The Instigator
Lady_Una
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
BobTurner
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

Since the US is a christian nation, christian morals should dictate the definition of marriage

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
BobTurner
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/26/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 738 times Debate No: 55465
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (5)

 

Lady_Una

Pro

My argument, as pro, is that since the United States of America is a christian nation, Christian views and morals should dictate it's definition of marriage.

Specifics regarding the law and what is actually legal in the eyes of the legislative system are rendered irrelevant in this debate.

Accepted definitions:
Christian - of, or pertaining to the belief in the Lord, Jesus Christ and his true teachings - true teachings being that expressed in the bible.

Marriage - the definition that is being argued over. Please do not assert any other definition.
I will assert that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman in the name of god, con will argue as pleased.

Round 1 - Acceptance
Round 2 - Argument by me, Rebuttal by con + argument by con
Round 3 - Rebuttal by me, conclusion by me, conclusion by con.


BobTurner

Con

Because Pro is making a positive statement he has the burden of proof.


His argument right now is this:


P1: If the U.S. is a Christian nation, Christian morals should dictate the definition of marriage.
P2: The U.S. is a Christian nation.
C: Christian morals should dictate the definiton of marriage.



I will first attack P2, which is blatantly false, and cause the resolution to fall apart.

The United States is NOT nor has it ever been a Christian nation, nor was it found on Christian values. There are only two references to religion in the U.S. Constitution: the First Amendment, which sets up a separation of Church and state and PREVENTS government and church from intermingling, and Article VI, which prevents any religion test for public office. [1]

If this were a Christian nation, why did the founding fathers set up the first secular government in history?

There are also a few relevant quotes that I'd like to bring up from the founding fathers which debunk this resolution completely.

Treaty of Tripilo: "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries." [2]

Thomas Jefferson: "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State ..." [3]

And, well, there's more where that came from. How about the time when James Madison said this would be the best of all possible worlds if religion didn't exist, or when Ben Franklin said that lighthouses were more useful than Churches? Many of the founding fathers were deists.


Now that I've refuted P2, the resolution falls and my opponent cannot win this debate. But I'd like to move forward on this though and attack this resolution from a different angle.

Even if the United States WERE a Christian nation, marriage would NOT be one-man, one-woman. In fact, Biblical marriage was POLYGAMY.

Here are a few relevant verses:

Genesis 4:19: And Lamech took unto him two wives [4]

Judges 8:30: And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives [5]

1 Samuel 1:1-2: Elkanah ... had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah [6]

2 Chronicles 11: 21: Rehoboam ... took eighteen wives, and threescore concubines. [7]


Sources:
1. http://mythopedia.mediamatters.org...;
2. http://www.nobeliefs.com...
3. http://www.cnn.com...
4. http://skepticsannotatedbible.com...;
5. ibid
6. ibid
7. ibid

Conclusion
The resolution has been refuted and my opponent's arguments are unfounded. He cannot possibly win this debate because he cannot possibly meet his burden of proof.
Debate Round No. 1
Lady_Una

Pro

1. As stated in round 1, I specifically said that this debate will function only from a moral, philosophical standpoint about what is right and what is wrong, not in the eyes of the law or any affiliated lawmaker, which the founding fathers of this nation indefinitely were (lawmakers). I view a violation of this contract as near forfeiture on my opponent's part. According to my terms, I would tend to disregard the majority of my opponent's first argument.

2. The United States is in fact a Christian Nation. Perhaps not explicitly Christian, but still so. Insisting that the United States of America is not a Christian nation is akin to insisting that a middle eastern nation that does not function under Sharia Law particularly, but is still centralized around Islamic Culture, Ideas, and ways of thinking is thus not an Islamic nation.

3. The majority of people in the United States are Christians. Codes of conduct and morals in the United States are largely based off of old Quaker and Christian traditions, like the 10 commandments most notably. Christian Ideals dominate how people behave in the United States, whether all of said people proclaim themselves as Christians are not. And, so, since Christianity has impacted and thus determined how American Society has formed thus far, it would be cherry picking to change the definition of marriage and still yet retain all other Christian based aspects of American society.

I await your rebuttal, hopefully this time abiding by the terms of the debate!

Sources:
http://abcnews.go.com...
http://www.faithfacts.org...
BobTurner

Con

My opponent continues a stream of laughable arguments. I will now go through these one by one.

"As stated in round 1, I specifically said that this debate will function only from a moral, philosophical standpoint about what is right and what is wrong, not in the eyes of the law or any affiliated lawmaker, which the founding fathers of this nation indefinitely were (lawmakers). I view a violation of this contract as near forfeiture on my opponent's part. According to my terms, I would tend to disregard the majority of my opponent's first argument."

This is a flat out lie. Let me quote from Round 1: "Specifics regarding the law and what is actually legal in the eyes of the legislative system are rendered irrelevant in this debate."

This is the extent of it. So all this means is that I could not argue, for instance, that the resolution is negated simply because of separation of church and state. However, I could use quotes from the founding fathers to refute the notion of a "Christian Nation." The U.S. was never intended for one, and we could look past what is grounded in law to see this.

