Are We a Christian Nation or Not?

***

medium_14325904038***

The marital rape post started veering off into a political direction and as I read through some of it, I think it is a topic worthy of discussion here.

I’ll use Ed’s last post as a starting off point and add a few of my words (which Ed probably won’t like), but he’ll still be my friend – lol.

 

Marsha,
Sorry but I disagree. However, I will say that when I first learned of the certain sect of Christianity that are pushing their hard line right wing agenda’s, I stopped labeling myself as a conservative Christian, although I am conservative that is a Christian. I believe that there are Christians on both sides of the aisle, progressive, etc. But, how many progressives nationwide believe in God vs. the conservatives?

Who is changing Christmas to winter break? When we used to say, Happy Holidays, it was because there were two holidays, Christmas and New Years Day. It used to be that all faiths (except Jews) celebrated Christmas, even atheists. Now all of a sudden the rest of us have to endure a “winter break” greeting? When I hear that, I ask, “What Holiday?” Things are getting nuttier in America these days.

I agree that it didn’t have the 2/3 vote, but it still had a majority that did not want God in the platform at all. So, the question in my mind is NOT how many voted for or against. My question is for those who voted against it, why did they vote against it? The majority voted against it, but the minority was called the winner. That was not right, based on the call for a vote.

***

When I went to public elementary school in San Jose, California. I remember praying in class – we’re talking early 70s (yea, I turned 50 a few months ago – OY).  The school holidays were named after religious holidays:  Easter break, Christmas break.

Now I have kids in public school.  One school is filled with predominantly Mormon students and one day a Mormon student asked the public school teacher if they could pray before an event. I was there and witnessed this.  This was not on school grounds and the teacher said yes.  What if it was a Muslim student asking to pray in front of the whole class? Would I (or you) be okay with that?

I saw Brenda R.’s comment about Sharia law and did not find it offensive at all. Do you have any European friends? They will likely tell you how the religious landscape of their countries has changed in the past decade or so. Muslims have come into their countries in droves, buying land, sometimes attempting to get Sharia law integrated into the laws of their new land. The way I look at this is it is no different than the Christian Reconstructionists trying to infiltrate our US government and impose Old Testament laws into our current legal system.  I have big problems with that, too!

So, my opinion is:  let’s have Winter break and Spring break for schools. I don’t want Christ taught in public schools. I want my kids to be educated in the three Rs in public school and leave the religious education to the parents. I don’t mind a class on a survey of religions, but I don’t want our public schools to focus on Christianity as the foundational religion (even if I believe it to be so). We may have Buddhist teachers, Mormon teachers, etc, in our schools. We may have teachers who believe in Benny Hinn theology, etc.

So there’s my opinion. What’s yours? Please be careful when posting – this topic can get heated!

*******
photo credit: JeepersMedia via photopin cc

433 comments on “Are We a Christian Nation or Not?

  1. Carol,

    You have a fascinating story in regards to your father.

    In regards to Under God, President Lincoln used it in his Gettysburg Address, paragraph 3. So, obviously, he didn’t believe in the TODAYS redefined “separation of church and state. And, President Ronald Reagan has no problem with using Under God, either, as he states in the video, that yes, we are a nation under God.

    As I noted above, I do not believe in today’s version of separation of church and state. I believe in separation of state from church, but not church from state. That, to me, was the meaning behind the letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Baptists. He certainly was not telling the baptists to keep their religious thoughts to themselves. He was stating that the government was not going to meddle in church affairs, thereby avoiding a theocracy. But he never intended for the church not to be involved with the state. So, to me, separation of church and state is not a basic tenet. The meaning has been changed. And based on that change in meaning, monuments of the Ten Commandments are being removed from courthouses, etc., that has been there for generations before. That is what I mean by the atheists taking away our Christian traditions and heritage, and history.

    Listen to Paul Harvey’s, If I Were The Devil on YouTube.

    In regards to your family bringing you up to make up your own minds of what religion to follow, that one blows my mind. The Bible shows us, even in the Old Test., that we are to bring up our children to the knowledge of God, and then, when they get old enough, they then can make up their own minds. But, keep in mind, age appropriate learning. The concept of hell is for older kids, not 3rd graders.

    Anyway, that’s my take.

    Ed

    Like

  2. Ed,

    If there was not the separation of church and state, then you are saying the state would have to legally define Church/church wording, etc. Think of this, most of the defamatory phrases in my lawsuit had to do with church. The court wouldn’t touch them because they does not define or interpret religion or spiritual matters. Do you want the State defining scripture for you, Ed? Really?

    I believe the state must be separate from the church. I see no other way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Julie Anne,

    You said:
    “If there was not the separation of church and state, then you are saying the state would have to legally define Church/church wording, etc”

    NO NO NO. You missed what I said.

    I said that the STATE stays away from the church. But the church does not stay away from the state.

    The church defines church matters. People in the church are WE THE PEOPLE.

    Based on many writings of the Fathers of this nation, morals come from God, not people. Even Ronald Reagan said that in a speech when comparing Socialist nations. He said that those kind of nations, morals is defined based on the a means to achieve a goal. He also said that our morals come from God.

    I am also saying that the term “separation of church and state” never ever ever existed in the words of Thomas Jefferson, either. That wall of separation only meant that the government was not going to dictate to the church, not the other way around.

    But it has been redefined to include the other way around. And this new definition is CONSTANTLY being addressed in courts in which Jay Sekulow is more than happy to take on.

    For example, a Christmas Tree in GOVERNMENT buildings. Some are so freaking scared to death of atheists, they changed the name to a HOLIDAY tree. I mean, come on, my goodness. That’s insane. Isn’t it?

    Ed

    Like

  4. Carol said:
    “I have no problem with a monument to the Ten Commandments at a courthouse if you have no problem with a quote from the Koran along side it.

    Can of worms?”

    My response:

    Have I not explained myself here? I feel I am going over the same ground over and over and over again.

    JESUS gives freedom. Jesus is God. Jesus represents Christianity.

    Allah does not give freedom. Jesus is this nations heritage, and history, not Allah.

    Can I explain it any clearer?

    Yes, I would have a problem with a Koran, because the God in the Declaration of Independence is not talking a generic God, but the Christian God…Jesus.

    We are in the New Testament, not the Old Testament. The founding Fathers were in the Jesus arena. Not the Mohamed arena.

    Ed

    Like

  5. ChapmanEd said,

    JESUS gives freedom. Jesus is God. Jesus represents Christianity.
    Allah does not give freedom. Jesus is this nations heritage, and history, not Allah.

    This only works from a Christian perspective. Not everyone is a Christian.

    People of other faiths won’t agree or won’t care about that.

    I also think you are mixing apples and oranges.
    Our nation being founded on Christianity or not is a different issue, I think, from if or can people publicly express their religious beliefs, whatever those beliefs are.

    Many Muslims don’t even really care about freedom.
    From what I have read, Muslims believe that all people should be in submission to God (Allah).
    They think the whole world should either convert to Islam (they want a caliphate), or if they choose to stay pagan (from the Muslim view) and pay the Jizya, or non converts should be decapitated. Muslims do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, but another prophet.

    The Dec of Indp. may not mention the Koran or Islam, but that’s somewhat irrelevant since the founding fathers were establishing a nation where people could believe or not believe how they want, even if that means reading a Koran or praying to Allah.

    A Muslim in America does not have to agree that Jesus is God. And if you’re going to allow Christians to put up a Nativity on a public park, then, Muslims get to erect a big sign praising Allah if they want to, in the same park.

    I don’t even like Islam, LOL, and agree with HUG’s comment on the prior page that it’s largely a violent highly intolerant religion.

    But the Muslims in America have a right, even under your “Christian” documents, to stick up a Muslim sign on public property, to worship Allah if they choose.

    Those docs say government cannot favor one religion over another and play favorites, which means Christians don’t get special treatment that Muslims don’t get.

    My point on that, though, it our nation is filled with lots of hypocritical folks who treat Muslims, Wiccans, with kid gloves, but then apply a different set of standards to Christians, which is not right .

    “Protecting the rights of the minority” (as someone said on a prior page) doesn’t change the fact it’s not right that one group gets special favors over another one, I don’t care who is in the minority or majority.
    If you’re going to let the Muslim guys pray to Allah in class, read from a Koran during class, then you also have to let the Christian kid wear a cross necklace and read from the Bible, or let the Jewish kid wear a Star of David and read from the Torah.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. MissDaisyFlower,

    It doesn’t matter if they are a Christian or not. In the Declaration of Independence, the God that gives freedom is Jesus.

    People who are not Christians, that’s fine. Do Americans celebrate the 4th of July?

    Why?

    Based on that document, Freedom does NOT come from mankind. It comes from God only. And the only God that gives freedom is Jesus…the New Test.

    Not the God of the Old Test, either.

