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Author Topic: Michele Bachmann quits presidential race following poor showing in Iowa  (Read 5600 times)
ulthar
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« Reply #30 on: January 06, 2012, 12:47:19 PM »


 The fact that the predominant religion of the early Americas was Christian means that Christianity was a part of the fabric of the people, not argument of any kind there.



This is what I said above, and to clarify: with that as the cultural fabric, it matters MUCH less how the individual Founders self-identify.  To put it cutesy, you can take the girl out of the trailer park, but you cannot take the trailer park out of the girl.

We ALL run the risk of exhibiting cultural influences in our thinking (and behavior), even when we claim to reject those same influences or self-identify with something else.  I'm well aware of that "failing" in myself.  I do, too, often laugh at similar hypocrisies in others.

Quote

Keep in mind that at no point in this thread have I brought up the argument regarding separation of church and state. Ulthar brought that up.



Revisionist Hogwash!   TeddyR TeddyR   Wink

You wrote the following before I even responded to this thread:

Quote

But back to no separation of Church and State, I'm well aware of Michele Bachmann's stance there. Why does the religious right continue to insist that the Founding Fathers were a bunch of pious Christians trying to start a Christian nation? There is no evidence of this. Why do they insist on evidence that is non-existent? Granted, the religious right began their campaign to take over the government shortly after the Revolution, but can anybody show me this incontrovertible evidence that the founders were trying to start a Christian nation that the religious right seem certain exists?



which was presumably in response to something AHD had mentioned earlier (and Indy in turn responded to).

I responded to YOUR question (quoted above).

And for the record, I think when you say "no evidence," my only point is that there is plenty of evidence (See the discussion in the 1789 Congressional Record I mentioned earlier, which was on the very adoption of the First Amendment by the House of Representatives...some members of whom did not want to even discuss amending the Constitution) surrounding the belief that they represent the constituency - a predominantly Christian constituency by your own admission - and are not there to act merely in their OWN beliefs.

As Rev pointed out, this does not make something "case law," but who cares.  Social values are not based on case law.

It's a thorny discussion with no clear cut "conclusion" to be gained.   Some Founders may well have hated the notion of a Christian nation but simultaneously recognized that it is NOT their decision to make...'the will of the people' and those they represent weighed heavily on their minds.

If they acted solely in their OWN interest, within their OWN beliefs, they would have become the very same kind of dictator they had just fought a war to eliminate.  And that kind of language is VERY clear in the writing of the day.

So, to me it seems like a straw man to bring up whether so-and-so was or was not a Christian or Deist or worshiped castrated monkeys.   They took very seriously their role to represent the people that elected them to put the Constitution into practice, and for many of them, those people were Christians.

Sadly, that's a notion virtually dead in our representatives today.
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« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2012, 12:51:22 PM »


Whatever you may think of the Enlightenment as a whole, one of it's greatest contribution to history is the theory of representative democracy and natural rights, and to my mind that has been an unquestionable boon to humanity.


Different perspective:  Individuals provided those contributions not a philosophical movement.  True, they may have been influenced by that movement, but I doubt that people contemporary with grand movements like this act because of it, rather than help cause it.


It seems that you could say with equal validity that it was individual thinkers, not a philosophical movement, that contributed the Enlightenment ideas you disagree with.


Further, I must say that I find this argument somewhat circular.  On the one hand, "Endowed by their Creator" and other very Christian thinking permeates the writing of the day yet the claim is made that the Enlightenment thinking prompted the promotion of natural rights...the same Enlightenment that has as its core the rejection of Christian notions of subservience to a higher power.


I don't agree that the Enlightenment "has as its core the rejection of Christian notions of subservience to a higher power."  It's true that a major tenet of the Enlightenment is the belief that reason should guide mankind's decisions rather than obedience to blind authority, but many (most?) Enlightenment thinkers found reason and Christianity compatible---Descartes, John Locke, Isaac Newton, Kant (in a nuanced way), and the majority of the Founding Fathers. 

Very interesting discussion despite our points of disagreement.
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« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2012, 01:33:24 PM »

I never was that interested in her anyway.
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ulthar
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« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2012, 02:25:06 PM »


I don't agree that the Enlightenment "has as its core the rejection of Christian notions of subservience to a higher power."  It's true that a major tenet of the Enlightenment is the belief that reason should guide mankind's decisions rather than obedience to blind authority, but many (most?) Enlightenment thinkers found reason and Christianity compatible---Descartes, John Locke, Isaac Newton, Kant (in a nuanced way), and the majority of the Founding Fathers.  


