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Old 06-27-2005, 08:05 PM   #76
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Originally posted by Irvine511

what strikes me as odd about very religious people -- of all faiths -- is that they don't understand that it is secularism that allows for the robust practice of any faith to begin with.
This is especially true of Christianity.

It is in fact one of the main reasons the early Christians split from the Jews. They'd existed in an uneasy arrangement for some decades after Christ's death, and when the Jews decided to revolt against the Romans for the last time, the Christians refused to join them.

The thinking of the day was that Jesus was going to return like a thief in the night. Not in a thousand years, but at any moment and so the utmost goal of a Christian should be to prepare their heart for the arrival of the kingdom of God. They were more concerned with salvation and the 'circumcision of the soul' and felt that fighting the Romans was secondary and unimportant to them.

It is also why Christians were able to coexist (with struggle, of course) in a non-Christian society, whereas the Jews of the day could not accept polytheist rule, as they felt it was an affront to their God. The Christians took a different view, saying that they did not need to be ruled by a Christian class, because their preoccupation was with Jesus, the heaven, and salvation of their soul, and what went on down on Earth, politically, was not of great concern to them.

It is therefore puzzling to me that so many Christians today seem to insist they live in a Christian state with Christian laws and Christian morality. It is simply the antithesis of the early Church, and maybe we should go back to preparing our souls to accept Jesus rather than legislating our morality to everyone around us.
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Old 06-27-2005, 08:05 PM   #77
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Originally posted by melon
However, rather than forced conversion, Cyrus would completely reinvent religions to ensure loyalty. Cyrus would feign belief in gods like Baal or Marduk, then declare himself a god and, depending on his mood,...
Ahem. Strangely familiar.

Does anyone uhm...?

Nah, never mind.

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Old 06-27-2005, 08:14 PM   #78
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Originally posted by melon


You'll ignore direct quotes from the Founding Fathers in favor of quotes from state constitutions? Well, I never expected my quotations to be actually listened to anyway. The fact remains that our nation was founded on secularism and religious freedom--and, simultaneously, freedom from religion. If they wanted religion to dictate their lives, they would have kept the old monarchy and its state religion.



"Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,' and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, (namely) 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law." - Romans 13:8-10

This is my law, and the only law of early Christianity. You can keep your archaic "Ten Commandments," for all I care. It's merely a perversion of what early Christianity stood for: a rejection of Jewish legalism, in favor of inclusion. I often wish the early Church fathers went with their initial instinct, which was to eliminate the Old Testament completely. Instead, they recognized that the Old Testament had value as a point of reference. It was never intended to be a guiding precept of Christian morality; that was the purpose of the New Testament.

And you look at 200 years ago, and you see some romanticist vision of the past that was created by Hollywood. You don't see the rampant disease. A bacterial infection 200 years ago would have seen your death, whereas nowadays, we use antibiotics like candy. You don't see the almost incessant wars they had. The cause of the Spanish American War in 1898 was actually invented by newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst, and America went along with it. You don't see the corruption that people fought against. While Hollywood gleefully portrays the upper classes of 200 years ago, they ignore the lower classes who toiled for 12+ hour days, seven days a week, including children. In fact, the end of child labor owes a great debt to Marxism. In Europe, ultimately, religion stood for everything that was corrupt and imperial, and Italy gleefully seized the Papal States in 1870 to stick it to the Catholic Church. The cardinal of Boston was on record for opposing women's suffrage with the same zeal that the Catholic Church currently opposes gay marriage.

That's reality. That went on 100-200 years ago. If you think we have it worse off now, feel free to invent a time machine and go back in time.

Melon
John Locke (1632 - 1704), was an English philosopher whose writings had a profound influence on our Founding Fathers, and in turn, the writing of the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson was strongly influenced by John Locke. John Locke wrote in The Second Treatise on Civil Government, 1690:

"Thus the Law of Nature stands as an eternal rule to all men, legislators as well as others. The rules that they make for other men's actions, must...be conformable to the Law of Nature, i.e. to the will of God...no human sanction can be good, or valid against it.

Laws human must be made according to the general laws of Nature, and without contradiction to any positive law of Scripture, otherwise they are ill made."

John Locke quotes:

"The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by God on the children of men.-It has God for its author; salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture for its matter.-It is all pure, all sincere; nothing too much; nothing wanting."

George Washington Quotes:

Would to God that George Washington was seeing into the future and the fate of our modern day communistic liberals when he said this, although rather than drive them out, I'd love to see them soundly converted to Jesus Christ:

"Our attention is now drawn to one point: the enemy grows weaker every day, and we are growing stronger. Our work is almost done, and with the blessing of heaven, and the valor of our worthy General, we shall soon drive these plunderers out of our country!"

