David Barton & the 'Myth' of Church-State Separation
The Bush campaign has hired a controversial activist who calls the U.S. a 'Christian nation'
03/07/2011 11:46:02 PM
Hate to burst everybody's bubble, but I saw Barton debate Barry Lynn of Americans United years ago, and Lynn was unable to answer a single one of Barton's arguments or historical facts...and I had seen Lynn before with other people...he's good at winning a point even when he's wrong...but he looked like an idiot trying to counter David Barton.
04/08/2008 03:59:19 AM
David is mistaken. In a brief search on the net-what pops up are many, many religious sites and leaders who give no creedence to David's message of right-narrow focused propaganda. What David-and many Americans, it's sad to say, who are susceptible to unfactual messages, do not understand is that the proof is in the pudding and it doesn't look good. David needs to also understand that when it comes down to it-the real higher ups in the GOP wouldn't let him in the door-he's not wealthy enough. Long live liberty-not fanaticism.
10/05/2005 07:17:29 PM
On the one hand: Barton's main contention is that the separation of church and state was never intended by the nation's founders; he says it was created by the Supreme Court in the 20th Century. On the other hand: No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust of the United States. With respect to the founders' intentions, concerning the context of the mandate just cited, please refer to the U.S. Constitution, Article VI, Clause 3.
12/16/2004 08:38:46 PM
Will?...they already have. And once again H4C makes perfect sense. :)
11/18/2004 07:16:30 PM
In thinking about it...I think it's grreat that Dubya was elected to a second term. He and the Pharisees in charge will have no one to blame for Armageddon. And trust me, they will screw everything up!
11/17/2004 05:26:21 PM
Most of the religious-conservative arguments on this topic seem phony. 1) Laws against theft and murder and the quest for justice may indeed reflect what the Bible says, but such basic social principles are virtually universal; they are practical alternatives to anarchy even in cultures unaffected by the Abrahamic religions. 2) The fact that certain portions of civil and criminal law are consistent with scriptural precepts does not mean that all portions of the law are scripturally based or that all portions of scripture are reflected in the law. 3) The fact that there is some degree of concord between the law and the Bible does not mean that the Bible was the basis of the law, even if the lawmakers are religious. 4) The real test of whether we are a free nation or a theocracy is whether we will enact laws that are based on religious teachings but do not promote social justice. And by the way, those who call church-state separation a myth are liars when they falsely equate secularism with atheism.
11/15/2004 12:40:10 PM
People, Jefferson had his own version of the Bible from which he had all references to miracles removed.
11/15/2004 11:27:38 AM
While he wasn't speaking to Baptist at the time: President Washington explained the reason for only one reference to religion in the Constitution: "I am persuaded, you will permit me to observe that the path of true piety is so plain as to require but little political direction. To this consideration we ought to ascribe [credit] the absence of any regulation [law], respecting religion, from the Magna-Charta [Constitution] of our country" (George Washington, 1789, Papers, Presidential Series, 4:274).
11/15/2004 09:18:01 AM
KingDavid, What exactly are those Christian principles? I have repeatedly asked what values or principles are uniquely Christian as distinct from the values underlying Judaism, Buddhism, and, for that matter, ethical atheism? No one seems able to give an answer. (Hint: Christian doctrine IS unique, but doctrine is not a value.)
11/14/2004 09:43:31 PM
Here is what was in Jefferson's letter: "The First Amendment has erected a wall of separation between church and state, but that wall is a one directional wall; it keeps the government from running the church, but it makes sure that Christian principles will always stay in government." -Thomas Jefferson, 1 Jan.,1802 address to the Danbury Baptists
11/04/2004 05:25:55 PM
Windbender, in a campaign of painful ironies, perhaps the greatest is that Bush, who has called the Republican Party "the party of Lincoln," forgets that Lincoln's main goal was to preserve the nation, whereas the Party today callously tears the nation apart for political gain. But you are right; it would be even worse if Bush's religiosity were sincere. (By the way, thank you for your recent posting on the Jews-for-Kerry page.)
11/04/2004 11:34:19 AM
Heritic - I can't begin to tell you how much I wish you were wrong, though I suppose the alternative (that rather than being motivated by political advantage - his sense of "revealed truth" is genuine) causes me considerably greater angst.
11/04/2004 10:35:14 AM
Church-state separation was once a cherished tradition in America, but no more. From day 1 of his administration, the man who promised to be a uniter rather than a divider resorted to demagoguery and demonization of political opponents, deliberately tearing apart the nation to establish a theocracy in one half and to wage war against the other. He has brought about the American jihad, and its goal is not to express personal faith but to gain political advantage. And Jesus still weeps.
11/03/2004 10:10:21 AM
Schmibly - thanks so much for sharing the much needed resource. Given last night's events, this all may be moot for some time to come, but certainly, it won't stay that way. If we didn't get samrter as we go along, women wouldn't have the vote and I'd still be coloring outside the lines.
11/01/2004 01:54:25 PM
The separation of Religion and Government is not a recent phenomenon. It remains as controversial today as it was then. The founding fathers did advocate freedom FROM religion AS FAR AS THE GOVERNMENT IS CONCERNED. James Madison realized there was a fine line to walk and therefore advocated a complete and total separation. He was against Congressional and military chaplains and using public funds for the support of any private institution including "faith based" charities and church schools. "Notwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries ..., there remains ... a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Government & Religion neither can be duly supported... Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance" (James Madison, 1822, Writings) For more info
11/01/2004 01:46:51 PM
If the US is a Christian nation because the majority of its citizens are Christian, does that mean it's a female nation because the majority of its citizens are women?
11/01/2004 01:45:07 PM
Barton's statistical thought-experiment, correlating the "prohibition of prayer in public schools" with a purported fall in SAT scores, fails on several counts. First, prayer has NEVER been prohibited in the public schools. Kids are still mumbling, "Please God don't let the teacher call on me, I haven't done the reading." What HAS been prohibited is school-sponsored, teacher-led, official public prayer in the public schools, because the courts believe that teaching children how and when to pray is the job of their parents and religious leaders, not the school board. Second, of course, a correlation is not a causation. During the same period Barton talks about, the profits of the NBA and the sales of pasta rose too. Does that mean that watching professional basketball or eating linguine causees national catastrophe?
10/31/2004 10:12:12 PM
Church-state separation is not a myth but it is a recent phenomenon. The phrase "the high wall of separation" was taken from a letter by Thomas Jefferson to Baptists in Danbury, CT. The first time these words were invoked by the Supreme Court was in 1947 in Everson v. Board of Education. The 1st Amendment guarantees "Freedom of Religion"; i.e. that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ." What most of us fail to recognize it that it is a huge leap from the First Amendment to Emerson, et. al. Anyone who reads Washington, Adams, Henry, Madison, and even Franklin and Jefferson, must acknowledge that the current interpretation and application of the First Amendment of the Constitution hardly resembles the Founder's intent 200 years ago. This claim has nothing to do with Christian reconstructionism, of which even the vast majority of conservative Christians are either unaware or outright reject.
10/31/2004 01:29:12 PM
I don't understand people. I used to think i did, but now I'm not so sure. Church bells are so nice to hear, does music bother people that much. Are people so miserable that Lord forbid a song enter there hearts. As for my symbols of my faith, I proudly wear my little cross as a reminder that Christ dies for my sins and your sins on on the, guess what, a cross. I don't wear it for anyone else other than my self. People are so worried about making an image of themselves for others, that they have forgotten that maybe some people just do things for their own selves.
10/30/2004 10:38:52 AM
Why do religious people insist on displaying their faith before other people? Who are they trying to impress with their religious jewelry and monuments? God doesn't need us to wear ID badges to know who we are. Jesus dismissed public displays of religiosity, yet those who shout "Lord, Lord!" the loudest are the most insistent on public displays.
10/30/2004 07:54:17 AM
You can't even ring church bells in a lot of communities now because they say it's promoting Christianity!(Mscrauth) Now this kind of statement is what drives me nuts. What community, exactly, tried to outlaw church bells, and for what reason? Sure, there are laws against making loud noises that disturb the community. Since I don't attend the church down the block, why should I have to put up with having my ears blasted on Sunday morning? That is not banning something because it "promotes Christianity." Church bells were used back when most people didn't have any way of telling time. Buy a watch and let me have some peace and quiet.