Fair enough.  I suffer from conflating the original movement and what has grown from it.  That's certainly not fair on my part.

Quote

Very interesting discussion despite our points of disagreement.


I agree.  The disagreements are, in my opinion, fueling some interesting back-n-forth.  I enjoy this type of discussion (it seems more about throwing out ideas and 'arguments' in the logical sense and less about they style of persuasive rhetorical steeped in "agree with me or you're a doody-head" too often seen on Internet discussions).
« Last Edit: January 06, 2012, 02:27:30 PM by ulthar » Logged

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« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2012, 03:56:34 PM »

Well, ulthar, guilty as charged. I guess I did post the words "separation of church and state." However, to clarify, I was more referring to my general stance, the one I've been emphasizing all along, that the founders had no agenda of creating a Christian nation. That has been my focus all along. I've visiting some pretty amazing websites designed at painting the picture of our founders kneeling in fervent prayer before each session of the Constitution, how half of the founders had seminary degrees, how they were predominantly devout Christians. This is simply not the case.

Speaking of which, I never said the founders were predominantly Christian. I said the predominant religions practiced by the people was Christian. That was my whole point. Religious groups and members of the early government that WERE Christian tried to shoehorn religion into government as if the nation were guided by Judeo-Christian values.

Can anybody tell me how the Constitution is guided by the Bible? I don't get it. The Ten Commandments? Okay, so there are maybe two of the ten Commandments that are prohibited by law. Maybe three at the most? The rest are commandments about forsaking almost everything but constant worship of a jealous God. I don't see how the Bible is reflected in Constitutional law. In fact it's quite contrary to Biblical law and values. Consider the Ten Commandments. Biblical law requires constant reverence of God. If the Constitution were reflecting Biblical law or values, then we would have mandatory school praryer, a national church, and requirements of attending services. None of that is there.

If Biblcial values were reflected in the Constitution, then it wouldn't be set up to protect the people from the government. The Bible teaches to submit to authority and to the government, and certainly not to rebel or question it.

If the Constitution reflected Biblical values, we certainly wouldn't embrace a system of self governance or anything even remotely capitalist, because that has NOTHING to do with Judeo-Christian values. The early Christians were positively socialist, believing that all possessions belonged to the collective Christian faith. They certainly didn't believe in property rights.

Am I being ludicrous by suggesting that the Constitution has almost nothing to do with Judeo-Christian values? I don't think I am. I know that the people have always been predominantly Christian, and by God they posses the full ability to practice their religious beliefs without fear of persecution. Why is that not enough? Why must religion get involved in politics? Why must religious fanatics (and yes I consider Bachmann one) insist that America is God's nation and God's instrument on Earth, and make policy decisions based on that belief? The Constitution allows it, or at least has been legally interpreted to allow it, but I see nothing that leads me to believe that the founders intended it that way.

Add to the fuel is the fact that people, depending on what they are trying to prove, define who the founding father are. For example, I consider Thomas Paine to be a key founder simply becauseCommon Sense was so influential in gaining the support of the commoner in rebelling against Britain. However, most historians do not count him among the key founders. Indy, in an earlier post, seemed to have little regard for Thomas Jefferson, yet more historians undoubtedly count him among the key founders. Those on the side that the founder had no intention of a Christian nation and believed firmly in a separation of church and state are going to site those founders (and many of the keys ones are among them) that have demonstrated a support for that, such as Jefferson, Paine, Adams, and Madison. Those on the side that the founders were envisioning a Christian nation would site those that were in that line, such as John Jay and others of his ilk. I am perfectly aware that the vast majority of the 55 delegates of the Constitutional Convention had a religious affiliation, mostly Protestant with a few Catholics in there. And I have no doubt that some of them would have liked to add religious reference into the Constitution. However, this does not establish in any way that the U.S. was founded as a Christian nation, nor that the key founders had any intention of doing so. John Adams went so far as to assert that the U.S. was NOT founded as a Christian nation.

Back and forth we go, I know, and that's fine. This is a subject that will never be settled. I value your input, ulthar. I doubt we will do much to sway one another. But it's a fascinating debate.
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« Reply #35 on: January 06, 2012, 06:56:28 PM »


Add to the fuel is the fact that people, depending on what they are trying to prove, define who the founding father are... Indy, in an earlier post, seemed to have little regard for Thomas Jefferson, yet more historians undoubtedly count him among the key founders.

