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mlyonsd
06-28-2006, 03:04 PM
Senator chatises party for failing to understand power of faith



WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sen. Barack Obama chastised fellow Democrats Wednesday for failing to "acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people" and said the party must compete for the support of evangelicals and other churchgoing Americans.


"Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation. Context matters," the Illinois Democrat said in remarks to a conference of Call to Renewal, a faith-based movement to overcome poverty.


"It is doubtful that children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance feel oppressed or brainwashed as a consequence of muttering the phrase `under God,"' he said. "Having voluntary student prayer groups using school property to meet should not be a threat any more than its use by the High School Republicans should threaten Democrats."

Obama, the only black in the Senate, drew national notice even before arriving in Congress last year, and has occasionally used his visibility to scold members of his own party. Widely sought as a fundraiser for other Democrats, Obama responded with a noncommittal laugh this spring when asked whether he wants a spot on the national ticket in 2008.
His speech included unusually personal references to religion, the type of remarks that usually come more readily from Republicans than Democrats.

"Kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt I heard God's spirit beckoning me," he said of his walk down the aisle of the Trinity United Church of Christ. "I submitted myself to his will and dedicated myself to discovering his truth."

Obama said millions of Christians, Muslims and Jews have traveled similar religious paths, and that is why "we cannot abandon the field of religious discourse. ... In other words, if we don't reach out to evangelical Christians and other religious Americans and tell them what we stand for, Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons will continue to hold sway."

Obama coupled his advice with a warning. "Nothing is more transparent than inauthentic expressions of faith: the politician who shows up at a black church around election time and claps -- off rhythm -- to the gospel choir."

At the same time, he said, "Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square."

As a result, "I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people and join a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy."

Obama mentioned leaders of the religious right briefly, saying they must "accept some ground rules for collaboration" and recognize the importance of the separation of church and state.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/06/28/obama.ap/index.html

Lzen
06-28-2006, 03:08 PM
Hmm, I don't know anything about this guy's politics, but I like what he said in this piece.
:thumb:

chagrin
06-28-2006, 03:09 PM
"Kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt I heard God's spirit beckoning me," he said of his walk down the aisle of the Trinity United Church of Christ. "I submitted myself to his will and dedicated myself to discovering his truth."

This is really going to drive some folks away from him.

mlyonsd
06-28-2006, 03:10 PM
"Kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt I heard God's spirit beckoning me," he said of his walk down the aisle of the Trinity United Church of Christ. "I submitted myself to his will and dedicated myself to discovering his truth."

This is really going to drive some folks away from him.

Somebody should ask both Obama and W if the voices they heard sounded alike.

Duck Dog
06-28-2006, 03:12 PM
I agree with Mrs.Obama's baby daddy.

htismaqe
06-28-2006, 03:13 PM
He just cost himself any hope of getting the Dem nomination...

mlyonsd
06-28-2006, 03:17 PM
He just cost himself any hope of getting the Dem nomination...

Or locked it in.

There will be a time when the ordinary democrat drops their support of the elititists in their party and nominates someone more moderate.

I'm telling you...watch out for this guy in '08.

htismaqe
06-28-2006, 03:22 PM
Or locked it in.

There will be a time when the ordinary democrat drops their support of the elititists in their party and nominates someone more moderate.

I'm telling you...watch out for this guy in '08.

And we always thought the religious zealots would split the REPUBLICAN party. :D

memyselfI
06-28-2006, 03:22 PM
I agree with him 110% that religion should be in the public square. All religions. I think where he has drawn the line without saying it is in allowing his personal religious beliefs dictate his politics. Religious (all religions) considerations should be part of a discourse or decision but should not be the BASIS of either for an elected official.

Moooo
06-28-2006, 03:32 PM
I wholeheartedly agree too that the Democrats are appealing to the extreme liberals too much to gain majority in congress. That's basically what he was saying in a very roundabout way.

Moooo

vailpass
06-28-2006, 04:04 PM
A sure sign the apocalypse is nigh (or a sniper's wet dream):

banyon
06-28-2006, 05:00 PM
Gee, Kotter should like this.

But he'll probably find some way to mark it as another sign of the Apocalypse for the Democrats.

jAZ
06-28-2006, 05:26 PM
He just cost himself any hope of getting the Dem nomination...
Non-sense.

He's doing what the Dems can and should do, which is reach out across to the moderate religous folks voting Republican. He's doing his best to rest the discussion by conceding the points that might be easiest politically to concede.

Notice his words carefully...

"Having voluntary student prayer groups using school property".
No mention of "in class".

"acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people".

Absolutely.

"Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation. Context matters"

Agreed 100%. Nothing specific enough to open debate, but focusing on commonality rather than differences.

It's the right way to approach this sort of political issue, IMO. As opposed to the wedge issue approach.

Other Dems really need to watch Obama. He really has all the tools to become the first black President.

jAZ
06-28-2006, 05:32 PM
Or locked it in.

There will be a time when the ordinary democrat drops their support of the elititists in their party and nominates someone more moderate.

I'm telling you...watch out for this guy in '08.
Obama is the Democratic Golden Child. I think ALL parts of the Democratic Party are rooting for him (other than the other potential candidates). The "extreme left" Dems at Democratic Underground seem to be split between Obama and Wes Clark.

|Zach|
06-28-2006, 06:28 PM
Non-sense.

He's doing what the Dems can and should do, which is reach out across to the moderate religous folks voting Republican. He's doing his best to rest the discussion by conceding the points that might be easiest politically to concede.

Notice his words carefully...

"Having voluntary student prayer groups using school property".
No mention of "in class".

"acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people".

Absolutely.

"Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation. Context matters"

Agreed 100%. Nothing specific enough to open debate, but focusing on commonality rather than differences.

It's the right way to approach this sort of political issue, IMO. As opposed to the wedge issue approach.

Other Dems really need to watch Obama. He really has all the tools to become the first black President.

I feel pretty good about this. I am a pretty big seperation of church and state type guy...but the voluntary groups? Things like that? No reason that shouldn't happten.

Context does matter and I feel like the democrats have done a really bad job of pushing away things like this with battles that are really aesthetic and not important.

Mr. Laz
06-28-2006, 07:07 PM
"Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation. Context matters," the Illinois Democrat said

agreed

listopencil
06-28-2006, 07:33 PM
I find myself not faulting what he is saying. I believe strongly in Church/State seperation but I don't believe you can force religion out of someone's life just because they are an elected official. As he said, context matters.

mlyonsd
06-28-2006, 07:34 PM
Non-sense.

He's doing what the Dems can and should do, which is reach out across to the moderate religous folks voting Republican. He's doing his best to rest the discussion by conceding the points that might be easiest politically to concede.

Notice his words carefully...

"Having voluntary student prayer groups using school property".
No mention of "in class".

"acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people".

Absolutely.

"Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation. Context matters"

Agreed 100%. Nothing specific enough to open debate, but focusing on commonality rather than differences.

It's the right way to approach this sort of political issue, IMO. As opposed to the wedge issue approach.

Other Dems really need to watch Obama. He really has all the tools to become the first black President.

Exactly. Couldn't agree more.

This one article alone will make me pay closer attention to what he has to say in the future.

'08 might be just a bit early but you are right, he does have the tools to win the democrats over.

listopencil
06-28-2006, 07:37 PM
By the way, concerning this whole "under God" part of the pledge, why not make the official pledge with a pause at that point. Students are then free to say,"...under God" or "...by Allah's will" or,"...with the Goddess" or whatever they want. Including nothing at all. That would be a better acknowledgement of where this country stands on religious freedom than a mere omission.

mlyonsd
06-28-2006, 07:39 PM
Obama is the Democratic Golden Child. I think ALL parts of the Democratic Party are rooting for him (other than the other potential candidates). The "extreme left" Dems at Democratic Underground seem to be split between Obama and Wes Clark.

When the extreme left views Obama as a way to retake the WH they will fall in line, much like the far right that poured out in droves to vote for W. Even though W has done little to promote their cause.

banyon
06-28-2006, 07:45 PM
By the way, concerning this whole "under God" part of the pledge, why not make the official pledge with a pause at that point. Students are then free to say,"...under God" or "...by Allah's will" or,"...with the Goddess" or whatever they want. Including nothing at all. That would be a better acknowledgement of where this country stands on religious freedom than a mere omission.

That's a great idea. unfortunately the Falwell-eque nut jobs will still rail against it as taking God out of our country.

jAZ
06-28-2006, 08:32 PM
(his full speech)

http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2006/06/obama_on_faith_and_politics_an.html

Obama: On Faith and Politics. And Alan Keyes.

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama

Call to Renewal Keynote Address

Washington, DC

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

Good morning. I appreciate the opportunity to speak here at the Call to Renewal’s Building a Covenant for a New America conference, and I’d like to congratulate you all on the thoughtful presentations you’ve given so far about poverty and justice in America. I think all of us would affirm that caring for the poor finds root in all of our religious traditions – certainly that’s true for my own.

But today I’d like to talk about the connection between religion and politics and perhaps offer some thoughts about how we can sort through some of the often bitter arguments over this issue over the last several years.