10/29/2004 04:29:48 PM
David Barton and Wallbuilders are a disgrace and a fraud. A disgrace to American History and a fraud for creating false statements and attributing them to our Founding Fathers. What is the commandment....thou shall not bear false witness. A shame to faith. Do a google search on "David Barton and Fraud" Enjoy the reading. As well, Barton is NOT a professional historian. He is an amateur. His B.A. is in Education and he taught Math and Science before starting this propaganda organization. God Bless, Steven
10/29/2004 02:00:47 PM
No where did the Founding Fathers preach "freedom from religion..." As a non-Christian I have no objections to the Christians being allowed to display their religion however they want, so long as they don't try to force me to follow it. As a child when there where Christian prayers I would repeat them, omitting references to the "Son" and the "Holy Ghost" because the Christian prayers are mostly modified Jewish prayers. Christians can be fired for wearing religeous symbols, but Muslims can do just about anything, like in Hamtrack where they are allowed to broadcast their call the praye over the entire town, therby forcing Islam on everyone else. You can't even ring church bells in a lot of communities now because they say it's promoting Christianity!
10/29/2004 01:58:07 PM
The question is not "Is this country a Christian nation?". The more appropriate question is "Is the U.S. government Christian?" And the answer is NO. The U.S. government is secular. I think it is very important to realize that government itself is not a person. It is not a human being and can not have a relationship with God. The only function of American government is to secure and protect the individual rights of people. God given unalienable rights. Sure. But the security and protections are based on human reasoning.
10/29/2004 08:09:14 AM
Well at least Charles Stanley's face is off this page! And the Founding Fathers of Our Country were Deists not Christians; American hasn't, isn't nor ever will be a Christian nation.
10/29/2004 03:12:18 AM
I know I misspelled 'terrible' lets leave it at that.
10/29/2004 03:11:37 AM
Also, I really think that Jefferson was a teribble president. Adams was far superior. Federalist Party forever! Woot!
10/29/2004 03:09:18 AM
"Slave" is a very strong word to use in reference to religion. I choose to believe in God, I wouldn't call "choosing" slavery. Also, I don't see how a person could be both agnostic and atheist if the first is believing that it is impossible to know if there is a God and the other firmly believing that there is absolutely no God. Seems to me like you would have to be one or the other since they conflict in definition and practice.
10/28/2004 09:16:49 PM
The Library of America publishes huge volumes of original writings of our founding fathers and other American writers. Highly Recommended. Thomas Jefferson
10/28/2004 09:13:29 PM
I am an agnostic atheist (negative atheist; weak agnostic). I am a slave to no god(s). I consider myself a freethinker. I am open to ideas, but I leave my own reason to decide as to whether or not they are legitimate beliefs to hold.
10/28/2004 09:11:45 PM
Anyone who reads the original writings of James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and other founding fathers will clearly see that the intent was both the freedom OF religion and the freedom FROM religion. As this is the only way to keep both institutions pure. David Barton spends his life pouring through mountains of historical documents searching for that tiny piece he can twist and manipulate into his own truth. Ignoring the overwhelmingly clear evidence against him, and he's not afraid to use questionable sources. In my book a half truth is the same as a lie. Even worse because it is more believable. Now I'm sure David Barton has even managed to convince himself.
10/28/2004 09:11:28 PM
Everyone is a slave to something. Not me. I serve myself and it's not by force. Rather, I choose to serve myself through the virture of selfishness. That is not to say that I don't serve others. However, I have learned in life that putting others before yourself can often lead to low self-esteem and lack of identity. The key is to make yourself the most important person in your life. If you do this, nothing can break your confidence. ("No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."-- Eleanor Roosevelt) Whatever you value most you are in servitude to. I value myself most, and I do not consider that a form of slavery. Rather, I consider that a form of emotional responsibility and a healthy mentality to have in the competitive world we live in. Whether it is God, Money, your Looks, your Car, Your house, your family, or whatever, you are in servitude to that thing. Material possessions matter little to me; they can easily be replaced.
10/28/2004 09:02:36 PM
"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, If there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. You will naturally examine first the religion of your own country. Read the bible then, as you would read Livy or Tacitus. Do not be frightened from this inquiry by a fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no god, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you. Your own reason is the only oracle given you by heaven , and you are answerable not for the rightness but the uprightness of the decision. . ." --- Thomas Jefferson's letter to his nephew, Peter Carr (August 10, 1787).
10/28/2004 09:01:11 PM
YES GOD CREATED THE BIBLE SAYS SO. FACT IS FACT. Prove the Bible is fact, but you can't use the Bible as proof. That's pure circular reasoning (i.e., "What it says is true because it says what it says is true").
10/28/2004 01:29:37 PM
"Believing... that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their Legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State." --Thomas Jefferson, to Danbury Baptists, 1802.
10/28/2004 10:26:32 AM
unicornucopia, Thank you for your kind words. Some might not consider encouraging me to be smart but I appreciate it. I agree with you about organized religion except for Buddhism. I find the practice of Buddhist meditation to be the the total opposite of guilt and shame. I say this in the spirit of sharing, not prosletizing. (sic)
10/28/2004 10:22:02 AM
ALPHA, "YES GOD CREATED THE BIBLE SAYS SO. FACT IS FACT" I respectfully disagree. This is not fact. It is a belief. How do you know the Bible is true? Because the Bible says so. Do you see anything wrong in that thinking?
10/28/2004 10:12:21 AM
(Cont'd) "Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida!... And thou, Capernaum... shalt be brought down to hell." (Matt. 11: 20-23) "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch...and men cast them into the fire, and they are burned." (John 15:6)
10/28/2004 10:11:59 AM
Godfactor, "Christ never told anyone, "you are going to hell if you don't change your ways." "... For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days; for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon the people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword and shall be led away captive into all nations and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled." (Luke 21-20-24) "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: then shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." (Matt. 13: 41, 42) "There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the Kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out." (Luke 13:28)
10/27/2004 10:02:14 PM
IN THE BEGINNING GOD CREATED THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH YES GOD CREATED THE BIBLE SAYS SO. FACT IS FACT
10/27/2004 09:48:31 PM
Everyone is a slave to something. Whatever you value most you are in servitude to. Whether it is God, Money, your Looks, your Car, Your house, your family, or whatever, you are in servitude to that thing.
10/27/2004 09:46:02 PM
I for one am a Christain but I am totally against the idea that there is no separation of church and state. We cannot establish a national religion as it would alienate even differing ideas about Christianity. How about the Catholic States of America? How would the Babtists feel about that. My Church does not judge the parishioners. My Church does not lay guilt or shame on anyone. Any Church that does is not following Christ's teachings. Christ never told anyone, "you are going to hell if you don't change your ways." He simply told them how to acheive eternal life. No guilt trip.
10/27/2004 07:40:01 PM
Dear jacknky: Your post touched me, reminding me of our modern-day sins, especially the land grabbing which we continue to support: "Or perhaps if you were a native American you would not feel so kindly to this Christian nation that forcibly wrenched your lands from you and eliminated your way of life." Your humanist approach is very important. I hope you continue to say more about the way you see things. I for one could do without organized religion completely. It's merely another form of slavery. Priests and Preachers keep us enslaved with Guilt and Shame. Who needs that?
10/27/2004 06:21:47 PM
(cont.) ... To establish one specific religion as the "official" religion of the country would be to savagely curtail the freedoms and liberties of those who believe differently. This cannot be the "land of the free" if "Free" is an exclusive club. Our history is replete with the words and actions of those who would reserve freedom only unto themselves and the rest of humanity be damned. Some would say our present civilization is overrun with such individuals and I'd be inclined to agree. Whoever said it first is absolutely correct - unless ALL of us are free, none of us are. Exlusive clubs invariably put a boot in the face of those who don't see things the way they do. Thomas Jefferson and his peers understood this all too well and tried to protect later generations from the same.
10/27/2004 06:20:55 PM
Separation of church and state is a simplistic way of communicating a very important principle in the U.S. Constitution in which the government is forbidden to establish a state-sponsored religion as much to protect all religions, Christian or otherwise, from undue state pressures as to protect the government and the people it represents from religious dogmatism. The authors of the Constitution wished to encourage and protect diversity of opinion, religious or otherwise, precisely because diversity of opinion was very much discouraged in the rest of the known world. ... (cont.)
10/27/2004 05:19:13 PM
Jack, well said. Amitabha
10/27/2004 09:33:50 AM
imdancin, Thank you for your most recent post. I believe you have made the point for those of us who fear a government that claims to be guided by God. Also, please understand that the Bible is not the only place to find the wisdom you treasure in Christianity. Other than its claims to divinity, similar teachings of tolerance, compassion and wisdom can be found in cultures around the world. Peace...
