workers, manage and deal with my employees, the way I conduct negotiations, etc.... everyday at work have a profound impact from my religious convictions and beliefs, though you will never see Jesus, God, or any quote from the bible in any of policy statements, emails, or memos. Even though the Bible does not mention anything about negotiating within the entertainment and retail industries, my religious convictions guides my actions to conform within what I believe to be right and wrong. If you looked at my personal life, my personal emails, writings in this forum, public speeches I have given on religious topics, you will not be able to deny that my religious beliefs have an impact on my work.

    I pointed out in my response above that it was not just Christian beliefs but those who were Deist who believed in the teachings of Jesus Christ, but failed to recognize his divinity. Though I think that the current value system of Christians had a huge influence on many decisions, there were certainly other beliefs that played a major role as well. Do you think that those with a strong Christian or Diest slant have a different view of what Freedom means than those with a strong Muslim, Islam, Communist, or Buddhist slant? They do have different views of freedoms for different individuals within their societies and often based on their religious beliefs whether or not it is written to specifically guide them in every detail of every topic.

    You seem to conveniently ignore the quotes from several founders that their personal religious beliefs (whether Christian or Deist) played a role in this process. You ignored the fact that due to the massive influence of the dominated Christian society at the time that some of the founders made a direct point of trying to add an undeniable reference to Christianity in the constitution and then wisely conceded to the wisdom of allowing a denomination free constitution.

    There is more than just quotes from the bible. You do have to look at the teachings from the religious leaders in the area at that time as well. You have to look at the testimony of those intimately involved as to their inspiration. You have to look at the political leanings of the political writings circulating at the time. You have to look at the historical context of that time and area.
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 09/23/2005 at 11:05 AM.
  8. #368  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    See comments in earlier post.
    Since your earlier post we have agreed that a principle does not have to be exclusive to christianity to be a "christian principle" I was expecting you to rephrase review your rebuttal.

    Am I correct in concluding that you conclude that none of the 6 principles are advocated by the Bible?
  9. #369  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    ...You do have to look at the teachings from the religious leaders in the area at that time as well. You have to look at the testimony of those intimately involved as to their inspiration. You have to look at the political leanings of the political writings circulating at the time. You have to look at the historical context of that time and area.
    Unless, of course, you don't want to see, in which case it doesn't matter where you look
  10. #370  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    Am I correct in concluding that you conclude that none of the 6 principles are advocated by the Bible?
    Yes. Certainly not to the point of being a principle. Principle means that a statement is fundamental part of a set of beliefs, not just a casual likeness or a superficial concurrence, like the ones you quoted earlier. Are you indeed trying to convince yourself that the Bible in general or Jesus in particular ever advocated democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion, equal political rights for everybody, or any other element we consider of central importance in a democracy? The principles of a modern democracy are the brainchilds of the Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment, and certainly not based on concepts proposed in the Bible. Maybe you should read a bit more about life in the Middle Age (aka the Dark Age), when religion was the key player, and Christian dogmas were not kept in check by post-Age-of-Enlightenment ideas and reason had not yet managed to fight back the influence of churches. You will find a lot of religious influence there, and very little democracy, equality, health, comfort, etc.

    Besides, "there is a creator", "all men are created", "rights are derived from a creator" are certainly not among the important parts of the Declaration of Independence or the US constitution, they do not form a vital part of a democracy and are certainly not part of the priciples a democracy is based on.

    Instead of continuously asking back questions at me, I think it is really time for you to

    (A) state a principle on which the US as a nation are based on
    (B) quote where in the Bible this is advocated.

