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HuntsmanTollers
07-03-2009, 11:33 PM
Thought everyone would like to see what we are celebrating today. Have a Happy 4th from Iraq.

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Martin
07-04-2009, 01:05 AM
It is always good to re read this great document! Thanks for posting it!

Happy Independence Day to all!

Martin

road kill
07-04-2009, 07:30 AM
Thought everyone would like to see what we are celebrating today. Have a Happy 4th from Iraq.

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

I wonder what "Snopes" says about this document?
I wonder if "The Obama " ever read it?

I wonder how many understand that this is the goal, not the starting point?

WTH is going on?

YardleyLabs
07-04-2009, 08:24 AM
I wonder what "Snopes" says about this document?
I wonder if "The Obama " ever read it?

I wonder how many understand that this is the goal, not the starting point?

WTH is going on?
I suspect that he has read it more often than you and has shown it more respect than at any time in the least 8+ years.;-) Happy Fourth.

road kill
07-04-2009, 08:29 AM
I suspect that he has read it more often than you and has shown it more respect than at any time in the least 8+ years.;-) Happy Fourth.
Well, you are making an ASSumption!

I expect nothing less from you.

And there is a very good chance of;

A--YOU are WRONG!!

B--That I have a far greater understanding of this document than the host of Godless progressives that live to change it, including your Messiah!!

Be carefull who you go after Yardley, you might catch them!!

YardleyLabs
07-04-2009, 08:44 AM
Well, you are making an ASSumption!

I expect nothing less from you.

And there is a very good chance of;

A--YOU are WRONG!!

B--That I have a far greater understanding of this document than the host of Godless progressives that live to change it, including your Messiah!!

Be carefull who you go after Yardley, you might catch them!!
My comment was based simply on the fact that he was a constitutional law professor at the U. of Chicago Law School and the section you highlighted is the basis for a broad set of litigation related to what are generally referred to as "liberty" rights. Among other things, of course, liberty rights were the basis for asserting the inherent right of privacy that is fundamental to the SCOTUS decision in Roe v. Wade. Conservatives on the Court have tended to argue that liberty rights are not enumerated in the Constitution and therefore have no standing. BTW, I have no Messiah.

road kill
07-04-2009, 08:49 AM
My comment was based simply on the fact that he was a constitutional law professor at the U. of Chicago Law School and the section you highlighted is the basis for a broad set of litigation related to what are generally referred to as "liberty" rights. Among other things, of course, liberty rights were the basis for asserting the inherent right of privacy that is fundamental to the SCOTUS decision in Roe v. Wade. Conservatives on the Court have tended to argue that liberty rights are not enumerated in the Constitution and therefore have no standing. BTW, I have no Messiah.


BTW---Enjoy your celebration of "Independence Day."

I am not certain how many more we will have.

Franco
07-04-2009, 09:09 AM
to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind


.

Thomas Jefferson was THE man!

Happy 234 birthday and may this document live forever.

JDogger
07-04-2009, 11:53 AM
BTW---Enjoy your celebration of "Independence Day."

I am not certain how many more we will have.

Aren't you just a little ray of sunshine now :p

I hope everyone enjoys their holiday (you too Stan) and reflects on the freedoms and liberties that we DO still have. God Bless America.

JD

road kill
07-04-2009, 12:04 PM
When I hear "The Obama" on the radio today wishing everyone a "Happy 4th of July," it gives pause........it is "INDEPENDENCE DAY!!"

dnf777
07-04-2009, 09:04 PM
BTW---Enjoy your celebration of "Independence Day."

I am not certain how many more we will have.



Thats another reason I no longer call myself a Republican. I see many wishing this country would fail, or be struck again, just to get in a big "I told ya so" ever since losing control of the house, senate, and white house.

I'm not accusing anyone on this list, but it seems implicit in some of the comments.

I certainly hope you are WRONG on this account. Otherwise me and millions of other veterans and active duty troops have really pissed away years of our life serving and sacrificing for this great country, in hopes we can pass it on to our kids.

Despite the above comments, I'm having a wonderful 4th, and hope others do also!

dave

Franco
07-04-2009, 09:33 PM
Thats another reason I no longer call myself a Republican. I see many wishing this country would fail, or be struck again, just to get in a big "I told ya so" ever since losing control of the house, senate, and white house.

dave

I don't believe it is the "I told you so" syndrome but, more the fact that many believe that Obama, Pelosi, Read, Dodd and Frank are leading us to economic and financial hell. As well as weak Foreign Policy via his International Apology Tours. Then, there is the suspicion of his ill feelings for Israel and his love of the Islamic world. There is more but, you get the point.

