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Author Topic:   War on Christmas
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Message 53 of 245 (372445)
12-27-2006 1:38 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by nator
12-27-2006 11:54 AM

We have references to God on our money, in the pledge to our flag, and in several patriotic songs.
Since when? And I am asking that rhetorical question in a non-rhetorical manner.
I may have the sequence turned about a bit, operating as I am from memory, but the years are correct:
1954 -- act of Congress inserts the words "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance.
1955 -- act of Congress requires that the words "in God we trust" be placed on all our money.
1956 -- act of Congress dumps our National Motto since 1776, "E Pluribus Unum", in favor of the sectarian religious "In God We Trust".
BTW, isn't the "mark of the Beast" supposed to be placed on all the money? Hmmm.
Sherman: Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists?
Bush: No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.
Yes, I remember that. Little did we know at the time that that was the moderate Bush.
Though I never did understand his going on and on about "The New World Order", which sounded like something that fundamentalists would point to as a sign of the End Times.
BTW, this atheist will soon have completed 30 years of military service to this country and be looking forward to five more years of service before being forced to retire due to age.

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Message 82 of 245 (373217)
12-31-2006 5:22 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by RAZD
12-31-2006 5:04 PM

Re: patriotism to which values?
The point is that it is christians that are the protagonists if there is any "war" on culture here, ...
I disagree. Rather, they are the antagonists. They are the ones who launched their "culture war". They are the ones on the offensive. They are the ones who wish to impose their views and beliefs on everybody else.

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Message 98 of 245 (373481)
01-01-2007 5:39 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by anastasia
01-01-2007 10:19 AM