    Repeat (A) and (B) for examples 1 to n.
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Declaration of Independence
    1. There is a creator
    There is nothing Christian about this. Everybody except atheists and possibly some Buddhists believe this. Also non-Christian Deists such as Thomas Jefferson believe this.
    2. All men are created
    That's all too obvios, isn't it? Even for Atheists...
    3. All men are equal
    That's not a Christian principle since it refers to all men having the same rights.
    4. Rights of men are derived from their creator
    So? Nothing specifically Christian here either, and certainly not a Christian principle.
    5. Right to life
    Murder is banned in just about evey society. This is a principle of human societies, not of Christianity
    6. All men are inherently free
    Is that so according to the Bible? Where does it say that? Why were most people not free then prior to the Age of Enlightenment, why were there Kings etc., sponsored by churches etc.? Sorry, but freedom is not a Christian principle...
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  11. #371  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    .......Maybe you should read a bit more about life in the Middle Age (aka the Dark Age), when religion was the key player, and Christian dogmas were not kept in check by post-Age-of-Enlightenment ideas and reason had not yet managed to fight back the influence of churches. You will find a lot of religious influence there, and very little democracy, equality, health, comfort, etc......
    Indeed, the Church actively resisted the ideas of the enlightenment. [I grew up in the Old South where the Church was the apologist for Jim Crow. To say that the Klan did evil in the name of Christ would not be an exageration.]

    I am very careful to say that I am christian (adj.) not a Christian (noun). I identify with all the words in the New Testament that are attributed to Jesus of Nazareth. I do not wish to be associated with the theology that has grown up around those words. I particularly disassociate myself from the idea that the creator favors one group over another and intervenes in history on their behalf.
    Last edited by whmurray; 09/26/2005 at 08:35 AM.
  12. #372  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    ..........
    Am I correct in concluding that you conclude that none of the 6 principles are advocated by the Bible?

    I do not pretend to be a scholar but that is consistent with my reading. While it may be silent on most of them, the bible tolerated, not to say endorsed, slavery. I think that is the antithesis of freedom. Silence is certainly not the same thing as advocacy.

    [I think that you are trying to construct an elaborate trap. We are all waiting, not quite breathlessly, for you to spring it. ]
  13. #373  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    I do not pretend to be a scholar but that is consistent with my reading. While it may be silent on most of them, the bible tolerated, not to say endorsed, slavery. I think that is the antithesis of freedom. Silence is certainly not the same thing as advocacy.

    [I think that you are trying to construct an elaborate trap. We are all waiting, not quite breathlessly, for you to spring it. ]
    Endorsed slavery

    Are you referring to the chattle slavery practiced in the USA, or indentured service as a means of paying off debt practiced in Biblical culture?


    As to the elaborate trap, it is really not vbery elaborate. Hobbes already made the case. However, I have taken this tedious apprach in hopes of circumventing the usual back and forth with no concensus that these discussions/debates tend to have.

    The christian (adjective) influence on the charter documents and on USA culture in general used to be rather obvious. However, the current political climate seeks to revise history to meet future goals.

    But, I will resort back to the tedium soon. I'm off to pick up my daughter from school.

    P.S. In the same way thatyou like to distance yourself from the "religion" that has built up around the "teaching," it seems possible that the events of the middle ages experienced a similar dichotomoy, namely that the religious practices failed to reflect the teaching to which they were being attributed.

    Not all who claim to be Christian (noun) are christian (adjective).
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    #374  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    I do not pretend to be a scholar but that is consistent with my reading. While it may be silent on most of them, the bible tolerated, not to say endorsed, slavery. I think that is the antithesis of freedom. Silence is certainly not the same thing as advocacy.