10/27/2004 03:51:04 AM
Peace is War. Ignorance is Strength. 2+2=5. There is no such thing as separation of church and state. George W. Bush deserves to be president.
10/27/2004 12:18:33 AM
SeekingtheOne A lot of bad things have been done in the name of religions. Christianity is no different. God loves everyone of his creatures equally. He loves those who hate, mock and reject Him too. Those who abused the Indians, those who abused the Blacks, were wrong. They did not act as Christ would have wanted them too. And I am sure many of them were Christian in name only, and they payed dearly after death.
10/26/2004 11:28:55 PM
imdancin- I have to whole-heartedly agree with jacknky, above all else Jesus taught love and tolerance for your fellow man. I mean, this nation would be no better than Iraq, or Afganistan if we were to become a theocracy, which is what some people are striving for. My ancestors where Native American, an entire culture wiped out in the name of Christianity, saving those poor heathens from their godless religion. And if this country where to become a theocracy what kind of Christianity would you have running the country, since we have so many denominations I could never name them all, not to mention Catholics. We'd end up like the England our forefathers left. That would be taking a HUGE step backwards, I mean if that's the way it sould be what was the point of America in the first place. I for one treasure the words "with liberty and justice for all"
10/26/2004 01:24:50 PM
On church-state separation: First, we should respect the viewpoints of the Founding Fathers; but they were just people doing the best they could, not gods whose perspectives transcend all the changes that have taken place in the last 200 years. Second, the moral principles on which America was founded are not unique to any particular religion. (Pop quiz: What are "Christian values"? In what sense are such values as honesty and mercy uniquely Christian?) We can acknowledge the religious heritage of civilization without enshrining any particular religion within the law of the land. And let's recall that Jesus sneered at public displays of religiosity (Matt 6:6); the point of such displays can only be to impress our neighbors, for surely God does not need us to wear identification badges to know who and what we are.
10/26/2004 01:01:44 PM
To unicornucopia: Thanks for your kind words, and by all means feel free to quote the phrase "spiritual coma of dogmatism" and anything else I may post. I think that's the point of posting.
10/26/2004 11:57:03 AM
I think it's very dangerous to combine patriotism with religion...the two together are volatile and can lead in my view to a virtual state religion, a fascist style dictatorship and justification to attack and punish dissent and freedom of belief.
10/26/2004 11:50:28 AM
I grew up listening to this guy...he toured my former church regularly...even had his kids spend time at my former school doing lunch and "fellowship" with us. One thing I know first hand about him is that he is full of it...and I do mean full of bunk. Call my mindset "tainted", but I can argue my position.
10/26/2004 11:28:12 AM
I think it's hugely dangerous to talk about what God would want to see in our country or what God would not want to see. If there's a change you want to see in the country, make your argument. But it's intellectually corrupt to make an argument by saying, "God would like to see..." One thing we know for sure, Jesus was not interested in politics. AT ALL. History has decisively borne out that so-called "Christian nations", along with any other kind of incipient theocracy, are disasters. America works best with church and state separated.
10/26/2004 09:45:58 AM
imdancin, Perhaps you would not be looking back so fondly to when we were a Christian nation if you were an African American who had been enslaved by this Christian nation, or when you were unable to go to white schools, churches, hold non-menial jobs in this Christian nation. Or perhaps if you were a native American you would not feel so kindly to this Christian nation that forcibly wrenched your lands from you and eliminated your way of life. Or perhaps if you were a homosexual you might not feel so kindly toward this Christian nation that treats you like a second class citizen for no other reason than who you are. As a humanist, I almost wish it were true that we had "taken over". We sure couldn't do any worse. The Christian nation you look back to never existed the way you "remember" it.
10/26/2004 03:55:01 AM
We used to be a Christian nation, but we are not any longer. One has to only observe the moral fabric of society to see the results of what we have become. Why would God even want to bless our nation. Humanists, have taken over. No moral absolutes, take God out of everything. We lead the world in divorce, drugs, abortion, pornography, you name it. National suicide rates have gone up, unwed pregnancies, rape, murder. We are one of the to leaders in the world in sexually tranmitted diseases. We are a nation that gives more protection to the suspect than the victim. The church has so compromised and watered down Gods message its almost impossible to tell a true Christian anymore. No we certainly are not what God wants us to be, thats for sure.
10/26/2004 02:17:46 AM
snickerdoodle- nice username, happens to be my mom's fav. cookie. Now in response to your post...yes we humans have a bad side. We commit horrific crimes against each other and the earth itself, however I do not think that would be resolved with bringing God into our government. It is not how our country was intended to be and I don't think it ever should be that way. What we need in our government is a strong dose of love and compassion, the kind that is not dictated by a religion. However, I respect your view... I'm glad you feel so passionately about it. I just wish you had expressed it without feeling the need to tell someone else to shut up, everyone is entitled to express their opinion. Don't worry, the message board will not run out of room because some posts take up more room than others. I just take the extra time it takes to click through the posts to work on my patience.
10/26/2004 02:05:44 AM
Oh crap, I didn't think that my first post went through. Oops. Well take what you want from them because they're there and I don't take anything back. Just tried to sound more reasonable in the second. Oh, well. Late.
10/26/2004 02:00:43 AM
I've heard that a majority of those polled consider themselves Christian in the U.S. Whether or not this would ever change the outcome of an election or if they were really what one might consider Christian is questionable. I suppose the next question would be what constitutes a Christian nation. A majority of people in that faith? A Christian theocracy? I would say without any qualms that I believe we are what might be called a Christian nation even if we have the seperation of Church and State worked into the Constitution. Our laws are based on Judeo-Christian ethics and there are other things too. I'm not willing to take to much time to write about it, I just thought it might be nice to hear someone else say something. The Peace of the Lord be with you all.
10/26/2004 01:53:52 AM
Hey I know what would be nice, if unicornucopia would shut up and let someone else try to bring in a new thought, it took me checking back 3 pages to find someone's response to a post I made a day ago. Since I suggested it, I will now give what may or may not be a new opinion, but one that I have not seen expressed. Humans are evil, we do evil things to ourselves and to others. Those of us who cannot accept that are fools, we are not fundementally good. The belief in a perfect, loving, God is the only thing that does not reflect our evil human nature and thus is the greatest evidence for His existance. Crusades, jihads, murder, hate, these are against God regardless of what those who carry out the acts say. Bringing God, the true God, into our imperfect government can do nothing but good. This is what I believe and I will not be swayed by any number of posts or polls, speeches both profane and well written, insults , and especially by strangers on some website like belifnet. Wow that was a nice diatribe.
10/26/2004 01:01:44 AM
To Unicornicopia: How nice to see that my post inspired you, I love to see the posts of many others who share the same ideals as I do,and even the posts of those who don't... establishing a dialogue is so important. By the way, it took me 15 minutes to edit that post short enough that I could submit it! I said almost the exact same thing to my brother 2mths ago, tears running down my face, because he was enlisting in the Marines. I love him with all my heart, am so proud of him and he understands my stance and I know that he takes the safety and protection of our country very seriously. He also will be the first to tell you that "He who lives by the sword will die by the sword." So you can see that I live with both sides of the issue everyday. My take on it is I can't tell anyone what to believe. I can only strive to be as peaceful as I can be, to live by the ideals I hold fast to.
10/25/2004 09:02:59 PM
Unicornucopia, would you use deadly arms to prevent what happened in Uganda? Everyone who says no should be required to listen to the Commander of the UN peace keeping force in Uranda tell of his terrible ordeal. Once he understood that people were being beaten and literally hacked to death by their neighbors, he asked for more troops from both the UN and later from the US. Neither responded. He had to watch his own friends killed in front of his own eyes while they begged for mercy and for his help. He can not get away from the guilt he feels from not being able to help. Everyone is against war, but sometimes it is necessary to use arms to prevent evil people from doing evil things.
10/25/2004 08:54:42 PM
Just a friendly reminder: The topic of the article is Church-State separation. Thank you, Beliefnet_Tiger
10/25/2004 08:22:59 PM
Dear thefish: You truly are an Enlightened One when you say: "very few people make it to Heaven" because they don't realize all they have to do is create it with God's blessing...but they continue to fight and kill...and they can all live in that Hell if they want to, but I won't and I don't have to. They can't take away from me what was divinely given to me...my free spirit! " Bravo Bravo! Peace
10/25/2004 08:15:59 PM
Dear docjoc: The moral dilemma you bring up is a good one. Some think only God can decide birth and death. These are the people who condemn abortion, capital punishment and the like. Others don't take the Ten Commandments so literally. I don't know the answer, I just know that I am against war and I am sure Jesus would be, too.