I do so because, as you all know, we can affirm the importance of poverty in the Bible and discuss the religious call to environmental stewardship all we want, but it won’t have an impact if we don’t tackle head-on the mutual suspicion that sometimes exists between religious America and secular America.

For me, this need was illustrated during my 2004 face for the U.S. Senate. My opponent, Alan Keyes, was well-versed in the Jerry Falwell-Pat Robertson style of rhetoric that often labels progressives as both immoral and godless.

Indeed, towards the end of the campaign, Mr. Keyes said that, “Jesus Christ would not vote for Barack Obama. Christ would not vote for Barack Obama because Barack Obama has behaved in a way that it is inconceivable for Christ to have behaved.”

Now, I was urged by some of my liberal supporters not to take this statement seriously. To them, Mr. Keyes was an extremist, his arguments not worth entertaining.

What they didn’t understand, however, was that I had to take him seriously. For he claimed to speak for my religion – he claimed knowledge of certain truths.

Mr. Obama says he’s a Christian, he would say, and yet he supports a lifestyle that the Bible calls an abomination.

Mr. Obama says he’s a Christian, but supports the destruction of innocent and sacred life.

What would my supporters have me say? That a literalist reading of the Bible was folly? That Mr. Keyes, a Roman Catholic, should ignore the teachings of the Pope?

Unwilling to go there, I answered with the typically liberal response in some debates – namely, that we live in a pluralistic society, that I can’t impose my religious views on another, that I was running to be the U.S. Senator of Illinois and not the Minister of Illinois.

But Mr. Keyes implicit accusation that I was not a true Christian nagged at me, and I was also aware that my answer didn’t adequately address the role my faith has in guiding my own values and beliefs.

My dilemma was by no means unique. In a way, it reflected the broader debate we’ve been having in this country for the last thirty years over the role of religion in politics.

For some time now, there has been plenty of talk among pundits and pollsters that the political divide in this country has fallen sharply along religious lines. Indeed, the single biggest “gap” in party affiliation among white Americans today is not between men and women, or those who reside in so-called Red States and those who reside in Blue, but between those who attend church regularly and those who don’t.

Conservative leaders, from Falwell and Robertson to Karl Rove and Ralph Reed, have been all too happy to exploit this gap, consistently reminding evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values and dislike their Church, while suggesting to the rest of the country that religious Americans care only about issues like abortion and gay marriage; school prayer and intelligent design.

Democrats, for the most part, have taken the bait. At best, we may try to avoid the conversation about religious values altogether, fearful of offending anyone and claiming that – regardless of our personal beliefs – constitutional principles tie our hands. At worst, some liberals dismiss religion in the public square as inherently irrational or intolerant, insisting on a caricature of religious Americans that paints them as fanatical, or thinking that the very word “Christian” describes one’s political opponents, not people of faith.

Such strategies of avoidance may work for progressives when the opponent is Alan Keyes. But over the long haul, I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people, and join a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy.

We first need to understand that Americans are a religious people. 90 percent of us believe in God, 70 percent affiliate themselves with an organized religion, 38 percent call themselves committed Christians, and substantially more people believe in angels than do those who believe in evolution.

This religious tendency is not simply the result of successful marketing by skilled preachers or the draw of popular mega-churches. In fact, it speaks to a hunger that’s deeper than that – a hunger that goes beyond any particular issue or cause.

Each day, it seems, thousands of Americans are going about their daily round – dropping off the kids at school, driving to the office, flying to a business meeting, shopping at the mall, trying to stay on their diets – and coming to the realization that something is missing. They are deciding that their work, their possessions, their diversions, their sheer busyness, is not enough.

They want a sense of purpose, a narrative arc to their lives. They’re looking to relieve a chronic loneliness, a feeling supported by a recent study that shows Americans have fewer close friends and confidants than ever before. And so they need an assurance that somebody out there cares about them, is listening to them – that they are not just destined to travel down a long highway towards nothingness.

I speak from experience here. I was not raised in a particularly religious household. My father, who returned to Kenya when I was just two, was Muslim but as an adult became an atheist. My mother, whose parents were non-practicing Baptists and Methodists, grew up with a healthy skepticism of organized religion herself. As a consequence, I did too.

It wasn’t until after college, when I went to Chicago to work as a community organizer for a group of Christian churches, that I confronted my own spiritual dilemma.

The Christians who I worked with recognized themselves in me; they saw that I knew their Book and shared their values and sang their songs. But they sensed a part of me that remained removed, detached, an observer in their midst. In time, I too came to realize that something was missing – that without a vessel for my beliefs, without a commitment to a particular community of faith, at some level I would always remain apart and alone.

If not for the particular attributes of the historically black church, I may have accepted this fate. But as the months passed in Chicago, I found myself drawn to the church.

For one thing, I believed and still believe in the power of the African-American religious tradition to spur social change, a power made real by some of the leaders here today. Because of its past, the black church understands in an intimate way the Biblical call to feed the hungry and cloth the naked and challenge powers and principalities. And in its historical struggles for freedom and the rights of man, I was able to see faith as more than just a comfort to the weary or a hedge against death; it is an active, palpable agent in the world. It is a source of hope.

And perhaps it was out of this intimate knowledge of hardship, the grounding of faith in struggle, that the church offered me a second insight: that faith doesn’t mean that you don’t have doubts. You need to come to church precisely because you are of this world, not apart from it; you need to embrace Christ precisely because you have sins to wash away – because you are human and need an ally in your difficult journey.

It was because of these newfound understandings that I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity United Church of Christ one day and affirm my Christian faith. It came about as a choice, and not an epiphany; the questions I had did not magically disappear. But kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt I heard God’s spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth.

The path I traveled has been shared by millions upon millions of Americans – evangelicals, Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims alike; some since birth, others at a turning point in their lives. It is not something they set apart from the rest of their beliefs and values. In fact, it is often what drives them.

This is why, if we truly hope to speak to people where they’re at – to communicate our hopes and values in a way that’s relevant to their own – we cannot abandon the field of religious discourse.

Because when we ignore the debate about what it means to be a good Christian or Muslim or Jew; when we discuss religion only in the negative sense of where or how it should not be practiced, rather than in the positive sense of what it tells us about our obligations towards one another; when we shy away from religious venues and religious broadcasts because we assume that we will be unwelcome – others will fill the vacuum, those with the most insular views of faith, or those who cynically use religion to justify partisan ends.

In other words, if we don’t reach out to evangelical Christians and other religious Americans and tell them what we stand for, Jerry Falwell’s and Pat Robertson’s will continue to hold sway.

More fundamentally, the discomfort of some progressives with any hint of religion has often prevented us from effectively addressing issues in moral terms. Some of the problem here is rhetorical – if we scrub language of all religious content, we forfeit the imagery and terminology through which millions of Americans understand both their personal morality and social justice. Imagine Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address without reference to “the judgments of the Lord,” or King’s I Have a Dream speech without reference to “all of God’s children.” Their summoning of a higher truth helped inspire what had seemed impossible and move the nation to embrace a common destiny.

Our failure as progressives to tap into the moral underpinnings of the nation is not just rhetorical. Our fear of getting “preachy” may also lead us to discount the role that values and culture play in some of our most urgent social problems.

After all, the problems of poverty and racism, the uninsured and the unemployed, are not simply technical problems in search of the perfect ten point plan. They are rooted in both societal indifference and individual callousness – in the imperfections of man.

Solving these problems will require changes in government policy; it will also require changes in hearts and minds. I believe in keeping guns out of our inner cities, and that our leaders must say so in the face of the gun manufacturer’s lobby – but I also believe that when a gang-banger shoots indiscriminately into a crowd because he feels somebody disrespected him, we have a problem of morality; there’s a hole in that young man’s heart – a hole that government programs alone cannot fix.

I believe in vigorous enforcement of our non-discrimination laws; but I also believe that a transformation of conscience and a genuine commitment to diversity on the part of the nation’s CEOs can bring quicker results than a battalion of lawyers.

I think we should put more of our tax dollars into educating poor girls and boys, and give them the information about contraception that can prevent unwanted pregnancies, lower abortion rates, and help assure that that every child is loved and cherished. But my bible tells me that if we train a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not turn from it. I think faith and guidance can help fortify a young woman’s sense of self, a young man’s sense of responsibility, and a sense of reverence all young people for the act of sexual intimacy.

I am not suggesting that every progressive suddenly latch on to religious terminology. Nothing is more transparent than inauthentic expressions of faith – the politician who shows up at a black church around election time and claps – off rhythm – to the gospel choir.

But what I am suggesting is this – secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, Williams Jennings Bryant, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King – indeed, the majority of great reformers in American history – were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause. To say that men and women should not inject their “personal morality” into public policy debates is a practical absurdity; our law is by definition a codification of morality, much of it grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Moreover, if we progressives shed some of these biases, we might recognize the overlapping values that both religious and secular people share when it comes to the moral and material direction of our country. We might recognize that the call to sacrifice on behalf of the next generation, the need to think in terms of “thou” and not just “I,” resonates in religious congregations across the country. And we might realize that we have the ability to reach out to the evangelical community and engage millions of religious Americans in the larger project of America’s renewal.

