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Is the USA a country founded on Christianity

Martley
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7/3/2015 5:41:02 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." - John Adams

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. ... But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding...." - Thomas Jefferson

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 for the 400th anniversary of Columbus's discovery of the new world, by baptist minister Francis Bellamy without the phrase "under God" ... when Columbus Day became a national holiday. Shortly after the US flag was placed in school rooms and students were encouraged to honor it each morning. The Pledge was officially adopted in 1945 and the phrase "under God" was added on Flag Day in 1954 by President Eisenhower shortly after his conversion to the Presbyterian Church with the guidance of Billy Graham.

"In God We Trust" first appeared on our currency in 1864. In 1889 the phrase was adopted as an alternative motto of the US from the motto adopted by the founding fathers on the US Seal "E pluribus unum" which means One Out of Many. "In God We Trust" was officially adopted as the US motto to be printed on all US currency in 1956 by (once again) President Eisenhower.

The US was founded as a secular nation based on the liberty and will of Man, with no ties to organized religion or an allegiance to God. It was not until the Evangelical Movement in the mid 20th Century that this concept was changed to align with the Christian God during the Cold War to distinguish itself from the Soviet Union, a overtly atheist system.
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The best time to do something was 20 years ago.... the second best to do something is now.
dhardage
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7/3/2015 8:16:09 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/3/2015 5:41:02 AM, Martley wrote:
"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." - John Adams

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. ... But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding...." - Thomas Jefferson

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 for the 400th anniversary of Columbus's discovery of the new world, by baptist minister Francis Bellamy without the phrase "under God" ... when Columbus Day became a national holiday. Shortly after the US flag was placed in school rooms and students were encouraged to honor it each morning. The Pledge was officially adopted in 1945 and the phrase "under God" was added on Flag Day in 1954 by President Eisenhower shortly after his conversion to the Presbyterian Church with the guidance of Billy Graham.

"In God We Trust" first appeared on our currency in 1864. In 1889 the phrase was adopted as an alternative motto of the US from the motto adopted by the founding fathers on the US Seal "E pluribus unum" which means One Out of Many. "In God We Trust" was officially adopted as the US motto to be printed on all US currency in 1956 by (once again) President Eisenhower.

The US was founded as a secular nation based on the liberty and will of Man, with no ties to organized religion or an allegiance to God. It was not until the Evangelical Movement in the mid 20th Century that this concept was changed to align with the Christian God during the Cold War to distinguish itself from the Soviet Union, a overtly atheist system.

+1
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,088
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7/3/2015 9:07:20 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/3/2015 5:41:02 AM, Martley wrote:
"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." - John Adams

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. ... But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding...." - Thomas Jefferson

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 for the 400th anniversary of Columbus's discovery of the new world, by baptist minister Francis Bellamy without the phrase "under God" ... when Columbus Day became a national holiday. Shortly after the US flag was placed in school rooms and students were encouraged to honor it each morning. The Pledge was officially adopted in 1945 and the phrase "under God" was added on Flag Day in 1954 by President Eisenhower shortly after his conversion to the Presbyterian Church with the guidance of Billy Graham.

"In God We Trust" first appeared on our currency in 1864. In 1889 the phrase was adopted as an alternative motto of the US from the motto adopted by the founding fathers on the US Seal "E pluribus unum" which means One Out of Many. "In God We Trust" was officially adopted as the US motto to be printed on all US currency in 1956 by (once again) President Eisenhower.

The US was founded as a secular nation based on the liberty and will of Man, with no ties to organized religion or an allegiance to God. It was not until the Evangelical Movement in the mid 20th Century that this concept was changed to align with the Christian God during the Cold War to distinguish itself from the Soviet Union, a overtly atheist system.

+1
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slo1
Posts: 4,312
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7/3/2015 10:53:09 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/3/2015 5:41:02 AM, Martley wrote:
"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." - John Adams

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. ... But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding...." - Thomas Jefferson

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 for the 400th anniversary of Columbus's discovery of the new world, by baptist minister Francis Bellamy without the phrase "under God" ... when Columbus Day became a national holiday. Shortly after the US flag was placed in school rooms and students were encouraged to honor it each morning. The Pledge was officially adopted in 1945 and the phrase "under God" was added on Flag Day in 1954 by President Eisenhower shortly after his conversion to the Presbyterian Church with the guidance of Billy Graham.

"In God We Trust" first appeared on our currency in 1864. In 1889 the phrase was adopted as an alternative motto of the US from the motto adopted by the founding fathers on the US Seal "E pluribus unum" which means One Out of Many. "In God We Trust" was officially adopted as the US motto to be printed on all US currency in 1956 by (once again) President Eisenhower.

The US was founded as a secular nation based on the liberty and will of Man, with no ties to organized religion or an allegiance to God. It was not until the Evangelical Movement in the mid 20th Century that this concept was changed to align with the Christian God during the Cold War to distinguish itself from the Soviet Union, a overtly atheist system.

Thanks Martley. This is great stuff.
RoderickSpode
Posts: 2,371
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7/3/2015 11:24:29 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/3/2015 5:41:02 AM, Martley wrote:
"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." - John Adams

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. ... But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding...." - Thomas Jefferson

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 for the 400th anniversary of Columbus's discovery of the new world, by baptist minister Francis Bellamy without the phrase "under God" ... when Columbus Day became a national holiday. Shortly after the US flag was placed in school rooms and students were encouraged to honor it each morning. The Pledge was officially adopted in 1945 and the phrase "under God" was added on Flag Day in 1954 by President Eisenhower shortly after his conversion to the Presbyterian Church with the guidance of Billy Graham.

"In God We Trust" first appeared on our currency in 1864. In 1889 the phrase was adopted as an alternative motto of the US from the motto adopted by the founding fathers on the US Seal "E pluribus unum" which means One Out of Many. "In God We Trust" was officially adopted as the US motto to be printed on all US currency in 1956 by (once again) President Eisenhower.

The US was founded as a secular nation based on the liberty and will of Man, with no ties to organized religion or an allegiance to God. It was not until the Evangelical Movement in the mid 20th Century that this concept was changed to align with the Christian God during the Cold War to distinguish itself from the Soviet Union, a overtly atheist system.
You should have put the whole quote in for proper context:

"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 Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan 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."

This was addressed to a Muslim nation assuring them the U.S. was not the equivalent of a European Christian State. The whole purpose of the U.S. in regards to religion was to avoid becoming a European type theocracy, where one or two denominations rule. They did not want a "Church of the United States".

And by the way, that quote was not made by John Adams.
Martley
Posts: 126
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7/3/2015 1:39:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/3/2015 11:24:29 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 7/3/2015 5:41:02 AM, Martley wrote:
"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." - John Adams

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. ... But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding...." - Thomas Jefferson

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 for the 400th anniversary of Columbus's discovery of the new world, by baptist minister Francis Bellamy without the phrase "under God" ... when Columbus Day became a national holiday. Shortly after the US flag was placed in school rooms and students were encouraged to honor it each morning. The Pledge was officially adopted in 1945 and the phrase "under God" was added on Flag Day in 1954 by President Eisenhower shortly after his conversion to the Presbyterian Church with the guidance of Billy Graham.

"In God We Trust" first appeared on our currency in 1864. In 1889 the phrase was adopted as an alternative motto of the US from the motto adopted by the founding fathers on the US Seal "E pluribus unum" which means One Out of Many. "In God We Trust" was officially adopted as the US motto to be printed on all US currency in 1956 by (once again) President Eisenhower.