George Washington Quotes:

George Washington articulated his understanding of what will keep America great:

"The situation in which I now stand, for the last time, in the midst of the Representatives of the People of the United States, naturally recalls the period when the Administration of the present form of Government commenced; and I cannot omit the occasion, to congratulate you and my Country, on the success of the experiment; nor to repeat my fervent supplications to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and Sovereign Arbiter of Nations, that his Providential care may still be extended to the United States; that the virtue and happiness of the People, may be preserved; and that the Government, which they have instituted, for the protection of their liberties, may be perpetual.

It shall still be my endeavor to manifest, by overt acts, the purity of my inclination for promoting the happiness of mankind, as well as the sincerity of my desires to contribute whatever may be in my power towards the preservation of the civil and religious liberties of the American People.

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

It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe, without the agency of a Supreme Being. It is impossible to govern the universe without the aid of a Supreme Being. It is impossible to reason without arriving at a Supreme Being.

Religion is as necessary to reason, as reason is to religion. The one cannot exist without the other. A reasoning being would lose his reason, in attempting to account for the great phenomena of nature, had he not a Supreme Being to refer to.

That great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.

The sentiments we have mutually expressed of profound gratitude to the source of those numerous blessings-the author of all good obligations to unite our sincere and zealous endeavors, as the instruments of divine providence, to preserve and perpetuate them.

Providence has therefore taken us up when all other means and hope seemed to be departing from us, in this I will confide.

Let us unite, therefore, in imploring the Supreme Ruler of nations, to spread his holy protection over these United States; to turn the machinations of the wicked to the confirming of our constitutions; to enable us at all times to root out internal sedition, and put invasion to flight; to perpetuate to our country that posterity, which his goodness has already conferred, and to verify the anticipation of this government being a safeguard to human rights."






""""""This is my law, and the only law of early Christianity. You can keep your archaic "Ten Commandments," for all I care. It's merely a perversion of what early Christianity stood for: a rejection of Jewish legalism, in favor of inclusion. I often wish the early Church fathers went with their initial instinct, which was to eliminate the Old Testament completely. Instead, they recognized that the Old Testament had value as a point of reference. It was never intended to be a guiding precept of Christian morality; that was the purpose of the New Testament.""""


What are you talking about here, I dont understand where you come up with this stuff. They are both guidlines for morality, Jesus Chirst came to fullfill the 10 commandments not to elimiante them, he shortened them into 2- Love one another, your neighbor, and love God with all your heart. If you obey those 2 commandments, then you will not disobey any of the 10 commandments.
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Old 06-27-2005, 08:31 PM   #79
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Originally posted by macphisto23
John Locke (1632 - 1704), was an English philosopher whose writings had a profound influence on our Founding Fathers, and in turn, the writing of the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson was strongly influenced by John Locke.
John Locke was a believer in religious tolerance, but was often shocked by the intolerant behavior of what he called "non-conformist sects." As such, he was a strong believer in the institution of the Church of England, arguing that a state church could be an instrument for social harmony. Locke also provided moral justification for taking land from Native Americans.

As such, we did not base the Constitution on his religious writings. In fact, people are allowed to have personal religious beliefs, but that doesn't mean that their personal beliefs had any reflection in our national documents. After all, we rejected the Church of England, which Locke supported.

Quote:
George Washington Quotes:

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

It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe, without the agency of a Supreme Being. It is impossible to govern the universe without the aid of a Supreme Being. It is impossible to reason without arriving at a Supreme Being.

(etc.)
Much of the myth of Washington's alleged Christianity came from Mason Weems influential book, "Life of Washington." Weems, a Christian minister portrayed Washington as a devote Christian, yet Washington's own diaries show that he rarely attended Church. That first quote about governing with God and the Bible is, in fact, a fiction created by Weems. This the same fiction that declared that Washington chopped down his father's cherry tree.

Washington revealed almost nothing to indicate his spiritual frame of mind, hardly a mark of a devout Christian. In his thousands of letters, the name of Jesus Christ never appears. He rarely spoke about his religion, but his Freemasonry experience points to a belief in deism. Washington's initiation occurred at the Fredericksburg Lodge on 4 November 1752, later becoming a Master mason in 1799, and remained a freemason until he died.

To the United Baptist Churches in Virginia in May, 1789, Washington said that every man "ought to be protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience."

After Washington's death, Dr. Abercrombie, a friend of his, replied to a Dr. Wilson, who had interrogated him about Washington's religion replied, "Sir, Washington was a Deist."

All these quotes about "Supreme Beings," etc. are Deist, not Christian.

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What are you talking about here, I dont understand where you come up with this stuff.
I certainly know where you come up with your stuff.

