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Discussion in 'Civil Liberties Issues' started by Psychman, Jun 26, 2013.
Who the hell are you to judge my right to marry who I choose? I love my dad you Bigot...
Let me try this again: I'm not trying to say it was the Founders. But to say that 'In God We Trust' wasn't around 'in the government' until the mid 1950s is just plain wrong.
But we're far afield now... What were we talking about... oh yeah, DOMA.
What?!? The Declaration of Independence was one of the initial documents forming our country! It even starts out as saying...
How can you say that is not an official document of the United States Government?
Strangely enough, I actually DID know that (my head is full of otherwise useless knowledge), but it wasn't adopted as the official motto until 1956.
Hell, the CURRENCY wasn't even standardized for nearly a decade after the end of the Revolutionary War.
You argued in post #133 that "The founders" did not place our country under God. Who do you think wrote the declaration, which has five references to God?
But they did NOT put it in the Constitution.
What authority does the Declaration have over the rule of law in this country?
To interpret "in any sense" to mean a theocracy is a stretch. I would not consider the founders particularly reckless in their wording.
To say that the US is a Christian nation and to say that the US is a Christian majority nation are very different things.
I don't think that anybody is arguing that the US is not now, and never has been a Christian majority country; however, to ascribe Christian to the country itself is very dishonest. While the founders may have been Christian (largely Christian Deists who would be considered heretical today), they took measures to ensure that the nation was a secular one.
The Declaration of Independence, while a relevant historical document, is not the law of the land, and the references within it are largely deistic references: Nature's God, Creator, Supreme Judge. The founders would largely be unelectable heretics to today's Christian Right.
I've already posted this in another thread within the past few days, but why not once again...
While George Washington did regularly accompany his wife to church, he did not stay around for communion on Sacrament Sundays. After a sermon was given regarding "those in elevated stations who invariably turned their backs upon the celebration of the Lord's Supper" Washington rightly concluded that it was directed at him, and he never again attended church on a Sacrament Sunday.
His speeches and communications conveyed more the beliefs of a deist. He seldom referred to Christianity, more rarely to Jesus, and generally opted for terms such as "Providence", "Maker", "Supreme Being", "Grand Architect", etc.
Unfortunately, with only a few exceptions, personal correspondence between George and Martha which could have shed additional insight was destroyed, but the picture is pretty clear that he was not an Orthodox Christian.
John Adams was a Unitarian (described by some as Christian Deism). As such the doctrine of the Trinity was rejected, and Jesus was considered a human elevated to divine status, and subordinate to God the Father.
While rejecting the Trinity, he also rejected some Calvinist teachings such as total depravity. To orthrodox Christians his beliefs were heretical.
His "best of all possible worlds...not fit to be mentioned in polite company..." quote has been abused by both sides.
Jefferson was a restorationist, and probably most aligned with Unitarians. Due to possibly the rural nature of churches and related limited options, or perhaps in deference to his upbringing, Jefferson's participation largely remained with the Episcopal Church of his childhood.
Jefferson found the teachings of Jesus to have been spoiled by the power-hungry and corrupt. He referred to the Apostle Paul as the "first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus."
Jefferson considered Jesus a moral exemplar, but discounted the miracles and supernatural.
As most people probably know, he created his own Jefferson Bible (New Testament). He removed from the Gospels anything appearing unreasonable (prophecies and miracles); he removed Revelation, all the letters of Paul as well as letters of Peter, John, James and Jude; his New Testament ended with the death of Jesus -- anybody interested can pick it up for about $2 at the Amazon Kindle store and download a free reader.
When Jefferson sent his edited New Testament (what he called his Syllabus) to his secretary and former protege, William Short, in 1820, Jefferson explained:While this syllabus is meant to place the character of Jesus in its true and high light, as no imposter himself, but a great Reformer of the Hebrew code of religion, it is not to be understood that I am with him in all of his doctrines. I am a Materialist; he takes the side of spiritualism. He preaches the efficacy of repentance towards forgiveness of sin; I require a counterpoise of good works to redeem it, etc., etc.
It is the innocence of his character, the purity and sublimity of his moral precepts, the eloquence of his inculcations, the beauty of the apologues in which he conveys them, that I so much admire; sometimes, indeed, needing indulgence to eastern hyperbolism. My eulogies, too, may be founded on a postulate which all may not be ready to grant. Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others, again, of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being. I separate, therefore, the gold from the dross; restore to him the former, and leave the latter to the stupidity of some, and roguery of others of his disciples.
James Madison was raised Orthodox Christian, and appeared to remain one into his early-20s by which time his outlook appeared to have taken a deistic shift.
Madison fought for religious freedom at the Virginia state level, and the federal (1st Amendment) level.
He also opposed appointing army, navy and congressional chaplains.
His presidential communication was almost without religious references, and very little is actually known of his personal religious views.
James Monroe was a freemason. He also displayed deistic Episcopalian traits, but did not appear particularly religious.
Most letters between Monroe, his wife and daughters did not survive, but those that did contain very little about religion.
During this time, letters to children away from home, nieces and nephews were customary, but the surviving letters of this type from Monroe do not counsel the recipients toward religion, including a letter to his nephew who had become unruly as a cadet at West Point.
Letters written by Monroe following the death of his only son before turning 2 years old do not mention his faith or religion, nor do the letters that he wrote to friends after the devastating death of his wife, Elizabeth.
Eulogies of Monroe delivered by friends did not mention his religion.
Religion did not appear to be of importance to Monroe
Granted there were several Orthodox Christians among the Founders such as Samuel Adams, Elias Boudinot and John Jay, but they certainly did not hold a majority.
Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.
Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.
Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect.
In no instance have... the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people.
During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.
I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies.
Revealed religion has no weight with me.
The way to see by Faith is to shut the eye of Reason.
How many observe Christ's birthday! How few, his precepts! O! 'tis easier to keep holidays than commandments.
Actually, I didn't. I was talking about it entering the vernacular as an official part of the government system. Just because I yell "Jesus Christ!" when I hit my thumb with a hammer doesn't make me ready to be Pope!
As for the rest, I'll leave it in ArtificialGrape's more-than-capable hands. I made my point, he made it far better. The point that started the discussion was the comment that this nation was founded as a Christian Nation, and that is demonstrably - repeatedly demonstrated - untrue.
Thread sent to the CLF to die a quick death.
Where does that information come from? I am not claiming it's false, I'd just like to know. Thanks.
I typed it up a year or so ago and squirreled it away so that I didn't have to recreate it.
The Faiths of the Founding Fathers by David L. Holmes
Founding Faith by Steven Waldman
The Adams-Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence Between Thomas Jefferson and Abigail and John Adams -- a great read.
The Jefferson Bible aka The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth
and a variety of biographies of the founders.
I highly recommend the Holmes book if the topic interests you. It's also available for Kindle.
*Edit* Yes, the truth, and stamping out non-truth is something that interests me.