The US was founded as a secular nation based on the liberty and will of Man, with no ties to organized religion or an allegiance to God. It was not until the Evangelical Movement in the mid 20th Century that this concept was changed to align with the Christian God during the Cold War to distinguish itself from the Soviet Union, a overtly atheist system.
You should have put the whole quote in for proper context:

"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 Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan 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."

This was addressed to a Muslim nation assuring them the U.S. was not the equivalent of a European Christian State. The whole purpose of the U.S. in regards to religion was to avoid becoming a European type theocracy, where one or two denominations rule. They did not want a "Church of the United States".

And by the way, that quote was not made by John Adams.

It is not at all improper to attribute the quote the Adams. The POTUS possesses the Constitutional power to make and sign treaties and it is appropriate and common that treaties are attributed to them as they are the sole signer, and as POTUS is ultimately responsible for the wording regardless of its origin. The treaties are approved and signed by the POTUS so naturally any language held within would be solely at the discretion of the POTUS. The treaty was written by Joel Barlow (Counsel to Algiers), approved by Timothy Pickering (Sec. of State), approved by Adams (POTUS)... passed on to congress for ratification (which was unanimous) and returned to Adams for signature. But, of course, this point does not alter the wording at issue.... at its core it was approved by congress and signed by Adams. However, to qwell your concern... from this point forward I will attribute the quote to "Treaty of Tripoli; approved by a whole bunch of government people, signed by a President and Founding Father of the United States and ratified by Congress duly elected by the people".... I think that works beautifully....

The statement was included for the purpose that the treaty was between two nations, not between two religious powers. It was clearly intended to assure that the US is a nation ruled by laws and based on a secular foundation that shall stay that way... for all to see. I did not use the quote outside this context.
A Black Belt is a white belt who never quit.

The best time to do something was 20 years ago.... the second best to do something is now.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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7/4/2015 4:38:00 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
It's a complex question. A lot of the colonies were founded on distinctly Christian foundations, whether Pennsylvania's Quaker roots, Rhode Island's radically liberal theology, or the general Puritanical bent of New England, which saw the US as a city on a hill in sight of the world, as an example of a truly Christian body free from the political meddling of the European powers. Absolute freedom of religion was a necessary compromise to bind these bodies together.

To sum things up, the US is, historically and culturally, a Christian (really, a protestant) nation. But it is NOT one politically, especially after the passing of the 14th Amendment.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
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Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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7/4/2015 7:02:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/3/2015 5:41:02 AM, Martley wrote:
"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." - John Adams

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. ... But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding...." - Thomas Jefferson

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 for the 400th anniversary of Columbus's discovery of the new world, by baptist minister Francis Bellamy without the phrase "under God" ... when Columbus Day became a national holiday. Shortly after the US flag was placed in school rooms and students were encouraged to honor it each morning. The Pledge was officially adopted in 1945 and the phrase "under God" was added on Flag Day in 1954 by President Eisenhower shortly after his conversion to the Presbyterian Church with the guidance of Billy Graham.

"In God We Trust" first appeared on our currency in 1864. In 1889 the phrase was adopted as an alternative motto of the US from the motto adopted by the founding fathers on the US Seal "E pluribus unum" which means One Out of Many. "In God We Trust" was officially adopted as the US motto to be printed on all US currency in 1956 by (once again) President Eisenhower.

The US was founded as a secular nation based on the liberty and will of Man, with no ties to organized religion or an allegiance to God. It was not until the Evangelical Movement in the mid 20th Century that this concept was changed to align with the Christian God during the Cold War to distinguish itself from the Soviet Union, a overtly atheist system.

While not a Christian nation founded on a denominations tenets, I find it inescapable to find the nation to be deistic over secular (secular as meaning purely worldly). I think the founding fathers were very aware that the dignity of mankind could not be found in logical or scientific experiments, but only found in a mutual respect derived from a humble position 'under God'.

When I return to my computer I'll try to elaborate with quotes of my own.
RoderickSpode
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7/4/2015 7:23:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/3/2015 1:39:50 PM, Martley wrote:
At 7/3/2015 11:24:29 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 7/3/2015 5:41:02 AM, Martley wrote:
"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." - John Adams

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. ... But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding...." - Thomas Jefferson

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 for the 400th anniversary of Columbus's discovery of the new world, by baptist minister Francis Bellamy without the phrase "under God" ... when Columbus Day became a national holiday. Shortly after the US flag was placed in school rooms and students were encouraged to honor it each morning. The Pledge was officially adopted in 1945 and the phrase "under God" was added on Flag Day in 1954 by President Eisenhower shortly after his conversion to the Presbyterian Church with the guidance of Billy Graham.

"In God We Trust" first appeared on our currency in 1864. In 1889 the phrase was adopted as an alternative motto of the US from the motto adopted by the founding fathers on the US Seal "E pluribus unum" which means One Out of Many. "In God We Trust" was officially adopted as the US motto to be printed on all US currency in 1956 by (once again) President Eisenhower.

The US was founded as a secular nation based on the liberty and will of Man, with no ties to organized religion or an allegiance to God. It was not until the Evangelical Movement in the mid 20th Century that this concept was changed to align with the Christian God during the Cold War to distinguish itself from the Soviet Union, a overtly atheist system.
You should have put the whole quote in for proper context:

"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 Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan 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."

This was addressed to a Muslim nation assuring them the U.S. was not the equivalent of a European Christian State. The whole purpose of the U.S. in regards to religion was to avoid becoming a European type theocracy, where one or two denominations rule. They did not want a "Church of the United States".

And by the way, that quote was not made by John Adams.

It is not at all improper to attribute the quote the Adams. The POTUS possesses the Constitutional power to make and sign treaties and it is appropriate and common that treaties are attributed to them as they are the sole signer, and as POTUS is ultimately responsible for the wording regardless of its origin. The treaties are approved and signed by the POTUS so naturally any language held within would be solely at the discretion of the POTUS. The treaty was written by Joel Barlow (Counsel to Algiers), approved by Timothy Pickering (Sec. of State), approved by Adams (POTUS)... passed on to congress for ratification (which was unanimous) and returned to Adams for signature. But, of course, this point does not alter the wording at issue.... at its core it was approved by congress and signed by Adams. However, to qwell your concern... from this point forward I will attribute the quote to "Treaty of Tripoli; approved by a whole bunch of government people, signed by a President and Founding Father of the United States and ratified by Congress duly elected by the people".... I think that works beautifully....

The statement was included for the purpose that the treaty was between two nations, not between two religious powers. It was clearly intended to assure that the US is a nation ruled by laws and based on a secular foundation that shall stay that way... for all to see. I did not use the quote outside this context.

What I meant by proper context was.....by placing a "quotation" following with -John Adams, and not including the entire quote, it gives a false impression not only that those were the words of John Adams himself, but that he was making a general point, without any specific purpose behind it other than to emphasize the USA is not founded on Christianity. Particularly in light of your entire OP which stresses one individual's (Thomas Jefferson) view of miracles in the Bible, which really has nothing to do with Barlowe's quote or the nation's stance on Christianity (that I know of). For someone who wouldn't know the background of the quote, it could easily be assumed that Adam was addressing American clergymen.

And Skepsiyama pretty much nailed it in his post. The original Americans were Christians. There's no denying it. There were a number of deists, but it's pretty clear that the majority were Christians. They prayed, read from the Bible, and held Church services on Sunday right in the Capitol itself. All of this happening within a secular nation in the sense that Christianity was never a State religion. Ironically, a nation probably seen as less Christian today than even America, which is Great Britain, is a religious State (or has a State religion)....the Anglican Church.

