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Old 04-02-2006, 11:19 PM   #106
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
The statement "we are the future that the Founders hoped to avoid" is another example of a revisionist look at history to criticize where we are today. Rather than being disappointed with what has happened in this country, I would think the Founders would be surprised (and approve) that we've made it this long.
You mean "revisionism" like claiming that the U.S. was founded on Judeo-Christian values?

Just because that popular view is 150 years old, it doesn't make it any less a product of 19th century romanticism.

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Old 04-02-2006, 11:24 PM   #107
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I got to hand it to you - you just keep on trying!
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Old 04-02-2006, 11:26 PM   #108
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I got to hand it to you - you just keep on trying!
Facts are neither negotiable nor subject to popular vote.

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Old 04-03-2006, 12:51 AM   #109
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Facts are neither negotiable nor subject to popular vote.

Melon

No arguments there. The selective use of facts is more the issue.
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Old 04-03-2006, 03:04 AM   #110
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Originally posted by melon


You mean "revisionism" like claiming that the U.S. was founded on Judeo-Christian values?

Just because that popular view is 150 years old, it doesn't make it any less a product of 19th century romanticism.

I'm sorry, how old is the United States again? Just shy over 200 years? Your interpretation sounds a little revisionist to me, given the timeline you laid out for yourself.

As far as targeting the United States as the most religiously aggressive nation on earth...you have been to the Middle East, right, Irvine?

And no one has yet pointed out how a country where 80+% of the population is Christian, and which holds to a democratic government, is discriminatory, when in fact it seems merely representative of its electorate.
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Old 04-03-2006, 06:13 AM   #111
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


That sounds like a universal maxim.
Yes it applies to Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and Budhists - Atheists comitted the most crimes against humanity in the 20th Century but I would argue that it was from a set of inherently totalitarian and plain anti-freedom ideologies (Nazism and Communism). Guaranteed and protected freedoms are the only safeguard against this - keeping those boundaries clearly defined (keeping religion seperated from state) and excercising those rights (practicing your faith, criticising a faith or both) ensures that the marketplace of ideas cannot be dominated.

People should have the freedom to practice their beliefs as long as they do not violate other peoples rights - people do not have a right to not be offended so beliefs that are bigoted and hateful are free to be professed by believers and savagely mocked by others, that is the price of free speech and free expression.

Heres a thought that I have two minds about government and by extension democracy cannot be allowed to compromise liberties.

I question the depth of faith of people who will react in anger if any part of their beliefs are affronted or challenged - it's fun to make that mask slip.
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:15 AM   #112
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The matter of respect is important, offering respect to beliefs that are quite simply wrong is dishonest. Offering it to beliefs that would compromise your rights is stupid.
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Old 04-03-2006, 08:00 AM   #113
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Originally posted by nathan1977
I'm sorry, how old is the United States again? Just shy over 200 years? Your interpretation sounds a little revisionist to me, given the timeline you laid out for yourself.
The timeline is correct. The second "Great Awakening" (c. 1820s-1830s) is the evangelical movement that created the legend of America's Founding Fathers being devout Christians (along with the legend of George Washington chopping down his father's cherry tree). Prior to that, America was cool to religion.

Scholars have noted that America goes through 80 year cycles of religiosity and apathy. The first Great Awakening occurred in the 1730s and 1740s, with the period of apathy occurring from the 1770s. America was disgusted with religion, due to the state religion, and our Founding Fathers were agnostics, unitarians, and deists. They would not be "saved" by evangelical standards.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Awakening

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A Great Awakening happens when social change renders traditional religion (or the thesis in Hegel's terminology) unable to answer questions posed by contemporary life. A certain disconnection occurs between religion and the real world. New belief systems attempt to fill the gap, eventually leading to a full Great Awakening.

A Great Awakening consists of the rise of a multitude of new denominations, sects, or even entirely new religions. In addition to completely new belief systems, existing belief systems gain new popularity. Since, by its nature, religion is traditional and hard to change, many new beliefs attempt to do an end-run around tradition by appealing to even more ancient (and usually fabricated, or at least distorted) tradition, dismissing current beliefs as innovations. This is why Great Awakenings are often referred to as revivals.

In response to this new antithesis, fundamentalist sects form, which oppose some of the new ideas (while quietly accepting others).

Over the course of roughly the next 40 years, a form of natural selection takes place, as the more radical sects on both sides are either defeated or merge into a new synthesis of belief. A crucial step is the coming-of-age of a generation raised in the beliefs of the newest Great Awakening. For them, the beliefs, even if not their own, are a fact of life, and not dangerously radical.

But this new synthesis eventually ossifies, becoming the new thesis, starting the cycle over.
It's important to note that some scholars accept the 1960s and 1970s as the fourth Great Awakening, meaning that present evangelicals are sowing the seeds of apathy due to appear somewhere between 2010 and 2020.

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Old 04-03-2006, 09:29 AM   #114
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


There is no express provision that an athiest, secular humanist, hindu, muslim, jew, etc. SHOULD be running the government or are better suited to running the government.