    Ed

    Like

  7. “the only God that gives freedom is Jesus…the New Test.
    Not the God of the Old Test, either.”

    Ed, are you saying the God of the OT is not the God of the NT, that they are separate Gods?

    Like

  8. Did anyone happen to see the news yesterday and the day before about Duke University? They were going to allow their tall building used as a means for a loud speaker to be played for a gathering for prayer.

    Billy Grahams son had a problem with that, and he made phone calls to donors to threaten to withhold money.

    Said Franklin:
    “As Christianity is being excluded from the public square and followers of Islam are raping, butchering, and beheading Christians, Jews, and anyone who doesn’t submit to their Sharia Islamic law, Duke is promoting this in the name of religious pluralism. I call on the donors and alumni to withhold their support from Duke until this policy is reversed,”

    Ed

    Like

  9. Ed said

    We were not founded on the principles of Allah, no matter how many Muslims live here.
    It doesn’t matter if they are a Christian or not. In the Declaration of Independence, the God that gives freedom is Jesus.

    Muslims wont’ agree or care that Jesus supposedly is the one who gives freedom. They think Jesus is just another prophet.

    Muslims also won’t care if Americans think their nation was founded upon the God of the Christian Bible. They think that Mohammed is the last, greatest prophet, even more important than Jesus.

    Muslims, according to your Christian docs, still get to worship Allah. You cannot force Muslims to pray to Jesus, or force Muslim kids to sing Christian hymns in public schools, or bar them from erecting up a pro-Mohammed sign in a public park if they so choose.

    Also, yourself and some other guy who was arguing your view never did address (or maybe this is not relevant depending on your view), which group of Christians gets to determine what kind of Christianity this nation is or lives under?

    Christians cannot always agree on what “biblical” Christianity is.

    Roman Catholics and Protestants (both groups claim to be Christian) of many centuries ago used to burn each other at the stake for having the “wrong” kind of Christianity.
    Both those groups burned Anabaptists at the stake for having the “wrong” kind of Christianity.

    I don’t want to live under a nation of Christians who believe like preacher Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Doug Phillips, because these men have Christian views, that they swear up and down can be defended from the Bible, that say women should not have college degrees, women should not have jobs outside the home, etc. Should women be subjected to these men’s version of Christianity?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Tim,

    I believe that the God of the Old Test IS the God of the New Test, that is, Jesus. However, I am making a distinction of the Old Test vs. the New Test., whereas the Old Test called for stoning women for adultery, and not eating bacon, and lobster.

    The New Test is about freedom, not restrictions. Christ set us free, right?

    And this nation was based on the freedom that Jesus gives in the New Test., not the hardline judgment of the Old Test.

    Ed

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I see where you’re coming form now Ed. You meant that the Old Covenant is different from the New Covenant, not that there is a different God under each of the covenants.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Ed said,

    Billy Grahams son had a problem with that, and he made phone calls to donors to threaten to withhold money.
    Said Franklin:
    “As Christianity is being excluded from the public square and followers of Islam are raping, butchering, and beheading Christians, Jews, and anyone who doesn’t submit to their Sharia Islamic law,

    I already addressed some of these issues in previous posts, have you even read them in full, or just skim them?

    In America, Muslims have a right to pray aloud, even on college campuses, over loudspeakers.

    Muslims are highly intolerant in many their own nations and decapitate and/or jail people for being Christian, or for owning New Testaments, etc.

    But in America, they still get to practice their faith publicly. Your Christian founding documents give them that right.

    And yes, there is a double standard in our nation where the liberals, ACLU, militant atheists, and others, often make exceptions for Wiccans, New Agers, and Muslims, that they won’t grant to Christians.
    But that doesn’t change the fact that Muslims have a right to pray in public in the USA, even on a college campus over loudspeakers.

    Like

  13. Missdaisyflower,

    It doesn’t matter what the Muslims think. They live in a FREE country that was established based on Jesus. If they don’t believe that, as some even here doesn’t, that’s OK. They don’t have to. It doesn’t change the beliefs of the Fathers of this Nation. Not one iota.

    And, which group of Christians gets to decide? I find that question to be odd. Why? Because all decisions are based on VOTING. Our representatives represent us, and they vote. Or, we vote. It isn’t based on a particular sect. I’m wondering where that question is coming from.

    Ed

    Like

  14. Tim said,

    ” … which group of Christians gets to determine what kind of Christianity this nation is or lives under?”

    I vote for Westboro Baptist Church.

    I was thinking about asking Ed about Westboro.

    Does Ed want to live under a Westboro Christian nation?

    Westboro is sort of the Christianized version of the Islamic group ISIS. (Minus the decapitations.)

    I think that the “Baptists” of “Christian” Westboro church would, if they could run the nation and make all the laws put 99% of all other people, both Non Christian, as well as self professing Christians, into concentration camp.

    You cannot just be a Christian with Westboro, you have to be the “right” kind of Christian a “Westboro” kind of Christian.

    Westboro members are extremely legalistic and have unloving and very strict views about how people should live their lives.

    Westboro (and they claim to be Christian) would probably put ChapmanEd into a concentration camp for not agreeing with Robert (poster from two threads ago) that husbands are “entitled” to sex with their wives.

    (I would assume Westboro is very, very sexist and patriarchal, and they think God is dandy with sexism. They probably have signs saying, “God Hates Women,” or, “God Hates Equality for Women”).

    Liked by 1 person

  15. missdaisyflower,

    Do you remember Church Bells ringing? I do. Do you hear them now? I don’t. They have gone silent. Why?

    In regards to yesterday’s posts, I skimmed them, as there were many many. I had no idea that this topic was going to get so many comments, even when I was away from the blog. It surprised me.

    Ed

    Like

  16. carolsnider,
    God was originally a part of our government. The separation was there would be no government run church.

    Like

  17. Ed, are you even getting that for the most part I am in agreement with you?

    Yes this was a Christian nation founded on in part on respect of the Bible.

    Yes Christianity is being kicked out of the public square, I am not cool with that.

    But it remains that Non Christians, including Muslims, have a right to practice their faiths in public too, not just Christians.

    When you keep insisting that everyone recognize this is a Jesus nation, though, what does that mean?

    Do Christians like pastor Mark Driscoll get to take away my right as a woman to hold a job and stay single, use birth control for health reasons?

    If pastor Marky Mark had his way, I would have to marry, pop out 34 children, and be a June Cleaver stay at home wife and mom, and I do not want to do that. But Marky Mark is a Christian.

    If Robert the Christian dude from two threads ago had his way over this nation, my hypothetical husband would get to rape me whenever, because the Bible says husbands are “entitled” to sex. I don’t agree with Rob there.

    You cannot force Muslims to pray to Jesus in public schools or get in a tiff when Muslims pray to Allah over a college loud speaker. They have that right.

    Like

  18. Ed,
    I listened to, Paul Harvey, “If I Were The Devil”. He was spot on. He could see the path we were taking to destruction even in 1965. I remember listening to Mr. Harvey often with my mother even back then I knew he was a wise man.

    Brenda

    Liked by 1 person

  19. carolsnider

    Thanks for your story @ JANUARY 16, 2015 @ 10:09 AM…
    On how you “became,” chose, to be an atheist by exploring “The Worlds Religions” and recognizing how they fall short. I’m NOT a fan of “The Worlds Religions” either. Today’s Christian-dumb included. 😉 Can NOT seem to find much of what is practiced, called Christian, today, in the Bible.

    Now, knowing Jesus, and being known by Him, that’s another story…

    You might NOT realize it – But…
    You sound a lot like Jesus. Oy Vey!!! And the Bible. Double Oy Vey!!!

    Much agreement when you write…
    “For me, the Golden Rule sums it up nicely
    treat others,… the way I want to be treated.”

    That is very close to how Jesus said it 2000 years ago, in Mat 7:12 NASB
    In everything, therefore, treat people
    the same way you want them to treat you,
    for this is the Law and the Prophets.

    Seems, Jesus, is also in agreement with you when you write…
    “…the one “religion” that seems to be true always
    is simply treating others with love and compassion…”

    Jesus sounds like you “treating others with LOVE and COMPASSION.”

    John 13:34-35
    A new commandment I give unto you,
    That ye LOVE one another; as I have LOVED you,
    that ye also LOVE one another.
    By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
    if ye have LOVE one to another.

    Mt 14:14
    And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude,
    and was moved with COMPASSION toward them,
    and he healed their sick.

    Yes – You sound a lot like Jesus… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Ed said,

    It doesn’t matter what the Muslims think. They live in a FREE country that was established based on Jesus.
    If they don’t believe that, as some even here doesn’t, that’s OK. They don’t have to. It doesn’t change the beliefs of the Fathers of this Nation. Not one iota.
    ————
    Yes, it does matter what they think.
    Your Christian documents that you idealize so recognize that everyone in the USA is free to worship who and what they want, including in public, and the Govt. is not allowed to prohibit them.