So it really boils down to what the argument is really about. And usually it boils down to the alleged actions of modern evangelicals...or modern atheist activists. And from evangelicals, I don't think the majority are making any other claim other than stating historical facts concerning the historicity of Christian faith in America. The claims are certainly not that Christianity is a State religion in the USA. And I think the vast majority of evangelicals wouldn't want a State religion of any kind.
komododragon8
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7/4/2015 7:24:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/3/2015 5:41:02 AM, Martley wrote:
"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." - John Adams

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. ... But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding...." - Thomas Jefferson

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 for the 400th anniversary of Columbus's discovery of the new world, by baptist minister Francis Bellamy without the phrase "under God" ... when Columbus Day became a national holiday. Shortly after the US flag was placed in school rooms and students were encouraged to honor it each morning. The Pledge was officially adopted in 1945 and the phrase "under God" was added on Flag Day in 1954 by President Eisenhower shortly after his conversion to the Presbyterian Church with the guidance of Billy Graham.

"In God We Trust" first appeared on our currency in 1864. In 1889 the phrase was adopted as an alternative motto of the US from the motto adopted by the founding fathers on the US Seal "E pluribus unum" which means One Out of Many. "In God We Trust" was officially adopted as the US motto to be printed on all US currency in 1956 by (once again) President Eisenhower.

The US was founded as a secular nation based on the liberty and will of Man, with no ties to organized religion or an allegiance to God. It was not until the Evangelical Movement in the mid 20th Century that this concept was changed to align with the Christian God during the Cold War to distinguish itself from the Soviet Union, a overtly atheist system.

agree with you completely.
Serato
Posts: 743
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7/4/2015 9:44:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
So obviously this thread is laughable nonsense. The last paragraph of the OP was particularly savant to upping the delusional levels of grandeur appreciated by only those looking to function on that next level of disenfranchised realities that make living in a cartoon world seem real.
RuvDraba
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7/4/2015 10:17:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/4/2015 7:23:02 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
The original Americans had disparate, non-Christian beliefs, many of which were destroyed by genocide, ethnic cleansing and forced assimilation. There's no denying it.

Fixed for you, Roderick.

I think you meant the faith of early colonists, rather than original Americans.
ReformedPresbyterian72598
Posts: 293
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7/4/2015 10:45:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/3/2015 5:41:02 AM, Martley wrote:
"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." - John Adams

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. ... But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding...." - Thomas Jefferson

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 for the 400th anniversary of Columbus's discovery of the new world, by baptist minister Francis Bellamy without the phrase "under God" ... when Columbus Day became a national holiday. Shortly after the US flag was placed in school rooms and students were encouraged to honor it each morning. The Pledge was officially adopted in 1945 and the phrase "under God" was added on Flag Day in 1954 by President Eisenhower shortly after his conversion to the Presbyterian Church with the guidance of Billy Graham.

"In God We Trust" first appeared on our currency in 1864. In 1889 the phrase was adopted as an alternative motto of the US from the motto adopted by the founding fathers on the US Seal "E pluribus unum" which means One Out of Many. "In God We Trust" was officially adopted as the US motto to be printed on all US currency in 1956 by (once again) President Eisenhower.

The US was founded as a secular nation based on the liberty and will of Man, with no ties to organized religion or an allegiance to God. It was not until the Evangelical Movement in the mid 20th Century that this concept was changed to align with the Christian God during the Cold War to distinguish itself from the Soviet Union, a overtly atheist system.

Well said; I agree
RoderickSpode
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7/4/2015 11:10:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/4/2015 10:17:15 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/4/2015 7:23:02 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
The original Americans had disparate, non-Christian beliefs, many of which were destroyed by genocide, ethnic cleansing and forced assimilation. There's no denying it.

Fixed for you, Roderick.

I think you meant the faith of early colonists, rather than original Americans.
The term American is a demonym for a citizen of the United States. While there's no denying that Native Americans are American in the more ambiguous sense of the term (the Native Americans who live on tribal land or reservation are generally identified by their tribal name), it's making a mountain out of a mole-hill....unless you shun terms like Aboriginal Australians.

But....this is obviously not about semantics. This is about injustices Native Americans suffered at the hands of colonists.

What I can tell you as an American.....Native Americans in general are not impressed by any White/European ancestral American's claim of atheism (or unattachment to Christianity). So when a White/European ancestral American makes any reference to historical Christian oppression towards Native Americans, the question that pops into my mind is why are they living in suburbian luxury on what should be Native American land? I assume you see the paradox.

I might even wonder why you feel you belong in a land where similar violations were committed against Australia's original natives?
RuvDraba
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7/4/2015 11:57:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/4/2015 11:10:13 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 7/4/2015 10:17:15 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/4/2015 7:23:02 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
The original Americans had disparate, non-Christian beliefs, many of which were destroyed by genocide, ethnic cleansing and forced assimilation. There's no denying it.
Fixed for you, Roderick.
I think you meant the faith of early colonists, rather than original Americans.
The term American is a demonym for a citizen of the United States.

Clearly not, since the term dates from 1507, applies to the entire New World continent, and derives from the name of Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci. South Americans, for example, are Americans, though not US citizens.

The colonists identified as Christians. The founders of the US constitution however, were of mixed faith, though Christian cultural background.
Martley
Posts: 126
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7/5/2015 1:07:17 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/4/2015 7:02:40 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/3/2015 5:41:02 AM, Martley wrote:
"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." - John Adams

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. ... But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding...." - Thomas Jefferson

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 for the 400th anniversary of Columbus's discovery of the new world, by baptist minister Francis Bellamy without the phrase "under God" ... when Columbus Day became a national holiday. Shortly after the US flag was placed in school rooms and students were encouraged to honor it each morning. The Pledge was officially adopted in 1945 and the phrase "under God" was added on Flag Day in 1954 by President Eisenhower shortly after his conversion to the Presbyterian Church with the guidance of Billy Graham.

"In God We Trust" first appeared on our currency in 1864. In 1889 the phrase was adopted as an alternative motto of the US from the motto adopted by the founding fathers on the US Seal "E pluribus unum" which means One Out of Many. "In God We Trust" was officially adopted as the US motto to be printed on all US currency in 1956 by (once again) President Eisenhower.

The US was founded as a secular nation based on the liberty and will of Man, with no ties to organized religion or an allegiance to God. It was not until the Evangelical Movement in the mid 20th Century that this concept was changed to align with the Christian God during the Cold War to distinguish itself from the Soviet Union, a overtly atheist system.

While not a Christian nation founded on a denominations tenets, I find it inescapable to find the nation to be deistic over secular (secular as meaning purely worldly). I think the founding fathers were very aware that the dignity of mankind could not be found in logical or scientific experiments, but only found in a mutual respect derived from a humble position 'under God'.

When I return to my computer I'll try to elaborate with quotes of my own.

I look forward to it!
A Black Belt is a white belt who never quit.

The best time to do something was 20 years ago.... the second best to do something is now.
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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7/5/2015 1:07:18 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/3/2015 5:41:02 AM, Martley wrote:

Is the USA founded on Christianity. As I said earlier I do not think the USA was founded as a Christian state. It was however founded by God believing men and women. And I think many writings and actions of the early founding fathers illuminate this issue.

While many are quick to agree and say that America is a secular nation, I think they are implying a separation of religious belief from American Government that is unfounded in History.

First expression of America is in the Declaration of Independence. "That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Creator is not specifically a Christian God but certainly not what an atheist secular founder would want published. But certainly the intention is clear that the Rights of man are derived from the creator.