Some of this is already beginning to happen. Pastors like Rick Warren and T.D. Jakes are wielding their enormous influences to confront AIDS, Third World debt relief, and the genocide in Darfur. Religious thinkers and activists like my friend Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo are lifting up the Biblical injunction to help the poor as a means of mobilizing Christians against budget cuts to social programs and growing inequality. National denominations have shown themselves as a force on Capitol Hill, on issues such as immigration and the federal budget. And across the country, individual churches like my own are sponsoring day care programs, building senior centers, helping ex-offenders reclaim their lives, and rebuilding our gulf coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

To build on these still-tentative partnerships between the religious and secular worlds will take work – a lot more work than we’ve done so far. The tensions and suspicions on each side of the religious divide will have to be squarely addressed, and each side will need to accept some ground rules for collaboration.

While I’ve already laid out some of the work that progressives need to do on this, I that the conservative leaders of the Religious Right will need to acknowledge a few things as well.

For one, they need to understand the critical role that the separation of church and state has played in preserving not only our democracy, but the robustness of our religious practice. That during our founding, it was not the atheists or the civil libertarians who were the most effective champions of this separation; it was the persecuted religious minorities, Baptists like John Leland, who were most concerned that any state-sponsored religion might hinder their ability to practice their faith.

Moreover, given the increasing diversity of America’s population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.

And even if we did have only Christians within our borders, who’s Christianity would we teach in the schools? James Dobson’s, or Al Sharpton’s? Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Levitacus, which suggests slavery is ok and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount – a passage so radical that it’s doubtful that our Defense Department would survive its application?

This brings me to my second point. Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.

This may be difficult for those who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, as many evangelicals do. But in a pluralistic democracy, we have no choice. Politics depends on our ability to persuade each other of common aims based on a common reality. It involves the compromise, the art of the possible. At some fundamental level, religion does not allow for compromise. It insists on the impossible. If God has spoken, then followers are expected to live up to God’s edicts, regardless of the consequences. To base one’s life on such uncompromising commitments may be sublime; to base our policy making on such commitments would be a dangerous thing.

We all know the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham is ordered by God to offer up his only son, and without argument, he takes Isaac to the mountaintop, binds him to an altar, and raises his knife, prepared to act as God has commanded.

Of course, in the end God sends down an angel to intercede at the very last minute, and Abraham passes God’s test of devotion.

But it’s fair to say that if any of us saw a twenty-first century Abraham raising the knife on the roof of his apartment building, we would, at the very least, call the police and expect the Department of Children and Family Services to take Isaac away from Abraham. We would do so because we do not hear what Abraham hears, do not see what Abraham sees, true as those experiences may be. So the best we can do is act in accordance with those things that are possible for all of us to know, be it common laws or basic reason.

Finally, any reconciliation between faith and democratic pluralism requires some sense of proportion.

This goes for both sides.

Even those who claim the Bible’s inerrancy make distinctions between Scriptural edicts, a sense that some passages – the Ten Commandments, say, or a belief in Christ’s divinity – are central to Christian faith, while others are more culturally specific and may be modified to accommodate modern life.

The American people intuitively understand this, which is why the majority of Catholics practice birth control and some of those opposed to gay marriage nevertheless are opposed to a Constitutional amendment to ban it. Religious leadership need not accept such wisdom in counseling their flocks, but they should recognize this wisdom in their politics.

But a sense of proportion should also guide those who police the boundaries between church and state. Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation – context matters. It is doubtful that children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance feel oppressed or brainwashed as a consequence of muttering the phrase “under God;” I certainly didn’t. Having voluntary student prayer groups using school property to meet should not be a threat, any more than its use by the High School Republicans should threaten Democrats. And one can envision certain faith-based programs – targeting ex-offenders or substance abusers – that offer a uniquely powerful way of solving problems.

So we all have some work to do here. But I am hopeful that we can bridge the gaps that exist and overcome the prejudices each of us bring to this debate. And I have faith that millions of believing Americans want that to happen. No matter how religious they may or may not be, people are tired of seeing faith used as a tool to attack and belittle and divide – they’re tired of hearing folks deliver more screed than sermon. Because in the end, that’s not how they think about faith in their own lives.

.

So let me end with another interaction I had during my campaign. A few days after I won the Democratic nomination in my U.S. Senate race, I received an email from a doctor at the University of Chicago Medical School that said the following:

“Congratulations on your overwhelming and inspiring primary win. I was happy to vote for you, and I will tell you that I am seriously considering voting for you in the general election. I write to express my concerns that may, in the end, prevent me from supporting you.”

The doctor described himself as a Christian who understood his commitments to be “totalizing.” His faith led him to a strong opposition to abortion and gay marriage, although he said that his faith also led him to question the idolatry of the free market and quick resort to militarism that seemed to characterize much of President Bush’s foreign policy.

But the reason the doctor was considering not voting for me was not simply my position on abortion. Rather, he had read an entry that my campaign had posted on my website, which suggested that I would fight “right wing ideologues who want to take away a woman’s right to choose.” He went on to write:

“I sense that you have a strong sense of justice…and I also sense that you are a fair minded person with a high regard for reason…Whatever your convictions, if you truly believe that those who oppose abortion are all ideologues driven by perverse desires to inflict suffering on women, then you, in my judgment, are not fair-minded….You know that we enter times that are fraught with possibilities for good and for harm, times when we are struggling to make sense of a common polity in the context of plurality, when we are unsure of what grounds we have for making any claims that involve others…I do not ask at this point that you oppose abortion, only that you speak about this issue in fair-minded words.”

I checked my web-site and found the offending words. My staff had written them to summarize my pro-choice position during the Democratic primary, at a time when some of my opponents were questioning my commitment to protect Roe v. Wade.

Re-reading the doctor’s letter, though, I felt a pang of shame. It is people like him who are looking for a deeper, fuller conversation about religion in this country. They may not change their positions, but they are willing to listen and learn from those who are willing to speak in reasonable terms – those who know of the central and awesome place that God holds in the lives of so many, and who refuse to treat faith as simply another political issue with which to score points.

I wrote back to the doctor and thanked him for his advice. The next day, I circulated the email to my staff and changed the language on my website to state in clear but simple terms my pro-choice position. And that night, before I went to bed, I said a prayer of my own – a prayer that I might extend the same presumption of good faith to others that the doctor had extended to me.

It is a prayer I still say for America today – a hope that we can live with one another in a way that reconciles the beliefs of each with the good of all. It’s a prayer worth praying, and a conversation worth having in this country in the months and years to come. Thank you.

Donger
06-28-2006, 08:37 PM
By the way, concerning this whole "under God" part of the pledge, why not make the official pledge with a pause at that point. Students are then free to say,"...under God" or "...by Allah's will" or,"...with the Goddess" or whatever they want. Including nothing at all. That would be a better acknowledgement of where this country stands on religious freedom than a mere omission.

I've never said the 'under God' part. I intentionally didn't at my naturalization and told the judge before hand that I wouldn't. He just smiled and said, "That's okay, son." And, I honestly don't care unless someone tells me I HAVE to say it.

Then, I'd have a rather serious issue with it.

jAZ
06-28-2006, 08:43 PM
I've never said the 'under God' part. I intentionally didn't at my naturalization and told the judge before hand that I wouldn't. He just smiled and said, "That's okay, son." And, I honestly don't care unless someone tells me I HAVE to say it.

Then, I'd have a rather serious issue with it.
The honesty here is rather stunning. "As long as it doesn't affect me, I don't care."

Stunning.

Donger
06-28-2006, 08:47 PM
The honesty here is rather stunning. "As long as it doesn't affect me, I don't care."

Stunning.

Not just me. As long as they aren't forcing ANYONE to say it.

Try to think outside of 'you,' jAZ. I know that's hard for you.

Cochise
06-28-2006, 08:49 PM
some liberals dismiss religion in the public square as inherently irrational or intolerant, insisting on a caricature of religious Americans that paints them as fanatical


Well, at least one of them understands it.

|Zach|
06-28-2006, 08:53 PM
Well, at least one of them understands it.
Before you read that im sure you didn't think a single liberal understood that. :hmmm: ROFL

jAZ
06-28-2006, 09:02 PM
Not just me. As long as they aren't forcing ANYONE to say it.

Try to think outside of 'you,' jAZ. I know that's hard for you.
What constitutes "forcing" in your world? Reaching into your mouth and pulling on whatever they find until the words come out? Withholding something of value to you until you say it?

What about your children, who aren't capable of making an informed adult decision about their willingness to refuse a teachers instructions to recite the phrase?

You seem to take a very "Donger" view of framing your views on this.

Donger
06-28-2006, 09:07 PM
What constitutes "forcing" in your world? Reaching into your mouth and pulling on whatever they find until the words come out? Withholding something of value to you until you say it?

What about your children, who aren't capable of making an informed adult decision about their willingness to refuse a teachers instructions to recite the phrase?

You seem to take a very "Donger" view of framing your views on this.

Some kind, well, ANY kind of punishment from the 'authorities' administering the pledge.

For example, if my naturalization judge had said, "Well, son, if you don't say 'under God' while you're being sworn in, you won't be naturalized," I would have told him to go f*ck himself and done it anyway.

