Saturday, February 05, 2005

Seperation of Church and State

Occassionally, The Nation has a really good piece that I want to link to. It's usually not something Katrina vanden Huevel is associated with, but that is because of my own personal war against her and her horrible job of representing my party and beliefs. This time, it's Brooke Allen who gets the nod from me. He has this terrific article on the religious attitudes of the Founding Fathers. I get sick of hearing from really stupid people in my area who want to call this a "Christian nation". They go at it ad nauseum and they fervently believe that this country was founded simply to be the kingdom of Jesus Christ. I have to start out by saying that I am a Christian, but I cannot stomach it when these people get facts of history so very wrong just because of their own stupidity. This bit from the Treaty of Tripoli, I think, says it all.

As the Government of the United not in any sense founded on the Christian religion--as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity of Musselmen--and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
You read that and it is pretty plain to me that this was NOT founded as a Christian nation. The facts are self-evident, but some people want to force their religious beliefs on other people. So they concoct their own version of reality where these great men with vision and foresight who founded this country were as petty, small and narrow-minded as they are. That pisses me off. The piece goes on for about three pages and describes the religious faiths that most of the founders had, including Franklin, Jefferson and Tom Paine's deism. Great stuff, and informative, too.


At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For Chrissakes, Nate. There's a rat in separate.

At 7:14 PM, Blogger MajorDad said...

Perhaps you should move to a different place, since you're smack dab in the buckle of Bible Belt there in Baylor-town.

You're certainly not going to change because of your rant here...and you're most certainly not going to change either.

Perhaps if we put you in a foxhole or a landing craft your attitude towards religion in general would change.

There are definitely no atheists in foxholes!

See you on the high ground!


At 1:48 AM, Blogger Nate said...

I don't think I should have to move because of other people's ignorance. Waco Texas has been my home for 22 years now, I don't plan on leaving to get away from stupid people.

I should probably also mention that I'm a devout Roman Catholic. My personal faith and the faith of others in and around my home have nothing to do with historical facts. Faith is the belief in things not seen and that cannot be known. The founding fathers left us a treasure trove of documents and personal correspondence that make it self-evident that this was not founded as a Christian nation.

Whether I am an atheist or a Christian has nothing to do with it.

At 5:27 PM, Blogger Gary B said...

Sounds like you are playing games with words. What do you mean by "not founded as a Christian Nation?" If you mean that the minor details of Christianity are not codified into our Constitution you are correct. If you mean the the founders by and large were not Christians and did not consider that there was a personal Judeo-Christian God who guided the country's leaders and its people then you are incorrect.

I have an entire book full of quotes from John Adama, Abigail Adams, John Quincy Adams, Sam Adams, Edmund Burke, Ben Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Hancock, Patrick Henry, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, John Langdon, James Madison, William Penn, Charles Pinckney, Roger Sherman, Joseph Story and George Washington. All the quotes showed they believed in the personal God of the Bible who is involved in the affairs of mankind and in the teachings of Jesus Christ.

I don't know where you are getting your facts, but they are wrong.

Quote from Thomas Jefferson:

"I have always said and will always say that the studious perusal of the sacred volume [Bible] will make better citizens, better fathers and better husbands.

1. The doctrines of Jesus are simple and tend to the happiness of man.
2. There is only one God, and he is all perfect.
3. There is a future state of rewards and punishments.
4. To love God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself is the sum of all."

The idea that the founders believed in a impersonal, distant, deistic God is simply not supported by historical facts. Do the research and you'll find out.

I suggest you stop getting clues on religious history from The Nation.


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