He states that, because the founding fathers were lawmakers, we can disregard my opening arugment -- and then insinuates that this is a FORFEIT on my end. How utterly embarassing for my opponent. First, not all of the founding fathers were lawmakers and not all of them served in office. Second, I used that as a basis not for negating the resolution, but for providing a historical reference refuting the "Christian Nation" myth.

He also went on to drop the Bible quotes refuting the notion that biblical marriage is one-man-one-woman, but instead, polygamy.


"The United States is in fact a Christian Nation. Perhaps not explicitly Christian, but still so. Insisting that the United States of America is not a Christian nation is akin to insisting that a middle eastern nation that does not function under Sharia Law particularly, but is still centralized around Islamic Culture, Ideas, and ways of thinking is thus not an Islamic nation."

This argument is even more of a joke. He essentially says that "the U.S. is a Christian nation because trust me." There is no evidence whatsoever and he completely drops claims from the founding stating the U.S. was NOT founded on the Christian religion.

The reference to the Middle East and Sharia Law is irrelevant. He is referencing Middle Eastern theocracies. The United States is NOT a theocracy, and there is no evidence at all that it is -- which is even grounded as a matter of law.


Pro then states the majority of people in the United States are Christian. So? This is not an argument. There are also Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. Why should the majority be able to impose its will on the minority? How does that make sense -- never mind legally, but morally?

He then states that morals are based off of the Ten Commandments, but this is nothing more than a baseless assertion. Where? Where is the evidencr for this? Once agian, this is a bare-assertion fallacy which we can disregard.


Conclusion


My opponent is attempting to change the goalposts of this debate, and he dropped every single one of my substantive arguments -- including that the Bible does NOT endorse his definition of marriage as one-man-one-woman. This debate is over.
Debate Round No. 2
Lady_Una

Pro

My opponent tries to deflect the topic of the debate from marriage to polygamy, which he assumes is relevant just because it is dicussed in the same book as marriage? As far as my opponent is concerned, I could be a proponent of polygamy! My opinions on that topic are utterly irrelevant to the subject of marriage, his only purpose in bringing said topic up is to seemingly make a bash at traditional christianity.

My opponent also manipulatively twisted my words in saying that my argument was justified based on the assertion that "most people were christian" - my argument was that American Society and culture came into existence based off of Christian Tradition and culture, and to suddenly neglect one element of that culture and retain all of the others is fallacious!

All my opponent has done so far is make references to points outside the domain of debate, take jabs at christianity, and make random references to polygamy in a debate about marriage.

This nation may not have been founded on explicitly christian principle, but that says nothing to how the nation actually managed to thrive and develop: under christian influence. This nation has managed to thrive and become the center of freedom and liberty in the world by following christian ideals. Other nations, like North Korea, that operate secularly are images of horror and destruction.

Just because there is no explicit link from church to state in a christian nation filled with christian people, does not mean secularists get to claim the nation as their own "work".

As of this point, I myself am no longer following the guidelines of the debate as my opponent seems to have thrown that out the window. Vote Pro.

BobTurner

Con

Well, it appears that my opponent has given up. Without a doubt, he has not fulfilled his burden of proof or provided a single stitch of evidence, so this debate is already over.

I'm going go through his new arguments line by line once again.

"My opponent tries to deflect the topic of the debate from marriage to polygamy, which he assumes is relevant just because it is dicussed in the same book as marriage? As far as my opponent is concerned, I could be a proponent of polygamy! My opinions on that topic are utterly irrelevant to the subject of marriage, his only purpose in bringing said topic up is to seemingly make a bash at traditional christianity."

My opponent desperately insinuates that I have made a jab at Christianity. This is ridiculius considering that I'm a Christian, but what exactly did I? I quoted from the BIBLE. By quoting from the Bible, the scriptures upon which the faith is based, I'm bashing Christianity? Are you trying to run away from your own Bible, which by the way, endorses polygamy in several different places?

I am not deflecting the topic. My opponent stated in his opening remarks that he will argue that marriage is one-man-one-woman and that this is based on Christian principles. I simply pointed out that Christian principles require us to endorse polygamy. So to uphold the resolution, my opponent must argue for Biblical marriage which is polygamy. Has he argued for it? Of course not.

"My opponent also manipulatively twisted my words in saying that my argument was justified based on the assertion that "most people were christian" - my argument was that American Society and culture came into existence based off of Christian Tradition and culture, and to suddenly neglect one element of that culture and retain all of the others is fallacious!"

This argument has two parts, and I will address both.

First, Pro states that I have manipulated his argument. I have done no such thing, and Pro has in fact manipulated my own words.

Pro claimed that, whether people know it or not -- and it's interested that he conceded that the U.S. may not be "explicitly" Christian, which means it is implicitly Christian (which doesn't even make any sense) -- they have been influenced by Christian values, so therefore we should impose Christian values because doing so would be redefining marriage.