    Muslims don’t recognize Jesus, that part of your argument is largely irrelevant.

    The founding fathers of the nation knew that not everyone agreed on if there is a God, or who that God is.
    I don’t think the Constitution or Dec of Ind mentions the word or name of “Jesus,” does it?

    Ed said,
    And, which group of Christians gets to decide? I find that question to be odd.
    Why? Because all decisions are based on VOTING. Our representatives represent us, and they vote. Or, we vote. It isn’t based on a particular sect. I’m wondering where that question is coming from.
    ———————–
    You keep saying this is a “Christian” nation, but other than mentioning Jesus, you’re kind of vague about it.

    There is no single one type of “Christianity,” but you keep making the faith out like it’s this monolith where Christians always agree with each other about everything, but they do not.

    As were the founding fathers, they were intentionally vague in the Const and Dec of Ind, because, I think, they knew that Christians don’t always agree with each other.

    Why would you want America to be God’s nation? That phrase, God’s nation, was tossed around two pages ago.

    The only nation that was God’s nation, according to the Bible, is Israel, and God often sent Israel into captivity or sent them famine and disease. No thank you.

    Like

  21. Daisy,
    When you talk about many of these men who would take away our freedom, no. They would bring us back a few hundred years. I don’t want them in leadership at the church level, much less government leadership. My daughter also needs birth control pills for medical reasons even though she is married. I certainly do not want that taken away from her or from any woman. Their rules about many things are not Biblical and I do question if they do have the Spirit living within them. We will know them by their fruits, the Bible tells us. Rotten apples do not bring forth good fruit, unless of course a seed manages to get into the ground and produces a new tree.

    I like the German Chancellor’s way of thinking. Sure you can come to our country, BUT you will have to agree to learn our language, our beliefs and our ways otherwise go back to where you came from. That is my paraphrasing, of course. Being a free nation does not give those from other cultures the right to come to our country and decide they want to run it the same way as from where they came. If they didn’t like the difference in our nation, what was the purpose of coming here?

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Missdaisyflower,

    Freedom of expression…I think I would have to ponder that one in regards to the Muslims. We pray silently, without a loud speaker in a public area. They are causing a public disturbance, so I don’t think that equates to freedom of expressing ones faith.

    The same that would go for a Muslim woman totally covered trying to get a drivers license. She would need to uncover to get a picture of her face.

    But yes, I know that you and I are agreeing in things, and you are challenging my thinking process…I know.

    Ed

    Like

  23. Missdaisyflower,

    You said:
    “Yes, it does matter what they think.”

    I stills say, no it doesn’t.

    If we are a melting pot, they assimilate into our culture, we don’t conform to them, they conform to us, just like what Brenda was discussing. They don’t have to believe it, so it doesn’t matter. They live in OUR free country. It belongs to them, as well. But it belonged to our forefathers before it belonged to any of us. And they set the rules, we didn’t. They drafted the Declaration, we didn’t. ALL AMERICANS, need to respect our founding documents as to what our founders believed. What we believe is immaterial. We live in a country that THEY established. We didn’t.

    But you know what? We seem to be redefining what they established. And I don’t like that one bit.

    Ed

    Liked by 1 person

  24. missdaisyflower,

    You said:
    “You keep saying this is a “Christian” nation, but other than mentioning Jesus, you’re kind of vague about it. ”

    I’m vague? Are you kidding me?

    How’s this: FREEDOM. That is what America stands for. Jesus is Freedom. I am not bringing doctrine in this at all. Just Jesus.

    How is that vague?

    You said:
    “There is no single one type of “Christianity,” but you keep making the faith out like it’s this monolith where Christians always agree with each other about everything, but they do not. ”

    That has NOTHING to do with my topic at all. Everyone knows that Christianity is about Jesus, and we should all know that Jesus stands for Freedom. That’s all it is. No doctrines at all.

    Ed

    Like

  25. Missdaisyflower,

    You had said:
    “Why would you want America to be God’s nation? That phrase, God’s nation, was tossed around two pages ago.

    The only nation that was God’s nation, according to the Bible, is Israel, and God often sent Israel into captivity or sent them famine and disease. No thank you.”

    Hmmm. Very strange that you would equate what you just did.

    Do you say, God Bless America? Is America a Nation? If you do say “God Bless America”, do you say it in vain?

    The Bible states BLESSED IS THE NATION WHOSE GOD IS THE LORD.

    And you are saying, No thanks? HUH?

    Blessings is not cursings. I’m not getting you on this one. Yes, I toss that one around.

    Ed

    Like

  26. How did the Muslims pray before 9/11/2001? Were there concessions made in a separate room for them? Or, based on their religion, are they exempt if they are working and such? How do Muslim taxi drivers in New York pray when they are driving a taxi? Why is it that we are debating their freedom of religion, when their religion mandates was different prior to 9/11 in regards to their 5 times a day prayers?

    If it was different then, why are we bending over backwards to accommodate changes for them now? Doesn’t make sense to me.

    Just wondering.

    Ed

    Like

  27. Ed said:

    “Carol said:
    “I have no problem with a monument to the Ten Commandments at a courthouse if you have no problem with a quote from the Koran along side it.

    Can of worms?”

    My response:

    Have I not explained myself here? I feel I am going over the same ground over and over and over again.

    JESUS gives freedom. Jesus is God. Jesus represents Christianity.

    Allah does not give freedom. Jesus is this nations heritage, and history, not Allah.

    Can I explain it any clearer?

    Yes, I would have a problem with a Koran, because the God in the Declaration of Independence is not talking a generic God, but the Christian God…Jesus.

    We are in the New Testament, not the Old Testament. The founding Fathers were in the Jesus arena. Not the Mohamed arena.

    Ed”

    Ed, this reminds me of the JW or Mormons who come to my door and try to convert me. When I ask for proof for the existence of God, you know what they give me? The Bible and their love for it. That’s like me telling you that the proof behind the existence of dragons is “Puff the Magic Dragon” and my love for that song. They — and apparently you (no offense meant) fail to understand that, to anyone but a Christian, the Bible is simply a book. Granted, an important one in history and literature, but a book nonetheless, written by men through the ages, something like Aesop’s Fables. I do NOT mean to be offensive, but I do want to make my point.

    So when I ask if you’re OK with a quote for the Koran being in a US government building next to the Ten Commandments, and you say no, you’re not because the Bible says… and Jesus says… well, your argument (“JESUS gives freedom. Jesus is God. Jesus represents Christianity. Allah does not give freedom. Jesus is this nations heritage, and history, not Allah.”) simply doesn’t hold credibility and would never fly in a US court.

    Ask JulieAnne; I’m sure she had to deal with this demand for objective, credible, quantifiable proof as she went through her court case. I’m sure that, when her accuser quoted (or mentioned) the Bible, his argument was thrown out. Why would that be?

    Belief is belief. Faith is faith. Both are wonderful things. But I think you are failing to see beyond your own beliefs and faith, and sometimes it’s important to be able to do so.

    I also beg to differ regarding the god that is referred to in the Declaration of Independence. You say, “the God in the Declaration of Independence is not talking a generic God, but the Christian God…Jesus.”

    Here are the facts: “GOD” is alluded to three times in that document. “Nature’s God” (first paragraph), the “Creator” (second paragraph), and “Supreme Judge of the World” (final paragraph).

    Please point out for me how any of these refer in any way to Christianity or Jesus.

    “Creator” does not refer specifically to a Christian god. “Creator” can be interpreted so many different ways. To me, the word “Creator” means Nature and the miraculous way nature works in the Circle of Life. “Their creator” is meant to be open-ended and not to be identified as reflective of any one religion’s beliefs.

    The second reference, “Nature’s God” also doesn’t refer to a Christian god specifically. Even Wiccans and Pagans (and Native American tribes) pray to the God (and/or Goddess) of Nature.

    God is also alluded to in the last paragraph, where appeal is made to the “Supreme Judge of the world”. Again, there is NO specific mention of WHO that God is, and MANY religions acknowledge their god(s) as being the Supreme Judge of the world and/or universe.

    So although you BELIEVE, based on your own Christianity, that the mention of God in the Declaration of Independence refers to the god YOU believe in, that’s just an example of egocentric thinking (again, not an insult; it’s an actual psychological term).

    Carol

    Like

  28. Carol,

    What did the framers believe.

    To me, that’s all that matters. And what they believe is in the Declaration of Independence. And what did they believe?

    Man does not give freedom. God gives freedom. That is what they believed, and they wrote it down.

    What God do YOU think that they are talking about that gives freedom? The Muslim God? The Shinto God? The Communist God? Or the Christian God? The Buddhist God? In that Pamphlet that you gave us reference to last night, Thomas Jefferson stated that freedom comes from God. He is declaring that freedom does not come from man. That tells me that you don’t even believe him.