10/25/2004 08:01:40 PM
Dear docjoc: The the German Officer to whom you refer may not have been a true Christian at heart...
10/25/2004 07:53:18 PM
Dear thefish: You got it! There are many books with these secrets if one wishes to seek them out. The Bible is one we know well. Right from the beginning, the hints are there. When God kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, he left an opportunity for them -- or us -- to return. Nobody bothers to check it out....the angel with the flaming sword.....perhaps from the guilt imposed by our first parents' eating the apple and then blaming the another. Blame and Guilt keep humanity from discovering the paradise within. Jesus tried to explain that the Kingdom of Heaven is within...but no one listens...no one but the Dahli Lama and he's not a Christian so people don't listen to him either. Here's what he says: "The whole of humanity is…one human family. This planet is our only home." -His Holiness the Dalai Lama
10/25/2004 07:47:16 PM
Unicorn...the very question I asked you once confronted a German Officer on the Eastern Front during WW11. This Christian Officer, knew that by personally killing Hitler he would save millions of unnecessary deaths on both sides? He wrestled with this issue. Finally he decided to strap on explosives under his uniform. Unfortnately Hitler never came close enough for him to grab Hitler and kill them both. Many lives were lost because of this failure to kill Hitler.
10/25/2004 07:31:19 PM
unicorn... We absolutely see the same thing. Sometimes I feel that there are so few of us out there. That's why I like coming here. One day it struck me that Jesus said very few make it to Heaven. I couldn't figure out why? They, when I realized that this IS Heaven, I also realized that very few people see it. So my interpretation of that saying is very few people make it to Heaven because very few people will wake up and realize it's right under their nose...all they have to do is create it with God's blessing...but they continue to fight and kill and say "I'm right and you're wrong" and they can all live in that Hell if they want to, but I won't and I don't have to. They can't take away from me what was divinely given to me...my free spirit! Peace <
10/25/2004 06:45:23 PM
I'm really misspelling too many words so I want to submit this post again, corrected to Dearest docjoc: Yes, Jesus WAS killed because he SPOKE AND ACTED against evil everywhere he went and YES, We ARE called to do the same, whether it is Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin , Sadam or even George Bush. But NEVER by arms. [Speaking and acting does not mean we have to kill!] Christians take it on themselves not to do this because Christ did not. We must only ACT as Christ did, not as we want. When Christ teaches forgiveness, he doesn't mean there are any exceptions! We MUST forgive our enemies and love those who hate us. To do less means we are not really Christians.... And may I add that the Commandment, Thou Shalt Not Kill, does not say it's okay to kill in war....
10/25/2004 06:41:16 PM
Hi Cearrai, I clicked on the 700 Club website, which is the source of the quote from David Barton about John Quincy Adams (see link above Robertson quote on p. 2): It's not a Beliefnet typo. The year 1737 is directly from the transcript of the show. So Barton isn't much of a historian...
10/25/2004 06:37:41 PM
Hey thefish: Thanks. So do you! I wanted to say a little something about your statement of belief. I also believe the kingdom of Heaven is within us, something we live, and that the God creates through us, that we are the hands and feet to do 'the work' of God in the world. I believe the devil does not exist outside of man, that is part of human nature, the evil hidden part which gets projected onto our enemies...thus when we fight with others or destroy others, we are in fact destroying ourselves. That's why soldiers get so psychologically messed up in war.....an inner spark knows.... I also believe the Creator used evolution to assist creation. To God a day can be a thousand years. And God isn't a singular being but the collective spirit of all. God is our own Soul.
10/25/2004 06:34:11 PM
>Barton: "There is a lot of proof. Not the least of which is a great Fourth of July speech that was given in 1737 by one of the guys who fought in the revolution, who became a president, John Quincy Adams..." This has probably been brought up already here, but July 4th was NOT celebrated as early as 1737. And John Quincy Adams was not born until 1767. I assume that Mr. Barton meant to say _1837_ (unless "1737" was a typo on Beliefnet's part)... --Cearrai
10/25/2004 06:22:54 PM
Dear docjoc: If you really are a Christian, you cannot make the following statement: "Yes sometimes by arms too...we must fight evil. Let me ask you this...would you have killed Adolf Hitler in in the mist of WW11, knowing that your killing him would result in saving millions of unnecessary deaths on both sides?" Let me ask YOU this: Would Christ have killed Hitler? Of course not!
10/25/2004 06:11:03 PM
Do we really want to allow majority rule state mandated religion? Every little erosion of the separation of church and state hurts the very freedom we all cherish. It is also short sighted of any Christians who advocate having the two together: any religion that is the majority in the future could force its beliefs on everyone. Is that really what we all want? I don't think so. So let's not let the practice take hold. It would be better to accept that not everyone is a Christian and to stop trying to force this religion into our laws and policies. Doing so will not make everyone into a Christian; it only forces people with other belief systems underground. Do we really want to be a nation that oppresses people for their beliefs? If so we are all a risk.
10/25/2004 05:41:40 PM
Yes sometimes by arms too...we must fight evil. Let me ask you this...would you have killed Adolf Hitler in in the mist of WW11, knowing that your killing him would result in saving millions of unnecessary deaths on both sides?
10/25/2004 05:36:44 PM
Same to all of you also, in unicorn's list of "seekers of truth"... And unicorn...may I say...YOU ROCK!!! Peace <
10/25/2004 04:45:40 PM
Dearest docjoc: Yes, Jesus WAS killed because he spoke and acted against evil everywhere he went AND YES, We ARE called to do the same, whether it is Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin , Sadam or evan George Bush. bit MEVER by arms. Christians take it on themselves not to do this sometimes unpopular task because Christ did not do that. We must only ACT as Christ did, not as we want. When Christ teaches forgiveness, he doesn't mean there are any exceptions!
10/25/2004 04:39:47 PM
Dearest Heretic_for_Christ: I especially love this part of your post: "The essence of Christianity is the spiritual truth of his teachings, not the worship of a book in which people who never met Jesus recorded hearsay versions of what other people...said. That means we must have the moral courage to make up our own minds, using the gift of rationality that God gave us, and not let ourselves slip into the spiritual coma of dogmatism." May I have your permission to use your phrase "the spiritual coma of dogmatism"? It's priceless! Thank you so much.
10/25/2004 04:31:55 PM
And Kimrdhbsms and ThirdPersonPlural and lanceg100 cusidh and parkerfly38 and thefish thomasmissouri and Heretic_for_Christ and all you seekers of truth, you have really heartened and inspired me. I work in an affluent community which is filled with Bushies and I've been feeling extremely isolated here. Your posts give me renewed hope. Keep up the good work, Peacemakers! You are truly the sons and daughters of God! Let's fire the Anti-Christ Bush!!!!
10/25/2004 04:27:37 PM
Unicornucopia says being a Christian demands that we accept NT teachings in place of OT "eye for an eye." Two responses: First, it is wrong to characterize the OT as vengeful and NT as merciful; there are just as many OT references about justice, charity, and kindness as NT references to death and destruction. Second, since there was no such thing as the NT in Jesus' time, we may read it as an account of his teachings, but the essence of Christianity is the spiritual truth of his teachings, not the worship of a book in which people who never met Jesus recorded hearsay versions of what other people say they heard other people say he said. That means we must have the moral courage to make up our own minds, using the gift of rationality that God gave us, and not let ourselves slip into the spiritual coma of dogmatism.
10/25/2004 04:19:52 PM
Jesus was killed because he spoke and acted against evil everywhere he went. We are called to do the same, whether it is Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin , Sadam or others. Christians are called to prevent further evil whenever possible even by arms if necessary. Christians take it on themselves this sometimes unpopular task.
10/25/2004 04:11:22 PM
Oh dangerouschristian: I love you! You are so correct. Peace and blessings.
10/25/2004 04:02:52 PM
Umdedu, you make an excellent point and this statement brings up a new idea. You said "As a Southern Baptist who believes more in the Golden Rule than "eye for an eye," if ever a pastor speaks of politics, I raise my voice to counter ANY argument, based on the Bible, of course." Doesn't being a Christian mean that we accept the teachings of the New Testament in PLACE of the OLD Testament, the eye-for-an-eye Testament? I think it does. We are to read the Old Testament in order to more fully under the New Testament, but as Christians I think it is clear that are are meant to embrace only Christ's teachings....
