Posting:

Due to the current troll infestation we will be requiring you to sign in to leave a comment. Also, please note that we will be very nice in the regular posts, but we will not be gentle in the Sunday Blaspheme posts. You will be expected to back up any ideas with facts.

I am always happy to answer any questions I can:)

New Rule! Staff reserves the right to cuss you out and post your correspondence if you send us annoying emails.

Best!

Brett

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Christian Nation?

Well the Christian Right is trying to get some resolution passed altering US History to make us look like a Christian Nation. Here are a few things some of the Founding Fathers have to say on the subject. They really sound Christian to me. These quotes were taken from some comments on Pharyngula. I've heard these before but since they were all in one place I figured I'd share.


"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 "The Father of the Constitution"

"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own." Thomas Jefferson

"The Christian religion is a parody on the worship of the Sun, in which they put a man whom they call Christ, in the place of the Sun, and pay him the same adoration which was originally paid to the Sun." Thomas Paine

"The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man." Thomas Jefferson

The only prominent Founder who can be accurately described as a Christian was John Adams, who, in 1797 signed the Treaty of Tripoli which states very plainly unequivocally in in Article 11 that The United States is not a Christian Nation:

"As the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen ... it is declared ... that no pretext arising from religious opinion shall ever product an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries. ... The United States is not a Christian nation any more than it is a Jewish or a Mohammedan nation."

"I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved -- the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!" John Adams

The Christian Right is looking to basically force everyone to be Christian. Well not in my house, I won't go down without a fight!

Brett

21 comments:

Lord Nightwalker said...

Man, that completely threw "freedom of religion" right out the window didn't it?
On a different note, I hope your holidays were good.

Brett said...

No they made sure you hae the freedom to practice religion, our country was founded (the second or third time) on religious oppression. But they made sure no one religion could take control. That's what these guys are trying to do fake the history so they can claim we've always been Christian so what's the big deal if we make it our national religion?

You can believe whatever you want in this country, that's cool. But those believers can force others to believe.

Holiday was OK,I worked on the house on the 25th and we went to be early on New Years. Hope your was good:)

Best,

Brett

Steve said...

Brett,

You have to look at the whole of the whole intent of the founding fathers and not just someone looking to revise history. Most of the founding fathers were at least Theists, believing in a God, but not necessary Christianity. The Pilgrims were part of a religous movement who settled here to establish a new Religous nation. They based most of their beliefs off of the the Old Testament idea of a covenant. This is most clearly seen in the Decalaration of Independence with such foundational principles as abiding by " the laws of nature and nature's God."

Jefferson's previous quote needs to be seen in balance with some of his other statements such as "no nation has ever yet existed or even been governed without religion. Nor can be."

Most of our laws, rules, regulations, and social values come from a Judeo-Christian background. So I agree America is not a Theocracy or should it be, I fully support Freedom of Religion, but it would be foolish to turn a blind eye to the overwelming evidence for the key role religion has played in establishing our nation.

Brett said...

But Steve, the Judeo-Chistian laws/values were taken from the Code of Hammarabi and various other older religions. Just because the Judeo Christian laws are known best doesn't mean they are the basis or that they were the originators.

As for Jefferson, he's basically right. We need something to control the masses. Religion works great for this, sometimes better than laws. But once again he's not saying any one religion to rule them all, he's just saying religion and your hearing Judeo-Christian religion. Just like when the ID people say Creator they mean the Christian God.

If your so for separation of Church and State then why to do vote for the religous right, when they have proven themselves leing, cheating bastards? Why not vote for middle of the road guy were most people are?

Best,

Brett

COMIKXGUY said...

wasn't there something like this in history when people would change religious beliefs so as not to be prosecuted but still in private practice their true belief?

they CAN make you but in private you are your own person

i'm guessing that chip thing or a number on our wrist will be planted in/on us in no time

COMIKXGUY said...

religious oppression

from england right?

COMIKXGUY said...

But those believers can force others to believe.

THAT'S ALL THIS IS ABBOUT

you ever get to the point that no one knows the right answer?

Steve said...

Separation of Church and State means the government is prohibited from creating a state religion. The government is prohibited from telling you what you must believe, but it also protects you to believe what you want. Since they (Church and State) are both strong societal forces there will always be some overlap, but one is not to control the other. Since our government is implemented by man, people will always get to vote and decide on governing principles for their own society. Asking people to not allow their private beliefs to influence how they vote or choose to govern and be governed is foolish and works against the principles of democracy.