I meant to respond to Indy on the point of Jefferson.  I said Jefferson was unquestionably a Founding Father (and he's almost always considered one---after all, he drafted the Declaration of Independence).  But there is one definition of Founding Father, and it is a logical one, under which Jefferson doesn't count. That is identifying the FFs with the Framers of the Constitution, those who debated at the Constitutional Convention and actually signed the Constitution.  Using that definition would also exclude John Jay, however, and he seems unquestionably to be a Founding Father---he was one of the authors of the Federalist Papers.  As you say, defining who is a "Founding Father" is just another reason "intent of the Founders" isn't a valid category to me.

You may now return to the regularly scheduled religious argument.  Wink
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« Reply #36 on: January 06, 2012, 07:54:51 PM »

   I certainly do count Jefferson as one of our Founders!!!!  Personally, I find his conduct towards Washington and Hamilton objectionable, and that is where much of my distaste for him comes - he could be a platitudinous hypocrite at times, pretending to be a loyal member of Washington's cabinet while actively working to undermine Washington's foreign and domestic policies.  Obviously, I disagree with his views of religion, but he is the author of the Declaration of Independence, and one of America's more important and influential Presidents.
   Who are the Founders?  That's not a bad question.  I actually think David Barton defined the term pretty well: those individuals who were Delegates to the First and Second Continental Congress, the military leaders of the Continental Army, members of the Confederation Congress, delegates to the Constitutional Convention, and members of the early Federal Congress and the Administrations of the first three Presidents.  That makes it sound like an enormous group, but really, there is a lot of overlap among them.  All told, there are probably about 300 people who could be described as the "Founding Fathers" of the United States.  Within that group, there are important subsets - the Framing Fathers, which are the 55 men who met in Philadelphia to create the U.S. Constitution, and the Signers - the  52 who signed the Declaration of Independence.
   I do not discount the Enlightenment at all as an influence on that generation.  It was the most important philosophical, political, and moral trend of the 18th century.  However, The Enlightenment was, in fact, a natural outgrowth of the Protestant Reformation - primarily to the Lutheran rather than the Calvinistic half of it.  Luther said in his testimony to the Imperial Diet at Worms "It is dangerous indeed to force a man to act against his conscience."  The idea that every man was individually accountable to God, and that the State should not force religious behavior on its subjects, is a key Enlightenment concept developed from Luther's early teachings.
   Now, the Treaty that you cite, Flick, has often been quoted by those who want to downplay the influence of Christianity on our Founders and what type of nation that they intended to create.  However, as I understand it - and please accept that it's been awhile since I read the book, and my memory may be flawed here, but I really don't think so - that was an EARLY DRAFT of a proposed treaty that Adams actually REFUSED to sign.  I know that Barton devoted about half a chapter to that quote alone in his book; it's just been a long time since I read it.
  Jefferson was indeed a Deist who was pretty hostile to early Christianity, and frankly, considering the time that he spent in France, where the church had been utterly corrupted by politics, that distaste is pretty understandable.  However, Jefferson's biggest single influence in writing the Declaration of Independence was, by his own admission, John Locke.  Locke was noted Christian thinker and writer as well as a political philosopher.  The man who Jefferson said was his most influential teacher in college was Rev. Roger (?) Witherspoon (I don't have the book in  front of me, but I'm pretty sure I got the first name right).  This man was a devout and evangelical Christian, whose writings on the faith were famous.  And even though Jefferson rejected the Deity of Christ, he regarded Jesus of Nazareth as the greatest moral philosopher who ever lived, and even served at one point as the President of the American Bible Society.
  As far as the Revolution being contrary to the teachings of Christianity - it is very true that the Bible does encourage Christians to be good and obedient Christians.   That would seem to rule out revolutions altogether.  However, many of the leaders of the Revolution were clergymen - some even abandoned their pulpits to pick up a musket and fight for the cause.  The passage of Scripture that was thundered from pulpits north and south to rally Americans for Independence was Galatians 5:1 - "It was for freedom that Christ set us free, therefore stand as free men and no longer be subject to the yoke of slavery."  Especially in the Northern States, the Revolution, at the local level, was led from the pulpit in many cases.  In addition to "No Taxation Without Representation" and "Join or Die," one of the slogans that was carried on banners during those years was "No King But King Jesus."  That one has been left out of many history books, but it is documented.

