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Switch to Forum Live View The Separation of Church and State
6 years ago  ::  Jan 16, 2009 - 8:33AM #51
amcolph
Posts: 17,322
[QUOTE=DrWhite;1022605]Deists are not "Christians" as they do not, generally, believe in the supernatural elements of the Christian faith. Simply put, they don't believe in miracles. Thomas Jefferson wrote his own version of the King James that left out all the miracles of Christ. So, technically, deists are not Christians.[/QUOTE]

Well, that's an attempt at a definition, at least.

By what authority do you advance it?

No, that is not a smart-assed question--I am quite serious.

To go back to my original point, if the Christian Nation crowd wants to give pride of place to Christians in this country they are going to have to say how they decide who is, and who is not, a Christian.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 16, 2009 - 12:34PM #52
TPaine
Posts: 9,262

DrWhite wrote:

Deists are not "Christians" as they do not, generally, believe in the supernatural elements of the Christian faith. Simply put, they don't believe in miracles. Thomas Jefferson wrote his own version of the King James that left out all the miracles of Christ. So, technically, deists are not Christians.



Actually, Jefferson considered himself to be a Unitarian, not a Deist; the main difference being at the time that Unitarians believed in God's Providence while Deists did not. Jefferson explained his beliefs quite well in the following letters.

"Dear Sir,- I have received and read with thankfulness and pleasure your denunciation of the abuses of tobacco and wine. Yet, however sound in its principles, I expect it will be but a sermon to the wind. You will find it as difficult to inculcate these sanative precepts on the sensualities of the present day, as to convince an Athanasian that there is but one God. I wish success to both attempts, and am happy to learn from you that the latter, at least, is making progress, and the more rapidly in proportion as our Platonizing Christians make more stir and noise about it. The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man.

    1. That there is one only God, and he all perfect.
    2. That there is a future state of rewards and punishments.
    3. That to love God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself, is the sum of religion.

These are the great points on which he endeavored to reform the religion of the Jews. But compare with these the demoralizing dogmas of Calvin.

    1. That there are three Gods.
    2. That good works, or the love of our neighbor, are nothing.
    3 That faith is every thing, and the more incomprehensible the proposition, the more merit in its faith.
    4. That reason in religion is of unlawful use.
    5. That God, from the beginning, elected certain individuals to be saved, and certain others to be damned; and that no crimes of the former can damn them; no virtues of the latter save.

Now, which of these is the true and charitable Christian? He who believes and acts on the simple doctrines of Jesus? Or the impious dogmatists, as Athanasius and Calvin? Verily I say these are the false shepherds foretold as to enter not by the door into the sheepfold, but to climb up some other way. They are mere usurpers of the Christian name, teaching a counter-religion made up of the deliria of crazy imaginations, as foreign from Christianity as is that of Mahomet. Their blasphemies have driven thinking men into infidelity, who have too hastily rejected the supposed author himself, with the horrors so falsely imputed to him. Had the doctrines of Jesus been preached always as pure as they came from his lips, the whole civilized world would now have been Christian. I rejoice that in this blessed country of free inquiry and belief, which has surrendered its creed and conscience to neither kings nor priests, the genuine doctrine of one only God is reviving, and I trust that there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die an Unitarian.

But much I fear, that when this great truth shall be re-established, its votaries will fall into the fatal error of fabricating formulas of creed and confessions of faith, the engines which so soon destroyed the religion of Jesus, and made of Christendom a mere Aceldama; that they will give up morals for mysteries, and Jesus for Plato. How much wiser are the Quakers, who, agreeing in the fundamental doctrines of the gospel, schismatize about no mysteries, and, keeping within the pale of common sense, suffer no speculative differences of opinion, any more than of feature, to impair the love of their brethren. Be this the wisdom of Unitarians, this the holy mantle which shall cover within its charitable circumference all who believe in one God, and who love their neighbor! I conclude my sermon with sincere assurances of my friendly esteem and respect." --- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, June 26, 1822

"Sir, -- I have to thank you for your pamphlets on the subject of Unitarianism, and to express my gratification with your efforts for the revival of primitive Christianity in your quarter.