The Torah predates the code of Hammurabi by thousands of years. I think you are confusing the date of the stone copy of Hammurabi’s code and the earliest complete Greek translation copy of the Torah. Jewish law and history is recorded throughout various non-Biblical records, so at least the principles obviously were in practice and predate the Hammurabi code.

I vote on a candidate by candidate basis. I use morality as a ruler to judge what issues I support and choose candidates accordingly. I believe in strong conservative values, but also liberal freedom of expression. There is no blanket “religious right” voting option and even if such a thing existed I would not check it.

Brett said...

Steve:

Taken from Wikipedia (remember, BC works in reverse:)

The Code of Hammurabi was one of several sets of laws in the Ancient Near East.[7][8] Most of these codes come from similar cultures and racial groups in a relatively small geographical area, and they have passages which resemble each other. The earlier code of Ur-Nammu, of the Ur-III dynasty (21st century BC), the Hittite code of laws (ca. 1300 BC), and Mosaic Law (traditionally ca. 1400 BC under Moses), all contain statutes that bear at least passing resemblance to those in the Code of Hammurabi and other codices from the same geographic area.

The code predates the Torah by 3 hundred years but one of the other stone tablets predates it by almost a thousand.

Steve you are soooooo not telling the truth about voting! You are extrememly right wing you agree with everything they do. You still support Bush! You are anti-abortion, anti-gay marrige or homosexuality in general, you are pro abstanence when study after study proves it does not work, and you are for wasting money on the drug war. You are the epitimy of the right wing. I am you polar opposite on all those things, but I do believe in small government (I just wish someone else did to)and the right to bare arms.

The government and the church should be separate. I don't care that you think they shouldn't or if there is sometimes spill over there is a line that should not be crossed since not everyone believes the same things, these need and MUST be kept seperate. The Christian right keeps pushing that line and the fricken President, who has sworn to uphold that line, keeps trying to tear it down. If you stayed on your side then everyone would be happy. Everyone else seems too be able to play nice why can't the christian right? No one forces them to have pre-marital sex or get abortions or be gay or take drugs. So why are you tying to force your will on others?

Comikxguy:

They can TRY and force me to believe, but they can't make me. I will fight to the death for my freedom.

steve said...

Brett your own reasoning defeats your argument. If Hammurabi records the same laws as the Mosaic law (it doesn’t mirror it: some are similar, some are different) then they should not be thrown out for being religious laws or being too Christian. You can’t say they are religious laws being forced on you, they apparently are Hammurabi laws being forced on you.
I’ll admit you are right: Hammurabi apparently lived before Moses-I was thinking of the date of the actual Hammurabi stone in the Louvre (1120 BC) the laws are recorded on which isn’t as old as the events recorded in the Torah. I think the point is moot because most scholars no longer believe one was influenced by the other, (though apparently web bloggers are a little behind :)
You can’t argue that laws which Christians support are fundamentally wrong because Christian support them on Religious principles. Christians believe stealing is wrong, so is your argument since Christians believe stealing is wrong on moral issues that any law punishing thieves should be thrown out? Of course not.
You believe abortion should be legal, but this is your opinion and carries no more weight than my own stance that it should be illegal. The major difference in our views is I have something larger than myself for the basis of my beliefs. Since you do not believe in moral absolutes, remember if there is nothing higher than man, then only natural law governs our actions. The only option you are left with is to allow a general consensus to decide which laws get made. This goes back to democratic voting and allowing for my vote to be heard regardless if I base it off of Religious beliefs (which separation of Church and State supports), or a roll of the dice, or what I believe my heart is telling me, or an article I read in the newspaper. As a citizen I get to cast my vote and it should not be discounted because the path I take to make my decisions.

Brett said...

Well Fuck it looks like my response to Steve never posted. I guess that explains why I didn't get any response. Oh Well. Here goes again.

It looks like I too was wrong the code wasn't used. Our government was modeled more on Greek and Roman civilization, stupid 7th grade History! For more on the whole thing I read this this morning:

http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2008/01/more_on_the_constitution_and_c.php?utm_source=mostemailed&utm_medium=link


I never argued Christian 'laws' are wrong. But in a secular nation like the US specific 'Cristian, Jewish, Muslim, Wiccan or whatever Laws' would be unconstitutional and therefore unusable.