    What was the Date of the signing of that Declaration?

    Do you celebrate it? If so, then why are you celebrating something that you don’t believe?

    Ed

    Like

  29. A. Amos Love said:

    “Yes – You sound a lot like Jesus… :-)”

    Amos (sorry, I don’t know your real name), I take that as a HUGE compliment!!

    My parents spoke of Jesus as a man who had such huge love in his heart that it spilled over everywhere — to children, to the blind, to the hungry in the form of enough food for all (yes, they explained what a parable is), and to those who had been shunned and judged by others. As I grew up, I was never told of Jesus as a god (or “son of God”), but he felt like one to me because he was so understanding and so full of love that he could turn the other cheek when being spat on. He was so humble and kind and fair. That’s how I knew Jesus to be.

    And that’s why, as I grew older and witnessed so much in-fighting among Christians, so many trite arguments among Christians (and you sure see that all over the Internet now!), and violence (in word and deed) toward non-Christians, I could only think, “What would Jesus say if he saw this being done IN HIS NAME?” ! I think he’d be majorly PISSED and ask how his “followers” could have possibly misinterpreted his message of love, compassion, and acceptance so badly to the point that they are calling each other names, making petty arguments, and acting poorly, as Christians!

    From everything I can tell, from her words to her deeds (and her persona, as I have been so lucky to meet her in person), Julie Anne exemplifies someone who is the sort of Christian that Jesus would have been very proud of, as the basis for all she does is grounded in love, compassion, tolerance, and doing the right thing as a human being.

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Ed said:

    “Man does not give freedom. God gives freedom. That is what they believed, and they wrote it down.

    What God do YOU think that they are talking about that gives freedom? The Muslim God? The Shinto God? The Communist God? Or the Christian God? The Buddhist God?”

    I don’t believe in G/god, so I don’t believe that any god “gives freedom.” Not even sure what “gives freedom” means — intellectual freedom? political freedom? geographical freedom?

    As a human being, I am intellectually free to think anything I want – whether I live in 1968 East Berlin, Guantanamo Prison Camp, or Seattle, Washington. My thoughts are my own – as are every human’s on earth. Political freedom? Being a US citizen provides me with that — regardless of my religious beliefs, or lack thereof. Geographical freedom? Well, when I’m on US soil I’m more free (see political freedom) than were I to go to North Korea.

    So in regards to your assertion that freedom comes from God or Jesus: yours might. I respect your beliefs and have no problem with you believing that. But please don’t tell me that my freedom comes from God or Jesus. It’s just… well, it doesn’t respect my beliefs – which is really all I ask of you (as a human being and, if you prefer, as a compassionate Christian).

    Liked by 2 people

  31. “It’s just… well, it doesn’t respect my beliefs – which is really all I ask of you (as a human being and, if you prefer, as a compassionate Christian). ”

    Good Job, Carol

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Julie Anne exemplifies someone who is the sort of Christian that Jesus would have been very proud of, as the basis for all she does is grounded in love, compassion, tolerance, and doing the right thing as a human being.

    Well, maybe not on Twitter.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. I enjoy reading the latest biographies on our country’s founders and what I’ve concluded is that the US was established less as a Christian nation but more as a God dependent nation. Without a “higher power” from which we derive our rights then the logical conclusion is that our freedoms are not an inherit right, but a privilege granted by whoever has the most powerful military power. Obviously the founders needed that inherit right to support their argument.

    There was a mix of atheists, deists and various flavors of Christianity among those who helped form the constitution. After the dust settled, even though the Constitution only applied to the Federal government, the states that had originally established a state religion revised their constitutions to more properly separate the government from a state established religion.

    So my conclusion is that we are not a Christian nation but a Godly nation – one that has a natural home for the various flavors of monotheistic religions. Atheists and polytheistic religions seem to have a tougher time in the context of the Declaration of Independence. However, the Constitution is even more inclusive – the only reference to God is “in the Year of our Lord”.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Ed, The Declaration of Independence does not mention “Jesus”, nor “God”. It uses the word “Creator”. You ASSUME that they meant “God”, and in particular, your choice of “Jesus” as “God”. Now I believe that God, in the person of Jesus, was the Creator. but that is my belief, and it is not a necessity, particularly since some of the founding fathers were Deists, who specifically did not believe that Jesus was God Incarnate. Your insistence that the appearance of the word “Creator” means that we are a “Christian nation” betrays a severe ignorance of language and logic, because, I believe, you are so wrapped up in your own concerns not to see the logical fallacy in your thinking. I believe as you do about who created, about Jesus being God, etc., but that is not necessarily the reason that “creator” appears in the Declaration of Independence.

    We are a nation that has, at times, been predominantly composed of Christians, particularly when we excluded from citizenship many original Americans, slaves, etc. But even in the 18th and 19th centuries, there were periods when the majority of Americans were not practicing a Christian faith, and many who did were more culturally Christian, that professing believers.

    Many of the most vociferous advocates of separation of church and state, as put forth in both of the religion clauses of the First Amendment, are practicing Christians, including Baptists and Presbyterians, etc. Baptists were a key to getting the first amendment added to the Constitution, as they were the downtrodden religious sect of the day in Virginia, which had a state church.

    I suggest a book “Endowed by our Creator: The Birth of Religious Freedom in American” by Michael I Meyerson. He is a historian and professor of constitutional law and legal history. The book is published by Yale University Press and can be obtained through Amazon.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Good points, Attorney. I also noticed an earlier commenter referred to the use of “Nature’s God” back in the days of establishing the U.S.

    From what I’ve read, “Nature’s God” was understood at that time to mean merely that there is a supreme being of some sort but not necessarily Jesus. It was a way for Enlightenment folks to sound religious without adopting Christian doctrine.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Ed, the Bible mentions several times over that Israel was God’s nation.

    The Bible does not mention the United States by name.

    Re: Ed’s JANUARY 17, 2015 @ 11:46 AM

    “If it was different then, why are we bending over backwards to accommodate changes for them now? ”

    Like it or not, Muslims and other religious groups have just as much right in the United States to practice their faith. This is kind of what makes it possible for Christians to also be allowed to practice their faith too.

    As to why folks are bending over backwards to accommodate them: it’s PCism run amok. It’s why every time Islam is involved in an act of terrorism, Obama refuses to use the words “Islam,” “Muslim” or “terrorism.”

    While others may be motivated by fear, because any time an individual or govt. speaks out against Islam, or draws a picture of their prophet, some Muslims become infuriated and burn cars in cities, or shoot up cartoonists in newspaper offices (e.g., Charlie Hebdot, Geert Wilders).

    Like

  37. An Attorney,
    I just read part of the overview of the book that you recommended and it says:

    Simply put, the framers intended for the new nation to separate Church and State, but not God and State.

    They did not intend to take God out of our country in anyway. Not Allah, which is not a name of the one true Living God mentioned in the Greek or Hebrew of the Bible. He was called by many names, but that is not one of them. God is called the Creator. They acknowledged that He, my Lord and Savior is the Creator. To me that speaks volumes as to why when the original documents were written and signed they immediately walked down the road that lead to a little church and all prayed for our country. They prayed to God, the Creator of all things. Jesus is God.

    Like

  38. Daisy, I disagree with your premise.

    While others may be motivated by fear, because any time an individual or govt. speaks out against Islam, or draws a picture of their prophet, some Muslims become infuriated and burn cars in cities, or shoot up cartoonists in newspaper offices (e.g., Charlie Hebdot, Geert Wilders).

    People do not have to retaliate. We see more and more of these types of attacks. Why? Because they hate. If they want to protest what has been written, spoken out against or drawn that is one thing. But to go into a building and commit mass murder is just plain wrong in any religion. They do not have to do these violent things. This is hate. This is not pleasing to whomever their god may be. This is what keeps people from freedom. They have made themselves the judge, court and executioner. Kill the infidels. What is killing those that disagree with you telling others about their god? It’s not a few anymore. There are many who hate us and many, such as those involved in the Boston Marathon bombing attack lying in wait for a time to attack. That is not fear talking. That is reality. They don’t need a reason to do these things. They do them because they want to.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Brenda,
    In French, “god” is “dieu”. In Arabic, “god” is “allah”. In German, “god” is “gott”. When an Arabic speaking Christian prays, it is to “Allah”. Your ignorance of language is showing.

    Like

  40. Brenda
    “God” does not appear in the Hebrew or Greek Bible. Nor does “Creator”. Your argument on said point holds no water.

    Like

  41. An attorney.

    You may think that saying that someone is “ignorant” is not insulting, but it is. I referenced the Greek and Hebrew which the original translations of the Bible came from. I was not referencing today’s languages. You are referencing the word “god”, small g. That is different that “God”, is the God, the only God in my heart and mind. Other gods are idols.

