Friday, September 7, 2007

Secularist Ed Brayton comments on D. James Kennedy

My question to Ed is, "What are Mr. Kennedy's claims and where is your refutation of them?

"And I feel the same way I felt about Jerry Falwell dying. Like Falwell, Kennedy was a man who spent his life peddling lies to the credulous and the ignorant. You'll pardon me if I don't shed a tear for him."
http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2007/09/d_james_kennedy_dies.php

Are servants of Jesus Christ ignorant? It is you who need a tear shed for.

By calling James Kennedy ignorant, you make a fool of yourself, by calling the Founding Fathers ignorant:

That if any man shall lie with mankind as he lieth with womankind, both of them have committed abomination; they both shall be put to death. CONNECTICUT
The Public Statute Laws of the State of Connecticut (Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1808), Book I, p. 295.

[T]he detestable and abominable vice of buggery [sodomy] . . . be from henceforth adjudged felony . . . and that the offenders being hereof convicted by verdict, confession, or outlawry [unlawful flight to avoid prosecution], shall suffer such pains of death and losses and penalties of their goods. SOUTH CAROLINA
Alphabetical Digest of the Public Statute Laws of South-Carolina (Charleston: John Hoff, 1814), Vol. I, p. 99.

That if any man lieth with mankind as he lieth with a woman, they both shall suffer death. VERMONT
Statutes of the State of Vermont (Bennington, 1791), p. 74.
http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=101

Sodomy . . . shall be punished by imprisonment at hard labour in the penitentiary during the natural life or lives of the person or persons convicted of th[is] detestable crime. GEORGIA
A Digest of the Laws of the State of Georgia (Milledgeville: Grantland & Orme, 1822), p. 350.

That the detestable and abominable vice of buggery [sodomy] . . . shall be from henceforth adjudged felony . . . and that every person being thereof convicted by verdict, confession, or outlawry [unlawful flight to avoid prosecution], shall be hanged by the neck until he or she shall be dead. NEW YORK
Laws of the State of New-York . . . Since the Revolution (New York: Thomas Greenleaf, 1798), Vol. I, p. 336

That if any person or persons shall commit sodomy . . . he or they so offending or committing any of the said crimes within this province, their counsellors, aiders, comforters, and abettors, being convicted thereof as above said, shall suffer as felons.
Laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia: John Bioren, 1810), Vol. I, p. 113
[And] shall forfeit to the Commonwealth all and singular the lands and tenements, goods and chattels, whereof he or she was seized or possessed at the time . . . at the discretion of the court passing the sentence, not exceeding ten years, in the public gaol or house of correction of the county or city in which the offence shall have been committed and be kept at such labor. PENNSYLVANIA
Collinson Read, An Abridgment of the Laws of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1801), p. 279

Mr. Brayton, if your going to bash someone and accuse them of peddling lies after they die, have the guts to back up your statements! It is more likely you don't have the information refuting Mr. Kennedy, or else you would have posted it. Let me speak for Mr. Kennedy, and see if you can refute my words.

The United States was formed a nation of Christian states. What part of this do you not understand? The Framers believed religion is left to the states, and the people of the states could choose whatever religion they desired:

"In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general [federal] government."
Thomas Jefferson, Second Inaugural Address, 1805

The secularist twist on the Treaty of Tripoli signed by John Adams is referring to the Federal Government, which was to have nothing to do with religion.The Founding Fathers chose Christianity as the Religion of the several states. What else would you call a nation whose states chose Christianity as their religion?

Constitution of the State of North Carolina (1776), stated: There shall be no establishment of any one religious church or denomination in this State in preference to any other. Article XXXII That no person who shall deny the being of God, or the truth of the Protestant religion, or the divine authority of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any office or place of trust or profit in the civil department within this State. (until 1876)

Constitution of the State of Maryland (August 14, 1776), stated: Article XXXV That no other test or qualification ought to be required, on admission to any office of trust or profit, than such oath of support and fidelity to this State and such oath of office, as shall be directed by this Convention, or the Legislature of this State, and a declaration of a belief in the Christian religion.” That, as it is the duty of every man to worship God is such a manner as he thinks most acceptable to him; all persons professing the Christian religion, are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty; wherefore no person ought by any law to be molested… on account of his religious practice; unless, under the color [pretense] of religion, any man shall disturb the good order, peace or safety of the State, or shall infringe the laws of morality… yet the Legislature may, in their discretion, lay a general and equal tax, for the support of the Christian religion. (until 1851) [pp.420-421]

Constitution of the State of New Hampshire (1784,1792), required senators and representatives to be of the: Protestant religion. (in force until 1877)The Constitution stipulated: Article I, Section VI. And every denomination of Christians demeaning themselves quietly, and as good citizens of the state, shall be equally under the protection of the laws. And no subordination of any one sect of denomination to another, shall ever be established by law. [p.469]

The Constitution of the State of Delaware (until 1792) stated: Article XXII Every person who shall be chosen a member of either house, or appointed to any office or place of trust… shall… make and subscribe the following declaration, to wit:“I, _______, do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed forevermore; I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration.” [p.203]

The Constitution of the State of Connecticut (until 1818), contained the wording: The People of this State… by the Providence of God… hath the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves as a free, sovereign, and independent State… and forasmuch as the free fruition of such liberties and privileges as humanity, civility, and Christianity call for, as is due to every man in his place and proportion… hath ever been, and will be the tranquility and stability of Churches and Commonwealth; and the denial thereof, the disturbances, if not the ruin of both. [p.179]

NEW YORK 1777 (until 1821) That all such parts of the said common law, and all such of the said statutes and acts aforesaid, or parts thereof, as may be construed to establish or maintain any particular denomination of Christians or their ministers, or concern the allegiance heretofore yielded to, and the supremacy, sovereignty, government, or prerogatives claimed or exercised by, the King of Great Britain and his predecessors, over the colony of New York and its inhabitants, or are repugnant to this constitution, be, and they hereby are, abrogated and rejected.