First, Biblical marriage is NOT one-man-one-woman, it's polygamy. So if the Bible is our standard for defining marriage -- it's not, because marriage is not ipso facto religious, but let's pretend for a moment that it is -- then we've already changed the definition of marriage because polygamy isn't legal.

Second -- and this is the second part of Pro's argument which I will also debunk -- Pro's argument hinges on the notion that people and culture resulted from Christianity. But there is NO basis for this whatsoever. She provided us no sourcing of this whatsoever save for an ABC piece stating that most Americans are Christians and a biased faith website with a quote from Dinesh D'Souza -- who was just charged with violating campaign finance laws, by the way -- ASSERTING that it is. But there is NO evidence for this claim whatsoever.

Nevertheless, Pro's argument is this:

P1: American is a Christian Nation because Christianity is the basis for morality.
P2: Christianity states that marriage is one-man-one-woman.
C: Therefore, marriage should be one-man-one-woman.

I have already refuted both P1 and P2 so the resolution falls.


Pro goes on to conecede that the United States was not founded on Christian principle, but that it thrived under Christian influence, and that by following Christian ideasl, it has become the "center of freedom and liberty."

How? In what way? Where is the link or the causation? I proved that this nation does not follow Christian principles because Church and governed were designed to be secular. In what way has the country followed Christian principles?

Let's even take an example: Jesus said "turn the other cheek" rather than fight back. Yet we have the largest military in the world. How is that a Christian principle?

My opponent then disingenously makes a reductio ad absurdum to North Korea, forgetting that there is even a such thing as a secular religion: it's called a cult of personality.

But even if this weren't the case, there is NO coherent link made here between secularism and horror. This is merely a bare-assertion fallacy and a non sequitur.

He then claims that secularists don't get to claim the nation "as their work." But I never stated that we do. My OPPONENT wants to claims it as the work of Christians, but it surely was not. It was founded as a secular nation, admittedly by some people who were religious, some more than others, and some of whom were not religious. But this is NOT a Christian nation, and my opponent has dropped all of my arguments and even conceded this point.

Then my opponent once again attempts to cast asperions against me as a pathetic excuse of not addressing my arguments.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by BobTurner 3 years ago
BobTurner
Derking's RFD is ridiculous. Clearly he didn't even read my arguments.
Posted by Daltonian 3 years ago
Daltonian
The endurance of Bob is inspiring. I don't take these types of debates, because I snap when under pressure from loons a bit too easily..

I can tolerate people who logically argue against gay marriage, but this is just an excuse of an argument in disguise; an attempt to render gay marriage illegitimate by restricting "what can be referenced in the debate".
Posted by Logi 3 years ago
Logi
As a Christian I would say forcing people to follow Christianity is not at all Christ-like
Posted by Lady_Una 3 years ago
Lady_Una
Specialized versions of the institution of marriage are not religions, and thus not protected under freedom of religion
Posted by Dilara 3 years ago
Dilara
What happened to freedom of religion?
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Burncastle 3 years ago
Burncastle
Lady_UnaBobTurnerTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's argument are so weak that I should give victory to Con simply for that reason, but I will add to that the fact that Con's argument and rebuttals were very effective.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 3 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
Lady_UnaBobTurnerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Bible argument more than sufficient.
Vote Placed by DerKing 3 years ago
DerKing
Lady_UnaBobTurnerTied
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Total points awarded:12 
Reasons for voting decision: Con was only one who used sources. However, con did in fact break the rules by talking about the U.S.'s legal standpoint, when this was a philosophical debate. Pro's point about the U.S. laws being based off the bible could be true... but they are not. This is true for a majority of states, but not the federal government. If she argued how all presidents have been protestant, or a majority of states base there laws off the bible, or in some states the family bible is a legal record, or most politicians are christian, then I would have given her more points. Because Con based his entire argument off the legal standpoint of the U.S. which was banned by the rules, his argument is invalid. In short, they argued well. But neither of there arguments were relevant, or had enough evidence, to count, rendering them both invalid.
Vote Placed by Cygnus 3 years ago
Cygnus
Lady_UnaBobTurnerTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: In spite of Pro's attempt to tilt this debate heavily in her favor by introducing odd rules like barring the legal definition of marriage, she still loses this debate for the following reasons: 1. She maintains that marriage is a sacred union between one man and one woman, but Con demonstrated that this position is illogical by referring to passages that explicitly state that biblical characters had multiple wives. Clearly, this Christian view of marriage is inconsistent with the Bible. 2. The only aspect that makes ours a Christian nation is its sheer number of adherents, even though that number is falling. Moreover, as Com alluded to, majority rule does not necessarily apply in matters such as these. 3. The Christian sense of morality is very questionable, often hypocritical. Both debaters conducted themselves well, but victory goes to Con.
Vote Placed by numberwang 3 years ago
numberwang
Lady_UnaBobTurnerTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro failed to provide evidence for his claim that the US is christian and is based on christian ideas and failed to address most of what con said besides trying to say it was illegal as per the debate terms.