    Like

  42. Brenda, you said “Jesus is God”. I agree. However, many of the founders did not!!! And so the reference in the documents is not Jesus but God or Creator or some other term that accommodated the Deists and others who were not professing Christians. And it was a period in American history, when most people were not professing Christians, but cultural Christians. And if you talk about cultural Christians, there are many countries in which the population is more Christian than the U.S. was at times in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, because almost everyone in those places were cultural Christians.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Julie Anne: An Attorney is commenting in a demeaning fashion toward Brenda R. I respectfully request that you intervene.

    Like

  44. Keith. To say someone is ignorant is not demeaning. You really need to do some learning about that issue. Your ignorance is showing.

    Like

  45. Its personal, though. An Attorney, if i left the rest of the comment there and removed “your ignorance is showing,” look at the difference it makes. It wouldn’t sting, but the important info remains in a respectful tone. Let’s avoid that phrase, please.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. An Attorney, you say the words “God” and “Creator” do not appear in the Hebrew or Greek Bible. Both words clearly do appear in Scripture, albeit in their Hebrew and Greek forms (and, I suppose, in whatever language was used in parts of Daniel). What am I missing? Maybe I’m just one more ignorant juror who doesn’t understand, but you’ll have to explain yourself before I can embrace your argument. Not intending to insult you. Your contributions here tend to be more than usually perceptive. It’s just that I’m having trouble following your point this time around.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. “Like it or not, Muslims and other religious groups have just as much right in the United States to practice their faith. This is kind of what makes it possible for Christians to also be allowed to practice their faith too.

    As to why folks are bending over backwards to accommodate them: it’s PCism run amok.”

    I’d say it’s more going to the lengths necessary to make sure their rights actually ARE equal – and that the voice of the people shouting (figuratively), “Hey, this is a Christian nation! We were here FIRST and you are messing with OUR rights!” is heard equally to the voice of the people shouting (figuratively), “We are peaceful Muslim Americans who simply want to build a place of worship on the land we bought – just like you Christian Americans do…”

    Maybe doing more listening with open hearts and less shouting (figuratively) with angry hearts would be a good first step.

    Like

  48. carolsnider

    Really enjoyed how you spoke about Jesus @ JANUARY 17, 2015 @ 3:43 PM…

    “…Jesus as a man who had such huge love in his heart that it spilled over everywhere…”

    “…he was so understanding and so full of love that he could turn the other cheek when being spat on. He was so humble and kind and fair. That’s how I knew Jesus to be.”

    “What would Jesus say if he saw this being done IN HIS NAME?” ! I think he’d be majorly PISSED and ask how his “followers” could have possibly misinterpreted his message of love, compassion, and acceptance so badly…”

    What is popular is NOT always “Truth.”
    What is “Truth” is NOT always popular.

    After Jesus made Himself, and His Love, and His Forgiveness, real to me in 1977, I then spent many years looking for this Jesus of love and compassion in the church of man, the 501 (c) 3, Non-Profit, Tax $ Deductible, Religious $ Corporation, the IRS calls church, thinking I was doing the “Right” thing, the God thing. I mean, if you acknowledge there is a God, want to know God, you Go To Church. At least, most in “The Corrupt Religious System” will tell you that. But, I did NOT find Him there. Eventually, the early 90’s, I left “The Abusive Religious System” of today through some tuff times. But, the benefit, I wound up in search of the Jesus of my First Love.

    You have described Him, Jesus, better than most… 🙂

    Thank You

    Liked by 3 people

  49. An Attorney,
    I respectfully disagree. It is disrespectful and demeaning. But it is rolling off me like water off a ducks back.

    Like

  50. A. Amos Love said:

    “You have described Him, Jesus, better than most… 🙂

    Thank You”

    Thank YOU, Amos!

    …and yet, I call myself an atheist. A bit odd, yes?

    I think there are many people like me who honor the man Jesus was, his teachings, his absolute love, his compassion, his willingness to “go against the grain” to do what is humanly right and fair — and yet we don’t call ourselves Christian because we don’t add the “is God” and “speaks through me” and other more “magical” parts of it.

    We simply honor the human being who was loving and kind and really good teacher and friend.

    And yet, the names we are called! The way some (not all) “Christians” speak of atheists is really sad (and not very Christlike, I might add). We love and honor the memory and teachings of the same man you (generic) do, but we are seen as the enemy because we haven’t called him our god and we don’t pray to him. We see him more as a teacher with really good lessons.

    I never had any problem with the WWJD movement. In fact, I loved the simplicity and the non-dogmatic focus of it. What would the kind, compassionate man named Jesus, who lived long ago, do? The pomp and circumstance of church and dogma is stripped away and we are left with “what is the right thing, the Golden Rule thing, to do? Perfect! Beautiful!

    But as soon as the word “atheist” is brought in, we are seen as heathens. Is it spiritual abuse, turned inside-out??

    Liked by 1 person

  51. @carolsnider

    “Maybe doing more listening with open hearts and less shouting (figuratively) with angry hearts would be a good first step.”

    I couldn’t agree more. I would only add that sometimes the shouting is literally.

    I watched a news clip last night that took place near my neck of the woods. American Muslims rallied for peace, and tried to combat the negative stereotypes about them. I watched them wave American flags. I was downright embarrassed listening to the protesters outside the gathering.

    http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/local/2015/01/17/islamic-group-faces-threats-protest-in-garland/21935317/

    Liked by 1 person

  52. You’re right, Carol, atheists and Christians do have a lot in common. There are also fundamental differences that keep the labels Christian and Atheist applying to one or the other person. but there is no reason for either person to reckon the other person as anything other than worth respecting. For many Atheists, I think that respect comes form a sense of shared humanity. For Christians, that respect comes from knowing that we are all made in the image of the one true God.

    Liked by 2 people

  53. BeenThereDoneThat said:

    ““Maybe doing more listening with open hearts and less shouting (figuratively) with angry hearts would be a good first step.”

    I couldn’t agree more. I would only add that sometimes the shouting is literally.

    I watched a news clip last night that took place near my neck of the woods. American Muslims rallied for peace, and tried to combat the negative stereotypes about them. I watched them wave American flags. I was downright embarrassed listening to the protesters outside the gathering.

    http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/local/2015/01/17/islamic-group-faces-threats-protest-in-garland/21935317/

    As I said, the opposite of love is FEAR.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. Carol asked about resistance to the WWJD movement among Christians: “How could Christians complain about an absolute focus on Jesus?!”

    WWJD was not about focusing on Jesus in the sense of Hebrews 12:2 (“fix your eyes on Jesus …”) but on an attempt to place anyone in any era to trying to figure out what Jesus would do. Would Jesus get a driver’s license at age 16, or wait? Would Jesus marry this person or would he instead marry that person? Would Jesus eat meat or be a vegetarian? That’s how I saw the WWJD movement eventually play out in my area anyway. And that type of ridiculous theological pigeon-holing led to the movement’s demise as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Ah, that makes sense. Over-thinking… Too bad. It was a Christian movement I felt had some merit. As in, what would kind, compassionate, love-centric Jesus do?

    (I brought it up when talking to my son about the “you’re going to hell incident, saying that Jesus probably wouldn’t have gone about it that way…)

    Liked by 2 people

  56. WWJD–My daughter who had a bracelet with the WWJD logo, turned it into What Would J(her name) do? WWJD wasn’t about a heart felt experience with turning to Christ. It was a trendy way to thinking about Jesus as a name, like a Hollywood name, but not seeking to find out who He really is.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. Carol wrote:

    “I have no problem with a monument to the Ten Commandments at a courthouse if you have no problem with a quote from the Koran along side it.”

    Great comment Carol! Just the other day I was thinking along the lines of much the same thing. I was horrified when the high court ruled that Moore’s monument amounted to the establishment of a state religion in the courthouse. In my opinion it did no such thing. It no more established a state religion than a Starbucks in the Capitol Rotunda would establish a state coffee vendor. I too would have no problem with an uplifting verse or two from the Muslim Qur’an inscribed on an obsidian cube inside some courthouse. Values of truth and justice are universal no matter what culture or religion they come from.

    Liked by 2 people

  58. Sometimes Muslims come to the US precisely because they are oppressed in their own countries. They value the freedoms that America offers as much as anybody,

    There is a case in the KSA that I’ve been following. A Saudi blogger was sentenced to 10 years in jail and 1000 lashes for allegedly insulting Islam. He wanted a means to openly discuss issues of his religion. Now his own government is punishing him.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-30856403

    A higher court declined to charge him with apostasy which would have carried a death sentence. One of the charges against him was “the fact that he pressed the “Like” button on a Facebook page for Arab Christians.”

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-21149851

    I just can’t stand the irony of Mr. Badawi being lashed for “liking” Arab Christians while Christians in the DFW area are being downright rude and ugly to Muslims. I guarantee some Muslims in the US appreciate our freedoms more that some of us do.