"We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions,..." While a French Deist may admit there is the possibility of a God creator, such a non-interacting deity would not be a judge of mankind's actions.

"With a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives"" There must have been a feeling of faith to put firm reliance in the protection provided by God.

So founded, as in the bedrock by which the government of the United States of America was established on would be of derivative of divine creation. USA was founded by Christian men and women.

Common Sense Thomas Paine. An influential if not corner stone to the creation of the American Citizen's identity

Paine rights "As the exalting of one man so greatly above the rest cannot be justified on the equal rights of nature, so neither can it be defended on the authority of scripture; for the will of the Almighty, as declared by Gideon and the prophet Samuel, expressly disapproves of government by kings." Paine was strongly defended the french revolution, but tho he was well learned in the types of Montesquieu ((which Jefferson translated and did a commentary for his work "Spirit of Laws" is a must read)) Paine alluded to scripture to support a government governed by the people. That the idea of a monarchy was against God's intended plan and only the stubbornness of the Israelis to copy heathen nations brought about the tyranny of kings to a holy nation.

Paine's other edition to American Philosophy "Age of Reason" was written in 1790 and not a prominent literary piece to the American founding. (I can't remember but I think it was despised in some circles and rarely saw publishing??) But even there we see Paine expresses his view on religions and is like Jefferson a Deist. Atheist seem to include Deist in with themselves. And posit fallaciously that Paine and Jefferson were as close to Atheist as you could get in that day. As if they had no reason to believe in a God but reasons to abstain from abandoning all belief. This narrative is just not supported in their writings.

I especially like when so many think Science and Religion are at war, they mock me when I say search for God is what gave birth to science. "We can know God only through his works. We cannot have a conception of any one attribute but by following some principle that leads to it. We have only a confused idea of his power, if we have not the means of comprehending something of its immensity. We can have no idea of his wisdom, but by knowing the order and manner in which it acts. The principles of science lead to this knowledge; for the Creator of man is the Creator of science; and it is through that medium that man can see God, as it were, face to face." Thomas Paine "Age of Reason"

So this idea of the USA being established as a "secular nation" which many on DDO would have us belief means a nation devoid of God and religion, and operating on principles of humanism is total hokum.

The separation of church and state was wall levied against congress to protect the individual to religious practice. It was the early congress composed of founding fathers "That the United States in Congress assembled highly approve the pious and laudable undertaking of Mr. Aitkin, as subservient to the interest of religion as well as an influence of the progress of arts in this country and being satisfied from the above report (by the congressional chaplains), they recommend this edition of the bible to the inhabitants of the United States and hereby authorize him to publish this recommendation." printed a Bible.

This separation was never meant to be a hammer of the irreligious to protect their sensitive ears. I think the founding fathers who voted to have congress print a bible would be rolling in their graves to hear that the wall of separation was used to reprimand people who kept a Bible atop their desk or to admonish a General for mentioning God in a speech.
RoderickSpode
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7/5/2015 2:52:35 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/4/2015 11:57:02 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/4/2015 11:10:13 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 7/4/2015 10:17:15 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/4/2015 7:23:02 PM, RoderickSpode wrote:
The original Americans had disparate, non-Christian beliefs, many of which were destroyed by genocide, ethnic cleansing and forced assimilation. There's no denying it.
Fixed for you, Roderick.
I think you meant the faith of early colonists, rather than original Americans.
The term American is a demonym for a citizen of the United States.

Clearly not, since the term dates from 1507, applies to the entire New World continent, and derives from the name of Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci. South Americans, for example, are Americans, though not US citizens.

Yes, American is most definitely a demonym used for a citizen of the United States. Are you claiming it's not?

The term United Statesian just never caught on for some reason.

As I said, yes, Native Americans were Americans in the ambiguous sense. There's no argument there. But Native Americans were not granted American citizenship until 1924.

Peruvians are Americans in the Vespuccian ambiguous sense as well (from the Americas). But the demonym for a Peruvian citizen is.....Peruvian. You'll probably never hear the term American applied to a non-citizen of the U.S. If you were to call a Peruvian (a citizen of Peru) an American, they probably wouldn't take too kindly to it. The term American is equivalent to a pejorative to many people around the globe.

I understand the way I used the term first Americans is not really politically correct, but I just didn't feel the need to be politically correct in light of the subject matter of the thread.

But again, this is obviously not about my usage of the term American, or even it's political correctness, because it's just not that big of an issue. This was an opportunity for you to address religious persecution of Native Americans.

The colonists identified as Christians. The founders of the US constitution however, were of mixed faith, though Christian cultural background.
That's a bit of a misleading statement. The colonists arrived within denominational enclaves. The founders of the US constitution were of the same faiths, avoiding promoting one faith (denomination) over another. What you're trying to do is suggest they were not of the Christian faith. That Christianity was only a cultural upbringing. The reality is, there wasn't a whole lot of other faiths other than Christianity. There were some founders who belonged to faiths that may have fell outside of traditional evangelical Christianity, like Unitarians. There were some deists. But the whole idea of mixed faiths being outside of Christianity doesn't hold water. There certainly weren't any Muslims or Hindus among the founding fathers. The Muslims in the nation at that time were African slaves. And probably less Hindus. Both Muslims and Hindus were acknowledged as being religions to be respected, but there's no record of any of the founding fathers belonging to any of those religions.
RuvDraba
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7/5/2015 3:33:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/5/2015 2:52:35 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 7/4/2015 11:57:02 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
The colonists identified as Christians. The founders of the US constitution however, were of mixed faith, though Christian cultural background.
That's a bit of a misleading statement. The colonists arrived within denominational enclaves.
Yes, and if you want to say that the US was colonised under Christian values, then what you're saying is that an occupied land was siezed under Christian ignorance, Christian arrogance, Christian violence, a sense of Christian sanctimony, superiority, idealism and self-entitlement.

I'd have no argument with that at all.

But if you want to say that the single nation-state of the US was founded by Christians, that's clearly untrue. You'd have to say it was founded by people of Christian heritage.

I'd also agree with that. However, the usual tests of Christianity -- upholding an accepted version of the Nicene Creed, say -- a test under which other Abrahamic monotheists such as Baha'i are never considered Christian -- was failed by several prominent Constitutional founders.
RoderickSpode
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7/5/2015 3:51:38 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/5/2015 3:33:19 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/5/2015 2:52:35 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 7/4/2015 11:57:02 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
The colonists identified as Christians. The founders of the US constitution however, were of mixed faith, though Christian cultural background.
That's a bit of a misleading statement. The colonists arrived within denominational enclaves.
Yes, and if you want to say that the US was colonised under Christian values, then what you're saying is that an occupied land was siezed under Christian ignorance, Christian arrogance, Christian violence, a sense of Christian sanctimony, superiority, idealism and self-entitlement.

I'd have no argument with that at all.

But if you want to say that the single nation-state of the US was founded by Christians, that's clearly untrue. You'd have to say it was founded by people of Christian heritage.

I'd also agree with that. However, the usual tests of Christianity -- upholding an accepted version of the Nicene Creed, say -- a test under which other Abrahamic monotheists such as Baha'i are never considered Christian -- was failed by several prominent Constitutional founders.
Like who?
RuvDraba
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7/5/2015 4:17:11 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/5/2015 3:51:38 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 7/5/2015 3:33:19 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/5/2015 2:52:35 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 7/4/2015 11:57:02 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
The colonists identified as Christians. The founders of the US constitution however, were of mixed faith, though Christian cultural background.
That's a bit of a misleading statement. The colonists arrived within denominational enclaves.
Yes, and if you want to say that the US was colonised under Christian values, then what you're saying is that an occupied land was siezed under Christian ignorance, Christian arrogance, Christian violence, a sense of Christian sanctimony, superiority, idealism and self-entitlement.

