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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Name:
Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

America's Christian Heritage

This guest column is from my friend Tim Birdnow of St. Louis, Missouri. It's a response to D. K.'s comments on my "Atheist Holiday" post.

Uh, D. K., George Washington made the statement "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible" on September 19, 1796.

This also from Washington:

George Washington as he resigned his commission as general of the Continental Army on December 23, 1783: "I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my official life by commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God and those who have the superintendence of them into His holy keeping."

He also said:

"The time is now and near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us the only choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die."

and

"No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States."

"To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to laud the more distinguished Character of Christian."

"The propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself has ordained." (First Inaugural Address)

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable support. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars." (Farewell Address, 1796)

"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." (Farewell Address, 1796)

"I am sure that never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a Divine interposition in their affairs, then those of the United States; and I should be pained to believe that they have forgotten that agency, which was so often manifested during our Revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God who is alone able to protect them."

Washington was not alone in this. Consider the Mayflower Compact.

(That website had a couple of other interesting quotes-
Edmund Burke (1729-1797), outstanding orator, author, and leader in Great Britain, defended the colonies in Parliament. "There is but one law for all, namely, that law which governs all law, the law of our Creator."

Patrick Henry (1736-1799), five-time Governor of Virginia, whose "Give me liberty or give me death" speech has made him immortal, said: "It cannot be emphasized too strongly, nor too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. . ."

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), third U.S. president, chosen to write the Declaration of Independence, said: "I have little doubt that the whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our Creator, and, I hope, to the pure doctrines of Jesus also." He proclaimed that it was the God of the Bible who founded America in his 1805 inaugural address: "I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our forefathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in this country." )

Here is a website that takes the Bible and compares passages to Founding documents and laws.

Here are another and another.

It should be noted that the phrase ``laws of Nature and Nature`s God`` featured in the Declaration of Independence was a specific reference to John Locke`s Second Treatise on Civil Government and William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England. In each instance it was a reference to Divine Law, which meant in the culture of the times, BIBLICAL law.

This from John Adams and John Hancock:

"We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus!" [April 18, 1775]

This from John Adams:

``The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principals of Christianity, I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.``
``[July 4th] ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.``
-John Adams in a letter written to Abigail on the day the Declaration was approved by Congress

Samuel Adams:

``Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity… and leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.`` [October 4, 1790]

Ben Franklin:

``God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel``
Constitutional Convention of 1787 | original manuscript of this speech

Alexander Hamilton:

"For my own part, I sincerely esteem it [the Constitution] a system which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests." [1787 after the Constitutional Convention]

John Jay [first chief justice of the United States]:

"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." Source: October 12, 1816. The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, Henry P. Johnston, ed., (New York: Burt Franklin, 1970), Vol. IV, p. 393.

I could go on, but that would be beating a dead horse. American law is unquestionably based on Judeo-Christian principles, and, yes, a judge should consider the Bible a primary source. Oh, by the way, British common law is quite a bit different from Roman law, as anyone who has visited Quebec or Louisiana is aware.

13 Comments:

Blogger D.K. said...

I'm not sure I would call random dates and Yahoo Geocities sources for verification. You might as well have listed Wikipedia as your source.

I think you did better by listing Washington's Farewell and Inaugural Addresses, which can be checked against themselves by numerous printed, official sources.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find one of Washington's quotes that you listed from the Farewell Address (twice) about governing with God and the Bible. If you try reading it, perhaps you can find where I missed it.

I caution you against the reliability of the Founding Fathers' quotes we often see listed all over the Internet and other places.

The actual papers of the Founders in their entirety, particularly their personal papers, are often more available to academia then to the general public. And we all know that academia isn’t always to be trusted, don’t we?

I've heard of a movement to have all the papers published online and accessible to the public by the mid-2020s, and the Adams papers are not expected to be completed until 2050.

This means that pretty much anything you see on the Internet and even in literature regarding what the Founders have said is suspect.

Some authors of literature, like David Barton, the author of "The Myth of Separation", have later admitted being unable to confirm famous quotes that he had published, such as the popular James Madison quote published by Barton, "We have staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments."

Forgery on the Net is probably just as rampant and there are many books and websites themselves that explore this issue, but those are probably to be just as suspect.