Yes, we know Bush43 was a disaster and that this not a defense for what Obama is doing NOW.

Franco
07-04-2009, 10:10 PM
"Many" is not the "Majority" - and that is the way our democracy works and has for well over 200 years

No kidding!

You may want to check his declining appoval ratings. In three years they could be lower than what Bush's was at the end of his 8 years.

HuntsmanTollers
07-04-2009, 10:12 PM
It has never been the majority that has made us great. There are numerous instances where the majority was wrong. What has always made us great is that we have had leaders who have done what they thought was right even if it was not popular. Now we have too many "leaders" who lead by just following polling data. Great way to stay popular but doesn't sound like leading to me.

Gerry Clinchy
07-04-2009, 10:47 PM
It has never been the majority that has made us great. There are numerous instances where the majority was wrong. What has always made us great is that we have had leaders who have done what they thought was right even if it was not popular. Now we have too many "leaders" who lead by just following polling data. Great way to stay popular but doesn't sound like leading to me.

That is a statement of huge importance!

The History Channel had a wonderful documentary today on the Revolutionary War ... from the first shots at Lexington. The birth of this nation is nothing short of miraculous. It was five long years from the Declaration to the surrender at Yorktown.

As late as May 1780, Washington had to watch Charleston SC fall to the British because he could not send reinforcements from New Jersey ... because the men had no shoes to march in. I don't think we can begin to imagine how much faith in the cause it took for Washington to not throw in the towel.

As the documentary progressed beyond the Washington years, it became apparent that this country has weathered many dire events since its beginnings. Its survival is almost as miraculous as its birth. Somehow the country always has been able to pull together when it is most important to do so.

dnf777
07-05-2009, 06:10 AM
It has never been the majority that has made us great. There are numerous instances where the majority was wrong. What has always made us great is that we have had leaders who have done what they thought was right even if it was not popular. Now we have too many "leaders" who lead by just following polling data. Great way to stay popular but doesn't sound like leading to me.

Sounds like the justification for the war in Iraq. Changed on a weekly basis as their premises fell through. I thought it was in very poor taste when W made fun of there being no WMDs at the press roast. I remember him looking under sofa cushions saying oops, no weapons there....while our men and women were actually fighting and dying in the war he started on those pretenses, he now thought were the punch line of a joke. I was out of uniform by that time, but really felt slapped across the face by our commander in chief.

road kill
07-05-2009, 06:47 AM
I don't believe it is the "I told you so" syndrome but, more the fact that many believe that Obama, Pelosi, Read, Dodd and Frank are leading us to economic and financial hell. As well as weak Foreign Policy via his International Apology Tours. Then, there is the suspicion of his ill feelings for Israel and his love of the Islamic world. There is more but, you get the point.

Yes, we know Bush43 was a disaster and that this not a defense for what Obama is doing NOW.
This is an accurate statement!

In regards to the veteran comment, I have a fairly decent military resume' as well.
Fortunately I was only in 2 fights!
We got out OK!

As far as Independence goes..........
Is AIG independent now?
Is GM?
How about Chrysler?
Ever here of Caterpillar?
How about Briggs & Stratton?

Get it?

In regard to the sarcastic comment lamenting my comment about "Godless progressives?"
Read the Fossil thread.
When at least a half a dozen people claim they don't believe in God, then by definition, they would be God-less.
And, coincidentally, they are all progressive thinkers (again, by definition).

So, you can rip the comments all you like.
But this is a nation of Freedom, Liberty and opportunity!
The Declaration of Independence is the target, not a starting point!

What is the goal with the efforts from Washington right now?
Where are we headed?
What exactly are they trying to achieve?

And.....in regard to the Stimulus Bill, where are the jobs??

No, I don't like what is going on.

In addition, some of the most liberal posters on this site have become friends of mine.
(I'll leave it to them if they want to admit it!)
So jump to any conclusion you like, but they are nothing more than guesses!

In regard to "The Obama," he is the President of my country right now, and if he called for my service, I would serve again in a heart beat, but I don't like our direction right now!!

stan b

YardleyLabs
07-05-2009, 07:45 AM
This is an accurate statement!

In regards to the veteran comment, I have a fairly decent military resume' as well.
Fortunately I was only in 2 fights!
We got out OK!

As far as Independence goes..........
Is AIG independent now?
Is GM?
How about Chrysler?
Ever here of Caterpillar?
How about Briggs & Stratton?

Get it?

