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I said I was leaving this website for good and then I was just compelled to share this with you....

 

 

This post has been floating around facebook world (being that it is the holidays and all) and it just enrages me...

 

"It was announced that there will not be Christmas trees at the White house this year. They will be called Holiday Trees. Obama says this is no longer a Christian Country, it's a country of many faiths. We as Americans must send the message to Obama that this Country was founded on Christian beliefs and we are STILL a Christian Country. Please re-post this! Christmas is about Christ! If he wants a Holiday Tree let him put one up on St. Patty's Day or leave one up all year as a Holiday Tree! I think that ''We the people'' need to take back ''We the People'' and stand up for our rights to make these decisions jointly!!!!!!!

Please re-post this!"

 

 

 

My reply (and I expect you to correct me if I'm wrong)....

 

"Although I certainly support the right of people to call pine trees "Christmas" trees this time of year, it is not a good idea to argue that we should call them that because we are a nation founded on Christian principles. As a matter of fact, we are not. Although a few of the founding fathers were Christian, many of them were also Diests and did not hold to Christian beliefs. This country was founded on what have been called "Enlightenment Ideals", a set of philosophical ideals coming out of the Age of Reason, a period of time in 18th century Europe when intellectuals were attempting to rebuild society on the basis of reason and universal rights and freedoms. The founding father Thomas Paine is famous for his book "The Age of Reason", in which he openly ridicules Christianity as a foolish and barbaric system and instead calls for a turn to Deism and the love of reason as a guide to life. Thomas Jefferson, another founding father, even had the audacity to rewrite the gospels in order to take out all the miracles and portray Jesus as a simple teacher of ethics and not as a god. So, arguing that we are a Christian country just isn't arguing the facts. Arguing that you want to call a pine tree a Christmas tree because you yourself prefer that label.....that is totally your right."

 

 

Someone's response...

 

"I checked this & its not true....someone "checked me" lol so I checked the "facts" lol"

 

and my reply...

 

 

"You're welcome to claim that it isn't true, but it factually is. Just look up the book "The Age of Reason" by Thomas Paine. Read it. It does, in fact, attack Christianity as barbaric and stupid. Thomas Paine is also the author of "Common Sense", one of the books that fueled the American Revolution, the first book, in fact, to suggest independence from Britain. As far as Thomas Jefferson goes, his version of the gospels is called The Jefferson Bible. Look it up and read it. There is a lot of misinformation out there by Conservative Christians claiming that the founding fathers were all devout Christians. This is just not supported by the writings of the founders themselves. Don't tell me that you have "checked" my facts until you have actually gone and read the founding fathers. I have read them. I know their writings. Don't take the word of Conservative Christian apologists. Most of them lie."

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Well said!

 

Though most Christians are grossly uneducated and have never sat down and actually read that book they so revere, so they never will read what you've so thoughtfully placed down here. They don't WANT to be educated. They want to be elite.

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Well said!

 

Though most Christians are grossly uneducated and have never sat down and actually read that book they so revere, so they never will read what you've so thoughtfully placed down here. They don't WANT to be educated. They want to be elite.

most christians are uneducated period from what i have observed and the educated ones are only educated in apologetics so ive noticed.

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I've received that urban legend and so many of various flavors many times over that I keep a file of the responses in my email directory so that I don't have to do the research again. They are usually passed to me from friends or family in the 65+ age group. Apparently they believe there is a virtual email editor and fact checker just like they had at their Smallville newspaper when growing up in the 40's and 50's. I always reply to ALL and be sure to include every single person beyond that to the originator. I used to think it was a waste of time to respond but I have had few who have thanked me. Besides, I recently read something posted by someone that said people who'll believe absurdities can be convinced to commit atrocities. It made a lot of sense to me especially after I read this book Understanding Genocide: The Social Psychology of the Holocaust. Under the right circumstance even your neighbor will slit your throat.

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I don't believe the 'right to have a Christmas tree' is guaranteed in the Constitution. There IS something about not making any laws respecting an establishment of relgion, however.

 

I bet this would be a great time to troll some Christian forums with this topic.

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Many of you probably know about this, but I'll post it here in hopes that it will be useful to someone. Funny how I got all the way through my education and obtained a Bachelor's in History without ever hearing a whisper of this little gem.

 

I came across this in Jennifer Michael Hecht's book, Doubt: A History, which I highly recommend. On page 361 of her chapter which deals with the Founding Fathers, she quotes Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli. The Treaty of Tripoli was signed into law by John Adams in 1797. I've copied the entirety of Article 11 below.

 

ARTICLE 11.

 

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

 

(full text here--also available from many other sources)

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Something I do when receiving such junk is to check several urban legend sites to verify the claim. Then I politely reply to the sender that one should always check strange claims, many of which can be debunked by going directly to the source.

