Declaration of Independence Banned at Calif School

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by Ian McCracken, Nov 25, 2004.

  1. spejic

    spejic Cautionary example

    Mar 1, 1999
    San Rafael, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Well, given that the guy in question is local (I could probably walk to the school in less time than it takes me to write this post) I knew that it wouldn't take long before he showed up on the local radio talk shows. He did. From what he says, the truth is way more boring than the controversy in the articles. Although he is a self-described born-again Christian, the class discussions and the handouts he was proposing were pretty innocuous. However, the school administration behavior was also not extreme - there was a check on his handouts that was unique to him due to his admitted religious standing and given their natural desire not to be sued, but it was one he was perfectly willing to comply with since the previous school year. The principal came by when there was any class mention of God (probably at the prompting of a nervous parent), but was satisfied by the explanations given. There wasn't any event that triggered the lawsuit. It seems that he was just picked to be the poster boy for "Christian persecution".
     
  2. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Since we're talking about the role of religion in the Declaration and Common Sense and so forth, Washington's outstanding military work is, in fact, irrelevant. It's like citing Patton in a discussion of the founding of the UN or the Nuremburg Trials.
     
  3. dj43

    dj43 New Member

    Aug 9, 2002
    Nor Cal
    Again you sidestep the issue because you cannot refute it. You choose to question the importance of 1 man whose role was less obvious on the surface than the other 2 I mentioned. But the fact is, this country was founded with significant ideas that are based in Christian teachings. You, and other liberals, don't want to admit that because Christianity teaches accountability which runs counter to the "blame everyone but the perpetrator" mentality of liberals. This is REALLY the problem that many people have with Christianity; they don't want to be held accountable for ANY of their actions that affect others.
     
  4. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'll be very interested in seeing you square Paul's teachings with the Enlightenment ideas that animated the Revolution.

    It's a critical myth for the religious right that the founding fathers were acting on the fulfillment of Biblical beliefs, but as anyone who know anything about anything knows, the Enlightenment was a REACTION AGAINST the predominant strains of contemporaneous theology.
     
  5. Dave Brother

    Dave Brother New Member

    Jun 10, 2001
    Alexandria
    To all you Lib's.............Face it , you LOST!!!!

    You lost because you DO NOT REPRESENT THE AVERAGE AMERICAN!!!!!!

    So get the hell over it and move even farther to the left so we can win again.

    (Give me some REP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) ;)
     
  6. Dave Brother

    Dave Brother New Member

    Jun 10, 2001
    Alexandria
    Just to show you how I feel on the whole REP thing.........I got a negative rep from someone OUTSIDE the US.


    To that person all I have to say is ..........





    nothing. Freedom ain't free.
     
  7. Dan Loney

    Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 10, 2000
    Cincilluminati
    Club:
    Los Angeles Sol
    Nat'l Team:
    Philippines
    Then George W. Bush is a Satanist.

    Speaking of opposing God, why is He such a limp-wristed, ineffectual drip of nothing that He needs some fifth-grade teacher to get His message out? If God is so great, why does He need government assistance?

    This week alone, we've had this BS story, another WMD "discovery," the Reeps blaming the IRS for how bills are written in a GOP-controlled Congress, creationist theme parks, and a Presidential yacht. Did conservatives stuff their turkeys with lead paint chips?
     
  8. spejic

    spejic Cautionary example

    Mar 1, 1999
    San Rafael, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    You mean the Christianity that lets a person sin all his life, and then repent just before he dies to spend eternity in the bliss of Jesus' presence?
     
  9. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    Or maybe the Christianity that believes in forgiveness and helping the poor.
     
  10. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    I've never seen anyone make such a f-ing big deal out of a lousy field goal.
     
  11. USAsoccer

    USAsoccer Member

    Jul 15, 1999
    Tampa, Florida
    With the exception of the three Jewish delegates to the convention, and possibly Ben Franklin, the answer to your questions is YES!

    Any accurate study into the writing's of the framers would disclose that, to a man, they held strongly held CHRISTIAN religious beliefs.
     
  12. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

    Aug 11, 2003
    Billings, MT
    It costs a buck o' five
     
  13. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

    Aug 11, 2003
    Billings, MT
    Couldn't you also say they held strong secular humanist beliefs? Christian ideas and morals without imposing the structure of the church on future generations.
     
  14. SYoshonis

    SYoshonis Member+

    Jun 8, 2000
    Manistee, Michigan
    Club:
    Michigan Bucks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You mean like Islam....?
     
  15. USAsoccer

    USAsoccer Member

    Jul 15, 1999
    Tampa, Florida
    I think that would miss the mark...It is complex, but for what it is worth...a lot is made of the term "Seperation of Church and State", but you will not find those words anywhere in the U.S. Constitution. They come from a 1947 Supreme Court Decision (Everson v. Board of Education, quoting a letter Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802, who was quoting a statment from Roger Shermen from the 1600's...

    A little background history. All of this is from me, hence I no cite need be provided...

    While the Declaration of Independence mentions the word "God" or "Creator" several times, "God" is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, except for a reference in Article VII which states: "In the year of our Lord", which is a reference to Jesus Christ."' Regardless, the framers were going about the business of forming a government, and not establishing a theocracy. However, in that day in age, that amounted to a virtue. The constitution was secular, not in the sense of repudiating religion, but rather in the sense of being of the world. The framers recognized that government was not religion and that the purpose of government was promote justice and fairness. They recognized that in Europe, political tyranny often arose through the agency of religion or religious persecution by agents of the government. It was an entanglement that, as the founders saw it, always harmed religion and always tempted authorities to exert more power than by nature and the command of God they possessed. Centuries of religious strife in Europe had left an indelible impression on the mind of the framers.

    This, combined with diversity of religious background among the colonies, due to the Great Awakenings, becoming so widespread, and religious sentiments so deep, that the representatives at the Convention were loathe to discuss religious issues, for fear of the convention foundering on religious dissension. Accordingly, the framers thought a strict separation between the institutions of the church and the government were essential for the general health of the nation, and the specific promotion of virtue in the population. However, most of the men at the convention welcomed the influence of religion on public life, but they wanted that influence to remain an indirect force in guiding public policy rather than an institutionalized agency participating directly in public affairs.

    The history leading up to the convention and the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution providing for a division of church and state also included a strong tradition that opposed religious establishment for Christian, rather than political reason. Roger Williams, who was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630, and eventually founded Rhode Island, was expelled in part because he argued that churches were corrupted by power when they allied themselves with the state. Williams viewpoint had become widely accepted by the time of the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

    This opposition to the church being part of the state manifested itself not only in the first amendment, but also in Article VI, clause 3 of the Constitutional, which bans religious test for political office. Christian's opposed a governmental religion on the grounds that a governmental recognition of Jesus Christ would be a corruption of Christianity. However, it should not go unnoticed that during the Constitutional period, it was taken for granted that the practice of religion would include the exertion of indirect, rather than overt, influence on public policy. Finally, the debate centered on how best to serve the interest of the Christian church, rather than the concept of a complete "wall of separation". In any event, the debate encompassed whether there should be a state interference in the church, rather than church interference in public affairs.

    Like most critiques of church-state practices, this was a theological, rather than political objection. Thomas Jefferson was the most articulate of those individuals who opposed religious tests. However, Jefferson's opinion, like those of the Baptist's who wrote to Mr. Jefferson in 1803, were not the mainstream point of view. Virtually everyone else believed that a man's belief in God and a future state of rewards and punishments was profoundly relevant to his fitness for public office. Irrespective of this, not even the Baptist-and not even Jefferson-rejected the proposition that the state ought to foster and encourage Christianity, if only because it was an effective instrument in social control.

    Even so, Article VI, clause 3, was passed with little debate by a great majority of the delegates. Why was this? One explanation is that the framers where not concerned with religion, since the project that they worked on was unrelated to it, but rather to form a republican government. Another factor might have to do with vision of the future pluralistic society in which we now live. The framers were also fully aware that the states would still be allowed to maintain their own state sponsored church if they should so choose. In any case, the religious test ban was resoundly criticized during ratification debates by federalist, who could not foresee themselves as the object of discrimination because a test would limit public office to good Christians, and antifederalist, who wanted national recognition of Christianity as the nation's official religion. In any case, the combination of allowing state's to have established religion, while stating that the purpose of Article VI was to prevent any one denomination from gaining ascendancy over others by means of a test on the national level by whoever was in control at the time, came to be the overriding reason for its passage.

    A final factor moving the framers to divide the institution of government from that of the church was the growing awareness that America might become more pluralistic. In this sense, the framers were realizing that government was of the people, no matter what religion they might profess. In sum, the framers desire for the separation of the institutions of church and state reflected a desire to respect not only religion but also the moral choices of citizens. Importantly, however, was that it was not a provision to remove religion from public life.

    The Constitution had the effect of restoring a certain distance between religion and politics, but this distance had little to do with modern questions of church and state. While the first amendment is an important gauge of what that distance may or should be, Thomas Jefferson was a lonely radical in his belief that a total barrier should be erected between religion and Politics. Madison was closer to the mainstream colonial thought in his belief that voluntarily supported religious activities may take their place in public life. Justice Story, author of the era's most influential commentaries on the Constitution, was even more typical of that era. Justice Story believed that: [T]he promulgation of the great doctrines of religion... can never be a matter of indifference to any well ordered community... Indeed, in a republic, there would seem to be a peculiar propriety in viewing the Christian religion, as the great basis, on which [the government of the United States] must rest for its support and permanence, if it be, what it had been deemed by its truest friends to be, the religion of the people”. Story felt that while the government should not favor one church over another, it should promote religion in general as a way to help the moral structure of society.

    In the context of the times, the passage of the First Amendment was more a device for purifying the religious impact on politics rather than removing it. In other words, the issue in the early republic was not separation of religion and public life as we know the problem today. Rather, it was a question of critical distance. That distance was lost in the Revolutionary period, and the result was harmful for Christianity. That distance was regained during the Constitutional period-partly because of the document itself- and the result for Christianity was much more propitious.

    Thomas Jefferson, in his letter to the Connecticut Baptist planted in the nation consciousness the phrase "wall of separation", but he did not invent the phrase. Rather, that distinction goes to Roger Williams, the pesky Puritan turned Baptist. In any case, Jefferson, who was President at the time, was taking some political heat in 1802, for failing to call the nation to prayer."' Jefferson, in a letter to the Baptist, wrote:

    "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that he act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between Church and State."

    It is likely that the reason Jefferson would not make the proclamation's calling for prayer and thanksgiving, as did Washington and Adams, was because he felt he did not have the Constitutional authority to do so. However, does this mean that his analysis of the constitutional power to call the nation to prayer was anymore accurate than Washington or Adam, who served before him and did on regular occasion's call the nation to prayer and fasting. one should note that Washington and Adams were at the Convention while Jefferson was in France. Furthermore, given the general agreement among the framers that government should encourage Religion, and particularly Christianity, for the good of society, so long as one sect is not preferred over others, Jefferson view was inconsistent with the view of the framers.

    The term "wall of separation" was not re-resurrected until 150 years later in the case of Everson v. Board of Education. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court held that the establishment clause did not prohibit a New Jersey law which spent tax funds to pay bus fares for parochial schools students. In that case, Justice Black concluded: "The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach. New Jersey has not breached it here. This "wall" became well established in the case of Lemon v. Kurtzman. In Lemon, the Supreme court put forward a three part test which is used to determine whether the Jefferson "wall of separation" has been breached. A state law: 1) must have a secular legislative purpose. 2) It's primary effect must be one that neither, promotes religion, or inhibits religion. 3) The statute must not foster "an excessive entanglement with religion.

    In conclusion...the framers of our Constitution intended to promote religion by getting government out of its way. The second great awakening was a direct result from the passage of the first amemdment. Although the framers wanted to keep government out of the affairs of religion, the framers never viewed any need to keep religion away from goverment or from public life, as advocated by many erroneously.
     
  16. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    No, I didn't mean that.
     
  17. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You must be worshipping a different god than I do.

    My God has given me the gift of eternal life through His grace, not through my works, not because I deserve it. Mind you, I've done a lot of evil and sinful things in my life. Where is the accountability in that?

    Tell me, where does Jesus Christ preach on accountability? Was it when He told the parable of the prodigal son, who upon squandering his inheritence in a foreign land, was greeted by his father with open arms and a feast in his honor?

    You offend me as a liberal. But even worse, you offend me as a Christian.
     
  18. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    In that Bible you seem to be reading, during the scene where Jesus is presented with the woman taken in adultery... found it yet? I'm curious: Does Jesus say "stone the bitch"?

    Because if so, that would explain the utter stupidity of this post, and would excuse it. Otherwise, you might want to go back and check other parts of the New Testament. Start with the Sermon on the Mount and go from there. It's a bit more complicated than you're making it appear.
     
  19. bojendyk

    bojendyk New Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    South Loop, Chicago
    I don't know much about the founding fathers' religious beliefs, but my understanding is that several of them (including Jefferson) were Deists, who have views that most Christians would find rather surprising. Can anyone back me up on this?
     
  20. VFish

    VFish Member+

    Jan 7, 2001
    Atlanta, GA
    Club:
    Atlanta
    You are correct. Jefferson was a Deist, as was Benjamin Franklin and probably some others. John Adams was a Unitarian.
     
  21. Peretz48

    Peretz48 Member+

    Nov 9, 2003
    Los Angeles
    ...or, if you're a mass murderer, say on the scale of Pol Pot, or even Hitler, if after living this wonderful life you suddenly decide to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you will find eternal bliss. This was explained to me by a very devout fundamentalist Christian. Can someone please explain this to me, I really don't understand.
     
  22. btousley

    btousley New Member

    Jul 12, 1999
    first off - USA Soccer - well said .....

    El Jefe - you and dj differ from the point of view of the Reformation - eternal life via grace versus works - see Martin Luther and the Roman Catholic Church for further details. Should not be a cause for "offense". It is in fact a theological difference in parts of the Christian faith.

    While we sit and debate the merit of separation of church and state - and the state of religous persecution in the 18th century and how it could be done better in the new Americas ...... the fact remains that the founding fathers put recognition of God all over the place in our founding documents and to suggest otherwise is crap. We began under the auspices of Judeo Christian values. Deal with it. I am as conservative and red as much as I would fight any attempt to remove any mention of God from any of these documents or attempts to teach young skulls of mush what is wrong with our founding documents. This is more in a long litany of attempts to conduct revisionist history.

    I am sure Bin Ladin thinks this is hilarious - as he continues to espouse the superiority of Islam and Mohammed in the direct connection of church and state.
     
  23. Quaker

    Quaker Member+

    FC Dallas
    Apr 19, 2000
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    A couple may have been deists, but they were still religious. And they certainly didn't advocate the elimination of anything religious from the public square, as the ACLU would have us believe. Couple of quotes from Jefferson and Franklin, often cited as the deists in the bunch:

    "The reason that Christianity is the best friend of government is because Christianity is the only religion that changes the heart." (Thomas Jefferson)

    "He who shall introduce into the public affairs the principles of a primitive Christianity, will change the face of the world." (Benjamin Franklin)
     
  24. Norsk Troll

    Norsk Troll Member+

    Sep 7, 2000
    Central NJ
    Yup. I especially like Madison, when in his Oct. 17, 1788 letter to Jefferson, he wrote about potential difficulties in adding the Bill of Rights "... because there is great reason to fear that a positive declaration of some of the most essential rights could not be obtained in the requisite latitude. I am sure that the rights of Conscience in particular, if submitted to public definition would be narrowed much more than they are likely ever to be by an assumed power. One of the objections in New England was that the Constitution by prohibiting religious tests opened a door for Jews Turks & infidels." (*)

    Of course, his June 20, 1785 "Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments," which he sent to the General Assembly of Virginia in opposition to state taxation to support the church, was also pretty nice: ""We the subscribers, citizens of the said Commonwealth, having taken into serious consideration, a Bill printed by order of the last Session of General Assembly, entitled 'A bill establishing a provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion,' and conceiving that the same if finally armed with the sanctions of a law, will be a dangerous abuse of power, are bound as faithful members of a free State to remonstrate against it and to declare the reasons by which we are determined." (*)

    Then there was the March 2, 1819 letter to Robert Walsh, in which he praised the benefits to society and religion alike in the "total separation of the Church from the State" (*); the July 10, 1822 letter to Edward Livingston criticizing a government religious proclamation, arguing for "a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters" (*); his "Detached Memoranda" praising separation and denouncing religious persecution (*); his noting of a failed attempt to limit freedom of religion to Christians in the Virginia religious-freedom law (*); his condemning the appointment of chaplains to Congress, which he believe was a violation of equal rights and the Constitution (*); and his criticism of presidential proclamations of days of thanksgiving, etc., especially John Adams', who issued a specifically Christian proclamation.

    While President of the United States, we can thank Madison for vetoing on February 21, 1811, a bill passed by Congress that authorized government payments to a church in Washington, DC to help the poor, which he did "Because the Bill vests in this said incorporated Church, an authority to provide for the support of the poor children of the same; an authority, which being altogether superfluous if the provision is to be the result of pious charity, would be a precedent for giving to religious Societies as such, a legal agency in carrying into effect a public and civic duty.” (*)


    (*) Writings, James Madison, 1999, New York: The Library of America, pages 420; 29-36; 727; 788; 759; 761; 762-763; 764-776; and 683.
     

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