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Switch to Forum Live View What are the Christian values America was founded upon?
3 years ago  ::  Oct 11, 2011 - 12:50AM #81
LeahOne
Posts: 16,386

Of course, those teachings being pretty well identical to any other ethical system - our failure to follow such would result in failure - but it's because the ethical systems are ALL sound, not because there's something supernaturally superior about Jesus' teachings.


I weary of the pretense by *some* Christians that there's some qualitative difference between the 'teachings' of Jesus as interpreted by this or that Church, and the teachings of the Buddha, Hillel or any other similar teacher.

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3 years ago  ::  Oct 11, 2011 - 5:26AM #82
snoopygal
Posts: 97
LeahOne, I made no claim of  superiority or exclusiveness. But did Buddha and Hillel or anyone else really say the same things Jesus did? Did they say love your enemies?
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 11, 2011 - 5:53AM #83
Ricky
Posts: 1,225

''I've heard people say that America is a Christian nation.  I've heard  people say that America was founded upon the basis of Christian values.''


This is what right wingers say.  But historically it is not correct.  First, the behavior of right wingers should be sufficient proof that such ''values'' in the government are largely mythical.  Second, the truth is that the Founders did not expect government to be led by the pulpit.  Read Professor One Nation Under Law - America's Early National Struggles to Separate CHURCH AND STATE:


www.amazon.com/ONE-NATION-UNDER-LAW-STRU...


This book is a bit technical in its analysis of Constitutional law. But it is well worth reading.



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3 years ago  ::  Oct 11, 2011 - 7:42AM #84
snoopygal
Posts: 97
Someone made a comment I read recently that I really agree with a lot. All the laws in the world cannot make people believe, it is a heart thing. Combining Church and state corrupts both institutions, the Church and State, in practice we see this happening. Iran is the perfect present day example of that. But if teachings of Jesus were truly incorporated into laws and policies of the government, I believe we could change the world and the future of our nation in miraculous ways. The ideals those on the right seek are not bad things at all. I find myself confused as to where I stand. I think it is about taking one day at a time and responding to real situations we confront, one day at a time, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us in God's will. There are good goals and there are right ways to achieve those goals, as well. We can destroy what is good by pursuing it in the wrong ways.
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 11, 2011 - 7:59AM #85
Sacrificialgoddess
Posts: 9,496

Oct 11, 2011 -- 5:26AM, snoopygal wrote:

LeahOne, I made no claim of  superiority or exclusiveness. But did Buddha and Hillel or anyone else really say the same things Jesus did? Did they say love your enemies?




Love your enemies in world religions: www.unification.net/ws/theme144.htm


And while we are at it, the Golden Rule: www.religioustolerance.org/reciproc.htm


Christianity is nothing special. In fact, the only thing it offers that other religions don't seem to is salvation theology, a notion I find repugnant.

Dark Energy. It can be found in the observable Universe. Found in ratios of 75% more than any other substance. Dark Energy. It can be found in religious extremists, in cheerleaders. To come to the conclusion that Dark signifies mean and malevolent would define 75% of the Universe as an evil force. Alternatively, to think that some cheerleaders don't have razors in their snatch is to be foolishly unarmed.

-- Tori Amos
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 11, 2011 - 9:37AM #86
TPaine
Posts: 9,362

Oct 11, 2011 -- 5:53AM, Ricky wrote:


''I've heard people say that America is a Christian nation.  I've heard  people say that America was founded upon the basis of Christian values.''


This is what right wingers say.  But historically it is not correct.  First, the behavior of right wingers should be sufficient proof that such ''values'' in the government are largely mythical.  Second, the truth is that the Founders did not expect government to be led by the pulpit.  Read Professor One Nation Under Law - America's Early National Struggles to Separate CHURCH AND STATE:


www.amazon.com/ONE-NATION-UNDER-LAW-STRU...


This book is a bit technical in its analysis of Constitutional law. But it is well worth reading.



Thanks for the information. I've ordered a copy.