NEW JERSEY 1776 (until 1844) XIX. That there shall be no establishment of any one religious sect in this Province, in preference to another; and that no Protestant inhabitant of this Colony shall be denied the enjoyment of any civil right, merely on account of his religious principles; but that all persons, professing a belief in the faith of any Protestant sect, who shall demean themselves peaceably under the government, as hereby established, shall be capable of being elected into any office of profit or trust, or being a member of either branch of the Legislature, and shall fully and freely enjoy every privilege and immunity, enjoyed by others their fellow subjects.

That a Republican Government is based on the Bible is beyond dispute, as it was first instituted by Moses in ancient Israel.

Deut 1 (King James Version)
13Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.
4And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do.
15So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes.

Republican Government, ruled under God's Law from 1500 B.C is exactly how the United States was formed. The means of its execution in America may have been different, but the essential principles are the same. Consent of the Governed with God's Law as the authority is Christianity in its greatest, and best extent.

The Founding Fathers applied Republican Government in the words of Montesquieu to the Law of the Bible, not the law of pagan Rome, or Greece:

"Sparta, Rome, and Carthage...These examples, though as unfit for the imitation, as they are repugnant to the genius, of America, are, notwithstanding, when compared with the fugitive and turbulent existence of other ancient republics, very instructive proofs of the necessity of some institution that will blend stability with liberty. I am not unaware of the circumstances which distinguish the American from other popular governments, as well ancient as modern; and which render extreme circumspection necessary, in reasoning from the one case to the other."
James Madison, Federalist #63
http://www.llpoh.org/federalist/63.html

Madison's error was he failed to give credit, or understand the Republicanism of the Bible, as Webster, Adams, and the other framers did:

"[O]ur citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament, or the Christian religion."
Noah Webster
History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), p. 6."

No good government but what is republican...the very definition of a republic is 'an empire of laws, and not of men.''
John Adams, "Thoughts on Government" January, 1776

Regarding the First Amendment, infidel Thomas Jefferson realized what it referred to, although it granted freedom of conscience, the amendment only referred to Christianity, as only a Christian denomination could be the established church:

"[T]he clause of the Constitution which, while it secured the freedom of the press, covered also the freedom of religion, had given to the clergy a very favorite hope of obtaining an establishment of a particular form of Christianity through the United States; and as every sect believes its own form the true one, every one perhaps hoped for his own, but especially the Episcopalians and Congregationalists."
Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Rush on September 23, 1800.

Jefferson would never have neglected the other religions if the amendment encompassed them, for it was against his sense of duty:

"On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed."
Thomas Jefferson to Supreme Court Justice William Johnson June 12, 1823

Notice the same idea from Founding Father James Wilson and Joseph Story:

"The first and governing maxim in the interpretation of a statute is to discover the meaning of those who made it."
James Wilson, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Signer of the Constitution

"The first and fundamental rule in interpretation of all instruments[documents] is to construe them according to the sense of the terms and the intention of the parties."
Joseph Story, Supreme Court Justice appointed by James Madison

The liberties granted in the United States is founded upon the Law of Nature, which is without a doubt, Yahweh, the God of Israel, is clear from the writings of Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, to John Locke, and William Blackstone. The Founding Fathers did not corrupt the identity of the Law of Nature and Nature's God, secularists are the ones with this misguided goal.

Secularists like you want to twist the words of the framers to refute the Christian nation thesis. The truth of their writings and statutes are clear, the United States was formed by Christians founded on Religion and Law:

W]e can only depend on the all powerful influence of the Spirit of God, whose Divine aid and assistance it becomes us as a Christian people most devoutly to implore. Therefore I move that some minister of the Gospel be requested to attend this Congress every morning during the sessions in order to open the meeting with prayer."
Elias Boudinot, President of Congress, Chairman of the House Committee which formed the First Amendment.The Life, Public Service, Addresses, and Letters of Elias Boudinot, LL.D., President of the Continental Congress, J. J. Boudinot, editor (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1896), Vol. I, p. 21, to the First Provincial Congress of New Jersey.

[T]he law . . . dictated by God Himself is, of course, superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times. No human laws are of any validity if contrary to this.
General Alexander Hamilton, Signer of the Constitution
The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, Harold C. Syrett, editor (New York: Columbia University Press, 1961), Vol. I, p. 87, February 23, 1775, quoting William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England (Philadelphia: Robert Bell, 1771), Vol. I, p. 41.

"[T]he . . . law established by the Creator . . . extends over the whole globe, is everywhere and at all times binding upon mankind. . . . [This] is the law of God by which he makes his way known to man and is paramount to all human control."
Rufus King, Signer of the Constitution, Ratifier of the Bill of Rights
The Life and Correspondence of Rufus King, Charles R. King, editor (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1900), Vol. VI, p. 276, to C. Gore on February 17, 1820.