Quote:
They are both guidlines for morality, Jesus Chirst came to fullfill the 10 commandments not to elimiante them, he shortened them into 2- Love one another, your neighbor, and love God with all your heart. If you obey those 2 commandments, then you will not disobey any of the 10 commandments.
That's a revisionist interpretation by modern Christians to reconcile the mesh of Jewish Christian and Gentile Christian theology in the New Testament. St. Paul's Gentile Christianity was vigorously opposed to the Old Testament and Mosaic Law, whereas Jewish Christians believed that all Christians had to follow the entirety of Mosaic Law--all the way down to prohibitions from eating shellfish and wearing multi-fibered clothing.

Jewish Christianity was annihilated in the second century A.D. Modern Christianity descends from Gentile Christianity, except that we've bastardized it with Jewish Christian theology here and there.

We're always looking for "exception clauses" to love in Christianity.

Melon
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Old 06-27-2005, 08:45 PM   #80
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Its fiction, a myth? Where can I read about this, can you dig me a up a website? Im really not talking about christianity here, Im talking about God and his commandments. You dont have to attend church to be a christian. I think that you have taken far too many philosophy classes, and are very mixed in what you really believe, or what is real or not.

Again, I would really like to know proof of your "That's a revisionist interpretation by modern Christians to reconcile the mesh of Jewish Christian and Gentile Christian theology in the New Testament." All I see in your writing is philosophy, no facts, just ways to skip the corner.
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Old 06-27-2005, 09:23 PM   #81
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Originally posted by macphisto23
Its fiction, a myth? Where can I read about this, can you dig me a up a website? Im really not talking about christianity here, Im talking about God and his commandments. You dont have to attend church to be a christian. I think that you have taken far too many philosophy classes, and are very mixed in what you really believe, or what is real or not.
I can't reinvent the wheel for you. Historians have long determined that Weems' book on Washington is legend, not fact. And I'd hope you'd trust Washington's writings over a third-party writer like Weems, but old habits die hard.

If you want to read the book yourself and have $82.95 lying around, here it is:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books

Quote:
Again, I would really like to know proof of your "That's a revisionist interpretation by modern Christians to reconcile the mesh of Jewish Christian and Gentile Christian theology in the New Testament." All I see in your writing is philosophy, no facts, just ways to skip the corner.
All religion is philosophy. I want to know proof of what you wrote. If you think your brand of Christianity has remained the same throughout the last 2000 years, you'd be fooling yourself.

The fact of the matter is that I don't have a quick quote or texts to give you. I'm sure you'll use that as evidence to dismiss everything I've written. I plain cannot summarize years of religious education and self-study into a succinct paragraph for you. But I can show you the evidence that's readily present in the Bible.

Secular Biblical scholars plain admit that early Christianity did not live in harmony, and was, in fact, in competition. A lot of this "competition" is reflected in studying the earliest New Testament texts that we have. The Jewish Christian "Gospel of Matthew" shows evidence of Gentile Christian editing. While Jewish Christianity proclaimed that one must believe in "the law and the prophets," Gentile Christianity declared that "love one another" was the "law and the prophets," and evidence of the edit is blatant in the original documents.

The Acts of the Apostles documents the Council of Jerusalem, which accents the meeting of the Jewish Christianity, led by St. Peter and St. James, and Gentile Christianity, led by St. Paul. Acts ends discussion on the Council of Jerusalem on a cordial note, saying that Gentile converts were only required to adhere to three aspects of Mosaic Law, which had to do with idolatry and food offerings to idols (which are now obsolete), and the generic Jewish concept that was "porneia," which mostly reflected Jewish law against "blood mixing," or "incest." That's funny, considering that incest in the form of marrying close cousins was a hallmark of Western civilization until we discovered something called "genetics."

St. Paul, on the other hand, completely ignored the agreement made after the end of the Council of Jerusalem. His epistles even bother to make a mockery of the agreement against eating food offered to idols, saying at one point that Christians could eat it, since those gods are false anyway. Admittedly, though, he waffled on the subject about three times in his epistles.

And since the spirit of this thread is about religious freedom, not Biblical debate, recognize that not all Christians think alike, and I'm sick and tired of Christians acting like Iranian ayatollahs trying to legislate their narrow and intolerant brand of religion onto everyone, even non-believers.

Melon
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Old 06-27-2005, 09:54 PM   #82
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Wouldn't God prefer that people worship Him out of their own free will rather than because their government tells them to?
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Old 06-27-2005, 11:13 PM   #83
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Originally posted by melon





And since the spirit of this thread is about religious freedom, not Biblical debate, recognize that not all Christians think alike, and I'm sick and tired of Christians acting like Iranian ayatollahs trying to legislate their narrow and intolerant brand of religion onto everyone, even non-believers.

