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Archie F. Swin
12-22-2000, 08:36 PM
Did anyone see this debate? (it is on C-Span at the time this thread is being typed 8:30pmCST)

Wow . . . Very passionate

Dershowitz argument summarized: You don't have to be religious to be moral. Modern Christianity is being used as an vessel for bigotry in America.


Keyes argument summarized: Religion is the foundation of moral guidence, and one thing more powerful than the nations of this world is God.

They did everything short of coming to blows

KCWolfman
12-22-2000, 09:48 PM
Dershowitz is an idiot....

What happened when the Egyptians lost their faith and believed that morality came from only within? And the Romans? And more recently the Russians?

Their empires collapsed and they became second rate nations.

Wise up Dershowitz, morality comes from greater good, not depending soley on the goodness within.

Archie F. Swin
12-22-2000, 10:05 PM
I agree with Dershowitz, in that, you don't have to be religious in order to be a moral person. I do believe in God, but I'm not a church member and I feel that the Bible is a great moral tool, but not the result of God speaking through man . . . rather man's attempt to speak on behalf of God.

I consider myself a moral person. To me, the "greater good" is the collective good of man.

kcred
12-22-2000, 10:34 PM
Another insightful non football topic.

G_Man
12-23-2000, 12:34 AM
I can't comment on the Egyptians or Romans, but the collapse of Russia had nothing to do with religion. It had to do with economics.

Luzap
12-23-2000, 01:07 AM
G_Man,

The collaps of the Soviet Union had everything to do with corruption. I think you can make the connection.

BTW, are we talking about Alan Keyes?

Luz
would loved to have seen this...

47mack
12-23-2000, 09:35 AM
CRP
Well said. I agree with your statement. I rarely agree with Bill Maher on Politically Incorrect, but I totally agree with his aspect. He says that he believes in God, but doesn't believe in religion. That sums up my thoughts exactly.

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TWB

Archie F. Swin
12-23-2000, 10:34 AM
Luz,

Yes Alan Keyes vs. Alan Dershowitz

Keyes comes across, IMO, as the most intelligent and well spoken member of the religious right. At times he seemed arrogant, but I think he was showing confidence that he could hang with Dershowitz.

The fact that Keyes represents that portion of the Republican party that I have little regard for, his ability to speak so eloquently scares the poopies out of me.

KC Wolfman,

You can say a lot about Dershowitz, (Leftus Liberal, Money hungry lawyer), but I dont think you can fairly call a Harvard law professor an idiot.

[This message has been edited by Chief Red Pants (edited 12-23-2000).]

Luzap
12-23-2000, 11:08 AM
CRP,

I agree with your assessment of Keyes. I have the utmost respect for his intellect and his wisdom.

As for Dershowitz... I'm sorry to say that I know many educated idiots.

Luz
it's been my experience that his philisophical base shifts as necesary to justify the ends he seeks...

G_Man
12-23-2000, 03:03 PM
Luz - Lack of religion doesn't equal corruption. Saying that these empires collapsed because they didn't believe in God (who has never been proven to exist) is pure opinion. There are no facts to back it up.

Raiderhader
12-23-2000, 03:09 PM
G_man, God has never been proven not to exist either.

G_Man
12-23-2000, 03:14 PM
True, but I'm saying, either way, you can't fault someone for their beliefs. Just because someone doesn't share the same views as you, doesn't lessen their credibility. Saying because someone doesn't believe in your religion caused their empire to collapse is a ridiculous and arrogant statement.

G_Man
12-23-2000, 03:17 PM
If i had an imaginary friend, it couldn't be proven either way that he existed or not. But you'd probably call me an idiot if I did. If I said my firend was God, all of a sudden it's OK.

Raiderhader
12-23-2000, 03:18 PM
"Saying because someone doesn't believe in your religion caused their empire to collapse is a ridiculous and arrogant statement."

Not necessarily, but I am not going to get into that. I have had my religion disscussion for the week the other day with Clint.

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G_Man
12-23-2000, 03:20 PM
So if I was of a different religion than you, and I said you were going to be punished for not obeying my religion, you'd accept that as fact, or opinion?

Raiderhader
12-23-2000, 03:24 PM
I guess I don't understand the question. I thought that we had freedom of religion in this country. I don't understand how you are using this hypothetical.

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G_Man
12-23-2000, 03:26 PM
If I said you would be punished in the afterlife, or even said there wasn't any afterlife (gasp), for not believing my faith would you take this as a factual statement, or would you say it is an opinion?

G_Man
12-23-2000, 03:28 PM
What I'm saying is that ALL religions are opinion-based. Would you agree that there aren't any facts to PROVE your religion is correct (even if it can't be proven wrong)? Of course, because if one were proven, we wouldn't be having a debate about it. Then, to say your opionions are any more correct than anybody else's is an arrogant statement.

Raiderhader
12-23-2000, 03:33 PM
It would depend upon your religion. If we belive in the in the same God, then yes I would take you seriously. I would even take you seriously if we did not have the same religion. because I belive that there will be a judgement day. I would just disagree on the "who" would be the one carying it out.

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G_Man
12-23-2000, 03:36 PM
If I said there was no afterlife in MY religion, you'd believe me? Or would you allow me my opinion, but respectfully disagree? My guess is the second one.

G_Man
12-23-2000, 03:41 PM
Of course, there's the third option of saying I'm completely wrong and that I'd better start seeing things your way. That's when you step over the line into arrogance.

[This message has been edited by G_Man (edited 12-23-2000).]

Raiderhader
12-23-2000, 04:01 PM
Yes the second one. But that does not mean that I would not try to convince you other wise. While I would not say that you had better start seeing things my way, I would try to get you to look at my way. Surely that is not arrogance. We are supposed to try to convert people. I agree that the way you stated is not the correct one though.