In regard to the sarcastic comment lamenting my comment about "Godless progressives?"
Read the Fossil thread.
When at least a half a dozen people claim they don't believe in God, then by definition, they would be God-less.
And, coincidentally, they are all progressive thinkers (again, by definition).

So, you can rip the comments all you like.
But this is a nation of Freedom, Liberty and opportunity!
The Declaration of Independence is the target, not a starting point!

What is the goal with the efforts from Washington right now?
Where are we headed?
What exactly are they trying to achieve?

And.....in regard to the Stimulus Bill, where are the jobs??

No, I don't like what is going on.

In addition, some of the most liberal posters on this site have become friends of mine.
(I'll leave it to them if they want to admit it!)
So jump to any conclusion you like, but they are nothing more than guesses!

In regard to "The Obama," he is the President of my country right now, and if he called for my service, I would serve again in a heart beat, but I don't like our direction right now!!

stan b

Stan,

As one of the "Godless Progressives" you speak of, I took no offense at your comments. In 1959 Kurt Vonnegut wrote a book named the Sirens of Titan where he spoke of the Church of "God the Utterly Indifferent." Even as a 12 year old when I read it, that captured my imagination. I have never believed in God but also didn't not believe. I simply didn't feel it was very important. In my mind, the miracle of life was real regardless of its genesis (pun intended). A God capable of creating all of our diversity, in my mind, would only revel at seeing it unfold, not expect or care about if or how anyone gave thanks. Once again, in my mind, the important thing has always been reverence for the miracle of life, of our environment, and of our diversity.

My progressiveness grows directly from that reverence. It is with that same spirit that I revere the Declaration of Independence as the beginning it was. It stated a fundamental objective, an ideal, that we as a nation would seek to achieve. It is an objective that is still eludes us. It also stated specific causes for the revolution, setting the yardstick high for when it becomes necessary and justifiable to sever the connections that bind us. I would wish that those who bandy about notions of secession would be so responsible in setting out their causes instead of whining because the majority of voters elected a President they hate.

For eight years, I lived under Bush, a man I believe will be known as one of the worst Presidents of our history. For the first four years, I lived with the fact that he was not even elected by a plurality of voters and that his election by the electoral college came from a highly suspect decision by partisan political cronies. In his second term, I lived with the fact that the majority of voters clearly voted for him no matter how stupid and misguided I believed them to be. I lived with his Presidency as he embroiled us in a war that I believed was unjustified, as he implemented economic policies that I believed threatened our long term viability as a nation, and as he waged war on some of our most important civil liberties. I hated his policies, and still do. However, there is no question that he was our President throughout those eight years and that I was an American throughout that time. I never considered seceding or emigrating. As a citizen, it was and is my responsibility to formulate my opinions and be willing to support them in discussions of our future and in voting. I did so.

I appreciate your comments and respect your willingness to fulfill your responsibilities as a citizen even when you disagree violently with the directions being taken by our current President. I am less willing to respect those who say -- whether seriously or not -- that they would welcome armed rebellion or secession instead. For me, that is anti-Americans and a betrayal of our heritage.

While I am not bothered by being called a "Godless Progressive", I can easily understand that the much larger group of religious progressives on this forum and in this country would feel insulted by being lumped in with me. You appear sometimes to be equating their progressiveness with atheism. I can't imagine a more radical liberal than Jesus.

road kill
07-05-2009, 07:49 AM
Stan,

As one of the "Godless Progressives" you speak of, I took no offense at your comments. In 1959 Kurt Vonnegut wrote a book named the Sirens of Titan where he spoke of the Church of "God the Utterly Indifferent." Even as a 12 year old when I read it, that captured my imagination. I have never believed in God but also didn't not believe. I simply didn't feel it was very important. In my mind, the miracle of life was real regardless of its genesis (pun intended). A God capable of creating all of our diversity, in my mind, would only revel at seeing it unfold, not expect or care about if or how anyone gave thanks. Once again, in my mind, the important thing has always been reverence for the miracle of life, of our environment, and of our diversity.

My progressiveness grows directly from that reverence. It is with that same spirit that I revere the Declaration of Independence as the beginning it was. It stated a fundamental objective, an ideal, that we as a nation would seek to achieve. It is an objective that is still eludes us. It also stated specific causes for the revolution, setting the yardstick high for when it becomes necessary and justifiable to sever the connections that bind us. I would wish that those who bandy about notions of secession would be so responsible in setting out their causes instead of whining because the majority of voters elected a President they hate.

