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McCain: America a “Christian Nation” (Merged)
Posted: 01 November 2007 07:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]
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FredFlash - 31 October 2007 11:03 PM

He said nothing about tribute, dude.

Dude, he also said nothing about “civil government”. Jesus was put into a politically difficult position when asked whether Jews should refuse to pay tribute to Rome. If he agreed, he could be prosecuted by the Romans for sedition. If he dissented, he would appear to support Roman rule. What he did was employ a cute rhetorical maneuver. Give the Romans their tribute, and the rest is for “God”, that is, the purified Jewish state and its end-times.

FredFlash - 31 October 2007 11:03 PM

The Baptists, starting in about 1520, were the first Europeans to advocate, and die, for separation of church and state.

That would be difficult, since as per HERE the Baptist religion didn’t start until “the early seventeenth century”.

Baptist “Separatists” did want to be able to practice their religion without interference from the Church of England, but that is quite a weaker position than advocating complete church/state separation. Perhaps the most famous “Separatist” sect was that of the Pilgrims, of Mayflower fame. While their “Mayflower Compact” was an interesting early example of a social contract, their impact on the religious landscape of the US was minimal, well overshadowed by the Puritans, who were not opposed to state meddling in the church at all.

FredFlash - 31 October 2007 11:03 PM

Separation of Church and State in America was more of a reaction to religious persecution in Virgina than religious tyranny in Europe. 

Of course, there was religious persecution here as well. But don’t forget the reason why most of those people came over here in the first place: to escape religious persecutions in their home countries of Europe.

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Posted: 01 November 2007 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]
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A little more elaboration.

FredFlash - 31 October 2007 11:03 PM

Separation of Church and State in America was more of a reaction to religious persecution in Virgina than religious tyranny in Europe.

Madison, Jefferson, Tucker and the other Virginians were such ardent advocates of separation of church and state because of the severity of the religious tyranny in Colonial Virginia.

Perhaps some clarification is in order.  An “Established Religion” specifically refered to “State Churches” such as the Anglican Church in England and the Catholic Church in Spain.  In England, there was a specific “test” that required anyone wishing to hold public office to swear they were a member of the Anglican Church.  Catholics (especially), Jews and Puritans need not apply.  This was carried over to the colonies in a similar way in several places such as the Congregationalists in Massachusetts and the Episcopalians (Anglicans) in Virginia.  Spanky’s reference to the Baptists, I believe, refers to the Massachusetts situation where these Baptist “Dissenters” were being taxed to support the “established” Congregationalist Church.

Virginia comes into play as a leader of this movement away from an “established church” and a separation of church and state with their Virginia Statute for Religious Liberty.  There, Patrick Henry argued for taxes (not necessarily “tyranny”) to support the Christian/Episcopal Church but was defeated by Jefferson and Madison in this 1786 law that guaranteed religious freedom to everyone.  The views expressed in the Virginia statute were carried forward to the US Constitution by Jeffereson and Madison, the latter being the principle author of the document.

Which is not to say that everyone agreed with this separation.  Attempts were periodically made to make the US a “Christian Nation” but they always failed.  The National Reform Association tried in 1864 by pushing for an amendment that said we are “humbly acknowledging Almighty God as the source of all authority and powerin civil government, the Lord Jesus Christ as the Ruler among the nations, [and] His revealed will as the supreme law of the land, in order to constitute a Christian government.”  It didn’t make it.  In the 1950’s it was tried again to insert that the United States “devoutly recognizes the Authority and Law of Jesus Christ, Saviour and Ruler of nations, through whom are bestowed the blessings of liberty.”, it failed, was revived in the 60’s and failed again.

Some people continue to hold out that the Constitution applies only to Christians, and is thus a “Christian Nation”, but Justice John Paul Stevens in his 1985 Wallace v. Jaffree ruling, put this form of the Christian Nation rhetoric to rest saying, “At one time it was thought that this right merely proscribed the preference of one Christian sect over another, but would not require equal respect for the conscience of the infidel, the atheist, or the adherent of a non-Christian faith such as Mohammedism or Judaism. But when the underlying principle has been examined in the crucible of litigation, the Court has unambiguously concluded that the individual freedom of conscience protected by the First Amendment embraces the right to select any religious faith or none at all.”

No, Mr. McCain, America is not a Christian Nation.

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Posted: 01 November 2007 09:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]
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Thomas Jefferson subscribed to the Baptist doctrine of “Soul Liberty”, dude.  That means he was Baptist.  Same for Madison.  Why did the Baptists of Orange County Virginia elect Madison so many times to represent them?