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G_Man
12-23-2000, 05:59 PM
You're right, I definitely could have worded it better. I just think it's wrong to deny someone their opinion while trying to pass yours off as fact (and I'm not saying you did that). To say that the Russians failed because they didn't share your opinion on religion is not only misinformed, but it's also only an opinion. And to say corruption is somehow linked to a lack of religion is also absurd. Just because someone is religious doesn't mean they can't be corrupt, and vice versa.

KCWolfman
12-23-2000, 07:08 PM
Name one single Moralistic society that has survived thats laws are not based in religion...

Morality is defined by religion. I may not agree with your religion or its end game, but I definitely believe that all laws, rules, and societies that are succesful are based in a religious belief.

Nor am I stating that any religion is perfect, far from it. However, for a person to state that morality is not based in the faith of answering to a higher power is simply silly.

KCWolfman
12-23-2000, 07:10 PM
GMan - I never stated the USSR failed because their religion differed, I stated it failed because they legislated a higher power away. When man became the most important thing in their society, then a reason for doing the right thing disappeared. Therefore, their decisions were based upon a baseless foundation.

G_Man
12-23-2000, 07:41 PM
So you're saying that a person who doesn't believe in a god can't have any morals? That's ridiculous. Just because you don't answer to a higher power doesn't mean you don't feel you have to answer to other people and yourself. Are you saying that the only reason you use your morals is because you are afraid God will punish you for not doing so? Are you saying that someone can't feel that something like stealing is immoral unless they believe in God?

G_Man
12-23-2000, 07:46 PM
Why would the reason for doing the right thing disappear if you didn't believe in a god? You don't have any personal beliefs on things, you just act a certain way because some book, some person, or some god tells you what's right and wrong? I'm sorry, but I can differentiate right from wrong on my own.

KCWolfman
12-23-2000, 08:56 PM
GMan - Again you misinterpret. No, an individual can ACT morally. A society will not. You are asking a group of millions of people to all agree that they will do good for the sake of good - it simply will not happen.

Chief Henry
12-24-2000, 09:50 AM
I watched about 50% of this debate about two weeks ago on C-span too. I thought Keyes
mopped up the floor with the DER.

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Chiefs Rock

Clint in Wichita
12-24-2000, 11:23 AM
Prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that ANY god exists, using only hard evidence.

That's all Dershowitz had to say, because if the existence of at least one god can't be proven, then religion has no place in American politics.

How would you feel if the govt. decided to recognize only one religion, and it was Buddhism?

Gee, if only our society was more religious, we'd all behave in a more civilized fashion...kind of like those spiritual people in Israel.

KCWolfman
12-24-2000, 06:34 PM
CLint - I agree, any religion in the US Govt is most vile. Please send any type of U.S. monetary forms to me as they all have God's name on them in one place or another. Also tell the judge to go to hell when he asks you to swear on a Bible before testifying. Also disassociate any current Representative and Senator of the US as they all pray before meeting in an open forum.

Funny how none of this seem to bother you with Gore and his sidekick public religionist.... Of course, even if it had you wouldn't have admitted it, because you would have been wrong.

AustinChief
12-24-2000, 08:23 PM
KCWolfman,

I normally agree with you...but on this debate I see a fundamental flaw. Everyone seems to assume that the U.S. was founded by religious men. In fact, NONE of the founding fathers were deeply religious. Most of them saw themselves as rooted in philosophy and not religion. As a matter of fact, quite a few of them OPENLY despised the idea of organized religion.

I am completely against the mixing of religion and politics...but I also don't get frothing mad because of existing traditions.

-Kyle

Raiderhader
12-24-2000, 08:27 PM
"In fact, NONE of the founding fathers were deeply religious. Most of them saw themselves as rooted in philosophy and not religion. As a matter of fact, quite a few of them OPENLY despised the idea of organized religion."
Austin, can you give me some proof to back this statement up with?


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AustinChief
12-24-2000, 08:32 PM
Actually I can,

I'll have to dig a little...but you can read statements from Adams, Jefferson, Franklin and to some extent Washington that show their views on organized religion.

...give me a few minutes...I'm eating dinner right now. I'll get quotes in a sec.

--Kyle

Raiderhader
12-24-2000, 08:49 PM
It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, 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." Patrick Henry

"The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: It connected in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with those of Christianity." John Quincy Adams

"The Bible is the foundation upon which our republic rests." Andrew Jackson

"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." John Jay, first Supreme Court Justice

"Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the redeemer of mankind... It is impossible that it should be otherwise and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian." Supreme Court, 1892 Church of the Holy Trinity v.s. United States

"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." George Washington


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Raiderhader
12-24-2000, 08:51 PM
Daniel Webster:

"If there is anything in my thoughts or style to commend, the credit is due to my parents for instilling in me an early love of the Scriptures. If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity."



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Raiderhader
12-24-2000, 08:52 PM
John Quincy Adams:
"So great is my veneration for the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read it the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectable members of society. I have for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year."




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Raiderhader
12-24-2000, 08:53 PM
Patrick Henry:

"The Bible is worth all other books which have ever been printed."


So, what do ya got for me?

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Brock
12-24-2000, 09:13 PM
Thomas Jefferson:

"I have examined all the known superstitions of the word, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth."<P>

Brock
12-24-2000, 09:15 PM
Jefferson again:

"Christianity...(has become) the most perverted system that ever shone on man. ...Rogueries, absurdities and untruths were perpetrated upon the teachings of Jesus by a large band of dupes and importers led by Paul, the first great corrupter of the teaching of Jesus."
More Jefferson:

"The clergy converted the simple teachings of Jesus into an engine for enslaving mankind and adulterated by artificial constructions into a contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves...these clergy, in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ.
Jefferson's word for the Bible? "Dunghill."<P>

Brock
12-24-2000, 09:17 PM
John Adams signed the Treaty of Tripoli. Article 11 states:

"The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion."