For eight years, I lived under Bush, a man I believe will be known as one of the worst Presidents of our history. For the first four years, I lived with the fact that he was not even elected by a plurality of voters and that his election by the electoral college came from a highly suspect decision by partisan political cronies. In his second term, I lived with the fact that the majority of voters clearly voted for him no matter how stupid and misguided I believed them to be. I lived with his Presidency as he embroiled us in a war that I believed was unjustified, as he implemented economic policies that I believed threatened our long term viability as a nation, and as he waged war on some of our most important civil liberties. I hated his policies, and still do. However, there is no question that he was our President throughout those eight years and that I was an American throughout that time. I never considered seceding or emigrating. As a citizen, it was and is my responsibility to formulate my opinions and be willing to support them in discussions of our future and in voting. I did so.

I appreciate your comments and respect your willingness to fulfill your responsibilities as a citizen even when you disagree violently with the directions being taken by our current President. I am less willing to respect those who say -- whether seriously or not -- that they would welcome armed rebellion or secession instead. For me, that is anti-Americans and a betrayal of our heritage.

Mr. Yardley,
"I disagree with what you say, and I would fight to the death for your right to say it!!"

stan b

Gerry Clinchy
07-05-2009, 08:45 AM
I appreciate your comments and respect your willingness to fulfill your responsibilities as a citizen even when you disagree violently with the directions being taken by our current President. I am less willing to respect those who say -- whether seriously or not -- that they would welcome armed rebellion or secession instead. For me, that is anti-Americans and a betrayal of our heritage.



IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

The concept, as you see, is not without precedent.

However, only someone wiser than I could discern whether a list of "causes" could be made that meet the egregious violations listed in the Declaration of 1776.

However, in the reality of our nation today, the way to "rebel" is through the ballot box.

We often mention that we "must" vote for one of the two principal parties, R or D, because a vote for a minority party would be "wasted". However, if a third party could draw enough votes to put demonstrate general dissatisfaction with botht he Rs and Ds, it might lead to those 3rd party ideas having a greater impact on the two primary parties. With the Rs and Ds sort of in a dead heat for the votes cast, if the 3rd party were of significant enough numbers, either the Rs or Ds might be led to modify their platforms to appeal to this 3rd party group if the numbers were significant enough. Wouldn't happen in just one election round; or maybe even two. Nothing in the evolution of our country's policies and trends has happened that quickly, but rather a more gradual trend.

dnf777
07-05-2009, 09:03 AM
The concept, as you see, is not without precedent.

However, only someone wiser than I could discern whether a list of "causes" could be made that meet the egregious violations listed in the Declaration of 1776.

However, in the reality of our nation today, the way to "rebel" is through the ballot box.

We often mention that we "must" vote for one of the two principal parties, R or D, because a vote for a minority party would be "wasted". However, if a third party could draw enough votes to put demonstrate general dissatisfaction with botht he Rs and Ds, it might lead to those 3rd party ideas having a greater impact on the two primary parties. With the Rs and Ds sort of in a dead heat for the votes cast, if the 3rd party were of significant enough numbers, either the Rs or Ds might be led to modify their platforms to appeal to this 3rd party group if the numbers were significant enough. Wouldn't happen in just one election round; or maybe even two. Nothing in the evolution of our country's policies and trends has happened that quickly, but rather a more gradual trend.

Read a little further, and you will see:

"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes..."

Rick Perry's talk of secession is wholly unpatriotic and borders on treasonous. That's schoolyard talk, that most outgrow somewhere in adolescence.

I'm not going to be one to bash Texas, I was raised there and know it's proud, multinational heritage, and it's key role in helping to make the USA as great as it is. To threaten to undo all that, is childish and not very becoming of someone in his leadership position. Although, he has certainly marginalized his role.

Pete
07-05-2009, 09:19 AM
Just a note
Werent there 56 signer and designers of the declaration and didn't 29 of them go to seminary school. And I believe most of them have writings about JC in historic documents.

Hows come we only hear of the 2 that were not proffessed christians.
Jefferson and franklin.
mmmm

John weatherspoon had some pretty Christian writings

The master builder of the constitution,and bill of rights,a surveyer and had more Godly writings than cotter has pills.


That was Rodger Sherman who used the bible to help frame the constitution and the bill of rights. There were countless other such as John witherspoon,John Adams,,,,actual most of them have a plethera of god and Jesus Chriast in there writings concerning Our constitution.

So as far as I am concerned this is a christian nation.

If your not christian it doen't matter ,,,Christianity apparently welcomes all comers

why isnt this history taught.
All this stuff is in the library of congress.

Pete

YardleyLabs
07-05-2009, 09:31 AM
Just a note
Werent there 56 signer and designers of the declaration and didn't 29 of them go to seminary school. And I believe most of them have writings about JC in historic documents.