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Posted: 01 November 2007 10:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]
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Fred, Thomas Jefferson was a deist.  He might have attended the Baptist church, but he believed in a God of Nature.  He supposedly made his own Bible and took out the things he thought were attributed to Jesus, but Jesus did not say.  If you want to know more about Jefferson, I recommend:  http://www.jeffersonhour.org/

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Posted: 01 November 2007 10:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]
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dougsmith - 01 November 2007 07:41 AM
FredFlash - 31 October 2007 11:03 PM

He said nothing about tribute, dude.

Dude, he also said nothing about “civil government”.

“Caesar” was the civil government, dude.

Jesus was put into a politically difficult position when asked whether Jews should refuse to pay tribute to Rome. If he agreed, he could be prosecuted by the Romans for sedition. If he dissented, he would appear to support Roman rule.

Well, at least you got that part right.

What he did was employ a cute rhetorical maneuver.

Why did he accuse those who posed the question regarding tribute of hypocrisy?

Give the Romans their tribute, and the rest is for “God”, that is, the purified Jewish state and its end-times.

Caesar, at the time, had authority over a lot more than the matter of “tribute” dude.  He had all civil authority.

If Jesus had implied that the Jews were not to obey the other civil laws of Caesar, his enemies would have succeeded in their attempt to “trap him in his words” and run to the Roman authorities to accuse him of sedition.  That’s why we know that the “things that are Caesar’s” were more than just tribute.

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Posted: 01 November 2007 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]
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FredFlash - 01 November 2007 09:46 AM

Thomas Jefferson subscribed to the Baptist doctrine of “Soul Liberty”, dude.  That means he was Baptist.  Same for Madison.

They were both deists, as were Washington, Franklin, Adams, Hamilton and Paine. Or, perhaps one could call them “theistic rationalists” as one history professor does HERE. They did not see themselves as belonging to any organized religion, or following the tenets of any particular denomination.

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Posted: 01 November 2007 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]
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That means he [Jefferson] was Baptist. Same for Madison.

You are confusing your opinion with facts.  In most of the things you state, they are not the same.  Several sources have been pointed out showing your statement to be false.  Do you have anything besides your opinion and your interpretation to support your statement?

Why did the Baptists of Orange County Virginia elect Madison so many times to represent them?

Because he supported the Baptists in their assertion that they shouldn’t have to pay taxes to support the Episcopal Church?  One does not have to be of a specific religion in order to support the rights of that religion.  I don’t support whatever religion you claim to be but I would suport your right to believe in that religion.

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Posted: 01 November 2007 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]
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FredFlash - 01 November 2007 10:13 AM

“Caesar” was the civil government, dude.

No, he wasn’t. The civil government in Palestine during Jesus’s life was organized and controlled by the Jewish King Herod. Herod, in turn, gave tribute to Rome.

FredFlash - 01 November 2007 10:13 AM

Why did he accuse those who posed the question regarding tribute of hypocrisy?

Because in asking him the question, they were implicitly pushing Jesus to say it was not right to give tribute to Rome, and yet they themselves (the questioners) had to be publicly in favor of the tribute or themselves risk punishment for sedition.

I don’t see what this has to do with anything, though.

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Posted: 01 November 2007 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]
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dougsmith - 01 November 2007 07:41 AM

FredFlash - 31 October 2007 11:03 PM

The Baptists, starting in about 1620, were the first Europeans to advocate, and die, for separation of church and state.

That would be difficult, since as per HERE the Baptist religion didn’t start until “the early seventeenth century”.

That’s what I said, dude.

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Posted: 01 November 2007 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]
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FredFlash - 01 November 2007 10:35 AM
dougsmith - 01 November 2007 07:41 AM

FredFlash - 31 October 2007 11:03 PM

The Baptists, starting in about 1620, were the first Europeans to advocate, and die, for separation of church and state.

That would be difficult, since as per HERE the Baptist religion didn’t start until “the early seventeenth century”.

That’s what I said, dude.

I don’t understand why you would edit your prior post in your response to me. What’s the point, when your original post saying “1520” is still up, as it is in my quote? Why not just say you made a mistake and meant 1620?

The point is a trifling one, but I don’t appreciate the attempt to rewrite history. It displays a cavalier attitude with the truth.

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Posted: 01 November 2007 11:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]
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dougsmith - 01 November 2007 07:41 AM

  Baptist “Separatists” did want to be able to practice their religion without interference from the Church of England, but that is quite a weaker position than advocating complete church/state separation.