The Jury System of English Common Law is also based on the Bible. Common Law is subservient to Ecclesiastical Law, which is based on the Word of God. The Separation of Powers doctrine can also be found in the Bible,(Isa 33:22), which only seems logical as its foundation. Power, divided in a Republican Government is purely Biblical. Other than sin, can you think of a better reason to separate human governance? The Fourth Amendment has its foundation in Deut 24:10-11, showing that Biblical doctrine was the foundational aspect in our country's design. The framers also spoke of "principles that do not change" this can only be found in the Bible, for another morality is incompatible with the beliefs of the Founding Fathers. Our form of government can only last as long as there is virtue and morality in the people.

Please enlighten us and post the lies Mr. Kennedy is guilty of peddling. Refute my statements the United States was built on Biblical Foundations.

20 comments:

James Veverka said...

I think evengelicals of the far right have missed the point completely. They have it backwards.

Everything you use to claim we should have religion mixed wqith the state is exactly what we gradually got away from in our NEW order of the ages. The OLD order is what you continually post as some argument to have an alliance of church and state. The bigotry, discrimination, and draconian mindset you cite in the medieval colonial charters and state constitutions as a reason to have a so-called Christian nation are the same reasons why we have, after the ratification, dumped, over time, all that theocratic, unenlightened, medieval thinking.

Over time, every state has come into line with the establishment clause and the religious test ban clause. In my next post I will post the holding of the USSC in the last religious test case to go to court in 1961. The holding is very educational and debunks, once again, those that think they can have laws in their state that go contrary to the ethics, principles and letter of the US Constitution. It regarded Maryland's religious test in Article 36 of its constitution (or 37?)
I cite all the examples you use and much more regarding laws that embrace church-state alliances and show them for what they are seen from the view of a modern and free society. I cover not only the Colonies but the Rise of Church Staten alliances in the 4th thru 6th centuries and the Reformation.

A HISTORY OF RELIGIOUS TESTS 312-1961

http://community-2.webtv.net/tales_of_the_western_world/TESTOATHS/

THE CONSTITUTION AND THE COMMANDMENTS:

http://community-2.webtv.net/tales_of_the_western_world/TENCOMMANDMENTS/

That mindset discriminates. Unconstitutional. It supports draconian, cruel and unusual punishment. Unconstitutional. It rejects religious equality under the law. Unconstitutional. It hates equal treatment of worldviews by the state under the law. Unconstitutional. It supported patriarchy and the subjection of women. Unconstitutional. It supported slaveholding. Unconstitutional.

For a state to choose and favor one religion over another makes all other people second class citizens with less equality under the law. Madison made that so clear in his Remonstrance speech to the VA legislature in 1785. If it became a new order to ban religious tests in the federal government why would a state want to live in the middle ages' old order. If banning religious tests in the US Constitution achieved codifiedc liberties and equalities never seen before, why would any state want to live in such an intellectually and morally impoverished condition?

Madison clearly stated in his Remontrance speech when Patrick Henry and his Old order crew tried to get the state to support Christian teachers.

"It degrades from the equal rank of Citizens all those whose opinions in Religion do not bend to those of the Legislative authority. Distant as it may be in its present form from the Inquisition, it differs from it only in degree. The one is the first step, the other the last in the career of intolerance."

You just don't get it because been programmed not to see past your religious zeal. Nothing is more important to the fundamentalist of Islam and Christianity, than to subject all other viewpoints with the use of the state. Face it, since religions can't have complete control of society without using the state as a tool, its more fanatical adherents zealously and almost desperately seek to control the arms of ther state.

A Christian reconstructionist is a supporter of religious authoritarianism, not a friend of liberty and equality.

In his 1808 letter to the Virginia Baptists, President Jefferson clearly points out the importance of equal rights of conscience for all and that meant unbelievers, too:

"Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society."

James Madison, supporting Jefferson's religious liberty statute, addressed the Virginia General Assembly on June 20, 1785 with his 'Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments' @ http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/P/jm4/writings/memor.htm. Here are three excerpts:

"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution. "

"Torrents of blood have been spilt in the old world, by vain attempts of the secular arm, to extinguish Religious disscord, by proscribing all difference in Religious opinion. "

"Because the proposed establishment is a departure from the generous policy, which, offering an Asylum to the persecuted and oppressed of every Nation and Religion, promised a lustre to our country, and an accession to the number of its citizens. What a melancholy mark is the Bill of sudden degeneracy? Instead of holding forth an Asylum to the persecuted, it is itself a signal of persecution. It degrades from the equal rank of Citizens all those whose opinions in Religion do not bend to those of the Legislative authority. Distant as it may be in its present form from the Inquisition, it differs from it only in degree. The one is the first step, the other the last in the career of intolerance."
___________

How can you be so proud and intent on trying to lead us to the first steps of an inquisition.

How can you be proud of supporting discrimination?

Howe can you continually support things that are what Madison called "degeneracy" and Melancholic? Degradation of equal rank! And you SUPPORT it with your "Christian Nation" mindset.

NH did not let anyone but those that were Trinity believing, Bible believing, Protestants and you DEFEND that kind of thinking!

How can you ignore the intent of the 6th article and its final implementation in the 14th Amendment's declaration that we are all equal under the law?