10/25/2004 03:58:34 PM
Oh SeekingTheOne, You've made my day. You inspire me with your post: "the reason many people say they're christians is because they were raised with that backround. However, if you were to...observe their treatment of others, you would not see much Christ-like behavior.. Where is love thy neighbor when we are bombing their homes, or the golden rule when we are invading their country? If someone does something horrible to ...your country doesn't mean you need to return it tenfold. It's this behavior that gives Christianity a bad name. Where is the love, the compassion? Why can't we strive toward peaceful resolutions to problems we face?" All I can say is Amen!
10/25/2004 03:56:06 PM
The single wisest caution that Jesus uttered is that some of those who cry "Lord, Lord!" are workers of iniquity. The single greatest proof of the wisdom of that warning is that millions of Americans regard George W. Bush as God's anointed president simply because he wraps himself up in Christian rhetoric and recites some buzzwords about abortion and homosexuality. Jesus said that the truth shall set us free; just as surely, political lies masquerading as true faith have ensnared us as a nation.
10/25/2004 03:50:53 PM
When someone can match the Constitutional Amendments to the biblical scipture from which they originated, I will then believe that the Constitution is a christian document.
10/25/2004 03:38:08 PM
Unicorn... I second that opinion and agree 100,000%!!! Peace <
10/25/2004 03:29:38 PM
To ALL Who Call Themselves Christian: At this time of the New Millennium, America AS a Christian nation has a wonderful opportunity to end wars and violence in the world forever. We are now called upon to achieve the promised 'Thousand Years of Peace' and the way we do this, first is by forgiveness, second by stopping the killing and ending wars as a way of doing business. Period. Amen
10/25/2004 03:22:42 PM
F1Fan: You said "One doesn't have to avoid self defense. But in that comes a great responsibility that has to rise above the simple animal reactiveness." But I humbly beg to disagree. Why did Christ say "Turn the other cheek" and "Love your enemies" while showing us, by his supreme act of self-sacrifice, exactly what he meant? He meant for us to do the same! If you believe Christ's teachings, you WILL turn the other cheek and forgo self defense, else we aren't really Christians... Remember, many shall be called but few will be chosen. This issue may be what ultimately separates God's true children -- the wheat from the chaff when it comes to so-called Christians.....
10/25/2004 03:10:56 PM
It wasn't spiritual. To rajandwayam: You ask "To be a follower of Jesus, must one renounce all acts of war, of self-defense, of self-protection?" Isn't the answer obvious? Absolutely! Did not Christ himself forgive those who were killing him even as he hung dying on the cross? As a follower of Christ, could you do less? Can any of us? Never, else we are not true believers in the teachings of our Christ....
10/25/2004 01:51:17 PM
The history of the US IS the history of faith (and sometimes as you point out the lack of faith) in Jesus. Without full knowledge and understanding of Jesus and his world view, our history and our future can not be understood.
10/25/2004 01:15:55 PM
You know, furthermore, this whole Evangelical recruitment thing tees me off to the Nth degree. With a Christian Jesus-Tool as President, and the largest lobbies in the world at his beckon call, you'd think that this whole dogma of "we're oh-so persecuted" that many Christians seem to thrive on would be abrogated. Do you people realize that nothing will ever change for the better by voting for these people on faith alone? It is absolutely crucial that they continue to promote Christian life as one of nonstop persecution, for the sake of maintaining power. Nevermind that the single most oppressive force in America currently is the flocks of arm waving, pabulum listening (i.e. Christian music) Jesus freaks.
10/25/2004 01:09:21 PM
"The history of the West is the history of Jesus?" Hmm...his time on the Earth ended somewhere around 30 CE, correct? I forget sometimes how he worked with the Goths to sack Rome, or how he was involved in all of the intrigues of the court throughout fuedal Europe. Christianity played a part, yes, in the history of the West, but let's not sugarcoat it. You're leaving out all the bad stuff, like the Inquisitions, the Crusades, the various Teutonic Christian Orders that instigated many wars in Eastern Europe, etc. 200 years of American democracy after thousands of years of Western conflict is really no measure of a "successful democracy", considering that a Greek democracy thrived, absent of Christ, for much longer than our own. Thank you for continuing with what constitutes the bulwark of the real history of the West: ignorance and stupidity.
10/25/2004 12:16:48 PM
The history of the West, including the US, is the history of Jesus. The whole idea of liberty comes from Jesus teaching that everyone has a choice of accepting him and his teachings or not. Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence appealed to rights of man given by God (not the King of England) as the reason why we in the US should be free and independent to decide for our own form of government. Jesus serves as the whole basis for the foundation of our country. Loss of faith in Jesus and his teaching will result in the loss of liberty and democracy as we now know it in the US. Like it or not history shows that democracy florishes only in countries where Jesus teaching is taken very seriously.
10/25/2004 09:18:19 AM
Yet another reason to vote against Bush. These people are clerical fascist. I want nothing to do with them. Sure, the constitution does not use the word separation, but that is clearly the intent; if you do not have separation between Church and state, you have a state church, or at least church as a department of state.
10/24/2004 11:47:34 PM
Next time someone drafts Frodo Baggins for the Senate, I'll keep that in mind, Snicker. Till then, we need to keep the government clear of the corruption of religious power, and religion clear of the corruption of government power. Obviously, our President feels differently about this, and isn't afraid to try to undermine America, not to mention having lots of churches risk losing their tax-exempt status, to use the pulpit's authority to get votes. Sick, corrupt, and unAmerican.
10/24/2004 11:01:34 PM
Absolute power does not corrupt, but absolute power attracts those who are corruptable. The only ones who should ever have absolute power are those who do not want it. Read some Frank Herbert, it'll do you good.
10/23/2004 07:54:03 PM
"The founders of our nation were nearly all Infidels, and that of the presidents who had thus far been elected [Washington; Adams; Jefferson; Madison; Monroe; Adams; Jackson] not a one had professed a belief in Christianity.... "Among all our presidents from Washington downward, not one was a professor of religion, at least not of more than Unitarianism." -- The Reverend Doctor Bird Wilson, an Episcopal minister in Albany, New York, in a sermon preached in October, 1831 It astonishes me that 200 years later David Barton is trying to refute this observation with a few scattered quotes of suspect provinence and against the objections of every relevant historian alive. If this were a christian nation, there would be but ONE denomination and it would (probably) be viewed with distain by the populus.
10/23/2004 11:42:18 AM
Attention David Barton believers: http://members.tripod.com/~candst/boston1.htm
10/23/2004 03:04:29 AM
If we don't maintain separation of Church and State, we will end up looking like the reign of the Taliban. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Religious people are as prone to corruption as anyone else, if not more so. And there's no checks and balances on religion.
10/23/2004 01:16:48 AM
As a Southern Baptist who believes more in the Golden Rule than "eye for an eye," if ever a pastor speaks of politics, I raise my voice to counter ANY argument, based on the Bible, of course.
10/23/2004 01:12:40 AM
I'm glad others paid enough attention in U.S. history to notice that our founding fathers weren't the conservative christians some would have us believe. I personally feel that the reason many people say they're christians is because they were raised with that backround. However, if you were to look at those same people and observe their behavior and treatment of others you would definately not see much Christ-like behavior. Love thy neighbor and the Golden Rule are nice little things to tell our children but what will they see when they look at our example? Where is love thy neighbor when we are bombing their homes, or the golden rule when we are invading their country? If someone does something horrible to you or your country doesn't mean you need to return it tenfold. It's this behavior that gives Christianity a bad name. Where is the love, the compassion? Why can't we strive toward peaceful resolutions to problems we face?
10/23/2004 12:03:01 AM
America was NEVER a "Christian nation". Many of the founding fathers were deists and strove for the separation of church and state. Barton's history is off base. Like others who've posted, if we were a Christian Nation, we would have not invaded Iraq, nor would have allowed Enron, a questionable foreign policy, and reality TV. Plus, God is not "retaliating" for taking prayer out of school. During those "religious days" of school prayer we had: two world wars, segregation, the Great Depression, the Cold War, lynchings...need I say more? Let's get real people! Peace!
10/22/2004 11:22:12 PM
One doesn't have to avoid self defense. But in that comes a great responsibility that has to rise above the simple animal reactiveness. The way Bush has dealt with Iraq is similar to an over-reactive and scared animal, and none of it reflects what Jesus represented. Bush quit being Christian when he decided to invade a country, and one that did nothing to us. I don't care that he felt threatened, he has a job that requires him to look beyond all this. He didn't, either from cowardness, stupidity, or both. It wasn't spiritual.
