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Were the Founding Fathers Christian

Galiban
Posts: 121
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3/24/2009 5:35:04 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I want to flesh out the information from both sides. Couple of Key points.

Where does the evidence point.

Why is this important?

Atheists claim this country is not prosperous because of Christianity. It is overall evidence against American Christians claim of "the blessings from God".

Christains claim that America is proof of God's blessings when we are right with God. Evidence for Christianity.
________
So I would like a list of evidence for America as Christian Nation Starting with Founding Fathers and working through History and bad decisions vs. good decisions and the source of those decisions. The main goal is FF but I realize other historical contexts could be drawn in.

Anyone can convince me. Simply present the information.

I realize that will be alot of information so to keep categorized there will be three lists. For FF being Christian, Against, and Information removed from either list due to various reasons.

Avoid posting just the website and say go read it. Pull out the pertinent information even if you desire to post the link to back it up. It keeps things effecient for everyone, but please post the source of information.

Who would like to start?
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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3/24/2009 5:43:51 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Deist:

Included is the relevant wiki excerpt:

"In the United States, Enlightenment philosophy (which itself was heavily inspired by deist ideals) played a major role in creating the principle of separation of church and state, expressed in Thomas Jefferson's letters, and the principle of religious freedom expressed in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. American Founding Fathers, or Framers of the Constitution, who were especially noted for being influenced by such philosophy include Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Cornelius Harnett, Gouverneur Morris, and Hugh Williamson. Their political speeches show distinct deistic influence. Other notable Founding Fathers may have been more directly deist. These include James Madison, John Adams, possibly Alexander Hamilton, Ethan Allen [32] and Thomas Paine (who published The Age of Reason, a treatise that helped to popularize deism throughout America and Europe). Elihu Palmer (1764-1806) wrote the "Bible" of American deism in his Principles of Nature (1801) and attempted to organize deism by forming the "Deistical Society of New York.""
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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3/24/2009 6:09:09 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I don't think the importance of this point has anything to do with what you stated. I think the only times I have seen it raised are on the Con side of "Separation of Church and State".
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Galiban
Posts: 121
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3/24/2009 6:09:39 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/24/2009 5:43:51 PM, Kleptin wrote:
Deist:

Included is the relevant wiki excerpt:

"In the United States, Enlightenment philosophy (which itself was heavily inspired by deist ideals) played a major role in creating the principle of separation of church and state, expressed in Thomas Jefferson's letters, and the principle of religious freedom expressed in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. American Founding Fathers, or Framers of the Constitution, who were especially noted for being influenced by such philosophy include Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Cornelius Harnett, Gouverneur Morris, and Hugh Williamson. Their political speeches show distinct deistic influence. Other notable Founding Fathers may have been more directly deist. These include James Madison, John Adams, possibly Alexander Hamilton, Ethan Allen [32] and Thomas Paine (who published The Age of Reason, a treatise that helped to popularize deism throughout America and Europe). Elihu Palmer (1764-1806) wrote the "Bible" of American deism in his Principles of Nature (1801) and attempted to organize deism by forming the "Deistical Society of New York.""

Can you cite the sources of that actual information, not Wiki as the source.
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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3/24/2009 6:17:14 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/24/2009 6:09:39 PM, Galiban wrote:
Can you cite the sources of that actual information, not Wiki as the source.

If you're going to be picky about the validity of sources, I'm going to have to say "sorry" and retract whatever I put. I'm way too lazy to research more on a subject I don't care about :P
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Galiban
Posts: 121
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3/24/2009 6:17:29 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/24/2009 6:09:09 PM, Kleptin wrote:
I don't think the importance of this point has anything to do with what you stated. I think the only times I have seen it raised are on the Con side of "Separation of Church and State".

I have no particular belief on that at the moment. I do not know who would be right or wrong, but Christians understood this and found it acceptable at the time due to the Catholic persecution of protestants. That no denomination should have sway over another. Not that morality and spiritual guidance should be seperate from the state but that no one denomination should hold sway over another.

No Christian in their right mind would allow Muslim Sharia Law in this country. It goes against morality. As well we would not allow Child sacrifice in this country. So no it could not be totally seperate as an Atheist would propose.

The founding Fathers beliefs are not important in deciding if that is the right way but morality should be.

The intent of the Founding Fathers would help if they were in fact known to be Christian. If they were Diest then their personal values would be impossible to discern. Only the Laws could be. However, over the centuries the laws have constantly been reinterpreted.
Galiban
Posts: 121
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3/24/2009 6:18:41 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/24/2009 6:17:14 PM, Kleptin wrote:
At 3/24/2009 6:09:39 PM, Galiban wrote:
Can you cite the sources of that actual information, not Wiki as the source.

If you're going to be picky about the validity of sources, I'm going to have to say "sorry" and retract whatever I put. I'm way too lazy to research more on a subject I don't care about :P

I am only interested in the truth and those that actually care about knowing the truth :) BTW arent you from like Hong Kong?
Nik
Posts: 552
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3/24/2009 6:18:56 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
The ship the mayflower which the founding fathers set sail on, set sail from a berth, which is now occupied by a pub called the mayflower. I live next door to that pub!
"If you could tell the world but one truth, I could convince it of a thousand lies"
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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3/24/2009 6:21:49 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/24/2009 6:17:29 PM, Galiban wrote:
The intent of the Founding Fathers would help if they were in fact known to be Christian. If they were Diest then their personal values would be impossible to discern. Only the Laws could be. However, over the centuries the laws have constantly been reinterpreted.

That's fine with me. I find that arguing the intention of the founding fathers is extremely weak. Especially if we're going to be determining the morality of a certain issue, or the validity of a certain law. Laws reflect the current moral views of society, and those are always changing. I say we let the founding fathers alone.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Nik
Posts: 552
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3/24/2009 6:26:32 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
So sorry, I was thinking of the pilgrim fathers, not founding fathers, my bad!
"If you could tell the world but one truth, I could convince it of a thousand lies"
DiablosChaosBroker
Posts: 1,433
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3/24/2009 6:27:23 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/24/2009 6:18:41 PM, Galiban wrote:
At 3/24/2009 6:17:14 PM, Kleptin wrote:
At 3/24/2009 6:09:39 PM, Galiban wrote:
Can you cite the sources of that actual information, not Wiki as the source.

If you're going to be picky about the validity of sources, I'm going to have to say "sorry" and retract whatever I put. I'm way too lazy to research more on a subject I don't care about :P

I am only interested in the truth and those that actually care about knowing the truth :) BTW arent you from like Hong Kong?

TRUTH: The founding fathers were deists.
JBlake
Posts: 4,634
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3/24/2009 7:32:21 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
It would take a lot of digging and searching the primary sources to find the religious beliefs of all or even just most of the founding generation. You will have to take my word for it when I agree with DiablusChaosBroker. Certainly some of the "founding fathers" were christian. Most, however, were deist. This is especially true of the more recognizable names (i.e. Jefferson, Franklin, Paine).

I would also like to emphasize Kleptin's point that there is no need to lionize the founding generation. Their religious views should have no effect on current policy or current morality (after all, many held slaves, something that we find morally repugnant today).
JustCallMeTarzan
Posts: 1,922
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3/24/2009 9:09:52 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of...Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all." - Thomas Paine

"To the corruptions of Christianity, I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished anyone to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence, and believing he never claimed any other." - Thomas Jefferson

"Some books against Deism fell into my hands. . . It happened that they wrought an effect on my quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a through Deist." - Benjamin Franklin

"It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses." - John Adams

"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution." - James Madison

"I have generally been dominated a Deist, the reality of which I never disputed, being conscious I am no Christian, except mere infant baptism makes me one; and as to being a Deist, I know not strictly speaking, whether I am one or not." - Ethan Allen

*****************************************

Paine, Jefferson, Franklin, Allen, Adams, Madison - all very well renowned founding fathers - all exhibiting very clear anti-christian, or at the very least, anti-entanglement-of-christianity-and-state sentiments.

Madison DRAFTED the constitution, yet refers to the fruits of Christianity as bigotry and persecution. How is there any confusion on this issue? The founding fathers may have recognized that religious principles have co-opted basic societal principles when they were invented, or recognized that religious principles have value for society in the same way Soma does in Brave New World.... but this in NO WAY makes the founding fathers Christians.
JustCallMeTarzan
Posts: 1,922
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3/24/2009 10:26:25 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/24/2009 5:35:04 PM, Galiban wrote:

Where does the evidence point.

Atheists claim this country is not prosperous because of Christianity. It is overall evidence against American Christians claim of "the blessings from God".

Christains claim that America is proof of God's blessings when we are right with God. Evidence for Christianity.

By the way, I hope everyone realizes that these two statements are completely irrelevant to the religious views of the founding fathers. And also, I find it very unbelievable that God has anything to do with America's prosperity. America prospers (or doesn't) on the backs of Americans... not God.
DATCMOTO
Posts: 6,160
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3/24/2009 11:54:30 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/24/2009 9:39:19 PM, 1337Hal wrote:
Winner.

I think 1337Hal is a Troll account from JustCallMeTarzan I do.. As was PATCMOTO..
The Cross.. the Cross.
1337Hal
Posts: 182
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3/25/2009 12:08:06 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/24/2009 11:54:30 PM, DATCMOTO wrote:
At 3/24/2009 9:39:19 PM, 1337Hal wrote:
Winner.

