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Old 06-18-2007, 07:49 PM   #181
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Originally posted by INDY500



So our 200 year old plus Great Seal is unconstitutional? Well, you'll love our national motto.

"In God We Trust"
I guess that I should join the ACLU if I ever end up there.
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Old 06-18-2007, 07:53 PM   #182
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Then the state isn't always on the side of justice

Your lying because if God is good and having God in government makes the government good.

(and I am aware that it is faulty logic but I dont think there is any reasoned and logical reason for arguing for the promotion of religion / influence of religion on the machinations of government)
Then you must imagine the world without a United States of America.
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:00 PM   #183
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Which is a product of the enlightenment and not God's gift to the world. And something really shocking - Christians are able to get elected in a secular country and pursue their values (but not those that involve promoting their beliefs or persecuting others - unless they are gay).

It is a point on religious freedom, something that was well understood in the 18th Century when atheism was rather unfashionable (hence deism) and still relevent today.

What role do you want to see for Christianity in the USA? Do Catholics count?
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:37 PM   #184
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Those freedoms and the principles of secular governance are not the product of a Christian God they are born from the ideas of men in response to the shackles of theocracy, the groundwork for the liberal democracy extends furthur back than the reformation and it is the clear seperation of church and state (spelled out loud and clear in the US constitution) that came later on.

You are confusing secularism with the philosophy of secular humanism. One is a set of rules to live a life by (if you want to waste your time with a Godless religion) and the other is a seperation of Church and State. It is absurd to declare that a secular state is not condusive to religious freedom (look to the free secular countries - your own included) when it is that very state that will never be able to stop people from believing or forcing beliefs upon them.
Sure, we can trace it back through English Common Law, Conciliar Movement, Charlemange...but the reformation was key, followed by the treasonous idea put forth in the New World that power and rights come to the people directly from God, not through a monarch. Remove that notion from the American Revolution and you have, well, you have the French Revolution.

Never once have I argued for a theocracy in any way, shape or form. One need only pick up a history book, watch the news or read any newspaper (other than the New York Times) to see the dangers of unchecked religious extremism. But I do argue that a secular government that doesn't respect (that's the opposite of impugn) the role of religion or faith, will not protect it's free exercise. You can argue otherwise, but to do so you then would have to ignore history and the world around us.
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:47 PM   #185
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Originally posted by INDY500

But I do argue that a secular government that doesn't respect (that's the opposite of impugn) the role of religion or faith,
So you can't respect the role of faith without putting the word God everywhere? Just as not acknowledging by name isn't ignoring.

The fact that you keep ignoring such logic and questions asked of you leads me to believe you are just spinning the wheels of your "status quo" defense.
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:59 PM   #186
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So you can't respect the role of faith without putting the word God everywhere? Just as not acknowledging by name isn't ignoring.

The fact that you keep ignoring such logic and questions asked of you leads me to believe you are just spinning the wheels of your "status quo" defense.
Sorry, the powdered wig is officially off for the rest of the day.
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Old 06-18-2007, 09:00 PM   #187
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No suprise.
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Old 06-18-2007, 09:34 PM   #188
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Prove it.


Actually, I know you're being sarcastic. I just wanted to highlight once again that there just isn't Biblical evidence to support this perspective.


no, see, i, like, pray a lot, and god talks to me when i do, and i read the bible, so i know *exactly* What Jesus Would Do.
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Old 06-18-2007, 09:37 PM   #189
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Originally posted by INDY500


Acknowledging God is not promoting religion. .


see, i disagree.

when you, INDY, talk about God, i know exactly what God you're talking about, and his name isn't Allah or Vishnu.

i'm a bit of a nascent buddhist. i go to meditation/class twice a month, and i find it interesting and relaxing (even if i find myself a bit too Type A to be a proper Buddhist). in Buddhism, there is no need for a God, nor an external savior. liberation comes from within.

i can, in the eyes of a Buddhist, acknowledge a common Creator, a common Source, a common Origin. but to say "God" -- or, more specifically, when a white, heterosexual, male, midwesterner says "God" -- is to create an exclusivity that, in a few years, should i embrace this further, might kick my ass out of the club.

and keep in mind, Buddhism is a religion without God, or a god.
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Old 06-19-2007, 12:24 AM   #190
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I'm not sure what you're asking. What we now call the Judeo-Christian world-view, by questioning the authority of the State; from the Reformation, to the American revolution, to raising women from 2nd class status, to abolishing slavery, to civil rights, to protecting the unborn -- has sought to be on the side of the Just. And God is always on the side of Justice correct?

You can find scripture in Peter, Matthew and Romans about Christians submitting to governing bodies. But, we are told in Roman 13 "The authorities that exist have been established by God." In other words, the state, any state, is a delegated authority, not autonomous, and the order is:

God
Caesar

or later on:

God
King

But what to do when the state strays from God's Law and becomes unjust? Is it rex lex or lex rex?
What I'm asking for is BIBLICAL justification for Christians persuing having their beliefs valued/honored/enshrined in the government (of course, benevolently allowing other lesser religions to practice whatever they like but with the Standard Religion being Christianity). I want a BIBLICAL justification for getting God into American government.

Romans 13:1-8 if anything could be used to argue the exact OPPOSITE of what you suggest. . .one could use it to argue that you should not complain about WHOEVER happens to be in power because God put them there. Taken to it's extreme and misapplied in the opposite direction of what you are suggesting (which I am NOT recommending) it could have been an argument AGAINST participation in something like say the American Revolution. Check out verses 6 & 7: "For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God; devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is them; tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor."