Here's Thomas Paine:

"I would not dare to so dishonor my Creator God by attaching His name to that book (the Bible)."
"Among the most detestable villains in history, you could not find one worse than Moses. Here is an order, attributed to 'God' to butcher the boys, to massacre the mothers and to debauch and rape the daughters. I would not dare so dishonor my Creator's name by (attaching) it to this filthy book (the Bible)."

"It is the duty of every true Deist to vindicate the moral justice of God against the evils of the Bible."

"Accustom a people to believe that priests and clergy can forgive sins...and you will have sins in abundance."

And; "The Christian church has set up a religion of pomp and revenue in pretended imitation of a person (Jesus) who lived a life of poverty."

Finally let's hear from James Madison:

Madison objected to state-supported chaplains in Congress and to the exemption of churches from taxation. He wrote:

"Religion and government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together."<P>

AustinChief
12-24-2000, 09:17 PM
You ready...
First some quotes then I will attempt to dismantle yours.


John Adams

Adams signed the Treaty of Tripoli (June 7, 1797). Article 11 states:
The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.

From a letter to Charles Cushing (October 19, 1756):
Twenty times in the course of my late reading, have I been upon the point of breaking out,
‘this would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.’

[continued...]

AustinChief
12-24-2000, 09:17 PM
Thomas Jefferson

From Thomas Jefferson’s Bible:
The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father,
in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.

I have examined all the known superstitions of the word, and I do not find in our particular
superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and
mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity,
have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To
make one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth.

Christianity...[has become] the most perverted system that ever shone on man....Rogueries,
absurdities and untruths were perpetrated upon the teachings of Jesus by a large band of dupes
and importers led by Paul, the first great corrupter of the teaching of Jesus.

Benjamin Franklin

From Franklin’s autobiography, p. 66:
...Some books against Deism fell into my hands....It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite
contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quote to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations, in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.”

[continued...]

AustinChief
12-24-2000, 09:18 PM
Thomas Paine

From The Age of Reason:
“All natural institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”

Ethan Allen

From Religion of the American Enlightenment:
Denominated a Deist, the reality of which I have never disputed, being conscious that I am no Christian.


George Washington

George Washington was, like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, a deist. [The Forge of Experience Volume One of James Thomas Flexner's four volume biography of Washington; Little, Brown & Company; pps 244-245]

"Sir, Washington was a Deist."
-- The Reverend Doctor James Abercrombie, rector of the church Washington had attended with his wife, to The Reverend Bird Wilson, an Episcopal minister in Albany, New York, upon Wilson's having inquired of Abercrombie regarding Washington's religious beliefs, quoted from John E. Remsberg, Six Historic Americans


"Many modern Americans would be surprised that the American Founders were so open in their total dedication to separation of church and state. The Constitution gave the federal government the power to establish a system for the delivery of mail. And from the start the federal government refused to acknowledge any sabbath and mail was delivered, and post offices opened, on Sundays. In 1810 Congress passed legislation requiring that all post offices be open every day for at least one hour and that mail be delivered on Sundays."

-Kyle

Brock
12-24-2000, 09:18 PM
These guys sound more like Masons than Christians.

Brock
12-24-2000, 09:19 PM
Sorry, AC. I got impatient.

AustinChief
12-24-2000, 09:22 PM
raiderhader,

To begin...I did stipulate FOUNDING FATHERS.

So Andrew Jackson, John QUINCY Adams, Daniel Webster and the Supreme Court are off topic.

I'll check on Patrick Henry.

--Kyle

Raiderhader
12-24-2000, 09:23 PM
What do you mean dismantle mine? I had no intention of picking yours apart. I would say that these statements contradict each other and therefore are void. But it does prove that you were wrong when you said that NONE of the Founding Fathers were deeply religious. That is what I really had a problem with. You made a rather bold statement that can't be proven.

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[This message has been edited by raiderhader (edited 12-24-2000).]

AustinChief
12-24-2000, 09:24 PM
ooops...I didn't notice the quotes from Brock.. owell. Read 'em twice!!! ;)

--Kyle

btw Thanks for the backup, Brock.

Raiderhader
12-24-2000, 09:24 PM
What about John Jay?

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Raiderhader
12-24-2000, 09:28 PM
As for the other guys, I was just copying and pasting, and these guys were in between the other quotes, so I decided to just lump them together.

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[This message has been edited by raiderhader (edited 12-24-2000).]

AustinChief
12-24-2000, 09:31 PM
OK...you seem to have me on Patrick Henry...
He appears to have been a VERY devout Christian... but he also was one of the most staunch believers in protecting religious freedoms and not imposing Christianity upon others.

I'll give you ONE Founding Father... but as you can see the vast majority were VERY disdainful of organized religion... This isn't to say that they didn't believe in a higher power (I believe most of them did) just not in ORGANIZED religion.

--Kyle

Raiderhader
12-24-2000, 09:35 PM
I belive that they were against a government organized religion. Read the First Amendment. It clearly states that congress shall not establish a religion. It says nothing about the church, or church people staying out of government. And I agree with Patrick Henry about being open to other religions. I am for freedom of religion, not freedom of just Christianity.

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AustinChief
12-24-2000, 09:36 PM
I wasn't saying "pick apart" to be offensive... it is just what is commonly done when one debates... I just didn't want you to think I was ignoring what you had said and was just continuing on with my points. You are correct in the fact that I made a bold and quite unprovable statement by saying ALL and I should have said a vast MAJORITY of the Founding Fathers that had a SIGNIFICANT impact on the philosophy and laws that this nation was founded on.