    [I think that you are trying to construct an elaborate trap. We are all waiting, not quite breathlessly, for you to spring it. ]
    The practice of slavery in biblical times was far different then what we understand slavery as. In biblical times the longest a person could be under slavery was 6 years and then they would be released in the year of Jubilation. The year of jubilation was every 7 years and at that time land returned to original owners, slaves were returned to freedom. If an individual decided to remain with their employer (master, owner or whatever term you would like to use) they would present themselves at the city gate (equivalant to modern courthouse) and voice their desire on their own free will to remain an endentured servant for life. As a public display and identification they would then have their ear pierced.
  15. #375  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    The practice of slavery in biblical times was far different then what we understand slavery as. In biblical times the longest a person could be under slavery was 6 years and then they would be released in the year of Jubilation. The year of jubilation was every 7 years and at that time land returned to original owners, slaves were returned to freedom. If an individual decided to remain with their employer (master, owner or whatever term you would like to use) they would present themselves at the city gate (equivalant to modern courthouse) and voice their desire on their own free will to remain an endentured servant for life. As a public display and identification they would then have their ear pierced.
    Well now, ya learn something new every day!
    Recognizing that I volunteered...
  16. #376  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    Endorsed slavery

    Are you referring to the chattle slavery practiced in the USA, or indentured service as a means of paying off debt practiced in Biblical culture?
    I am talking about the dominant form of economic organization for 10,000 years, including most of the "Christian era" but certainly including ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, feudal Europe, and North America.

    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    Not all who claim to be Christian (noun) are christian (adjective).
    I find that statement to be true of the adherents of most religions. I can find little to choose betweent the religious and the non-religious except that the religious tend to be a little more self-righteous.
  17. #377  
    Clulup, you seem to always have a problem with looking at the times of events and always put today's political slants, society, etc... on events with their own political and society influences at THAT time....to prove a point now, but in doing so failing to recognize the reality of history.

    Okay, you want evidence of the basic principles or at least varying degrees of democracy in the Bible? If this is what you want....it will be long and detailed to answer as you are questioning several different aspects of whether religion had an influence on the founder fathers to whether the Bible supports any form of democracy. I was going to do this on my own, but with being pressed for time today I found several articles on the net that did a pretty good job. Below is a mix of quotes from several authors and my own words. I will link to each reference at the end so you can read each in their entirety if you want.

    "Is democracy actually a Christian notion? Is it found in the Bible?"

    The whole question might seem anachronistic because the Bible was written thousands of years ago when modern notions of a full representative government were unknown. But Noll asserted that democracy is fully compatible with biblical principles.

    The Old Testament concept of government was a form of limited constitutional monarchy, Noll said, citing Deuteronomy 17:14-20 and 1 Samuel 8. He said the Bible's detailed laws of justice, including those given to Moses on Mount Sinai, were "a kind of constitution" ratified by the people.

    In Deuteronomy, God tells Moses that after his people enter the promised land they....the people....will choose a king. God says the monarch should be a believer, should not build up his own riches or lord it over the people, and must obey biblical law.

    "The Bible does not require kings, but it does make clear that kings are to be constitutional" and bound by the moral law, he said.

    The Israelites spent centuries without a king in a loose tribal confederacy that was unstable, chaotic and difficult to defend. Eventually the people demanded that the prophet Samuel anoint a monarch so that "we also may be like all the nations."

    Samuel does their bidding and unhappily anoints King Saul. But before doing so, Noll noted, the prophet warns that "monarchy would become a burdensome bureaucracy and eventually lead the nation into ruin."

    So much for the medieval "divine right of kings."

    The New Testament, he said, develops and clarifies things.

    It teaches that human government should preserve order and protect justice, which are beneficial. 1 Peter 2:13-17 tells believers to "live as free men" but "subject for the Lord's sake" to the rulers provided by God "to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right."

    (This leaves aside the question of believers' duty when rulers do the opposite, which was addressed especially during the Protestant Reformation.)

    But government cannot mediate the truths of salvation, Noll said, and that's a warning against African kingships, Islamic theocracies, ideologies such as communism and all other temporal systems that "claim absolute god-like authority."

    Democracy makes no such assertions for itself and, to Noll, that very limitation is "the foundation of Christian support" for constitutional democracy.

