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  1. #401  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    That there is a creator is fundamental to the argument the founders made for independence. The expressed it as obvious ("self-evident") that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.

    Everything that followed stood upon that same foundation. The constitution they drafted established the practical implementation of the system government that would be deployed to secure the creator-endowed, unalienable rights. As such, the notion that "there is a creator" is central to the founding of the republic.
    I can understand that you cling to "creator" being of central importance because there does not seem to be anything else, but "creator" wasn't even part of Jefferson's original version of the Declaration of Independence (http://members.tripod.com/~candst/doitj.htm). It was added almost casually later.

    Imagine we would ask the leading US historians and political scientists what the most important principles on which the US as a country are based on are... do you seriously suggest "there is a creator" would make it anywhere near the top 20? Not really, don't you think?

    You cling to the Declaration of Independence because "creator" is mentioned there once, but when discussing the principles on which the US are founded on, it would make more sense to turn to the Constitution. However, there you will look in vain for any mention of a god, creator, Jesus, or similar. The word religion is mentioned once, in the sentence "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".

    So, when will you start to
    (A) state a principle on which the US as a nation are based on
    (B) quote where in the Bible this is advocated?

    Of course you can also state that you cannot find any evidence for the US being based on Christian principles. Or you can say it just happens to be so, even if there is no evidence pointing into that direction.
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  2. NRG
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    #402  
    ATM, th4e title of this thead is very misleading.
  3. #403  
    Does silence equal agreement?

    Or are there still plans to

    (A) state a principle on which the US as a nation are based on
    (B) quote where in the Bible this is advocated?
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  4. #404  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    I can understand that you cling to "creator" being of central importance because there does not seem to be anything else, but "creator" wasn't even part of Jefferson's original version of the Declaration of Independence (http://members.tripod.com/~candst/doitj.htm). It was added almost casually later.

    ...SNIP...

    You cling to the Declaration of Independence because "creator" is mentioned there once,
    Our founding documents are those that were accepted and approved by the founding fathers. The fact that the Declaration was not approved without direct reference to the Creator can be seen as de facto proof of the importance placed upon this reference by them.
    but when discussing the principles on which the US are founded on, it would make more sense to turn to the Constitution. However, there you will look in vain for any mention of a god, creator, Jesus, or similar. The word religion is mentioned once, in the sentence "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".
    Why, pray tell, should there be any reference to specific religious elements in the document that lays out the nuts and bolts of how our government it supposed to operate? Especially given that the Bill of Rights specifically forbids Congress from establishing a religion. Lack of such references in the Constitution do not provide evidence one way or the other. One thing some people continually fail to grasp is that the American nation and the American government are not synonymous.
    So, when will you start to
    (A) state a principle on which the US as a nation are based on
    (B) quote where in the Bible this is advocated?
    In 1892, in Trinity v. U.S., the Supreme Court declared America to be "a Christian nation." This was based on many hours of research by law clerks to produce multiple pages of quotes from founding fathers and other documentation to prove America's Christian foundations.

    At the founding, it certainly was, but whether America still is a "Christian nation" is obviously less clear.
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    #405  
    phurth, well-said.
    I gotta have more cowbell
  6. #406  
    Quote Originally Posted by vw2002
    phurth, well-said.
    It was well said but I don't think that meets the expectations of the claim(s) that were made regarding the showing of proof that the U.S. was founded on biblical principles (am I saying it the right way clulup?)

    I have followed the thread on this and I think the best thing you can say is that there are christian principles in the constitution and in the country's foundation. I don't think you can take it much further than that.
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  7. #407  
    I have followed the thread on this and I think the best thing you can say is that there are christian principles in the constitution and in the country's foundation. I don't think you can take it much further than that.
    I certainly wouldn't go any farther than that. Perhaps I've misread him, but it seemed clear that clulup believes that Christian principals had nothing to do with the ultimate form of our government. This is obviously not true. Christian principals and ideals were the intellectual ocean in which the Founders swam. What obviously is true is that our government isn't based on the Bible or strictly speaking on biblical structures in the way that a theocracy would be.
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  8. #408  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    I certainly wouldn't go any farther than that. Perhaps I've misread him, but it seemed clear that clulup believes that Christian principals had nothing to do with the ultimate form of our government. This is obviously not true. Christian principals and ideals were the intellectual ocean in which the Founders swam. What obviously is true is that our government isn't based on the Bible or strictly speaking on biblical structures in the way that a theocracy would be.
    The (sub)discussion goes back to the quotes in this post and my question about them:
    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.
    That's why I have asked which Christian principles were important for the founding of the US or the constitution. Which "Christian ideals and principles", as you say, do you mean specifically? Because you, too, seem to believe that Christian principles played an important role in the founding of the US. I seriously doubt this, and so far, nobody came up with a clear example, maybe apart from Shopharim with his "there is a creator", which I do not find particularly convincing, because it is neither a specifically Christian principle, nor is it an important part of the Declaration of Independence, and not even mentioned in the constitution.