10/22/2004 08:47:22 PM
To be a follower of Jesus, must one renounce all acts of war, of self-defense, of self-protection?
10/22/2004 08:40:55 PM
Oh, I wanted to add something I heard recently from a Buddhist friend about how our inner split between spiritual needs and material greed can manifest in outer splits and conflicts, as we now see as ruthless war in Iraq.... Wake up America and heal thyself!
10/22/2004 08:37:47 PM
Dear nearFalls: I was so pleased to read your post because I have the same criticisms and I, too, am disturbed with what is going on with U.S. foreign policy. I would like to say to Bush: YOU'RE FIRED! Too many of us do not know the responsibility of being the most powerful nation on earth, nor do we realize we are not truly free... But no one is truly free until he finds balance and completion within. Freedom is a spiritual quest. Our inner 'shadow' now gets projected outward onto "the others" and we endlessly blame them, without seeing the log in our own eye, so to speak. As far as political and cultural freedom, we seem to be squandering a beautiful gift we received 200 years ago and I find that very sad....
10/22/2004 08:17:50 PM
Thank you, thefish.
10/22/2004 08:17:17 PM
Dear sagenav: I love what you said: "In today's society the United States need to be a progressive leader. That means that the state should not sponsor any religion especially in a country where there is a great religious diversity." It also means we have the responsibility not to sponsor any wars, either. If all these Christians would ACT like Christians and turn the other cheek, perhaps we truly can become a progressive leader.
10/22/2004 08:05:13 PM
"If the U.S. really IS a Christian nation, then why aren't we ACTING like one? My Christ taught to turn the other cheek, forgive our enemies and love them who hate us. This is a wonderful opportunity, this time of world, to SHOW we ARE truly a Christian nation by beginning to act like Christians. Christ didn't condemn the prostitute but he did proclaim that we should be PEACEMAKERS if we want to be the children of God. This may be our last opportunity, let's give it a shot. As Christians, let's advocate for peace, work for peace, demand peace! Do we dare? I wonder if we have the guts...?" Hey, unicorn...just thought that this post needed repeating. Nice to meet a kindred spirit...makes me feel not so alone too. Peace <
10/22/2004 07:01:56 PM
Dear thefish, Jesus is MY guru too! How delightful to read your post and know that I am not alone. You may in fact be interested in reading a well-researched book you can find online....food for thought... I loved it: Look under: "Jesus Mystery: Of Lost Years and Unknown Travels" by Janet L. Bock. Barnes & Noble.com has it. The book cover pictures Christ the guru with purple mountains in the background and a blue sky with the words "The Jesus Mystery" above his head.
10/22/2004 06:38:09 PM
And Dear Chomsky: Since we ARE such a large nation with great diversity of religion, it would be irreligious, ungodly and rude besides unconstitutional if we were to have PRAYER in school or any public place! We aren't going to "scrap the Lord's prayer at school and replace it with something that caters to everyone" simply because we don't HAVE prayer in schools in the first place, period. Relgion belongs in church, not in public. Now quit being so silly...
10/22/2004 06:21:32 PM
Dear Pawn: To your statement that "when 80% of people in the United States call themselves Christians, is it really that far of a leap to say that the U.S. is a Christian nation?" I would humbly like to add that while many of us were raised Christian and still follow Christ's teachings, at the same time we have also embraced additional spiritual traditions as well, such as Taoism and Buddhism for me. It is unfair to claim that we are ONLY Christians...when in fact we are global citizens now, people who hold many spiritual beliefs including Christ's teachings. We try to do no harm to the planet, not kill -- not even in war, and practice good stewardship of all God's natural gifts. I say God belongs in church and has no place in government. He works through men's hearts but he does so in silence....
10/22/2004 05:56:26 PM
As a Canadian, I find this article appalling and very disturbing. I am also disturbed with what is going on in general with U.S. foreign policy. Please, get rid of Bush! You are the most powerful nation on earth. Unfortunately, your current state of affairs has left you with many critics. Do you not realize that you are not truly free?
10/22/2004 05:48:23 PM
If the U.S. really IS a Christian nation, then why aren't we ACTING like one? My Christ taught to turn the other cheek, forgive our enemies and love them who hate us. This is a wonderful opportunity, this time of world, to SHOW we ARE truly a Christian nation by beginning to act like Christians. Christ didn't condemn the prostitute but he did proclaim that we should be PEACEMAKERS if we want to be the children of God. This may be our last opportunity, let's give it a shot. As Christians, let's advocate for peace, work for peace, demand peace! Do we dare? I wonder if we have the guts...?
10/22/2004 05:09:05 PM
Nez- no problem. You just gave an opportunity to repeat the From The Treaty with TripoliArt (1797). Ratified by Congressx and Senate that included five members of the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Approved for signature by president George Washington but not signed until John Adams took office. Article 11. As the Government of the United States of America is 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 Mussulmen ("Moslem-men); and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan("Mohammedan") 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 part for those who might not have been paying attention the first time around.
10/22/2004 04:49:17 PM
By the way it's not a myth. It's a mandate. And my dues appear to be funding sedition. Have a nice day!
10/22/2004 04:42:14 PM
So on the one hand we have a treaty signed by John Adams – and ratified by Congress – while on the other hand we have a speech that John Adams gave when his father was two years old. God willing I am grateful for striving (by anyone) in pursuit of truth, justice and liberty (for everyone). I submitted a comment at another site saying how I wished there had been something like www.votepair.com in place back when H. Ross Perot was running against Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush in '92. After the election I said never again! But then again never is a long time. Who knows? Maybe in '96 I'll elect to have another go at it. Also, the right time to break ranks might actually be whenever doing so promises to put the fear of God (i.e., the Almighty, the One, the Creator who was never created) into the rascals in our midst who would exchange that which Americans hold dear for whatever those rascals apparently consider more suitable for their purpose.
10/22/2004 03:57:40 PM
If the US is a Christian nation because the majority of its citizens are Christian, does that mean it is also a female nation because 53+% of its citizens are women?
10/22/2004 03:49:05 PM
Ah, TexZen, I was just musing, didn't really mean that question to be taken seriously. Sorry. Maybe should have added a tag. My bad.
10/22/2004 03:36:52 PM
Fromoz, you say that "Democracy is mob rule, and if the largest mob are Christians and want to make non-Christians second-class-citizens, there's not much others can do." But that's the point of constitutional democracy - majority rule with guaranteed minority rights. Still, the majority could rally a constitutional amendment that negates freedom of religion, and even with safeguards in place that make amending the constitution difficult, I share your fear - can you say Patriot Act? Bush's kind say their beliefs are universal, suggesting that all "real" religions share their views on human rights, gay marriage, and God himself. I'm a Maltheist, I believe the God most people worship is a great deceiver who's led billions astray and encourages hostility between us all. I don't consider myself "under God" and don't think a nation founded on freedom of religion should require anyone to declare their allegiance to him. Am I guaranteed my freedom of religion in this brave new Christian America? Brian
10/22/2004 03:34:30 PM
1) Given that the Taliban are not in control anywhere and when they were in control it was a country that was not among the Barbary Natios who wer signators to the treaty -- the question becomes moot. 2) Given that the United States was a signatory to the treaty, it is important to recognize that 5 framers of the original Constitution as well as Washington and John Adams stated flat out "the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;"
10/22/2004 03:26:48 PM
"...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." I wonder how the Taliban feel about this?
10/22/2004 03:25:01 PM
The article says he is telling pastors that they can endorse candidates. Isn't that illegal? Giving advice, knowingly, to break the law is illegal in itself, isn't it? This guy is evil, and unAmerican. Somebody recently said there were no "conservative paradises" for disgruntled conservatives to run to. The reason is that "Conservative Paradises" look like The Handmaid's Tale or the Taliban. They aren't Paradise, they aren't good, they aren't comfortable for anyone but the dictator, and the dictator is prone to being deposed or assassinated. Why can't people see that Theocracy=Tyranny????
10/22/2004 03:22:41 PM
[#1] Fortunately we are a Democratic Republic and not a Democracy. And we have a Constitution with a Bill of Rights. These are powerful things to help keep our freedoms here at least. It is important to remember though that these freedoms are in law that is interpreted by the courts and the next President may have the chance to replace some of the Justices. This could profoundly alter the way law is interpreted throughout the country, for years to come, even beyond the scope of this next presidency.
