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View Poll Results: In your opinion, would the primary/central founding fathers of the US be:

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  • Dismayed by our current bias toward religion in the states

    11 57.89%
  • Delighted by our current bias toward religion in the states

    5 26.32%
  • Indifferent to our current bias toward religion in the states

    3 15.79%
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Thread: The Christian Nation Myth

  1. #1 The Christian Nation Myth 
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    What do you think?

    Would our founding fathers have a snowball's chance in a fiery inferno to get elected to office today (let alone into a position to create the government itself) given many of their views on religion? Have we wandered disturbingly far away from what they desired for our people, or is this exactly what you think they envisioned for us?

    I would be curious to hear the thoughts of others on these ideas.



    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...treaty-tripoli
    On 3 January 1797, 214 years ago, Joel Barlow, an American poet pressed into service as the US consul-general in Algiers, drafted and signed the treaty of Tripoli. Its article 11 states: "The government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." In 1797, to those who had drafted and signed the declaration of independence and the constitution, it seemed a statement of plain truth. American newspapers reprinted the treaty of Tripoli without igniting public debate. The US Senate approved it unanimously and without discussion. President John Adams signed it without comment.

    <...>

    Barlow thought that a religion or "mode of worship" granted "any preference in the eye of the law" was incompatible with "equal rights". Therein lay the force and the fury that drove the first generation of American secularists. Religion, they insisted, was responsible for inequality. The moment any member of a society is granted "familiar intercourse with God, you launch him into a region of infinities and invisibilities", which alone could obscure the natural equality and brotherhood of all men. The creation of a clerical class, the "giving to one class of men the attributes of God", was the very inception, the root and branch, of inequality. Abolish all legal privileges for religion, Barlow wrote, and you will then begin "to tear the bandage from the eyes of mankind, to break the charm of inequality".

    In support of my contention that the assertion of the US being a "Christian Nation" is a myth unsupported by fact, I present the below.
    Note: The below is supplemental to, not central to the intended discussion.


    The Christian Nation Myth
    The primary leaders of the so-called founding fathers of our nation were not Bible-believing Christians; they were deists. Deism was a philosophical belief that was widely accepted by the colonial intelligentsia at the time of the American Revolution. Its major tenets included belief in human reason as a reliable means of solving social and political problems and belief in a supreme deity who created the universe to operate solely by natural laws. The supreme God of the Deists removed himself entirely from the universe after creating it. They believed that he assumed no control over it, exerted no influence on natural phenomena, and gave no supernatural revelation to man. A necessary consequence of these beliefs was a rejection of many doctrines central to the Christian religion. Deists did not believe in the virgin birth, divinity, or resurrection of Jesus, the efficacy of prayer, the miracles of the Bible, or even the divine inspiration of the Bible.

    These beliefs were forcefully articulated by Thomas Paine in Age of Reason, a book that so outraged his contemporaries that he died rejected and despised by the nation that had once revered him as "the father of the American Revolution." To this day, many mistakenly consider him an atheist, even though he was an out spoken defender of the Deistic view of God. Other important founding fathers who espoused Deism were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Ethan Allen, James Madison, and James Monroe.

    Fundamentalist Christians are currently working overtime to convince the American public that the founding fathers intended to establish this country on "biblical principles," but history simply does not support their view. The men mentioned above and others who were instrumental in the founding of our nation were in no sense Bible-believing Christians. Thomas Jefferson, in fact, was fiercely anti-cleric.

    The founding Fathers' Religious Wisdom
    In recent years, we have been told by a variety of conservatives that America’s founding fathers established the country under Christian doctrine—that we are a “Christian nation” and should operate accordingly.

    This notion—that our country’s roots are explicitly Christian—is both foolish and wrong, for it devalues the Christian faith and disrespects the genius of the founding fathers.
    <...>
    The genius of the founding fathers is they understood that Christianity could not only stand on its own but would thrive without being written into the laws and founding documents of the country. In fact, it was likely their own “faith” that led them to this conclusion. Many of the founding fathers—Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison and Monroe—practiced a faith called Deism. Deism is a philosophical belief in human reason as a reliable means of solving social and political problems. Deists believe in a supreme being who created the universe to operate solely by natural laws—and after creation, is absent from the world. This belief in reason over dogma helped guide the founders toward a system of government that respected faiths like Christianity, while purposely isolating both from encroaching on one another so as not to dilute the overall purpose and objectives of either.

    If the founders were dogmatic about anything, it was the belief that a person’s faith should not be intruded upon by government and that religious doctrine should not be written into governance.

    Dispatches from the Culture Wars: The Definition of Theistic Rationalism
    Since all of the religions with which they were familiar promoted morality, they held that virtually all religions were more or less equally valid and led to the same God who is called by many names. Theistic rationalists generally disdained doctrines or dogmas. They found them to be divisive, speculative, and ultimately unimportant since many roads lead to God.
    This is an excellent description of the views of the leading founders - Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Franklin. In a new paper, Frazer argues that Gouverneur Morris, one of the most unjustly ignored of the founding fathers, also fits that description.

    The problem here is that most people have attempted to fit the founders into one of two categories, Christian or deist. But as Frazer notes, deism in that day and age was much more hostile toward Christianity than these men were:

    (Page 1 of 30) - Gouverneur Morris, Theistic Rationalist authored by Frazer, Gregg.
    In addition, deism was in many ways as much a critique of Christianity as a religion of its own. Deist thought rejected virtually every tenet and fundamental of Christianity and deists were generally critical of Christianity's central figure: Jesus. In short, deists wanted nothing to do with Christianity or its Christ. While theistic rationalists shared some ideas with deists, they had a much greater regard for Christianity and for Jesus than did most deists.
    Thus we could have Thomas Jefferson reject the notion that Jesus was anything but a mere human being while simultaneously embracing the ethical system of Jesus as the most perfect and sublime ever invented. And thus many of these men could talk of the many corruptions and lies in orthodox Christianity while simultaneously praising other aspects of that religion and believing that it was generally a good thing because it made people more moral.