In regards to the actual papers of the Founders, some are certainly available to us, and the most well-known of them are the Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers, the Declaration, and the Constitution, only by way of numerous amounts of official print that can be checked against itself countless ways.

Having said that, the only one of those to be considered LAW is the Constitution.

And not a single Article or Amendment - our actual laws - in the Constitution ever mention Christianity as America's official religion nor do they mention America being a Christian Nation. In fact, they say quite the opposite.

That is the law.

The Mayflower Compact does not change that, nor does any amount of quotations which are true or false.

Fri Apr 18, 07:09:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Steve Rankin said...

Pamela Van Buren comments:

"If D.K. twists his argument by misstating facts and replies any more, he will have a pretzel.

"D.K. you do not seem to know the difference between the holding of the case and dicta. Dicta consists of the quotes, social commentary, personal commentary, commentary on what facts stood out most and persuaded his thinking, and other like statements. It is not the holding of the case, it is the thought(s) of the judge. Dicta is not law. The judge did not say that the ruling was 'based on something in the Bible.' If you are prone to argue, D.K., first work on your reading comprehension.

"D.K., you have a gross misunderstanding of law in general. Not everything is constitutional law. Although I am sad to disappoint, states actually have their own laws and constitutions. I will tell you what the bottom line to the case is, it is a matter that needs legislative action, if such can be gained due to the dubious merit. This case should be one in which you take pride. The judge is not legislating from the bench. He is dismissing the case as having no merit. That means that, given the facts of the case and the relief sought, there is no constitutional or legal merit to it. It is up to the plaintiff’s counsel to state the facts and what law or constitutional provision would give legal right to the claim should all facts on the face of the pleadings or, later, in evidence, be true. This judge took nothing from the constitution, state or federal.

"Many laws of several countries have been used by the United States and the fifty states in their constitutions and laws. 'Thou shall not jaywalk' is not part of the Ten Commandments; yet, in many places there is a law against it. 'Thou shall not kill' is in every body of law across the U.S. There is a very old law in Louisiana that states if a woman has a baby while on a ferry crossing the Mississippi River, she does not owe the fare for two people if she had the baby before midstream. Now, we both can agree that is an archaic law. Different times called for different considerations. It is not a law you will find anywhere in the Bible. The point that was made previously was that you can track the Ten Commandments and find laws and constitutional provisions enacted that follow those values. Further, I will point out to you that the laws of England, at the time of our founding as a nation, were those of a predominantly Christian nation. The Romans had laws. The Greeks had laws. They had many laws that were pre-Christian. Make your point succinctly. Give me a Roman law that has lasted through the generations and has major influence in any democratic society today, specifically the United States.

"You have taken a sentence of mine out of context. Good try but no kudos. The weak minded generally do not get the whole picture so they resort to bites they can try to distort. A liberal will do the same thing, also, due to the frustration that comes with an argument based on facts they cannot deny. 'Facts are stubborn things.'

"'I am trying to advance the concern that America is a free country and not a Christian nation.' How has that ever been a 'concern'? cf. The Constitution of the United States of America and The Bill of Rights. Read it. You cannot find where a Christian nation is established. Better yet, read it and challenge me on any statement that troubles you that we were established as a Christian nation. Now, do it on a day when your nerves are not rattled because you will find a reference to 'Our Creator;' and, I don’t want that to drive you under your bed for a day or a week. The largest religious community in the United States right now is Christian. Islam is the fastest growing religion here and around the world.

"'Preambles are not law.' No argument there. Your point? Are you trying to call the dicta in the judge’s ruling a preamble? If there is an Understanding of Law for Dummies, by all means buy it.

"What have you read by or about George Washington? Third grade history? If you have 'seen' comments allegedly made by him, why didn’t you check the cite that supported the comment? That narrows your reading to ascertain the truth or falsity of the comment. You would have me believe that you have read all of George Washington’s papers? What did you think of his letters to Martha during the War?

"Your last two paragraphs (sentences) are overbroad in assumptions for numerous reasons. However, I will not entertain such a broad slash and will concentrate on the problem at hand, that being whether or not the United States is a Christian nation. Yes and no. Make you happy? No. So, I will now concentrate on the 'no' that makes you happy. The United States is a free, secular nation that grants 'freedom of religion'. It is not a theocracy; it is not a religious government. If you say 'I am a Christian' or 'I am a Jew' or 'I am a Muslim', you are making a statement of faith, a faith that you are free to practice in the United States. However, if you say 'I am an atheist' or 'I am an agnostic', you are, again, making a statement of faith that you are free to do in this country. Is that last sentence confusing to you? If you do not have a faith you are expressing faith that those who do are wrong. You are allowed to do that here. That is as free as you can be anywhere.