So far, it has been a product of the free choice of the electorate.
Which is as it should be. I don't buy into the idea the Christian fundamentalists have "taken over the country" or are on the verge of doing so. I also don't buy the idea that the "secular humanists" have taken over the country. I do think that perhaps entertainment has taken over our country, that politics for the electorate has become a "reality TV show" and that the electorate by and large is making it's decisions (when it bothers to participate at all) based on "entertainment politics." Watching Hannity and Colmes debate liberals at an arena isn't quite the Lincoln/Douglas Debates.
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:39 AM   #115
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Yes, but the only way to provide true freedom of religion is to have a secular state. Otherwise someone is going to find themselves having to follow someone else's religion. That's what they did in Turkey to stop forcing people who didn't want to practice Islam the right not to.

It's important to point out that "secular" does not equal "anti-religious." Religious people engage in secular activities all the time. Basketball games are secular events. Going to the movies. Eating (beyond communion that is). Many of our jobs are "secular" in nature. Granted you can bring your religious values to bear on all those activities but they are still essentially "secular." They aren't anti or pro-religious, they just are. And that's the way government in a democracy should be.

As a Christian, I believe that in heaven we will not live in a democracy and we will not have a secular government. It will be a theocratic monarchy, and I'm okay with that as long as it's God who's at the head of it. As far as here on this earth, in this life, I believe a secular democracy is the best form of government. I don't trust people who are trying to bring Christ's kingdom--which he insisted was NOT of this world--into the governement. Every time this has been attempted it has had horrifying results.

Just a side note on the subject of Turkey. They've still got quite a ways to go in terms of true religious freedom. Christian missionaries are still banned there. I agree with nbcrusader that there are many--actually, MOST--countries who have much,much less religious freedom than we do.
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Old 04-03-2006, 12:30 PM   #116
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The whole "vigilence" argument is nonsense. It is more a matter of political decisions with which you disagree and not a matter of the goverment turning into a theocracy.


[q]"The price of democracy is eternal vigilance" -- Thomas Jefferson [/q]



but don't worry -- i'm looking out for your best interests. so you can continue to practice your religion as passionately and as robustly as possible, i'm going to continue to sound the THEOCRACY WATCH alarm whenever and wherever the wall between the separation of church and state might be chipped away, and to shine a bright spotlight on the Christianzing of America in every dark corner. it is simply undeniable that the rise of the Republican Party to electoral hegemony has been advanced by the politicization of culturally alienated traditionalist Christians, specifically the anti-liberal evangelical Protestants.

i wonder what their vigilance does to upset you so much -- is the removal of a nativity scene from a public building really that much of an affront of your freedom to practice religion however you see fit? isn't there ample piety in America?

it seems to me that the social, political, scientific, and economic dynamism of modern life requires that traditionalist believers make a choice. you can either adapt to modernity by embracing at least some degree of liberalization, or you can battle modernity in the name of theological purity.

one day, the religous will thank the secularists. after all, it is only liberal democracy exasperates traditional religion and denies any one faith the power to organize the whole of social life as democracy undermines absolutism in all its forms. important questions of public policy will continue to be determined by the systematic skepticisim of the scientific method.
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Old 04-03-2006, 12:33 PM   #117
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Originally posted by nathan1977

As far as targeting the United States as the most religiously aggressive nation on earth...you have been to the Middle East, right, Irvine?


i have been to North Africa, and i would still say that the United States is the most aggressively religious first world nation, especially among nations with the ability to blow up the world several times over.
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:08 PM   #118
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Yes it applies to Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and Budhists - Atheists comitted the most crimes against humanity in the 20th Century but I would argue that it was from a set of inherently totalitarian and plain anti-freedom ideologies (Nazism and Communism). Guaranteed and protected freedoms are the only safeguard against this - keeping those boundaries clearly defined (keeping religion seperated from state) and excercising those rights (practicing your faith, criticising a faith or both) ensures that the marketplace of ideas cannot be dominated.

People should have the freedom to practice their beliefs as long as they do not violate other peoples rights - people do not have a right to not be offended so beliefs that are bigoted and hateful are free to be professed by believers and savagely mocked by others, that is the price of free speech and free expression.
Very well said.
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:11 PM   #119
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Originally posted by melon


The timeline is correct. The second "Great Awakening" (c. 1820s-1830s) is the evangelical movement that created the legend of America's Founding Fathers being devout Christians (along with the legend of George Washington chopping down his father's cherry tree). Prior to that, America was cool to religion.

Cool to religion? Towns throught the original colonies were centered around their local church. People came to this country for the free exercise of their religion - which more often than not was Christianity.
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:25 PM   #120
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Originally posted by Irvine511
i'm going to continue to sound the THEOCRACY WATCH alarm whenever and wherever the wall between the separation of church and state might be chipped away, and to shine a bright spotlight on the Christianzing of America in every dark corner. it is simply undeniable that the rise of the Republican Party to electoral hegemony has been advanced by the politicization of culturally alienated traditionalist Christians, specifically the anti-liberal evangelical Protestants.

i wonder what their vigilance does to upset you so much -- is the removal of a nativity scene from a public building really that much of an affront of your freedom to practice religion however you see fit? isn't there ample piety in America?
The trumpet call of "theocracy watch" may give you a degree of comfort when the political process does not proceed as you desire. It certainly is alot easier to claim attack by a group (through the false claim of theocracy) instead of engaging in the discussion of public policy.

Questioning your "vigilence" is not a matter of being upset, but rather a matter of challenging what I consider a false premise.
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