    This site below shares numerous quotes from these thinkers which leave no doubt as to their religious leanings. The author ends his article (which I advice you review for yourself) with the comment:

    Religion and the founding Fathers
    With just these examples, you have the facts necessary to rebut any fundamentalist who proclaim this to be a Christian nation "just as the founding fathers desired".

    And, finally... More here: http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/..._founders.html



    Again though... In your opinion, is the US aligned with or acting in direct opposition to the desires of the founders?


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    I can't vote based on the three options you provide. The Founders clearly were not all Christians and did not set out to found a Christian country. The purpose of the First Amendment was to ensure that, unlike Britain, the church would not become an integral part of the government, but also that religions of many demoninations could flourish without the state showing preference for one denomination as it did in Britain. So I think the Founders would be happy that there is a mutiplicity of faiths and denominations among which believers are free to choose, or to choose none. I think they would be revolted by the hypocrisy of many religious leaders and politicians but that is not one of the choices you offered.


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    What do you mean by "our current bias toward religion in the states?"
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    I agree with Harold. there may certainly be a bias towards religion in some political spheres, but in other groups there is a bias against it. in my opinion what the founders would be dismayed with is that religion is involved in politics at all. and considering the popularity of the tea party movement and the swing towards conservatism that america is taking... again, I would say that men just like the founders would not be elected, if they came back from the grave then conservatives may well embrace them and worship them, i know Beck does.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    What do you mean by "our current bias toward religion in the states?"
    It means different things. What does it mean to you? If you're unwilling to share, that's cool... Maybe instead share what you think it may mean to me. Maybe you can focus on the question of whether or not a founder would be electable today, or whether our current state is inline or non-aligned with the intent underlying their thinking. I'm just tossing out ideas. You bring a viewpoint to the table that I want to hear.





    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    in my opinion what the founders would be dismayed with is that religion is involved in politics at all. and considering the popularity of the tea party movement and the swing towards conservatism that america is taking... again, I would say that men just like the founders would not be elected
    Thanks for sharing that. It's a perspective shared by many. I wonder if that bothers you, or just how that makes you (or anyone else) feel in general.
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    Long ago I vowed not to get involved with Atheist, trying to rewrite American History or try to understand why. The only point I'll add to your thread inow, is that regardless how you judge the founders, their motivation or the results, they represented an extremely religious population with no less diversity in their beliefs as has existed in the US through its History and remains so today.

    Even if in ten years or a thousand and the US somehow holds together, 90% of the population has turned against their basic values, all based on some religious base, changing what was in those days, simply to fit the current perception of acceptable, would IMO be disingenuous.

    Aside from that and to the real point of my feelings; Many people, for many reasons have a need to believe in a higher power than themselves. While in your particular case, that no doubt means Government, it's not acceptable to most nor should even Government attempt to replace the strength of any individual.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    [...the founding fathers] represented an extremely religious population with no less diversity in their beliefs as has existed in the US through its History and remains so today.
    I completely agree.



    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    Aside from that and to the real point of my feelings; Many people, for many reasons have a need to believe in a higher power than themselves. While in your particular case, that no doubt means Government
    I'm not sure I follow your point. Are you suggesting that we all "believe in a power higher than ourselves," and that in my case I believe in the higher power of government? Can you elaborate?


    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    it's not acceptable to most nor should even Government attempt to replace the strength of any individual.
    I'm not sure where you believe anyone is suggesting otherwise.


    Btw - It's nice to see you in the thread, Jackson. Happy new year, my good man. I hope poker has been kind to you. :-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    in my opinion what the founders would be dismayed with is that religion is involved in politics at all. and considering the popularity of the tea party movement and the swing towards conservatism that america is taking... again, I would say that men just like the founders would not be elected
    Thanks for sharing that. It's a perspective shared by many. I wonder if that bothers you, or just how that makes you (or anyone else) feel in general.
    It doesn't bother me, at least not in the usual sense of the word. It does sadden me that people would chose someone who blindly follows a certain dogma rather than someone with a proven record and experience in governing. It also worries me that this nation has strayed so far from the vision the founders had for it, not because their decision should be upheld on the basis that they helped write our constitution but on the basis that they were intellegent men who knew how the government should actually run.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    What do you mean by "our current bias toward religion in the states?"
    It means different things. What does it mean to you? If you're unwilling to share, that's cool... Maybe instead share what you think it may mean to me. Maybe you can focus on the question of whether or not a founder would be electable today, or whether our current state is inline or non-aligned with the intent underlying their thinking. I'm just tossing out ideas. You bring a viewpoint to the table that I want to hear.
    It's hard to answer the poll question if one does not accept the premise that there is a bias toward religion.

    I think that the intent of the founders regarding religion can best be determined from what they put into the first amendment to the Constitution: "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."

    I think they would be surprised that the amendment is applied to the states at all. In fact it didn't, until the 14th Amendment and subsequent supreme court decisions beginning in the 1890s.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorpo...Bill_of_Rights
    They would also be surprised at the extent and scope of the federal government which they viewed, and designed, as having very limited powers. I think many of the conflicts we have about religion arise because the government is going beyond what the founders envisioned. For example, if the federal government was not funding medical research, there wouldn't be an argument about stem cell research.

    I think a Deist could easily be elected today. After all, Obama was elected. While he does profess to be a Christian, I doubt that the majority actually think he is.



    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    in my opinion what the founders would be dismayed with is that religion is involved in politics at all. and considering the popularity of the tea party movement and the swing towards conservatism that america is taking... again, I would say that men just like the founders would not be elected
    Thanks for sharing that. It's a perspective shared by many. I wonder if that bothers you, or just how that makes you (or anyone else) feel in general.
    First of all, the tea party has nothing to do with religion. It is about taxes, and it is entirely possible for an atheist to favor tea party ideas. In fact, I will stipulate that there are atheist tea party supporters.