If my kids go to public school and once they reach the age that they can decide for themselves whether or not they want to be 'under God,' we'll see. I'll support them either way.

jAZ
06-28-2006, 09:13 PM
If my kids go to public school and once they reach the age that they can decide for themselves whether or not they want to be 'under God,' we'll see. I'll support them either way.
And between now and then, when they are being instructed to say "under God" with no realistic option to refuse?

Cochise
06-28-2006, 09:14 PM
Before you read that im sure you didn't think a single liberal understood that. :hmmm: ROFL

Admitted hyperbole ;)

Donger
06-28-2006, 09:16 PM
And between now and then, when they are being instructed to say "under God" with no realistic option to refuse?

Like I said, until they are aware of what they are saying, moot point.

Do you have kids?

|Zach|
06-28-2006, 09:18 PM
Anyway, good speech...much needed leadership for this party. Muuuccchhh needed.

jAZ
06-28-2006, 09:40 PM
Like I said, until they are aware of what they are saying, moot point.

Do you have kids?
Not yet, but soon. Until they know what they are saying it's exactly the opposite of moot point. Up to that point, it's religious indoctrination by public institution upon a defenseless child.

It's the same reason that many, many Christians denominations won't permit children to be babtized before a certain age/maturity. Prior to that point, the child is mirroring authority rather than accepting Christ personally.

Ultra Peanut
06-28-2006, 09:44 PM
Obama must poop dollar bills, because he is money.

Donger
06-28-2006, 09:47 PM
Not yet, but soon. Until they know what they are saying it's exactly the opposite of moot point. Up to that point, it's religious indoctrination by public institution upon a defenseless child.

It's the same reason that many, many Christians denominations won't permit children to be babtized before a certain age/maturity. Prior to that point, the child is mirroring authority rather than accepting Christ personally.

Hopefully, your children will soothe your arrogance. Mine did.

Mr. Kotter
06-28-2006, 09:48 PM
Gee, Kotter should like this.

But he'll probably find some way to mark it as another sign of the Apocalypse for the Democrats.
Obama is one of the few in my party who seem to "get" it....:clap:

He just cost himself any hope of getting the Dem nomination...

Sadly, you are probably right.

Maybe he can run for Unity08 or Unity12? :hmmm:

go bowe
06-29-2006, 01:05 PM
Obama is one of the few in my party who seem to "get" it....:clap:



Sadly, you are probably right.

Maybe he can run for Unity08 or Unity12? :hmmm:the party favorites don't always win the nomination...

and the party doesn't necessarily control how democrats will actually vote in the primaries...

who was bill clinton?

who was president bush? (well, ok, he was the son of a president but otherwise virtually unknown before the primaries began)

while his lack of "experience" would be a target for the republicans, it is also a benefit because there isn't that much of a record for the republicans to attack...

the only know i have against him is that when he speaks extemporaneously, he says unh a lot...

quite a lot, unh, unh...

vailpass
06-29-2006, 01:45 PM
My baby daddy sure do read them speeches nice, don't he?
His handlers are working overtime to create a Dem. savior.

Lurch
06-29-2006, 02:56 PM
Clark & Obama in 2008. Yeah.

SBK
06-29-2006, 03:07 PM
Clark & Obama in 2008. Yeah.

Say hello to another (R) win baby!

listopencil
06-29-2006, 08:46 PM
The honesty here is rather stunning. "As long as it doesn't affect me, I don't care."

Stunning.


In a perfect world, that would be the basis for most laws in this country. I would say that if you add "...as long as it doesn't harm anyone except perhaps the consensual adults who are taking part in it" then you have legislative gold. So let it be written, so let it be done.

go bowe
06-29-2006, 08:51 PM
In a perfect world, that would be the basis for most laws in this country. I would say that if you add "...as long as it doesn't harm anyone except perhaps the consensual adults who are taking part in it" then you have legislative gold. So let it be written, so let it be done.oi, we should live so long... :shake:

Mr. Laz
06-29-2006, 08:59 PM
Before you read that im sure you didn't think a single liberal understood that. :hmmm: ROFL
i think most liberals understand it


i just don't think most (new)republicans care ..... they want religion front and center and would have NO PROBLEM whatsoever in making people deal with religion on the churches terms.

religion right ... everyone else is wrong


they may try and hide it some ... but it's the overriding factor in most of their political issues.


Freedom is great as long as it's their way.

jAZ
07-06-2006, 10:37 AM
http://www.slate.com/id/2144983/

The real meaning of Barack Obama's speech on religion and politics.
By Amy Sullivan
Posted Monday, July 3, 2006, at 5:02 PM ET

I don't know about you, but I'm not accustomed to hearing politicians admit to making mistakes. At least not without a smoking-gun document, talkative intern, or FBI wire in the picture, and sometimes not even then. And yet that's precisely what Sen. Barack Obama did in his much-talked-about and just-as-much-misunderstood speech about religion and politics last week (you can listen to it here). Amid the uproar about whether Obama was using the occasion to scold fellow Democrats or to advance a possible 2008 candidacy, it's been overlooked that he started and ended the address with incidents he regrets from his political career.

Obama began with a story about his 2004 campaign for the Senate. In the last months of the campaign, Obama's opponent, the volatile Republican Alan Keyes, declared that "Jesus Christ would not vote for Barack Obama." Against the counsel of his political advisors, Obama fired back. He now admits that his volley was weak. "I answered with what has come to be the typically liberal response in such debates," he told the crowd at Jim Wallis' Call to Renewal conference. "I said that we live in a pluralistic society, that I can't impose my own religious views on another." Obama's statement was reasonable, but he now thinks it was the wrong one. "My answer did not adequately address the role my faith has in guiding my own values and my own beliefs," he said last week.

Thirty minutes later, Obama concluded his remarks by quoting an e-mail message he received from a pro-life voter during the campaign, a man who had expressed his disappointment that Obama called abortion opponents "right-wing ideologues" on his campaign Web site. "I do not ask at this point that you oppose abortion," the e-mailer wrote, "only that you speak about this issue in fair-minded words." "I felt a pang of shame," Obama acknowledged.

If it's hard to imagine a speech like this from George W. Bush, he who in a notorious 2004 press conference could not name a single mistake he'd made, that's the point. Obama used the anecdotes to set up a larger theme, about the nature of faith and doubt. And whatever else pundits and bloggers say about the speech, that may be Obama's lasting message and impact.

For the past six years, the most prominent Christian in America has been the president. His belief is not of the "God said it. I believe it. That settles it," sort that fundamentalists embrace. Rather, Bush subscribes to a syllogistic doctrine of presidential infallibility: God works through Christians; I am a Christian; I have decided to do X; therefore, X is God's will.

Bush is known to start each day reading a devotional from My Utmost for His Highest, a collection of essays by 19th-century Scottish minister Oswald Chambers. As Bob Wright explained in the New York Times a few years ago, Chambers had a very simple—some might say comforting—view of divine will. "The basic idea" Wright wrote, "is that once you surrender to God, divine guidance is palpable." The only questioning involved is whether one carries out God's will, not whether one correctly interprets it.

Those who accuse Bush of being a theocrat have made much of his reported belief that God speaks through him. That's not entirely fair, because what Bush refers to is a fairly common hope among believers that God will use each of us to be instruments of justice and mercy and grace. "May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight," from Psalm 19, is a prayer many Christians recite. It's just that most of us don't express this as a confident assertion that God does in fact speak through us. Instead, the prayer is a humble plea.

Obama chose to emphasize this sentiment when he told the story of his own faith journey. The senator was raised in a primarily secular home: His father was born a Muslim but became an atheist as an adult; his mother was "spiritual" but a skeptic of organized religion; his grandparents were nonpracticing Protestants. Obama's first prolonged exposure to the church came when he moved to Chicago to work as a community organizer. Working with African-American churches, he said, "I was able to see faith as more than just a comfort to the weary or a hedge against death, but rather as an active, palpable agent in the world."

But—and he is firm about this—conversion wasn't for him the end point. "Faith doesn't mean that you don't have doubts. You need to come to church in the first place precisely because you are first of this world, not apart from it," he said last week.

Millions and millions of faithful, including many evangelicals, have this sort of complicated relationship with their God. One of the enduring mysteries of faith is that it's not easy to determine divine will. Most of us who consider ourselves religious are engaged in a constant struggle to discern God's will for us, and we're always aware of just how far we fall short of meeting that standard. Obama received one of his loudest ovations when he admitted: "The questions I had didn't magically disappear."

This humbler version of faith has been in the shadows for the past few years, derided as moral relativism or even a lack of true belief. Obama stepped up not to defend this approach to religion, but to insist on the rightness of it. That should be comforting to anyone who has been deeply discomfited by Bush's version of Christianity. A questioning faith is a much better fit for a society like ours than one that allows for no challenge or reflection. It also acts as a check against liberals who would appropriate God for their own purposes, declaring Jesus to be the original Democrat and trotting out New Testament verses to justify their own policy programs. Liberals don't have the answer key to divining God's will any more than conservatives do.

Obama's speech, delivered to an audience of the frustrated religious left, was not a tactical plan for electoral success in November or in 2008. It wasn't a "We are too religious!" rebuttal to Republicans. It was, for the first time in modern memory, an affirmative statement from a Democrat about "how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy," as Obama put it. John F. Kennedy in 1960 and Mario Cuomo in 1984 each gave seminal speeches on faith and Democratic politics, but they were primarily concerned with defining their own faith—Catholicism—in terms of what it was not.