    The Founding Fathers adopted Biblical motifs for political reasons.
    Without a doubt the political development of America was also strongly influenced by Jewish ideas communicated through the Bible. Many of the population, including a significant number of the Founding Fathers of America, were products of American universities. The majority of these political leaders were not only well acquainted with the contents of both the New and Old Testaments, but also had a working knowledge of Hebrew. This exposure to the Bible colored not only their religion and ethics, but also their politics.

    Just as the Puritans of England and America saw themselves as modern-day Israelites, bound by covenant to God and in search of religious freedom so too did the these Founding Fathers adopt the same Biblical motifs for political reasons -- the struggle of the ancient Israelites against the wicked Pharaoh or the evil king of Babylon came to embody the struggle of the colonist against English tyranny.

    Numerous examples can be found which clearly illustrate to what a significant extent the political struggles of the colonies was identified with the ancient Hebrews:

    • The first design for the official seal of the United States recommended by Franklin, Adams and Jefferson in 1776 depicts the Jews crossing the Red Sea. The motto around the seal read: "REBELLION TO TYRANTS IS OBEDIENCE TO GOD."
    • The inscription on the Liberty Bell at Independence Hall in Philadelphia is a direct quote from Leviticus 25:10: "Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."
    • Patriotic pamphlets and speeches during the period of the struggle for independence were often infused with Biblical motifs and references to the Bible. Thus Benjamin Rush, in denouncing the Tea Act, wrote: "What shining examples of patriotism do we behold in Joshua, Samuel, Maccabees and all the illustrious princes, captains and prophets among the Jews."


    While many of the ideas incorporated by the framers of the Declaration of Independence reflect the influence of Enlightenment philosophy, there is no doubt that the concept of an absolute standard of morality based on the authority God is a central pillar of American democracy. Nowhere is this more evident than in the opening sentences of the Declaration of Independence:

    "We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

    The language of the Bill of Rights (1789) also echoes themes and ethical concepts from the Bible. And the notion of a "solemn agreement of the people" is a clear reference to the Biblical idea of covenant.

    And so it is that with the birth of American democracy that we have the next milestone in the process of the spread of Jewish ideas in civilization. For the first time in history Jewish ethical ideas were legally enshrined into the laws of a non-Jewish nation.

    Judaism and Self-Government
    When it comes to democracy as self-government, the relationship is very positive indeed. The classic Jewish political tradition of the Bible makes it clear that sovereignty is God's but that day-to-day governance is in the hands of the people within the framework of the Divine constitution. God and the people established an initial relationship through covenant, and God played the major role in setting forth the constitution, especially the religious and moral constitution of the people.

    In political matters, the Torah makes it clear that there is no single preferred regime (not even the Davidic monarchy which later came to be preferred by many, especially after it no longer existed), and that it is up to the people to establish appropriate political systems which must meet the appropriate moral, social, and religious requirements. Thus an acceptable political system must be just and pursue justice; it must provide for the care of the less fortunate (the Biblical "widows and orphans"); and it must maintain the religious constitution of the Jewish people, however interpreted by the judges of the time. It must also be republican, rooted in popular consent and involving the people in governance.

    Let me reiterate: there is no doubt about the republican character of the classic Jewish polity, nor has there been throughout Jewish history. The particular character of Jewish republicanism had a certain aristrocratic tinge because of the prominent role it gave to notables from leading families, and priests, prophets, and sages who had responsibilities for interpreting the Torah, all of whom had to share power in some way. This led to the frequent appearance of oligarchic rule in the ancient Jewish polity and in diaspora Jewish communities, as degenerated forms of aristocratic republicanism, but in every case the regime remained republican. According to the Torah and halakhically, it must be constituted by all of the people, including women and children, and it may be changed by the people. Whatever the problematics of counting women in a minyan for prayer, the Bible makes it clear that they were required to be present and counted at the great constitutional ceremonies establishing the edah (the Jewish polity) its covenants, and its subsidiary kehillot.