    I have asked for a quote from the Bible because if something is a Christian principle, surely there must be a reference for it in the Bible.

    You mention that in 1892, in Trinity v. U.S., the Supreme Court declared America to be "a Christian nation." That may be the case in the sense of "having a Christian majority etc.", but that is not the same as "being founded on Christian principles". If it was so which ones? And may I also remind you of the following:
    The Treaty of Tripoli, passed by the U.S. Senate in 1797, read in part: "The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion." The treaty was written during the Washington administration, and sent to the Senate during the Adams administration. It was read aloud to the Senate, and each Senator received a printed copy. This was the 339th time that a recorded vote was required by the Senate, but only the third time a vote was unanimous (the next time was to honor George Washington). There is no record of any debate or dissension on the treaty. It was reprinted in full in three newspapers - two in Philadelphia, one in New York City. There is no record of public outcry or complaint in subsequent editions of the papers.
    http://dim.com/~randl/founders.htm
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  9. #409  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    I have followed the thread on this and I think the best thing you can say is that there are christian principles in the constitution and in the country's foundation.
    Like which ones? Thou shalt not kill does not count because it is a principle of just about every single society on earth, it is a principle of humanity, not Christian per se.

    I think what you can say is that the US were founded by people with a mostly Christian and Deist background (with a large number of the key players such as Jefferson not believing in Jesus being the son of god), but that's about it. The important parts on which the US and other democracies are based are not Christian in any way, they came up in the Age of Enlightenment.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  10. #410  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Like which ones? Thou shalt not kill does not count because it is a principle of just about every single society on earth, it is a principle of humanity, not Christian per se.

    I think what you can say is that the US were founded by people with a mostly Christian and Deist background (with a large number of the key players such as Jefferson not believing in Jesus being the son of god), but that's about it. The important parts on which the US and other democracies are based are not Christian in any way, they came up in the Age of Enlightenment.
    I give up. You have my vote.
  11. #411  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Like which ones? Thou shalt not kill does not count because it is a principle of just about every single society on earth, it is a principle of humanity, not Christian per se.
    You are focused on Christain ONLY principles. Just because others share the same, like Thou Shall Not Kill, doesn't mean it is not a valid Christain, or Diest, or.... principle.

    I think what you can say is that the US were founded by people with a mostly Christian and Deist background (with a large number of the key players such as Jefferson not believing in Jesus being the son of god), but that's about it. The important parts on which the US and other democracies are based are not Christian in any way, they came up in the Age of Enlightenment.
    I answered this back in post #367:

    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    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 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.
    --EDIT --
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    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 your constitution, at least I don't know of any overlap, and so far, nobody presented one.

    I have posted this before, but nobody could come up with an example. Why not give some convincing examples, or stop claiming the US are based on Christian principles?
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    The important parts on which the US and other democracies are based are not Christian in any way, they came up in the Age of Enlightenment.
    Again....I would beg to differ....thanks to the Christian influence from the Swiss side of the pond started:

    John Calvin (1509-1564)
    Tourist Guide > Swiss culture > Religions > Protestantism > John Calvin

    Reformer John Calvin’s importance and caliber of mind lie less in the originality of his theological doctrine – for in this respect, he was more in the wake of Martin Luther – than in his social and political impact. On a worldwide scale, there are few features of the modern-day bourgeois, liberal and capitalist ideology that did not take root in Calvinism or did not develop without some form of contact with it. Equal rights for all citizens (crucible of liberalism), the system of supreme democratic representation (crucible of bourgeois political thought) and each person’s obligation to demonstrate their adherence to God through a zeal for work and an ascetic lifestyle (main cause of the development of the capitalist economic system) are the main professions of the Calvinist faith, whose impact on society are plain to see.
    http://switzerland.isyours.com/e/gui...hn.calvin.html
    --EDIT --