...but you can see what I was driving at.

--Kyle

P.S. still checking on John Jay

AustinChief
12-24-2000, 09:43 PM
Raiderhader,

<quote>I belive that they were against a government organized religion. </quote>

True, but it went further than that...most actually distrusted and disliked organized religion. I agree though that they weren't trying to exclude religious people from being involved in goverment.

All of this is off my originial point.

My point was that it is false to believe that our nation was founded by deeply religious people who wanted religion to be a part of government or society in general.

As you can see by their own words...Adams, Jefferson, and others felt that mankind would be much better off without religion at all.

As I said before they were philosophers who believed in a higher power but tried to do so in a wholly rational way (Deists).

--Kyle

Just one more time...my point was that the USA wasn't founded by deeply religious men...
but instead deeply philisophical men; does anyone disagree with this?

Raiderhader
12-24-2000, 09:49 PM
"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." George Washington


Then what do you say about this qoute? A biography tells you one thing, and the man himself tells you something different.

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AustinChief
12-24-2000, 09:49 PM
rh,

I'll also give you Jay although I don't deem him a very prominent OR influential Founding Father... in fact
<quote>
Jay did not favor independence from Britain. His absence from the signing of the Declaration of Independence was noted by Thomas Jefferson. However, once the revolution was undertaken Jay was an ardent supporter of the new nation.
</quote>

...kind of a bandwagon Founding Father.

-Kyle<BR>

Raiderhader
12-24-2000, 09:51 PM
Austin, go ahead and refute me all you want. I have to go for the night, and will try to check back tomorrow. I hope you and everyone else has a Merry Christmas.

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Raiderhader
12-24-2000, 09:53 PM
About Jay, I was reading that article, go further down and read the rest of it. Good night.

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AustinChief
12-24-2000, 09:55 PM
Raiderhader,

Thank You and Merry Christmas.


...and I've enjoyed the debate so far...hopefully some more people might join in.

--Kyle

AustinChief
12-24-2000, 09:59 PM
RH,

"Sir, Washington was a Deist."
-- The Reverend Doctor James Abercrombie, rector of the church Washington had attended with his wife, to The Reverend Bird Wilson, an Episcopal minister in Albany, New York, upon Wilson's having inquired of Abercrombie regarding Washington's religious beliefs, quoted from John E. Remsberg, Six Historic Americans

I quoted this earlier...if his own pastor calls him a deist...

btw... where did you find that quote from Washington? It is really rare to find ANY references to Washington and religion in either a postive or negative light. I'd like to go there and see if I can find something that might refute it. ;)

--Kyle

KCWolfman
12-25-2000, 10:41 AM
Kyle - I do not doubt that some Founding Fathers had religious questions... however, I sincerely doubt the constant references to God were mere coincidence.


Brock - Here are some other Jefferson quotes you have missed over
Among the most inestimable of our blessings, also, is that... of liberty to worship our Creator in the way we think most agreeable to His will; a liberty deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be its best support. --Thomas Jefferson: Reply to John Thomas et al., 1807.

In our early struggles for liberty, religious freedom could not fail to become a primary object. --Thomas Jefferson to Baltimore Baptists, 1808.

Religion, as well as reason, confirms the soundness of those principles on which our government has been founded and its rights asserted. --Thomas Jefferson to P. H. Wendover, 1815.

Jefferson was a strong defender of UnOrganized Religion. He believed strongly in our Maker, but he hated the repression of relgious orders. He also firmly believed that a country must have a basis in faith of God, or the country would not survive (note his response to P.H. Wendover.

When people respond to the removal of God from Country, they always include Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson did not want the removal of God, he wanted God realized as a separate Being from our Country, but just as integral to the formation as any law created.

[This message has been edited by KCWolfman (edited 12-25-2000).]

KCWolfman
12-25-2000, 10:51 AM
Kyle - Here are some Washington quotes I have from some old literature:

Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being, who rules over the universe, who presides in the council of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United StatesFrom President George Washington's Inaugural Address, April 30th, 1789, addressed to both Houses of Congress.

It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible President George Washington, September 17th, 1796 My personal favorite truth

Without a humble imitation of the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, we can never hope to be a happy nation.

<BR>

AustinChief
12-25-2000, 11:06 AM
KCWolfman,

Merry Christmas!

Actually that is what I was saying. The Founding Fathers had deep beliefs, but most were against organized religion. As a matter of fact, quite a few actively proclaimed themselves non-christians. I wasn't disagreeing with most of the points you made earlier...but it seemed odd that the people disagreeing with you didn't challenge the assumption that the US was founded by "Religious" people.

The Founding Fathers were clearly not Atheist... but just as clearly they (for the most part) were also more interested in philosophy than religion.

I think what this boils down to is the idea of objective morality. I believe that even though the Founding Fathers disliked religion; they still had very firm beliefs in an objective morality above and beyond the individual man. This is why I believe the United States can and has survived without an "official" religion...but instead guided by some "self-evident truths." Where the failures come to play (Roman culture, Jerry Springer, all major media outlets, etc...) is when people make morality subjective.

So I basically agree with you, but I just leave out the religion part. Religion (to me) is not the only path to find objective morality. Although it is by far the most tried and true.

--Kyle

KCWolfman
12-25-2000, 11:33 AM
Kyle - Happy Christmas to you too.<P>

Luzap
12-26-2000, 09:40 AM
Kyle,

Just a quick observation...

I think you've missed the point. To have reservations about organized religion (as is is being procticed around you), in no way suggests a rejection of Divinity (and an acceptance of only the philosophy).