Would you like to be forced to sit through Muslim prayers? Wouldn't you feel second rate if the government supported Islam and everywhere you went within the arms of the state, your religion was treated as being tolerated but you could not in any way have EQUAL time with the government, making you and your worldview equal under the law and given the same respect and dignity.

Christian revisionists of history indict themselves and expose their lack of understanding and embracing modern ethics of liberty and equality.

They support all the wrong things when they seek to take us back to the theocratic mentalities of Catholic and Protestant church-state alliances.

I use all the examples you used and much more to show that these laws are of the OLD order that we left with the US Constitution. They are of inferior minds with inferior worldviews.

You have it all backwards because religion have propagandized you into embracing the medieval mindset. It goes all the way back to Emperor Constantine's state support of the Church. This began with an edict in 312 during the doctrinal disputes with the Donatist Christians of N. Africa. It was crowned with the alliance of church and state achieved in the Council of Nicea (325)

The new order, which outlaws religious tests, is what you fight.

The ^th article is very clear on what the supreme law of the land entails. All states, all judges, all constitutions and all laws cant run afoul of the US Constitution. So many, like slave holding states, used 'states rights' arguments to keep their policies of discrimination and unequality. States rights people fought abolition, suffrage, mixed race marriages, reproductive liberty and now gay rights. Its the same old story with these people, decade after decade.

What your argument says is that you dont believe in a neutral state (no religious tests) and condone religious discrimination. Itsa no surprise.

Theocrats and their allies have always been enemies of liberty.

Visit me @ http://www.stopthereligiousright.org

James Veverka said...

Article 35 of the Maryland Constitution of 1776 stated, "That no other test or qualification ought to be required, on admission to any office of trust or profit, than such oath of support and fidelity to this State, and such oath of office, as shall be directed by this Convention or the Legislature of this State, and a declaration of a belief in the Christian religion."

In the Maryland Constitution of 1867, this was reworded and changed to Article 37, stating "That no religious test ought ever to be required as a qualification for any office of profit or trust in this State, other than a declaration of belief in the existence of God; nor shall the Legislature prescribe any other oath of office than the oath prescribed by this Constitution."

This was a move in the right direction, towards true liberty and equality but it was still a half measure and still unconstitutional.

Until recently, there were still laws and state constitutions that contained articles supporting religious discrimination. Old ways are hard to shed and some people hate change so passionately they will attack the equality and liberty of others. Conservative religion has initially fought all the liberty movements in this nation's history.

In 1961 the USSC ruled in the case of Torcaso v Watkins. The plaintiffs contested the constitutionality of Article 37 in Maryland's Declaration of Rights, which stated:

"No religious test ought ever to be required as a qualification for any office of profit or trust in this State, other than a declaration of belief in the existence of God."

The case involved an atheist who had been appointed by the Governor to a position. Because of his atheism, he was subsequently denied the position because he could not make "a declaration of belief in the existence of God".

After going through the court system, the USSC unanimously agreed with the atheist. Justice Black wrote for the court,

"This Maryland test for public office cannot be enforced against appellant, because it unconstitutionally invades his freedom of belief and religion guaranteed by the First Amendment and protected by the Fourteenth Amendment from infringement by the States."

"There is, and can be, no dispute about the purpose or effect of the Maryland Declaration of Rights requirement before us - it sets up a religious test which it was designed to and, if valid, does bar every person who refuses to declare a belief in God from holding a public 'office of profit or trust' in Maryland. The power and authority of the State of Maryland thus is put on the side of one particular sort of believers - those who are willing to say they believe in 'the existence of God.' It is true that there is much historical precedent for such laws. Indeed, it was largely to escape religious test oaths and declarations that a great many of the early colonists left Europe and came here hoping to worship in their own way. It soon developed, however, that many of those who had fled to escape religious test oaths turned out to be perfectly willing, when they had the power to do so, to force dissenters from their faith to take test oaths in conformity with that faith. This brought on a host of laws in the new Colonies imposing burdens and disabilities of various kinds upon varied beliefs depending largely upon what group happened to be politically strong enough to legislate in favor of its own beliefs. The effect of all this was the formal or practical 'establishment' of particular religious faiths in most of the Colonies, with consequent burdens imposed on the free exercise of the faiths of nonfavored believers. ... When our Constitution was adopted, the desire to put the people 'securely beyond the reach' of religious test oaths brought about the inclusion in Article VI of that document of a provision that 'no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States'....."

The ruling is very instructional and destroys most of the ground that fundamentalists use.

The ruling negated any similar state laws that existed. They may remain on the books but they are unenforceable. (Bible-belt state of Alabama did not remove it's constitutional article banning mixed race marriages until 2000 even though the USSC struck them all down in the 1960s) Many point out colonial charters and State Constitutions of the past, trying to get religion promoted in government but their reasoning is deeply flawed. The examples are examples of flawed laws from the medieval order that was the problem, not the solution, for a millenium and a half. They are examples of what stood in the way of liberty, justice and equality for all. All part of the old world order and degrade the equality of those not in line with the religion of the state.

The statutes fundamentalist cite usually violate the Constitution's 6th article, the 1st or 14 amendments. They are on the wrong side of liberty and equality.

Many unconstitutional statutes are on the books because nobody has taken the time and energy to challenge them as was done in Maryland. Until a law actually creates harm to liberties, it will remain on the books. Even if it's unconstitutional.