 

The Christmas tree re-naming is false and has been circulating on the net since 2009. A well-respected, non-partisan website, Snopes.com, is where I usually start. Here's their page on the tree issue:

 

http://www.snopes.com/politics/christmas/ornaments.asp

 

Hoax Busters, PolitiFact and FactCheck are other good sites.

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And furthermore.... adding to my post above: I received a mass email not long ago about the "founded on Christian beliefs" thing, and I replied thusly:

 

"I need your help with something. Many times we hear that our nation was founded on Christian principles but everyone seems to presume that we all know what those principles are. I'd like to find a list or concise outline of those principles.

 

In my studies of the Revolutionary period I've read a number of source documents as well as well-regarded histories of the era and I haven't yet found any original material discussing the incorporation of Christian principles into our government. "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" are universal principles, common to the goals of many cultures and faiths; as are peace, tolerance, love, forgiveness, and many other characteristics of all kind, generous, caring people.

 

But I would very much like to find an answer to this question. So can you show me any sources that would list principles that are exclusively Christian that were incorporated into the founding of our nation? Thanks."

 

I sent this as a "reply all" to who knows how many were on the mailing list. As you would expect, I received no answer.

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Thanks for the input & extras guys! And thanks for the warm welcomes. Yep I'm still as feisty as ever.smile.png .....but wait....there's more!.....This is a conversation I was having with a family member on facebook.....

 

Original status poster: "See the light in others, and treat them as if that is all you see." Dr. Wayne Dyer

 

unknown person reply: I love this guy, I had his cd awhile ago

 

OP: He has a positive way to look on life....

 

Me : by that rationale we'd have to see the "light" in someone like.....oh let's say....the prisoner my husband was a guard of who was in prison for raping and murdering his own 6 month old son then throwing him into the bushes. Ignoring the "dark" in people doesn't mean it doesn't exist. No thank you. I can't live in denial.

 

OP:I still believe their is good in everybody and carma's a B*%ch...i do what is right and good and it comes back to me. Dont ignore or forget the bad ..itsnot my place to judge...i do right and be judged for it when the time is right.

 

Me:

Luckily the man that did that to his 6 month old son was caught and thrown in jail, and the reason he was caught and thrown into jail is because somebody wasn't afraid to judge him. It isn't a virtue to not judge other people when they deserve to be judged. The universe doesn't punish evil, we do. It is our responsibility as good people to see that justice is done as often as possible. Thank goodness somebody had the courage to judge that man and not just let him get away with his crime.

 

OP:I agree..people need to be punished and put away. Its horrible what some people r capable of... But I cant go through life looking @ the 'dark' in everyone...generally speaking most people r warm hearted with good intentions...

 

OP: Maybe that horrible man never had a person look @ his 'light' and raped him growing up and never had a grandparents, parents, or family yo bring outthe light. But fed him the dark time and time again...i dont know his past..i dont ignore but u cant judge unless u walk in his shoes...maybe he is just evil..god wil judge and take care of his destiny...

 

Me:

 

You are correct, you don't know his past.....so you don't know if he had the perfect upbringing and loving parents. The fact of the matter is, some terrible killers have had wonderful lives. Not everyone who does evil does it because someone else did evil to them. Some people are just sociopaths. And I certainly can judge without walking in his shoes. Nothing justifies the raping and killing of a child.....nothing. But, as I said, thankfully I don't need to personally get involved in judging him. Society has already done that. He'll spend the rest of his life in jail. He has been judged, and thankfully, for the sake of all the other children in the world, we didn't have to wait for god to do it. Regular old people managed to judge him just fine on their own....

 

OP:

 

Im glad for the justice system..it does put sociopaths and just evil people away for our safety and for justice to the person and family member they didwrong to...but @ the same time u r not perfect aneither am i.. Ive doen things im not proud of but I hope that people will not judge me or u only for ourbad or dark things cause ive done good as well...im generally a good person that tries to be their for people and help where needed..i try to be a goodfriend and think positively...i try to have a fabulous day and spread that feeling...i cant thing bout the negative and spread that...that just makes fora bad day..who wants to live like that...i try to go to work and spread light and be happy...

 

Me: There is a difference between not being perfect.....as in maybe getting a speeding ticket or insulting someone..... and raping and murdering a child. It's not a sliding scale. They are categorically different.

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As others have pointed out, the basic problem with the post is not that we aren't a Christian nation so much as that Obama never did or said any such thing. It's the mindless propagation of urban legends as fact that needs to be the starting point for responding to that particular FB post. Obama is not a communist, a godless atheist, or anyone's fool. He doesn't have it in him to play the hardball politics that this era arguably demands of him, but he's a good and decent man, who is not hostile to people of faith, and believes in democratic principles. The REAL problem people have with him, and the reason they question his lineage, birth, citizenship, genuineness and allege that he's gross, immoral and fattening, is that OH MY GOD THERE IS A BLACK MAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE RUN FOR THE HILLS.