We must be very careful in what we interpret from the writings of the founding fathers in this regard. I have seen nothing to suggest that Jefferson or Washington (for example) were not Christians. I have read passages that suggest a resistance to the 'Christian Church'.

I would suggest that there is a difference.

Luz
generally speaking, the founding fathers believed that this country needed God and God fearing men as leaders. attempts to refute that are, imo, ill advised...

Lightning Rod
12-26-2000, 10:55 AM
"Name one single Moralistic society that has survived thats laws are not based in religion"...
I really enjoy debates where the participants attempt to stick to the subject at hand. I tip my hat to you gentlemen for attempting to do so and for keeping this discussion civil. Now back to the quote, depending on what your definition of survived is I could just as easily ask what society based on Religion has survived. One could even take it a step further and ask if any society has EVER survived.
I am not a religious person but, I do consider myself a moral person. I have great respect for individuals personal beliefs. I have great disrespect for people whom constantly spout religion but don’t walk the walk. I am a strong believer in the separation of our Government from religion. This cuts both ways I want government out of religion and religion out of government. I wish I would have seen this debate I would have enjoyed it. <BR>

htismaqe
12-26-2000, 11:12 AM
I think you guys have hit on some key points, and I'd like to expand on some historical aspects of the discussion.

For one, it is necessary, religiously and secularly, to separate God from man. The Christian Bible illustrates well what happens to the foolhardy man who attempts to "play God." In this same sense, throughout history we've seen when "God" is incorporated too closely with the laws of man. The theocratic government is, in almost every case, cruel, oppressive, and corrupt.

Secular governments were created by men to govern GROUPS of people. Religion, whether created by men, gods, or God, is designed to govern ONE person. By using religion to govern people, you've corrupted it's very basic principles. By using government to dictate religion, you have in turn, robbed every individual of something that is desirable, and even necessary, to meaningful existence.


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Parker
[b]ChiefsPlanet Administrator</B>

htismaqe
12-26-2000, 11:13 AM
cont'd


The founding fathers were indeed Deists (philosphers who believed in one, supreme power -- a Deity). However, this country was formed primarily as an attempt to escape the oppression of the Anglican church. In this, our founding fathers intelligently tempered our governmental system with the morality and ethics of Christianity without making the Christian religion an officiality.

There is a fundamental issue here that often is not seen in this debate -- that the Christian "ethic" can be applied in governmental bodies without organized Christianity. The principles of hope, love for your fellow human beings, and faith in humanity or even a higher power are transcendent.

As a perfect example are the 10 Commandments. God felt compelled to "legislate" morality because the Israelites were too stupid to take it any other way. Christ "suggested" morality, as it can be seen to supercede. If you have love for your fellow man and yourself, you don't kill, or steal, or covet. Think about it.

Chistian principles do not equal Christian government. Our founding fathers were extremely intelligent men, and made sound decisions in designing our system of government...

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Parker
[b]ChiefsPlanet Administrator</B>

Mark M
12-26-2000, 11:50 AM
WOW!! Incredible job done by Brock, Austin, raiderhader and others! I think it says a lot about everyone that this discussion can be had and still kept civil. Very, very nice.

The original question: Can one be moral but not religious?

Depends. Torquemada (sp?) was a devoutly religious person, but killed hundreds during the Spanish Inquisition. Hitler was a confessed Christian, and we all know about his deeds. Mother Theresa was a religious person and probably never killed a fly.

It is not religion, but the person who determines morality. People do not need a book to tell them right from wrong, and "right" and "wrong" differ from society to society, and circumstance to circumstance (i.e. murder is illegal unless its during war).

And Christianity has been a basis for bigotry and hatred since its inception (the Crusades, Inquisition, Divine Right, etc.) But lets not leave out every other religion while we're at it.

cont'd

[This message has been edited by Mark M (edited 12-26-2000).]

Mark M
12-26-2000, 11:56 AM
What we fail to realize in this modern era is the reason for religion. It is either for:

1. an explanation of things we don't understand;
2. a reaction against the current party/religion in power; or
3. a way for one person/group to tell another person/group how that person/group should behave.

This is not to say believeing in religion is wrong or stupid. I personally believe that some people need religion to either fill a void or to enhance one's life. And that is a beautiful thing.

It only becomes ugly when one group forces their beliefs on another, with no acceptance or tolerance for the other. Just see the Middle East.

Of course, this is just my opinion. Anyone disagree? (I'm sure many of you do. I will try to check regularly to see. I've got a wife in the hospital and may have to leave soon.)

MM
~~Borderline aetheist...teetering agnostic.

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One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures.
--George W. Bush

Raiderhader
12-26-2000, 01:36 PM
Kyle, I hope you and everyone else had a Merry Christmas. Now back to the discussion. Washington's pastor may have said that, but look at what Whashington himself said. By the way the address for the site that I found the quote on is http://rdrop.com/~jimka/text/ffquotes.html . It was also on another site, but I haven't been able to find that site again. If I find it I will give that to you as well. Also, I think you are missong a very big point. If the Founding Fathers were so against "organized" religion thinking that it was so bad and destructive, then why allow for it in the Constitution? Again it comes down to saying one thing and doing another. In other words what they did speaks so loud that I can't hear what they said.

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liberalism is racist and bigoted - towards all humans

WILDCATS 29
corn balls 28

Raiderhader
12-26-2000, 02:09 PM
"Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

Kyle, this is from Washington's Farewell Address. I thought it might intrest you. <BR>

Clint in Wichita
12-26-2000, 02:13 PM
He doesn't mention Christianity once. He only refers to religion in general.

htismaqe
12-26-2000, 02:16 PM
You are exactly right, Clint...