"I do not argue my faith with a non-believer. I will give my life for my right to practice my faith and to defend my faith against others who would do it harm. I do find it irritatingly amusing that non-believers are so 'threatened'. That perceived threat, I suspect, comes from an inner insecurity and self-loathing. And, the faith of the atheist and agnostic is such that each day can be nothing more than a march into obscurity. You die. You are dead. End of story. What were you more than a worker bee? Why not take a hint from the country/western song and “live like you are dying”? Why work? Why get stressed out about what this country is or isn’t? Life is short; eat dessert first.

"No one is going to snatch you out of your house at night to convert you or kill you unless Islam prevails. If liberals, with their undefined expansion of “rights” and their daily attacks on Christianity, continue, the arrival of Islam at your door or the door of next generations is a very real thought."

Sat Apr 19, 09:36:00 PM CDT  
Blogger D.K. said...

Now I am twisting the argument, misstating facts, prone to argue, need to work on my reading comprehension, weak minded and resort to bites I can distort, my nerves are rattled, and I should buy an Understanding Law for Dummies book?

Does peppering your response with such comments increase the credibility of your response? Does it make you feel smarter?

Why did I day preambles are not law? Because someone referenced the importance of preambles regarding Christianity. Was that forgotten?

Why is it a concern to me that America should be considered a free country and not a Christian nation? Because a lot of people seem to think that America is a Christian nation, even though it is not. Were you not aware of that?

Constitutions, whether they are state, federal, or local of any kind, are the LAW. All subsequent laws are based (supposed to be based) off of them. There is no getting around that.

If the case in question is to be thrown out because of lack of merit according to the laws at hand which are derived from the state's Constitution, then it seems to me that it is the state Constitution which should have been quoted in the judge's response, not the Bible.

I have read the paper that was listed in another comment as containing popular quotes from Washington. It turns out that I did not see one of the quotes (listed twice) that supposedly existed in said paper. If you can find it, by all means, feel free to point it out.

And you assume I am a non-believer? I don't recall ever stating that I was a non-believer. Did you assume that I was a non-believer because I support the freedom for others not to believe?

As it turns out, I am a believer. And I support the right for others not to believe, because being a believer doesn't mean that non-believers should be forced to support my belief. That's not freedom, which is something else I believe in.

Interestingly enough, I have never met a non-believer who thought that everyone should be forced to be a non-believer. I have, however, met plenty of believers who think non-believers should be forced to be believers, and/or should at least succumb to legislation or the use of tax dollars that support and/or pay for a particular belief in some way. That's not freedom.

That's great you are willing to die for your beliefs because I will not.

Sun Apr 20, 11:11:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Steve Rankin said...

Tim Birdnow comments:

"DK, your argument is a classic example of manipulative parsing of logic; I threw what I had hoped would be a critical mass at you, because I knew you would challenge any single source. It is much like the physics of gas molecules; the behavior of one cannot be predicted, but if you have a high enough number, you can predict their behavior statistically. Perhaps one or two of those references are erroneous, but with enough references it becomes apparent the direction that the Founders had taken. Your dismissal of the myriad quotes speaks volumes.

"This is not, by the way, a discussion among academics, but a piece for general readership at a blog. If you can rebut the sources I submitted to you, please do so. I would suggest that you use credible academic sources, not internet websites; you may as well cite Wikipedia if you do.

"That is a straw man argument you are using; the concept that you have to actually study the original document is bogus. Does that mean my copy of the Constitution is no good? Must I go to D.C. to see the original? How do you think ANY information is passed along? Secondary sources are not simply dismissible because they are secondary. There may be errors with incomplete documentation, but there are many, many sources, and unless you can show they are invalid you have no case. You cannot dismiss all evidence based on one or two errors or undocumented quotes; you may as well say that Einsteinian physics is wrong because Einstein did not agree with the Heisenberg principle. One source error does not invalidate an argument.

