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Old 05-16-2011, 02:16 PM  
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Originally Posted by rivalarrival View Post
By that argument, Freedom and Liberty aren't a part of America's heritage, as we tolerated and regulated slavery.
We also fought a civil war to end slavery- in part because of religion.

Religious Quotations by Abraham Lincoln

Preserving liberty for ourselves and expanding liberty for others are part of America's heritage. We could not have done either without the leadership of people who were driven by their religious convictions.
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:58 PM  
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It's still a moot point, yes the states had more power back then..... the federal laws granted by the constitution have since been understood to apply to the states. Yes some states were very backwards and if given the choice would likely still have slaves working on plantations, ban teaching of evolution and have the death penalty for gays....., I don't deny there were many backwards actions that were done in the past, but you still have failed to point out anywhere where there is anything specific in any meaningful in the constitution saying that america is a christian nation, you keep side-stepping that
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:32 PM  
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Originally Posted by RedJeepXJ View Post
It's still a moot point, yes the states had more power back then..... the federal laws granted by the constitution have since been understood to apply to the states. Yes some states were very backwards and if given the choice would likely still have slaves working on plantations, ban teaching of evolution and have the death penalty for gays....., I don't deny there were many backwards actions that were done in the past, but you still have failed to point out anywhere where there is anything specific in any meaningful in the constitution saying that america is a christian nation, you keep side-stepping that
I am not claiming that America is a Christian nation, only that America has a heritage as a religious nation.

History does show that the United States was established as a Christian nation in that many of the colonies that became U.S. States were legally established for the express purpose of spreading Christianity in one form or another and the U.S. Constitution does recognize the existence (if not the divinity) of Jesus Christ.

However, I make no claim that the U.S. was founded as a Christian nation or has ever been a Christian nation at any time in the past, or is a Christian nation at the present moment for the simple fact that America has never had a majority that has recognized and upheld the exact same form of Christianity. Even when America has had a majority that has claimed to be Christian, the particular beliefs of individual American Christians were either wrong by God?s standards or mutually exclusive of each others? beliefs.
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:29 PM  
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Originally Posted by flaja View Post
We also fought a civil war to end slavery- in part because of religion.
Considering that both North and South relied on religious arguments to support their positions on slavery, the major effect of religion in the civil war was not to end slavery, but to exacerbate the carnage, making the war far bloodier than it needed to be. So yes, I agree with your statement - we fought a civil war in part because of religion. Somehow, though, I don't think that was the message you were trying to present.

Or are you seriously implying that slave owners and southern soldiers were predominantly atheist?
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:54 PM  
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Originally Posted by rivalarrival View Post
Considering that both North and South relied on religious arguments to support their positions on slavery,
Note that I expressly said we fought a civil war to end slavery based on religious reasons. The traitors in the South were hardly fighting a civil war to end slavery.

But either way you are missing my point: U.S. history has been greatly influenced by Americans' religious beliefs. Until fairly recently it was customary for Americans to make their political decisions based on their religious beliefs. This is what the Founding Fathers did and this is what the Founding Fathers expected future generations to do. The Founding Fathers had no intention and no wish to keep religion out of government.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:42 PM  
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The Founding Fathers had no intention and no wish to keep religion out of government.
I think because they were often Deists rather than any particular religion that was exactly their intent. Religion is everything from Moonie to Methodist and they were not united on one ISM. They wished the cultural laws we derived from Judeo Christian values but not the brand ascribing to the teachings of any single one.
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:21 PM  
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Originally Posted by flaja View Post
Note that I expressly said we fought a civil war to end slavery based on religious reasons. The traitors in the South were hardly fighting a civil war to end slavery.
No, they were fighting, in part, because religion was used to justify slavery. You don't get to cherry pick all the good things about religion and just ignore the bad. Religion was used as justification for slavery.

Religion has been pressganged into service to support a number of positive aspects of our culture - charity, tolerance, equality, liberty - but it's also used to lend divine authority to hatred, intolerance, racism, sexism, and all sorts of vile and criminal activity. Acknowledging only one side of the issue doesn't mean "Religion = Good". There are some truly horrific aspects of religion that need to be culled out of society. Keep the good parts, but let people point out the bad and get rid of them. That's the point I'm trying to make.
Quote:

But either way you are missing my point: U.S. history has been greatly influenced by Americans' religious beliefs. Until fairly recently it was customary for Americans to make their political decisions based on their religious beliefs. This is what the Founding Fathers did and this is what the Founding Fathers expected future generations to do. The Founding Fathers had no intention and no wish to keep religion out of government.
Ya know, you had a case up until that point. Yes, there were religious influences. Yes, our "heritage" has been significantly influenced by religion and culture. But the only reference to religion in the original constitution is this:
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The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
The Bill of Rights is completely unambiguous on the issue:
Quote:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof
Furthermore, the 27th amendment is no less valid than the 1st amendment because it became law in 1992 instead of 1788. They are ALL a part of the foundational document of the United States, the Constitution. The state legislators who voted in 1992 to ratify the 27th amendment are "founding fathers". You can't arbitrarily draw the line at 1788 (Constitution ratified), 1791 (Bill of Rights), 1795, 1804, 1865, 1868, 1870, 1913, 1919, 1920, 1933, 1951, 1961, 1964, 1967, or 1971 as the date from which everything earlier was the foundation and everything later was not. The only line that is currently valid is after 1992.

This is important - it is the Due Process clause of the 14th amendment, ratified in 1868, that incorporated the Bill of Rights at the state level. Even if you think the courts screwed up in making this interpretation, they did not exceed their constitutionally mandated power, nor has the incorporation clause of the CONSTITUTION been repealed with another constitutional amendment. The people who ratified the 14th amendment have as legitimate a claim to the title "Founding Father" as anyone could have.

Yes, the founding fathers DID have a wish to keep religion out of federal government and vice versa, as this interfered with the fundamental human right to religion. Yes, the founding fathers intended for this principal to apply to state governments as well as federal; human rights supersede the right of any level of government.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:05 AM  
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Originally Posted by blucher View Post
I think because they were often Deists rather than any particular religion that was exactly their intent. Religion is everything from Moonie to Methodist and they were not united on one ISM. They wished the cultural laws we derived from Judeo Christian values but not the brand ascribing to the teachings of any single one.
Very few of the signers of the Constitution were Deists at the time the Constitution was written.

Franklin was raised by New England Puritans and he was briefly a Deist as a young man. By the time he died he fully accepted the existence of Jesus Christ, although he didn't believe Christ is God.

Washington is often labeled a Deist, but members of his family testify otherwise. And it is documented that he was a vestryman in his local Episcopalian parish.

Deism itself is a particular form of religion.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:10 AM  
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Originally Posted by rivalarrival View Post
No, they were fighting, in part, because religion was used to justify slavery.
I haven?t said otherwise. But their religion is of no importance to me because I don?t consider southern traitors to be Americans.

Quote:
Ya know, you had a case up until that point. Yes, there were religious influences. Yes, our "heritage" has been significantly influenced by religion and culture. But the only reference to religion in the original constitution is this:
You cannot cherry pick either. The original Constitution expressly recognizes both the Christian Sabbath and Jesus Christ. Get the hell over it.

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The state legislators who voted in 1992 to ratify the 27th amendment are "founding fathers".
Get real.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:36 AM  
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Originally Posted by flaja View Post
I haven’t said otherwise. But their religion is of no importance to me because I don’t consider southern traitors to be Americans.
It's very telling that you made the distinction between their religion and your own. Frankly, your arbitrary distinction is of no importance to me as we're discussing our nation's heritage, and not your own. While you may not consider certain southerners to be Americans, the constitution is the highest authority on that issue, and disagrees with your personal opinion. Read the citizenship clause of the 14th amendment again.

Quote:
You cannot cherry pick either. The original Constitution expressly recognizes both the Christian Sabbath and Jesus Christ. Get the hell over it.
Sure. It references them. And it explicitly states that any sort of religious test is invalid; that congress shall not establish religious law. But yes, it does reference the date in the customary fashion of the time. If that's what it takes to satisfy you, great. The Jesus Epoch is as valid a standard as any other.
Quote:
Get real.
I have "gotten real". Are you implying that only the opinions of the original drafters of the constitution should be considered? That none of the amendments are actually valid? Is it your argument that only some of the amendments are actually valid? Is it your argument that the lower the number of the amendment, the greater its importance?

The amendments are all equally important, as important as the original document itself. If anything, the later amendments are more valid, as they have made sweeping changes to the original constitution. Consider, for example, the 3/5 of a person reference in Article I, Section 2 - the 14th amendment came later and corrects that grave injustice of the original constitution.

The story of the 27th amendment is rather amazing. The span of time between the earliest and latest states to originally ratify it was 203 years. Modern legislators voted on the same bill as some of our earliest and most respected law makers.

Perhaps "founding father" isn't the best term to describe these later lawmakers, however, the importance of their contributions exceeds the importance of the errors and omissions of anyone with a legitimate claim to that title. We are a republic, not a monarchy. Establishing the founding fathers as some sort of ultimate authority is no different than recognizing titles of nobility. Power derives from the consent of the governed, not from the opinions of the original authors of the constitution. I thought the constitution made that abundantly clear.
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