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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 12:55 pm 
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CZ- are you describing the constitution as well?

Is the constitution a good moral guide?

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 1:55 pm 
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Way back when, people hung a lot of their moral philosophy on the bible. If they had done so, so strictly to today, we may not have advanced scientifically or medically to the point we've done today.

There are still some christian ideals that hold us back in the area of science and medicine.

I'd like to think that our "morality" has always been there, and that some old timers thought it would be cool to canonize that into text. But because people can be controlling, these old timers decided to take it a step farther and ascribe a stricter set of morals to a "god".

I think the same can be said of the Constitution. I don't think it was divinely inspired. It certainly isn't complete. For years, we've talked about adding the ERA to it. Where does that desire for inclusion come from? God trying to solidify women's rights? Or people with good common sense?

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 6:10 pm 
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Way back when, people hung a lot of their moral philosophy on the bible.


To some extent, I would argue that one of the reasons the Constitution is such a good document is that the Founding Fathers were, for the most part, reasonably moral. Did their ethics and morality come from religion? I doubt it...Consider:

Quote:
"The Christian right is trying to rewrite the history of the United States as part of its campaign to force its religion on others. They try to depict the founding fathers as pious Christians who wanted the United States to be a Christian nation, with laws that favored Christians and Christianity.

This is patently untrue. The early presidents and patriots were generally Deists or Unitarians, believing in some form of impersonal Providence but rejecting the divinity of Jesus and the absurdities of the Old and New testaments.


THE FOUNDING FATHERS WERE NOT CHRISTIANS

Quote:
George Washington, the first president of the United States, never declared himself a Christian according to contemporary reports or in any of his voluminous correspondence. Washington Championed the cause of freedom from religious intolerance and compulsion. When John Murray (a universalist who denied the existence of hell) was invited to become an army chaplain, the other chaplains petitioned Washington for his dismissal. Instead, Washington gave him the appointment. On his deathbed, Washinton uttered no words of a religious nature and did not call for a clergyman to be in attendance.
From:
George Washington and Religion by Paul F. Boller Jr., pp. 16, 87, 88, 108, 113, 121, 127 (1963, Southern Methodist University Press, Dallas, TX)

John Adams, the country's second president, was drawn to the study of law but faced pressure from his father to become a clergyman. He wrote that he found among the lawyers 'noble and gallant achievments" but among the clergy, the "pretended sanctity of some absolute dunces". Late in life he wrote: "Twenty times in the course of my late reading, have I been upon the point of breaking out, "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!"

It was during Adam's administration that the Senate ratified the Treaty of Peace and Friendship, which states in Article XI that "the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion."
From:
The Character of John Adams by Peter Shaw, pp. 17 (1976, North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC) Quoting a letter by JA to Charles Cushing Oct 19, 1756, and John Adams, A Biography in his Own Words, edited by James Peabody, p. 403 (1973, Newsweek, New York NY) Quoting letter by JA to Jefferson April 19, 1817, and in reference to the treaty, Thomas Jefferson, Passionate Pilgrim by Alf Mapp Jr., pp. 311 (1991, Madison Books, Lanham, MD) quoting letter by TJ to Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, June, 1814.

Thomas Jefferson, third president and author of the Declaration of Independence, said:"I trust that there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die a Unitarian." He referred to the Revelation of St. John as "the ravings of a maniac" and wrote:
The Christian priesthood, finding the doctrines of Christ levelled to every understanding and too plain to need explanation, saw, in the mysticisms of Plato, materials with which they might build up an artificial system which might, from its indistinctness, admit everlasting controversy, give employment for their order, and introduce it to profit, power, and pre-eminence. The doctrines which flowed from the lips of Jesus himself are within the comprehension of a child; but thousands of volumes have not yet explained the Platonisms engrafted on them: and for this obvious reason that nonsense can never be explained."
From:
Thomas Jefferson, an Intimate History by Fawn M. Brodie, p. 453 (1974, W.W) Norton and Co. Inc. New York, NY) Quoting a letter by TJ to Alexander Smyth Jan 17, 1825, and Thomas Jefferson, Passionate Pilgrim by Alf Mapp Jr., pp. 246 (1991, Madison Books, Lanham, MD) quoting letter by TJ to John Adams, July 5, 1814


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:20 am 
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I've come full circle on the whole christian founding fathers thing. I'm inclined to believe they were, given that so many held various religious faiths. And I tend to argue now, "But what difference does that make?"