No historical fact is better established, than that the doctrine of one God, pure and uncompounded, was that of the early ages of Christianity; and was among the efficacious doctrines which gave it triumph over the polytheism of the ancients, sickened with the absurdities of their own theology. Nor was the unity of the Supreme Being ousted from the Christian creed by the force of reason, but by the sword of civil government, wielded at the will of the fanatic Athanasius. The hocus-pocus phantasm of a God like another Cerberus, with one body and three heads, had its birth and growth in the blood of thousands and thousands of martyrs. And a strong proof of the solidity of the primitive faith, is its restoration, as soon as a nation arises which vindicates to itself the freedom of religious opinion, and its external divorce from the civil authority. The pure and simple unity of the Creator of the universe, is now all but ascendant in the Eastern States; it is dawning in the West, and advancing towards the South; and I confidently expect that the present generation will see Unitarianism become the general religion of the United States. The Eastern presses are giving us many excellent pieces on the subject, and Priestley's learned writings on it are, or should be, in every hand. In fact, the Athanasian paradox that one is three, and three but one, is so incomprehensible to the human mind, that no candid man can say he has any idea of it, and how can he believe what presents no idea? He who thinks he does, only deceives himself. He proves, also, that man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without a rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons gullibility which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason, and the mind becomes a wreck."

"I write with freedom, because while I claim a right to believe in one God, if so my reason tells me, I yield as freely to others that of believing in three. Both religions, I find, make honest men, and that is the only point society has any right to look to. Although this mutual freedom should produce mutual indulgence, yet I wish not to be brought in question before the public on this or any other subject, and I pray you to consider me as writing under that trust. I take no part in controversies, religious or political. At the age of eighty, tranquility is the greatest good of life, and the strongest of our desires that of dying in the good will of all mankind. And with the assurance of all my good will to Unitarian and Trinitarian, to Whig and Tory, accept for yourself that of my entire respect." --- Thomas Jefferson, letter to theologian James Smith, December 8, 1822

Both quotes from http://www.barefootsworld.net/tjletters.html#perversion

"It is always to be taken for granted, that those who oppose an equality of rights never mean the exclusion should take place on themselves." -- Thomas Paine: Dissertations on First Principles of Government (July 7, 1795)
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 16, 2009 - 3:02PM #53
Summer813
Posts: 325
[QUOTE=DrWhite;1022605]Deists are not "Christians" as they do not, generally, believe in the supernatural elements of the Christian faith. Simply put, they don't believe in miracles. Thomas Jefferson wrote his own version of the King James that left out all the miracles of Christ. So, technically, deists are not Christians.[/QUOTE]
Yes, thank you; I was and am aware of what Deists believe, and I agree that they are not Christians. But your earlier post could be read in such a way as to suggest that you also don't think that Methodists and Roman Catholics are Christians, and that is what I would like clarified.
Shared pain is lessened, shared joy increased. Thus do we refute entropy. - Mike Callahan, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 18, 2009 - 10:21PM #54
Bodean
Posts: 9,390
IMO ....

I find it flat out amusing to read rantings of 20th century minds regarding the separation of chruch and state, while they completely ignore the context.

Without doubt, most people who pull out the Separation of Church and State are doing so for thier own selfish benefit, thus destroying its very purpose by imposing their own belief as law.

SoC&S is not a complicated issue when one puts it in its context.

1) it was born of the religious struggles of Britain, where official religions were the norm.
2) it was born of the practice of having clergy serve in an official state capacity, determing if civil law was consistent with Church Law.
3) it was born of the religious persecution that many endured as a result of official religions.
4) IT DEALT WITH LAW ... and NOTHING ELSE!!

Hence .. in the US Constituion, it states that NO LAW shall be passed that endorses or prohibits free expression of any religion.  This has been completely corrupted by self interested individuals who seek to prohibit religious experssions in the name of the very principle that forbids it!!  Not suprisingly, it is the aithiest who subvert the principle for their own gain, pushing to pass laws that prohibit religious expression in the name of SoC&S simply because they don't believe in God.  Yet .. according to the principle of SoC&S, they are violating the First Amendment.

A second issue is the thought that any law held by Religion can by default not be a Civil Law.  This is nonsense as well.  The SoC&S was not intended to be held up as a litmus test for laws, but instead was a directive to ensure that Religion or Religious Officials could have no say in what laws were determined to govern the land outside of the will of the people.  The LAW was intended to be determined by the will of the people.  IF .. by chance that will conincides with a religious law, there is no violation of SoC&S, provided that it does not violate religious freedom as set forth in the First Amendment.

Maddison laid it out very nicely.  SoC&S was about Authority.  His famous ruling against the Church wanting to dole out charity had nothing to do with the fact that it was a Church, but as laid out by him, the contingency that was in the proposal that they would be able to set Cannonical Law as a Civil Law and would assume the position of Authority of Civil Law according to their Church Law was the issue.  "if it were merely for pious charity" would have been one thing .. but for the Church to determine who gets charity based on adherence to their Church Law was quite another issue, and a violation of the First Amendment.