  Why did the American Revolution produce a stable Republic while the French Revolution produced only a bloodbath, a dictatorship, and then a restored monarchy?  After all, both Revolutions were based on the same ideals, and indeed on some of the same writings.  There have been many books written on the topic, but to my mind, none has answered the question half so well as this: The American Revolution was led by many deeply religious men, and advised and counseled by Protestant clergy.  I think that the powerful influence of Christianity helped restrain the worst impulses of human nature during our founding conflict, and helped create the stability that followed.  Alexis de Tocqueville, writing about America some 60 years later, also commented on the powerful influence of Christianity on public behavior.  The French Revolution was not led from the pulpit, but AGAINST it - one of the acts of the Jacobins was a national ban on the Christian faith, and an attempt to install the worship of reason as a national religion.  Trying to establish the brotherhood of man without acknowledging the Fatherhood of God was a recipe for disaster, something that Hamilton recognized and Jefferson never did.

  I hope this response isn't too long and rambling.  I am not trying to come across as an idealogue, but I have put a LOT of research into the Founding generation, and this is a favorite subject of mine. If we continue the conversation, I'll need to bring a couple of my sources home from work so I can cite them more specifically.  Thanks for everyone's patience with my longwinded musings on this subject!
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« Reply #37 on: January 06, 2012, 09:43:20 PM »

   I certainly do count Jefferson as one of our Founders!!!!  Personally, I find his conduct towards Washington and Hamilton objectionable, and that is where much of my distaste for him comes - he could be a platitudinous hypocrite at times, pretending to be a loyal member of Washington's cabinet while actively working to undermine Washington's foreign and domestic policies.  Obviously, I disagree with his views of religion, but he is the author of the Declaration of Independence, and one of America's more important and influential Presidents.
   Who are the Founders?  That's not a bad question.  I actually think David Barton defined the term pretty well: those individuals who were Delegates to the First and Second Continental Congress, the military leaders of the Continental Army, members of the Confederation Congress, delegates to the Constitutional Convention, and members of the early Federal Congress and the Administrations of the first three Presidents.  That makes it sound like an enormous group, but really, there is a lot of overlap among them.  All told, there are probably about 300 people who could be described as the "Founding Fathers" of the United States.  Within that group, there are important subsets - the Framing Fathers, which are the 55 men who met in Philadelphia to create the U.S. Constitution, and the Signers - the  52 who signed the Declaration of Independence.
   I do not discount the Enlightenment at all as an influence on that generation.  It was the most important philosophical, political, and moral trend of the 18th century.  However, The Enlightenment was, in fact, a natural outgrowth of the Protestant Reformation - primarily to the Lutheran rather than the Calvinistic half of it.  Luther said in his testimony to the Imperial Diet at Worms "It is dangerous indeed to force a man to act against his conscience."  The idea that every man was individually accountable to God, and that the State should not force religious behavior on its subjects, is a key Enlightenment concept developed from Luther's early teachings.
   Now, the Treaty that you cite, Flick, has often been quoted by those who want to downplay the influence of Christianity on our Founders and what type of nation that they intended to create.  However, as I understand it - and please accept that it's been awhile since I read the book, and my memory may be flawed here, but I really don't think so - that was an EARLY DRAFT of a proposed treaty that Adams actually REFUSED to sign.  I know that Barton devoted about half a chapter to that quote alone in his book; it's just been a long time since I read it.
  Jefferson was indeed a Deist who was pretty hostile to early Christianity, and frankly, considering the time that he spent in France, where the church had been utterly corrupted by politics, that distaste is pretty understandable.  However, Jefferson's biggest single influence in writing the Declaration of Independence was, by his own admission, John Locke.  Locke was noted Christian thinker and writer as well as a political philosopher.  The man who Jefferson said was his most influential teacher in college was Rev. Roger (?) Witherspoon (I don't have the book in  front of me, but I'm pretty sure I got the first name right).  This man was a devout and evangelical Christian, whose writings on the faith were famous.  And even though Jefferson rejected the Deity of Christ, he regarded Jesus of Nazareth as the greatest moral philosopher who ever lived, and even served at one point as the President of the American Bible Society.
  As far as the Revolution being contrary to the teachings of Christianity - it is very true that the Bible does encourage Christians to be good and obedient Christians.   That would seem to rule out revolutions altogether.  However, many of the leaders of the Revolution were clergymen - some even abandoned their pulpits to pick up a musket and fight for the cause.  The passage of Scripture that was thundered from pulpits north and south to rally Americans for Independence was Galatians 5:1 - "It was for freedom that Christ set us free, therefore stand as free men and no longer be subject to the yoke of slavery."  Especially in the Northern States, the Revolution, at the local level, was led from the pulpit in many cases.  In addition to "No Taxation Without Representation" and "Join or Die," one of the slogans that was carried on banners during those years was "No King But King Jesus."  That one has been left out of many history books, but it is documented.