I think people fear that by allowing that argument, then they've given the christian nation crowd an upper hand. Well, I like to say, what part of Matthew 25 do we practice in full?

Just because our FF's were said to be christians doesn't mean squat.

George Washington was an adulterer. He failed significantly on one of the main tenants of the 10 commandments, then. So did so many of his fellow FF's. Hypocrites all.

Morality, then, doesn't just come from a book. It's got to come from within. It comes from common sense on what it takes to survive as a society, community, and family.

Caveman predated the bible. I'm sure that this common sense predated any moral commandments in the bible. And as we've seen, it has taken some time to evolve. And evolve fully it definitely has not.

We still have wars. We still have racism.

If we were such a moral nation, we wouldn't have had GWB as our president. The moral guide failed us somewhere, then.

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well for those who insist on the christian background of our forefathers, i've yet to hear how they can explain how a true born again christian can belong to the order of masons and still be considered a devout follower of christs teachings.

our 1st president was an avowed member of the masonic order and i've seen several paintings of him and other leaders of that era with thier masonic uniforms on in full regalia.

yet todays version of gop christianity would have everyone believe the schtick that washington, jefferson, adams and franklin were bible thumping evangelicals. they were nothing even remotely close.

what you have today in this country is a dangerous form of psuedo christianity that pulls portions of gods holy word completely out of the whole context of gods word to support a misguided agenda that is serving to develop the formation of the nwo. they fail miserably to see this as biblical prophecy points out how the tares are now beginning to grow more heavily among the wheat of truth in the days in which we now live. thier blindness is totally predicted to take place as more and more fall for the propaganda and outright lies that is attempting to pass itself off as "christian truth".

as i've stated before i do profess myself to be a born again follower of christs teachings.

but i do NOT in any way ascribe to the garbage that you hear from the apostate version being propagated by the likes of hate mongerers like ann coulter, sean hannity, bill oreilly and the rest of the nwo corporate spin machine that has basically taken gods holy word and twisted it around into a complete and utter perversion. trust me when i say this, they will be dealt with in terms of horrific proportion upon yahwehs final and ultimate judgement.

sorry about the rant tone of my post. itend to get a little testy when i have to confront hypocrisy and lies.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 7:03 am 
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what you have today in this country is a dangerous form of psuedo christianity that pulls portions of gods holy word completely out of the whole context of gods word to support a misguided agenda that is serving to develop the formation of the nwo. they fail miserably to see this as biblical prophecy points out how the tares are now beginning to grow more heavily among the wheat of truth in the days in which we now live. thier blindness is totally predicted to take place as more and more fall for the propaganda and outright lies that is attempting to pass itself off as "christian truth".


Very well said rooster!

My take is that morality is in each individual's being. Some unfortunately do not have it at all. Others are filled with it, some from their religious teachings, some from just observing life and people.

We have to celebrate morality whenever we see it.

We also have to condemn the lack of morality--generally cloaked as morality itself. Pharisees all!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:13 am 
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While I agree with much of what you have said here, CZ, I have to argue this point:

Channel Zero wrote:
I've come full circle on the whole christian founding fathers thing. I'm inclined to believe they were, given that so many held various religious faiths. And I tend to argue now, "But what difference does that make?"

I think people fear that by allowing that argument, then they've given the christian nation crowd an upper hand. Well, I like to say, what part of Matthew 25 do we practice in full?

Just because our FF's were said to be christians doesn't mean squat.

George Washington was an adulterer. He failed significantly on one of the main tenants of the 10 commandments, then. So did so many of his fellow FF's. Hypocrites all.