    But I doubt I will participate much more in this debate because even when a point is made, Clulup always has a "ya, but...." response. Often times in a debate points, even small ones, must be conceded in order to continue a productive discussion. He cannot even acknowledge that there was any influence in any way, shape, or form.
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 10/02/2005 at 08:09 PM.
  12. #412  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    ...the Age of Enlightenment.
    ...which was made possible by the Protestant Reformation.
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  13. #413  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    The (sub)discussion goes back to the quotes in this post and my question about them:That's why I have asked which Christian principles were important for the founding of the US or the constitution. Which "Christian ideals and principles", as you say, do you mean specifically? Because you, too, seem to believe that Christian principles played an important role in the founding of the US. I seriously doubt this, and so far, nobody came up with a clear example, maybe apart from Shopharim with his "there is a creator", which I do not find particularly convincing, because it is neither a specifically Christian principle, nor is it an important part of the Declaration of Independence, and not even mentioned in the constitution.
    Shopharim can speak for himself, however I don't think his point was that the Declaration simply states "there is a Creator." His point (and mine) is that not only IS there a Creator, but the rights enumerated in the Declaration (life, liberty, etc...) are given to all by the Creator and cannot be taken away. This is central to the American understanding of "rights". If you don't get that point, you do not have a clear understanding of our system of government. Our government exists in order to guarantee those rights. Those rights are granted by God (Thomas Jefferson himself said so). They can't be taken away by anyone. There is, of course, an exception to this: if one breaks the law... law rooted in those pesky Ten Commandments.
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    I have asked for a quote from the Bible because if something is a Christian principle, surely there must be a reference for it in the Bible.
    I assume we can agree that under our system of government, all people are to be treated equally. Is this not a secular expression of the Christian principle that all are equal before God?
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    You mention that in 1892, in Trinity v. U.S., the Supreme Court declared America to be "a Christian nation." That may be the case in the sense of "having a Christian majority etc.", but that is not the same as "being founded on Christian principles". If it was so which ones?
    Uh, did you not read my post? Let me refresh you...
    Quote Originally Posted by from my earlier post
    This was based on many hours of research by law clerks to produce multiple pages of quotes from founding fathers and other documentation to prove America's Christian foundations.
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    And may I also remind you of the following:The Treaty of Tripoli, passed by the U.S. Senate in 1797, read in part: "The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.", etc...
    You may, but it's not going to help you. This was a treaty with a Muslim nation that obviously had concerns regarding the U.S. being a "Christian nation" in the sense of Christianity being thus officially established as a part of our government. The treaty says we are not. Big deal. More debunking of this can be found in this quote:
    Quote Originally Posted by from "Is America a Christian Nation?" by CARL PEARLSTON
    The Treaty of Peace and Friendship with Tripoli was signed in 1796 in Arabic, and was later translated into English by Joel Barlow, United States Consul General at Algiers. Except for the typical phrases "Praise be to God" and "whom God Exalt", there is no reference to religion other than the aforesaid remarkable Article 11, which reads,

    "As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, — and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan (sic) nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

    The treaty, with this language, was submitted to the Senate by President Adams, and was ratified. Thus, opponents of the 'Christian nation' concept point to this seemingly official repudiation of the very idea. Yet the language is less a repudiation of the role of Christianity in the nation's heritage than a reminder that there was no national established church in the United States as there was in the European states with which Tripoli had previously dealt. This provided reassurance to the Moslem Bey and his religious establishment that religion, in of itself, would not be a basis of hostility between the two nations. None of the other similar treaties with the Barbary states, before or after this treaty, including the replacement treaties signed in 1804 after the Barbary Wars, have any language remotely similar.

    And there is a deeper mystery: As noted in a footnote at page 1070 of the authoritative treatise by Bevans, Treaties and other International Agreements of the United States of America, citing treaty scholar Hunter Miller.

    "While the Barlow translation quoted above has been printed in all official and unofficial treaty collections since 1797, most extraordinary (and wholly unexplained) is the fact that Article 11 of the Barlow translation, with its famous phrase 'the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.' does not exist at all. There is no Article 11. The Arabic text which is between Articles 10 and 12 is in form a letter, crude and flamboyant and withal quite unimportant, from the Dey of Algiers to the Pasha of Tripoli. How that script came to be written and to be regarded, as in the Barlow translation, as Article 11 of the treaty as there written, is a mystery and seemingly must remain so. Nothing in the diplomatic correspondence of the time throws any light whatever on the point" (Emphasis added)

    In sum, the phrase was no doubt an invention of Mr. Barlow, who inserted it on his own for his own, unknown, purposes. It was duly ratified without question by the United States Senate, which would no doubt be hesitant to object to any phraseology which was represented as desired by the Bey of Tripoli, with whom the United States wanted peaceful relations. It remains a mystery.
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  14. #414  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    I think what you can say is that the US were founded by people with a mostly Christian and Deist background (with a large number of the key players such as Jefferson not believing in Jesus being the son of god), but that's about it. The important parts on which the US and other democracies are based are not Christian in any way, they came up in the Age of Enlightenment.
    I have pretty much agreed with most of your argument so far but...