While Aithiest like to think they hold the high ground, they are no better than the Fundamentalists whom they dispise.  Neither group seems to be able to grasp the concept of live and let live.  If a group of people want to pray in school, it's their business.  If the Boy Scouts want to believe in God .. it is their business.  If an Aithiest does not want to say under god in the pledge .. it is their business. ... AND .. they are ALL TAX PAYERS ... they are ALL citizens .. and they ALL have a right to express themselves on public property of the State.

But  this notion that we should prohibit something less someone be "offended" is a disease born of selfishiness and a seed planted that serves no common good whatsoever.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 19, 2009 - 9:16AM #55
amcolph
Posts: 17,322
[QUOTE=Bodean;1028000]
Hence .. in the US Constituion, it states that NO LAW shall be passed that endorses or prohibits free expression of any religion.  This has been completely corrupted by self interested individuals who seek to prohibit religious experssions in the name of the very principle that forbids it!!  Not suprisingly, it is the aithiest who subvert the principle for their own gain, pushing to pass laws that prohibit religious expression in the name of SoC&S simply because they don't believe in God.  Yet .. according to the principle of SoC&S, they are violating the First Amendment.[/QUOTE]

Perhaps it would help us to understand your point if you gave an example.

In the cases I am aware of, "atheists" only oppose religious expression when the state appears to endorse a particular religion or imposes religious activities on nonbelievers.

But  this notion that we should prohibit something less someone be "offended" is a disease born of selfishiness and a seed planted that serves no common good whatsoever.[/QUOTE]

It depends on what you mean by "offended."  If the activity involves the state in endorsing, or appearing to endorse a particular sectarian view, then my religious freedom is "offended."

If the activity of the state impairs my ability freely exercise my own religious faith, then my religious freedom is "offended."

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6 years ago  ::  Jan 19, 2009 - 1:49PM #56
TPaine
Posts: 9,262

Bodean wrote:

IMO ....

I find it flat out amusing to read rantings of 20th century minds regarding the separation of chruch and state, while they completely ignore the context.



The rantings of the Religious Reich which continue into the 21st century are the ones that don't understand.

Bodean wrote:

Without doubt, most people who pull out the Separation of Church and State are doing so for thier own selfish benefit, thus destroying its very purpose by imposing their own belief as law.



Agreed. Groups like Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, the Christian Coalition, and others are doing it to gain money and power and to establish the US as a Christian Nation under which those who have different religions will become second class citizens. Those who support separation don't want any belief imposed by the state.

Bodean wrote:

SoC&S is not a complicated issue when one puts it in its context.

1) it was born of the religious struggles of Britain, where official religions were the norm.
2) it was born of the practice of having clergy serve in an official state capacity, determing if civil law was consistent with Church Law.
3) it was born of the religious persecution that many endured as a result of official religions.
4) IT DEALT WITH LAW ... and NOTHING ELSE!!



1.Actually, it was born of religious struggles in Britain as well as church establishments in the colonies.
2. Actually it was more about taxes being used to support religious institutions. New England, with the exception of Rhode Island, had the only real theocracy in the colonies, although Virginia executed Quakers.
3. True, including the Founders. That's why they supported separation, as did the Baptists, who at the time were a minority that had no freedom to hold services in colonies such as Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, and Virginia.
4. Government is about law and power. George Washington may have said it best:

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

Bodean wrote:

Hence .. in the US Constituion, it states that NO LAW shall be passed that endorses or prohibits free expression of any religion.  This has been completely corrupted by self interested individuals who seek to prohibit religious experssions in the name of the very principle that forbids it!!  Not suprisingly, it is the aithiest who subvert the principle for their own gain, pushing to pass laws that prohibit religious expression in the name of SoC&S simply because they don't believe in God.  Yet .. according to the principle of SoC&S, they are violating the First Amendment.



Interesting concept. I'm not an Atheist, yet I don't want the government to support Christianity or any other religion. Free exercise does not mean allowing public schools to mandate prayer as they did before SCOTUS outlawed it in the Abington Township School District v. Schempp decision in 1963. No one is trying to prohibit religious expression. Those of us who support separation want all religions to have an equal right to express their beliefs. We don't want Christians denying the rights of Wiccans, for instance, to have their own military chaplins.