Overwhelming evidence, such as that that Catherine points out, shows that MANY were not "Christians". It is hard to refute words that come straight from a speakers mouth...my main argument, though, is when you say they were hypocrites. In order to be a hypocrite, it is my belief that you must proclaim a religious affiliation that condemns your behaviors. A Christian may chose to label someone who is non-Christian a hypocrite, but that isn't a label that a non-Christian can rightly earn. In my opinion to call someone a hypocrite, you must know their personal moral code. (Sorry, I know this is nit-picky, but its a personally sensitive subject for me.)



Also, I find it amazingly ironic that people are trying to always point to our founding fathers as a reason why this country is a "Christian nation"...I may remember my history wrong, but wasn't the whole point of coming to the US to LEAVE religious persecution? Seems like, if that is the case, its ridiculous to try to persecute whichever religion or non-religion for not being "Christians", as our founding fathers.

And yet again, another irony is that we are supposed to be a melting pot nation, yet we want that melting pot to turn everyone a beautiful shade of white christian, leaving nothing of the former peoples behind. BARF!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:29 am 
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Funny, when I am talking with someone those are the points I make lefty. I have no idea why I talk one thing, and write another. Maybe I am as confused as the people I am talking with?

I am hammered with the 'Christian Nation' thing all the time. I answer that people came to this country to get away from religious persecution--not to spread it. I also bring in that we are a 'melting pot' and that means there is room for everyone.

Rightwing Christians do not have room for anyone beyond their own personal beliefs. You become a target when you argue these points, yet it is also necessary. If they are not argued, the rightwingers run right over everyone else.

I like to fall back on my 'good morals are part of human make up' thoughts and it isn't necessary to go any further with people who allow others the freedom they insist for themselves. But when it comes to hammering, if you don't want to be hammered into the ground you darn well better hammer back.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:44 am 
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Excellent questions and comments, lefty...so I went looking for some other info. One thing that we have to understand about religion in this country, and how it relates to politics, is that there was a difference between the Pilgrims and the Puritans. The Puritans were extremely intolerant, bigoted, and oppressive. The Pilgrims were a bit less of those things, but not by much.

I thought this person made a lot of sense in her statements about certain myths:

Quote:
The reason the Pilgrims came to Massachusetts was that they were borne off their course for Virginia. The reason the Puritans came was that the Pilgrims had already established themselves there despite their small numbers and the terrible want and suffering of their first years. It was the same faith with the same values, goals and vision. They wanted to establish a community based entirely on the laws of God (as they interpreted them) and become a shining light to the nations. The Pilgrims knew that that was impossible in England, and the Puritans knew at least that the time was not yet ripe. They did not come for religious freedom any more than did the other earlier and later colonists who came for land or gold or adventure or political safety. They came to establish communities to practice their idea of true Christianity. Nevertheless, in their rigid, often oppressive, churches, they did, inadvertently, sow the seeds of free religion, and ultimately a democratic state, just as Luther had done when he nailed his 95 theses to the door of the cathedral in Worms.

Talk about the law of unintended consequences! When Luther said that no one, no priest, no pope, can stand between the individual human being and God, he set the stage in the western world for not only the Reformation but for the Enlightenment, democracy, and the social and technological revolutions of all the eras following that simple statement. After all, if you’re responsible for your own salvation, you have to get it right. First the Bible and religious rituals were translated into the language of the people, they learned to read them and interpret them in different ways. Suddenly education had a value that it had never had before, and once you get people reading, thinking and arguing, you get the enlightenment, science, free thinking and free religion.

Only eighteen years after the Mayflower disgorged its little band there were enough churches in the Standing Order in Massachusetts that they needed to establish how they should relate to one another. The American Revolution began right then. The churches established their right to call their own ministers, own their own property, and decide on their own membership. The first vote taken in what became the most powerful democracy in the world was the vote for minister of the church in Plymouth. The individual conscience was the final interpreter of truth. The truth they were interpreting at that time was the word of God as found in the Bible, of course, but the precedent was established that finally became the free church, in which truth now may be found in other places than the Bible, but the individual still has no mediator between his or her own soul and transcendent truth. Harvard College was established to train the ministers to assist in the interpretation, and soon began the tradition of freedom of thought. These seeds of freedom bloomed and fruited, and if we can find our myth again to unite us before the electronic revolution completely fragments us, we will, I believe, reap ever greater harvests of the mind and spirit.