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ehWendyshrug.gif I don't know anything about Obama and don't really care too... he seems decent enough to me. I'm just stuck on trying to point out to my family they are being ignorant....I thought I've let it go, but I am still seething over past hurts. Both of the facebook posts were by my family members and lately any chance I get I become a total asshole to them on facebook. I really need to stay off of FB because I'm perfectly happy until I login and see stupid status posts..and I know it is only my fault for even bothering with them but until I stop hoping that one day they will admit they were wrong and apologize to me I literally can't stop myself from trying to get their attention. My brain knows it is futile...but still I posted this, even though I know it will be completely ignored....

 

"Way too many people in my family have let other family members get away with horribly awful f***ing sh*t in the name of Christianity! And have even made excuses for them! Shame on you! Leaving a "god" to hold them accountable because you were too f*cking scared to judge and stand up for truth and responsibility! ~~When you protect the abuser what message are you giving to the abused! You really f*cking hurt me!!"

 

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Facebook. Harumph. Never been on it. Don't plan to be. Wife tried it and quit. All I hear about it is trouble. There are too many more important things to do with my time.

 

Temp. sig line:

Grumpy Old Man

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My brain knows it is futile...but still I posted this, even though I know it will be completely ignored....

 

 

I feel validated! biggrin.png

Just an update for those who are following and wondering...I've been proven wrong in this instance....I'm happy yet sad still about it all. You'll understand after reading this:

 

Me:

Way too many people in my family have let other family members get away with horribly awful f***ing sh*t in the name of Christianity! And have even made excuses for them! Shame on you! Leaving a "god" to hold them accountable because you were too f*cking scared to judge and stand up for truth and responsibility! ~~When you protect the abuser what message are you giving to the abused! You really f*cking hurt me!!

 

Cousin:

amen. I know how you feel!!

 

Me:

I've been so angry at the family as a whole that I didn't even allow myself to think that I'm not the only one who's suffered the same injustice. I admit that I do feel a little better knowing that I'm not alone in feeling this way. What ever that's worth. I'm so sorry cousin. They failed us royally and I am sorry.

 

Cousin:

yep, and we are not the only ones.

 

Me:

Oh yes. You're right. Sometimes it's hard for me to see past my own pain and I forget about what she told me. They called her a liar and told me that I had dreamt up what happened to me because she was filling my head with stories. Truth of the matter is I never heard about her story until she told me a few years ago. Awful! Just completely and utterly disgusting! It's hard for me to wrap my head around it all sometimes. In fact I'm feeling ill to my stomach just thinking about it all right now.

 

Me:

Sometimes I catch myself thinking....oh well.....I'm sure they meant no harm to us. They just made a poor decision. It's a comfort to me when I entertain the thought that they are truly compassionate people that cared about me....that they were just ignorant and didn't know any better way to handle the situation. I just wished that someone would have talked to me about it instead of denying it. I wish they had verbally acknowledge it and apologized for not believing in me....it would be the best gift this year if someone were to say..."Yes...the thoughts you are entertaining are the truth." But would I even believe them if they said that? I don't know.

 

Cousin:

Well, I kept quiet, cuz they kicked out my cousin rachel because she pressed charges. In the end, karma is a bitch, and the bitch is still going!! He lives a miserable life, and has no one to love him, and my family knows that they did wrong. the only one who doesn't know is my grandma. The way she treated rachel, cathy, and dennis, I was scared to into not saying anything. But life goes on and I'm genually happy now. and I can't say that for him!!! LOL

 

Cousin:

everyone except grandma knows they did wrong. Most of them have said that they are sorry to me. but, like i said, karma is a bitch. sometimes you just have to wait for her to make her move!!!

 

Me:

Yep. Life does go on. And I'm so happy to know that you are genuinely happy = ) Me too! I still have my moments every now and again... mostly around the holidays when I start to really think of family..It feels good to get this all out in the open. I have a great deal to be thankful for : ) I will carry on. =)

 

Cousin:

me too!!

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I read this book Understanding Genocide: The Social Psychology of the Holocaust. Under the right circumstance even your neighbor will slit your throat.

 

I read this one in college:

http://www.amazon.com/Ordinary-Men-Reserve-Battalion-Solution/dp/0060995068

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Just tell your fundie friends that the closet Muslim president is decorating his holiday tree with an explosive vest thereby enacting his economic recovery by combining the fireworks of the 4th of July with the winter solstice, thereby proving he is making a positive contribution to the economic recovery...

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ooops....I was so proud....I felt comfortable posting on this forum because we're ex-christians...I'm off to look for an appropriate forum to talk about these issues....Hopefully I'll find one that's not Christian based. Wish me luck.wacko.png

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Facebook. Harumph. Never been on it. Don't plan to be. Wife tried it and quit. All I hear about it is trouble. There are too many more important things to do with my time.