Re: patriotism to which values?
anastasia writes:
Last I checked both deists and theists believe in God.
Wrong. Not the same god. Deists and Judeo-Christian-Islamic theists are completely different kinds of critters. When a group takes on a different name in order to differentiate themselves from another group, the wiser choice is to listen to how they are differentiating themselves rather than to simply lump them all into the same group and to claim falsely that they all believe in the same god.
BTW, I distinguished "Judeo-Christian-Islamic theists" because that is really what we are talking about here. To simply use the term "theists" and claim that all theists believe in the same god is clearly false. Theists include Hindus, pagans (both ancient and modern), countless tribal societies. Are you claiming that all those countless gods are really YHWH, the Judeo-Christian-Islamic god? Is it not painfully clear how ridiculous such a claim is? Even if 65% of the US population believed it in 1991, according to a pollster who had done much work for conservative Christian organizations (No webpage found at provided URL:
At the very least, the comparison needs to be between deists and Judeo-Christian-Islamic theists because of the very nature of this topic, a perceived conflict between Christians and all the rest of humanity. And because more can be learned in comparing two specific types of theists than can be learned in muddying together the entire pantheon inhabiting theism and claiming falsely that it's all just the one god of one particular facet of theism.
Christians believe in the God of the Bible, revealed to them through Divine Revelation, performing miracles, and arrived at through faith.
Deists were the product of the Enlightenment. Theirs was the God of Nature, revealed to us through the study of nature and of the natural sciences, a nature in which there are no miracles, and arrived at through rational thought and reason.
That these are two different gods is underlined by two famous Deists, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. Jefferson's Bible was an editting of the Christian Bible, but in which all the miracles had been removed. In Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason, he expounded on the God of Nature while denouncing Christianity as a form of atheism that has rejected the true God of Nature in order to worship a man.
Clearly, Deism is not the same as Christian theism.
anastasia writes:
Still curious how the 'American values' are any different from Christian values. Please tell me what some of these other 'christian' values may be.
And I am equally curious just which Christian values the founding of the United States is supposed to be based on. I've wondered about that ever since the Religious Right arose in the 1980's making that claim. I've asked it a number of times and have always been met by either silence or invectives followed by silence.
Democracy is a pagan Greek idea; where is it taught in the Bible? Republicanism, the idea of a representative government, is a pagan Roman idea; where is it taught in the Bible? In preparation for the Constitutional Convention, James Madison studied Greek and Roman histories, not the Bible, for the model upon which to create the new govenment.
Similarly, the idea of inherent human rights comes from humanism, which developed as a result of the rediscovery and study of ancient pagan Greek and Roman writings and art, which triggered the rebirth of Western civilization (AKA "the Renaissance") and also gave birth to the Enlightenment. What does the Bible say about inherent human rights? Anything?
And what about the ideas in the Declaration of Independance? Which, BTW, names the Deistic god ("... Laws of Nature and of Nature's God ... "). The humanistic view of government is that it is with the permission of the governed and for the benefit of the governed, which is stated in the Declaration. What is the biblical Christian view of government? All I've ever heard and read is that we are supposed to submit to the rulers placed above us, an idea which developed into the "Divine Right of Kings".
Religious liberty also seems problematic for the claim. It can be clearly seen as a humanistic idea, because it is based on one of those inherent human rights, the right of conscience; as expounded by James Madison in his "A Memorial and Remonstrance" (No webpage found at provided URL:
Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, "that religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence." The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considerd as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governour of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign. We maintain therefore that in matters of Religion, no man's right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance. True it is, that no other rule exists, by which any question which may divide a Society, can be ultimately determined, but the will of the majority; but it is also true that the majority may trespass on the rights of the minority.
As far as I can divine the Christian view of religious liberty, they see it as good and necessary in order to allow them to practice their own religion, but their attitude seems to change when it comes to others being left free to practice their own. I would think that true religious liberty, the support and protection of the rights of conscience, would be a problem for biblical Christians in that it would allow and support violation of either Commandment #1 or Commandment #2 (depending on which version of the Ten Commandments you read): "you shall have no other gods before me."
And then there's the Preamble:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The People, taking it upon themselves to form their own government, for their own benefit. Is that biblical or humanistic? In the 1980's, that is precisely the kind of conduct that the Religious Right would loudly denounce as "secular humanism", that great scapegoat that they had created and promoted as "The Enemy" that had taken over American society. My fundamentalist friends and fundamentalists I observed would also consistently echo their religion's teachings about the evils of the People attempting to do anything on their own, let alone for their own benefit. What does the Bible say in this matter?
And as further confirmation, I read Religious Right and Reconstructionist writers denouncing democracy as a "humanistic heresy" and human rights as an invention of Satan. So I guess I'm on the right track by understanding that those ideas that our country is based on are inconsistent with Christian values.
Now, what again are the Christian ideas that the United States is supposed to be based on?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by anastasia, posted 01-01-2007 10:19 AM anastasia has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 99 by anastasia, posted 01-01-2007 9:31 PM dwise1 has replied

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Message 100 of 245 (373609)
01-02-2007 2:48 AM
Reply to: Message 99 by anastasia
01-01-2007 9:31 PM