I'd have no argument with that at all.

But if you want to say that the single nation-state of the US was founded by Christians, that's clearly untrue. You'd have to say it was founded by people of Christian heritage.

I'd also agree with that. However, the usual tests of Christianity -- upholding an accepted version of the Nicene Creed, say -- a test under which other Abrahamic monotheists such as Baha'i are never considered Christian -- was failed by several prominent Constitutional founders.
Like who?

Thomas Jefferson would be a good starting example, Roderick, of a rational empiricist who admired Jesus but denied his divinity and hence failed a key test in the Nicene Creed. Please find attached a link to the Jefferson Bible -- a bible without miracles or a resurrection: [http://americanhistory.si.edu...]

It's the Bible of a sage, but not of the incarnation of a god. He writes of it in a letter to John Adams (Oct 12, 1813) [http://www.let.rug.nl...]

In extracting the pure principles which he taught, we should have to strip off the artificial vestments in which they have been muffled by priests, who have travestied them into various forms, as instruments of riches and power to them. We must dismiss the Platonists and Plotinists, the Stagyrites and Gamalielites, the Eclectics the Gnostics and Scholastics, their essences and emanations, their Logos and Demi-urgos, Aeons and Daemons male and female, with a long train of Etc. Etc. Etc. or, shall I say at once, of Nonsense. We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists, select, even from them, the very words only of Jesus, paring off the Amphibologisms into which they have been led by forgetting often, or not understanding, what had fallen from him, by giving their own misconceptions as his dicta, and expressing unintelligibly for others what they had not understood themselves. There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man. I have performed this operation for my own use, by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging, the matter which is evidently his, andwhich is as easily distinguishable as diamonds in a dunghill.

'Diamonds' of (essentially) secular humanism from a 'dunghill' of religious superstition including 'nonsense' claims of divinity turned into instruments of riches and power for a religious elite.

Thomas Jefferson was certainly of Christian heritage, and admired core secular principles of Christian morality, but was not a Christian for the same reason that Deists, Muslims, Baha'i, Jews are not.

He was a product of the Enlightenment -- of ideas that had emerged subsequently to Christianity, explored by Christians, but informed by pre-Christian empirical thought (principally that of ancient Greek nontheists), and which were opposed by many of the Christian leaders -- both Protestant and Catholic -- who had made Europe a living hell -- the very hell Jefferson sought to avoid in the US, and which, even two centuries later, some Christian leaders still seek to recreate, for their own aggrandisement of riches and power.

I hope that may be useful.
RoderickSpode
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7/5/2015 4:34:17 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/5/2015 4:17:11 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/5/2015 3:51:38 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 7/5/2015 3:33:19 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/5/2015 2:52:35 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 7/4/2015 11:57:02 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
The colonists identified as Christians. The founders of the US constitution however, were of mixed faith, though Christian cultural background.
That's a bit of a misleading statement. The colonists arrived within denominational enclaves.
Yes, and if you want to say that the US was colonised under Christian values, then what you're saying is that an occupied land was siezed under Christian ignorance, Christian arrogance, Christian violence, a sense of Christian sanctimony, superiority, idealism and self-entitlement.

I'd have no argument with that at all.

But if you want to say that the single nation-state of the US was founded by Christians, that's clearly untrue. You'd have to say it was founded by people of Christian heritage.

I'd also agree with that. However, the usual tests of Christianity -- upholding an accepted version of the Nicene Creed, say -- a test under which other Abrahamic monotheists such as Baha'i are never considered Christian -- was failed by several prominent Constitutional founders.
Like who?

Thomas Jefferson would be a good starting example, Roderick, of a rational empiricist who admired Jesus but denied his divinity and hence failed a key test in the Nicene Creed. Please find attached a link to the Jefferson Bible -- a bible without miracles or a resurrection: [http://americanhistory.si.edu...]

It's the Bible of a sage, but not of the incarnation of a god. He writes of it in a letter to John Adams (Oct 12, 1813) [http://www.let.rug.nl...]

In extracting the pure principles which he taught, we should have to strip off the artificial vestments in which they have been muffled by priests, who have travestied them into various forms, as instruments of riches and power to them. We must dismiss the Platonists and Plotinists, the Stagyrites and Gamalielites, the Eclectics the Gnostics and Scholastics, their essences and emanations, their Logos and Demi-urgos, Aeons and Daemons male and female, with a long train of Etc. Etc. Etc. or, shall I say at once, of Nonsense. We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists, select, even from them, the very words only of Jesus, paring off the Amphibologisms into which they have been led by forgetting often, or not understanding, what had fallen from him, by giving their own misconceptions as his dicta, and expressing unintelligibly for others what they had not understood themselves. There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man. I have performed this operation for my own use, by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging, the matter which is evidently his, andwhich is as easily distinguishable as diamonds in a dunghill.

'Diamonds' of (essentially) secular humanism from a 'dunghill' of religious superstition including 'nonsense' claims of divinity turned into instruments of riches and power for a religious elite.

Thomas Jefferson was certainly of Christian heritage, and admired core secular principles of Christian morality, but was not a Christian for the same reason that Deists, Muslims, Baha'i, Jews are not.

He was a product of the Enlightenment -- of ideas that had emerged subsequently to Christianity, explored by Christians, but informed by pre-Christian empirical thought (principally that of ancient Greek nontheists), and which were opposed by many of the Christian leaders -- both Protestant and Catholic -- who had made Europe a living hell -- the very hell Jefferson sought to avoid in the US, and which, even two centuries later, some Christian leaders still seek to recreate, for their own aggrandisement of riches and power.

I hope that may be useful.
Well there were 2 people mentioned in the OP. One Jefferson, one being John Adams. Of course John Adams was a Christian.

Now, why would you want to claim Jefferson was not a Christian when he himself proclaimed to be one?

"I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our creator."
RuvDraba
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7/5/2015 5:19:27 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/5/2015 4:34:17 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 7/5/2015 4:17:11 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Thomas Jefferson was certainly of Christian heritage, and admired core secular principles of Christian morality, but was not a Christian for the same reason that Deists, Muslims, Baha'i, Jews are not.

He was a product of the Enlightenment -- of ideas that had emerged subsequently to Christianity, explored by Christians, but informed by pre-Christian empirical thought (principally that of ancient Greek nontheists), and which were opposed by many of the Christian leaders -- both Protestant and Catholic -- who had made Europe a living hell -- the very hell Jefferson sought to avoid in the US, and which, even two centuries later, some Christian leaders still seek to recreate, for their own aggrandisement of riches and power.

I hope that may be useful.
Well there were 2 people mentioned in the OP. One Jefferson, one being John Adams. Of course John Adams was a Christian.

Now, why would you want to claim Jefferson was not a Christian when he himself proclaimed to be one?

"I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our creator."

I I am happy to accept that quote without scholarly attribution.

Jefferson believed that the faith of the Nicene Creed was false -- an ignorant and greedy distortion of simpler ('primitive') teachings. Hence by 'real' Christian, he actually meant (effectively) a disciple of Christian philosophy, but not Christian theology. So he upheld a belief in kindness, peace, and the worth of man as an end it himself, but not the divinity of Jesus.

Nowadays we'd call that a secular humanist -- a believer in ethical and moral behaviour without theology. But the term 'secularism' didn't appear until 1851, coined by George Jacob Holyoake.