See my previous post...

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Parker
[b]ChiefsPlanet Administrator</B>

Mult9
12-26-2000, 05:18 PM
For all of you that think that you can be moral without religion, you are correct. You can be a good person without religion. You can be successful without religion. You can be a Christian without religion.

However, you cannot get into heaven without accepting the fact that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and take him as your personal savior.

BTW, Religion is a name given to people who practice man's interpetation of the bible, Christians are people that have accepted Christ as their savior and attempt to be Christlike in all they do. You do not have to go to church to be a good Christian, however, you should not seperate yourself from the body of Christ, which is made up of Christians. Fellowship is a great thing, live with it and learn.

AustinChief
12-26-2000, 05:43 PM
r8er_h8er,

I hate to open up this can of worms but...
what about people who were never exposed to Christianity? What about Jews? ...or Muslims?

I grew up Catholic (12 years of Catholic school...don't hold it against me ;) ) and some of my best friends are priests. They have always taught that in the end God isn't going to judge you based on what club you belong to but on what kind of life you have lead given the cards that you were dealt.

--Kyle

btw I highly recommend you watch the movie "The Keys to the Kingdom" ... a great story about true morality. I have always seen myself as the doctor who went to China to visit his old friend.

AustinChief
12-26-2000, 05:53 PM
Okay guys,

I'm going to try and bring the debate back to the main point. Our nation was definitely founded by men who had very strong ideals about an objective morality.
I don't think it matters much if this morality comes from a Deist philosophy or a particular religion. I do agree with KCWolfman that a society without moral direction will suffer and probably collapse. (Although what society doesn't eventually collapse?)

My point is that while I'm against "personal" or subjective morality... or using the excuse that good/evil can be judged differently by different people.
I still hold that objective morality can be realized by people who aren't religious.

--Kyle
Fallen Defender of the Catholic Faith

KCWolfman
12-26-2000, 09:21 PM
Clint - But Washington AND JEFFERSON do mention Christianity, the Bible, and a single Divine Creator as their inspiration to create a sound country. Hader's last post may not have contained the word "God" however, many other writings and speeches by both (and many other founders) do contain the thoughts and words.

"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible" President George Washington, September 17th, 1796

"Without a humble imitation of the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, we can never hope to be a happy nation." George Washington

"Religion, as well as reason, confirms the soundness of those principles on which our government has been founded and its rights asserted." Thomas Jefferson to P. H. Wendover, 1815.


Those who state that our founding fathers did not believe in Jesus Christ, God, and Christianity as applications to our morally sound Constitution have not done enough research, are deluded into reading only a portion of the data available, or are deliberately blind to all data available.<BR>

KCWolfman
12-26-2000, 09:33 PM
Kyle - I disagree with your comment on a Priest's viewpoints of being "saved".

Jesus Christ stated "not by deeds, but by grace" is our acceptance into heaven.

For those who have not been introduced to Christianity (the Muslims and Buddhists you have mentioned), obviously they are not held accountable. Their deeds alone are their ticket to a better afterlife.

However, those who live by their deeds alone and know of Jesus Christ will not attain Heaven. John 6:29 Jesus replied, “This is the deed God requires: to believe in the one whom he sent.”

Just as those who claim they know Jesus Christ yet do not attempt to do his work will not attain everlasting happiness. Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into the kingdom of heaven, only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

Both knowing and acting must be done.

I will not preach to any on this BB, their decision is theirs alone to make. But I will be honest in the beliefs of the Catholic faith if asked or if noted incorrectly. Many New Age Priests may believe as you have stated, but they are not teaching the prescribed faith of the Catholic Church and therefore, they are not true Catholics.

AustinChief
12-26-2000, 10:29 PM
KCWolfman,

I wasn't stating that DEEDS were important (or deeds alone) but instead inherint moral character...the Priest that I was referring to is not AT ALL a "new age" Catholic. As a matter of fact he is one of the world's leading Biblical Scholars. He spent his life studying and serving throughout the world. He is not your typical "american" Catholic priest.

I am glad to see that you don't hold non-Christians accountible for simply BEING non-Christians. I live in Texas and there is waaayyy too much close-mindedness here. As a matter of fact, most of the experiences I have had with extreme Christian groups here, center on the belief that if you aren't a member of their PARTICULAR sect then you get a quick trip to hell just for not "joining."

--Kyle

AustinChief
12-26-2000, 10:48 PM
KCWOlfman,

In Clint's defense (I never thought I would type that!!!), Washington almost always says Providence and not God and purposely avoided the use of Christian terminology. This was even noted during his lifetime. As I stated earlier, even his own pastor labeled him a Deist. Which only means that he was probably not a big fan of "organized" religion although of the important Founding Fathers...he was most likely the only true "Christian."

-Kyle

btw I also am very well versed in Catholic theology. I have encountered MAJOR misconceptions here in Texas on what Catholicism is about. I am personnally a HUGE supporter of the Catholic Church... even though I don't consider myself Catholic anymore. People tend to focus on the fact that the Catholic Church has caused so many problems throuout history. (Much of which is unfounded.) People (especially the press) tend to overlook the fact that the Catholic Church in Ireland was instrumental in the preservation of knowledge and literature during the Dark Ages...and that the Catholic Church helped to end the cold war by supporting solidarity movements in Eastern Europe... and that the current Church is THE most charitable organization in the ENTIRE world (helping peoples of ALL religions.)

Mark M
12-27-2000, 07:18 AM
Austin--
Two things:
1. Wasn't the topic not whether the founding fathers were Christian but whether one has to be religious to be moral? I could be wrong... :confused:
2. Didn't the Catholic Church sponsor the Crusades? Not say a word about Nazi domination? Horde gold and wealth in abundance?