Hows come we only hear of the 2 that were not proffessed christians.
Jefferson and franklin.
mmmm

John weatherspoon had some pretty Christian writings

The master builder of the constitution,and bill of rights,a surveyer and had more Godly writings than cotter has pills.


That was Rodger Sherman who used the bible to help frame the constitution and the bill of rights. There were countless other such as John witherspoon,John Adams,,,,actual most of them have a plethera of god and Jesus Chriast in there writings concerning Our constitution.

So as far as I am concerned this is a christian nation.

If your not christian it doen't matter ,,,Christianity apparently welcomes all comers

why isnt this history taught.
All this stuff is in the library of congress.

Pete

Actually Pete, many more were not Christian in the sense of accepting the deity of Jesus. While less clear than for many others, this might also have included George Washington who never mentioned the name of Jesus in any of his writings and was identified as a deist by his closest friends following his death. Only a minority of the population at large and a minority of the signers attended church more than very infrequently. Many were deists including Ben Franklin, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, etc.

Franco
07-05-2009, 09:48 AM
Actually Pete, many more were not Christian in the sense of accepting the deity of Jesus. While less clear than for many others, this might also have included George Washington who never mentioned the name of Jesus in any of his writings and was identified as a deist by his closest friends following his death. Only a minority of the population at large and a minority of the signers attended church more than very infrequently. Many were deists including Ben Franklin, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, etc.

Yes, the were all part of the Enlightenment. As the nation grew and religion worked its way into government, those that were enlightened could not get elected. Our government has not had the intelletic and vision since the late 1700's. Yet, the documents they produced are still with us though misinterpreted and manligned over the years.

K.Bullock
07-05-2009, 10:09 AM
Actually Pete, many more were not Christian in the sense of accepting the deity of Jesus. While less clear than for many others, this might also have included George Washington who never mentioned the name of Jesus in any of his writings and was identified as a deist by his closest friends following his death. Only a minority of the population at large and a minority of the signers attended church more than very infrequently. Many were deists including Ben Franklin, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, etc.

There you go, what are your sources for this? Washington did mention Jesus in his writings and was identified as a very Devout Christian by his family.He never spoke of his actions in Combat with many either but that doesn't mean he wasn't in the fighting.

A snippet from a speech from Washington to the Delaware Indians. He also served on the Vestry of Truro episcopal church. His family records that he was very devout. Simply not mentioning Jesus in every correspondence does not mean that you are not a Christian we believe in the trinity ..God is Jesus, it is implied.

"You do well to wish to learn our arts and our ways of life and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention."

George Washington's Speech to Delaware Indian Chiefs on May 12, 1779, in The Writings of George Washington, p. 55

Pete
07-05-2009, 10:30 AM
Jeff
Thats not true.
I just looked at a bunch of old documents that were posted up on one of those projectors. Overwelmingly the 56 framers had God and jesus Christ in their writings ,

They also used biblical teachings to persuade and discuss what would constitute the makings of out declarations,bill rights and constitution.
They even had their signature on it.:)

See this is all new light to me. I think we are being hoodweinked by modern historians.
This is more important than anything taught in our schools.
This stuff was earth shattering news to me after all I have only heared about only the 3 or 4 that didn't have Godly writings and nothing else about the other 52 framers.

Now that I have seen it with my own eyes I am kind of pissed about the antics displaid by those who work hard to ignor the whole trueth to persuade those seeking to know the whole trueth and nothin but the trueth.

But I think like everything else,,,proof is proof only to the individual seeking satisfaction of their views..

My belief is renewed about our founding fathers.:D

Pete

Franco
07-05-2009, 10:47 AM
Thats not true.
I just looked at a bunch of old documents that were posted up on one of those projectors. Overwelmingly the 56 framers had God and jesus Christ in their writings ,

Pete

Pete, you are trying to revise history!

They were Deist and believed in Nature's God and not the biblical God. If they were not Agnostic/Unitarian then we would have an official state sponsored religion.

The truth is the truth!

K.Bullock
07-05-2009, 11:08 AM
Pete, you are trying to revise history!

They were Deist and believed in Nature's God and not the biblical God. If they were not Agnostic/Unitarian then we would have an official state sponsored religion.

The truth is the truth!

Prove it with credible references.

Franco
07-05-2009, 12:25 PM
How about some qoutes from Mr. Jefferson himself?