Now I wouldn't take the application of these verses that far but is it really reasonable to conclude then that Paul is saying that such acknowledgement of authority is only acceptable if the authority represents the beliefs and values of Christianity? Doubtful, as I AGAIN point out they were under the rule of pagan Rome--not even merely secular, but PROMOTING the religion of Rome. Furthermore, Christianity was not just unpromoted but actively PERSECUTED and would be for a few hundred years more and yet what was Paul's counsel? Something that essentially amounted to, at most "civil disobedience" if Christians were called to do something that went against their faith. No calls however for rectifying the situation by getting some apostles into the Roman senate or chosen as Emporer. Despite the fact that the state not only was straying from Gods law but was never close to it to begin with.
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Old 06-19-2007, 12:37 AM   #191
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Originally posted by INDY500



So our 200 year old plus Great Seal is unconstitutional? Well, you'll love our national motto.

"In God We Trust"
See what I sense here is a confusion between American patriotism and Christian faith. While the two are not at all incompatible they are certainly not intrinsicly linked.

Look it's nice that belief in God, a Creator, even the Christian God was a "given" for most people at the time of the founding of our country. I think the sense of believing in something higher than ourselves is of great value and I think our country would be the poorer without it, BUT, that's all it should really be for Christians. . .a perk. If they take away the "In God We Trust" and all the other God-references, I might be a little saddened, but in the end, I would recognize that the most productive use of my time as a Christian is not in fighting to have my faith be the default in the halls of power, to have nice little "under God" lip service slogans on my money. This is not where the victories of real consequence in the Christian faith are won anyway.
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Old 06-19-2007, 12:46 AM   #192
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Sure, we can trace it back through English Common Law, Conciliar Movement, Charlemange...but the reformation was key, followed by the treasonous idea put forth in the New World that power and rights come to the people directly from God, not through a monarch. Remove that notion from the American Revolution and you have, well, you have the French Revolution.
It would be more accurate to say that those rights come to people "naturally." The assumption was that the origin would then have to be God, of course. The emphasis however was on the inherent nature of those rights, that they applied to everyone, not on the God from whence they were assumed to come, otherwise it would have been more likely that people would have drawn the conclusion that those rights only applied to those who believed in said God. (And in truth, I suppose that was part of the argument made by those who wanted to dispossess the Indians of their land, and who wanted to enslave Africans. But even there, undue emphasis on the God seemed to be used primarily when denying those rights to some rather than championing them. And yes, I know the abolition movment etc was led by Christians etc).

I would also question whether the "atrocity-free" nature of the American Revolution was soley because of the God-fearing nature of the leaders of the Revolution.
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Old 06-19-2007, 12:58 AM   #193
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Well yeah, the idea being that religion should be a unifying force -- an influence but not an authority -- the "God" of public religion to be individually interpreted by one's own private religion or faith. So while the framers were steeped in Bible literacy, you're right, they did purposely avoid Christian symbolism in the constitution.
A tradition that continues to this day.
We acknowledge the Divine, we ask for His blessings and guidance, all the while mindful that we ask for a pluralistic society.

One nation, under God. That is our character, that is our heritage.

So why is it being attacked or denied? That would be my question.
Do you, as a Christian, really truly believe that there is such vital value in having the State acknowledge publically that there is indeed a Supreme Being up there, some supernatural force--He/She could be contstrued to be just about anyone/anything from Jesus to Buddha to Vishnu to The Universe to the Goddess to, shoot, why not, even Satan for those so disposed.

And let's say just for a moment that Christianity really is "under attack." Let's say that that is indeed the motive of the "secular humanists" to erase Christianity. What's the Biblical response to such an attack? What did the early church do?

You're making a POLITICAL and CULTURAL argument but NOT a Biblical one.

And why am I, as a conservative, Bible-believing Christian "attacking" getting God back into the government? Because I want the freedom to practice and share my faith without government interference and I see the agenda you're pushing as a direct threat to that.
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:30 AM   #194
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Originally posted by Irvine511

i can, in the eyes of a Buddhist, acknowledge a common Creator, a common Source, a common Origin. but to say "God" -- or, more specifically, when a white, heterosexual, male, midwesterner says "God" -- is to create an exclusivity that, in a few years, should i embrace this further, might kick my ass out of the club.

Well, set aside that the Declaration also contains references to "the laws of nature and nature's God", "protection of Divine Providence", and "the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions."

Let's say, for a moment, that America was indeed founded on the Deist's values of secular Enlightenment as argued here. Well, we have a problem because the Deists are long gone. (Unless you count the New Age Transcendentalism of Thoreau or other nature worshippers as the new Deists.) But Faith and God in politics has remained.

So what are we to make then, for example, of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and his use of "this nation, under God", or his 2nd inaugural address (inscribed in stone at his memorial) with 14 references to God and direct quotations from Genesis, Psalms and Matthew? Or, his 1863 proclamation setting aside the last Thursday of November as a day of thanksgiving?

Quote:
... They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.
What are we to make of this white, heterosexual, male, Midwesterner and his acknowledging of God? Was the nation in danger of becoming a theocracy in the 1860's? No, it wasn't. Torn in two yes, a theocracy, no.

Wait. Sorry, did I say heterosexual? I suppose while the business at hand is to revise American history to minimize the fundamental role that religion has played from our country's founding...heck, we might as well make Lincoln gay too.
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:34 AM   #195
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So, because we have things that mention in God in government documents right now, that's the way it should be?

Pardon me if I think the writers of our declarations and laws may have made a few mistakes and contradictions along the way.
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