  Why did the American Revolution produce a stable Republic while the French Revolution produced only a bloodbath, a dictatorship, and then a restored monarchy?  After all, both Revolutions were based on the same ideals, and indeed on some of the same writings.  There have been many books written on the topic, but to my mind, none has answered the question half so well as this: The American Revolution was led by many deeply religious men, and advised and counseled by Protestant clergy.  I think that the powerful influence of Christianity helped restrain the worst impulses of human nature during our founding conflict, and helped create the stability that followed.  Alexis de Tocqueville, writing about America some 60 years later, also commented on the powerful influence of Christianity on public behavior.  The French Revolution was not led from the pulpit, but AGAINST it - one of the acts of the Jacobins was a national ban on the Christian faith, and an attempt to install the worship of reason as a national religion.  Trying to establish the brotherhood of man without acknowledging the Fatherhood of God was a recipe for disaster, something that Hamilton recognized and Jefferson never did.

  I hope this response isn't too long and rambling.  I am not trying to come across as an idealogue, but I have put a LOT of research into the Founding generation, and this is a favorite subject of mine. If we continue the conversation, I'll need to bring a couple of my sources home from work so I can cite them more specifically.  Thanks for everyone's patience with my longwinded musings on this subject!

... I hope this response isn't too long and rambling.
It is. 

JEFFERSON was also very hard on JOHN ADAMS, whose reputation may never recover despite his enormous contributions to World liberty and jurisprudence.
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« Reply #38 on: January 06, 2012, 10:33:00 PM »

That is true, but Adams could and did bring a lot of problems on himself . . . he was a bit too prickly, too use a Southern expression.

My one-line summation of John Adams is that he was an easy man to admire, but a hard man to like.

But hey!  Jeffferson doesn't have his own HBO miniseries, either! LOL

(See, just for you, AHD, a BRIEF response!)
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« Reply #39 on: January 06, 2012, 11:00:12 PM »

There is very little difference between bachman and rick Santorum. I dislike both of their foreign policy immensely but basically she happened to peak earlier than he did.
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« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2012, 10:38:00 AM »

Indy,

I'm familiar with David Barton. As a deeply religious Christian man, his so-called exhaustive research into the "forgotten" history of the United States is naturally exhausted toward one end: to establish the founders as framing a Christian nation. I would have to research the claim of Adams refusing to sign a draft that included the line we're talking about. I haven't turned up anything but that the English version certainly contained Article 11, and that was the version that Adams signed. Is it Barton's claim that Adams refused to sign it? Whether that is correct or not, I would certainly question the objectivity of his research.

The religious right would insist that we were founded as a Christian nation and have moved away from it. It's not exactly like Protestantism wasn't predominant amongst the Constitutional Convention. Certainly it was. This is a circumstantial correlary that does not establish a Christian nation intent, as Protestant Christian faith was the predominant religion of the day. While some among the framers would certainly have welcomed Christian reference in the Constitution, there is a reason why it is not there. I also don't understand why the religious right insist that the appearance of the word "Creator" in the Declaration of Independence is proof of the religious intent of the founders. If it were, then why didn't it say "God" instead of "Creator?" The language reflects an undeniable influence of deism and in no way suggests an intent of a Christian nation.

But in the end the Christians won. I've come to terms with that. The religious right in the U.S. like to paint a picture that the founders set out to create a Protestant Christian nation founded on Christian principles, and that we have slipped away from that. No, the founders tried to create a nation founded on self governance and freedom from tyranny. The Christian moral majority have shoehorned a Christian intent into the fabric. I continue to say that, had the founder intended a Christian nation founded on Protestant Christian principles, this would have shown in the Constitution. I have yet to hear anything about how the principles of the Bible are reflected in the Constitution. I continue to say that the Constitution has little in common with the principles of the Bible, and certainly no resemblance to the practices of the early Christians.

Indy, I know I'm giving you a hard time. That you have referenced the work of David Barton paints a picture that you predominantly read historical interpreters that have a Christian agenda. I don't want to make this assumption, as you may very well have a more well-rounded reading regimen. However, your assertions suggest that your historical perspective is shaded heavily by work of that ilk.
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« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2012, 05:15:06 PM »

That is true, but Adams could and did bring a lot of problems on himself . . . he was a bit too prickly, too use a Southern expression.

