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Atheists sue to keep ‘In God We Trust’ off Capitol Vistor center
Posted: 19 July 2009 02:42 PM   [ Ignore ]
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If Rep. Dan Lungren gets his way, Congress will spend nearly $100,000 to engrave the words “In God We Trust ” and the Pledge of Allegiance in prominent spots at the Capitol Visitor Center .

Lungren’s proposal drew only a whimper of opposition last week when the House of Representatives voted 410-8 to approve it. Now, however, Lungren finds himself tussling with a national atheists and agnostics group.

Yahoo News

It’s the same fight all over again.  I wonder if the Freedom From Religion Foundation will be able to muster enough support for their lawsuit.  It is certainly more substantial than a single person suing the government like in the case about the Pledge of Allegiance from a few years ago.  I also wonder if the atheist/agnostic/free thinker movement is becoming stronger with the recent successes of the gay and lesbian movements.

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Posted: 19 July 2009 03:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Reminds me of a story:  A fundamentalist congregation built a huge steel steeple on their church, but didn’t have the money to have it primed and painted.  They desided god would protect their structure.  After a few years of rain and weather exposure, they added the sign, “In God we rust.”  red face

Occam

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Posted: 24 July 2009 03:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I have been discussing religious (i.e. Christian) symbols in public buildings on a political, Conservative forum with (mainly) Christians on it (In fact, I have discussed about religion very often on this forum, ending up being called “insulting” and a “follower of Satan”, *lol*).

Their eternally returning argument for religious symbols in public places is the fact that the US is a Christianity-based nation.

Needless to say I could not “win” this discussion (or any other religion-based discussion, for that matter).

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“Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.”

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Posted: 24 July 2009 06:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Voyager3 - 24 July 2009 03:37 AM

... the fact that the US is a Christianity-based nation.

The only slight problem with this claim is that it is false. The US government is explicitly secular. There is no mention of God or Christianity in the Constitution, and the First Amendment guarantees secular governance. Moreover the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli explicitly stated in article 11:

... the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion ...

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Posted: 24 July 2009 07:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Occam - 19 July 2009 03:14 PM

Reminds me of a story:  A fundamentalist congregation built a huge steel steeple on their church, but didn’t have the money to have it primed and painted.  They desided god would protect their structure.  After a few years of rain and weather exposure, they added the sign, “In God we rust.”  red face

Occam

LOL tongue wink

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Posted: 24 July 2009 11:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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dougsmith - 24 July 2009 06:12 AM
Voyager3 - 24 July 2009 03:37 AM

... the fact that the US is a Christianity-based nation.

The only slight problem with this claim is that it is false. The US government is explicitly secular. There is no mention of God or Christianity in the Constitution, and the First Amendment guarantees secular governance. Moreover the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli explicitly stated in article 11:

... the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion ...

That seems like it would be enough to convince everyone that the country was not founded on Christianity, but I am always amazed by certain Christians who try to distort this one.  I read a blog by someone claiming that this particular line was added “deep” in the treaty as a desperate attempt to make peace with Muslim pirates.  It seems like it would be hard to hide since the treaty was under 900 words, each article was roughly the same length, the treaty was read before Congress, a copy was made for each member of Congress, they printed it in the newspaper, etc.  It’s also interesting that they view it as a “desperate” attempt to please the pirates, considering that article didn’t appear in the version that was presented to them, only in the English version.

The funniest argument against this is that the treaty expired in 1800 and is no longer valid, never mind the fact that six years after ratifying the Bill of Rights, Congress voted unanimously that the country was not founded, in any sense, on Christianity. I’m not sure how the treaty “not being valid today” somehow changes history.  I guess when you want to convince everyone that your church should be writing laws and running the country, you need to cling to whatever you can.

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Posted: 24 July 2009 11:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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dougsmith - 24 July 2009 06:12 AM
Voyager3 - 24 July 2009 03:37 AM

... the fact that the US is a Christianity-based nation.

The only slight problem with this claim is that it is false. The US government is explicitly secular. There is no mention of God or Christianity in the Constitution, and the First Amendment guarantees secular governance. Moreover the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli explicitly stated in article 11:

... the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion ...

I learned about the Treaty of Tripoli in high school, don’t they STILL teach that as a part of American History?..or did they rewrite that too!

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Posted: 25 July 2009 06:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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thoswm - 24 July 2009 11:41 PM

That seems like it would be enough to convince everyone that the country was not founded on Christianity, but I am always amazed by certain Christians who try to distort this one.  I read a blog by someone claiming that this particular line was added “deep” in the treaty as a desperate attempt to make peace with Muslim pirates.  It seems like it would be hard to hide since the treaty was under 900 words, each article was roughly the same length, the treaty was read before Congress, a copy was made for each member of Congress, they printed it in the newspaper, etc.  It’s also interesting that they view it as a “desperate” attempt to please the pirates, considering that article didn’t appear in the version that was presented to them, only in the English version.

The funniest argument against this is that the treaty expired in 1800 and is no longer valid, never mind the fact that six years after ratifying the Bill of Rights, Congress voted unanimously that the country was not founded, in any sense, on Christianity. I’m not sure how the treaty “not being valid today” somehow changes history.  I guess when you want to convince everyone that your church should be writing laws and running the country, you need to cling to whatever you can.

Well, there is a segment of the population, basically fundamentalist Christian, that won’t be convinced by any evidence. I expect it’s the same way they believe the literal truth of the Bible, against all the evidence there as well. They have a great ability at self-deception.