Melon
Im confused by that statement
not all christians think alike, but youre sick of christians in general forcing their beliefs on you, or just some?

sorry, its actually irrelevant to the entire topic.
I hope I dont do that to people.
I question things a lot more than I feel like other christians do, and I usually afraid to bring it up to the christians I know. I fear being judged for being "faithless" or something
That, in christian terms, is called fear of man

In the spirit of this thread, I would like to say that I dont think church and state should be mixed. And putting commandments in a place of law would be overstepping some sort of boundary. If somebody wants to know christian morals then they know where to look. Its not hard. I dont think publically displaying them in a tasteful manner would be inappropriate. But it would have to be in the right setting.
Im really seeking to be a non judgemental christian, and to not force my beliefs on anybody else.
It offends me to see people I go to church with being agressive with telling people what they believe, or telling them they should go to church. I mean if somebody asks me what I believe then I wont hesiatate to tell them, but Im not ever going to just start a conversation with "so do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?"
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Old 06-28-2005, 12:11 PM   #84
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macphisto, continually throughout this thread you've made the assumption (whether directly or implied) that without religion no morals would exist. That moral life is the exclusive domain of religion.

This is completely and utterly false, and if you can't see that then quite frankly there's not much of a point in carrying on this debate (though I admire you for trying, melon).
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Old 06-28-2005, 12:19 PM   #85
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Im not talking about religion and schools
You said we'd been taking God out of our schools, and it sounded to me like you were blaming all the problems kids have nowadays on the fact that God isn't in schools. If that's not what you were intending, then I must've misread it, and I apologize, but that's how it came across to me.

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Originally posted by macphisto23
Im talking about God and the Laws that he gave our founding fathers and this free country he gave us to live in, and how we are turning our back on what this country was built on, trust in God.
No, we're not. I believe in a higher being myself, but I don't think it's necessary to force it on everybody else, because I realize not everyone thinks like me.

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Originally posted by macphisto23
I dont need to explain why there was a murder in a religious school, or some religious person committed adultery, I think you know the answer, I think you can figure it out.
The only answer I can think of in regards to the shooting story is that it appears that the kid who brought a gun to school wasn't raised right by their parents, or they just had a screw loose for a long, long time (which, if I remember right, the article did say that the kid had been having emotional problems for a long time).

And the religious person who commits adultery, well, really, that's an issue that they and their significant other and the person they had the affair with have to deal with, as I don't feel it'd be my place to butt in, but there can be many reasons for why that happens.

Quote:
Originally posted by macphisto23
Im not trying to degrade the homosexuals, but anyone that believes the bible, as I do, believes that it is a sin. Nobody's better then anybody down here on earth.
Agree with your last sentence, but regarding the first, well, we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one, because I personally view the Bible as a book written by mere men who put down what they thought God would and wouldn't support. I could write a book claiming that I got a message from God that he didn't see homosexuality as sinful.

Angela
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Old 06-28-2005, 02:27 PM   #86
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Wouldn't God prefer that people worship Him out of their own free will rather than because their government tells them to?
Yes
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Old 06-28-2005, 02:31 PM   #87
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macphisto, continually throughout this thread you've made the assumption (whether directly or implied) that without religion no morals would exist. That moral life is the exclusive domain of religion.

This is completely and utterly false, and if you can't see that then quite frankly there's not much of a point in carrying on this debate (though I admire you for trying, melon).
Can you please post when i said that.
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Old 06-28-2005, 02:38 PM   #88
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Agree with your last sentence, but regarding the first, well, we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one, because I personally view the Bible as a book written by mere men who put down what they thought God would and wouldn't support. I could write a book claiming that I got a message from God that he didn't see homosexuality as sinful.
What is stopping you?

If the Bible is only the thoughts of men, it wouldn't be worth following and would likely have disappeared generations ago.
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Old 06-28-2005, 03:14 PM   #89
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What is stopping you?

If the Bible is only the thoughts of men, it wouldn't be worth following and would likely have disappeared generations ago.
Couldn't you say that about all the books of other religions that you don't believe in? Well some of them have lasted longer than 2000 years so it kinda defeats that theory.
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Old 06-28-2005, 03:14 PM   #90
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What is stopping you?

If the Bible is only the thoughts of men, it wouldn't be worth following and would likely have disappeared generations ago.
Perhaps these people were in some position of power, hence why what they said was so influential. After all, I understand through various religious discussions I've had with people who are much more well-versed in the history of the Bible than me that parts of the Bible had been revised by people in power over the course of centuries because they didn't like certain parts or wanted to exert some control over the people or something like that.

If I were in a position of power and sounded convincing enough to a large portion of people regarding my thoughts on God and homosexuality, I'd have many a follower, too. So my main point I was trying to get at earlier was, if that happened, who'd be right, my version of the Bible or the other one? And how would we determine that?

Angela
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