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The Founding Myth

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Just finished Mr. Seidel's  The Founding Myth.

In a nutshell it makes a very good case that the founding fathers of the U.S., weather pious our not, largely agreed that government should not be influenced by any particular religion. It also demonstrates the myriad of contrast between, Christianity and the Ten Commandments, and the intentions and application of the American form of democracy. 

 

This morning I noticed a book sitting on top of Mrs. MOHO's purse entitled The 5000 Year Leap by Cleon Skousen. Thumbing through it I came to the conclusion that it attempts to make the case that there certainly was, and should have been, a consorted effort to ensure Christianity's  influence on government.

 

We have seen the potentially horrific and disastrous impact to humanity associated with the alliance between devout (begin kind here) religious beliefs  and a system of government. I am not certain how anyone could read the latter aforementioned publication and come away not being very afraid. 

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When one is a member of a cult, the goals of the cult seem all-important. Spreading the virus is seen as essential and right, and submission to the dictator king an absolute requirement. 

 

For the rest of us, we see it for what it is - a cult based on non-historical myths that should be unplugged instead of being given default honor and respect in any culture. 

 

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Anyone who has looked even briefly at the history of the United Kingdom and western Europe in the 14th through 18th centuries cannot possibly come to any conclusion other than the separation of church and state. Many emigrants who came here were escaping from despotic rulers who claimed to rule by divine right, and those who left knew first-hand the problems that arise when a government justifies its actions by a connecting them to a god.

 

I sometimes hear Christians claim our government was founded on "Christian principles." I'd like to ask any such Christian to please list those principles that are exclusively Christian that back such a claim. Any principle that is shared with any other culture or religion is not "Christian" but shared or perhaps universal. Mercy, love, justice, peace, and let's not forget war — name your principle and I'll bet that it's not limited to Christians. We could, though, separate some of them based on the definition of the specific principle. For example, the definition of justice is one that changed dramatically between the violent Christian-led oppression of the Late Medieval Period to the somewhat tempered system created by our founders; imprisonment for criticizing the government, or execution for heresy not being found in our governing documents. Nevertheless, the core argument, that there are no governing principles in our system that are exclusively Christian, remains.

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     One forgets that all principles were given by god, the xian god, in the Garden of Eden.  They were handed down up to the flood and then made it through the flood thanks to Noah and then handed down again and on and on so that these principles were the foundation of all societies.  Then, skip ahead, skip ahead, jesus, the xian church, skip ahead, skip ahead, the United States.  What this means is that all xian principles are the original principals that all societies are founded upon.  Any principle that isn't xian is a worldly corruption.

 

          mwc

 

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Well the idea of this separation is false at best. There could be no REAL separation between the two, just because this idea is in itself a religious one. I mean, if you have a commited catholic as president he could not be separated in a schizophrenic fashion between the believer on the one hand and the president on the other. Separation just means the upper hand of the secular state and most of the so called fouding fathers were heavily influenced by french and english enlightement thinkers, of which many were either atheists, deists or very liberal christians. A so called separation can only survive if the beliefs of the ruling class support it. I mean the only reason it actually made headway was because of that and some support by the people. I mean in traditional islam this idea is just ridicoulous as it was in some forms of christianity, at least in the western form. 

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On 11/25/2019 at 1:46 PM, MOHO said:

Just finished Mr. Seidel's  The Founding Myth.

In a nutshell it makes a very good case that the founding fathers of the U.S., weather pious our not, largely agreed that government should not be influenced by any particular religion. It also demonstrates the myriad of contrast between, Christianity and the Ten Commandments, and the intentions and application of the American form of democracy. 

 

This morning I noticed a book sitting on top of Mrs. MOHO's purse entitled The 5000 Year Leap by Cleon Skousen. Thumbing through it I came to the conclusion that it attempts to make the case that there certainly was, and should have been, a consorted effort to ensure Christianity's  influence on government.

 

We have seen the potentially horrific and disastrous impact to humanity associated with the alliance between devout (begin kind here) religious beliefs  and a system of government. I am not certain how anyone could read the latter aforementioned publication and come away not being very afraid. 

 

I haven't read the book, but I think about this subject often. A big part of the problem, in my opinion, is the interpretation of who "the founders" of the United States are, and the decision to omit the previous 170 years of social evolution from the discussion, as if that epoch was irrelevant to what happened in the 1770s-80s. 

 

Some of the early migrants to North America were leaving England or Holland for religious reasons. The Separatists ("Pilgrims") left Holland, where there was religious toleration, for Plymouth, along with other non-members of their sect. The Separatists were highly religious and idealistic. But their tiny sect didn't last in North America. 

 

The Puritans left England because of ongoing hostility to their rebellious ways by the Stuart kings. They were much more successful in the new world than the Separatists. The Massachusetts Bay Colony that they founded flourished despite rigid rules and no toleration for other sects. Still, Puritanism was not evangelical, they did not try to spread their faith and it remained limited to their region, and not influential outside of it. 

 

The main settlers of Virginia and Carolina were Anglicans, who were strongly opposed to the Puritans. 

 

The settlers of Pennsylvania were Quakers, a liberal form of Christianity from northern England. They were opposed to the Puritans and Anglicans, but had a high degree of tolerance for all religions. 