10/22/2004 03:22:35 PM
[#2] Kerry made it clear in the debates he would appoint Judges that would uphold our Constitutional Rights as we have them today. George W Bush kept repeating "no litmus test". I wondered when he was repeating his rhetoric whether he knew what a real "litmus test" actually was, slightly before being horrified at the ramifications of him being re-elected and his choices for Justice getting through. He's made it clear the two most conservative Justices are his favorites. I think all "no litmus test" actually means is "I don't want to scare away the moderates, how can I signal my conservative base across the table?" But I suppose it all depends on what you think is best for the country. I know where I stand.
10/22/2004 02:32:29 PM
From The Treaty with TripoliArt (1797). Ratified by Congressx and Senate that included five members of the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Approved for signature by president George Washington but not signed until John Adams took office. Article 11. As the Government of the United States of America is 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 Mussulmen ("Moslem-men); and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan("Mohammedan") 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.
10/22/2004 02:26:31 PM
Democracy is mob rule, and if the largest mob are Christians and want to make non-Christians second-class-citizens by implementing "under God" and "In God we trust", there's not much others can do except to move to a country where all people are regarded equally. My greatest fear is a return to Bible based law that would see people abused on the grounds of race, religion, birth status and physical and mental impairment. Consider the murders of thousands of innocents in the unprovoked and illegal Christian "Crusade" in Iraq and tell me my fears aren't justified?
10/22/2004 01:49:57 PM
Those who support Barton's cause, or Bush's for that matter, need to read or reread The Handmaid's Tale if they think turning the USA into a theocracy is a good idea.
10/22/2004 01:48:20 PM
earthytype 10/22/04 9:40:30 AM Am I the only one who noticed the date of that supposed speech by John Quincy Adams? According to Barton, it was given in 1737 - yet the Fourth of July wasn't an important historical date until 1776! Also, Christmas didn't become a major holiday in America the mid 19th Century. But most important of all, John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the U.S., wasn't born until 1767!!! My god, this really made my day. Even if we give Barton the benefit of the doubt that he really meant John Adams (Sr.), he was only 2 in 1737, making him very precocious, and apparently a time traveller. Is this the best they can do?
10/22/2004 12:29:22 PM
It might also intrest you to note that Barton was a Delegate from Texas to the Repub National Convention in 2000 and 2004. This year, he was vice-chairman of the Texas delegation.
10/22/2004 11:46:28 AM
Galileo, BUSH is supporting BARTON, and vice versa. Barton's been stumping for him for a year. They're helping each other. Very symbiotic of them. Elphie
10/22/2004 11:39:27 AM
The point being that in 1986 this organization took control of the Houston (Harris County TX) Republican Party by ousting all of the Moderate Republican Chairs via actions by one Rev. Stephen Hotze and the Bushes who were trying to elect a "Straight Slate" of Christian Fundamentalists to offices in Texas. I was there. The COR/Straight Slaters called a meeting of all of the Harris County chairs with instructions that anyone who missed the meeting would be replaced. They told the right-wingers to be there at 11am. They told the moderates to be there at 11:30. When a quorum of the right arrived at 11:00 a.m., they locked the door and made first order of business to replace the moderates who had been told 11:30. This is the "Conservative Core" that felt betrayed by Bush I and who are supporting George II. Presently, the foundational documents of COR are YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK.
10/22/2004 11:30:43 AM
after reviewing their web site, the only thought that came to me was another variation of Christian Reconstructionism aka Dominionists. make everthing christian, all laws, all schools, all courts, etc. if your're not christian, convert or die. the american taliban at it's finest!
10/22/2004 11:16:00 AM
Since 1986, the Bushes have been backed by an Evangelical group called the Coalition on Revival. Amongst the main "movers and shakers" in the Organization aor Tim Lahaye, Jay Grimstead and Jack Van Impe. Their Mission Statement notes in part "COR's vision is to see Christians everywhere doing all they can in the Holy Spirit to take every thought captive to the obediance of Christ..." (emphasis mine). If you want to wake up to what Bush is doing (almost 20 years late, but hopefully not too late) have a look-see at Their website. Of particular note are the 17 Worldview Documents -- that now make up the president's policy foundation. http://www.reformation.net/
10/22/2004 11:04:35 AM
In our country the priests, ministers, holy men/women, rabbis, spiritual leaders.... whatever.... are allowed by the Law of the Land to say anything they want from their pulpits or soapboxes. But, it is a violation of our Law of the Land for the President to endorse or favor any given religion. That is for our own protection. That George Bush is underhandedly violating that Law is just one more reason not to vote for him. Our country exists and changes leadership peaceful because of the Laws set out in our Constitution. Why would we as a country jeopardize our entire process by re-electing someone who shows such little regard and respect for that Constitution?
10/22/2004 10:58:49 AM
Barton, Wallbuilders and Jay Grimstead / Coalition on Revival have been supporting the Bushes since 1986.
10/22/2004 10:51:08 AM
I am a bush supporter, because of the extremism I have seen rallying behind Johns Kerry. If David Barton is supporting Bush, I will rethink my support.
10/22/2004 09:54:41 AM
The worst thing is that the *sshole who supports this crap will still be reelected, because we're a nation of ostriches. Elphie
10/22/2004 09:54:05 AM
earthytype, That's a great observation. Barton: "Theres a lot of proof. Not the least of which..." is completely false. He's probably preaching to people who wouldn't know or care if they knew anyway though.
10/22/2004 09:48:09 AM
nightngle, It's because GWB isn't running a normal conservative platform, he's running what's become known as a neo-conservative platform. That means, not the traditional "less government" platform, but a "more government trying to instill conservative values" platform.
10/22/2004 09:47:03 AM
We can argue all we want about the origins of church and state, it really doesn't matter. In today's society the United States need to be a progressive leader. That means that the state should not sponsor any religion especially in a country where there is a great religious diversity. Wanting to impose ones values on the rest of society is not what America should be about; it's called tyranny of the majority which is what the founders warned of.
10/22/2004 09:43:36 AM
It's interesting to me that the Republicans say they want government off the backs of people, but apparently that just means off the backs of big corporations and the rich in the form of taxes and regulations. Amazingly, they want to be in our churchs and bedrooms to be sure we're all doing what they see as right. Pat Robertson even blames gays for the bad weather this year in Florida! And yet people are still falling for it and voting for these guys - if it wasn't so sad, it would be funny.
10/22/2004 09:40:29 AM
Am I the only one who noticed the date of that supposed speech by John Quincy Adams? According to Barton, it was given in 1737 - yet the Fourth of July wasn't an important historical date until 1776! Also, Christmas didn't become a major holiday in America the mid 19th Century. But most important of all, John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the U.S., wasn't born until 1767!!!
10/22/2004 09:14:47 AM
As to the Constitutionality of the Separation of Church and State: I have never seen anywhere in the Constitution that strictly prohibits Church and State from being together, nor anywhere that strictly enforces that Church and State be Separate - what I have seen is that we have a Constitutional Precedent, equally important because Precedent is how we interpret our law, that defines the Separation of Church and State. What we have is this: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;", which is interpreted by the Supreme Court, and currently upheld as a Separation between Church and State. I think it is a good interpretation, and an important one - but where this David Barton to get his way, and his people in places of power that could affect this, that Precedent could be in jeopardy.
10/22/2004 09:00:52 AM
Just like to add this (I think it was mentioned before, but it bears repeating in full): Treaty of Tripoli - "Tripoli : 1796-97 365 Article 11. As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion..." This was a treaty written during the end of Washington's presidency, and signed by John Adams I don't think it gets any clearer than this.
10/22/2004 08:58:59 AM
ejeremy2003: With apologies to all minorities, I must be answer: If the majority of people are Christians in the country, what's wrong with that faith being displayed? The majority of people in this country are white. You could just as well ask what's wrong with white supremacy being displayed. There is exactly one reason for this or any country to declare itself under a religion, and that's to give the hierarchy of that religion unbridled power over the citizens of that country. Don't take my word for it, just look at history: the conquest of Europe by the Holy Romans and the subsequent Crusades. Look it up. The US is based on freedoms, and Christians came here by the thousands and later millions because they could not find those freedoms any where else. Now that you are the majority here, you want to take those freedoms away from me. Well, in short: over my dead body. That, by the way, is the definition of patriotism. TMO
10/22/2004 08:44:00 AM
fsuwolf: careful - your anti-Catholic screed is not only wildly inaccurate, but not even close to the reason for the establishment clause. At the time of the Revolution, England was an officially Anglican country, and had been for centuries. The young American nation did not look at the problem of Catholic inteference in countries' domestic affairs (which was already negligible in most countries at that time, and would soon be in France as well.) Rather, they were concerned with the internicine warfare among European countries, with major open warfare between not only Catholics and Protestants, but between Protestants and other Protestants, as countries grappled with what sect to endorse as their countries' "house religion." America solved that problem quite neatly. It simply declined to have a "house religion."