Bodean wrote:

A second issue is the thought that any law held by Religion can by default not be a Civil Law.  This is nonsense as well.  The SoC&S was not intended to be held up as a litmus test for laws, but instead was a directive to ensure that Religion or Religious Officials could have no say in what laws were determined to govern the land outside of the will of the people.  The LAW was intended to be determined by the will of the people.  IF .. by chance that will conincides with a religious law, there is no violation of SoC&S, provided that it does not violate religious freedom as set forth in the First Amendment.



Tell that to James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Pat Robertson, et. al. There are religious laws that prohibit murder and theft as well as civil laws that criminalize the same. I know of no group that desires to legalize either because they follow religious law. There are limits to religious freedom. One example would be polygamy laws.

 

Bodean wrote:

Maddison laid it out very nicely.  SoC&S was about Authority.  His famous ruling against the Church wanting to dole out charity had nothing to do with the fact that it was a Church, but as laid out by him, the contingency that was in the proposal that they would be able to set Cannonical Law as a Civil Law and would assume the position of Authority of Civil Law according to their Church Law was the issue.  "if it were merely for pious charity" would have been one thing .. but for the Church to determine who gets charity based on adherence to their Church Law was quite another issue, and a violation of the First Amendment.



Madison was about the worst person you could pick as an example. He was, along with Jefferson, the leader of the separationist movement. Did you read the veto message or a David Barton like paraphrase of it. The message states:

Veto Message to Congress

February 21st 1811

Having examined and considered the Bill, entitled "An Act incorporating the protestant Episcopal Church in the Town of Alexandria in the District of Columbia," I now return the Bill to the House of Representatives, in which it originated, with the following objections.

Because the Bill exceeds the rightful authority, to which Governments are limited by the essential distinction between Civil and Religious functions, and violates, in particular, the Article of the Constitution of the United States which declares, that "Congress shall make no law respecting a Religious establishment." The Bill enacts into, and establishes by law, sundry rules and proceedings relative purely to the organization and polity of the Church incorporated, and comprehending even the election and removal of the Minister of the same, so that no change could be made therein, by the particular Society, or by the General Church of which it is a member, and whose authority it recognizes. This particular Church, therefore, would so far be a religious establishment by law, a legal force and sanction being given to certain articles in its constitution and administration. Nor can it be considered that the articles thus established, are to be taken as the descriptive criteria only, of the corporate identity of the Society, in as much as this identity, must depend on other characteristics, as the regulations established are generally unessential and alterable, according to the principles and cannons, by which Churches of that denomination govern themselves, and as the injunctions & prohibitions contained in the regulations would be enforced by the penal consequences applicable to a violation of them according to the local law.

Because the Bill vests in the said incorporated Church, an authority to provide for the support of the poor, and the education of poor children of the same, an authority, which being altogether superfluous if the provision is to be the result of pious charity, would be a precident for giving to religious Societies as such, a legal agency in carrying into effect a public and civil duty.

Also, don't forget another Madison veto message.

"Veto message, Feb 28, 1811, by . To the House of Representatives of the United States: Having examined and considered the bill entitled "An Act for the relief of Richard Trevin, William Coleman, Edwin Lewis, Samuel Mims, Joseph Wilson, and the Baptist Church at Salem Meeting House, in the Mississippi Territory," I now return the same to the House of Representatives, in which it originated, with the following objection:

"Because the bill in reserving a certain parcel of land of the United States for the use of said Baptist Church comprises a principle and precedent for the appropriation of funds of the United States for the use and support of religious societies, contrary to the article of the Constitution which declares the 'Congress shall make no law respecting a religious establishment" ... James Madison (Veto message, Feb 28, 1811)

Bodean wrote:

While Aithiest like to think they hold the high ground, they are no better than the Fundamentalists whom they dispise.  Neither group seems to be able to grasp the concept of live and let live.  If a group of people want to pray in school, it's their business.  If the Boy Scouts want to believe in God .. it is their business.  If an Aithiest does not want to say under god in the pledge .. it is their business. ... AND .. they are ALL TAX PAYERS ... they are ALL citizens .. and they ALL have a right to express themselves on public property of the State.



I don't know where you came up with the idea that only Atheists are in favor of separation. There are people who support the concept in this forum who happen to be Christians, Pagans, Buddhists, and various other sects. There is no law or SCOTUS decision that prohibits children from praying in school. It only prohibits the school from sponsoring prayer. No one prohibits anyone from believing in God or gods or goddesses, the Great Spirit, or whatever. People do oppose the Boy Scouts discriminating against a given segment of society. If you substitute African-American for gay the outcry would be overwhelming, but that battle was fought and won decades ago.