Obama's goal was different and larger. The speech worked partly because the senator speaks with easy-going confidence about his faith, weaving spiritual phrases into his speech without needing to announce them to his audience as so many of his colleagues do ("This debate about tax cuts reminds me of that verse from the Book of Hebrews …"). But more important, he doesn't recount the story of his conversion in order to establish his religious bona fides; he does it in the service of a broader argument. And he doesn't defend progressives' claim to religion; he asserts the responsibilities that fall to them as religious people. Americans are looking, Obama said, for a "deeper, fuller conversation about religion in this country." He started that conversation. A few others are joining in. It's time for everyone else to catch up.

Amy Sullivan, a contributing editor at the Washington Monthly, is writing a book about religion and the left.

Lurch
07-06-2006, 02:30 PM
....

Freedom is great as long as it's their way.

That pretty much applies to both political parties.

The Mad Crapper
08-27-2010, 06:38 AM
Soetero hasn't been to church in two years.

Oucho Cinco
08-27-2010, 06:50 AM
ROFL - all of the big time religion haters have made their appearance in this thread and supported the things that Obama was saying back then. Now that he has turned his back on his country and religion, other than Islam, I wonder how they feel about his one time religious commentary.

Obama's religion was one of convenience. Now he's president and it seems like he is not connected, if he ever was really connected.

The Mad Crapper
08-27-2010, 07:00 AM
ROFL - all of the big time religion haters have made their appearance in this thread and supported the things that Obama was saying back then. Now that he has turned his back on his country and religion, other than Islam, I wonder how they feel about his one time religious commentary.

Obama's religion was one of convenience. Now he's president and it seems like he is not connected, if he ever was really connected.

B.O. pontificated about Christianity like he was some kind of authority, and all the moonbats lapped it up like so much corn out of his ass.

Since then, Soetero hasn't been to church in two years.

LMAO

ForeverChiefs58
08-27-2010, 07:02 AM
By the way, concerning this whole "under God" part of the pledge, why not make the official pledge with a pause at that point. Students are then free to say,"...under God" or "...by Allah's will" or,"...with the Goddess" or whatever they want. Including nothing at all. That would be a better acknowledgement of where this country stands on religious freedom than a mere omission.


The reason behind that is because like it or not our nation was founded by christians. Reference to God is what our founding fathers wanted and sowed into the very fabric of this country and everything it stands for. Non christians and athiests don't like it, but since they wern't part of establishing this nation, they need to learn to either deal with it, or find a country that was founded in what they believe.
If it is STILL a problem then feel free to send me everything you have that references God on it.

irishjayhawk
08-27-2010, 01:48 PM
The reason behind that is because like it or not our nation was founded by christians. Reference to God is what our founding fathers wanted and sowed into the very fabric of this country and everything it stands for. Non christians and athiests don't like it, but since they wern't part of establishing this nation, they need to learn to either deal with it, or find a country that was founded in what they believe.
If it is STILL a problem then feel free to send me everything you have that references God on it.

ROFL

Jenson71
08-27-2010, 02:00 PM
The reason behind that is because like it or not our nation was founded by christians. Reference to God is what our founding fathers wanted and sowed into the very fabric of this country and everything it stands for. Non christians and athiests don't like it, but since they wern't part of establishing this nation, they need to learn to either deal with it, or find a country that was founded in what they believe.
If it is STILL a problem then feel free to send me everything you have that references God on it.

Actually, the reason behind it was an idea lobbied for by the Knights of Columbus in the 1950s, to distinguish American values over communist/Soviet Union values. The Knights of Columbus, a truly great organization, are still active and doing work today. You might see them sell tootsie rolls for charity sometime.

ForeverChiefs58
08-27-2010, 04:25 PM
I love how just like with the mosque, someone actually has to actually explain it, and point things out as if you don't see it all around you. You too can see any of this by just opening your eyes.
I am sure there are more examples:
In God we trust is on all of our money, our courts have a bible to swear on (that means you won't lie or you'll have God to deal with), our congress starts each day with christian prayer and bible present, even the oath of office of the President of the United States is sworn in with a bible with presidents kissing the bible or saying prayer as tradition, every university that has a fraternity or sorority will have a bible present, even our hotels/motels have bibles in the nightstand, not to mention in events such as marriages etc,.
Most of our founders were members of the Masonic lodge, I know this from being a 3rd degree master mason myself as well as a grandfather who was a 33 degree mason which is an organization that is also christain based, does not allow athiests and always has a bible present also at every meeting.
I am sure there are many more examples of christianity all around us that you just don't see.

ForeverChiefs58
08-27-2010, 04:27 PM
John Adams and John Hancock:
"We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus!" [April 18, 1775]

ForeverChiefs58
08-27-2010, 04:28 PM
John Adams:
“ The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principals of Christianity… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”
• “[July 4th] ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”
–John Adams in a letter written to Abigail on the day the Declaration was approved by Congress

ForeverChiefs58
08-27-2010, 04:30 PM
Samuel Adams: | Portrait of Sam Adams | Powerpoint presentation on John, John Quincy, and Sam Adams
“ He who made all men hath made the truths necessary to human happiness obvious to all… Our forefathers opened the Bible to all.” [ "American Independence," August 1, 1776. Speech delivered at the State House in Philadelphia]

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

Dave Lane
08-27-2010, 04:34 PM
Religion belongs with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy.

ForeverChiefs58
08-27-2010, 04:35 PM
Charles Carroll - signer of the Declaration of Independence | Portrait of Charles Carroll
" Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure...are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments." [Source: To James McHenry on November 4, 1800.]

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

“In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered… do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?” [Constitutional Convention, Thursday June 28, 1787]

In Benjamin Franklin's 1749 plan of education for public schools in Pennsylvania, he insisted that schools teach "the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern."

In 1787 when Franklin helped found Benjamin Franklin University, it was dedicated as "a nursery of religion and learning, built on Christ, the Cornerstone."

ForeverChiefs58
08-27-2010, 04:37 PM
ROFL


I could do this ALL DAY LONG.

Alexander Hamilton:
• Hamilton began work with the Rev. James Bayard to form the Christian Constitutional Society to help spread over the world the two things which Hamilton said made America great:
(1) Christianity
(2) a Constitution formed under Christianity.
“The Christian Constitutional Society, its object is first: The support of the Christian religion. Second: The support of the United States.”

On July 12, 1804 at his death, Hamilton said, “I have a tender reliance on the mercy of the Almighty, through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am a sinner. I look to Him for mercy; pray for me.”

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

"I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man."

ForeverChiefs58
08-27-2010, 05:20 PM
Patrick Henry:
"Orator of the Revolution."
• This is all the inheritance I can give my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed.”
—The Last Will and Testament of Patrick Henry

“It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.” [May 1765 Speech to the House of Burgesses]

vailpass
08-27-2010, 05:36 PM
Religion belongs with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy.

We get it Loon. As a child you were beat with a bible, garroted by the gospels and sodomized by the scriptures.
Miserable prick.

orange
08-27-2010, 05:41 PM
I could do this ALL DAY LONG.


"Nothwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, & the full establishment of it, in some parts of our Country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Gov' & Religion neither can be duly supported: Such indeed is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded agst.. And in a Gov' of opinion, like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion on the subject. Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Gov will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together"[/I]
-James Madison, Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822, The Writings of James Madison, Gaillard Hunt]


"An alliance or coalition between Government and religion cannot be too carefully guarded against......Every new and successful example therefore of a PERFECT SEPARATION between ecclesiastical and civil matters is of importance........religion and government will exist in greater purity, without (rather) than with the aid of government."
-James Madison in a letter to Livingston, 1822, from Leonard W. Levy- The Establishment Clause, Religion and the First Amendment,pg 124]


"[I]t may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points. The tendency to unsurpastion on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded agst. by an entire abstinence of the Gov't from interfence in any way whatsoever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, and protecting each sect agst. trespasses on its legal rights by others."
-James Madison, in a letter to Rev Jasper Adams spring 1832, from James Madison on Religious Liberty, edited by Robert S. Alley, pp. 237-238]


"It was the Universal opinion of the Century preceding the last, that Civil Government could not stand without the prop of a religious establishment; and that the Christian religion itself, would perish if not supported by the legal provision for its clergy. The experience of Virginia conspiciously corroboates the disproof of both opinions. The Civil Government, tho' bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success; whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the TOTAL SEPARATION OF THE CHURCH FROM THE STATE."
-James Madison, as quoted in Robert L. Maddox: Separation of Church and State; Guarantor of Religious Freeedom]


"Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion & Govt in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history [ttempts where religious bodies had already tried to encroach on the government]."
-James Madison, Detached Memoranda, 1820

orange
08-27-2010, 05:43 PM
I could do this ALL DAY LONG.

...You need to find the writings of the founding fathers and see what it is that they wanted. The constitution is clear, the government will not tell you that you have to be a member of any particular state sponsored religion...