I was baptised Irish Catholic, but have seen its hypocritical ways too often...just look at history. I'm not saying the church is evil, or anything, but to say that criticism is "unfounded" isn't the really true. Like all religions, it has done both good and bad.

Also, for those who like to quote scripture, you have to remember that the original text of the Bible has been translated so many times by so many different people that what we now know as the Bible is merely those people's interpretation. Having studied Latin, and my wife having studied Greek, we both realize that interpretation can be very different from actually meaning. Example: The original text of Genesis has been translated into "Adam and Eve" (singular people) while the actual text read "Men and Women." How else do you explain the story of Cane and Abel? (Adam and Eve begat Cane and Abel, Cane kills Abel and then marries. WTF? If there was only Adam and Eve, and they had two sons, one of which died, who in the hell could Cane have married?)

This is is not to say that everything in the Bible is not true, not that people who believe it are being duped. It's just that there are many problems with the facts, and people just seem to ignore them.

One question here: If you weren't taught Christianity, would you believe in it? I see all religion as being learned, not innate.

MM
~~Just trying to continue the discussion.

DiscoJones
12-27-2000, 10:59 AM
My $.02 -

The psychological aspects of morality are still generally unknown. However, in certain situations (like a mother caring for a child), most people's bodies react physically by releasing biochemicals which affirm a particular action or reaction. As scary as it may be, there has even been physical stimualtion of people in lab settings (like touching a certain part of the brain) which results in very complex feelings like the feeling of "love".

Now, if morality is linked to basic survival instincts and/or biophysical processes, then religion is not necessary for morality to be present. Personally, I agree with this concept and I think that throughout time our society has labelled this principal as the "conscience". Simply, you don't need religion to have a conscience or know the difference between right and wrong - some call this Natural Law (the basis of organized religion in Natural Law is another debate entirely, but worth mentioning). Phsychologically, people can exist with morality and without religion. In this paradigm, people can also exist without morality (or even the biochemical reactions which affirm an action) and the common term for these people is "sociopath" or "pychopath". In this case, a psychopath cannot "feel" the difference between right and wrong. Often, they are said to have no conscience. It is interesting to note conversely that there have been cases of clinical psychopaths who were also religious.

Psychology would argue that morality is more governed by biochemical reactions and necessity than by religion.

Clint in Wichita
12-27-2000, 01:06 PM
The Romans, among other things, threw Christians to the Lions, and their society lasted about 2,000 years.

Mult9
12-27-2000, 05:34 PM
Just a note to you "bible thumpers" and those of you that do not believe the bible can be believed because it has been translated so many times.

The book is an open history and future revelation about the world and what has and will happen. Where do you think Nostradamas (sp) got his information?

Any person can explain away the words of the bible with their intelligence or education, however, if you come as a child and believe the rewards far outnumber the shortcomings.

As for the other religious sects, I hope their god is as powerful as mine, if not hell is hot and eternity is for a long time.

Clint in Wichita
12-27-2000, 06:04 PM
According to Nostradamus, armageddon was supposed to occur in the 90s.

AustinChief
12-27-2000, 06:14 PM
Mark M,

1. I had assumed the topic was about religion in politics... which is why the religious leanings of the founding fathers were more "on" topic. ...but I think that this discussion has switched gears now.

2. I agree that there HAS been corruption at times within the Catholic Church. What I was attempting to point out is the hypocrisy of looking at only the negatives and COMPLETELY ignoring the positives. It would be like hating the USA for The Trail of Tears, Watergate and Iran/Contra.

I don't agree philosophically with the Church but I do have an immense amount of respect for it. I find myself constantly defending Catholicism to people who have false misconceptions about its beliefs and traditions. (for example...the Church is staunchly against divorce- most people don't understand that this came out of a need to protect women's rights- the Church continues with its stand because in many third world countries the situation still exists where this protection is still needed. The Church is MUCH more pragmatic than people give it credit for being.)

--Kyle

AustinChief
12-27-2000, 06:39 PM
Mark M,

I gree with you that quoting the bible is a logically dangerous path to take. Any Biblical Scholar worth his salt will tell you that literal interpretation of the bible are misleading at best. There is only one person who I know who I think understands the bible well enough to quote it. This person understands Ethiopic, 14 dialect of Aramaic, Ancient Greeek, Modern and Ancient Arabic and Latin. He has spent most of his life translating scripute from the "original" scrolls. I put original in quotes because he freely admits that most aren't originals but just the oldest surviving copies.

--Kyle

btw... most people forget that there are literally hundreds of texts that didn't "make the cut." Basically, the Catholic Church decided over a thousand years ago which books to keep and which to throw out. My friend has translated some of the crazier ones... he said that some read more like sci-fi than scripture.

KCWolfman
12-27-2000, 08:09 PM
Mark - You are correct in the value of interpretation of a 4,000 year old document. On the cross Jesus is to be offered a sponge soaked in vinegar on a reed. However, no reed in the region would support a wet sponge. You would have to travel all the way to Egypt to find such a reed. The word for reed and sword are separated by only one letter in greek.

Also note the differences in the same story told by two individuals. Read the Gospels (Matthew Mark Luke and John) and find the same story with many different details.

I rarely quote literally, however, Jesus stressed many many times that the only way is through him - too many to be lost on a simple translation.

AustinChief
12-27-2000, 08:32 PM
Everybody,

As a quick side note... I am very proud to be a part of a community that can discuss topics like religion and politics in a civil manner. This has been a VERY interesting thread so far and everybody has stated their opinions in thoughtful and intelligent ways.

It is rare today to find a group of people that can do this.