The Supremacy Clause of the 6th Article:

Clause 2: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the Supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

Clause 3: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

Justice Joseph Story was very clear regarding the Sixth Article in his 1833 writings on the Constitution when he wrote,

"The remaining part of the clause declares, that 'no religious test shall ever be required, as a qualification to any office or public trust, under the United States.' This clause is not introduced merely for the purpose of satisfying the scruples of many respectable persons, who feel an invincible repugnance to any test or affirmation. It had a higher object; to cut off forever every pretense of any alliance between church and state in the national government".

Now if its such a good idea for citizens under the laws of the federal government than its foolish to say its not good for the citizens under a state's constitution, laws or judiciary.

Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli was ratified in the Senate without contention and signed into law by John Adams. It was actually crafted under the authority of Washington's administration.

"As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion -- as it has itself no character of enmity against the law, religion or tranquility of Musselmen [Muslims]......"

It is clear that the Senators, who btw were appointed by their states at that time, did not believe that the USA was in any sense founded on the Christian Religion

Hercules Mulligan said...

"I think evengelicals of the far right have missed the point completely. They have it backwards.

Everything you use to claim we should have religion mixed wqith the state is exactly what we gradually got away from in our NEW order of the ages. The OLD order is what you continually post as some argument to have an alliance of church and state."

I cannot stress how misguided this opinion is. We in the so-called "religious right" are NOT advocating a "Christian nation" in the sense that the medieval Europeans had it; FAR FROM IT!! Those nations were "Christian" nations in NAME ONLY; ours was intended and built to be BY OUR FOUNDERS a Christian nation in the true sense. Those medieval European nations did not honor God's laws in their own statutes (they only made sure that they didn't make the Catholic leaders upset), or direct their lives, wars, and policies upon the basic moral law of God. Our nation's Founders, however, sought to do this. If you have a problem with this, simply search out their writings, and not the commentaries of professors or authors -- get the REAL stuff.

But it is hard for us to understand what we are defending or opposing when we don't know what a REAL "Christian nation" is. I have written about the definitions here.

BTW: The motto "New Order of the Ages (Novus Ordo Seclorum)" which our Founders put on the Great Seal, has NOTHING to do with separating Christian principles from government for the first time in "ages." According to the context, it had more to do with a new way of patterning governments in relation to the distribution of powers -- the people were given more responsibility, the legislative was given more power, and the executive was therefore checked. In that very same side of the Great Seal, the Founder's placed the "all-seeing eye" as a symbol of God's Providence on behalf of the formation of the American republic.

Our Founding Truth said...

Everything you use to claim we should have religion mixed wqith the state is exactly what we gradually got away from in our NEW order of the ages.>>

You missed the point of the framers, it's not mixing of religion and state that they wanted. As Story said "Christianity was the foundation of which good government built good citizens." Your post is long, may take a bit. Your post can be refuted by these statements of the Founding Fathers:

As explained by Founder Noah Webster, not only misinterpretation but serious error can result when original meanings are ignored:

[I]n the lapse of two or three centuries, changes have taken place which in particular passages … obscure the sense of the original languages … The effect of these changes is that some words are … being now used in a sense different from that which they had … [and thus] present wrong signification or false ideas. Whenever words are understood in a sense different from that which they had when introduced … mistakes may be very injurious.

President Thomas Jefferson to Supreme Court Justice William Johnson:

On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

James Madison declared:

I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And if that be not the guide in expounding it, there can be no security for a consistent and stable, more that for a faithful, exercise of its powers….What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense.

Signer of the Constitution James Wilson similarly explained:

The first and governing maxim in the interpretation of a statute is to discover the meaning of those who made it.

Justice Joseph Story emphasized this same principle, declaring:

The first and fundamental rule in interpretation of all instruments[documents] is to construe them according to the sense of the terms and the intention of the parties.

Their interpretation or the interpretation of the authors was never to be replaced.

James Veverka said...

I love a good debate but in order for a quote to have any authority in this kind of debate, you have to thoroughly support and source quotes, either with specific dates, name of the document, or a link to the primary source document.

I simply dont take any quote seriously that is not sourced properly. If you can't find it's source, it's useless in a debate. Anyone can make up a quote. If I can't look it up on the internet or a library, its worthless as a point-maker in a debate.

Popular quotes, both legitimate and fraudulent, spread and take on lives of their own. I always point out the vanity of any quote that is a not sourced and remind people that, legitimate or bogus, its not the Constitution; "the supreme law of the land" (Article 6, sect 2).

An example of a bogus quote is the ten commandments quote supposedly said by Madison. It cant be found anywhere until a revisionist book in the 1930s. Barton used it and its a fraud. (I think he stopped using it recently). Madison never said it; it is also philosophically antithetical to the body of Madison writings that are legitimate.

I have found many bogus quotes. I have also found quotes that have been "worked"; the person has omitted certain parts of the quote in order to portray their point of view. With some quotes, reading the whole quote tells a much different story.

Remember, quotes are not the law. Quotes cant be found in the constitution. Anyone can find a founder quote to suit their purpose because the founders were a diverse group with diverse ideologies. There were federalists and there were anti-federalists; there were deists, there were evangelicals and there were anglicans. And no doubt there could have been atheists in the clothing of deists and theists; deists in theist clothing. Anyone with civil or political ambitions HAD to join a church because the religious tests of the day required it. All but two colonies/states had strict religious tests for public office holding. This is unethical in our world but thats the way it was before the Constitution set in motion, throughout the colonies, the major changes that have led to our era of no religious tests and no establishment of religion by the government.