    When you complain that religion is involved in politics, I think you are objecting to religious people being involved in politics. If not, then what is it? That's bigoted. People vote based on their moral values, whether they ascribe their values to a religion or not. What makes your moral values more legitimate in politics than a religious person's moral values?
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    Well, given the high possibility that they didn't even believe in the Christian's Jesus character, I seriously doubt they'll be overwhelmed with sheer joy when they see how christian of a nation we became.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370

    When you complain that religion is involved in politics, I think you are objecting to religious people being involved in politics. If not, then what is it? That's bigoted. People vote based on their moral values, whether they ascribe their values to a religion or not. What makes your moral values more legitimate in politics than a religious person's moral values?
    Religion is a valid concern though, I might be willing to vote for a Muslim candidate, but I'd be less willing to vote for a Muslim candidate who also supported Sharia Law. Likewise, I have voted for any number of Christians, but I'd be hesitant to vote for an Evangelical Protestant that was against evolution being taught in schools.

    It goes both ways too, I'd have to look it up, but in a Fox News poll, atheist were the group most respondents were least likely to support for election.
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    I might be willing to vote for a Muslim candidate
    How about converting to Islam?

    http://www.reuters.com/news/video?vi...02&videoId=747
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    Quote Originally Posted by simus
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    I might be willing to vote for a Muslim candidate
    How about converting to Islam?

    http://www.reuters.com/news/video?vi...02&videoId=747
    I don't get why that's relevant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    I'd have to look it up, but in a Fox News poll, atheist were the group most respondents were least likely to support for election.
    Worse. It wasn't even Faux News, but the NY Times, based on a Pew Research Center study:







    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/22/we...iew/22luo.html

    Although the Constitution bars any religious test for office, if polls are to be believed, Mr. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, faces a serious obstacle to winning the presidency because of his faith. Surveys show a substantial percentage of Americans would be less likely to vote for a Mormon, or for that matter a Muslim or an atheist. But how rigid is that sentiment?

    The answer, of course, is complicated. Historical precedent and other polling information offer clues that many voters are willing to make at least certain concessions when it comes to a candidate’s religious observance when they pull the curtain behind them in the voting booth.

    But could voters accept a president who believes in the Book of Mormon? What about one who believes in the Old Testament but not the New? Or one who venerates Muhammad, or Buddha?

    There does seem to be at least one bottom line for many voters: belief in God.

    “This is a deeply religious nation by many standards,” said Mark Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University. “They want their leaders to be believers. They want them to believe in something higher, to have a moral framework as they lead the country.”

    Indeed, the religion test imposed by voters has evolved over the years, said John C. Green, a senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
    Polls in recent years have shown a clear shift in religious considerations. The vast majority of Americans at this point, said Mr. Green, care less about sectarian affiliation, at least among members of faiths that are now perceived to be part of the American mainstream — Protestants, Catholics and most recently Jews — and more generally about whether the candidate believes in God and how that lends itself to a moral framework.

    A national telephone survey released earlier this year by the Pew Research Center asked which traits, including being black, a woman, a Mormon, a Muslim, or a homosexual, would help or hurt a candidate the most. The worst trait for a candidate to possess? “Doesn’t believe in God.”
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    I suppose I should shelf my political aspirations since I satisfy 4 out of the 10 least popular categories.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Vegan Marxist
    Well, given the high possibility that they didn't even believe in the Christian's Jesus character, I seriously doubt they'll be overwhelmed with sheer joy when they see how christian of a nation we became.
    This doesn't make any sense, given that we have become a less Christian nation since the nation was founded.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by The Vegan Marxist
    Well, given the high possibility that they didn't even believe in the Christian's Jesus character, I seriously doubt they'll be overwhelmed with sheer joy when they see how christian of a nation we became.
    This doesn't make any sense, given that we have become a less Christian nation since the nation was founded.
    This is an interesting thought. I wonder if you have any numbers? I don't distrust the accuracy of your point, but would like to read more about it.

    Also, I'm not sure the religious predilections of the nation as a whole are really all that relevant. I am speaking specifically of those who wrote our founding documents. After all, we're not a direct democracy, but instead a constitutional republic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    First of all, the tea party has nothing to do with religion. It is about taxes, and it is entirely possible for an atheist to favor tea party ideas.
    But even you can't deny there's a very strong fundamentalist Christian streak.
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    The church has indeed influenced the government and culture through its involvement in such historical events as the American Revolution, the abolition of slavery and the Civil Rights movement. Little’s outspokenness would have been expected following the Revolution.

    “After the Constitution’s adoption, pastors called presidential candidates by name and used the Bible as the basis for voting or not voting for a particular candidate,” Barton said, noting that 27 of the Constitution’s signers held seminary degrees. Many ministers and theologians attended the Constitutional Convention. They also served as civic leaders, and in Congress and state legislatures.
    http://www.cwfa.org/familyvoice/2001-11/20-24.asp




    Did you know that 52 of the 55 signers of The Declaration of Independence were orthodox, deeply committed Christians? The other three all believed in the Bible as the divine truth, the God of scripture, and His personal intervention.
    http://www.johnnyleeclary.com/forsaken_roots.htm



    I completely agree.
    inow, if you agree the Societies within the 13 original Colonies or later Nation States were religious, then you should obviously believe the above evaluations, they elected/chose those people to represent them....However you have titled your thread 'The Christian Nation Myth", followed by the comment...

    "In support of my contention that the assertion of the US being a "Christian Nation" is a myth unsupported by fact.
    both saying you in fact disagree.

    We could go back and forth with hundreds of religious or atheistic viewpoints of today's society and their interpretations, however IMO, based on the Declaration of Independence and accepting the Constitution's intent not to Govern under any ONE religion, a secular Constitution evolved. It did NOT come from non-believers, Atheist or any other source than the idea man should decide for him/herself. Unalienable or a right not possible to transfer.(in their vision, came from a God).