Secular humanists have always gotten along well with Deist and Christian humanists -- and Adams was surely one or the other, since he sometimes used Deist language, but also asserted that Christianity had been revelatory. But Adams believed that faith had to evolve -- so he was anti-fundamentalist -- and in that respect I think he had substantial agreement with Jefferson's position, though they weren't the same position, as can be seen in their letters.
RoderickSpode
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7/5/2015 6:21:37 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/5/2015 5:19:27 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/5/2015 4:34:17 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 7/5/2015 4:17:11 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Thomas Jefferson was certainly of Christian heritage, and admired core secular principles of Christian morality, but was not a Christian for the same reason that Deists, Muslims, Baha'i, Jews are not.

He was a product of the Enlightenment -- of ideas that had emerged subsequently to Christianity, explored by Christians, but informed by pre-Christian empirical thought (principally that of ancient Greek nontheists), and which were opposed by many of the Christian leaders -- both Protestant and Catholic -- who had made Europe a living hell -- the very hell Jefferson sought to avoid in the US, and which, even two centuries later, some Christian leaders still seek to recreate, for their own aggrandisement of riches and power.

I hope that may be useful.
Well there were 2 people mentioned in the OP. One Jefferson, one being John Adams. Of course John Adams was a Christian.

Now, why would you want to claim Jefferson was not a Christian when he himself proclaimed to be one?

"I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our creator."

I I am happy to accept that quote without scholarly attribution.

Jefferson believed that the faith of the Nicene Creed was false -- an ignorant and greedy distortion of simpler ('primitive') teachings. Hence by 'real' Christian, he actually meant (effectively) a disciple of Christian philosophy, but not Christian theology. So he upheld a belief in kindness, peace, and the worth of man as an end it himself, but not the divinity of Jesus.

Nowadays we'd call that a secular humanist -- a believer in ethical and moral behaviour without theology. But the term 'secularism' didn't appear until 1851, coined by George Jacob Holyoake.

Secular humanists have always gotten along well with Deist and Christian humanists -- and Adams was surely one or the other, since he sometimes used Deist language, but also asserted that Christianity had been revelatory. But Adams believed that faith had to evolve -- so he was anti-fundamentalist -- and in that respect I think he had substantial agreement with Jefferson's position, though they weren't the same position, as can be seen in their letters.

First off, even if it were true that Jefferson wasn't a Christian, I suspect you're hoping the conversation will remain focused on him, since you're earlier statement implied that a significant number if not all parties involved with the constitution were not Christian. So you're going to have to come up with quite a few non-Christian founding fathers.

And you're merely speculating that Jefferson today would be called a secular humanist. He was not without theology. He believed that parts of the Bible were pagan influenced. He was certainly evangelical in the sense that he supported missionary activity amongst the Kaskaskia Indians. He did support Indian conversion to Christianity. In my opinion, I think it was more politically motivated. But that's my opinion. He also attended church regularly, supported church services in the Capitol. He was not a deist. He was not an atheist. Was he criticized? Accused of not being a Christian? Yes! So is Billy Graham. So are a number of evangelical Christians today.

As far as John Adams, a deist? Making statements that sound similar to a deist does not make one a deist. Thomas Paine...was a deist. There's no doubt of that. John Adams? No! Never made any such claim. Yes, he's probably been made an honorary deist by the Deist Association (against his permission). A humanist? Sure why not? I consider myself a humanist. Do you really think being a humanist makes one a non-Christian?

When we're talking about the founding fathers, it's a game. You can find a website that'll twist any quotation from a founding father to fit their bill.

It's not politically beneficial (at least at this point) for atheist activists, and anti-theists to put down American founding fathers. The way out of the problem is to portray them as deists, secular humanists, or maybe even closet atheists, without their permission, and make irrelevant speculations about who they would get along with today.

Again, as I stated, not all of the founding fathers were Christians. I don't make that claim. Yes, there were some deists. Not very many though as far as professed deists. You're falling for the whole game that tries to separate Christian immigrants from politicians responsible for the writing the Constitution as if there was some big Gulf between them, that just didn't exist.
RuvDraba
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7/5/2015 7:28:49 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/5/2015 6:21:37 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 7/5/2015 5:19:27 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/5/2015 4:34:17 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:
At 7/5/2015 4:17:11 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Thomas Jefferson was certainly of Christian heritage, and admired core secular principles of Christian morality, but was not a Christian for the same reason that Deists, Muslims, Baha'i, Jews are not.

He was a product of the Enlightenment -- of ideas that had emerged subsequently to Christianity, explored by Christians, but informed by pre-Christian empirical thought (principally that of ancient Greek nontheists), and which were opposed by many of the Christian leaders -- both Protestant and Catholic -- who had made Europe a living hell -- the very hell Jefferson sought to avoid in the US, and which, even two centuries later, some Christian leaders still seek to recreate, for their own aggrandisement of riches and power.

I hope that may be useful.
Well there were 2 people mentioned in the OP. One Jefferson, one being John Adams. Of course John Adams was a Christian.

Now, why would you want to claim Jefferson was not a Christian when he himself proclaimed to be one?

"I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our creator."

I I am happy to accept that quote without scholarly attribution.

Jefferson believed that the faith of the Nicene Creed was false -- an ignorant and greedy distortion of simpler ('primitive') teachings. Hence by 'real' Christian, he actually meant (effectively) a disciple of Christian philosophy, but not Christian theology. So he upheld a belief in kindness, peace, and the worth of man as an end it himself, but not the divinity of Jesus.

Nowadays we'd call that a secular humanist -- a believer in ethical and moral behaviour without theology. But the term 'secularism' didn't appear until 1851, coined by George Jacob Holyoake.

Secular humanists have always gotten along well with Deist and Christian humanists -- and Adams was surely one or the other, since he sometimes used Deist language, but also asserted that Christianity had been revelatory. But Adams believed that faith had to evolve -- so he was anti-fundamentalist -- and in that respect I think he had substantial agreement with Jefferson's position, though they weren't the same position, as can be seen in their letters.

First off, even if it were true that Jefferson wasn't a Christian, I suspect you're hoping the conversation will remain focused on him,

No, I thought I'd give you time to digest the incontestable fact that Jefferson rejected the divinity of Jesus, and hence failed any reasonable test of theological Christianity. He was a Christian by culture and philosophy, but rejected Christian theology.

Now to his name, let me add the name of Benjamin Franklin. You can find his self-published creed listed here [http://franklinpapers.org...], and it notably excludes mention of Jesus as son of God or saviour -- an article anyone theologically identifiable as Christian would never fail to put toward the top. Like Jefferson, Franklin was a Christian culturally and philosophically, but a Deist by self-admission. Here's a quote from his autobiography saying so in as bald terms as anyone might ask:

Before I enter upon my public appearance in business, it may be well to let you know the then state of my mind with regard to my principles and morals, that you may see how far those influenc'd the future events of my life. My parents had early given me religious impressions, and brought me through my childhood piously in the Dissenting way. But I was scarce fifteen, when, after doubting by turns of several points, as I found them disputed in the different books I read, I began to doubt of Revelation itself. Some books against Deism fell into my hands; they were said to be the substance of sermons preached at Boyle's Lectures. It happened that they wrought an effect on me 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 thorough Deist.