    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Like which ones? Thou shalt not kill does not count because it is a principle of just about every single society on earth, it is a principle of humanity, not Christian per se.
    I don't think there has to be a principle that is exclusive just to Christianity for the argument to work (at least somewhat). Just because a society decides to adopt the same principle does not automatically make the principle less American or less 'constitutional'
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  15. #415  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    ...Often times in a debate points, even small ones, must be conceded in order to continue a productive discussion....
    Precisely why I have taken the slow and steady approach.

    It's been more slow than steady, I must confess (partly because I realized I was spending too much time on this forum and partly because....well just because).
  16. #416  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    ...I have followed the thread on this and I think the best thing you can say is that there are christian principles in the constitution and in the country's foundation. I don't think you can take it much further than that.
    Not sure about the other proponents, but I was not seeking to take it much further than that. But, as you may have noticed, just getting to "that" is still objectionable to some.
  17. #417  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    Shopharim can speak for himself, however I don't think his point was that the Declaration simply states "there is a Creator." His point (and mine) is that not only IS there a Creator, but the rights enumerated in the Declaration (life, liberty, etc...) are given to all by the Creator and cannot be taken away. This is central to the American understanding of "rights". If you don't get that point, you do not have a clear understanding of our system of government. Our government exists in order to guarantee those rights. Those rights are granted by God (Thomas Jefferson himself said so). They can't be taken away by anyone. There is, of course, an exception to this: if one breaks the law... law rooted in those pesky Ten Commandments...
  18. #418  
  19. #419  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    Often times in a debate points, even small ones, must be conceded in order to continue a productive discussion. He cannot even acknowledge that there was any influence in any way, shape, or form.
    I did say that the US were founded by people with a mostly Christian and Deist background, which of course influences their way of thinking. However, the claim was that the US are founded based on Christian principles. A principle is "a comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine, or assumption" - so a principle is a fundamental point, not just a casual accordance.

    I have asked you which principle of Christianity corresponds with which principle of a modern democracy. I still don't get the impression that concrete, fitting examples were posted so far (see post below).

    It is true that "thou shalt not kill" can be found in one form or another in the Constitution and in the Bible, but I doubt anybody would have listed "don't kill" either as a Christian principle or as a typical principle of a modern democracy, certainly not within the top 20 in each category.
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  20. #420  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    Shopharim can speak for himself, however I don't think his point was that the Declaration simply states "there is a Creator." His point (and mine) is that not only IS there a Creator, but the rights enumerated in the Declaration (life, liberty, etc...) are given to all by the Creator and cannot be taken away. This is central to the American understanding of "rights". If you don't get that point, you do not have a clear understanding of our system of government. Our government exists in order to guarantee those rights.
    It is true that the Declaration of Independence states that unalienable rights are given by a creator. However, this idea brought forward by the founding fathers is based on the principles of the Age of Enlightenment, not based on Christian ideas. Big difference. The founding fathers stating that a creator endowed rights does not automatically make the whole story a Christian idea.
    Those rights are granted by God (Thomas Jefferson himself said so). They can't be taken away by anyone. There is, of course, an exception to this: if one breaks the law... law rooted in those pesky Ten Commandments.
    The whole idea of the Ten Commandments as the basis of the legal system was also discussed earlier on TC. It is an idea often repeated, but the repetition does not make it less false. Have a look at the Commandments and ask yourself which of those commandments have made it into your legal system. Two or three out of ten: Don't kill, don't steal, don't lie (illegal only under certain circumstances). I bet most of the rest you yourself would consider total nonsense in any legal system. Or do you consider shopping on Sundays a deadly sin leading to eternal damnation? Should adultery be a crime according to you? Is making images of god illegal in the US?
    I assume we can agree that under our system of government, all people are to be treated equally. Is this not a secular expression of the Christian principle that all are equal before God?
    I don't know which Bible you read, but the ones I know don't state that Hindus, Buddhists or Moslems will be treated equally before the god of the Christians when the time comes. Actually, all those who do not believe in Jesus Christ will suffer eternal damnation and will be tortured in hell. Where did you say the link to the constitution is?

    The "principle of equality" in the Bible is just a misunderstanding. What is meant there is that not only Jews can become Christian by believing that Jesus is the Messiah and go to heaven, but that Greeks, Romans, etc. have equal opportunities of getting there. Jesus was not very specific about this, so the question was discussed later in the Bible (Galatians, I think).
    Last edited by clulup; 10/03/2005 at 09:04 AM.
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