"Are the authors of the Federalist Papers to be dismissed as sources in understanding the original intent of the Founders? Do you make the claim that nothing but the original is of any value?

"You say the Constitution is the LAW, but you fail to discuss WHY we have separation of Church and State; America was chock full of devout religious sects, and the Establishment Clause was intended to PROMOTE the shared Judeo-Christian values, not to stifle them. Had the Founders sought to reduce the influence of Christianity they would have written the clause differently.

"If you know the history of the nation as well as you think, you would understand that the whole reason people came here in the early days was to worship freely, and to govern their affairs in conformity with their religious convictions.

"There are innumerable documents at the Federal, State, and local levels that appeal to God. There are innumerable quotes from men (and women) who played a fundamental role in establishing this nation. You cannot quibble with them all.

"I have given you a fair amount of them, and you have dismissed all the evidence with a wave of the hand. It`s time for you to provide evidence that backs your assertions. Give us some quotes from the Founders going back to the early days of settlement that prove the goals were to establish a purely secular society. I`d like them to be verifiable from primary sources, by the way; we must maintain the standards we have set.

"You say;

"'And not a single Article or Amendment - our actual laws - in the Constitution ever mention Christianity as America's official religion nor do they mention America being a Christian Nation. In fact, they say quite the opposite.'

"Here you are being dishonest about the argument, and I have little doubt that you are fully aware of that fact. Nobody said we are a theocracy, but that America is rooted in a Judeo-Christian heritage that is fundamental to the Republic`s character and law. For shame!

"I think Pamela Van Buren pretty much demolished the reasoning you have applied.

"Oh, and it should be pointed out that this nation had Blue Laws at the state and local levels, and they were not declared unconstitutional. Now, where do you suppose Blue Laws came from? (Hint; the it`s one of the Commandments.) By your reasoning those laws should be anathema. This is also true of the old divorce laws, sodomy laws, laws against alcohol consumption, laws regulating what could be said on radio and television, etc. etc. These were not examples of reductionism from the original document of the Constitution, but implementation of moral code from the Bible. The presumption of innocence in court trials came from the Biblical ``judge not, lest ye be judged`` I suspect (no, I can`t prove that with some verifiable document.)

"Your argument is that our law came out of a vacuum. I`m sorry, but they did not. You can discover that with minimal effort, and you can discover what the sources of American Jurisprudence were quite easily-if you only seek the truth."

Sun Apr 20, 01:33:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Steve Rankin said...

PAMELA VAN BUREN COMMENTS:

"D.K., D.K….. Please know that the sarcasm comes free of charge. Sarcasm and facetious remarks are the easiest way to get the attention of the duller masses as they grab them and take them for truths. You have not failed to avail yourself of ad homonyms, when you can reach them.

"I rarely feel 'smarter' when I must advance an argument against an, obviously, less worthy opponent. There is no gratification of reasonable, rational discourse when such a reply as yours is written.

"I did not quote Washington. Your point? I will decline the offer to research Washington’s papers to advance your argument. If you had an argument, I would research any quotes applicable to the response to what I have set forth.

"'I’m a Believer' was a song by The Monkees in the 1960’s. The question for any and all is what they believe. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat is interesting on how psychotics believe what is seen is something else. Kindly do not take this as an invitation to explain your beliefs to me. One more time: We all make statements of faith. I am a Christian is a statement of faith. I do not believe in capital or lower case 'g' God is a statement of faith. Each statement reflects a belief.

"I have no interest in attempting to convert your thinking or that of anyone else. It doesn’t cause me to toss and turn in the dark of the night that you or others hold other beliefs. As long as I am spiritually content with my own beliefs and live in a country where the government was neither designed to promote my beliefs nor criminalize them, I have no complaint.

"Your argument is either extremely sophisticated and complex, in which case I missed it, or it is nothing of more merit than a loose sign clanging against a metal post.

"I have entertained composing a response to you, thus far, due to my respect for the thread on which you post. As I do have more important things to do, unless you present some cogent argument, I will decline to engage in futility. Your next to last paragraph is so overly broad and vague that it does not merit a response. One original, intelligible thought goes farther to advance an argument than all of your ranting."

Sun Apr 20, 02:11:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Steve Rankin said...