My one-line summation of John Adams is that he was an easy man to admire, but a hard man to like.

But hey!  Jeffferson doesn't have his own HBO miniseries, either! LOL...
But ADAMS does not yet have a national memorial (it's coming...)
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« Reply #42 on: January 07, 2012, 08:28:06 PM »

    I guess I did give that impression, Flick.  However, I have read virtually every biography and history of the founding era that I can get my hands on, including works by David McCullough, Joseph Ellis, Willard Sterne Randall, and Donald Charnow just to name a few. 
    Your question about the Constitution is legitimate, so let me frame it this way:  one of the great Biblical principles that the Protestant Reformation - on the Lutheran side, at least - rediscovered is the idea that every single man is individually accountable before God for his actions, and for his own salvation.  The church cannot save him, his family cannot save him, and no member of the clergy can save him.  Therefore, spiritually, self-determination is what ultimately decides the day.  "God is no respecter of persons," as St. Peter declared.  SO if all men are equal in the eyes of God, and equally accountable for obeying God's laws, therefore all men should be equal before the law, and in each other's eyes.
     NEVER BEFORE IN HISTORY is a book that covers this whole idea in a great amount of detail, with extensive research.  Unfortunately I loaned my copy out and did not get it back, so I'm having to fly by memory.  However, it did trace some very important Constitutional doctrines - most specifically separation of powers - back to Scripture.  I wish I still had the book.
    I won't say Barton is not slanted, however, I will say that his research is impressive.  I do agree with you that the founders had no intention of creating a Christian theocracy, and that they obviously intended for there to be a degree of separation between Church and State - as much for the protection of the Church as that of the State, given how corrupt state-sponsored churches generally became!  But I do think our founders would be shocked and horrified at the outright hostility that today's courts have towards almost every form of public religious expression.  There has been at least one case where a High School senior (I think this was in California) was told that if he so much as mentioned the name of Jesus Christ in his Valedictory address, that a Federal Marshal would arrest him on the spot and cart him off to jail, and that he would not be allowed to graduate!  Was that an isolated incident?  In its extent, perhaps, but not in its tone.  All too often, the rulings of the Court since the 1960's have, in the words of Chief Justice William Renquist, "bristled with hostility towards all things religious."  Is there any wonder that Christians sometimes feel persecuted?
    And, as far as the concept that we have somehow fallen away from our Christian roots, Alexis de Tocqueville, touring American in 1832, said that he had seen no nation on earth where marriage vows were more universally kept, and where the Christian religion was so widely and sincerely practiced.  Would anyone touring America today say such a thing?  The Founders may not have intended to create a "Christian nation" in the legal since of the term, but they certainly did create a government designed for a nation of Christians!  Both John Adams and the Father of the Constitution, James Madison, made remarks to that effect.
  This is an absolutely fascinating discussion, BTW!
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« Reply #43 on: January 07, 2012, 09:03:19 PM »

Right.  I was going to post (and now I am  Twirling ) that it's a far cry from what Jefferson PROBABLY meant in his letter to Danbury Baptist than what we have now.

Jefferson was responding to the concern that church had that they were being edged out...by ANOTHER state sponsored church.  Jefferson sought to allay that concern by saying that the government cannot do that under its own Constitution.

Nowadays, Jefferson would likely have to respond, "I cannot comment on any church related matter."

Separation in 1802 was not like we mean it after the 1947 Court decision...Jefferson's context was separation only of legal INFLUENCE of one over the other.

Sorry, Flick if you disagree with this, but the social and cultural context of Jefferson's statement in 1802 is VERY, VERY different than what that statement is taken to mean today.  Telling someone that the Federal Government is NOT secretly implementing a State-Mandated Church is a far cry from telling school children that they cannot give a corporate prayer before a football game or wish each other "Merry Christmas."

Again...read the language of the Congressional Transcript regarding the very adoption of the First Amendment by the First Congress.  It might help answer the question you posed on the first page of this thread.  Until you've read that, I doubt I can address any further why it is "we" insist that the Christian influence was very real and very clear to those adopting the Amendment you seem to claim had NO basis in Christian identity.

And keep in mind that at least one Congressman at that first Congress did not even want the consideration of ANY amendments on the table at that time.  He saw no need, that the Constitution was, until tested, fine as written.  He did not believe these missing liberties de facto existed.
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« Reply #44 on: January 08, 2012, 12:12:21 AM »

You REALLY need to be right, doncha?   Wink Twirling
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