10/22/2004 08:31:53 AM
To find out why we have seperation of church and state you need to go back and look at Europe. The King of England could make no decision without the approval of the Catholic Church. This shut out the prostants and any other religion. Our founders came here for religious freedom. They did not want the goverment to be contolled by the church. Thus allowing everyone to have a choice and a voice. But by the same token it was not to stifle anyone (politicians included) from proclaiming thier beliefs. Like it or not this country was founded on Christian Values. And your free to believe in whatever you choose. Very few countries give thier people that option.
10/22/2004 08:11:39 AM
10/22/2004 07:39:20 AM
We don't live in a democracy; we live in a democratic republic. And I as a non Christian should count and be respected as much as any Christian out there.
10/22/2004 06:16:24 AM
Am more than a little disturbed by the taliban-esque implications of a "Christian" US where church & state are not seperate.
10/22/2004 04:41:51 AM
This is a democracy. If the majority of people are Christians in the country, what's wrong with that faith being displayed? If you are another faith and disagree, this shouldn't bother you if you are secure in your beliefs. Just because one person disagrees with a prayer being said, and this happens all the time in everyday life, should the prayer be stopped? I don't think so. You'll probably bow your head even if you are an atheist, agnostic, or whatever. Atheism or implied atheism such as we have in our schools is a dogma just as much as Christianity is. It says, we don't know if God is here or not, all paths to God are equal, so on and so forth. And that is not the way most people in America believe.
10/22/2004 04:33:33 AM
We live in a democracy. If most of the people in the country are Christian, then what's wrong with Christianity being displayed in the country? If you are secure in your beliefs this shouldn't bother you. Atheism, or implied atheism is a dogma just as much as Christianity is, even if backed by so-called science. They say, we can't measure God, and the world seems to operate without him, he must not be here. That's ludicrous, and most people don't believe that. "Now faith is assurance of [things] hoped for, a conviction of things not seen. For therein the elders had witness borne to them. By faith we understand that the worlds have been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen hath not been made out of things which appear." Hebrews 3:1-3
10/22/2004 02:38:11 AM
manthing's got a point. Why is the RNC promoting sedition? It's not a myth. It's a mandate. If they lose the Presidency, it's time to clean house. I'm tired of seeing conservatism sold out to the lowest bidder among privateers, extremists, charismatics and good-time charlies. So me the name of Christ anywhere in the law of the land. The best this prelate can do seems to be an obscure collection of documents, not the least of which (i.e., the best of which) is speech from 1737. Is this what my party dues are funding?
10/22/2004 02:34:31 AM
The US might be a nation of religious and cultural diversity, but when it's "In God we trust" and "Under God", those who are not Christians are second-class-citizens? It's pretty much the same in my country.
10/22/2004 01:22:48 AM
I figure that regardless of whether or not David Barton is right (which he isn't), the fact of the matter is that not everyone in this country is a Christian, and as a non-Christian, I value my rights to believe and disbelieve as I wish. In a country were we claim to prize religious freedom and diversity, since when do we get off trying to sponcer one religion. Passing religious edicts into legistaltion makes for a bad form of government. That is the current problem in Iran right now, no new laws can be passed unless a small council of religious leaders approve of the changes. America is a land of freedom of religion, and from religion. It is time that individuals like David Barton realized this.
10/22/2004 01:20:31 AM
dismissing the Consttitution as 'Myth' is analogous to treason. This guy better hope I don't get within arm's reach.
10/22/2004 01:00:32 AM
On the bottom of the 'Wallbuilders' web page reads their motto, "Rebuilding the constitutional, moral, and religious heritage of America." So I'm wondering why David Barton isn't endorsing the Constitution Party over the Republicans? The truth is that the Republicans have worked in cooperation with the Democrats to lead our nation away from the constitution. I think Christians should always be truthful about issues without descending into political deceitfulness. Let's be real, Democrats AND Republicans are liars.
10/22/2004 12:34:06 AM
And EGab... There are a lot of "me's" out there, Christians who believe in separation of church and state...so add our voices to that too!!! Peace <
10/22/2004 12:33:03 AM
Has anyone ever even considered how many of that 80% belong to a Christian church or consider themself Christian by BIRTH? How many by CHOICE? I was by birth. I never got it. Then I got it and it wasn't what they thought it was. Now I'm Christian because I finally "got" Jesus and it wasn't that he was my savior or that he died for my sins. It was that he was an ordinary man who did an extraordinary thing out of the deepest kind of Love...the Love that only comes from God and he showed us the way. I choose to call myself Christian now because Jesus is my Guru...but if others get it from Buddha...well more power to you. Peace with one's self and each other is the ONLY way and that means agreeing to be different and letting everyone find their way to Love. Peace <
10/22/2004 12:04:32 AM
I love morons like this guy that have their own obscured version of US history. Thomas Jefferson definded the first ammendment as "a seperation between church and state". Then of course there's the treaty of tripoli which directly says that the US is not a christian nation. This isn't a theocracy, what's so hard to understand about that?? People like this guy make me want to puke. I'd love to see him live half his life as a minority religion. Maybe that will knock some sense into his head...
10/22/2004 12:00:52 AM
Any distinct group within human kind, formed of its internal self centered interests in the pursuit of self survival as family units targetting against another group, by their very nature must be fully conscious and mindful of the relativity of their formation and fluid existence within the larger universal whole.
10/21/2004 11:42:17 PM
You are so right ElGabilon! I mean the Bush Administration is just like the Taliban! I am sure Bush and Colin Powell cut off peoples heads and violently oppress people during their lunch break! Down with the system man! America and this Christian thought, need to go! I mean who is the majority? We should be trying to appease all the minorities. For example. We should scrap the Lord's prayer at school and replace it with something that caters to everyone! Something like "Dear Jesus, bless this school in Buddha's name, may Allah bestow his grace upon our education, thank you Bertrand Russel, Amen." That would make everyone happy!!! Happy Snappy Guys! I am going to throw on my Rage Against the Machine cd and put on my Che Guevera shirt! I am stoked! Has anyone tested the new BMW 7 Series?
10/21/2004 11:26:59 PM
Of course when 80% of people in the United States call themselves Christians, is it really that far of a leap to say that the U.S. is a Christian nation (at least in name anyways.)
10/21/2004 10:24:02 PM
Any reasonable thinker who would ask the question "If this is a nation that guarentees FREEDOM OF RELIGION, how then could it be A CHRISTIAN NATION?" Wouldn't that mean that yes you can believe what you want to believe as long as it does not contridict Christianity? Yes you can have your on beliefs and religous organizations, but be sure that you don't get too cocky? We need to hear more from OTHER RELIGIONS ON THIS CHRISTIAN ATTEMPT TO TAKE OVER THE NATION.
10/21/2004 10:19:42 PM
As for the "founding fathers" they were absolutely mistaken in thinking that their posterity would be capable of honest upright thinking. Had they known the pushyness of Christians they would have made it unconstutional for them to live in America knowing that once in control we would have an AMERICAN TALIBAN.
10/21/2004 10:16:14 PM
We don't have the time nor inclination to listen to David Barton. This is not a Christian nation, and if the Ten Commandments are placed in any courthous of America we are going to demand that alongside them the principle theology of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islamic, American Indian, Satanism and a host of other religious beliefs. The number of monuments devoted to Christian beliefs only reflects how pushy and inconsiderate Christians who promote them are.If Christians want a Christian nation then let them go someplace else and create one. We are ready to FIGHT for our BELIEFS.
10/21/2004 09:35:35 PM
You know, gang, it wouldn't be so reprehensible for Barton to promote Bush as Christian if Bush the Lesser actually were a believer in the things that Jesus taught rather than evangelical distortions. Jesus was genuine. He turned down the opportunity to lead the Essenes in an uprising against the Romans and Sanhedrin. Jesus taught Peace and oneness. Bush sells wars of separation and advantage. Mr. Barton and Bush the Lesser redefine the word 'disingenuousness'.