--Kyle
[i]very happy to be associated with this group</I>

Mark M
12-27-2000, 09:48 PM
Austin--
1. I hope you don't think that I was criticising you and others for bringing in the founding fathers. I know abit about American history, but was very impressed with yours, raiderhader's and others' knowledge of the founding fathers. I loved it and learned a lot!! :D
2. I agree with you 100% about the Catholic church having been criticised unfairly. I just didn't think that the criticism was unfounded. I give John Paul II much credit for trying to make the church more "friendly" in the last few years. I'm not saying I'm running out to mass any time soon, but I believe that many strides have been made to make the church more acceptable to the realities of modern life.

I also agree with you in that I'm proud that people on this board have been able to participate in this debate without getting personal or defensive. To be honest, I'm incredibly impressed! :D


MM
~~Also proud to be associated with a group of intelligent, open-minded folks who can discuss things such as this.


[This message has been edited by Mark M (edited 12-27-2000).]

Mark M
12-27-2000, 09:56 PM
Wolf--
Very good points! While I don't believe in Christianity in general, I have no problem believing that Jesus existed...there are many facts to support his existence. IMO, I see Jesus as the first hippie...the guy didn't hold a job for too long, didn't have any $$ and basically said "be cool." What I have a problem with (and you are not part of this problem) is how people take what he said and twist it to fit their own needs. I am glad to see that people like yourself can quote the scripture while realizing where it came from and what the actual message was probably all about.

Like Austin, I am very, very proud that I can associate with others I disagree with while keeping the discussion civil. Now if we can just all agree on who the Chiefs should get for RB... :D

MM
~~Enjoying the topic!<BR>

Raiderhader
12-28-2000, 02:47 PM
Kyle, you never answered my question. If the Founding Fathers thought that organized religion was such a bad thing, then why allow for it in the Constitution?
Also I saw no response from you on Washington's Farewell Address. I also have something else from Thomas Jefferson for you.

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands wich have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the seperate and equal station to wich the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes wich impel them to the seperation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal: that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The Decleration of Independece

If Jefferson thought religion should not be apart of politics, then why mention God in this great document?


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liberalism is racist and bigoted - towards all humans

WILDCATS 29
corn balls 28

Clint in Wichita
12-28-2000, 03:19 PM
Many people in power think porn is bad, but they also realize that censorship is even worse.

The founding fathers obviously felt the same about organized religion. They're against it in principle, but the knew that to ban it would be worse.

AustinChief
12-28-2000, 03:51 PM
RaiderHader,

As to the Constitution:
Where is there a mention of "organized" religion? The only refernce I can find is "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office."
Which is fairly strong evidence that religion was meant to be kept out of the formal legal structure of the United States.

As to Jefferson:
I freely admit that he believed in a Creator. I also hold that he despised religion.

I also don't see a problem with Washington's Farewell Address. I agree with him that religion has great benefits for a society and is the best way to keep a society moral. He is stating that religion is important to a nation, but nowhere do I see him even implying that it should become a part of the politics of a nation.

--Kyle

Raiderhader
12-31-2000, 01:53 PM
Kyle, the only thing that the Constitution meant when it said that there would be no religious test, was that you didn't have to be a certain religion to hold office, or not be apart of a religion at all. To say that this was meant to keep religion out of government is an extremely far flung stretch of the imagination. The Constitution talks about religion in one other place as well, the First Amendment, wich is to what I was refering. And it says that congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. In other words, government shall not interfere with religion. But it also says nothing about religion staying out of government. Again another stretch. As for Washington's Farewell Address, I posted that for two reasons 1. you said that it is hard to find were Washington said anything about religion in either a negative or positive way. 2. He says that national morality cannot succed with out religious principle. Something that some of you have said is not true.

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liberalism is racist and bigoted - towards all humans

WILDCATS 29
corn balls 28

Clint in Wichita
12-31-2000, 07:16 PM
Washington also wore a wig.

Raiderhader
12-31-2000, 07:21 PM
Your point is?

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liberalism is racist and bigoted - towards all humans

WILDCATS 29
corn balls 28

Multi1
01-02-2001, 09:18 PM
Jan. 2, 2001

I just saw most of the debate(?).

First, I am a Christain, I am not religious.
My take on the debate will be biased due to my beliefs.

Alan K. mopped the floor with Alan (Anal)D.

Alan K. came off as a passionate person that follows his beliefs and feels the Declaration of Independence is worthwhile. Alan D. came off as a raving lunatic. He changed directions several times (all caught by Alan K.) At the end Alan D. tried (IMO without success) to turn the tables on Alan K. and use the same tactic, again he lied about what was said.

BTW, since when does the Jewish religion discount the existance of God, I thought they only refused to believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God?

Is it any wonder why lawyers have the reputation that they have?

I think I can call Alan Keyes my brother ( it is good to have a smart brother!! )

Bring on the big guns.<BR>

Mult9
01-02-2001, 09:21 PM
Wow!!

Are you sure you want to start this stuff all over again?

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Nuc'em all and let those who remain sort them out!

Multi1
01-02-2001, 09:23 PM
Anything worth saying is worth repeating.

This was a good program, if I can find out when it will be shown again I'll post it here.

You got to see this one regardless of which side of the fence you stand on.

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Remember Joe Delaney?
Some of us do and are acting on our belief that he was a hero.
This is a bandwagon that all are invited to jump on!!!

37 Forever

Multi1
01-02-2001, 09:33 PM
I went to www.cspan.org (http://www.cspan.org) and found that the next showing of the debate is:

01/02/2001 11:56 pm 2:03 on CSPAN-2

Enjoy!!

The-Chief
01-03-2001, 05:13 PM
I wish I had seen the debat, sounds like it was interesting.