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« Next church-state dispute: 'In God We trust' | Main | Are Liberals ready to abandon US right to abortion? »

July 04, 2005

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harold historian

Original text as written by Jefferson:

"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal and independent; that from that equal creation they derive in rights inherent and inalienables,"

No mention of God. It was added later. Jefferson was an athiest. You have a poor idea who the type of men were that framed this document.

cwv warrior

Wayne,
Give me a minute...I have a similar theme written but not posted yet. This is good stuff and I cannot believe it, Harold, whoever you are... but obviously not an original document historian! I am shaking with horror!
My husband says it's war, so with your permission, Wayne...

Rick

To Harold "Historian",
The Thomas Jefferson to which you are referring is a myth that Dr. D. James Kennedy refers to as a creation of our secular education system and I fear that you have been duped. I have the references for the following information if you are interested but putting them here would make the post too lengthy. Here's the abbreviated version: Jefferson was a member of the vestry of the Anglican church during his adult life, financially supported 10 different churches while President of the US, attended church services weekly during his Presidency (which were held in the Capitol building; music provided by the US Marine Band) and a Bible scholar who read his Bible daily in English, Greek, Latin and French. As to "who the type of men were that framed this document" I quote a letter from John Adams, coauthor of the Declaration, to his wife regarding the activities in Philadelphia on July 2, 1776, the date the Declaration of Independence was completed, "It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty."

Wayne M

War it is... Go for it (and what a completely appropriate day for a was to begin).

Jefferson like several other signers was a deist not an atheist. There is a huge difference. That being said, Jefferson is not the only signer of the Constitution, but obviously he was influential. Our Constitution took some thoughts from the philosophy that created the constitution that was formed out of the French Revolution. The problem with the French constitution is that it did completely remove God and now we see the results of that in a completely secular society.

We purposefully kept in references to God because most of the framers of the Constitution were deeply influenced by a very deep faith in God. If you disagree with this notion, it is obvious that you are very ignorant of history. Of course that is what many in our current secular society would like you to be.

Wayne M

Rick,
You da man!

Harold Historian

To be honest, I was just trying to speak against the echo chamber that this blog is, and that so many blogs are...nothing but an echo chamber. And yet they deign themselves worthy of attacking MSM, saying it is 'biased'. Unbeleiveable.

Most posts on this blog are nothing but replies echoing one another. When one does speak up against the common incentious banter, then it is: "My husband says it's war". Oh, for crying out loud.

I am not interested in going any further, because it inevitably leads to stupid attacks. By both sides. So thanks for letting me get you all riled up. Happy 4th of July.

Wayne M

Could it be that you are unable to go any farther?

The echo you are hearing is an echo of the truth being proclaimed.

Let freedom ring!!!

Harold Historian

Since you have goaded me, I will now proceed to thrash you for your insolence (just kidding)...

"Jefferson is not the only signer of the Constitution"

So this must the "truth being proclaimed" you speak of -- too bad you don't speak it - Jefferson never signed the constitution. He signed the Declaration of Independence. The constitution was signed in 1787. One other thing -- the French Revolution did not occur until after the consitution had been signed.

You are a little confused.

Rick

Thanks for the debate, it was fun. Just one thing to remember, the MSM is trying to pass itself off as objective, non-biased reporting, which it isn't. I have no qualms in admitting that I am a conservative, Christian with all the attached viewpoints and biases and an agenda that reflects them. If the MSM would admit the same, perhaps I would take them more seriously.

Wayne M

Sure my timing might be a little off, just ask my wife, but if you mean to say that the philosophy of Voltaire and Rousseau did not affect both the French "founding papers" and the American "founding papers" (both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution) I would have to say I think you are mistaking. The fact that the American founding fathers rejected a completely secular government speaks volumes about what the founding fathers actually believed.

harold hsitorian

You will have to enlighten me as to how our government is not completely secular, and the ways in which it is religious. Don't you beleive there should be a seperation between church and state?