    I'm not sure I follow your point. Are you suggesting that we all "believe in a power higher than ourselves," and that in my case I believe in the higher power of government? Can you elaborate?
    As I said "MANY" people and more likely most all people have a need to believe all that is, has come from a source and everyone hopes this life is NOT the end of our existence, whether admittedly or not. Government(s) is a natural source for worldly needs and religion can substitute for both Government and afterlife wishes.

    On this, knowing you understand I don't accept any religion as practiced or preached today (not sure of ALL the older versions, where today's came from), I'm not going to tell any person what I FEEL they should believe in. I have consoled many in death and those that have survived them and found doing so under their beliefs very comforting for them.

    - It's nice to see you in the thread, Jackson. Happy new year, my good man. I hope poker has been kind to you.
    Rewriting History is a real pet peeve of mine, any direction. I sincerely believe what was established over years, leading to the Constitution itself has created a much better world and understanding those principles, will help in maintaining some sense of International stability.

    Well, I rarely play poker these days or in fact post on forums. Most my time is back to playing with my little "stock portfolio". Since the Congressional House looked like it would transfer back to the Republican, giving SOME sense of confidence to that nasty "private sector", I've done pretty well. If I live much longer I'll need it to cover inflation (5T$ Deficit added under 4 years of Polosi leadership in the House) or if I don't live much longer, my kids will need a little boost, most are nearing retirement themselves. Yes, HNY to yourself and your's....
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    Did you know that 52 of the 55 signers of The Declaration of Independence were orthodox, deeply committed Christians? The other three all believed in the Bible as the divine truth, the God of scripture, and His personal intervention.
    http://www.johnnyleeclary.com/forsaken_roots.htm
    Pretty much a bold faced revisionist lie peddled by fundamentalist Christians.

    Many of them expressed doubt or explicitely followed religions that denied the divinity of Jesus--making them by definition by-no-means "deeply committed Christians. They include just to name a few Ben Franklin, Jefferson, John Adams • Samuel Adams. And there were a few Quaker in there which had a rather complex view of Jesus outside of most Christianity as well which was defended against Christians by prominent quakers such as William Penn.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    First of all, the tea party has nothing to do with religion. It is about taxes, and it is entirely possible for an atheist to favor tea party ideas.
    But even you can't deny there's a very strong fundamentalist Christian streak.
    Sure I can. If atheist tend to be liberals, and if liberals tend to support the Obama health care law, does that mean that the health care law is atheist?
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by The Vegan Marxist
    Well, given the high possibility that they didn't even believe in the Christian's Jesus character, I seriously doubt they'll be overwhelmed with sheer joy when they see how christian of a nation we became.
    This doesn't make any sense, given that we have become a less Christian nation since the nation was founded.
    This is an interesting thought. I wonder if you have any numbers? I don't distrust the accuracy of your point, but would like to read more about it.
    There isn't any census data, but the survey data here indicates a significant decline in the major Christian denominations since 1990.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religio...#ARIS_findings
    I think this can probably be extrapolated pretty far back.
    My statement was mostly based on a general impression of what I have read about and what was written by people of that era. It seems to me that religion played a much greater role in their lives than it does today.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    inow, if you agree the Societies within the 13 original Colonies or later Nation States were religious, then you should obviously believe the above evaluations, they elected/chose those people to represent them....However you have titled your thread 'The Christian Nation Myth"
    So, to clarify, I don't discount that many (even most) inhabitants of the US were religious people. I also concede that many of those in office were themselves religious men. That's not under debate.

    The question is more specific on two fronts:

    1) Being religious is not equivalent to being Christian. Many of those men were deist, specifically those who were central to the composition of our founding documents and laws, and those who were not deist often practiced some other non-christian form of religion. Much of their practice was very caustic toward christianity. Your argument is that they were religious men, so my central premise stands. Religion is not automatically equal to christian.

    2) The laws themselves were written in a manner whereby no specific religion should be favored or protected, that all were equal, including non-belief itself, and for this additional reason the suggestion that we are a "christian nation" fails on another front.

    I accept that many people, including founders, were religious men. What I challenge is the assertion that Christianity was the dominant force, or that religion should play such a dominant role in our politics today. I also am suggesting that many of our founders would be potentially disheartened to see our representatives having to pass such a religious tests, or having to feign extreme piety and reverence (atheists lowest electable group) before being successfully elected to office.







    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    My statement was mostly based on a general impression of what I have read about and what was written by people of that era. It seems to me that religion played a much greater role in their lives than it does today.
    This was certainly true in the mid-20th century, but the role of religion in people's lives has varied greatly through the centuries in the US. Some periods were more intense than others, and the role of religion has both risen and fallen at many times.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History...teenth_century

    By 1780 the percentage of adult colonists who adhered to a church was between 10-30%, not counting slaves or Native Americans. North Carolina had the lowest percentage at about 4%, while New Hampshire and South Carolina were tied for the highest, at about 16%

    What we see is actually a large scale increase in religious practice through the years, at least using the founding period as our baseline. A lot more information is available at the links for the second and third and fourth great awakening in the US:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Great_Awakening
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Great_Awakening
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Great_Awakening


    From what I can tell, you seem to begin your history (at least given the comments in the post above) as if the fourth great awakening is representative of what has always existed in the US, and that's not really accurate (although, I could be slightly misunderstanding the assumption you put forth... I don't think I am, though, since you have data from 1990 and extrapolate back more than two hundred years as if it's constant).
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow

    By 1780 the percentage of adult colonists who adhered to a church was between 10-30%, not counting slaves or Native Americans. North Carolina had the lowest percentage at about 4%, while New Hampshire and South Carolina were tied for the highest, at about 16%