Nobody could enter public service, even as a vestryman, without passing a Christian religious test that required a declaration of Christian faith so people went thru the motions in order to have political influence in their regions. Being a church member did not mean one believed the creeds of that church. Otherwise, wise and highly educated men would have to sit public service out. Stay home and shut up. That's a tragedy for a community but thats the way it was until the Constitution showed the way.

If something is not in the Constitution, it doesnt have much valence as a means to explain the constitution's intent.

For every Webster and Henry quote I can present a contrary quote from another founder. Barton's affadavit on the ten commandments is a primary example. One after another, he resorts to Noah Webster quotes. Webster, as far as influence, is close to the bottom of the list of founders' influence in political influence, writing laws or drafting constitutions.

The same goes for Patrick Henry. Both were "fundies" of the day who wanted to keep the religious tests and church-state alliances that dominated Europe and the British Isles for 1500 years.

Because someone signed the constitution does not mean that their quotes and viewpoints represent everything in the constitution.

One of the reasons why I like Jefferson is that he crafted the Virginia statute on religiousm liberty which was the model (along with the NY party's laws) for the religious clauses of the Constitution. Madison, too. He got Jefferson's law throught the assembly and then he went on to lead the Constitutional convention in drafting articles based on that law and even more secular.

Have you ever seen the minutes to the debate over the first amendment? I can post a link to it if you like. It shows all the wordings they debated over. It gives one a sense of what they were trying to craft. The ratification debates of the states are very interesting, too.

Our Founding Truth said...

Guy,

This is my blog, read all my posts, I know what quotes are bogus and I reference quotes. Your post was so long, I could only respond to part of it.

Post a little shorter in the future. But your entire post is contrary to the will of the framers.

Whenever words are understood in a sense different from that which they had when introduced....mistakes may be very injurious.
Noah Webster, The Holy Bible...With Amendments of the Language (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1833), p. iii,

On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted....instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.
Thomas Jefferson to Judge William Johnson on June 12, 1823

I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution...What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense.
James Madison to Henry Lee on June 25, 1824

It is a fact! ALL the framers believed words are ONLY to be interpreted the way the authors intended. It's only common sense. The knife cuts both ways, if you change a doctrine to suit you, years later someone could change it against you.

The meaning of words was the basis of your post, only interpret words in the way authors intended. How far sinful men have changed the word meanings of the framers.

Hercules Mulligan said...

Uh, we "Christian nation" folk can't solicit Noah Webster or Patrick Henry because they weren't main framers of the Constitution, but Thomas Jefferson is a good authority, according to Mr. Veverka? And in his post he fails to cite evidence (which, if he has it, I would like to see it) which would support his claim.

Mr. Veverka: if you are arguing against a theocracy, than you are beating a dead horse. None of the "Christian nation" crowd (D James Kennedy, David Barton, OFT, and myself) disbelieve in a counterfeit theocracy (see the post I mentioned in my last comment to you). There are lots of quotes from the Founding Fathers which declaim the idea of having the institutions of church ans state united. However, this does not mean that Christians and church members cannot participate in government, and it certainly does not mean that God's basic moral laws and principles of justice are not to be recognized. If His principles are not the source of law, then what is? The answer would be the conclusions of mankind, which ultimately means that there is no such thing as a government of law, or that every so-called government of law is a government of man.

James Veverka said...

Hercules Mulligan said...

JV.........."I think evengelicals of the far right have missed the point completely. They have it backwards. ...Everything you use to claim we should have religion mixed wqith the state is exactly what we gradually got away from in our NEW order of the ages. The OLD order is what you continually post as some argument to have an alliance of church and state."

Hercules: I cannot stress how misguided this opinion is. We in the so-called "religious right" are NOT advocating a "Christian nation" in the sense that the medieval Europeans had it; FAR FROM IT!!

JV: That's whats misguided. It is just more of the reconstructionist propaganda of the Christian right wing. Medieval Christians believed that an alliance of church and state was the right thing to do. The foundation for this was the evangelical zeal to save everyone just as the Bible mandates rather forcefully and threateningly from cover to cover. Mixing church and state gave the "Great Commission" the force of the state. That is a your belief. You people fight for prayers in school, creationism in science classes, outlawing non-heterosexual relationships, propagandizing schools and government property with the so-called Ten Commandments. That is as Medieval as it gets. Modern government is humanist, religion-neutral and giving all citizens equal standing regarding their full religious liberty. No religion or cosmology is placed above anotrher in the Constitution, and THAT, is the only law of the land by which all laws are judged.

There are many different models of church-state alliances. The religious right has put forth many versions over the years. Claiming we are legally a Christian nation is a simple and straighforward strategy to set the stage for mixing religious notions and doctrines with civil law. Its been going on since Constantine and the Council of Nicea in 325.

Hercules: Those nations were "Christian" nations in NAME ONLY;

JV..Thats wrong, too. It all depends on how you define Christian. The easiest way to build definitions is to go to the source; the Bible. The Bible, like the Quran, is ruthlessly intolerant regarding liberties of conscience, and sexuality.It is full of cruel and unusual punishments; punishments that dont even come close to fitting the crime. It advocates slavery as a natural station in life and it lowers and disrespects women in a dictatorial patriarchal society. Even female slaves had it worse than men slaves. The birth of baby girl makes a woman unclean for twice as long if its a boy. A man-slave can be freed after 7 years while the daughter sold by the father does not get the equal right of being free after 7 years. Women were slaves till death unless freed by their master.