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Posted: 25 July 2009 06:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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asanta - 24 July 2009 11:58 PM

I learned about the Treaty of Tripoli in high school, don’t they STILL teach that as a part of American History?..or did they rewrite that too!

Dunno. I don’t recall learning about it in high school, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t discuss it ... my memory of high school american history class is far less than perfect!

wink

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Posted: 25 July 2009 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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dougsmith - 25 July 2009 06:28 AM

Well, there is a segment of the population, basically fundamentalist Christian, that won’t be convinced by any evidence. I expect it’s the same way they believe the literal truth of the Bible, against all the evidence there as well. They have a great ability at self-deception.

They believe the literal truth of the bible except the parts they don’t believe and the parts they declare as allegorical. LOL

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Posted: 25 July 2009 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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dougsmith - 25 July 2009 06:30 AM
asanta - 24 July 2009 11:58 PM

I learned about the Treaty of Tripoli in high school, don’t they STILL teach that as a part of American History?..or did they rewrite that too!

Dunno. I don’t recall learning about it in high school, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t discuss it ... my memory of high school american history class is far less than perfect!

wink

I really like history, I listen to history podcasts and have a lot of history books on my bookshelf! On the other hand, don’t ask me to answer any difficult math problems! tongue laugh

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Posted: 25 July 2009 01:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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asanta - 25 July 2009 12:15 PM

I really like history, I listen to history podcasts and have a lot of history books on my bookshelf! On the other hand, don’t ask me to answer any difficult math problems! tongue laugh

I love history too ... fascinating stuff. Wish I had a better memory for the nuances though.

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Posted: 25 July 2009 03:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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dougsmith - 25 July 2009 01:28 PM
asanta - 25 July 2009 12:15 PM

I really like history, I listen to history podcasts and have a lot of history books on my bookshelf! On the other hand, don’t ask me to answer any difficult math problems! tongue laugh

I love history too ... fascinating stuff. Wish I had a better memory for the nuances though.

I was fascinated by History mostly because I lived outside of the US absorbing the history of other countries until I was a teenager.

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Posted: 25 July 2009 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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dougsmith - 25 July 2009 01:28 PM
asanta - 25 July 2009 12:15 PM

I really like history, I listen to history podcasts and have a lot of history books on my bookshelf! On the other hand, don’t ask me to answer any difficult math problems! tongue laugh

I love history too ... fascinating stuff. Wish I had a better memory for the nuances though.

That is so true Doug. You and Asanta, and myself probably like to dabble in a wide array of history. That is what makes it so hard to keep track of dates, places and names. I bet if we concentrated on a specific historical subject, or two, we would have those nuances remembered better.

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Posted: 25 July 2009 05:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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VYAZMA - 25 July 2009 03:34 PM

That is so true Doug. You and Asanta, and myself probably like to dabble in a wide array of history. That is what makes it so hard to keep track of dates, places and names. I bet if we concentrated on a specific historical subject, or two, we would have those nuances remembered better.

Could be. I just don’t have a memory for names. I can memorize them for tests if I have to, but within a week or two they’re gone.

And Asanta, that must have been very interesting! Where were you living? (Perhaps you told us already ... and I managed to forget ...)

It’s also very interesting to hear how other people from other countries view our history and the history that we tell in school of their countries.

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Posted: 25 July 2009 07:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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dougsmith - 25 July 2009 05:46 PM
VYAZMA - 25 July 2009 03:34 PM

That is so true Doug. You and Asanta, and myself probably like to dabble in a wide array of history. That is what makes it so hard to keep track of dates, places and names. I bet if we concentrated on a specific historical subject, or two, we would have those nuances remembered better.

Could be. I just don’t have a memory for names. I can memorize them for tests if I have to, but within a week or two they’re gone.

And Asanta, that must have been very interesting! Where were you living? (Perhaps you told us already ... and I managed to forget ...)

It’s also very interesting to hear how other people from other countries view our history and the history that we tell in school of their countries.

We lived 4 years in Germany(during the raising of the Berlin Wall), wandered through Europe with my multi-lingual dad to Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg,France, Spain, spent 4 years in Morocco during which time King Hussain II was crowned, his cavalcade came down our boulevard. We traveled throughout the country and I remember driving through the Turkish countryside about that time, which means we went through some other countries to get there, but I don’t quite remember which route we took. My dad was involved with the whole Cuban missile crisis and spent time traveling back and forth to the UN in Naples, Italy while we were in Morocco. We were in the US briefly after the assassination of Kennedy and them moved back overseas to the south Pacific with the escalation of the Viet-Nam ‘war’.
While we were on Guam, the (enlisted) crew of the Pueblo came to our house for a goodbye party, just before they sailed off to be captured by the N. Koreans. We were invited to have a tour (as much as we would be allowed to see) of the Pueblo before it took off, but my father did not feel that it was an appropriate place for children. We came to the USA in 1970s, I missed the assassination of R. Kennedy. MLK, and Malcolm X as well as much of the hippie and Civil Rights stuff! My father insisted that we pick up a smattering of the languages, as well as eat the local foods and learn something about the customs. We learned to eat sushi with chopsticks before it was popular, we ate cous-cous when it was only in the middle east and how to cook and eat Philipino foods before that became popular. Soul food and African American history was something I learned when I arrived and that is what turned me into a history buff! grin

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