If you really loved your country you would be able to put aside your religion and vote for the good of the people. You do not. You vote for the good of your chruch and for imposing your will on others. I refuse to roll over an take this kind of abuse any longer. I question any higher being that requires 'lesser' beings to bow down and worship it. It sounds too much like master and slave to me. I don't seem to see that Free Will your always talking about in that.

Brett

Steve said...

Brett,

I'm confused, what laws are exclusively Christian that are in question?

I'm missing the connection between these "Christian laws" and the attempts of some revisionsists wanting to rewrite history to exclude any mention of religious beliefs.

How am I by voting my conscience not voting for the good of people? Shouldn't morality be something pursued not looked down upon?

Everyone has got to serve someone (I think Dylan did a song about that didn't he?) God's track record is better than mine, I rather serve him than be lead by my own selfish impulses.

Brett said...

Steve,




Brett,

I'm confused, what laws are exclusively Christian that are in question?



There are none, yet. You brought up 'Christian Law' not me. So far any laws that favor one specific religion have been struck down. As they should be.



I'm missing the connection between these "Christian laws" and the attempts of some revisionsists wanting to rewrite history to exclude any mention of religious beliefs.


You are, since this whole thing is about CHRISTIANS wanting to rewrite history to make the US appear more Christian, not less. Do you even read the article in question?



How am I by voting my conscience not voting for the good of people? Shouldn't morality be something pursued not looked down upon?


Yes but you don't need religion to have morals. You are voting to surpress others views and free will. By having a Theocracy you are imposing YOUR will, not the peoples will, on others. The only surviving theocracies are in the middle east do you really want to go that route? That's what these right wingers want, total and complete control. Oh, by the way, you don't get to vote for federal laws your 'representative' does that. And he can either vote with or against you. You only have say in a few minor local decisions.


Everyone has got to serve someone (I think Dylan did a song about that didn't he?) God's track record is better than mine, I rather serve him than be lead by my own selfish impulses.


Well if you have to serve (and you don't,) why not serve the people who really need help instead of an being who really doesn't care about you? Who blames you for something you had no control of (original sin) and forces you to do whatever it says or you are punished. He sounds like a lovely 'supreme' being to me.

Brett

There's A REASON Why Atheists Don't Fly Planes Into Buildings

"Worship Me or I Will Torture You Forever. Have a Nice Day."­ God.

Brett said...

Crap it didn't do the dealies. I'll fix it later.

steve said...

Brett I think we are coming to an agreement on some important issues. The original article seemed to be heavily opinionated that “the Religious Right” was trying to rewrite history in an attempt to turn America into a Theocracy. Obviously that is all complete rubbish. The Religious Right for one thing does not exist as some sort of organized unity. It is a term to describe the voting habits of a certain demographic. It is a phenomenon, not a coherent lobbying party.

So there currently are no exclusively “Christian” laws that Christians are trying to force on anyone. If we Christians were trying to do what the article said we were doing we must be completely incompetent at organization because the billions of Christians world wide are ignorant of something we supposedly have as such a high priority. Christians are not society’s boogeymen; a quick glance through history shows where Christian values are enforced freedom follows. Notice I said Christian values, not where the Church takes control. We have several bad examples in history where nefarious men used a morally weak church as their puppet to try to advance their own selfish agendas.

Please explain the basis of your moral values apart from absolute truths. For a moral to transcend beyond mere human opinion it must have its foundation in something greater than man. In a purely naturalistic worldview what do you have which transcends matter? Also without a higher power capable of creating free will how do you explain the basis for your belief that you are capable of exercising free will? If you have no soul, and are only the sum of your material parts your conscience is an illusion, nothing more than a sophisticated computer operating system which erases the possibility of free will and enslaves you to your chemical produced impulses and bio electrical processing abilities. Your world view does not allow for free will, so if you want to be upset at a principle which produces enslavement the first finger must be pointed at atheism.

Brett said...

Brett I think we are coming to an agreement on some important issues. The original article seemed to be heavily opinionated that “the Religious Right” was trying to rewrite history in an attempt to turn America into a Theocracy. Obviously that is all complete rubbish. The Religious Right for one thing does not exist as some sort of organized unity. It is a term to describe the voting habits of a certain demographic. It is a phenomenon, not a coherent lobbying party.

It won't let me use the dealies. BASTARDS!

There are a lobbying parties Steve, they got Bush elected, twice. The Christian Coalition mean anything to you?