I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature.Thomas Jefferson (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/thomasjeff137064.html)


I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology.Thomas Jefferson (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/thomasjeff137066.html)

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.Thomas Jefferson (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/thomasjeff101717.html)

The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.Thomas Jefferson (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/thomasjeff157229.html)

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.Thomas Jefferson (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/thomasjeff100991.html)
I am an Epicurean. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greek and Roman leave to us.Thomas Jefferson (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/thomasjeff157256.html)
Epicureanism is an ancient Greek philosophical system taught by Epicurus. It emphasized the goal of a happy and content life in the here and now, rejecting both superstitous fear of the gods and notions of an afterlife.

Jefferson did beleive in a God but, not the biblical God. He believed in Nature's God which is true to his Agnostic/Unitarin beliefs.

Pete
07-05-2009, 12:46 PM
Pete, you are trying to revise history
Franco
if I coud figure out how to get it on the screen I would post it.
Tom,and ben were in a major minority when it came to christianity.

There were litterally hundreds of referenced of JC mentioned in the majority of the framers writtinngs,,, I call Bullshit on you and Jeff
Your trying to prove your historical version of the framers by posting only what you want others to rea and by using only the examples you provide. I just saw most of the shooting match. The evidence crushes your theory. With your wonderful technical knowledge you can be fair by posting up all of the writtings by the other 50 or so framers of our constitution.

Pete

K G
07-05-2009, 12:59 PM
C'mon, Pete....that sort of attitude will never serve the sycophants....will you ever learn?

;-)...............................

kg

Franco
07-05-2009, 01:18 PM
C'mon, Pete....that sort of attitude will never serve the sycophants....will you ever learn?

;-)...............................

kg

This, from the biggest sycophant on this forum!

K G
07-05-2009, 01:23 PM
Name the situation Franco....

kg

Franco
07-05-2009, 01:26 PM
Name the situation Franco....

kg

In all respect to Chris A., I'll not go there.

K G
07-05-2009, 01:35 PM
I'm so disappointed.....but not surprised....;-)

kg

Franco
07-05-2009, 01:36 PM
I'm not going to take the bait.

Truth isn't always pretty.;-)

K G
07-05-2009, 01:38 PM
But you'll sure throw out the line....:D

kg

Franco
07-05-2009, 02:16 PM
Overwelmingly the 56 framers had God and jesus Christ in their writings ,

They also used biblical teachings to persuade and discuss what would constitute the makings of out declarations,bill rights and constitution.
They even had their signature on it.:)


This stuff was earth shattering news to me after all I have only heared about only the 3 or 4 that didn't have Godly writings and nothing else about the other 52 framers.

Now that I have seen it with my own eyes I am kind of pissed about the antics displaid by those who work hard to ignor the whole trueth to persuade those seeking to know the whole trueth and nothin but the trueth.


Pete

Yes, many of the signers were of various Christian sects, including Quakers. But, it was Thomas Jefferson who locked himself in his room for several days and actually wrote the Declaration Of Independence. The rest just signed it after some minor revision.

Ben Franklin, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine were Deist. George Washington wavered between Deism and his Christian upbring.
__________________

Pete
07-05-2009, 02:41 PM
[QUOTE][

http://www.retrievertraining.net/forums/image.php?u=22644&dateline=1225141561 (http://www.retrievertraining.net/forums/member.php?u=22644)

Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: southeast us
Posts: 4,360


C'mon, Pete....that sort of attitude will never serve the sycophants....will you ever learn
/QUOTE]

whats a syphocant?:D I think its a prehistoric critter or is the a cephlocant.?

p

Pete
07-05-2009, 02:52 PM
Yes, many of the signers were of various Christian sects, including Quakers. But, it was Thomas Jefferson who locked himself in his room for several days and actually wrote the Declaration Of Independence. The rest just signed it after some minor revision.

Ben Franklin, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine were Deist. George Washington wavered between Deism and his Christian upbring.
__________________

That may be or may not be so. I don't know much about that ,,,only what I saw and read this morning.

There were paintings that went along with the workings of the constitution with all 56(/?) framers shown. They all worked together to put this together. Is what your saying that after all the hard work and brainstorming of these 56 men,,, That George,Thomas J ,Ben and Thomas P

secretly changed what the group came up with. And these other 50 some ott men just signed it for kix.

I would have immagined that they looked it over before they put their John Hancock on it to make sure it covered the things they worked on and re read and re red it to make sure everything was as perfect as possible.


It wouldnt make sence that 56 people worked on it but only 4 got to use their input. And then the other 52 blindly put their X on it. They sounded incredably adimit in their writings of what this country should be founded on.