 

Most of these sects were opposed to Catholicism, which was illegal to practice in 10 out of 13 colonies before the war. 

 

So, in most cases, the main people establishing local governments in North America were doing so under the pretense of some form of Christianity. These sects were at odds with one another. They had no intention of ever "uniting" with one another. The whole purpose of their migration was to establish autonomy for their sect, with no oversight from the Church of England. The sole exceptions being Virginia and Carolina. There was no thought whatsoever about ecumenicism with the other sects colonizing North America in most cases. 

 

All of these sects were opposed to monarchy except the Anglicans in Virginia and Carolina. So the ideology of the American Revolution was ever-present from 1620 onward. 

 

The Great Awakening was a revival movement in the 1700s that ignited religious enthusiasm throughout the land. 

 

The point of all this is to demonstrate that North America from 1607-1787 was deeply immersed in a multiplicity of Christian sects, ideas, and enthusiasms. The "separation of church and state" was not necessary because if you didn't like the religious authority in one area, you were free to migrate to another area, or move to the hinterlands and start your own religion. 

 

The people are "the founders" of the United States, not a few elected officials who met in Philadelphia in 1787.  So it doesn't matter what the religious ideas of the latter are. The people had already broken from the king of England in 1620. The only thing "founded" in 1789 (after the new Constitution was ratified) was a central government with unlimited taxation powers, a court system, and a small standing army. No national church was founded, but that is a trivial point since there never was anyone calling for such a thing, and the vast majority practiced some form of Christianity. The majority of people were still Puritans (Congregationalists), Anglicans (Episcopalians), Baptists, Quakers, Methodists, etc. These are the ones referred to as "we the people" in the Constitution of 1787. They were the ones who ratified the new Constitution. 

 

Had the Puritans (for example) seen the new Constitution as a threat to their religious authority in Eastern Massachusetts, they surely would have voted it down. Very few people saw the new central government as being, in any way, hostile to Christianity. The personal opinions of a few people who drafted the document was irrelevant. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Myrkhoos said:

Well the idea of this separation is false at best. There could be no REAL separation between the two, just because this idea is in itself a religious one. I mean, if you have a commited catholic as president he could not be separated in a schizophrenic fashion between the believer on the one hand and the president on the other. Separation just means the upper hand of the secular state and most of the so called fouding fathers were heavily influenced by french and english enlightement thinkers, of which many were either atheists, deists or very liberal christians. A so called separation can only survive if the beliefs of the ruling class support it. I mean the only reason it actually made headway was because of that and some support by the people. I mean in traditional islam this idea is just ridicoulous as it was in some forms of christianity, at least in the western form. 

 

I see where your are coming from, @Myrkhoos. We can only achieve a pure separation if we can guarantee no influence of religion in governance and vice-versa.

I think the best we can due here is to avoid (ban?) legislation where the primary motivator is religion. Examples...

  1. No retail stores may open on Sunday so we can observe the Sabbath.
  2. Abortions are banned BECAUSE it is murder ACCORDING TO <add favorite religion here>
  3. We must bomb Iraq BECAUSE there is an on-going war between our religions (xiantiy) and there's (Shia Islam ?)
  4. City ordnance will ban the sale and consumption of coffee as it violates the Word of Wisdom.
  5. Gender reassignment surgery, or whatever the hell we are commanded to call it this year, is banned as it is an abomination to god.

If a reasonable argument for any of these can be made - sans religion - then we're good to go - at least from a separation of church and state standpoint.

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@Blood

Thankx for your post. You might know more about this particular subject than Mr. Seidel! Perhaps you could have an email convo with him on this.

 

I think, in the end, whether or not the concept of mitigating the influence of religion on legislation was even a thing 200 years ago, it is surely prudent.

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Well legilslation has to come from some reason. As Blood said, America was founded mainly by religious sects of Christianity. The idea is that banning religious legislation is in itself a product if some form of secular philosophical mindset. So it is secular humanism vs christianity actually. If you only allow reasons from the secular standpoint to run than you are officially proclaiming secular humanism as the officoal state religion and others subjugated to it. Like I said, the ideal of the before mentioned french and later revolutionaries. And religion in as a concept is a product of that age. I mean secular is actually a religious concept. Pertaining to this century vs pertaining to the eternal aka Church. Again what you are proposing is a supremacy of one type of political philosophy over the other, and the two are in dire conflict. 

        Funny thing is I think there is a  case to be made against abortion and gender surgery from purely materialistic consideration. One is that a definition that arbitrarily puts the definition of human without one of its developping phases leads the way for a host of problems. Saying a first cell is not human when it is biologically speaking a phase in human development, distinct from its parents is quite strange.

      And gender therapy is consented mutilation of the body as a result of mentall ilness. Gender dysphoria is an ilness. It is the only case we do that. No one thinks of amputating people who feel.their legs are alien predators watching him. 

       I did not say that to start a debate just as an example of how one can approach those subjects in materialist fashiin and still be opposed to them.

      If one thinks religions are made by men then all the evil in them are products of humans. Before we could blame it on God or the devil. If not we are left only to human nature. And it can be pretty nasty sometimes

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