So there currently are no exclusively “Christian” laws that Christians are trying to force on anyone. If we Christians were trying to do what the article said we were doing we must be completely incompetent at organization because the billions of Christians world wide are ignorant of something we supposedly have as such a high priority. Christians are not society’s boogeymen; a quick glance through history shows where Christian values are enforced freedom follows. Notice I said Christian values, not where the Church takes control. We have several bad examples in history where nefarious men used a morally weak church as their puppet to try to advance their own selfish agendas.


Not yet, but there were, Rowe vs. Wade is a strictly religious battle, that ultimately won out the way it should have. Until recently the Christians were pretty quiet, but once they got power (ie; Bush) they are trying to now force things that are specifically Christian. So far they have not gotten a really good foot hold but they are trying. We have to be ever vigilant to make sure they are kept out of the Government. As I've said you can believe and worship what you want but keep it out of the government as it should be, they (the government) don't tell you how to worship so the church shouldn't tell them how to govern. Power currupts, that's why we have 3 branches of government.

Please explain the basis of your moral values apart from absolute truths. For a moral to transcend beyond mere human opinion it must have its foundation in something greater than man. In a purely naturalistic worldview what do you have which transcends matter? Also without a higher power capable of creating free will how do you explain the basis for your belief that you are capable of exercising free will? If you have no soul, and are only the sum of your material parts your conscience is an illusion, nothing more than a sophisticated computer operating system which erases the possibility of free will and enslaves you to your chemical produced impulses and bio electrical processing abilities. Your world view does not allow for free will, so if you want to be upset at a principle which produces enslavement the first finger must be pointed at atheism.

Ok you need to REALLY listen to me hear. YOU DON"T NEED A HIGHER BEING TO 'TELL' YOU YOUR MORALS. If you don't want it done to you don't do it to someone else. Those are morals that require NO higher being. The fact that you can't seem to understand this is troubling to say the least. You have to be able to put yourself in someone else's shoes. This is a basic developmental stage for a human and some apes. My set of morals at lest is able to deal with the grey areas that always seem to pop up. There are no absolutes in abstract thought.

Nothing transends matter as matter can neither be created or destroyed, it a law of physics (thus proving that God doesn't exist. But I'm sure you'll argue that god created the laws and can therefore break them.) There is no afterlife that can be proven or documented. Why do you insist on these for morality? Morals are for mortals, no divinity needed. Why can't you live in the real world, the one in front of you? Why not try to make the most of this life instead of writing it off in the hopes of going to heaven? This gives you no real reason to save the planet, thus Bushes great enviornmental policies. They want the end to come, I don't want the person with their finger on the button to make a decision based on his/her religion.

Free will is being able to to go against your programming. I hate getting up early I'm programed too sleep in but to take care of the dogs I CHOOSE to get up. I Choose which dinosaurs I draw, I choose what food I will eat. I choose whom I will sleep with. I choose to use reason and choose not believe in a 'higher' being. Your religion TELLS you what to do and not do, tells you when to go to church, what you can do to stay on your gods good side. He takes your free will and enslaves you. The fact that you don't see this means the brainwashing has taken over and you have no free will.

How does not believing in a higher being take away free will? That just doesn't compute. I guess when in doubt blame someone else. Since I'm in the minority here and am persecuted for using my brain, I must be the cause. That makes sence. Our brains enslave us if you use them. That kind of enslavement I'll take! I'm a slave to reason and thought! But weight that brain and thought are me so I'm a slave to my own will, my free will.

Brett

steve said...

It is not that I don't understand, I understand your reasoning perfectly. The problem is you need to go deeper. You need to anchor the reason for your morals into something. There is no reason for you to hold your morals or believe others should ascribe to them without a reason you can link to the morals. If there is nothing more than matter, then you can not say my values are right and yours are wrong, you must not transcend into metaphysical reasons for your morals. So you are left with survival of the fittest as the overall ruling principle. You can live your life by "do unto others as you would have them do unto you," but you are now ordering your life around a unnatural value, you are choosing to live by a higher moral code then a naturalistic world view can suppport. I'm glad you are choosing to live by the golden rule, but it comes from God not matter.

*footnote: Roe v. Wade is also not a religous based law, you have religous and non-religous people lined up on either side of the argument.

Brett said...