    In all of Jewish history, with the possible exception of small shuls here and there, there are no cases of autocracy, of one-man rule, certainly none beyond the arena of the local community. The one possible exception was Herod, who was imposed upon us by the Romans. He was given power through nominally legitimate processes and then usurped that power to eliminate the other instruments which shared power with the king within the constitution.

    This leads to the other dimension of Jewish republicanism, namely, that in the traditional constitution and throughout Jewish history power has always been divided among three domains, known in traditional Hebrew as ketarim (crowns): that of Torah, responsible for communicating God's word to the people and interpreting the Torah as constitution to them; Kehunah (priesthood), responsible for being a conduit from the people to God; and Malkhut, which may be best translated as civil rule, responsible for the day-to-day business of civil governance in the edah. While there have been struggles for power among these ketarim and times in which one was stronger than the other, all three, and particularly Torah and Malkhut, have always been actively present in the governance of every Jewish polity from the local arena to the people as a whole. The relationship between Judaism and democracy has to be judged whole, not just in connection with specific religious laws, and it must be judged in light of this classical and continuing division of powers.

    Thus when it comes to the popular constitution of the polity, the responsibility of the governors to govern, and a proper separation and distribution of powers among the governors -- the three great criteria for democracy -- Judaism passes every test. The proof of the pudding is that in Western civilization the Bible is considered the foundation of democratic republicanism and has been so treated by democratic reformers throughout the history of the Western world. The strong biblical base of American democracy, which grew out of the Protestant Reformation in Europe and which remains vital today is a case in point. Our weakness has been in the inventing of appropriate institutions for the successful implementation of these principles. Sometimes we did and sometimes we did not.


    Democracy, Liberty and Equality
    This bring us back to questions of liberty and equality. The Bible is a major source of teaching about liberty and equality for all of humanity; it should not be less than that for Jews. The Bible emphasizes communal liberty and what the Puritans in the sixteenth century defined as federal liberty, that is to say, the liberty to live up to the terms of the covenant (federal, from the Latin foedus meaning covenant), rather than individual liberty.

    Communal liberty stands in contrast to atomistic individualism as the highest good. The Jews, like the Swiss, have emphasized individual liberty within the community, not apart from it. This approach differs from the radical individualism espoused by many in the contemporary Western world. Hence those espousing the latter will inevitably accuse Judaism of being undemocratic. Here we have a confrontation between different understandings of what constitutes liberty and, by extension, democracy. Despite its claims, radical individualism is not the only starting point for defining democracy.

    We are helped in this by examining the concept of federal liberty. Federal liberty can be interpreted rather narrowly as some would have it or it can be interpreted more broadly. It can be interpreted as having to do primarily with religious observance, as the Puritans did in the past and many of the ultra-Orthodox do today, or it may be interpreted as having to do with the maintenance of constitutional liberties, as the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted it with regard to racial and gender discrimination. In both cases, judges have relied upon the principle of federal liberty to modify what would otherwise be in their eyes, unbridled individualism.

    Federal liberty in this sense stands in contrast to natural liberty, that is to say, the right of every individual to do as he or she pleases, restrained only by nature. The latter is only possible outside of society. Otherwise it is both self and socially destructive to the highest degree. Governments, including and especially democratic governments, are instituted to overcome the deficiencies of natural liberty which lead to anarchy and the war of all against all, whereby the strongest win at the expense of all others. So, if the biblical teaching stands in opposition to unbridled individualism, that is a sign that it is among the best friends of true liberty which is based on restraining natural liberty through covenant.

    So, too, with equality. The biblical teaching is concerned with maximizing the basic equality of all members of the polity through sabbatical and jubilee legislation and other equalization measures. On the other hand, Jewish tradition does not insist upon pure equality, only upon basic equality, understanding the difference.