    What we see is actually a large scale increase in religious practice through the years, at least using the founding period as our baseline. A lot more information is available at the links for the second and third and fourth great awakening in the US:
    Here is a source that says half to 3/4 of colonists attended church regularly in 1700. This was before the first great awakening in the 1730s and 1740s.
    http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb..../churches.html
    There's been an interesting change regarding church membership during American church history. Colonial church membership was relatively low--rarely higher than a third of adult New Englanders and as low as five percent of adults in the South. Yet there was a relatively regular participation during the colonial period in religious activities and rather high church attendance. A study of diaries, missionary reports sent back to England, and other fragmentary evidence suggests that in 1700 as many as half to three-fourths of the colonists attended some kind of religious service with some regularity.
    It seems that church attendance was mandatory in 18th century Virginia.
    http://score.rims.k12.ca.us/score_le.../colonial.html
    Virginians were required to attend their parish church at least once per month. In Williamsburg the parish church was Bruton Parish Church, which was Anglican. Failure to obey this law without a reasonable excuse was punishable by a fine of 5 shillings [English coins], 50 pounds of tobacco, or a whipping of ten lashes. Non Anglican Protestants had to go to the county court to be legally declared a dissenter to avoid church fines. This excused them from church attendance, but not from their duty to pay the annual parish tax.
    http://www.suite101.com/content/colo...erance-a150385
    Although many of the early American colonies are associated with religious freedom and the desire to flee European persecution, religious toleration within the colonies was anything but the norm. Weekly church attendance was mandatory: In the more egalitarian Virginia, an offender missing three consecutive Sundays in church could be put to death in the early days of the colony.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    It seems that church attendance was mandatory in 18th century Virginia.
    http://score.rims.k12.ca.us/score_le.../colonial.html
    Virginians were required to attend their parish church at least once per month. In Williamsburg the parish church was Bruton Parish Church, which was Anglican. Failure to obey this law without a reasonable excuse was punishable by a fine of 5 shillings [English coins], 50 pounds of tobacco, or a whipping of ten lashes. Non Anglican Protestants had to go to the county court to be legally declared a dissenter to avoid church fines. This excused them from church attendance, but not from their duty to pay the annual parish tax.
    Yes, and this was BEFORE our founding documents were in place, and partially the CAUSE of the calls for stripping religion from government and for greater tolerance which is legally protected.



    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    http://www.suite101.com/content/colonial-religion-and-intolerance-a150385
    Although many of the early American colonies are associated with religious freedom and the desire to flee European persecution, religious toleration within the colonies was anything but the norm. Weekly church attendance was mandatory: In the more egalitarian Virginia, an offender missing three consecutive Sundays in church could be put to death in the early days of the colony.
    TBH - I was never really questioning religiosity in the US. It's a tangential discussion, and while interesting, not related to my central claim. As stated above, I never called into question religiosity in the US, and simply suggested that it has always risen and fallen through time.

    With that said, the religiosity of the populace is not particularly relevant here, either. We're talking about our core founding fathers, those central to the drafting of our governing documents and philosophy, and what they might feel if they saw how prominent a role religion plays today in the election of our representatives.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    First of all, the tea party has nothing to do with religion. It is about taxes, and it is entirely possible for an atheist to favor tea party ideas.
    But even you can't deny there's a very strong fundamentalist Christian streak.
    Sure I can. If atheist tend to be liberals, and if liberals tend to support the Obama health care law, does that mean that the health care law is atheist?
    Do you really want to examine the religiosity of the tea party candidates from the past election? The root of their party and political leadership is white fundamentalist Christians. And it's not only taxes, it's a return to what they paint as the original strict view of the Constitution and what they see as the role of Christianity in the early government. The first of which is largely ridiculous because many of the Constitutional issues of today were not issues at all two centuries ago and therefore the founders were mute. The 2nd of which that is mostly not understanding the difference between being a nation of mostly Christians and a Christian nation, the difference for which the founders were very much aware of.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    TBH - I was never really questioning religiosity in the US. It's a tangential discussion, and while interesting, not related to my central claim. As stated above, I never called into question religiosity in the US, and simply suggested that it has always risen and fallen through time.
    True, it was someone else who claimed that the US has "become" Christian.
    With that said, the religiosity of the populace is not particularly relevant here, either. We're talking about our core founding fathers, those central to the drafting of our governing documents and philosophy, and what they might feel if they saw how prominent a role religion plays today in the election of our representatives.
    I am struggling to understand what you find objectionable, or think the founders would find objectionable. The founders knew, or should have known, that people would vote for representatives who agree with themselves on moral issues. That's why they included safeguards for the rights of the minority.

    Occasionally one will hear that morality cannot be or should not be legislated. That's dumb. Legislation is all about moral values. We make laws about murder, for example, because most people find murder morally objectionable.

    Now suppose a person has a moral objection to abortion, thinking it is similar to or equivalent to murder. They may have arrived at this position based on the teachings of their religious leaders. Or maybe it is an atheist who arrives at the same moral position. Does that really matter? Is one a more acceptable way at arriving at a moral position than the other? Should the religious person abstain from voting, or what?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    The first of which is largely ridiculous because many of the Constitutional issues of today were not issues at all two centuries ago and therefore the founders were mute.
    Incorrect. The founders were not mute. They wrote a Constitution with certain enumerated powers for the federal government. They added the tenth amendment, so that people would understand that the powers were limited to those enumerated powers. Of course, people still refuse to understand it. They also included a method of amending the Constitution in case changes were needed to address the future issues.

    I take this very seriously. The country is defined by the Constitution. If we cannot abide by the provisions of the Constitution, then we don't have a country at all.

    Notice that I have not invoked the Bible in any of the above discussion. I think you want to tie it to fundamentalist Christians, just so you can dismiss it as superstitious nonsense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    I am struggling to understand what you find objectionable, or think the founders would find objectionable. The founders knew, or should have known, that people would vote for representatives who agree with themselves on moral issues. That's why they included safeguards for the rights of the minority.
    Your question is quite fair, and so too is your point. You see having religious representatives seeking to impart religious ideals into the country as the will of the nation, and have framed what is happening in present times simply as the nation's will being carried out through the electoral process. There is a lot of merit in that position, and you've expressed it well.

    Since you asked, and please note this is just my opinion, one thing I find objectionable is that people vote for those who claim to agree with them on moral issues. First, those claims are (I'd venture to guess) very often untrue, and are generally mere pandering. Second, morality is not what our government is in place to enforce. You being a small government advocate, I would think, should agree with me. For someone who wishes for small government, bringing them into the space of "morals" sure does greatly expand that role beyond anything in which I personally want my government involved.