There is our creation myth which has the virtue of being at least mostly true. It doesn’t take into account the oppression of the Indians or the establishment of racism to justify slavery, the inequality of women or the prejudice against homosexuals, but in its ultimate commitment to the values of freedom and equality, it does support the present struggles for justice for all of the oppressed and it does not justify oppression. Without those ideals being woven into the fabric of our culture Injustice will continue, oppression will be the rule and bigotry and ignorance will sway us. And that, ultimately, is where those values came from, where the soil was prepared, the planting done and the harvest now is being reaped
.



PILGRIMS, PURITANS....AND US

I'm always amazed when I contemplate how long it took for a woman, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, or religion, to simply be allowed to vote in America! :roll:

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:11 pm 
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dori wrote:

My take is that morality is in each individual's being. Some unfortunately do not have it at all. Others are filled with it, some from their religious teachings, some from just observing life and people.



Most of our morality comes from our genes. Since we are social creatures, in order to make it in a social group we needed to behave.

If one of our ancestors went around killing others, not only would no one mate with him, the others would be quick to end his behavior eliminating such behavior from the gene pool.

the evolution of morals and behavior is quite interesting. But its also funny to see people who think its exclusive to religion.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:37 pm 
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If one of our ancestors went around killing others, not only would no one mate with him, the others would be quick to end his behavior eliminating such behavior from the gene pool.


Geez...what happened to W's ancestors? Wait...I know...I know....failure was an option?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 7:08 pm 
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Catherine wrote:

Geez...what happened to W's ancestors? Wait...I know...I know....failure was an option?


Every now and then those bad genes are expressed. In nature, W would have died before he could actually reproduce, but unfortunately our society looks down upon social darwinism.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 9:32 pm 
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lefty wrote:
While I agree with much of what you have said here, CZ, I have to argue this point:

Channel Zero wrote:
I've come full circle on the whole christian founding fathers thing. I'm inclined to believe they were, given that so many held various religious faiths. And I tend to argue now, "But what difference does that make?"

I think people fear that by allowing that argument, then they've given the christian nation crowd an upper hand. Well, I like to say, what part of Matthew 25 do we practice in full?

Just because our FF's were said to be christians doesn't mean squat.

George Washington was an adulterer. He failed significantly on one of the main tenants of the 10 commandments, then. So did so many of his fellow FF's. Hypocrites all.


Overwhelming evidence, such as that that Catherine points out, shows that MANY were not "Christians". It is hard to refute words that come straight from a speakers mouth...my main argument, though, is when you say they were hypocrites. In order to be a hypocrite, it is my belief that you must proclaim a religious affiliation that condemns your behaviors. A Christian may chose to label someone who is non-Christian a hypocrite, but that isn't a label that a non-Christian can rightly earn. In my opinion to call someone a hypocrite, you must know their personal moral code. (Sorry, I know this is nit-picky, but its a personally sensitive subject for me.)

That's fine. I can accept that. My thinking goes with accepting the notion that Mount Vernon GW and other professed some biblical christian insight, yet screwed around like tramps.

lefty wrote:
Also, I find it amazingly ironic that people are trying to always point to our founding fathers as a reason why this country is a "Christian nation"...I may remember my history wrong, but wasn't the whole point of coming to the US to LEAVE religious persecution?
...

The real reason they come to this country was for the wealth potential. America was said to have gold, etc.

It was only after the first settlers found the living hard that they were followed by religious zealots who wanted to make their relative territories little christian zones.

They're brand of christianity was pretty damn harsh. Capital punishment for this and that. Prayer everwhere or else as was enforced in some local laws.

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