Ugh, that 'golden rule; was around a lot longer than 'God' because acording to you without go we couldn't have morals or exist. Well god's only been around for 4,000 or so years in recent history, so why didn't we kill each other before that? Because we have self realization and can place ourselves in others shoes, thus we can learn this golden rule without a 'God' why do you feel the need to reduce the human race as a mere puppet who can only do things because God wills it so. Use your head god didn't right the bible man did and therefore the golden rule was created by man, not god.

And those who oppose Rowe V. Wade are almost exclusively religious and basing their opinion from their religion.

Oh check this out for you Christian Laws stuff:

http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2008/01/rowe_on_adams_and_blasphemy.php


Brett

If we are all God children what makes Jesus so special?

steve said...

God's moral law has existed since he spoke physical reality into existance. So the golden rule has existed from the get go; it is part of our original programming. The fact you can put yourself into someone else's shoes does not explain why we have a conscience that tells us we should then act in a fashion which benefits the other person rather than ourself. Again, you are not going deep enough, you are merely stating an observation without stating a cause for the effect.


Jack Nicholson is anti-abortion stating, "I'm very contra my constituency in terms of abortion because I'm positively against it. I don't have the right to any other view. My only emotion is gratitude, literally, for my life." Nicholson told Vanity Fair in 1992 that he did not believe in God.

Jack is one of many who do not believe in God, but support pro-life views toward abortion. There is no religious terminology or appeal to scripture or faith in the Roe v. Wade decision.

Brett said...

Steve,


God's moral law has existed since he spoke physical reality into existence. So the golden rule has existed from the get go; it is part of our original programming. The fact you can put yourself into someone else's shoes does not explain why we have a conscience that tells us we should then act in a fashion which benefits the other person rather than ourself. Again, you are not going deep enough, you are merely stating an observation without stating a cause for the effect.


First you do not need to go deeper to explain this, just because you think you see a deeper meaning does not mean there is one. Your brainwashing has taken over fully. Just because you feel the need to cheapen mans existance and accomplishments by saying everything we've ever done is Gods will basically says we have no free will, only gods will. That I will not accept or acknowledge. This is a basic philysopical differnace between us, yet you keep trying to push your ideas on me when I've heard them all before a rejected them as mythical non-sense. Humans are not the only animals that have conscience, dogs, apes, monkeys, cats MOST living things have it. You cheapen life when you dis-regard all that life has accomplished on it's own by once again given all credit to your 'creator', with no other evidence than a book written 4000/2000 years ago.



Jack Nicholson is anti-abortion stating, "I'm very contra my constituency in terms of abortion because I'm positively against it. I don't have the right to any other view. My only emotion is gratitude, literally, for my life." Nicholson told Vanity Fair in 1992 that he did not believe in God.


Look, the majority of those opposed are religious and are doing so on religious grounds. You pull one Atheist out of your butt and say see. Well you don't see us Atheists killing people because they have different views than they do. Your abortion bombers have cornered the market on that. And I hate Nicholson. He has only one character that he plays over and over again and his Joker SUCKED;) Personally I wouldn't do it myself unless there were special circomstances. BUT I put the good of the people over my veiw when I support it. No woman should have to carry her rapist child, or be foreced to risk her life for a dangerous pregnacy, NONE. the pregnant woman also has rights. The fetus is only a clump of cells it has not thought or conscienceness. Plus 70-80% of pregnacys spontainiously abort all on their own. I guess God's for abortion too!




Jack is one of many who do not believe in God, but support pro-life views toward abortion. There is no religious terminology or appeal to scripture or faith in the Roe v. Wade decision.


It's not a specificly religious law but it's the one that the religous are always going after. It was worded to remove any religious references, separation of Church and State and all that jazz. That's the last I'm going to say on this since I've made my point repeatedly and you keep harping on about the same old stuff.

Put a fork in me I'm done,

Brett

Jess said...

This 'debate' is over. There WILL BE NO DISCUSSION OF ABORTION ON MY BLOG. IF YOU DO NOT CURRENTLY HAVE, OR HAVE HAD IN THE PAST (HAVING A WIFE OR GIRLFRIEND DOES NOT COUNT) A FUNCTIONING UTERUS AND OVARIES, YOU CANNOT HAVE AN OPINION ON ABORTION. I WILL NOT ALLOW IT.

Do not make me moderate comments on this blog. I have been sick since summer, my diet is very restricted, and I AM NOT IN THE FUCKING MOOD.