    Were all this simply a matter of biblical teachings, we might say that Judaism has a classic tradition in harmony with democracy but that it has long since disappeared. That is emphatically not the case. There is a Jewish political tradition which has persisted as an integral part of Jewish tradition in which all of these principles have found expression throughout Jewish history, while the Jews were in their land and in the diaspora, not without struggle and not perfectly by any means any more than can be said of any other people, but in real ways. We at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs have been exploring that tradition since our founding and have compiled detailed evidence for its existence and influence, citing chapter and verse. We have published the results of our investigations under the best aca
    demic auspices and in more general form, making them available to a variety of audiences. Moreover, anticipating public concern with this issue by nearly a decade, we secured a commission from the Ministry of Education to prepare a course for high school students on the subject, emphasizing the importance of the Jewish political tradition in helping students to become better citizens of Israel. For us, the tradition offers standards of evaluation of Israel's political institutions and behavior in proper democratic fashion. That course is now being tested in the schools.

    Both those on the right and those on the left who denigrate and deny the relationship between Judaism and democracy not only do both a great disservice but are simply wrong. Each is trying to manipulate one or the other for their own ends. Unlike them, I would submit that Israel would be well served to carefully consider the Jewish political tradition. We can learn much from it in the matter of building a good polity and society.

    http://www.aish.com/literacy/jewishh...e_Land...-.asp
    http://www.jcpa.org/dje/articles2/jud-democ.htm
    http://www.enquirer.com/editions/200...1030bible.html

    FURTHER READING:

    Cremin, Lawrence A., American Education: The Colonial Experience 1607-1783, New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1970.

    Innes, Stephen, Creating the Commonwealth: The Economic Culture of Puritan New England, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1995

    Katsh, Abraham I., The Biblical Heritage of American Democracy, New York: Ktav Publishing House, Inc., 1977

    Sivan, Gabriel, The Bible and Civilization, Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House, 1973
  18. #378  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    I am talking about the dominant form of economic organization for 10,000 years, including most of the "Christian era" but certainly including ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, feudal Europe, and North America.
    I was questioning the notion that the Bible endorses it?
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    I find that statement to be true of the adherents of most religions. I can find little to choose betweent the religious and the non-religious except that the religious tend to be a little more self-righteous.
    There is a tendency to want to be right. Religion often gives us a measuring stick by which we can assess and assert our rightness. Of course, in the case of biblical teaching, we discover that the best we could come up with would fall far short of the standard. And, so, contrary to how some of us (nouns) may behave, there is no room for self-righteousness.

    I am clear that my only hope is in the sacrifice at Calvary (enough of that before I violate forum rules).


    Meanwhile,

    I'm ready to proceed with the tedium, but HobbesIsReal has cut to the chase. Should we deal with his presentation first, then return to mine if there remains questions. Or shall, I continue to build the case brick-by-brick?
  19. #379  
    Does silence equal agreement?
  20. #380  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    Does silence equal agreement?
    While I appreciate the articles quoted by HobbesIsReal, looking at the parts of the bible which are quoted in that post quickly reveals that there is nothing which actually supports democracy:

    Deuteronomy 17:
    Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.

    1 Samuel 8
    ..."and they said to him, "Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations."

    1 Peter 2:13-17
    13Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority,
    14or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.
    15For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.
    16Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.
    17Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

    Leviticus 25:10:
    According to the article HobbesIsReal quoted, it says "Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."

    However, the New American Standard Bible reads "'You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family."


    Which of the quotes above supports the notion that Christian principles overlap with the principles of a democracy in general and the principles the US are founded on in particular, according to you?

    So, again:

    (A) state a principle on which the US as a nation are based on
    (B) quote where in the Bible this is advocated.

    Repeat (A) and (B) for examples 1 to n.


    Frankly, I don't think you will come up with anything that fits. I doubt Jesus cared in the least about the political system or the conditions people lived in. May I remind you of John 18:36: Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place."

    and Mark 12:14-17: "Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? 15Should we pay or shouldn't we?"
    But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. "Why are you trying to trap me?" he asked. "Bring me a denarius and let me look at it." 16They brought the coin, and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?"
    "Caesar's," they replied.
    17Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's."
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)

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