Re: patriotism to which values?
Deism and theism are still the same word.
Just like dogs and chordates (vertebrates) are one and the same thing.
Theism is belief in any variety of the gods. Hinduism is part of theism, but are all forms of theism Hinduism? No more than all chordate forms are dogs.
Deism is one specific form of theism, not theism itself. I honestly cannot understand how you could insist that it is.
And perhaps consider putting Hindus and pagans on the list of polytheists?
Both Hindus and pagans are firmly on the list of theists. Theism is the general classification of those who believe in one or more of the gods, but in itself "theism" does not specify the number of gods involved. If you want to narrow down the classification by number of gods, then you need to use terms such as polytheism, monotheism, and henotheism. But you can no more claim that "theism" means only "monotheism" than you can claim that "deism" means the general term "theism".
I would prefer if you also do not use the term 'Judeo-Christian-Islamic God' because to claim that all of those religions worship the same God is clearly false.
Sorry and my sincerest apologies to Sophocles *. I based that on each subsequent group's belief that theirs is the same God as the preceding groups; Islam teaches that Allah was the God of Abraham and that Jesus was a teacher of that same god, while Christianity claims that their God is also the God of Abraham, though it doesn't accept the claims of Islam, and the Judaism doesn't accept the claims of either of the other groups.
But in reality, each religion creates its own gods (AKA its own particular ideas of their gods) which are different, hence Christianity, Judaism, and Islam do indeed worship different gods, since they all have their own ideas of what they would claim to be the same god. The same even applies to different branches of Christianity; they teach that they worship the same god, but their ideas about that god are different, hence they are worshipping different gods.
Democracy and Republicanism are not values. For a good start on Christian values you might consider Jesus' teachings on equality.
Democracy is indeed a value upon which this country was formed. And what of representative self-government, inherent human rights, religious liberty, man as the measure for how well a government is doing, etc. And certainly political equality and equality before the law, which is a humanistic value. There's certainly no reason why a humanistic value could not also be a Christian value, but do the teachings of Jesus really say the same thing about equality? Some support would be needed for your "example", vague as it was.
Just what are the founding values that you would claim to be Christian?
* Though I may not have gotten that name right, having to remember 35 years back. He wrote something to the effect of: "Man creates the gods in his own image. If the cows in the field had hands with which to draw, then they would draw their gods in their own image."
In short, the gods are a human invention, created and re-created as the need is seen, regardless of whether such an actual supernatural entity or entities actually exist. Basically, our ideas of "God" are our own feeble attempts to describe and discuss the Infinite, attempts which doubtless fall woefully short.
Edited by dwise1, : Not sure I got the Greek's name right; it's been 35 years after all.

This message is a reply to:
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Message 205 of 245 (595801)
12-10-2010 1:54 PM
Reply to: Message 203 by bluescat48
12-10-2010 1:01 PM

happy holidays covers all bases and offends no-one.
Except for those who want to force their own religion on everybody else.
Or those who want to propagate a deception that they are being persecuted.

Quoting from memory, a Bob Newhart Show (where he was a psychologist) scene last seen decades ago:
Black Patient: Everybody hates me because I'm black.
Bob: Uh, no, they hate you because you are not a nice person.
Patient (visibly very touched and almost in tears): Really? Do you think so?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 203 by bluescat48, posted 12-10-2010 1:01 PM bluescat48 has replied

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Posts: 5959
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Message 216 of 245 (596233)
12-13-2010 10:22 PM
Reply to: Message 214 by frako
12-13-2010 9:03 PM

Re: Logic? What logic?
Not logic, but rather history. Languages change over time, especially spoken language. Basically, when a language acquires a written form, it gets written as it sounded when the system of writing was created, kind of like a snapshot of the language. Over time, the spoken language continues to change while the written language remains the same, so over time the language's fit (how closely spelling matches pronounciation) worsens. Periodically, the academic authorities of the language have a language reform in which they bring the written language up-to-date, which includes making changes to spelling among other things.
German went through a language reform recently. So did Dutch. So did Spanish, which has excellent fit. It has been a very long time since English has.
Of course, it's not quite that simple. Several factors can come into play. Also, the academicians could decide to keep a spelling which reflects the history of the word. For example, the Old English word for "light" (not heavy) was "leoht", in which the "h" sounded like the German "ch", so we retain that "h" as a "gh". The same with "night", etc. And the reason for the "k" in "knight" is because the word (related to German "Knecht") originally pronounced that "k".
I have often wondered about your English. Since you frequently go with phonetic (and wrong) spelling, I would assume that you can speak English rather well. Most non-English speakers I've encountered use the right spellings. You, on the other hand, write more like a native speaker. Which is not intended as a compliment, but take it as you will.
OFF TOPIC - Please Do Not Respond to this message by continuing in this vein.
Edited by AdminPD, : Warning

This message is a reply to:
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