To Franklin's name, let me add Alexander Hamilton, whom I will not claim was a Deist, but who was certainly sympathetic to Deist views, since he read of Deism extensively, and was not devoutly Christian until his later years. In his biography of Hamilton, the multi-awarded journalist and biographer Ron Chernow wrote:

he was not clearly affiliated with the denomination and did not seem to attend church regularly or take communion. Like Adams, Franklin, and Jefferson, Hamilton had probably fallen under the sway of deism, which sought to substitute reason for revelation and dropped the notion of an active God that will intervene in human affairs. At the same time, he never doubted God's existence, embracing Christianity as a system of morality and cosmic justice. [https://books.google.com.au...]

It's important to understand here, Roderick, that Deism was not then (and is not now) incompatible with Christian philosophy; only Christian theology.

In its American form, deism struck a more gentle and optimistic note. Instead of an assault on established religion, deism in the colonies expressed a faith in a benign creator and the promise of universal salvation. In Virginia, for example, deism began to catch on among the more enlightened planters. Young men like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, avid readers of English deism, found the doctrine of a natural religion congenial. Franklin owned a pew near the front of Christ Church in Philadelphia, and wrote, before he died, that Christian morality was the best system he had ever uncovered, but quietly embraced deism. Natural religion was the closest intellectual system to his own religion of nature. [https://books.google.com...]

And to Deist sympathisers let me therefore also add the name of James Madison.

I think that's enough examples, Roderick, don't you?

Whatever their respect for Christian philosophy, the US constitutional founders were clearly not great supporters of Christian theological privilege since they either outright rejected (as did Franklin and Jefferson) or doubted (as did Madison and Hamilton) the veracity of Christian theology. I think they'd be appalled at some of the liberties and 'founding privileges' now claimed by modern evangelicals. They'd surely wonder what on earth their nation had come to, with the European weed of nationalistic theological fundamentalism taking root in the bright young nation they'd strived so diligently preserve from it.

And you're merely speculating that Jefferson today would be called a secular humanist.
Secular humanists are as entitled to recognise someone meeting their creed, Roderick, as Christians are with the Nicene Creed. Modern secular humanism draws much of its intellectual lineage from early Greek philosophers, plus enlightenment thinkers and statesmen. So to the extent that secular humanists have the right to identify their thought and attribute its influences, Jefferson is undeniably an influence. Whether he would self-identify in that way is moot: secular humanists frequently feel he's a Humanist who happens to also be a Deist. So if he were still around, he'd be welcomed at their meetings. :)

I hope that may be interesting and informative, Roderick, and that some of the unresearched posturing, smoke-blowing and straw-manning in this thread might now abate.
DanneJeRusse
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7/5/2015 8:49:04 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/5/2015 1:07:18 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/3/2015 5:41:02 AM, Martley wrote:

Is the USA founded on Christianity. As I said earlier I do not think the USA was founded as a Christian state. It was however founded by God believing men and women. And I think many writings and actions of the early founding fathers illuminate this issue.

While many are quick to agree and say that America is a secular nation, I think they are implying a separation of religious belief from American Government that is unfounded in History.

First expression of America is in the Declaration of Independence. "That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Creator is not specifically a Christian God but certainly not what an atheist secular founder would want published. But certainly the intention is clear that the Rights of man are derived from the creator.

"Who is this "Creator"? Is it Yahweh, the Christian god? Is it a placeholder into which you can imagine any god so that Muslims can imagine Allah or Hindus can imagine Brahma?

No"the opening sentence clarifies: it"s not Yahweh but "Nature"s God." At the time, this phrase was understood as the deist god of Enlightenment philosophers like Spinoza and Voltaire. Deism was popular in Revolutionary America, and Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, and other founding fathers were either deists or inspired by the movement. Deism imagines a hands-off god, a creator who, once the clock is built and wound up, leaves it to tick by itself.

The role of this "Creator" is clarified in the Declaration:

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

In other words, the Creator has no role in government. We"ve turned our back on the divine right of kings, where the king was God"s representative who served at God"s pleasure. God isn"t the foundation on which authority rests. No"it"s the consent of the governed."

http://www.patheos.com...
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Mhykiel
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7/5/2015 9:11:43 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/5/2015 1:07:17 AM, Martley wrote:
At 7/4/2015 7:02:40 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
I look forward to it!

The Aitken Bible. In 1781 due to the revolutionary war against England, there was a subsequent drop in Bibles to America. If we are talking about the founding of the USA we could not gain more insight by inspecting the documents and actions of people of this time. 1775-1783

In the petition to Congress Aitken writes "That in every well regulated Government in Christendom The Sacred Books of the Old and New Testament, commonly called the Holy Bible, are printed and published under the Authority of the Sovereign Powers, in order to prevent the fatal confusion that would arise, and the alarming Injuries the Christian Faith might suffer from the Spurious and erroneous Editions of Divine Revelation."

Here we have Mr. Aitken a publisher in America referring to the United States as a government in Christendom. And is beseeching the Authority of Congress to inspect the Bible for errors and ensure it true to the word of God. (granted the chaplains of congress inspected and reviewed the Aitken Bible). Now Congress did not make Aitken the Official Bible printer for America. And it didn't pay for the Bible to be printed. They were a budding government fighting a war with private funding (I'm sure times were tight). Maintaining a separation of state and church. But evidence to the common perception of the people of the United States.
http://www.cbn.com...

In George Washington's first address to Congress "Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge."

It is clear that the Almighty Being Washington is praising is not a non-intervening Deistic God. George Washington in his first address as the first president of the United States is reaffirming what the Declaration of independence said, that the government is "under God" by the people. And that the rights of mankind derive from being bestowed into the creation by the creator.

George Washington Goes on, "No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States."

That is not a Creator God that has not impact or concern for humanity. To deem the founding of this nation was secular humanism would be a farce.
Mhykiel
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7/5/2015 9:19:47 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/5/2015 8:49:04 AM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 7/5/2015 1:07:18 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/3/2015 5:41:02 AM, Martley wrote:

Is the USA founded on Christianity. As I said earlier I do not think the USA was founded as a Christian state. It was however founded by God believing men and women. And I think many writings and actions of the early founding fathers illuminate this issue.

While many are quick to agree and say that America is a secular nation, I think they are implying a separation of religious belief from American Government that is unfounded in History.

First expression of America is in the Declaration of Independence. "That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Creator is not specifically a Christian God but certainly not what an atheist secular founder would want published. But certainly the intention is clear that the Rights of man are derived from the creator.

"Who is this "Creator"? Is it Yahweh, the Christian god? Is it a placeholder into which you can imagine any god so that Muslims can imagine Allah or Hindus can imagine Brahma?

I stated this was not a specific attribution to a Christian God.


No"the opening sentence clarifies: it"s not Yahweh but "Nature"s God." At the time, this phrase was understood as the deist god of Enlightenment philosophers like Spinoza and Voltaire. Deism was popular in Revolutionary America, and Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, and other founding fathers were either deists or inspired by the movement. Deism imagines a hands-off god, a creator who, once the clock is built and wound up, leaves it to tick by itself.

I suggest you do some research on the Deism that was evident ion the founding fathers. There is a difference between English and French Deism and the Deism believed by the likes of Jefferson, Adams ect..

While deism today references a hands-off god, or clock maker god is incapable of accounting for all the remarks. And as I cited later in the document of the Declaration of Independence where a hands-off god is not being written about.


The role of this "Creator" is clarified in the Declaration:

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

In other words, the Creator has no role in government. We"ve turned our back on the divine right of kings, where the king was God"s representative who served at God"s pleasure. God isn"t the foundation on which authority rests. No"it"s the consent of the governed."