I think 1337Hal is a Troll account from JustCallMeTarzan I do.. As was PATCMOTO..

Justcallmetarzan wishes. JOKE!

First of all, new-to-internet-guy:

"An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion."

You'll note I've been here a quarter of the time you have, yet I've had two-thirds the number of debates you have already. I have posted relevant comments, forum messages and debates in my short time here, while you've copy/pasted the same silly metaphor in every thread. Now that you actually know the meaning of the term "troll", who's the bigger troll here?

Secondly, conspiracy-theory-smoking-guy-from-X-Files-guy, I'm not Justcallmetarzan, and if I have to, I'll take a DNA test to prove it! ;)
DATCMOTO
Posts: 6,160
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3/25/2009 12:15:36 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/25/2009 12:08:06 AM, 1337Hal wrote:
At 3/24/2009 11:54:30 PM, DATCMOTO wrote:
At 3/24/2009 9:39:19 PM, 1337Hal wrote:
Winner.

I think 1337Hal is a Troll account from JustCallMeTarzan I do.. As was PATCMOTO..

Justcallmetarzan wishes. JOKE!

First of all, new-to-internet-guy:

"An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion."

You'll note I've been here a quarter of the time you have, yet I've had two-thirds the number of debates you have already. I have posted relevant comments, forum messages and debates in my short time here, while you've copy/pasted the same silly metaphor in every thread. Now that you actually know the meaning of the term "troll", who's the bigger troll here?

Secondly, conspiracy-theory-smoking-guy-from-X-Files-guy, I'm not Justcallmetarzan, and if I have to, I'll take a DNA test to prove it! ;)

MMMMMmmmmm.. VERY long winded and reactionary reply.. the evidence mounts..
The Cross.. the Cross.
1337Hal
Posts: 182
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3/25/2009 12:27:16 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/25/2009 12:15:36 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
At 3/25/2009 12:08:06 AM, 1337Hal wrote:
At 3/24/2009 11:54:30 PM, DATCMOTO wrote:
At 3/24/2009 9:39:19 PM, 1337Hal wrote:
Winner.

I think 1337Hal is a Troll account from JustCallMeTarzan I do.. As was PATCMOTO..

Justcallmetarzan wishes. JOKE!

First of all, new-to-internet-guy:

"An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion."

You'll note I've been here a quarter of the time you have, yet I've had two-thirds the number of debates you have already. I have posted relevant comments, forum messages and debates in my short time here, while you've copy/pasted the same silly metaphor in every thread. Now that you actually know the meaning of the term "troll", who's the bigger troll here?

Secondly, conspiracy-theory-smoking-guy-from-X-Files-guy, I'm not Justcallmetarzan, and if I have to, I'll take a DNA test to prove it! ;)

MMMMMmmmmm.. VERY long winded and reactionary reply.. the evidence mounts..

WOW! I'm starting to see the evidence now! What are the odds that two people, in the entire world, decided to join a debate site, and... here's the kicker... they both like to explain themselves thoroughly and coherently!!! A million to one, man, a million to one.

Thanks for giving us a general indicator of what you consider "evidence" for your various beliefs. Mustn't have taken much to make you born-again. :D *laughs and stuff, then scratches*
JustCallMeTarzan
Posts: 1,922
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3/25/2009 9:36:42 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/24/2009 11:54:30 PM, DATCMOTO wrote:

I think 1337Hal is a Troll account from JustCallMeTarzan I do.. As was PATCMOTO..

Yes, because I have the time to take 18 credit hours, hold a job, debate my own stuff, and run two other fake accounts, one of which I sometimes debate myself with...

Grow up.
DATCMOTO
Posts: 6,160
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3/25/2009 11:35:18 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/25/2009 9:36:42 AM, JustCallMeTarzan wrote:
At 3/24/2009 11:54:30 PM, DATCMOTO wrote:

I think 1337Hal is a Troll account from JustCallMeTarzan I do.. As was PATCMOTO..

Yes, because I have the time to take 18 credit hours, hold a job, debate my own stuff, and run two other fake accounts, one of which I sometimes debate myself with...

Grow up.

I don't mind at all.. just keep in mind that this is what I believe. WHATEVER you say.
The Cross.. the Cross.
AnimeFanTony
Posts: 1,129
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3/25/2009 4:31:08 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/25/2009 11:35:18 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
At 3/25/2009 9:36:42 AM, JustCallMeTarzan wrote:
At 3/24/2009 11:54:30 PM, DATCMOTO wrote:

I think 1337Hal is a Troll account from JustCallMeTarzan I do.. As was PATCMOTO..