Hercules: ours was intended and built to be BY OUR FOUNDERS a Christian nation in the true sense.

JV..No it wasn't. Nowhere in the Constitution or the Federalist papers or the ratification debates is there any evidence of a consensus for that claim. Its a belief that has attained a life of its own by contant replication. But there isnt any actual support for the claim. Its wishful thinking on the fundy's part. So with the absence of any evidence supporting your claim ours was intended to be a Christian nation, legally, I have to disagree again. The "True sense" of Christianity in the Bible is mostly religious intolerance and bigotry; cover to cover. God loves you but if you dont see it his way, you'll be tormented for eternity. The bottom line is an eternity of torture; the rest is fluff. Hellfire and related Threats far outweigh the forgiveness fluff. In the Old Testament, threats are almost all there is when it comes to religious diversity. There is one God and if you disagree you can get stoned to death.

As far as defining what "a Christian nation in the true sense" is, you'll get a different definition from each founder. You speak as if they were all on the same page regarding religion. They were anything but which is why we ended up with a secular constitution that fully protected the rights of conscience. There were as many definitions as there were founders. Putting it any other way is obfuscating the facts.

All this is scripturally founded and it is top-heavy with threats.

During the Washington (a deist) adminstration, the Treaty of Tripoli was conceived. It was not ready until the Adams administration was in office. Article 11 of the treaty was ratified without any contention in the Senate. Back then, leaders knew we are a secular, religion-neutral republic/democracy. They didnt even argue over it. These days, the rabid ones would be wired white hot to stop such an artricle from being ratified and becoming law. In fact, the state of Texas passed a law that says exactly opposite of what the Senate ratified and the President signed.

Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli is crystal clear; only a religious fanatic could twist this into something it isnt.

"As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion -- as it has itself no character of enmity against the law, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, and as the said states never have entered into an war or act of hostility against any Mohametan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce."

The Constitution has a special place for treaties: Article 6 states:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the Supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in state shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.


Hercules:.......Those medieval European nations did not honor God's laws in their own statutes (they only made sure that they didn't make the Catholic leaders upset), or direct their lives, wars, and policies upon the basic moral law of God. Our nation's Founders, however, sought to do this. If you have a problem with this, simply search out their writings, and not the commentaries of professors or authors -- get the REAL stuff.

JV...The Old Testament is full of genocidal campaigns ordered by God. They are directed against the people with other gods, sacred groves, ashrams, pagan temples. The Crusades and the Inquisitions were modeled after those campaigns. There are scores of scriptures ordering or praising the destruction of other religions' temples, altars, sacred groves, and shrines. When the filthy and unbathed Bishop Martin of Tours went from village in Gall to village destroying pagan temples, he was emulating models of demolition from the Bible. When John of Ephesus demolished or burned down temples, and like Martin, built Christian Churches on the ruins, he was following Biblical precedent.

Hercules........But it is hard for us to understand what we are defending or opposing when we don't know what a REAL "Christian nation" is. I have written about the definitions here.

JV...The "Real Christian" stuff always amuses me. There are as many definitions as there are people. Liberals have liberal definitions; conservatives have conservative ones, ad nauseum.

Hercules........BTW: The motto "New Order of the Ages (Novus Ordo Seclorum)" which our Founders put on the Great Seal, has NOTHING to do with separating Christian principles from government for the first time in "ages." According to the context, it had more to do with a new way of patterning governments in relation to the distribution of powers -- the people were given more responsibility, the legislative was given more power, and the executive was therefore checked. In that very same side of the Great Seal, the Founder's placed the "all-seeing eye" as a symbol of God's Providence on behalf of the formation of the American republic.

JV......I couldnt disagree more. Youre doing the "cafeteria Christian" dance now, choosing what you like and discarding that which makes your assertions weak if not dead.

To say that the end of 1500 years of religious tests for oaths of office isnt a magnificewntly new idea in the new American order is really stretching rational thinking. Ending 1500 years of Government established and subsidized Christianity is not a minimal change. Its huge; its antithetical to 15 centuries of public policy.

In fact, ending the mix of the state and religion was the boldest idea in the Constitution. Not only were the the branches of the government to be separate but equal, church and state were to be separate as the religious test ban clause of the 6th article plainly leads to.

In 1961, the last religious in America test went on trial in Maryland. This Medieval law was about to give up the ghost. Its constitution's article required that a person believe in God in order to be able to hold office. The court hold is especially well written and can be seen as adressing all the errors of the Christian nation propaganda.

Old ways are ard to shed. Due to the 1961 USSC ruling in the case of Torcaso v Watkins, its all be cleared up rather well. It was said over and over in our founding period but nobody seemed to get it or possibly they just didn't want to let go of tradition and held on to the end. The 1961 case contested the constitutionality of Article 37 in Maryland's Declaration of Rights, which stated,

"No religious test ought ever to be required as a qualification for any office of profit or trust in this State, other than a declaration of belief in the existence of God."