"The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses."
-John Adams, "A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America" (1787-88),


"We think ourselves possessed, or, at least, we boast that we are so, of liberty of conscience on all subjects, and of the right of free inquiry and private judgment in all cases, and yet how far are we from these exalted privileges in fact! There exists, I believe, throughout the whole Christian world, a law which makes it blasphemy to deny or doubt the divine inspiration of all the books of the Old and New Testaments, from Genesis to Revelations. In most countries of Europe it is punished by fire at the stake, or the rack, or the wheel. In England itself it is punished by boring through the tongue with a red-hot poker. In America it is not better; even in our own Massachusetts, which I believe, upon the whole, is as temperate and moderate in religious zeal as most of the States, a law was made in the latter end of the last century, repealing the cruel punishments of the former laws, but substituting fine and imprisonment upon all those blasphemers upon any book of the Old Testament or New. Now, what free inquiry, when a writer must surely encounter the risk of fine or imprisonment for adducing any argument for investigating into the divine authority of those books? Who would run the risk of translating Dupuis? But I cannot enlarge upon this subject, though I have it much at heart. I think such laws a great embarrassment, great obstructions to the improvement of the human mind. Books that cannot bear examination, certainly ought not to be established as divine inspiration by penal laws. It is true, few persons appear desirous to put such laws in execution, and it is also true that some few persons are hardy enough to venture to depart from them. But as long as they continue in force as laws, the human mind must make an awkward and clumsy progress in its investigations. I wish they were repealed. The substance and essence of Christianity, as I understand it, is eternal and unchangeable, and will bear examination forever, but it has been mixed with extraneous ingredients, which I think will not bear examination, and they ought to be separated."
-John Adams, one of his last letters to Thomas Jefferson, January 23, 1825.

orange
08-27-2010, 05:46 PM
I could do this ALL DAY LONG.

...You need to find the writings of the founding fathers and see what it is that they wanted. The constitution is clear, the government will not tell you that you have to be a member of any particular state sponsored religion...



"But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782


"Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination."
-Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom


"Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear."
-Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787


"I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshipped by many who think themselves Christians."
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Richard Price, Jan. 8, 1789 (Richard Price had written to TJ on Oct. 26. about the harm done by religion and wrote "Would not Society be better without Such religions? Is Atheism less pernicious than Demonism?")


"Believing with you 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 legislative 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, letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT., Jan. 1, 1802


"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes."
-Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.


"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical."
-Thomas Jefferson: Bill for Religious Freedom, 1779. Papers 2:545


"Ministers of the Gospel are excluded [from serving as Visitors of the county Elementary Schools] to avoid jealousy from the other sects, were the public education committed to the ministers of a particular one; and with more reason than in the case of their exclusion from the legislative and executive functions."
-Thomas Jefferson: Note to Elementary School Act, 1817. ME 17:419

orange
08-27-2010, 05:47 PM
I could do this ALL DAY LONG.


What he (Thomas Jefferson) REALLY said:

I, too, have made a wee-little book
from the same materials, which I call the Philosophy
of Jesus ; it is a paradigma of His doctrines, made by
cutting the texts out of the book, and arranging them
on the pages of a blank book, in a certain order of
time or subject. A more beautiful or precious morsel
of ethics I have never seen ; it is a document in proof
that / am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple
of the doctrines of Jesus, very different from the
Platonists, who call me infidel and themselves Chris
tians and preachers of the gospel, while they draw
all their characteristic dogmas from what its Author
never said nor saw. They have compounded from
the heathen mysteries a system beyond the compre
hension of man, of which the great Reformer of the
vicious ethics and deism of the Jews, were He to re
turn on earth, would not recognize one feature. If
1 had time, I would add to my little book the Greek,
Lat n and French texts, in columns side by side.
And I wish I could subjoin a translation of Gosindi s
Syntagma of the doctrines of Epicurus, which, not
withstanding the calumnies of the Stoics and carica
tures of Cicero, is the most rational system remaining
of the philosophy of the ancients, as frugal of vicious
indulgence, and fruitful of virtue as the hyperbolical
extravagances of his rival sects.

http://www.archive.org/stream/jeffersonthomas14lipsrich/jeffersonthomas14lipsrich_djvu.txt


Jefferson considered himself a deist; he also considered himself a follower of Jesus. This is not a contradiction, in Jefferson's view, because he believed Jesus to be merely human, not divine, and believed the precepts Jesus taught to be deistical. Much of traditional Christianity, Jefferson claimed, was error and corruption added by later followers of Jesus.

Jefferson was a strong supporter of the separation of church and state, believing that both government and religion would be strengthened by keeping each free of the corrupting influence of the other.

From a PBS website (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/jesus/jefferson.html):

Jefferson was convinced that the authentic words of Jesus written in the New Testament had been contaminated. Early Christians, overly eager to make their religion appealing to the pagans, had obscured the words of Jesus with the philosophy of the ancient Greeks and the teachings of Plato. These "Platonists" had thoroughly muddled Jesus' original message. Jefferson assured his friend and rival, John Adams, that the authentic words of Jesus were still there.

With the confidence and optimistic energy characteristic of the Enlightenment, Jefferson proceeded to dig out the diamonds. Candles burning late at night, his quill pen scratching "too hastily" as he later admitted, Jefferson composed a short monograph titled The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth. The subtitle explains that the work is "extracted from the account of his life and the doctrines as given by Matthew, Mark, Luke & John." In it, Jefferson presented what he understood was the true message of Jesus.

Jefferson set aside his New Testament research, returning to it again in the summer of 1820. This time, he completed a more ambitious work, The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth Extracted Textually from the Gospels in Greek, Latin, French and English. The text of the New Testament appears in four parallel columns in four languages. Jefferson omitted the words that he thought were inauthentic and retained those he believed were original. The resulting work is commonly known as the "Jefferson Bible."

http://www.adherents.com/people/pj/Thomas_Jefferson.html

orange
08-27-2010, 05:48 PM
I could do this ALL DAY LONG.

What he (Benjamin Franklin) REALLY said:

"Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That He ought to be worshipped.

That the most acceptable service we render to him is in doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental points in all sound religion, and I regard them as you do in whatever sect I meet with them.

As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and his religion, as he left them to us, is the best the world ever saw, or is likely to see;

But I apprehend it has received various corrupting changes, and I have, with most of the present dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity; though it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the truth with less trouble. I see no harm, however, in its being believed, if that belief has the good consequence, as probably it has, of making his doctrines more respected and more observed; especially as I do not perceive, that the Supreme takes it amiss, by distinguishing the unbelievers in his government of the world with any peculiar marks of his displeasure."


http://christianity.about.com/od/independenceday/a/foundingfathers.htm

orange
08-27-2010, 05:49 PM
I could do this ALL DAY LONG.


What he (John Adams) REALLY said:

Now I will avow, that I then believed, and now believe, that those general Principles of Christianity, are as eternal and immutable, as the Existence and Attributes of God; and that those Principles of Liberty, are as unalterable as human Nature and our terrestrial, mundane System. I could therefore safely say, consistently with all my then and present Information, that I believed they would never make Discoveries in contradiction to these general Principles. In favour of these general Principles in Phylosophy, Religion and Government, I could fill Sheets of quotations from Frederick of Prussia, from Hume, Gibbon, Bolingbroke, Reausseau and Voltaire, as well as Neuton and Locke: not to mention thousands of Divines and Philosophers of inferiour Fame.
http://positiveliberty.com/2006/06/american-destiny-and-providentialism.html

Ah, yes. The Gospel of Frederick and the Revelations to Voltaire. Surely they're in your Bible, right?
Probably right after the Book of Juno:

...the Goddess of honesty, Justice, Decency, and right; the Wife of Jove, another name for Juno. She presided over all oracles, deliberations and Counsells. She commanded all Mortals to pray to Jupiter, for all lawful Benefits and Blessings.

Now, is not this, (so far forth) the Essence of Christian devotion? Is not this Christian Piety? Is it not an Acknonowledgement [sic] of the existence of a Supream Being? of his universal Providence? of a righteous Administration of the Government of the Universe? And what can Jews, Christians, or Mahometans do more?

http://positiveliberty.com/2005/10/john-adams-unitarian-universalist-seeker-of-the-truth.html

orange
08-27-2010, 05:51 PM
http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=178755
http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=223479

ForeverChiefs58
08-27-2010, 05:56 PM
James Madison


“ We’ve staked our future on our ability to follow the Ten Commandments with all of our heart.”

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” [1778 to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia]

• I have sometimes thought there could not be a stronger testimony in favor of religion or against temporal enjoyments, even the most rational and manly, than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and [who] are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare the unsatisfactoriness [of temportal enjoyments] by becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ; and I wish you may give in your evidence in this way.
Letter by Madison to William Bradford (September 25, 1773)
• In 1812, President Madison signed a federal bill which economically aided the Bible Society of Philadelphia in its goal of the mass distribution of the Bible.
“ An Act for the relief of the Bible Society of Philadelphia” Approved February 2, 1813 by Congress

“It is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.”