    But that's not even really the meat of it... The meat of it is that people should elect representatives who can successfully govern... who can do maximal good at minimal cost... and who will do their part to move our nation forward and protect its people in this global community in which we exist.

    Morals?
    Really?
    Voters care more about where I put my dick or who I love than they do about the survival of our people?

    That bugs me a bit. They want "small government" and at the same time want to put rules in place about who I have in my bedroom or what I put in my body? Hypocrisy much?


    So, there's that... Also, I'm an atheist, and I have some serious concerns with the intense advocacy to teach creationism in classrooms, the movements to post the 10 commandments in our courts, and the fact that other non-believers like me can't really get elected.

    One of the things the founders did was to put a structure in place which protects minorities. This is why we are a constitutional republic, and not a direct democracy. You have said this yourself in the quote above. I'm not happy with how those in the non-religious minority are being taxed without representation... among other things, and I suppose part the issue is that our current system is NOT protecting the minority.

    Those are just a few thoughts off the top of my head. I could probably say it better than I have.
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Quote Originally Posted by simus
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    I might be willing to vote for a Muslim candidate
    How about converting to Islam?

    http://www.reuters.com/news/video?vi...02&videoId=747
    I don't get why that's relevant.
    After receiveing a satisfaction from voting for a Muslim you may wish to discover The True God and experience the joy of serving Him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    The first of which is largely ridiculous because many of the Constitutional issues of today were not issues at all two centuries ago and therefore the founders were mute.
    Incorrect. The founders were not mute.
    There are a multitude of subjects that are clearly Federal by their very nature and scope which the founding fathers couldn't even have imagined--that is my point. What was Madison's views on the internet? How about Jefferson on wire tapping? What was Sam Adams position about citizens rights to own tanks or nuclear weapons for that matter? What was Hamalton's opinions about a company's right to pollute so much they destroy the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people? Fortunately the Constitution was general enough that subsequent generations could still work within its framework while also ruling that federal powers could extend to things like having laws to prevent someone from building a nuke and still meet the intent of the 2nd amendment or establishing an EPA etc.

    To get closest to the tread's central topic, the also founders had mixed opinions about whether the State rights should supersede even the bill of rights--though I think that's mostly a mis-reading of their intent. For example, several States still have religious test for State political offices on their books--law that will never be enforced because it's clearly unconstitutional at the federal level.
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    And the Supremacy Clause of Article VI as well as the Privileges/Immunity Clause within the 14th amendment both mandate that the federal requirements supersede those of any state.
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    Quote Originally Posted by harold14370
    Occasionally one will hear that morality cannot be or should not be legislated. That's dumb. Legislation is all about moral values. We make laws about murder, for example, because most people find murder morally objectionable.

    Now suppose a person has a moral objection to abortion, thinking it is similar to or equivalent to murder. They may have arrived at this position based on the teachings of their religious leaders. Or maybe it is an atheist who arrives at the same moral position. Does that really matter? Is one a more acceptable way at arriving at a moral position than the other? Should the religious person abstain from voting, or what?
    Murder is illegal because it violates a person's right to life. It is not a moral consideration of whether or not it is ok to kill a living thing, almost all of us do it just to eat. The consideration is that if you kill a living thing that is also a human, you are infringing on their rights.

    Abortion can be viewed morally, but if you allow the basis of a law on it to be morality then you allow any and all moral claims which are popular to be put into law. For that reason, the issue on abortion comes down to whether or not a fetus is a human being with rights, if it is then you are infringing on its right to life by aborting it.

    I hold that the founders of the constitution understood this difference between making laws against violating rights and making laws against actions considered immoral.
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    Quote Originally Posted by simus
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Quote Originally Posted by simus
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    I might be willing to vote for a Muslim candidate
    How about converting to Islam?

    http://www.reuters.com/news/video?vi...02&videoId=747
    I don't get why that's relevant.
    After receiveing a satisfaction from voting for a Muslim you may wish to discover The True God and experience the joy of serving Him.
    Idiot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by simus
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Quote Originally Posted by simus
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    I might be willing to vote for a Muslim candidate
    How about converting to Islam?

    http://www.reuters.com/news/video?vi...02&videoId=747
    I don't get why that's relevant.
    After receiveing a satisfaction from voting for a Muslim you may wish to discover The True God and experience the joy of serving Him.
    That still doesn't explain the relevance.

    I don't agree with Islamic extremism, but that hardly eliminates the possibility of me voting for someone who identifies as Muslim and doesn't hold extremist positions. There are plenty of Muslims who hold religious opinions that are no more offensive to me than the standard Christian.
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    Quote Originally Posted by simus
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Quote Originally Posted by simus
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    I might be willing to vote for a Muslim candidate
    How about converting to Islam?

    http://www.reuters.com/news/video?vi...02&videoId=747
    I don't get why that's relevant.
    After receiveing a satisfaction from voting for a Muslim you may wish to discover The True God and experience the joy of serving Him.
    If you continue to proselytize a religious cult here you'll be placed on probation.
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    The author of "Liars for Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History - Volume 1," has made her book available online for free.

    It's a book debunking the lies of the Christian Right’s retelling of our nation’s founding, and she has decided to make it available for free because she just can't take it anymore.


    http://www.liarsforjesus.com/downloads/LFJ_FINAL.pdf
    My first step was to read a few of the most popular religious right history books and compile a list of all the lies. So far, all I had seen were the various versions of the lies from the internet. People on the message boards, however, much more familiar than I was with the sources of these lies, told me which books to buy. These books led me to other books and other lies, which led me to even more books and even more lies.