TIM BIRDNOW COMMENTS:

D.K., you keep insisting that America was not and is not a Christian nation, but what you mean is we do not have a Christian government. The nation was obviously Christian in terms of her genesis and character, and the laws which govern this country were based on our shared Judeo-Christian culture. You confuse the Nation with the GOVERNMENT, something that a person who believes in freedom as you state should not and would not do. Were you not aware of that?

The Constitution is the instrument regulating the Central government, also; it states quite plainly that any powers not expressly granted to the United States government are reserved to the individual states or the People. You keep beating on this business about the Constitution being the final law, yet that very instrument makes it plain that the Law actually resides elsewhere-with the People. The reason it does so is not because it is granted by the government, but because of ``Nature and Nature`s God``; the starting point was the Judeo-Christian worldview. GOD grants those rights, not men and not the Constitution.

America was a Christian nation-a Judeo-Christian nation, and any reasonable glance at the historical record makes that plain. You ARE twisting like a pretzel to deny this. Pamela Van Buren was correct; there is a difference between Dikta and Law, and if you have ever read a legal opinion you would know that judges bring in sources other than the legal code all the time. That is, in fact, the difference between common law, which is practiced in the United States, and the codified law decended from the Romans. WE bring other issues into the legal process. WE use precedent, for example. This makes our legal system more flexible, since we do not have to write new codes for new crimes and cases. You seem to believe that everything is in the Constitution in some fashion, and that all law is contained therein.

You were right about ONE of the quotes not in the cited document, by the way. How about the rest? That is scarcely a triumph of your position. If you intend to build your case on that, you will be seriously disappointed. How about debunking the rest? How about I send you more and more? I can find them as fast-faster-than you can debun

You say;

``As it turns out, I am a believer. And I support the right for others not to believe, because being a believer doesn't mean that non-believers should be forced to support my belief. That's not freedom, which is something else I believe in.

Interestingly enough, I have never met a non-believer who thought that everyone should be forced to be a non-believer. I have, however, met plenty of believers who think non-believers should be forced to be believers, and/or should at least succumb to legislation or the use of tax dollars that support and/or pay for a particular belief in some way. That's not freedom. ``

Oh, and have you never heard of Richard Dawkins? How about P.Z. Myers? How about Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung, Pol Pot? No, there are no non-believers who think people should be forced to be non-believing! On the contrary, I can`t say I`VE ever met a believer who wanted to force belief on others; Christianity specifically forbids that, in case you were wondering. You have outed yourself. What religion is it that is so tender to your heart? Me, I`m Roman Catholic, and proud of it. Pardon me for doubting, but you sound just like referenced P.Z. Myers with that statement; it does not seem all that sincere.

As to that last comment, would you kindly explain what that means? Nobody has asked you to die for anything, as far as I can see. Do you mean the War? If you are trying to insinuate that Christians are waging some kind of holy war against Islam, you have truly outed yourself as a crackpot. Please clarify that statement.

Sun Apr 20, 03:03:00 PM CDT  
Blogger D.K. said...

"D.K., you keep insisting that America was not and is not a Christian nation, but what you mean is we do not have a Christian government."

That is exactly what I mean, which means that the laws that govern our nation are not and should not be done according to the Bible.


"The Constitution is the instrument regulating the Central government, also; it states quite plainly that any powers not expressly granted to the United States government are reserved to the individual states or the People."

Very true. But I'm talking about Amendment I. So long as Florida judges remember that one, there shouldn't be a problem.


"GOD grants those rights, not men and not the Constitution."

I'm well aware that the Constitution does not grant rights. It protects them. Where they come from is irrelevant.


"America was a Christian nation-a Judeo-Christian nation"

That's not what the Constitution says.


"You were right about ONE of the quotes not in the cited document, by the way."

You forgot about the quotes that had no other source than a random date, or a worthless source such as Yahoo Geocities.


"How about I send you more and more? I can find them fast-faster than you can debun."

I heard Wikipedia has some real nice ones.


"Oh, and have you never heard of Richard Dawkins? How about P.Z. Myers? How about Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung, Pol Pot?"


I've never met those people, which is what I said. Of course, that doesn’t mean they didn't exist and if they did and if they attempted to force believers from believing, that is wrong.