• A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest, while we are building ideal monuments of renown and bliss here, we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven. [Letter by Madison to William Bradford [urging him to make sure of his own salvation] November 9, 1772]

At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, James Madison proposed the plan to divide the central government into three branches. He discovered this model of government from the Perfect Governor, as he read Isaiah 33:22;
“For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver,
the LORD is our king;
He will save us.”
[Baron Charles Montesquieu, wrote in 1748; “Nor is there liberty if the power of judging is not separated from legislative power and from executive power. If it [the power of judging] were joined to legislative power, the power over life and liberty of the citizens would be arbitrary, for the judge would be the legislature if it were joined to the executive power, the judge could have the force of an oppressor. All would be lost if the same … body of principal men … exercised these three powers." Madison claimed Isaiah 33:22 as the source of division of power in government
See also: pp.241-242 in Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History: The Principle approach by Rosalie Slater]

ForeverChiefs58
08-27-2010, 06:02 PM
George Washington:

Farewell Address: The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion" ...and later: "...reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle..."


“ It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible.”

“What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.” [speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs May 12, 1779]

"To the distinguished character of patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian" [May 2, 1778, at Valley Forge]

During his inauguration, Washington took the oath as prescribed by the Constitution but added several religious components to that official ceremony. Before taking his oath of office, he summoned a Bible on which to take the oath, added the words “So help me God!” to the end of the oath, then leaned over and kissed the Bible.

Nelly Custis-Lewis (Washington’s adopted daughter):
Is it necessary that any one should [ask], “Did General Washington avow himself to be a believer in Christianity?" As well may we question his patriotism, his heroic devotion to his country. His mottos were, "Deeds, not Words"; and, "For God and my Country."

“ O Most Glorious God, in Jesus Christ, my merciful and loving Father; I acknowledge and confess my guilt in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day. I have called on Thee for pardon and forgiveness of my sins, but so coldly and carelessly that my prayers are become my sin, and they stand in need of pardon.”
“ I have sinned against heaven and before Thee in thought, word, and deed. I have contemned Thy majesty and holy laws. I have likewise sinned by omitting what I ought to have done and committing what I ought not. I have rebelled against the light, despising Thy mercies and judgment, and broken my vows and promise. I have neglected the better things. My iniquities are multiplied and my sins are very great. I confess them, O Lord, with shame and sorrow, detestation and loathing and desire to be vile in my own eyes as I have rendered myself vile in Thine. I humbly beseech Thee to be merciful to me in the free pardon of my sins for the sake of Thy dear Son and only Savior Jesus Christ who came to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Thou gavest Thy Son to die for me.”
[George Washington; from a 24 page authentic handwritten manuscript book dated April 21-23, 1752
William J. Johnson George Washington, the Christian (New York: The Abingdon Press, New York & Cincinnati, 1919), pp. 24-35.]

"Although guided by our excellent Constitution in the discharge of official duties, and actuated, through the whole course of my public life, solely by a wish to promote the best interests of our country; yet, without the beneficial interposition of the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, we could not have reached the distinguished situation which we have attained with such unprecedented rapidity. To HIM, therefore, should we bow with gratitude and reverence, and endeavor to merit a continuance of HIS special favors". [1797 letter to John Adams]

James Wilson:
Signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution
Supreme Court Justice appointed by George Washington
Spoke 168 times during the Constitutional Convention

"Christianity is part of the common law"
[Sources: James Wilson, Course of Lectures [vol 3, p.122]; and quoted in Updegraph v. The Commonwealth, 11 Serg, & R. 393, 403 (1824).]

________________________________________________________________________
Public Institutions
Liberty Bell Inscription:
“ Proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof” [Leviticus 25:10]

Proposals for the seal of the United States of America
• “Moses lifting his wand and dividing the Red Sea” –Ben Franklin

• “The children of Israel in the wilderness, led by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.” --Thomas Jefferson

On July 4, 1776, Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams "to bring in a device for a seal for the United States of America." Franklin's proposal adapted the biblical story of the parting of the Red Sea. Jefferson first recommended the "Children of Israel in the Wilderness, led by a Cloud by Day, and a Pillar of Fire by night. . . ." He then embraced Franklin's proposal and rewrote it

Jefferson's revision of Franklin's proposal was presented by the committee to Congress on August 20, 1776.

Another popular proposal to the Great Seal of the United States was:
" Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God"; with Pharoah's army drowning in the Red Sea

The three branches of the U.S. Government: Judicial, Legislative, Executive
• At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, James Madison proposed the plan to divide the central government into three branches. He discovered this model of government from the Perfect Governor, as he read Isaiah 33:22;
“For the LORD is our judge,
the LORD is our lawgiver,
the LORD is our king;
He will save us.”

Article 22 of the constitution of Delaware (1776)
Required all officers, besides taking an oath of allegiance, to make and subscribe to the following declaration:
• "I, [name], do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration."

New York Spectator. August 23, 1831
“ The court of common pleas of Chester county, [New York] rejected a witness who declared his disbelief in the existence of God. The presiding judge remarked that he had not before been aware that there was a man living who did not believe in the existence of God; that this belief constituted the sanction of all testimony in a court of justice: and that he knew of no cause in a Christian country where a witness had been permitted to testify without such belief.

New England Primer:
Used in public and private schools from 1690 to 1900 second only to the Bible
Some of its contents:
A song of praise to God
Prayers in Jesus’ name
The famous Bible alphabet
Shorter Catechism of faith in Christ

ForeverChiefs58
08-27-2010, 06:06 PM
The pilgrims, as you will recall, were, Christians fleeing Europe in order to escape religious persecution, and they literally began their stay in their new land with the words, “In the name of God, Amen.”
The pilgrims were followed to New England by the Puritans, who created bible-based commonwealths. Those commonwealths practiced the same sort of representative government as their church covenants. Those governmental covenants and compacts numbered more than 100, and were the foundation for our Constitution.

New Haven (Connecticut) and Massachusetts were founded by Puritans who wanted to reform the Church of England, who later became known as Congregationalists. Roger Williams founded the colony of Rhode Island based on the principle of freedom of conscience. Pennsylvania was established by William Penn as a Quaker colony. Maryland was a haven for Catholics from Protestant England.

America was indeed founded by bible-believing Christians and based on Christian principles. When they founded this country, the Founding Fathers envisioned a government that would promote and encourage Christianity.

All but two of the first 108 universities founded in America were Christian. This includes the first, Harvard, where the student handbook listed this as Rule #1: “Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life, John 17:3; and therefore to lay Jesus Christ as the only foundation for our children to follow the moral principles of the Ten Commandments."

In 1777. Continental Congress voted to spend $300,000 to purchase bibles which were to be distributed throughout the 13 colonies! And in 1782, the United States Congress declared, “The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.

Ebolapox
08-27-2010, 06:06 PM
good ol' religion/anti religion mental masturbation.

ForeverChiefs58
08-27-2010, 06:11 PM
Founding Fathers Quotes
"The country's first two presidents, George Washington and John Adams,
were firm believers in the importance of religion for republican government." --official Library of Congress statement

"...both the legislators and the public considered it appropriate
for the national government to promote a nondenominational, nonpolemical Christianity."--official Library of Congress statement

ForeverChiefs58
08-27-2010, 06:15 PM
James McHenry – Signer of the Constitution
Public utility pleads most forcibly for the general distribution of the Holy Scriptures. The doctrine they preach, the obligations they impose, the punishment they threaten, the rewards they promise, the stamp and image of divinity they bear, which produces a conviction of their truths, can alone secure to society, order and peace, and to our courts of justice and constitutions of government, purity, stability and usefulness. In vain, without the Bible, we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses, and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience.

ForeverChiefs58
08-27-2010, 06:16 PM
Noah Webster:
“ The duties of men are summarily comprised in the Ten Commandments, consisting of two tables; one comprehending the duties which we owe immediately to God-the other, the duties we owe to our fellow men.”

“In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed...No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”
[Source: 1828, in the preface to his American Dictionary of the English Language]

Let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers just men who will rule in the fear of God [Exodus 18:21]. . . . If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted . . . If our government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws. [Noah Webster, The History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie and Peck, 1832), pp. 336-337, 49]

“All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.” [Noah Webster. History. p. 339]

“The Bible was America’s basic textbook
in all fields.” [Noah Webster. Our Christian Heritage p.5]

“Education is useless without the Bible” [Noah Webster. Our Christian Heritage p.5 ]

The Mad Crapper
08-27-2010, 06:17 PM
Orange is on a major cut and paste bender.

ROFL

KC native
08-27-2010, 06:33 PM
doesn't really matter which one

You should read some actual history books. We are not a christian nation. We weren't founded as a christian nation either. Most of the founding fathers were deists.

Second, I believe you mentioned money and the pledge. Well, both of those had dog er god to them because of McCarthy and the others who took part in the red scare.

KC native
08-27-2010, 06:33 PM
Orange is on a major cut and paste bender.

ROFL

Aw sweet irony. When's the last time you typed anything over a sentence? ROFL

The Mad Crapper
08-27-2010, 06:39 PM
Aw sweet irony. When's the last time you typed anything over a sentence? ROFL

Shut up you greasy bastard.

ForeverChiefs58
08-27-2010, 06:55 PM
You should read some actual history books. We are not a christian nation. We weren't founded as a christian nation either. Most of the founding fathers were deists.

Second, I believe you mentioned money and the pledge. Well, both of those had dog er god to them because of McCarthy and the others who took part in the red scare.