    I found so many lies, in fact, that I soon realized that they weren’t all going to fit one book without omitting some of the information that I felt was necessary to thoroughly explain and disprove them. So, I decided to write not just one book, but two – the first focusing mainly on the founding era, up until around the 1830s, and the second covering the rest of the nineteenth and the early twentieth century. Because most of the lies in the religious right history books are about the founding era, however, the first volume began to get too long, and I was once again faced with the decision of leaving stuff out, or including everything and splitting it up. Since my goal from the beginning was to write a book that left no stone unturned, and provided as much information as possible, I decided to split the first volume into two volumes. This book, therefore, is the first of what will eventually be three volumes.

    For those already familiar with the religious right version of American history, my choice of topics for the first volume might seem a little odd. If I had planned from the start to divide this into two volumes, I would have put a few more of the most often lied about subjects in the first volume. By the time I decided to split the volume up, however, it was too late to change the chapter order. A number of things in the later chapters rely on information provided in earlier chapters, so this would have required rewriting large sections of certain chapters.

    So, this volume contains the first thirteen chapters, and the second volume will contain the second thirteen. Since most of the second volume is already written, its chapter titles, which are unlikely to change, can be listed here.

    1. George Washington and Gouverneur Morris
    2. Were Half of the Founders Really Ministers?
    3. Days of Prayer, Fasting, and Thanksgiving
    4. Did James Madison Really Oppose the Bill of Rights?
    5. Putting the Founders on Pedestals
    6. Thomas Jefferson and the Laws of Virginia
    7. Mr. Jefferson’s Bible
    8. Tocqueville’s Democracy in America
    9. Sabbath and Blasphemy Laws
    10. Toleration vs. Religious Freedom
    11. James Madison and the General Assessment
    12. Religious Tests and Oaths
    13. Thomas Jefferson and the Danbury Baptists

    It is my sincere hope that this book, and the two to follow, will be useful to those already aware of and fighting the religious right’s revisionism of American history, and, even more importantly, that it will inform those who are unaware, as I was three years ago, of the dangerous extent to which this revisionism has spread.

    Enjoy. (chapter breakdown below)

    http://www.liarsforjesus.com/downloads/LFJ_FINAL.pdf
    1. Congress and the Bible. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
    2. The Northwest Ordinance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
    3. Indian Treaties and Indian Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
    4. Propagating the Gospel Among the Heathen? . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
    5. Thomas Jefferson and Public Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
    6. Did Prayer Save the Constitutional Convention? . . . . . . . . . 251
    7. Treaties with the Barbary States. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281
    8. Treaties with Christian Nations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 319
    9. James Madison’s Detached Memoranda. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 325
    10. The Election of 1800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 357
    11. More Lies About Benjamin Franklin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 411
    12. More Lies About Thomas Jefferson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 425
    13. Jefferson, Madison, and Blackstone?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 461
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  39. #38 Re: The Christian Nation Myth 
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    This.

    Quote Originally Posted by inow

    These beliefs were forcefully articulated by Thomas Paine in Age of Reason, a book that so outraged his contemporaries that he died rejected and despised by the nation that had once revered him as "the father of the American Revolution." To this day, many mistakenly consider him an atheist, even though he was an out spoken defender of the Deistic view of God. Other important founding fathers who espoused Deism were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Ethan Allen, James Madison, and James Monroe.
    The founders were all Masons. The Masons' only religious requirement for admittance is to profess belief in a supreme being. It doesn't matter what other religious beliefs you hold (or don't hold) so long as they don't conflict with the group's own moral ideals.

    However, they certainly had the common sense to recognize that the majority of their constituents were very committed Christians. Even if they fully agreed with Paine, they wouldn't have agreed with his choice to just go out and offend the everyone by being open about it. (Another of the group's beliefs is that the masses are motivated to suppress intellect, which puts them in the sort of adversarial position, of wanting to keep the wolves at bay.)
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  40. #39 Re: The Christian Nation Myth 
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    First, Kojax... Your quote makes it look like I wrote those words, and I did not. They were very obviously quoted in the post to which you replied as coming from this link:

    http://www.infidels.org/library/mode...till/myth.html


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The founders were all Masons. The Masons' only religious requirement for admittance is to profess belief in a supreme being. It doesn't matter what other religious beliefs you hold (or don't hold) so long as they don't conflict with the group's own moral ideals.
    What's your point? The quote said that many (including specific names) were deists, and the quote was shared in response to people claiming they were Jesus following Christians. Nothing you've said seems relevant to that central argument.


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    However, they certainly had the common sense to recognize that the majority of their constituents were very committed Christians. Even if they fully agreed with Paine, they wouldn't have agreed with his choice to just go out and offend the everyone by being open about it. (Another of the group's beliefs is that the masses are motivated to suppress intellect, which puts them in the sort of adversarial position, of wanting to keep the wolves at bay.)
    This still doesn't seem on topic... which is to address and rebut the revisionist writing of history being conducted by the religious right in this country whereby they are continually asserting (contrary to evidence) that we are a christian nation and that our founding fathers were all bible thumping jesus freaks. They were not, and all evidence supports the fact that they were not, including our own constitution wherein a wall of separation was inserted between religion and state, and wherein secular values reign supreme.



    From the aforementioned link:

    Historians, who deal with facts rather than wishes, paint an entirely different picture of the religious composition of America during its formative years than the image of a nation founded on "biblical principles" that modern Bible fundamentalists are trying to foist upon us. Our founding fathers established a religiously neutral nation, and a tragedy of our time is that so many people are striving to undo all that was accomplished by the wisdom of the founding fathers who framed for us a constitution that would protect the religious freedom of everyone regardless of personal creed. An even greater tragedy is that they many times hoodwink the public into believing that they are only trying to make our nation what the founding fathers would want it to be. Separation of church and state is what the founding fathers wanted for the nation, and we must never allow anyone to distort history to make it appear otherwise.
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  41. #40 Re: The Christian Nation Myth 
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    First, Kojax... Your quote makes it look like I wrote those words, and I did not. They were very obviously quoted in the post to which you replied as coming from this link:

    http://www.infidels.org/library/mode...till/myth.html


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The founders were all Masons. The Masons' only religious requirement for admittance is to profess belief in a supreme being. It doesn't matter what other religious beliefs you hold (or don't hold) so long as they don't conflict with the group's own moral ideals.
    What's your point? The quote said that many (including specific names) were deists, and the quote was shared in response to people claiming they were Jesus following Christians. Nothing you've said seems relevant to that central argument.
    The comments on Masonry weren't intended as an argument against the central point. I was just clarifying it a bit, by adding a probable explanation for the prevalence of deism amongst the founders. I'm pretty sure most Masons were self proclaimed deists back then, because having a specific religious commitment can complicate the group's philosophy.

