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Old 04-19-2009, 11:34 PM   #46
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I remember when Christopher Hitchens admitted the truth
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God is... Great
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:10 AM   #47
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what was so great about their "faith" was that, 1) it would be almost unrecognizable today, and 2) they knew that the best way to preserve faith would be to get it out of government altogether. they were well aware of the Divine Right of Kings, as well as The Inquisition, in fact all of European history, and they knew that one thing poisoned the other.

hence, secularism. the people can be as religious as they want, but the functions of government themselves are to be entirely secular, even if said functions are carried out by the most pious Charlie Church imaginable. because that job held by Charlie Church could also be performed by Joe Atheist. and that's why it works.
I would agree but substitute the word "neutral" for "secular." The government shall not favor, endorse or establish any one religious creed but neither should it show hostility or limit the free exercise there of.
It's not that secular is not entirely inaccurate but there needs to be room for "God Bless America," "In God We Trust" and other proper demonstrations of "public religion." Secular is too sterile and cold of a term.

And without doubt, they presupposed a populace that practiced a philosophy of self-restraint (in the U.S., today as it was 235 years ago, overwhelmingly Biblical) rather than live in anarchy or under tyranny.
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:18 AM   #48
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An influential Enlightenment thinker is not right all the time. If we are to take Locke at his word, then the Bible is the inerrant truth, period. It is not subject to interpretation, but "truth without any mixture for its matter." Do you believe this to be so? If so, do you eat shellfish?
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:21 AM   #49
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It's not that secular is not entirely inaccurate but there needs to be room for "God Bless America," "In God We Trust" and other proper demonstrations of "public religion." Secular is too sterile and cold of a term.
How would you feel if we expanded on that idea? Instead of "In God We Trust" just being printed on money, what about missiles? Torture devices? Gay marriage licences? IRS seizures? Why isn't the religious right looking into this, it's brilliant!!!
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Old 04-22-2009, 02:49 AM   #50
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An influential Enlightenment thinker is not right all the time. If we are to take Locke at his word, then the Bible is the inerrant truth, period. It is not subject to interpretation, but "truth without any mixture for its matter." Do you believe this to be so? If so, do you eat shellfish?
mmmm.. lobster bisque

It is not what goes into the mouth that makes a person unclean. It is what comes out of the mouth that makes a person unclean
-Jesus

^He put much of the Old Testament kosher stuff into perspective.
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Old 04-22-2009, 04:51 AM   #51
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Locke also held, and greatly profited from, extensive investments in the Royal Africa Company (slave traders) and, as secretary for the British proprietary colony of Carolina (most of modern-day TN, NC, SC, MS, AL and GA), drafted a constitution for that colony providing for, among other things, the establishment of a slave-labor plantation economy. Needless to say, this same acceptance of slavery, not to mention outright owning slaves in many cases, also characterized many of the 'Founding Fathers,' and the evidence remains in our Constitution to this day (the three-fifths clause). Was that too part of the plan "to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments" all this cut-and-paste quote potpourri supposedly points to--in which case our "progression" in amending the Constitution to outlaw it was presumably regrettable--or do we make exceptions for progress that, from our present vantage point, seems like the way it should always have been?

(Not that any of this has much of anything to do with Obama's statements--but then neither do any of the Founding Fathers' personal religious beliefs. But if you're going to insist that the Constitution was explicitly intended to preserve and facilitate a polity based on Christianity, then you'd better be able to reconcile the Constitution's preservation and facilitation of slavery with that claim...and explain why, if that kind of moral compromise is the result you get from "an instrument whereby already existing religious values of the nation could be protected and perpetuated," anyone should want to continue to use said "instrument" in that way, rather than being open to changes in values once seen as religiously justified.)
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:56 PM   #52
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Reread the thread to see who originally referenced the great 'enlightened' Locke.

If your going to use slavery as an example of Christian/religious "justification", don't forget to mention who the first abolitionist were, and where they got their inspiration.
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:58 PM   #53
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I'm not the one claiming that the Constitution was designed to protect and perpetuate Christian values specifically.
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Old 04-22-2009, 05:58 PM   #54
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Reread the thread to see who originally referenced the great 'enlightened' Locke.

If your going to use slavery as an example of Christian/religious "justification", don't forget to mention who the first abolitionist were, and where they got their inspiration.
Deo Vindice
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Old 04-23-2009, 08:18 AM   #55
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Locke also held, and greatly profited from, extensive investments in the Royal Africa Company (slave traders) and, as secretary for the British proprietary colony of Carolina (most of modern-day TN, NC, SC, MS, AL and GA), drafted a constitution for that colony providing for, among other things, the establishment of a slave-labor plantation economy. Needless to say, this same acceptance of slavery, not to mention outright owning slaves in many cases, also characterized many of the 'Founding Fathers,' and the evidence remains in our Constitution to this day (the three-fifths clause). Was that too part of the plan "to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments" all this cut-and-paste quote potpourri supposedly points to--in which case our "progression" in amending the Constitution to outlaw it was presumably regrettable--or do we make exceptions for progress that, from our present vantage point, seems like the way it should always have been?

(Not that any of this has much of anything to do with Obama's statements--but then neither do any of the Founding Fathers' personal religious beliefs. But if you're going to insist that the Constitution was explicitly intended to preserve and facilitate a polity based on Christianity, then you'd better be able to reconcile the Constitution's preservation and facilitation of slavery with that claim...and explain why, if that kind of moral compromise is the result you get from "an instrument whereby already existing religious values of the nation could be protected and perpetuated," anyone should want to continue to use said "instrument" in that way, rather than being open to changes in values once seen as religiously justified.)
The three-fifths clause was a political, not moral compromise. Without it there would have been no 13 state union.
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Old 04-23-2009, 02:03 PM   #56
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By "moral compromise" I meant slavery itself, not just the three-fifths clause--that was a compromise on taxation with reference to slaves, not whether slavery and the slave trade would be allowed to continue per se. But of course it was a moral compromise as well as a political compromise! The two aren't mutually exclusive. Madison, Jefferson, Washington, Mason--to name just some of the delegates best-known and/or mentioned in this thread--all owned slaves, and they certainly weren't part of some obscure, alien Other faction in terms of either their religious beliefs or their political philosophies.

Again, I'm not claiming that slavery was somehow a byproduct of Christianity as such. But anyone who claims that the Constitution was specifically designed to protect and perpetuate Christian values should be able to account for how the 'Founding Fathers'" acceptance of (and in numerous cases direct participation in) slavery fits into that picture. And why, if an evil that profound was sanctioned through this "instrument whereby already existing religious values of the nation could be protected and perpetuated," anyone should consider themselves bound to interpret that "could" as a "must." Either the document was explicitly intended to promote specifically Christian values or it wasn't; and if it was, clearly its signatories found slavery compatible with that project.
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