Bodean wrote:

But  this notion that we should prohibit something less someone be "offended" is a disease born of selfishiness and a seed planted that serves no common good whatsoever.



If you mean prohibiting things such as gay marriage because it offends someone's religious belief, I agree with you. That is pure selfishness by Prop 8 supporters, and it serves no common good.

"It is always to be taken for granted, that those who oppose an equality of rights never mean the exclusion should take place on themselves." -- Thomas Paine: Dissertations on First Principles of Government (July 7, 1795)
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 19, 2009 - 6:14PM #57
Summer813
Posts: 325
[QUOTE=Bodean;1028000]IMO ....

I find it flat out amusing to read rantings of 20th century minds regarding the separation of chruch and state, while they completely ignore the context.

Without doubt, most people who pull out the Separation of Church and State are doing so for thier own selfish benefit, thus destroying its very purpose by imposing their own belief as law.[/QUOTE]
Evidence, please.

[QUOTE]SoC&S is not a complicated issue when one puts it in its context.

1) it was born of the religious struggles of Britain, where official religions were the norm.
2) it was born of the practice of having clergy serve in an official state capacity, determing if civil law was consistent with Church Law.
3) it was born of the religious persecution that many endured as a result of official religions.
4) IT DEALT WITH LAW ... and NOTHING ELSE!![/QUOTE]
Nobody here is arguing otherwise. But my strawman detector is beginning to buzz...

[QUOTE]Hence .. in the US Constituion, it states that NO LAW shall be passed that endorses or prohibits free expression of any religion.  This has been completely corrupted by self interested individuals who seek to prohibit religious experssions in the name of the very principle that forbids it!![/QUOTE]
Evidence, please.

[QUOTE]Not suprisingly, it is the aithiest who subvert the principle for their own gain, pushing to pass laws that prohibit religious expression in the name of SoC&S simply because they don't believe in God.[/QUOTE]
Please give three examples of such attempts by atheists to prohibit religious expression by individuals. Note that this is not the same as individuals utilizing taxpayer-funded public resources or governmental entities to spread a religious message.

[QUOTE]A second issue is the thought that any law held by Religion can by default not be a Civil Law.[/QUOTE]
First I've heard of that thought in this forum. Most religions have laws against murder and theft, and so do most secular societies. This does not violate the separation of church and state, as laws against murder and theft serve a valid secular purpose that is completely unrelated to religion.

[QUOTE]This is nonsense as well.[/QUOTE]
Agreed; so why did you even bring it up?

[QUOTE]The SoC&S was not intended to be held up as a litmus test for laws,[/QUOTE]
Nor is anyone here arguing that it was.

[QUOTE]but instead was a directive to ensure that Religion or Religious Officials could have no say in what laws were determined to govern the land outside of the will of the people[/QUOTE]
Agreed.

[QUOTE]The LAW was intended to be determined by the will of the people[/QUOTE]
Except in cases where the will of the people is in conflict with the protections guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. When that occurs, those protections trump the will of the people. This is why we function as a republic, rather than a mobocracy.

[QUOTE]IF .. by chance that will conincides with a religious law, there is no violation of SoC&S, provided that it does not violate religious freedom as set forth in the First Amendment.[/QUOTE]
Ah. And so here we see you knocking down the strawman you set up. In other words, you're arguing with yourself here, as no other poster in this forum has espoused the positions you are arguing against.

[QUOTE]Maddison laid it out very nicely.  SoC&S was about Authority.  His famous ruling against the Church wanting to dole out charity had nothing to do with the fact that it was a Church, but as laid out by him, the contingency that was in the proposal that they would be able to set Cannonical Law as a Civil Law and would assume the position of Authority of Civil Law according to their Church Law was the issue.  "if it were merely for pious charity" would have been one thing .. but for the Church to determine who gets charity based on adherence to their Church Law was quite another issue, and a violation of the First Amendment.[/QUOTE]
If churches want to give charity, they should do so. What they should not do is expect be given the job of handing out government funds while practicing discrimination over who receives those funds, nor should they expect to have their own religious charitable operations funded by tax dollars. Let the government operate its own social welfare programs free from religious interference, and let the churches operate their charities without tax funding.