    Mostly, what I'm suggesting is that they might not have been very committed deists. Probably the Masonic philosophy was their main focus, and calling their belief system deism was just a good way to describe how little they really cared about the specifics of God's nature.

    The distinction is important because it means they would still have a solid set of beliefs which they all shared in common, exactly like a religion does, except their beliefs are founded in reason instead of divine revelation.



    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    However, they certainly had the common sense to recognize that the majority of their constituents were very committed Christians. Even if they fully agreed with Paine, they wouldn't have agreed with his choice to just go out and offend the everyone by being open about it. (Another of the group's beliefs is that the masses are motivated to suppress intellect, which puts them in the sort of adversarial position, of wanting to keep the wolves at bay.)
    This still doesn't seem on topic... which is to address and rebut the revisionist writing of history being conducted by the religious right in this country whereby they are continually asserting (contrary to evidence) that we are a christian nation and that our founding fathers were all bible thumping jesus freaks. They were not, and all evidence supports the fact that they were not, including our own constitution wherein a wall of separation was inserted between religion and state, and wherein secular values reign supreme.
    Maybe the founders weren't, but many of the individual soldiers who died in the war fighting for the nation to come into existence certainly were. I don't think it matters more who had the ideas than who payed the price in blood. Maybe I'm wrong about that. Maybe having the idea is the only way to be considered a "founder"?



    From the aforementioned link:

    Historians, who deal with facts rather than wishes, paint an entirely different picture of the religious composition of America during its formative years than the image of a nation founded on "biblical principles" that modern Bible fundamentalists are trying to foist upon us. Our founding fathers established a religiously neutral nation, and a tragedy of our time is that so many people are striving to undo all that was accomplished by the wisdom of the founding fathers who framed for us a constitution that would protect the religious freedom of everyone regardless of personal creed. An even greater tragedy is that they many times hoodwink the public into believing that they are only trying to make our nation what the founding fathers would want it to be. Separation of church and state is what the founding fathers wanted for the nation, and we must never allow anyone to distort history to make it appear otherwise.
    The link makes a good point, but also ignores just how many of the people that willingly contributed to the effort were from oppressed protestant sects that had settled in the New World for purely religious purposes, such as the puritans in Massachusetts.
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  42. #41 Re: The Christian Nation Myth 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The link makes a good point, but also ignores just how many of the people that willingly contributed to the effort were from oppressed protestant sects that had settled in the New World for purely religious purposes, such as the puritans in Massachusetts.
    The American revolution had almost nothing to do with that. Interestingly one of the most important influences of those 17th century Puritans was the extremely intolerant society they established being used as an example of why separation of church and state were so important. We get a lot more from the philosophy of Roger Williams than we do from the Puritans view on combined religion and state.
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  43. #42 Re: The Christian Nation Myth 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Mostly, what I'm suggesting is that they might not have been very committed deists.

    <...>

    The distinction is important because it means they would still have a solid set of beliefs which they all shared in common, exactly like a religion does, except their beliefs are founded in reason instead of divine revelation.
    Okay, but again... Still not sure how that's really relevant here.



    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Maybe the founders weren't, but many of the individual soldiers who died in the war fighting for the nation to come into existence certainly were.
    And...? Still not sure how this is relevant. This does not make us a "christian nation" founded on "christian values." I suggest that any values of our nation are similar to christian values by chance only... as opposed to the root argument being addressed here that that christianity was the primary source.



    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The link makes a good point, but also ignores just how many of the people that willingly contributed to the effort were from oppressed protestant sects that had settled in the New World for purely religious purposes, such as the puritans in Massachusetts.
    Data suggests actually that most of them came for economic reasons, not religious. I see also that Lynx_Fox has responded to this point in another way, and I tend to agree with his assessment.
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    Perhaps more to point to show it wasn't based in religion is reading the long list at the bottom of the Declaration of Independence, none of which discusses lack of freedom of religion. They deal instead with economics of taxes, poor representation in government decision making, bad and unfair judicial system, and lack of security.
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  45. #44 Re: The Christian Nation Myth 
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Maybe the founders weren't, but many of the individual soldiers who died in the war fighting for the nation to come into existence certainly were.
    And...? Still not sure how this is relevant. This does not make us a "christian nation" founded on "christian values." I suggest that any values of our nation are similar to christian values by chance only... as opposed to the root argument being addressed here that that christianity was the primary source.

    Oh. Now I see what you're getting at. It's the "founded on Christian values" part that people keep saying and bothers you. Yeah. It was definitely founded on Mason values, not Christian values.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Perhaps more to point to show it wasn't based in religion is reading the long list at the bottom of the Declaration of Independence, none of which discusses lack of freedom of religion. They deal instead with economics of taxes, poor representation in government decision making, bad and unfair judicial system, and lack of security.
    That is true, but also Britain had not made any attempt to suppress any religions in the colonies, had they? It wouldn't make sense to cite religious oppression among the grievances that lead to a secession if they're not doing it.

    It did make sense after the war, though, to put something in the Constitution so the new country wouldn't end up getting dominated by the puritans, or some other wacko group.
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  46. #45 Re: The Christian Nation Myth 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Now I see what you're getting at. It's the "founded on Christian values" part that people keep saying and bothers you.
    Sort of, but moreso the fact that people accept this as true and beyond refute when it's so clearly and plainly false. It's the lack of accuracy and integrity which bothers me. You can have your own beliefs, but not your own facts.
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