Pete

K G
07-05-2009, 02:55 PM
Pete,

Here you go......from www.merriam-webster.com:

Main Entry: sy·co·phant
Pronunciation: \-fənt also -ˌfant\
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin sycophanta slanderer, swindler, from Greek sykophantēs slanderer, from sykon fig + phainein to show — more at fancy
Date: 1575
: a servile self-seeking flatterer

synonyms: see parasite

— sycophant adjective

Present company excepted regards, ;-)

kg

Franco
07-05-2009, 03:06 PM
There were paintings that went along with the workings of the constitution with all 56(/?) framers shown. They all worked together to put this together. Is what your saying that after all the hard work and brainstorming of these 56 men,,, That George,Thomas J ,Ben and Thomas P

secretly changed what the group came up with. And these other 50 some ott men just signed it for kix.

I would have immagined that they looked it over before they put their John Hancock on it to make sure it covered the things they worked on and re read and re red it to make sure everything was as perfect as possible.


It wouldnt make sence that 56 people worked on it but only 4 got to use their input. And then the other 52 blindly put their X on it. They sounded incredably adimit in their writings of what this country should be founded on.

Pete

When that painting was first exhibited on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the D of I, John Adams was outraged. He said that they never stood around as each signed because they were to busy coming and going to and from the convention.

Thomas Jefferson locked himself inside his room and hammered it out. That document is to well written to be the product of a committee. There were some minor revisions to it before the final draft. I would hope they all read it before signing it. Unlike what we have today where out representatives are either not given enough time or don't care enough to read legislation.

IowaBayDog
07-05-2009, 03:19 PM
When that painting was first exhibited on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the D of I, John Adams was outraged. He said that they never stood around as each signed because they were to busy coming and going to and from the convention.



Are you sure your not confusing a story about the Anniversary of the signing of the Constitution?

This is the background on the picture of the signing of the Declaration. An Adams controversy but not that one.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trumbull%27s_Declaration_of_Independence

Franco
07-05-2009, 03:22 PM
Are you sure your not confusing a story about the Anniversary of the signing of the Constitution?

This is the background on the picture of the signing of the Declaration. An Adams controversy but not that one.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trumbull%27s_Declaration_of_Independence

John Adams was in France as our Ambassador to France when the Constitution was written. He loathed that he was not there to give his imput.

The photo in the link is the one he objected to.

K.Bullock
07-05-2009, 03:24 PM
Ben Franklin, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine were Deist. George Washington wavered between Deism and his Christian upbring.
__________________






Pete
Pete help me, where are you guys getting this info, I honestly cannot find one verifiable legitimate source that agrees with this.

Franco
07-05-2009, 03:36 PM
That was me, Lucifer that wrote that, not Pete.

I posted the Tommy Jefferson quotes you asked for. Do you not believe his own quotes?

Pete
07-05-2009, 04:47 PM
Yep thats one of the pictures. It was portraid with the names of all the men present. Then writings and documents were presented of all of those men. I didn't count them all but It sure caught my attention.
There writings were plentiful and the word God and JC we splattered all over. So if they chose to use God and JC in some of their writtings,,,, to me they gave that subject plenty of consideration. While not all of what they wrote was chapter and verse. The jist of what they wrote could be parallelled by chapter and verse. I believe that our constitution was an inspiration of our founding fathers and not some slapped together set of standards.


Kg


A fancy word knower I am not:D
And lucifer I appreciate you candor



Pete

YardleyLabs
07-05-2009, 04:57 PM
Pete help me, where are you guys getting this info, I honestly cannot find one verifiable legitimate source that agrees with this.
These are a selection of quotes that I included concerning the support for separation of church and state and reflect on the religious beliefs of Madison, Jefferson, Franklin and Paine:


Thomas Jefferson:Letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in January 1, 1802:



"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that 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."


John Adams: "A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America" [1787-1788]


"The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.
". . . Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind."

James Madison: Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments (1785)

"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution."
"What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not."

Ben Franklin: Autobiography

". . . Some books against Deism fell into my hands. . . It happened that they wrought an effect on my quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a through Deist."

Thomas Paine: The Age of Reason

"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my church. "
"Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is no more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifiying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory to itself than this thing called Christianity."


The fact is that at the time of the Revolution, church attendance was relatively uncommon. Many of the framers of the Constitution were Freemasons -- deists but unwedded to notions of Christian orthodoxy -- and that was a factor promoting their view of a secular state. There was a subset of the population that lobbied for designation of the country as a Christian nation, and that attack was actually part of the campaign against Jefferson. However, Jefferson was elected and the push to make religion more a part of the fabric of the country largely dissipated.