"I can`t say I`VE ever met a believer who wanted to force belief on others"

No? How many times have we seen legislation passed that forbids gay marriage, a religious issue? How many times have we seen the use of tax dollars used to fund a religious item or display? How many times have we seen public school attempt to post religious signs and such on the walls of the school (everyone's tax dollars pay for that school)? And that's just at the state and local level. At the federal level, we have even seen attempts to ban gay marriage, a religious issue. I call nation-wide legislation based on a religious issue a pretty large attack, not counting state and local attacks.


"What religion is it that is so tender to your heart?"

None of them.

I don't need a religion to tell me how to believe in a higher power.


"As to that last comment, would you kindly explain what that means?"

It means I don't want your beliefs being pushed on me or anyone else through the use of my tax dollars, through legislation, or through a judge that dictates from the Bible instead of the Constitution, state or otherwise.

Mon Apr 28, 06:20:00 PM CDT  
Blogger D.K. said...

"DK, your argument is a classic example of manipulative parsing of logic"

The pot calling the kettle black.


"This is not, by the way, a discussion among academics, but a piece for general readership at a blog. If you can rebut the sources I submitted to you, please do so."

If you think random dates and Yahoo Geocities are reputable sources, by all means, don't let me spoil your fun.


"That is a straw man argument you are using; the concept that you have to actually study the original document is bogus."

Uh, no it's not.


"Does that mean my copy of the Constitution is no good?"

No, because the Constitution has been copied so many times by so many sources, reputable and non-reputable, that it can be cross-verified a zillion ways. I already went over that. Thanks for paying attention.


"You say the Constitution is the LAW, but you fail to discuss WHY we have separation of Church and State"

Why was there a need to discuss why? There is a seperation, period.


"Had the Founders sought to reduce the influence of Christianity they would have written the clause differently"

It seems to me that they could have cared less about religion. Check out "Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution" for a fascinating read with plenty of verifiable sources regarding how the founders were more concerned about making America an attractive place to invest, getting rid of debt, and trying to do away with paper-money. That might explain why an Article concerning religion was not originally introduced into the Constitution at all.


"If you know the history of the nation as well as you think, you would understand that the whole reason people came here in the early days was to worship freely, and to govern their affairs in conformity with their religious convictions."

In Plymouth, yes. In Jamestown, no.


"There are innumerable documents at the Federal, State, and local levels that appeal to God."

And which of those documents govern us?


"Give us some quotes from the Founders going back to the early days of settlement that prove the goals were to establish a purely secular society."

I challenge you to find a quote of mine saying that the Founders' goals were to establish a purely secular society. Are your beliefs so entrenched that you can't even read the actual words that someone writes?


"You are being dishonest about the argument"

There is nothing dishonest about the Constitution allowing the freedom to practice any religion AND no religion at all.

"Oh, and it should be pointed out that this nation had Blue Laws at the state and local levels, and they were not declared unconstitutional."

Mistakes can happen. Luckily, they can also be corrected.


"Your argument is that our law came out of a vacuum. I`m sorry, but they did not. You can discover that with minimal effort, and you can discover what the sources of American Jurisprudence were quite easily-if you only seek the truth."

You know the truth as much as the tree in your front yard knows the truth and the same goes for the rest of us.

Not a single person on our planet has access to the truth, only what they believe is the truth.

Mon Apr 28, 08:26:00 PM CDT  
Blogger D.K. said...

"D.K., D.K.. Please know that the sarcasm comes free of charge."

Good, because it's not worth paying for.


"Sarcasm and facetious remarks are the easiest way to get the attention of the duller masses as they grab them and take them for truths."

They're also a great way to dilute the reliability of taking anything you have to say seriously.


"I rarely feel 'smarter' when I must advance an argument against an, obviously, less worthy opponent."

Does it make you more worthy to claim me as less worthy?

I don't consider you my opponent. I consider you someone with a different persepective.

The point of communication is to explore that perspective. As your opponent, however, I doubt that will ever happen.

"If you had an argument, I would research any quotes applicable to the response to what I have set forth."

Okay, it's called the Constitution, Amendment I. Let me know what you find.


"The question for any and all is what they believe...Kindly do not take this as an invitation to explain your beliefs to me."

Then perhaps it's not the question for any and all.


"I have no interest in attempting to convert your thinking or that of anyone else."

That's good to hear.


"It doesn't cause me to toss and turn in the dark of the night that you or others hold other beliefs. As long as I am spiritually content with my own beliefs and live in a country where the government was neither designed to promote my beliefs nor criminalize them, I have no complaint."