[QUOTE]While Aithiest like to think they hold the high ground, they are no better than the Fundamentalists whom they dispise[/QUOTE]
A-t-h-e-i-s-t. D-e-s-p-i-s-e. Gah. And the high ground is held by anyone who believes that government has no business entangling itself with religion, and vice versa.

[QUOTE]Neither group seems to be able to grasp the concept of live and let live.  If a group of people want to pray in school, it's their business.[/QUOTE]
No one here is arguing otherwise.

[QUOTE]If the Boy Scouts want to believe in God .. it is their business.[/QUOTE]
And no one here is arguing that they don't. It's just that the public schools, funded by taxpayers, have no more business promoting the Boy Scouts than they have promoting the local Methodist church. The Boy Scouts do, however, have as much right to rent meeting space in schools as a church group has to rent that same space.

[QUOTE]If an Aithiest does not want to say under god in the pledge .. it is their business.[/QUOTE]
Again, who here is arguing that it isn't? Of course, this being a secular nation, appeals to God have no business being in a pledge of allegiance to said secular nation. Anyone who wants to pledge their allegiance to God has ample freedom and opportunity to do so in whatever religious creed they wish to espouse or recite. But a pledge of allegiance to a secular state belongs to all citizens, be they religious or not, and so such a pledge is not the place to include religious language. Interestingly, the Pledge as originally adopted never included the phrase "under God". It ought to have been left in its original form.

[QUOTE] ... AND .. they are ALL TAX PAYERS ... they are ALL citizens .. and they ALL have a right to express themselves on public property of the State.[/QUOTE]
To express themselves on public property, yes. To expect the taxpayer or State to fund their expression by providing a public address system, an audience or even a chunk of officially-scheduled time in which to express themselves... no, they don't have that right.

[QUOTE]But  this notion that we should prohibit something less someone be "offended" is a disease born of selfishiness and a seed planted that serves no common good whatsoever.[/QUOTE]
Actually, I find it selfish that someone should espouse the notion that one ought to say or do whatever one wants, regardless of who might be offended or of whether there is any public purpose or common good to one's utterances or actions.
Shared pain is lessened, shared joy increased. Thus do we refute entropy. - Mike Callahan, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 02, 2009 - 1:25AM #58
Kingskidd
Posts: 87
A state religion instituted by the government was prohibited in the founding fathers thinking. Religion on the other hand was not probibited from shaping government, as Christianity mostly influenced their thinking. If you'd like I can email you some great quotes from the founders concerning a biblical worldview.
kingskidd
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 02, 2009 - 2:06PM #59
Summer813
Posts: 325

Kingskidd wrote:

A state religion instituted by the government was prohibited in the founding fathers thinking. Religion on the other hand was not probibited from shaping government, as Christianity mostly influenced their thinking. If you'd like I can email you some great quotes from the founders concerning a biblical worldview.


If you have something to add to the discussion, do it right here in the thread, not by private emails. Emailing people does not make a discussion.

Also, if you read the First Amendment in terms of the language used and what that language meant in the time it was written, it does not ONLY prohibit the establishment of a state religion. It also prohibits the government from making laws that concern religion or religious matters. However, NOBODY here has claimed that religion itself was prohibited from shaping individual thinking, and individual thinking shapes one's votes, including at times the way someone who is, say, a Senator, might vote. What is prohibited, however, is giving any official seat in our government to religious bodies or groups.

Shared pain is lessened, shared joy increased. Thus do we refute entropy. - Mike Callahan, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 02, 2009 - 3:52PM #60
TPaine
Posts: 9,262

Kingskidd wrote:

A state religion instituted by the government was prohibited in the founding fathers thinking. Religion on the other hand was not probibited from shaping government, as Christianity mostly influenced their thinking. If you'd like I can email you some great quotes from the founders concerning a biblical worldview.


When I logged into this forum I noticed that about 814 people have read this thread. That would be a lot of e-mails. Many people have posted quotes from the founders, so it would make more sense for you to post a few of them here. However, please do not use quotes that were made up by David Barton and those like him. For instance, the following quote allegedly by Madison was never made by Madison according to the custodians of Madison's papers at the University of Virginia. They contend that not only did he never say it, but also that the quote was contrary to everything Madison believed.

"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind of self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."


If you do decide to post quotes, please do us all a favor and post the source of the quote. An example would be

"The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity" ... James Madison (Letter to F.L. Schaeffer, Dec 3, 1821)


"It is always to be taken for granted, that those who oppose an equality of rights never mean the exclusion should take place on themselves." -- Thomas Paine: Dissertations on First Principles of Government (July 7, 1795)
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