Rick

Where to start? There is a ample evidence pointing to the Christianity of both the Constitution and the men who framed it. Look for books or videos by David Barton or the book "What if America Were a Christian Nation Again?" by D. James Kennedy. Of the 55 men who attended the Constitutional Convention, 50 were practicing Christians, as evidenced by contemporary documentation of the time, 2 were doubtful and 3 probably were not. 20 of the members were educated at theological seminaries. As a result, the source most quoted in speeches and writings of the members of the Convention was not Voltaire or Locke or any other philosopher of the Enlightenment but the Bible. In the 1892 Trinity Decision, during which 10 years were spent deliberating documents pertaining to the founding of the United States, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the United States was a Christian nation. As for the "wall" of separation between church and state, it is an unfortunate metaphor coined by Thomas Jefferson in a letter written Jan. 1, 1801 to the Baptist Assoc. of Danbury, CT. If you know biology, it's more like a semi-permeable membrane. The first amendment of the Constitution places ALL restictions on the Congress and none on the church. I'll leave you with a quote from James Madison, the chief architect of the Costitution"We have staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of government, but upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

qandablogger

Thank you Rick,
I'm sure our historian friend will totally disregard everything you have said because facts have a way of being terribly inconvenient.

Harold, if you dont think nation was born as a Christian nation you are showing your terrible ignorance.

What does the constitution say about religion?

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

What does this mean? There shall not be a state religion. Like England had the Anglican Church. Which is a church run buy the state. But this also says government can not make a law restricting the free exercise of religion.

This says nothing about being a secular nation. We just don't have a state run religion.


harold historian

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"

The dictionary says the word "establish" means "To cause to be recognized and accepted".

But that is precisely what you are saying, that the government must recognize and accept a particular religion(surprise -- your religion). Why must someone who follows the law, pays their taxes, contributes to society, perhaps serves in the military, etc., be forced to be governed by the Ten Commandments, by your religious ideology, and not by the laws of all? Do you propose to put someone in jail for committing adultery, or for taking the lord's name in vain, or for not resting on the sabbath? Where do you draw the line? Once you force the government to recognize your religion, you force all the people to do the same. And I for one refuse to pay taxes to your church.

Rick

"...or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;..."
Yes, the government must "recognize and accept"
a particular religion or they are violating the second phrase in the amendment. Taking the word establish out of the context of the amendment and assigning it one of many possible definitions (there are 9 to choose from in my dictionary) seems somewhat misleading to me. Recognizing and accepting any religion is in no way the same as passing a law establishing a religion; any religion or even a lack thereof. The founding fathers wanted to leave these matters up to the individual states and many were until recently. There were "Blue Laws" in Pennsylvania well into the 1970's which DID restrict activities on the Sabbath. But, I am straying from the original point. The intent of the First Amendment, as Wayne pointed out, was to avoid the symbiotic state/church relationships present in England and many other European nations. The fact that 90+% of the members of the Costitutional Convention were Christian and naturally injected their "religious ideology" into their creation is just the reality of the situation.

cwv warrior

Finally, I get the computer back!! lol Not to steal the show but there is a nice definition of how "Christian" law and religious freedom interact over at my space.
I'm not really anxious to sic you, Harold, on me. : )
You're cool, a real sport!

harold historian

An excellent post "Rick". Very well done, except for this:

'Yes, the government must "recognize and accept"
a particular religion or they are violating the second phrase in the amendment.'

You will need to explain how it is necessary to "accept and recognize" something in order to not "prohibit the free exercise thereof".

qandablogger

Man you guys are good. Keep up the great work!

Rick

If the government doesn't recognize a social institution's beliefs and/or doctrines as those of a religious institution, then that particular organization is nothing more than some sort of fraternity (or sorority or whatever would be a combination thereof; don't wanna be sexist here). If the government does recognize these tenets, then it has no choice but to accept and identify them as a religion at which point the 1st Amendment will apply. Failure by the government to recognize and accept an organization's principles as those of a religion means that the 1st Amendment becomes moot.

cwv warrior

Is that like the tree in the forest that no one heard fall? Or if the husband speaks and the wife doesn't hear, is he still wrong?
It becomes irrelevant if the tree fell or not, or if the poor, dejected husband spoke. Recognition is probably important, even by the government.
Especially since we the people are the government.

harold historian

Thanks, Rick, I can not argue with your analysis.

Wayne M

Harold,
My respect for you has grown dramatically. When you are out argued, you have conceded gracefully and not fallen into ad hominem attacks. Well done! My hat goes off to you. This has been an example of a truly gracious open-minded discussion.
Rick,
You also did a great job of staying on topic. Well done.
Thank you so much gentlemen.

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