Yes, because I have the time to take 18 credit hours, hold a job, debate my own stuff, and run two other fake accounts, one of which I sometimes debate myself with...

Grow up.

I don't mind at all.. just keep in mind that this is what I believe. WHATEVER you say.

From what I've seen they (or anyone else for that matter) doesn't seem to care to much about what you think or believe while numerous others seem to take an interest in them an others like them. You know the type that can think for themselves, make real arguments, not criticize every non-Christian or Christian you think not fit, not bash you over the head with a Bible every time you say "evolution" or anything not proclaiming glory to Jesus. And *gasp* God forbid actually debating and doing well. Heavens no, what do they think this is some sort of debate site.
News-flash DATCMOTO it is.
Ownership of this account has been transferred from JCMT to I-am-a-panda.
Updates of the next JCMT puppet account pending.
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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3/25/2009 9:47:24 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
There is a history book, "Faith of the Founders: Religion and the New Nation, 1776-1826" by Edwin S Gaustad that gives a great number of quotations from primary sources (such as correspondence) that establishes the Deism of the Founders, and their favorable view of Christianity, beyond reasonable doubt. The author is a Christian. It was written c. 1950 and has been reprinted. There is another book with a similar title that is completely unrelated.

My copy is stashed away in a container. I will try to find it and provide some quotations.

My (atheist) opinion is that the Christian influence on the US has, as a whole, been positive. It is mainly post-1800 Christianity, not the previous varieties. It was enormously helpful that the Christian sects in the Colonies were so divided that none could impose radical thinking. That enabled the Deists to get a good compromise accepted.

When thinking about Christian dominance, one must consider the alternatives. For example, I think Buddhism would have been better, but most other religions worse. The alternative that everyone should just be free of ideology, totally rational, and brilliantly enlightened is, unfortunately, not a viable option. People need simple rules for organizing their lives, and those rules must be embedded in culture. Christianity serves well enough.

I don't know of any modern atheist thinkers who believe that anything flows from atheism. Some Christians point to all the bad examples of atheism and claim that is necessary. They ignore good examples. Some atheists point to bad examples of Christianity and claim that is necessary. That's not true either. Christianity is an evolving culture, so what is good and bad changes over time. I don't have a problem believing that Christianity has gotten past divine kings, slavery, and witch trials.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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3/25/2009 10:52:17 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
When thinking about Christian dominance, one must consider the alternatives.

Prolly paganism, considering that's what had Europe before Christianity took over, which, if what's become of paganism today is any judge, would prolly work pretty darn well for those who need faith :).
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
DATCMOTO
Posts: 6,160
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3/26/2009 12:22:10 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/25/2009 4:31:08 PM, AnimeFanTony wrote:
At 3/25/2009 11:35:18 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
At 3/25/2009 9:36:42 AM, JustCallMeTarzan wrote:
At 3/24/2009 11:54:30 PM, DATCMOTO wrote:

I think 1337Hal is a Troll account from JustCallMeTarzan I do.. As was PATCMOTO..

Yes, because I have the time to take 18 credit hours, hold a job, debate my own stuff, and run two other fake accounts, one of which I sometimes debate myself with...

Grow up.

I don't mind at all.. just keep in mind that this is what I believe. WHATEVER you say.

From what I've seen they (or anyone else for that matter) doesn't seem to care to much about what you think or believe while numerous others seem to take an interest in them an others like them. You know the type that can think for themselves, make real arguments, not criticize every non-Christian or Christian you think not fit, not bash you over the head with a Bible every time you say "evolution" or anything not proclaiming glory to Jesus. And *gasp* God forbid actually debating and doing well. Heavens no, what do they think this is some sort of debate site.
News-flash DATCMOTO it is.

'Thinking for ourselves' is EXACTLY what got the whole human race into this disastrous mess we presume to call civilisation in the first place..(Genesis3)
The Cross.. the Cross.
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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3/26/2009 6:21:48 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/26/2009 12:22:10 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
'Thinking for ourselves' is EXACTLY what got the whole human race into this disastrous mess we presume to call civilisation in the first place..(Genesis3)

Free will for humans is also the most important thing to God.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
DATCMOTO
Posts: 6,160
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3/26/2009 10:36:40 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 3/26/2009 6:21:48 AM, Kleptin wrote:
At 3/26/2009 12:22:10 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
'Thinking for ourselves' is EXACTLY what got the whole human race into this disastrous mess we presume to call civilisation in the first place..(Genesis3)

Free will for humans is also the most important thing to God.

No, God clearly warned Adam and Eve, " IF you eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and and evil you will SURELY DIE."
God essentially gave them a choice whether to have more choice or not, to choose 'what' is good or evil.. we still labour under this delusion.. that we can know this apart from Him.
The Cross.. the Cross.