 

Temp. sig line:

Grumpy Old Man

Grumpy,

 

I will admit that FB is a loaded gun and if you don't know how to wield it, you can blow your foot clean off.

 

I'm well acquainted with someone whose relationship with father and stepmother completely exploded over perceived FB slights. They had un-friended some family members, intending only to restrict their wall posts to business relationships, but it was seen by family as a slight. Of course, parents disowning children over stuff like that speaks to far deeper problems that were just waiting for an excuse to manifest themselves anyway -- if it had not been FB it would have been something else. But it does illustrate the irrational ways in which people build up thought-structures in their heads that have nothing to do with reality. FB "friends" are not real friends in any meaningful sense of that word. Friend lists are just address books with a brilliant marketing name. FB wants you to add to that list, not subtract from it, so they give it a word, "friend", that's freighted with symbolic meaning, to make you irrationally reluctant to manage or prune that list in any way, lest you suffer the consequences.

 

I am about to remove 20 people from my FB "address book" that I am no longer interested in interacting with. It's nothing personal, it just reflects my waning interest in an old hobby. But calling it "un-friending" makes it personal.

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I'm not making appologies here, but actually, most of the Founders were Christian, with a few exceptions. That was the times they lived in. Might be better to admit that and we can all move on. During the 19th century most people still quoted the bible, even if they weren't highly educated enough to read very much, because the bible was the one book so widely distributed. It also provided the sayings with which people shared experiences, whether or not they believed. It's up to us now to move the nation forward. Arguing about the origins of this country and trying to "expose" an un-Christian founding is fruitless.

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This is why I want to move to Europe one day. Then I can claim that the country was actually founded by Roman and Greek mythology. GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

 

When I was still Christian, I heard this on a regular basis and simply accepted it as truth. Where I heard it most and still continue to hear it is on American Family Radio.

 

The first time that I actually questioned the "Christian Nation" myth was when my family and I went on a day trip to Monticello. It was there I learned about Thomas Jefferson taking all the miracles out of the Bible. To this day, I remember the hardly veiled expression of disgust my father wore when he heard that.

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This is why I want to move to Europe one day. Then I can claim that the country was actually founded by Roman and Greek mythology. GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

 

When I was still Christian, I heard this on a regular basis and simply accepted it as truth. Where I heard it most and still continue to hear it is on American Family Radio.

 

The first time that I actually questioned the "Christian Nation" myth was when my family and I went on a day trip to Monticello. It was there I learned about Thomas Jefferson taking all the miracles out of the Bible. To this day, I remember the hardly veiled expression of disgust my father wore when he heard that.

 

 

I don't think the Chrstian Nation thing is a myth, even if there were some that had other beliefs, most were Christians or said they were. Now, at least people can openly say they are not. That wasn't the case then. Even so, the bible was widely quoted as the standard of the day. Many of the laws and principals we live are biblical like it or not. That doesn't mean that since it's historical fact that we have to accept the oversight of religion today. But, like I said, it's fruitless to contend this nation was not a Christian nation just to further a cause today. It's just spinning your wheels to do that. They used the bible then to make the case for a fairer justice system, whether or not the bible talks about what seems unjust today. They used what was best from the bible for our benefit. Can we all move on now?

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This is why I want to move to Europe one day. Then I can claim that the country was actually founded by Roman and Greek mythology. GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

 

When I was still Christian, I heard this on a regular basis and simply accepted it as truth. Where I heard it most and still continue to hear it is on American Family Radio.

 

The first time that I actually questioned the "Christian Nation" myth was when my family and I went on a day trip to Monticello. It was there I learned about Thomas Jefferson taking all the miracles out of the Bible. To this day, I remember the hardly veiled expression of disgust my father wore when he heard that.

 

 

I don't think the Chrstian Nation thing is a myth, even if there were some that had other beliefs, most were Christians or said they were. Now, at least people can openly say they are not. That wasn't the case then. Even so, the bible was widely quoted as the standard of the day. Many of the laws and principals we live are biblical like it or not. That doesn't mean that since it's historical fact that we have to accept the oversight of religion today. But, like I said, it's fruitless to contend this nation was not a Christian nation just to further a cause today. It's just spinning your wheels to do that. They used the bible then to make the case for a fairer justice system, whether or not the bible talks about what seems unjust today. They used what was best from the bible for our benefit. Can we all move on now?

 

I do agree on this point. It is fruitless to argue, but it is liberating to be able to rant about it! Neither side will ever budge just like the way Congress is now. Many of our good laws and morals DID have a Biblical origin. I can't deny that. I just wish Christians could go and do their thing and leave the rest of us alone instead of imposing their beliefs on us on the basis that we are a "Christian Nation."

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