    Liked by 2 people

  59. carolsnider,
    I don’t think the WWJD movement was a Christian movement as much as it was a $$ movement. I was brought up in a conservative church and trendy things just simply weren’t allowed. Jesus was taught on His own merit. We have free will and are free to choose, but that sort of thing was felt a distraction to the gospel message.

    You are right. Jesus would not have gone about talking to your son about Himself in the manner that his friends did. Children knew Him much easier than adults. They came to Him like He was magnetized to the kiddos. By all accounts, it seems that children were far more likely to see Him for who he truly was than their parents.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. Brenda R: You are welcome. I may be just be an old beer-drinking Lutheran, but as we say around here “right is right”. May the Lord bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  61. An Attorney: I have been in practice for over 20 years. I got my law degree at UVa, and as I said before, have read a book or two.

    Like

  62. My view of all this is that many of the colonists were often devout believers. If I recall, among the colonists who landed at Jamestown was a C of E vicar. Holy Communion was celebrated shortly after landing. There were other colonies which had a religious element to their founding, Maryland was Roman Catholic, Pennsylvania Quaker. By the time of Independence, it was a mixed bag of denominations, but there was a fairly orthodox consensus, with a fair strain of Calvinist thought, witness the Blue Laws which were only abolished in my lifetime. I would say then that there was a theistic consensus which generally prevailed amongst the populace. But as i said before, I am not sure it really matters, because the secularisers are not particularly interested in history, or past consensus. They look to now and the future, and have substantial wealth and power available to keep accomplishing their goals. Sorry for the long post. Home from church with a sinus infection, so I thought I would sit up for a while. Glad we have a merciful God who loves us.

    Like

  63. carolsnider

    I understand when you say…
    “And yet, the names we are called!”

    I have challenged “Todays Abusive Christian Religious System,” Abusive “church leaders,” And their “Titles” that are NOT found in the Bible, that are used to elevate, manipulate, and control, and their “Tradtions” that Make Void the Word of God…

    Yes – I’ve been called a few, errr, unpleasant names…

    But, The Religious Leaders were NOT very fond of Jesus either. 😉 His pointing out their hypocrisy, the heavyweights they were placing on shouders, turning His Fathers house into a den of thieves, and calling them “Of your father the devil.”

    Seems the only ones Jesus gave a hard time to were “The Religious Leaders.”

    Jer 50:6
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    **THEIR shepherds** have caused them to *go astray,*

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as *sheep going astray;*
    BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Liked by 1 person

  64. carolsnider

    For what it’s worth here is my short take today, on “The Worlds Religions.”

    ***First – Religion gives God a bad name… 😉

    ***Second – God is NOT religious.

    Man is religious, doing religious things, religious rituals, religious traditions, over and over, again and again, weak after weak, religiously.
    Attempting to please, appease, God, with our sacrifices.
    That we might gain His Favor, His Love.

    Is that how someone has, develops, a relationship with a friend?
    Is that how someone has, develops, a relationship with someone you LOVE?

    Jesus said, “I call you NOT servants… I have called you friends…

    ***Third – Just about every religion on the face of the earth says
    “you” have **to DO something** in order to please God.
    Pay, Pray, Stay, and Obey. Just a few among many extra-biblical rules.

    But, we are called human beings – NOT humans DOing.

    I’m talking about religion, The Religious Systems,
    NOT about people who desire to know God.

    ***Forth – Religion is The System, NOT the Relationship.

    Jesus did NOT RE-form The Religious System of His day. He left it. And Called Out of that Religious System His Ekklesia, His Church, His Called Out Ones, His Disciples, His Sheep, into a relationship with Himself. To be His Sheep, to hear His Voice, and Follow Jesus. To be Led by The Spirit. NOT Led by Mere Fallible Humans. And definitely NOT do the same religious rituals, over and over, again and again, weak after weak, religiously.

    The *wind (*pneuma= Spirit) blows where it wishes
    and you hear the sound of it,
    but do not know where it comes from and where it is going;
    so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.
    John 3:8 NASB

    My Sheep, Hear My Voice, and I Know Them, and They follow Me.
    John 10:27 NASB

    Like

  65. Carolsnider: I think an important issue in all this is the concept of where rights come from. There was a significant debate in jurisprudence about this topic known as the Hart-Fuller debate, between Hart, a Positivist and Fuller, who espoused the older theory of Natural Law. Is Law what the sovereign says, or are there natural rights and laws which trump the ability of the sovereign to promulgate and enforce laws? The debate was quite an important one, coming as it did in light of the use of positivism by totalitarian political systems.

    Like

  66. carolsnider

    I’ve experienced…

    Following Jesus is… 🙂 🙂 🙂

    A whole lot different then…

    Following a Man Made Religious System… 😦 😦 😦

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice; “
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Voice – One Fold – One Shepherd – One Leader

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Liked by 2 people

  67. AAmos Love said:

    “I understand when you say…
    “And yet, the names we are called!”

    I have challenged “Todays Abusive Christian Religious System,” Abusive “church leaders,” And their “Titles” that are NOT found in the Bible, that are used to elevate, manipulate, and control, and their “Tradtions” that Make Void the Word of God…”

    The thing is, when atheists are called names and rejected by Christians, we shrug and think, “Well that’s not very nice, kinda hypocritical, not very Christ-like.” And we go in with our lives. We don’t live by doctrine and dogma and church rules, so it’s pretty simple: those people aren’t treating others according to the Golden Rule. End of story. Not much drama.

    But when Christians reject and shun their own, entire lives are impacted (thus this blog, and JA’s lawsuit, and entire Christian vs Christian websites and books) and people are hurt to their very core because their entire being is rejected by exactly those who they thought accepted and lived them. I find it extremely sad and heartbreaking to observe.

    There is zero drama based on religion in my life. How can there be? I lead a very dull life (at least in terms of religion) compared to many of you here. But I’ll take it, thank you.

    Still ,you Christians should really be nicer to each other.

    Liked by 3 people

  68. carolsnider

    “The thing is, when atheists are called names and rejected by Christians, we shrug and think, “Well that’s not very nice, kinda hypocritical, not very Christ-like.” And we go in with our lives.”

    “Not much drama.”

    Do ALL atheists react this way? 😉

    Why the rise of the many “Milatant Atheists” and their hate for Christians?

    Why do you call your son a “militant atheist” son…
    When he has a mother who has taught him,
    and is promoting love and compassion?

    “I promise, I get just as upset when my “militant atheist” son is insulting to others’ religions, and I cite yet AGAIN for him the Golden Rule.”

    Seems atheist and christians fall short of the love and compassion model – Yes?

    Liked by 2 people

  69. I think that some atheists believe most Christians are like Westboro, while some Christians believe most atheists are like Madalyn Murray O’Hair. The reality is that there a variety of folks who use the two labels to describe themselves. Equally true is that there is a caricature of how each group thinks regarding politics and public policy.

    Liked by 2 people

  70. A.Amos Live says:

    Why do you call your son a “militant atheist” son…
    When he has a mother who has taught him,
    and is promoting love and compassion?

    “I promise, I get just as upset when my “militant atheist” son is insulting to others’ religions, and I cite yet AGAIN for him the Golden Rule.”

    Seems atheist and christians fall short of the love and compassion model – Yes?

    Yes, Amos. You are absolutely correct.

    My son doesn’t show the same acceptance and compassion for Christians that I wish he would. He has carried things that he feels too far, to the point that his views can be distespectful of others. He knows that this is not what he was taught. He carried what he was taught a bit too far.

    Just like, as you say, some Christians do.

    Liked by 1 person

  71. I’ve been following this discussion and it always boggles my mind. What do people really mean when they say we are/were a Christian nation. We were founded on Christian principles. We’ve moved away from God. What does that mean? In truth, this nation was founded on a lot of things. Some good, some bad, some beautiful, some tragic and ugly. There was honor and there was deceit. That is the real truth. To look at it any other way is to ignore large swaths of history and people.

    The constitution explicitly stated black people were 3/5 a person. Where is the Christian witness in that? This nation owes it great wealth to slavery. You don’t have one without the other. At one time, South Carolina was the 2nd richest state, next to Massachusetts. It was the 2nd richest due to rice which came from slave labor. So again, was this era when we were Christian?

    Post slavery, we have reconstruction, the entrance of peonage, black codes, and eventually Jim Crow. Countless laws, both federal and state denied basic freedoms and dignities of black people, women, and others. Were we a Christian nation then?

    Were we a Christian nation during the civil rights movement? When black people were routinely lynched, homes burned, and people stood outside of schools screaming hateful things at children because they wanted to go to a better school?

    Were we a Christian nation when we put Japanese people in concentration camps?

    What good is it to have the 10 commandments on the wall at school or a school prayer at the beginning of the day if you the individual and the government treat your fellow man poorly?

    I could quote scripture, by your fruits you shall know them, or whatsoever you do to the least of these you do to me…I could point to many examples where Christ goes after the outcast, the one left out, and draws them in.

    Throughout these comments, I’ve seen a few people lightly touch on this country’s history of persecution. I’ve never seen those comments addressed. I’ve read Ed argue very passionately about the use of God/Creator in the founding documents and how much it upsets him that we have moved away from God. I can only say I’ve looked at the wills that list human beings (slaves) right under cows as pieces of property and can say with certainty I’m glad we’re no longer there and I don’t see God in that. I’ve talked to black people who grew up in the 40’s and dealt with gross racism and violence. I’m glad I don’t have to step off the sidewalk because a white person is there. I don’t see God in that.

    If you’re not willing to grapple with all the history of this country, then what’s the point? Be honest that you intend to have an incomplete, slanted discussion.

    Liked by 5 people

  72. Excellent post, Lola. Really great points, and beautifully written!

    What it ALL comes down to, for me, is that when we, as a nation, act with humanity and compassion, we’re a great nation. When we don’t, we are not.

    Keep God in the picture or take God out of the picture; it doesn’t really matter either way, because it’s our collective behavior as citizens that determine who we are as a country.

    Liked by 1 person

  73. Regarding this comment from a post by A Amos,

    “Why the rise of the many “Milatant Atheists” and their hate for Christians?”

    I am not sure if this is in reference to some post I made earlier in this thread.
    I used the term “militant” to differentiate types of atheists, as I have done in former posts on this blog.

    Not all atheists are rude, dogmatic, or hateful, and that was what I was conveying by use of the word “militant atheists” as opposed to writing simply “atheists”.

    But my use of the qualifying term “militant’ before the word “atheist” has been, or maybe was, taken as an insult term. When its use was meant to be the opposite.

    Some atheists (they call themselves “New” atheists) do in fact promote intentionally being rude and offensive to theists as a method of winning converts to atheism (see link below).

    Then other atheists, who do not agree with this militant, hostile approach to theism or towards Christians, have written articles in magazines online saying they disagree with that approach. Some atheists are encouraging a non-militant approach to how they spread atheism or challenge theism.

    That is coming from self-avowed atheists, it’s not just me saying this.

    Here is but one example (there are other essays like this by other atheists out there if you care to do a web search),
    _The Case Against In-Your-Face Atheism_

    An atheist counsels his fellow non-believers on how not to talk to people of faith.

    Like

  74. I posted part of this comment on another thread, but it really belongs here.

    Last night I went to a church group that is being called, “The Living Room”. I could swear by the things discussed that someone has been in MY living room and in my computer. Since I don’t really get into conspiracy theories I shucked that notion, but did email the facilitator about it.

    Some of the topics were: Are We a Christian Nation, nones and atheists being more Christ like than Christians. Eerie? Absolutely. The majority of 30 or so, meaning about 2 left did not believe that we are a Christian nation and never were. I was disheartened by that fact, but was uplifted when all said that God has been with this country in the past and would be again, IF we turn back to Him.

    Liked by 1 person

  75. Brenda R., Ed and others: the zeal which you have shown in asserting your positions is admirable. Never give in!

    Like

  76. Keith,
    Thank you for the encouragement. Most of the Christians I know are really nice folks, as well. We just differ in view is all. More often than not, I agree to disagree, except with those that question my salvation because I am divorced. Those are fightin’ words, with a side of shaking the dust from my feet.

    Liked by 1 person

  77. carolsnider

    You write @ JANUARY 18, 2015 @ 10:48 AM…
    “and people are hurt to their very core because their entire being is rejected by exactly those who they thought accepted and lived them. I find it extremely sad and heartbreaking to observe.”

    Yup – When I was going thru the Spiritual Abuse, the betrayel,
    It was “ extremely sad and heartbreaking.”

    But – There was a benefit for me – I had NO place else to go…
    But – To Go To Jesus…

    And I have experienced His Presence, and His Promises coming to pass…
    In the “heartbreaking” times…. In the “heartwarming” of times….

    “I will never leave you nor forake you.”

    “These signs shall follow those who believe…”

    “Pray one for another that you might be healed.”

    “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.”

    “let the peace of God rule in your hearts…”

    “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding,
    shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

    When hangin with Jesus you get to experience “His Peace.”
    Jesus said, “my “peace” I give unto you: not as the world gives”

    In the natural, “Peace” is “the absence of war.”
    But, with Jesus, you get to experience “His Peace” in “the midst of the war.”

    The Prince of Peace is…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Liked by 1 person

  78. carolsnider

    I’ve enjoyed the conversation…
    And I have this feeling your name has been recorded… 😉
    Because you have respected and honored His name…

    Malachi 3:16 NET – New English Translation

    Then those who respected the Lord spoke to one another,
    and the Lord took notice.
    A scroll was prepared before him in which were recorded the names
    of those who respected the Lord and honored his name.

    Liked by 1 person

  79. Interesting. It’s as if Lola’s comment was spoken into the wind.

    Personally, I think America is being punished for rebelling against the ruling authorities (Romans 13) back during the Revolutionary War.

    (runs and hides)

    Like

  80. J Pow: Yes it is, except for Tim and Carol of course. A conversation can only go as far or deep as the discussion participants are willing to go.

    Liked by 2 people

  81. Keith: Oh, I do believe one could make a Biblical argument for it.

    I’m just one that does not see God has having a convent relationship with the U.S., so I personally don’t buy into it.

    Liked by 1 person

  82. Keith writes:

    “Brenda R., Ed and others: the zeal which you have shown in asserting your positions is admirable. Never give in!”

    Also don’t underestimate the value of listening compassionately and with an open mind to other perspectives that differ from yours and being willing to learn something as you do. Compromise and peace consist of listening with an open mind and being open to others influencing you, just as you hope to influence them. “Never give in” might prevent you from becoming a more knowledgeable, empathetic, compassionate, educated person.

    And quite fitting today: “Compassion and nonviolence help us to see the enemy’s point of view, to hear their questions, to know their assessment of ourselves.
    For from their point of view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses
    of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit
    from the wisdom of the brothers and sisters who are called the opposition.
    Martin Luther King, Jr.”

    Liked by 2 people

  83. Amos writes:

    “carolsnider

    I’ve enjoyed the conversation…
    And I have this feeling your name has been recorded… 😉
    Because you have respected and honored His name…”

    Thank you, Amos.

    I assume you mean recorded for possible entrance into heaven?

    Interestingly enough, what some people think of as heaven – a place where only Christians and those who love the god Christ reside — sounds like a terrible place to me.

    My idea of heaven is a place where a wide diversity of viewpoints and perspectives are represented, compassionately and with love, like a community meeting of people with widely disparate philosophies and lifestyles, but all with love and peace in their hearts. I would be bored stiff spending eternity with people of a like mind to mine, with the same philosophies, lifestyles, and opinions. YAWN… and get me outta here!

    No, my idea of heaven is encountering peaceful and loving people of all religions and faiths, political ideas, sexual orientations, colors, and nationalities. Let the haters within ALL of those groups go to hell (whatever that is), but if there is a heaven, to me, it is a place where love, open-mindedness, and compassion are the only “entrance requirements.”

    THAT, to me, sounds like a great place to spend some time!

    Liked by 1 person

  84. J Pow –
    Lola –

    I did mention many of the uncomfortable facts of our countries beginnings and continuings early on in this thread (or the thread this one grew from.) Not much of a discussion ensued regarding the white male rule that was predominant at the founding of our country and in some institutions still to this day. Not all the founders were Christian, and not all Christians had similar views, and not all the Christians practiced their Christianity (which begs questions for another time).

    The real truth is our country was founded by rich European men who had power because they had wealth. Some of them did attempt to make the government fair for all, but we still seem to be working on that idea over 200 years later. Wealthy white men were the early rulers of our country and very much liked it that way – Christian or not. They did want ‘their’ freedom though. Everyone else had to fight and claw for their freedom — in this country founded on freedom . . .

    Liked by 2 people

  85. Lola,
    I just read the original version of the Constitution. Where does it say, “The constitution explicitly stated black people were 3/5 a person”. Not that they were not treated that way in many places, but I don’t see it within the document. Slavery is just plain wrong no matter what the color of your skin may be.

    The Japanese being put in camps was wrong. The way that fear promotes violence is wrong.

    Racism is not right, but now we have it in reverse. A white or even hispanic police officers cannot do his/her job without the race card being used. Not all stories make the national news.

    Like

  86. Tim: I often wonder in these discussions if the ugly past is ignored because it’s uncomfortable and unpleasant or whether some people think it was merely the natural order of things therefore not really bad therefore God’s will was done therefore we were a Christian nation.

    I still don’t know what that title or proclamation means. Everybody knows actions speak louder than words. Proclaiming yourself to be something does not make it so. Which is why I ask what is the basis for the title. What was the country doing at the time? What were the laws? Do the actions match up with the words? At the end of the day, “freedom” was an idea that was limited in scope when this country began. If the founders really believed God gave everyone certain rights, they would not have written laws limiting the rights of some.

    Martin Luther King, Jr. said the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice. It is fascinating to me that as the arc bends with time, some people think the country was more “godly” before the bending began.

    Like

  87. Brenda: I don’t follow you. You mention slavery, camps, then race card is pulled with cops? I don’t see how those connect. Slavery does not equate with the race card being pulled although I confess I don’t know what you mean by that. However, my initial post addressed history, not current events. As I understand this discussion is a debate on whether we were a Christian and stopped being one or whether we ever were at all. Obviously I agree with you that slavery is bad. It’s a horrific institution both past and present. But slavery wasn’t some random thing in the US. It is woven into the fabric of our being. It is how the country’s wealth was gained. So how do we grapple with that history in light of everything else? I say we just tell all of it, honestly talk about it. Instead of acting like this other “stuff” that doesn’t line up with a witness of Jesus didn’t happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  88. The sad thing is that both slavery and genocide have been recurring events in human history. The desire to steal labour and take life seems to be a part of the human condition.

    Liked by 2 people

  89. carolsnider: I have listened, and indeed had pounded in to me other views for most of my life. I just want to encourage Ed and Brenda R., not discourage anyone of other views.

    Liked by 1 person

  90. Lola,
    I was going through the course of history in my mind and came up to where we are now. People came to this country to escape religious persecution. The slavery and camps for the Japanese were from your comments. I went a step further to where we are today and what I see in this country and on the news. I’m trying to sort this out. I was taught in US history as a girl about the religious freedom that people were coming here for. How can a country used for rescue from persecution be other than it’s initial purpose? I can’t wrap my brain around that.

    Keith,
    You can’t have it both ways. You can’t encourage Ed and I to never give up and not discourage others from their views. Right at this point my views are being discouraged.

    Like

  91. Brenda: You are correct. Some people came to escape religious persecution. Others came to escape poverty. Others were brought here as prisoners and indentured servants due to various crimes or debt. Others were brought here as slaves. And there were people here already. That’s a whole ‘nother discussion. ALL of it happened. I can understand how that can be hard to reconcile, especially if it’s not something you normally think about. The US was founded on more than just one thing so I cannot agree that the initial purpose of the country was freedom from religious persecution. Maybe a few colonies in particular, but not all of them, and definitely not the country as a whole.

    Liked by 1 person

  92. I remember being taught that people came here for religious freedom and thinking what a great thing that was until I realized that they only meant for themselves. The Puritans persecuted others who believed differently, such as the Quakers, who were banished, jailed, beaten, had their belongings confiscated, and executed.

    Liked by 2 people

  93. Brenda,

    Some people came to the New World to escape religious persecution, but not *all* people. People came for all kinds of reasons. Many came for economic freedom/gain. Some came to escape a life of prision. Some were indentured servants. Some were adventurers and wanted the thrill. This country was not populated solely by and for religious reasons. We have to remember that this country began and was growing for a good 150-175 years before the issue of freedom from England became a Revolutionary War. The War itself had little to do with religion but with econimics and self government.

    Liked by 1 person

  94. Brenda,

    I see Lola and I were responding at the same time with similar thoughts. I wasn’t intending to pile on in any way.

    History can be a very biased subject, depending on the source, unfortunately.

    Like

  95. Brenda writes:

    “Keith,
    You can’t have it both ways. You can’t encourage Ed and I to never give up and not discourage others from their views. Right at this point my views are being discouraged.”

    “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

    Elinor Roosevelt

    Like

  96. One thing I keep in mind when reading the Declaration, Constitution and subsequent history of the US is that ideas have serious far reaching consequences. It was radical at the time to declare that white men are equal to the kings, other rulers and even magisterial rulers— and have the same natural rights as said king, rulers, etc. Those were fighting words. Read King George’s response to the CC’s Olive Branch Plea they sent out before the Declaration was signed.

    And the idea of equality did not die. If white men, what about women? Indians? Slaves? Yes, it took a long time for the idea to take root legally, but it did because of free speech, free assembly, freedom of religion and other things we take for granted today.

    Another interesting snippet was to read the population models during the time leading up to the Revolutionary War and during. It was calculated that only about 30% of the population of the Colonies were strong supporters of a Revolution. And about 30% supported the King. It was the undecided that eventually made the difference when it heated up. Ironically this follows along some of our historical voting patterns.

    the power of ideas! They can be for good or evil. They can be intentioned for a specific group and grow way past that. Amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

  97. Back in 1776, the “Religious Adherence” rate was no more than 26% of the population of each Colony.

    Many colonies were below 20%, including:
    Vermont, Maine, New York, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

    Liked by 1 person

  98. Bridget,

    Agreed: “History can be a very biased subject, depending on the source, unfortunately.” You got that right! Who is the source and why–can be a good place to start.

    Most of us have had to go back and fill in the ‘real facts’ that we missed, that is, we were not told in our school years. It often comes as a huge shock when individuals get answers for themselves and see how much they missed in their early understanding of people and events in history! Getting our own answers helps us to piece things together and have a better grasp of the main dynamics that were going on–at whatever time or place that one chooses to study deeper. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  99. Barb, you are so right. I had to do a paradigm shift when I learned about the Holocaust. The way history seemed to be presented in school, mankind was supposed to be getting better, better technology, better medicine, greater industrial and agricultural output. But none of that balances out an industrialized nation murdering millions of their citizens. I read everything I could get my hands on about the Holocaust in middle school. I wanted to know how such a thing could have happened.

    Liked by 1 person

  100. Marsha,
    The Holocaust was presented to me in middle school by a very angry History teacher. He passed out photos that I was not prepared to see. I was living through life with a perverted step father and was seeing how much more evil there was in the world and was sickened by it. The stories that he told of how the medical experiments were performed on innocent children in order to find out these modern medical miracles that we take as no big deal today. There are truly evil people out there that will be turned over to their own devices. I didn’t read more on the Holocaust. What I was told in that class hit reality of the world we live in deep in my memory bank.

    I should learn more about how the Japanese were treated in our own country. I know they were held in camps, but little else. I don’t want to think they were treated as the Jews were in the holocaust, but nothing would surprise me.

    Like

  101. Brenda R: I really mean to encourage you. Keep asserting your position! Don’t let the disagreement of some be discouraging. I have agreed with a lot of what you and Ed have said. Others have also made some good points.

    If this discussion could be in a threaded format, it would be easier to follow, but I think you both have done quite well in stating your positions and responding to the views of others.

    I am going to take a little break from the board for a while. I am not leaving, just going to give it a rest. I know most of you through your usernames, but I think in “real life” there would be a bunch of people on here who I could be friends with. I hope y’all have a blessed 2015!

    Liked by 1 person

  102. Keith,
    Thank you for clarifying. I feel the same way about “real life”. Even though we don’t always agree, tone and clarity and real knowledge of those we speak to in person is often much different than those we speak to on line. Looking forward to meeting many sitting at the King’s throne some day.

    Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  103. I am very fond of the people who post here and you are often in my prayers. It doesn’t matter to me if we disagree on whether the U.S. is a Christian nation or any other debatable issue; what matters is the heart.

    The Internet and ‘real life’ isn’t much different to me. I am happily married to the love of my life and I met him in a medical support Internet chatroom fifteen years ago. I met my best friend there too; we turned out to live near each other, got together and hit it off. She kept my spirits up during a very bleak time. She and her husband are raising their grandson. If anything happens to them (God forbid), my husband and I have agreed to welcome him to our home. There is no one else who is well and could do it. And we could count on them in a crisis.

    You never know who God will send to answer prayers and how He will send them.

    Liked by 3 people

  104. If the bible is not used in public places then it is not a Christian nation. The old testament law is based on ‘nature’ essentially what is good or bad in natural conditions as reminder to ‘be fruitful and multiply’ truthfulness. There is a good book called ‘in God we don’t trust’ that clearly explains that the founders of USA were quite rebellious.

    Like

  105. No, America is not a “Christian” nation. There is no such entity as a “Christian nation” for it is people that become Christian, not nations. By God’s mercy and grace, there exist literal born again Christians in almost every nation, as a personal response to the Living Gospel (Law and Grace, rightly divided) in desiring to follow and live their lives for Jesus Christ. Perhaps the land called America resembles more of Babylon than we realize if the blinders were to be removed from the eye.

    Liked by 1 person

Thanks for participating in the SSB community. Please be sure to leave a name/pseudonym (not "Anonymous"). Thx :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s