Ha. You should try reading more. Here, I will help you out this time.




History of 'In God We Trust'

The motto IN GOD WE TRUST was placed on United States coins largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase received many appeals from devout persons throughout the country, urging that the United States recognize the Deity on United States coins. From Treasury Department records, it appears that the first such appeal came in a letter dated November 13, 1861. It was written to Secretary Chase by Rev. M. R. Watkinson, Minister of the Gospel from Ridleyville, Pennsylvania, and read:

Dear Sir: You are about to submit your annual report to the Congress respecting the affairs of the national finances.
One fact touching our currency has hitherto been seriously overlooked. I mean the recognition of the Almighty God in some form on our coins.

You are probably a Christian. What if our Republic were not shattered beyond reconstruction? Would not the antiquaries of succeeding centuries rightly reason from our past that we were a heathen nation? What I propose is that instead of the goddess of liberty we shall have next inside the 13 stars a ring inscribed with the words PERPETUAL UNION; within the ring the allseeing eye, crowned with a halo; beneath this eye the American flag, bearing in its field stars equal to the number of the States united; in the folds of the bars the words GOD, LIBERTY, LAW.

This would make a beautiful coin, to which no possible citizen could object. This would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism. This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed. From my hearth I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters.

To you first I address a subject that must be agitated.

As a result, Secretary Chase instructed James Pollock, Director of the Mint at Philadelphia, to prepare a motto, in a letter dated November 20, 1861:
Dear Sir: No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins.
You will cause a device to be prepared without unnecessary delay with a motto expressing in the fewest and tersest words possible this national recognition.

It was found that the Act of Congress dated January 18, 1837, prescribed the mottoes and devices that should be placed upon the coins of the United States. This meant that the mint could make no changes without the enactment of additional legislation by the Congress. In December 1863, the Director of the Mint submitted designs for new one-cent coin, two-cent coin, and three-cent coin to Secretary Chase for approval. He proposed that upon the designs either OUR COUNTRY; OUR GOD or GOD, OUR TRUST should appear as a motto on the coins. In a letter to the Mint Director on December 9, 1863, Secretary Chase stated:
I approve your mottoes, only suggesting that on that with the Washington obverse the motto should begin with the word OUR, so as to read OUR GOD AND OUR COUNTRY. And on that with the shield, it should be changed so as to read: IN GOD WE TRUST.
The Congress passed the Act of April 22, 1864. This legislation changed the composition of the one-cent coin and authorized the minting of the two-cent coin. The Mint Director was directed to develop the designs for these coins for final approval of the Secretary. IN GOD WE TRUST first appeared on the 1864 two-cent coin.

Another Act of Congress passed on March 3, 1865. It allowed the Mint Director, with the Secretary's approval, to place the motto on all gold and silver coins that "shall admit the inscription thereon." Under the Act, the motto was placed on the gold double-eagle coin, the gold eagle coin, and the gold half-eagle coin. It was also placed on the silver dollar coin, the half-dollar coin and the quarter-dollar coin, and on the nickel three-cent coin beginning in 1866. Later, Congress passed the Coinage Act of February 12, 1873. It also said that the Secretary "may cause the motto IN GOD WE TRUST to be inscribed on such coins as shall admit of such motto."

The use of IN GOD WE TRUST has not been uninterrupted. The motto disappeared from the five-cent coin in 1883, and did not reappear until production of the Jefferson nickel began in 1938. Since 1938, all United States coins bear the inscription. Later, the motto was found missing from the new design of the double-eagle gold coin and the eagle gold coin shortly after they appeared in 1907. In response to a general demand, Congress ordered it restored, and the Act of May 18, 1908, made it mandatory on all coins upon which it had previously appeared. IN GOD WE TRUST was not mandatory on the one-cent coin and five-cent coin. It could be placed on them by the Secretary or the Mint Director with the Secretary's approval.

The motto has been in continuous use on the one-cent coin since 1909, and on the ten-cent coin since 1916. It also has appeared on all gold coins and silver dollar coins, half-dollar coins, and quarter-dollar coins struck since July 1, 1908.

A law passed by the 84th Congress (P.L. 84-140) and approved by the President on July 30, 1956, the President approved a Joint Resolution of the 84th Congress, declaring IN GOD WE TRUST the national motto of the United States. IN GOD WE TRUST was first used on paper money in 1957, when it appeared on the one-dollar silver certificate. The first paper currency bearing the motto entered circulation on October 1, 1957. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) was converting to the dry intaglio printing process. During this conversion, it gradually included IN GOD WE TRUST in the back design of all classes and denominations of currency.

ForeverChiefs58
08-27-2010, 07:01 PM
In God We Trust is also in the final stanza of The Star-Spangled Banner. Written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key (and later adopted as the U.S. national anthem), the song contains an early reference to a variation of the phrase: "...And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust'."

ForeverChiefs58
08-27-2010, 07:10 PM
Woodrow Wilson, in his election campaign for President, made the point: "A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about.... America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the tenets of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture."

KC native
08-27-2010, 11:38 PM
more twisted cut and paste horseshit

Predictable. ROFL

Ebolapox
08-27-2010, 11:45 PM
god this subforum is a cesspool.

DaneMcCloud
08-28-2010, 02:07 AM
god this subforum is a cesspool.

that's an insult to cesspools everywhere

ForeverChiefs58
08-28-2010, 06:04 AM
Predictable. ROFL

I never said what you quoted

This is American History, I know you get confused easily. Que?

http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/ii18/drmabuse06/ENGLISH_MOTHER_FUCKER.gif

BucEyedPea
08-28-2010, 08:22 AM
Woodrow Wilson, in his election campaign for President, made the point: "A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about.... America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the tenets of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture."

Wilson was a socialist too. Do you agree with him on that?

ForeverChiefs58
08-28-2010, 08:33 AM
It is frequently asserted by those seeking to minimize Christianity's central role in our nation's founding and history, that the founders themselves were not practicing Christians, but rather were Deists or Agnostics. In a 1962 speech to Congress, Senator Robert Byrd noted that of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention, 29 were Anglicans, 16-18 were Calvinists, and among the rest were 2 Methodists, 2 Lutherans, 2 Roman Catholics, 1 lapsed Quaker-sometimes Anglican, and only 1 open Deist — Benjamin Franklin who attended all Christian worships and called for public prayer.

ForeverChiefs58
08-28-2010, 08:34 AM
John Ashcroft was roundly criticized for his "No King but Jesus" speech at Bob Jones University, but he was only reminding us of our colonial and Revolutionary War heritage. In a 1774 report to King George, the Governor of Boston noted: "If you ask an American, who is his master? He will tell you he has none, nor any governor but Jesus Christ." The pre-war Colonial Committees of Correspondence soon made this the American motto: "No King but King Jesus." And this sentiment was carried over into the 1783 peace treaty with Great Britain ending that war, which begins "In the name of the most Holy and Undivided Trinity... ."

ForeverChiefs58
08-28-2010, 08:39 AM
Samuel Chase was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a Justice of the US Supreme Court, and, as Chief Justice of the State of Maryland, wrote in 1799 ( Runkel v Winemiller): "By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion... ." (Maryland was one of nine States having established churches supported by taxpayers at the time of the adoption of the Constitution; these churches were gradually disestablished, the last in 1833. The Maryland constitution, typical of many of the States, restricted public office to Christians until, in 1851, it was changed to allow Jews who believed in a future state of rewards and punishments to also serve).

ForeverChiefs58
08-28-2010, 08:40 AM
Christianity pervaded the laws and the legal system of the States and the federal government. For example, Judge Nathaniel Freeman in 1802 charged Massachusetts Grand Juries as follows: "The laws of the Christian system, as embraced by the Bible, must be respected as of high authority in all our courts... . [Our government] originating in the voluntary compact of a people who in that very instrument profess the Christian religion, it may be considered, not as republic Rome was, a Pagan, but a Christian republic." In 1811 ( People v Ruggles), New York Chief Justice James Kent held: "'...whatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government... .' We are a Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity... . Christianity in its enlarged sense, as a religion revealed and taught in the Bible, is part and parcel of the law of the land... ." In 1824, the Pennsylvania Supreme court held ( Updegraph v The Commonwealth): Christianity, general Christianity, is and always has been a part of the common law...not Christianity founded on any particular religious tenets; not Christianity with an established church, but Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men... ."

ForeverChiefs58
08-28-2010, 08:54 AM
Wilson was a socialist too. Do you agree with him on that?


Are you asking if I agree with Wilson on being a socialist? No, I am not a socialist, and I don't support obamacare either.


I was pointing out that our founding fathers were indeed christians, and christianity is woven into our gov regardless if you agree with it or not it is there.

Pioli Zombie
08-28-2010, 10:21 AM
"Seperation of church and state" is a myth. It is NEVER mentioned. All that was said was that government shall not establish a national religion. Christians,Jews,Muslims whoever are free to worship and to invoke God however they choose as long as others aren't hurt by it.
If you are offended by it tough shit. You are the one who chooses to take offense.
That all being said,Christians need to realize that's not just for Christians. So if you want the nativity scene displayed in the park fine. But other religions should be able to do similar.