The early Baptists argued that the king did not have “power to command men’s consciences in the greatest things to be submitted to.” The king may rule over “the people’s bodies and goods,” but he has no right to “give his power to be exercised over the spirits of his people.” The people of God are a “heavenly or spiritual people, not of this world; and the King Jesus Christ, a heavenly spiritual king, requiring spiritual obedience.” The king cannot have “any power over this…people of God in respect of the religion to God, because our lord the king’s kingdom is an earthly kingdom.”

At the foundation of the Baptist view was the principle that the King (the civil authority) had no power over religion.  That is the same exact principle that supports strict separation of church and state.  In the 1600’s the immediate goal of the Baptists was to end the use of the sword by the the civil authorities in religious matters.  After that had been achieved, the Baptists, and others, realized that the same argument for denying the government the use of the sword in religious matters applied equally to the government employing reason and persuasion in matters of religion. 

It took a while for the Baptists, and others, to think through all the practical implications of their principle.  The idea of complete separation of church and state did not come to full maturity in the collective mind of most Americans until somewhere between 1816 and 1830. 

For example, during the War of 1812 James Madison was pressured into issuing executive religious recommendations.  However, a dozen presidents in a row after Madison had no problem refusing to issue them.  In the 1830’s, President Jackson told the Dutch Calvinist, , even in the face of the “Asiatic Scourge”, to go to hell with their request for a religious recommendation.

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Posted: 01 November 2007 11:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]
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Mriana - 01 November 2007 10:09 AM

Fred, Thomas Jefferson was a deist.  He might have attended the Baptist church, but he believed in a God of Nature.  He supposedly made his own Bible and took out the things he thought were attributed to Jesus, but Jesus did not say.  If you want to know more about Jefferson, I recommend:  http://www.jeffersonhour.org/

Jefferson and Madison were closet Baptists, my friend.  Judging by their actions.

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Posted: 01 November 2007 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]
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dougsmith - 01 November 2007 10:17 AM
FredFlash - 01 November 2007 09:46 AM

Thomas Jefferson subscribed to the Baptist doctrine of “Soul Liberty”, dude.  That means he was Baptist.  Same for Madison.

They were both deists, as were Washington, Franklin, Adams, Hamilton and Paine. Or, perhaps one could call them “theistic rationalists” as one history professor does HERE. They did not see themselves as belonging to any organized religion, or following the tenets of any particular denomination.

All of those persons were Baptists, my friend.

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Posted: 01 November 2007 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]
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dougsmith Posted: 01 November 2007 11:14 AM

I don’t understand why you would edit your prior post in your response to me. What’s the point, when your original post saying “1520” is still up, as it is in my quote? Why not just say you made a mistake and meant 1620?

The point is a trifling one, but I don’t appreciate the attempt to rewrite history. It displays a cavalier attitude with the truth.

While this is a Blog and not an academic forum, I do not think it is a trifling point.  I have held my tongue (partially at least) as I’ve watched and responded to the erroneous and unsubstantiated assertions by the person calling himself/herself “FredFlash”.

I cannot help but feel that this person is setting up straw horses to merely bait the rest of us with nonesense and with no greater purpose than to jerk our collective chains.  To make matters worse, his points rarely have anything to do with the thread itself. 

In my opinion, THAT is why Spanky edits his posts, refuses to admit when yet another of his points has been shown to be wrong or a mistake and why he displays a cavalier attitude with the truth.

I will gladly discuss this important topic with everyone else here, but I am satisfied that Spanky’s silliness is not worth any more time.

On the other hand, I suspect Spanky may be a Baptist who is trying seriously to antagonize Atheists and promote some fractured view of history and the Constitution, in which case I truly feel sorry for him.

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Posted: 01 November 2007 01:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]
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dougsmith - 01 November 2007 10:28 AM
FredFlash - 01 November 2007 10:13 AM

“Caesar” was the civil government, dude.

No, he wasn’t. The civil government in Palestine during Jesus’s life was organized and controlled by the Jewish King Herod. Herod, in turn, gave tribute to Rome.

Caesar was the highest civil authority, dude.

FredFlash - 01 November 2007 10:13 AM

Why did he accuse those who posed the question regarding tribute of hypocrisy?

Because in asking him the question, they were implicitly pushing Jesus to say it was not right to give tribute to Rome, and yet they themselves (the questioners) had to be publicly in favor of the tribute or themselves risk punishment for sedition.

I thought it was because they produced a coin with Caesar’s image on it, which was the type of coin that the people had to use to pay their tribute, proving that they themselves were paying the tribute to Caesar.

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