In other words the governed have inalienable rights granted to them by the creator God, and they delegate powers to a government, that they are the master of government while God is the master of all.


http://www.patheos.com...
RoderickSpode
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7/5/2015 10:03:00 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/5/2015 7:28:49 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/5/2015 6:21:37 AM, RoderickSpode wrote:

First off, even if it were true that Jefferson wasn't a Christian, I suspect you're hoping the conversation will remain focused on him,

No, I thought I'd give you time to digest the incontestable fact that Jefferson rejected the divinity of Jesus, and hence failed any reasonable test of theological Christianity. He was a Christian by culture and philosophy, but rejected Christian theology.

Why? When trying to make such an argument as:

"But if you want to say that the single nation-state of the US was founded by Christians, that's clearly untrue. You'd have to say it was founded by people of Christian heritage."

Why would you want to focus on a professed Christian who denied Christ's divinity? Particularly when I stated that some of the founding fathers were Unitarians and deists? I would think instead you would compile a very large list of non-Christian founding fathers.

Now to his name, let me add the name of Benjamin Franklin. You can find his self-published creed listed here [http://franklinpapers.org...], and it notably excludes mention of Jesus as son of God or saviour -- an article anyone theologically identifiable as Christian would never fail to put toward the top. Like Jefferson, Franklin was a Christian culturally and philosophically, but a Deist by self-admission. Here's a quote from his autobiography saying so in as bald terms as anyone might ask:


Before I enter upon my public appearance in business, it may be well to let you know the then state of my mind with regard to my principles and morals, that you may see how far those influenc'd the future events of my life. My parents had early given me religious impressions, and brought me through my childhood piously in the Dissenting way. But I was scarce fifteen, when, after doubting by turns of several points, as I found them disputed in the different books I read, I began to doubt of Revelation itself. Some books against Deism fell into my hands; they were said to be the substance of sermons preached at Boyle's Lectures. It happened that they wrought an effect on me 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 thorough Deist.

Yes, I was expecting Benjamin Franklin at some point.

To Franklin's name, let me add Alexander Hamilton, whom I will not claim was a Deist, but who was certainly sympathetic to Deist views, since he read of Deism extensively, and was not devoutly Christian until his later years. In his biography of Hamilton, the multi-awarded journalist and biographer Ron Chernow wrote:


he was not clearly affiliated with the denomination and did not seem to attend church regularly or take communion. Like Adams, Franklin, and Jefferson, Hamilton had probably fallen under the sway of deism, which sought to substitute reason for revelation and dropped the notion of an active God that will intervene in human affairs. At the same time, he never doubted God's existence, embracing Christianity as a system of morality and cosmic justice. [https://books.google.com.au...]

You included one (Franklin) who began as a Christian, and then became a deist. Now you're adding a man who wasn't a devout Christian until his later years (began life as a non-devout Christian)....and you can't even claim he was a deist.
It's important to understand here, Roderick, that Deism was not then (and is not now) incompatible with Christian philosophy; only Christian theology.

It doesn't matter what Christian philosophy is compatible with. Buddhism is not incompatible with Christian philosophy either. Did you know that there are actually some people who refer to themselves as Christian atheists? Relating similarities between various professed Christians and deists does absolutely nothing for your claim I posted.

In its American form, deism struck a more gentle and optimistic note. Instead of an assault on established religion, deism in the colonies expressed a faith in a benign creator and the promise of universal salvation. In Virginia, for example, deism began to catch on among the more enlightened planters. Young men like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, avid readers of English deism, found the doctrine of a natural religion congenial. Franklin owned a pew near the front of Christ Church in Philadelphia, and wrote, before he died, that Christian morality was the best system he had ever uncovered, but quietly embraced deism. Natural religion was the closest intellectual system to his own religion of nature. [https://books.google.com...]

Jefferson didn't believe in natural religion? Didn't you see my quote?

"I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our creator."

While he rejected the miracles of Jesus, the creation of a universe by an intelligent being is a miracle of the highest caliber. Far surpasses any other miracle in the Bible as far as grandieur. And he believed that miraculous Biblical account.
And to Deist sympathisers let me therefore also add the name of James Madison.

James Madison?

"I have sometimes thought there could be no stronger testimony in favor of Religion or against temporal Enjoyments even the most rational and manly than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare their unsatisfactoriness by becoming fervent Advocates in the cause of Christ, & I wish you may give in your Evidence in this way. Such instances have seldom occurred, therefore they would be more striking and would be instead of a "Cloud of Witnesses."

I don't know if sympathized with deists or not, but he was clearly a Christian.

Let me address a certain point here you made in regards to Benjamin Franklin, that is an argument used against the founding fathers' Christianity in general.

"and it notably excludes mention of Jesus as son of God or saviour -- an article anyone theologically identifiable as Christian would never fail to put toward the top."

Some people have taken this theme, and run with it to suggest that certain Christian founding fathers were deists because they rarely mentioned the name of Jesus Christ, instead using terms like creator, providence, etc. One of the problems with this is that even acknowledged devout Christians like George Washington's wife refrained from using the name on a whim. The practice of refraining from casually using the name Jesus Christ was common. Ever notice we never see an Anglo-Saxon with the first name Jesus? And in Latin American countries we do? The Anglo-Saxon culture suggests that it would be disrespectful, making a human equal with Jesus, whereas in Latin American culture it's considered an honor to Jesus. The Christians (Anglicans and Episcopalians) of that day did not of the use name of Jesus casually.

I ran out of time, and will get to the rest of your post later.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,575
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7/5/2015 10:15:05 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/5/2015 9:19:47 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/5/2015 8:49:04 AM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 7/5/2015 1:07:18 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/3/2015 5:41:02 AM, Martley wrote:

Is the USA founded on Christianity. As I said earlier I do not think the USA was founded as a Christian state. It was however founded by God believing men and women. And I think many writings and actions of the early founding fathers illuminate this issue.

While many are quick to agree and say that America is a secular nation, I think they are implying a separation of religious belief from American Government that is unfounded in History.

First expression of America is in the Declaration of Independence. "That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Creator is not specifically a Christian God but certainly not what an atheist secular founder would want published. But certainly the intention is clear that the Rights of man are derived from the creator.

"Who is this "Creator"? Is it Yahweh, the Christian god? Is it a placeholder into which you can imagine any god so that Muslims can imagine Allah or Hindus can imagine Brahma?

I stated this was not a specific attribution to a Christian God.


No"the opening sentence clarifies: it"s not Yahweh but "Nature"s God." At the time, this phrase was understood as the deist god of Enlightenment philosophers like Spinoza and Voltaire. Deism was popular in Revolutionary America, and Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, and other founding fathers were either deists or inspired by the movement. Deism imagines a hands-off god, a creator who, once the clock is built and wound up, leaves it to tick by itself.

I suggest you do some research on the Deism that was evident ion the founding fathers. There is a difference between English and French Deism and the Deism believed by the likes of Jefferson, Adams ect..

While deism today references a hands-off god, or clock maker god is incapable of accounting for all the remarks. And as I cited later in the document of the Declaration of Independence where a hands-off god is not being written about.


The role of this "Creator" is clarified in the Declaration:

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

In other words, the Creator has no role in government. We"ve turned our back on the divine right of kings, where the king was God"s representative who served at God"s pleasure. God isn"t the foundation on which authority rests. No"it"s the consent of the governed."

In other words the governed have inalienable rights granted to them by the creator God, and they delegate powers to a government, that they are the master of government while God is the master of all.


http://www.patheos.com...

So essentially, you didn't understand the article that states specifically NO gods of any kind had anything to do with it. Oh well, believers will believe, no matter what.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth