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yellerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 12:56 PM
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Refutations of "Christian Nation" in quotes from Founding Fathers
The founding fathers knew well the dangers of religious fundamentalism, particulary the Puritan Christian brand of it. Most of our well-known founders were "Deists," who held that neither Jesus or anyone else was divine (or else we all were divine...which is what I prefer). I mail this to everyone who forwards me that tired old "proof" of Christian Nationhood. Taken from various sources.

"I have found Christian dogma unintelligible...Some books on Deism fell into my hands...It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared much stronger than the refutations; in short I soon became a thorough deist."
-Benjamin Franklin, "Toward the Mystery" (autobiography)

"When the clergy addressed General Washington on his departure from the government, it was observed in their consultation, that he had never, on any occasion, said a word to the public which showed a belief in the Christian religion, and they thought they should so pen their address, as to force him at length to declare publicly whether he was a Christian or not. They did so. However, the old fox was too cunning for them. He answered every article of their address particularly except that, which he passed over without notice....he never did say a word of it in any of his public papers...Governor Morris has often told me that General Washington believed no more of that (Christian) system than he himself did.
-Thomas Jefferson, diary entry, 2/1/1799

"As the government of the United States of America is not on any sense founded on the Christian Religion, - as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of of Musselmen (Muslims), - and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."
-Treaty of Tripoli, signed into law by John Adams

And, my most favorite....
"I promised you a letter on Christianity, which I have not forgotten...The delusion...on the clause of the Constitution, which, while it secured the freedom of the press, covered also the freedom of religion, had given to the clergy a very favourite hope of an establishment of a particular form of Christianity through the United States; and as every sect believes its own form the true one, every one perhaps hoped for his own...the returning good sense of our country threatens abortion of their hopes and they (the preachers) believe that any portion of power confided to me (such as being elected president), will be excerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: FOR I HAVE SWORN UPON THE ALTAR OF GOD, ETERNAL HOSTILITY AGAINST EVERY FORM OF TYRANNY OVER THE MIND OF MAN."
-Thomas Jefferson, personal letter to Benjamin Rush (all-caps are also on Jefferson memorial)

"Finally, in answer to Fortescue Aland's question why the Ten Commandments should not now be a part of the common law of England we may say they are not because the never were."
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, 1814

"I was glad to find in your book a formal contradiction, at length,...that Christianity is part of the common law. The proof of the contrary, which you have adduced, is inconrovertible; to wit, that the common law existed while the Anglo-Saxons were yet pagans, at a time when they had never yet heard the name of Christ pronounced, or knew that such a character had ever existed...What a conspiracy this, between Church and State. Sing Tantarara, rogues all, rogues all. Sing Tantarara, rogues all!"
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Major John Cartwright, 6/5/1824

Every school child learns that the Enlightenment was the philosophical influence on our Founding Fathers. The Enlightenment was a secular movement that limited greatly the power of the Church, reducing it to purely ecclesiastical, rather than political, functions. Monarchy is the prevailing form of government for religious societies. Monarchs rule by divine right; their birth to a royal family signals they were chosen by God. Republics are led by men and chosen by men. Our government and our foundational texts were intended to be secular.
The whole idea of the US as a Christian nation stems from the mythology that all Europeans came to America fleeing religious persecution. This was important in the formation of the Massachusetts colony, but not throughout English America. Virginia was a royal company established for the crown's economic advancement. Georgia was a penal colony. The Carolinas were founded by slaveholders who migrated from the British sugar islands in the Caribbean. The reasons for the establishment of the colonies were varied, but the Founding Fathers were indeed deists. They were profoundly influenced by the Enlightenment and worked to create a secular form of government, a republic. If they'd wanted to create a Christian society, they would have kept monarchy as their chosen form of government.

by Robert Paul Reyes
"America is a Christian nation and it was founded on Christian principles." This is the Big Lie that is constantly being uttered from fundamentalist pulpits. This untruth has been repeated so often, that most Christians believe that Jesus Christ was one of the Founding Fathers of our great nation.
This was not true when America was founded more than two centuries ago, and it's certainly not true today; America is one of the most religiously diverse nations on the planet. It's this ethnic, religious and political diversity that's our greatest strength; religious polarization can only weaken our union.
If fundamentalists lie about this important matter -- they shouldn't be believed when they wax indignant on moral and spiritual matters. America is not a Christian nation; abortion is not murder; feminists are not witches; abstinence-only sex education does not work; SpongeBob SquarePants and Tinky Winky are not gay (not that there is anything wrong with being homosexual); and George W. Bush does not have a direct line to the Almighty.
Our nation was founded not on Christian principles but on Enlightenment ideals. The intellectual leaders who created America believed that human reason could be used to combat ignorance, superstition and tyranny; they had a natural animosity toward organized religion. It's not surprising that God is only a footnote in the grand documents that are the bedrock of our democracy.
The Constitution makes no mention whatever of any deity. In the eighty-five essays that make up The Federalist Papers, the Supreme Being is mentioned only twice. In the Declaration of Independence, the Big Guy gets two brief nods: A reference to "the Laws of Nature and Nature's God," and the often quoted line about men being "endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights."
If the Founding Fathers were Christians and they wanted to establish a Christian nation, then why didn't they mention Jesus Christ even once in a document that they knew would be the cornerstone and foundation of the emerging democracy? That's like Marx writing the "Communist Manifesto" without mentioning "socialism".
The distinguished leaders of the American Revolution were not devout individuals, and they fought energetically to erect, in Thomas Jefferson's immortal words, "a wall of separation between church and state."
If we define a Christian as a believer in the divinity of Jesus Christ, then most of the leading lights of the American Revolution were not Christians at all. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Tom Paine were deists -- they believed in one Supreme Being but rejected revelation and all the supernatural elements of evangelical Christianity. John Adams was a professed liberal Unitarian; in his published writings he seemed more deist than Christian. In other words if these gentlemen were alive today, they would be more at home in a liberal Presbyterian congregation than at Jerry Falwell's Thomas Road Baptist Church.
It is latter-day interlopers who have breached the wall of separation between church and state. In God We Trust" did not appear on our coinage until the Civil War, and "under God" was introduced into the Pledge of Allegiance during the McCarthy hysteria in 1954.
If we really want to abide by the spirit of the Constitution and The Declaration of Independence -- we will put an end to all this foolishness about bringing back God into our public schools. Those who imagine a Christian America would be paradise would be well advised to consider the theocracies of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan under the Taliban.
Ironically, as our nation becomes less Christian and more religiously diverse, evangelicals redouble their efforts to make America more Christian.
Everyone who loves democracy and freedom must fight the efforts of fundamentalists to tear down the wall of separation between church and state. Jesus Christ may reign supreme in evangelical churches, but He should be kicked to the curb if He tries to scale the wall of separation and enter the political arena.
America is not a Christian nation. America is not a Christian nation. America is not a Christian nation. God, it feels good telling the truth. I may be a "little voice crying in the wilderness", but with the truth on my side, I will defeat a lie -- no matter how big.

The flag is red white and blue because those are the colors of the 'degrees' of original Freemasonry (the other degrees were added on later). Red = 3rd Master , White = 1st Entered Apprentice, Blue = 2nd Fellowcraft.
The streets of DC are laid out on Masonic symbols of Compass and Square. In fact the "G" of the Washington Monument is the centerpiece with the Capital as the Eastern V ( the Jefferson Monument is the southern end of the Square with the White House as the northern end. The Compass is topped in the west with the Lincoln Memorial.
Dan Brown would be proud of this steganography 'in plain sight'.
Oh, and despite what idiots say, you can be a Freemason and a Christian simultaneously. George Washington is a perfect example. His Prayer for the Nation:
""Almighty God, we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in thy holy protection, that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government, and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large.
And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation.
Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.""

A rather nice blend of Micah 6:8 and the spirit of I Corinthians 13, IMHO. And Washington's tolerance of Judaism is remembered in the Rhode Island synagogue annual reading of his letter to them:

""To the Hebrew Congregation in Newport Rhode Island

While I receive with much satisfaction, your Address replete with expressions of affection and esteem, I rejoice in the opportunity of answering you, that I shall always retain a grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced in my visit to New port, from all classes of Citizens.
The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past, is rendered the more sweet, from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security. If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good Government, to become a great and a happy people.
The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.
It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my administration, and fervent wishes for my felicity. May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants, while every one shall sit in safety under his own wine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy.

George Washington Letter to the Touro Synagogue, 1790"" from
"light, more light !" is a frequent Masonic request for Divine guidance and illumination...make of that what you will....However, he did not, I'm sure, mean to demean them in any way by writing this Prayer for the nation with the mention of his personal saviors name (note the 'Divine Author' in the main body of the prayer). 'TGAOTU' -- The Great Architect of the Universe is most dutifully served by his humble servant George Washington, and TGAOTU, who knows the hearts of all men, would probably admit that by example, no matter what outwardly religious trappings a man cloaks himself in, his actions, by far, display the extent of his relationship with the Almighty.

The thing with Freemasons, especially back then, is knowing the coded speech. The secret arts parts and points etc etc can convey the meaning often better than obsequious public displays.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thank You! People Need to Read These Quotes! (nt)
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yellerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. You are very welcome. n/t
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melody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
2. Here are some more
I'm a John Adams buff so mine are Adams flavored:

The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity.

-- John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, undated

The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?

-- John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, June 20, 1815

We should begin by setting conscience free. When all men of all religions ... shall enjoy equal liberty, property, and an equal chance for honors and power ... we may expect that improvements will be made in the human character and the state of society.

-- John Adams, letter to Dr. Price, April 8, 1785

As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?

-- John Adams, letter to FA Van der Kamp, December 27, 1816

God is an essence that we know nothing of. Until this awful blasphemy is got rid of, there never will be any liberal science in the world.

-- John Adams, letter to FA Van der Kamp, December 27, 1816
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yellerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. These are great, melody!
All good, and very appreciated!
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
3. This is Soooo Kicked and Recommended
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yellerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. Thanks. n/t
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Alameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
5. Great, Thank you for these
everyone needs to save and remember these when talking to those who want "the 10 Commandments" on display.
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yellerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I got so tired of trying to recall these things from memory
during the last election cycle that I decided to gather them up and put them all in one place. This is not a definitive last-word collection, but it usually shuts up the ones who want to argue about what their preacher has told them defines the Founders Intent. Glad you can use them.
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
7. Here's rec number five for an important post!
And here's a little something I wrote on the same subject a few years ago:

US Constitution: Power is derived from the consent of the governed.
Christianity: Divine right of kings.

US Constitution: Representative lawmaking.
Christianity: God is the lawgiver.

US Constitution: Equality under the law.
Christianity: Some groups are Gods chosen ones.

US Constitution: Freedom of and from worship.
Christianity: "Thou shalt have no other gods..." etc.

US Constitution: No cruel or unusual punishment.
Christianity: Leviticus & Deuteronomy.

US Constitution: Right to question leaders.
Christianity: Render unto Caesar...

US Constitution: Right to keep and bear arms.
Christianity: See #3.

US Constitution: Freedom from coercion & surveillance
Christianity: God watches and judges every thought and action

US Constitution: Right to self-determination
Christianity: Gods will is your destiny
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yellerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Thank you!
You've put some thinking into the topic yourself, I see. Your whole list hits home with me. Excellent observations!
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pleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 04:15 PM
Response to Original message
9. K&R This is so great to have on hand when needed! Thanks!
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yellerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. You are welcome.
It is my great pleasure to oblige.
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