The case involved an atheist who had been appointed by the Governor to a position. Because of his atheism, he was subsequently denied the position because he could not make "a declaration of belief in the existence of God". After going through the court system, the USSC unanimously agreed with the atheist. Justice Black wrote for the court:

"This Maryland test for public office cannot be enforced against appellant, because it unconstitutionally invades his freedom of belief and religion guaranteed by the First Amendment and protected by the Fourteenth Amendment from infringement by the States."

"There is, and can be, no dispute about the purpose or effect of the Maryland Declaration of Rights requirement before us - it sets up a religious test which it was designed to and, if valid, does bar every person who refuses to declare a belief in God from holding a public 'office of profit or trust' in Maryland. The power and authority of the State of Maryland thus is put on the side of one particular sort of believers - those who are willing to say they believe in 'the existence of God.' It is true that there is much historical precedent for such laws. Indeed, it was largely to escape religious test oaths and declarations that a great many of the early colonists left Europe and came here hoping to worship in their own way. It soon developed, however, that many of those who had fled to escape religious test oaths turned out to be perfectly willing, when they had the power to do so, to force dissenters from their faith to take test oaths in conformity with that faith. This brought on a host of laws in the new Colonies imposing burdens and disabilities of various kinds upon varied beliefs depending largely upon what group happened to be politically strong enough to legislate in favor of its own beliefs. The effect of all this was the formal or practical 'establishment' of particular religious faiths in most of the Colonies, with consequent burdens imposed on the free exercise of the faiths of nonfavored believers. ... When our Constitution was adopted, the desire to put the people 'securely beyond the reach' of religious test oaths brought about the inclusion in Article VI of that document of a provision that 'no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States'....."

Justice Story himself wrote regarding the Sixth Article in his 1833 writings on the Constitution. Those who post Story's statements on Common Law and Christianity don't want people to see this other very different statement by Justice Story because it undermines the foundation of the religious right's argument. Justice Story was wrong regarding Common Law but he was right on the mark regarding the Sixth Article's religious test ban. Below is the section on the Constitution that statement comes from:

"The remaining part of the clause declares, that 'no religious test shall ever be required, as a qualification to any office or public trust, under the United States.' This clause is not introduced merely for the purpose of satisfying the scruples of many respectable persons, who feel an invincible repugnance to any test or affirmation. It had a higher object; to cut off forever every pretence of any alliance between church and state in the national government"

James Veverka said...

Oops, its getting late here in NH. I almost forgot to post a link to the court ruling in the 1961 case of TORCASO v. WATKINS

http://supreme.justia.com/us/367/488/case.html

James Veverka said...

Here also is the link to Justice Story's statement in his commentaries on the Constitution.

Forever!

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a6_3s27.html

James Veverka said...

Ourfounding truth posted:

Story said, "Christianity was the foundation of which good government built good citizens.". Nothing in the Constitution supports that statement. And when and to whom did he say it

Where does your Noah Webster quote come from? It is also disjointed with an awful lot of dots. I would like to knoiw what is in between the dots. I have seen Barton's tricks with dots. Its downright dishonest with a couple of them.

Noah Webster rarely expresses things on church state matters that agree with the constitution. They are mostly his preacher's opinions.

Who did Madison say that to? When? What year?

James Wilson said that to whom? When? In what context? A letter? Which letter?

And Justice Story's quote is not sourced. It is his opinion in a highly chaged arena of trying to interpret the Constitution. You make a mistake when you use quotes as if they are actual explanations of the constitution. The founders were a very diverse group with diverse opinions. Among the founders, probably the least congruent in thought with the constitution were Patrick Henry, Noah Webster and their allies who wanted to have the government support Christian teachers. The truly enlightened founders sided with Madison and Jefferson in church-state matters.

As Madison said to F L Schaeffer on the happy disproof of unenlightened but well meaning Christians (like most of today's religious right) @ http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/madisonluther.html

The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity ).

Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822 -On the First Amendment: http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendI_religions66.html

"Notwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, and the full establishment of it in some parts of our country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Government and Religion neither can be duly supported. Such, indeed, is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded against. And in a Government of opinion like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion on the subject. Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together."

"It was the belief of all sects at one time that the establishment of Religion by law was right and necessary; that the true religion ought to be established in exclusion of every other; and that the only question to be decided was, which was the true religion. The example of Holland proved that a toleration of sects dissenting from the established sect was safe, and even useful. The example of the colonies, now States, which rejected religious establishments altogether, proved that all sects might be safely and even advantageously put on a footing of equal and entire freedom; and a continuance of their example since the Declaration of Independence has shown that its success in Colonies was not to be ascribed to their connection with the parent country. if a further confirmation of the truth could be wanted, it is to be found in the examples furnished by the States which had abolished their religious establishments."

"I cannot speak particularly of any of the cases excepting that of Virginia, where it is impossible to deny that religion prevails with more zeal and a more exemplary priesthood than it ever did when established and patronized by public authority. We are teaching the world the great truth, that Governments do better without kings and nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson: the Religion flourishes in greater purity without, than with the aid of Government

James Veverka said...

Exposing Noah Webster

http://candst.tripod.com/tnppage/misqidx.htm
http://candst.tripod.com/tnppage/qwebstrn.htm

James Veverka said...

Another bogus George Washington quote with no home. It cant be found anywhere. A fundy made it up.

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

Where has the honesty and integrity gone?

Try to find it at the Library of Congress search engine!

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/mgwquery.html

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