I agree. Perhaps our perspectives are not that different after all.


"Your argument is either extremely sophisticated and complex, in which case I missed it, or it is nothing of more merit than a loose sign clanging against a metal post."

You must have missed it.


"I have entertained composing a response to you, thus far, due to my respect for the thread on which you post."

I appreciate that, except for your rudeness.


"As I do have more important things to do, unless you present some cogent argument, I will decline to engage in futility."

I already have presented a cogent argument:

The Constitution does not allow for law to be dictated from the Bible.

Mon Apr 28, 09:11:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Steve Rankin said...

PAMELA VAN BUREN COMMENTS:

"A circular monologue is not a cogent argument to which an opposing thought can be introduced.

"I have said all I will say to you on this subject.

"I admit to sarcasm, i.e., I pointed it out. Rude? You are entitled to your opinion. I think you are intellectually dull. That’s my opinion.

"Scream at the wall or scream at passing traffic; I decline to have any further discussion with you.

"Est finis."

Tue Apr 29, 07:47:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Steve Rankin said...

TIM BIRDNOW COMMENTS:

"DK, your reasoning is a splendid display of argument from authority-- your own. I and the other commenters here have provided you with considerable evidence, with well-reasoned logic, with historical realities. You have waved these all away, plugging your ears and shouting 'nu-uh, nu-uh, nu-uh' when confronted with anything you cannot answer. I mean-- really!-- denouncing the evidence you`ve been given because it is on the Internet is extraordinarily childish. You could look this up yourself, if you weren`t lazy. I offered you the chance to REFUTE my argument and you have failed to do so. You seem to think that denying a quote means it was never said-- or that a quote on a non-scholarly website is de facto worthless. Frankly, any fool can do that. If you have proof that these quotes are inaccurate, provide it, please. You have provided no evidence that your own viewpoint is correct other than your own assertion. Your `argument` consists of literally nothing but your own incredulity and opinions.

"Why don`t YOU provide us with quotes illustrating that America was intended to be a-religious? Why don`t you give us some serious historical context? All you have is the Establishment Clause, something you clearly do not understand.

"Unfortunately, I`ve dealt with your type before, and doubtless you think saying `I don`t believe it` is somehow intellectual rigor. Sorry, but it really is sophistry.

"I would suggest you develop better arguments before you waste everyone`s time."

Tue Apr 29, 08:34:00 PM CDT  
Blogger D.K. said...

"A circular monologue is not a cogent argument to which an opposing thought can be introduced."

Is that what you call a difference of opinion that you don't agree with?


"I have said all I will say to you on this subject."

Fair enough.


"I think you are intellectually dull. That's my opinion."

Am I?

Or is it that you are unable to compose any sort of real justification as to why a Florida judge should be quoting from anything other than the state's Constitution?

My guess is the latter.


"Scream at the wall or scream at passing traffic; I decline to have any further discussion with you."

I'm not screaming anywhere. I'm simply making a point.


"Est finis."

It will never be finished, as long as judges create a ruling based on a quote from a document that does not govern his or her state or our country.

Mon May 05, 02:01:00 PM CDT  
Blogger D.K. said...

"DK, your reasoning is a splendid display of argument from authority-- your own."

Thank you, considering such authority is the only authority I need to follow, so long as I cause no harm to others, along with my state and federal Constitution.

Too bad we can't say the same about the Florida judge in question.


"I and the other commenters here have provided you with considerable evidence,"

Is that what you call random dates and Yahoo Geocities?


"Why don't YOU provide us with quotes illustrating that America was intended to be a-religious?"

Why would I do that, when I have never said that America was intended to be a-religious?

That is the third time you seemed to have assumed I support a "secular America", when I have never once stated such a thing.

So instead of actually reading my words, you seem to instead create your own imaginary version of what I write that fits some kind of institutionalized bias against anything secular.

How wonderfully automated.

Here's what I have actually said, again:

I don't think America was intended to be religious OR non-religious. The intention seems to be either one of our choice.

My reference is Amendment I of the Constitution - our governing charter.


"I would suggest you develop better arguments before you waste everyone's time."

I would suggest that you read the Constitution.

Mon May 05, 03:21:00 PM CDT  

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