"The genius of the Constitution rests not in any static meaning it might have had in a world that is dead and gone, but in the adaptability of its great principles to cope with current problems and current needs." -- Justice William Brennan: Speech to the Text and Teaching Symposium at Georgetown University (October 12, 1985)
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 11, 2011 - 5:10PM #87
lulu2
Posts: 454

I can only suppose, that if they needed to separate church from state, that church and its Judeo-Christian values...were intrinsic to the founding of our Country

Without the Soul of Christ alive in us...we are nothing but empty shells...
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 12, 2011 - 8:31AM #88
snoopygal
Posts: 97
lulu2, I think you identify the dilemma, at least partially. I think another question is what are true Christian values. The Church and State in America have both largely abandoned many of Jesus teachings, like the command to love your enemy.
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3 years ago  ::  Oct 12, 2011 - 12:00PM #89
TPaine
Posts: 9,362

Oct 11, 2011 -- 5:10PM, lulu2 wrote:


I can only suppose, that if they needed to separate church from state, that church and its Judeo-Christian values...were intrinsic to the founding of our Country



The suggestion that only Judeo-Christian values are suitable for establishing a republican or democratic form of government cannot be supported by history. The Sumer and Indian democracies, Greek and Roman republics, Germanic states, and the Iroquois Confederation were not based on Christianity. The American Founding Fathers felt they needed to separate church and state because they wished to prevent theocracies such as existed in the Massachusetts Bay and Virginia colonies. As the Father of the Constitution, James Madison, wrote:

"Notwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, and the full establishment of it in some parts of our country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Government and Religion neither can be duly supported. Such, indeed, is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded against. And in a Government of opinion like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion on the subject. Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together. It was the belief of all sects at one time that the establishment of Religion by law was right and necessary; that the true religion ought to be established in exclusion of every other; and that the only question to be decided was, which was the true religion. The example of Holland proved that a toleration of sects dissenting from the established sect was safe, and even useful. The example of the colonies, now States, which rejected religious establishments altogether, proved that all sects might be safely and even advantageously put on a footing of equal and entire freedom; and a continuance of their example since the Declaration of Independence has shown that its success in Colonies was not to be ascribed to their connection with the parent country. if a further confirmation of the truth could be wanted, it is to be found in the examples furnished by the States which had abolished their religious establishments. I cannot speak particularly of any of the cases excepting that of Virginia, where it is impossible to deny that religion prevails with more zeal and a more exemplary priesthood than it ever did when established and patronized by public authority. We are teaching the world the great truth, that Governments do better without kings and nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson: the Religion flourishes in greater purity without, than with the aid of Government" -- James Madison (Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822).


"The genius of the Constitution rests not in any static meaning it might have had in a world that is dead and gone, but in the adaptability of its great principles to cope with current problems and current needs." -- Justice William Brennan: Speech to the Text and Teaching Symposium at Georgetown University (October 12, 1985)
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3 years ago  ::  Jan 14, 2012 - 3:59AM #90
informedattimes
Posts: 13

    In no era of history over the last 2000 years, have any nations or communities conducted themselves according to the most elementary teachings credited to Jesus the Christ. During the centuries when religion dominated the law & societies; life for ordinary people was; for the most part; disastrous. Granted, there were individuals with conscience who did good works for the underprivileged(which meant the population at large.) religion cannot under any stretches of the imagination; take credit for the concept of liberty & justice for all. An example from American history would be the pilgrims of Plymouth Rock fame. Yes, they fled Britain seeking the freedom to practice their beliefs as they saw fit. And, they found such freedom in.......Holland. But what they also found was across the board freedom for all faiths, & they weren't about to tolerate this. So, they headed for the 'new world', where competition would be minimal. It is odious & unethical to the extreme; to alter history to suit a philosophical or theological agenda. It is an exercise in dishonesty, & can reflect on the nation as a whole. In a ruling of several years ago, The US Supreme Court wisely stated: "At the heart of liberty is the right to define ones own concept of existence, of the meaning of the universe, & of the mystery of human life." Previous comments are exactly right when observing that mixing government & religion corrupts both. And, to take the Bible as the literal or even inspired word of God; is to make God out to be a simpleton & a mass murderer. I can inspire people to humanitarian greatness, or it can be used as a weapon of mass destruction. It tells us to love our enemies as ourselves, but it also has such gems as "Suffer not a witch to live."



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