In looking at the religious beliefs of the signers of the Declaration of Independence there is, of necessity, a certain lack of clarity because of the nature of religion in late 18th century/early 18th century America.

At that time may, if not most, people lived too far away from churches to attend regularly. In addition, denominational identification tended to be a little loose since distance and communication limited the contacts between individual churches and the parent organizations with which they might be affiliated in theory.

This was particularly an issue with Congregationalists who at that time had no defined creed, but endorsed having each church set its own theological direction. Beginning in Massachusetts, but spreading to the other New England states, there was a rapid influx of Unitarian ministers who rejected notions of the deity of Christ while espousing the moral principles of the man Jesus. By 1800, all of the Congregational churches in Boston and the divinity school at Harvard had become Unitarian. More conservative Congregationalists sought to push back and began demanding that congregations adopt a basic statement of creed that recognized the divinity of Christ. About half of the Congregational churches went along with this and the other half broke off to become Unitarian. Congregationalists sued to retain ownership of the church properties, but the Courts at the time awarded ownership based on majority votes of the individual congregations. Though not as pronounced, similar struggles faced other denominations, including Anglicans or Episcopalians, where there were also large numbers of congregations that resisted central discipline and moved towards more deist creeds.

Not surprisingly, a lot of these free thinking types were attracted to the revolutionary spirit.

Ben Franklin was raised and educated as an Episcopalian. However, he openly proclaimed himself to be a deist.

Jefferson was similarly raised an Episcopalian but never joined any congregation as an adult. He declared himself to be a sect of one, and petitioned the Unitarian Association to begin a congregation in Virginia that he could attend. He rejected the notion that Jesus Christ might be other than a very special man and in fact rejected almost all notion of miracles of any kind (evident in his rewrite of The Jefferson Bible.).

John Adams was initially a Congregationalist, but became a Unitarian as the split developed in Massachusetts, rejecting the signing of a creedal statement accepting the divinity of Jesus. Adams, who was no friend to Jefferson until much later in life, made many statements of admiration for Jesus and generally called himself a Christian, but rejected the notion of any link between government and organized religion and, as noted, ultimately called himself a Unitarian.

Robert Treat Paine, also a signatory, followed a similar path although he is less well known. He was originally a member of a Congregationalist Church but became a Unitarian when the two denominations split.

In fact, altogether, about a quarter of the signers of the Declaration were Congregationalists (second only to Anglicans), believing in the complete autonomy of individual churches to define their own religious creeds. That made this group strong supporters of a firm separation of church and state.

James Madison was an Episcopalian but was violently opposed to ties between government and religion and distrustful of organized religion even as he attended church while President. As noted in the quote cited previously, he stated "During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution."

Thomas Paine, often identified as a father of the revolution because of his publication of the treatise Common Sense and late The Age of Reason, was never a signatory to any of our founding documents. However, he rejected the notion of all revelatory religion and was generally classified as a deist.

K.Bullock
07-05-2009, 06:19 PM
These are a selection of quotes that I included concerning the support for separation of church and state and reflect on the religious beliefs of Madison, Jefferson, Franklin and Paine:



In looking at the religious beliefs of the signers of the Declaration of Independence there is, of necessity, a certain lack of clarity because of the nature of religion in late 18th century/early 18th century America.

At that time may, if not most, people lived too far away from churches to attend regularly. In addition, denominational identification tended to be a little loose since distance and communication limited the contacts between individual churches and the parent organizations with which they might be affiliated in theory.

This was particularly an issue with Congregationalists who at that time had no defined creed, but endorsed having each church set its own theological direction. Beginning in Massachusetts, but spreading to the other New England states, there was a rapid influx of Unitarian ministers who rejected notions of the deity of Christ while espousing the moral principles of the man Jesus. By 1800, all of the Congregational churches in Boston and the divinity school at Harvard had become Unitarian. More conservative Congregationalists sought to push back and began demanding that congregations adopt a basic statement of creed that recognized the divinity of Christ. About half of the Congregational churches went along with this and the other half broke off to become Unitarian. Congregationalists sued to retain ownership of the church properties, but the Courts at the time awarded ownership based on majority votes of the individual congregations. Though not as pronounced, similar struggles faced other denominations, including Anglicans or Episcopalians, where there were also large numbers of congregations that resisted central discipline and moved towards more deist creeds.

Not surprisingly, a lot of these free thinking types were attracted to the revolutionary spirit.

Ben Franklin was raised and educated as an Episcopalian. However, he openly proclaimed himself to be a deist.

Jefferson was similarly raised an Episcopalian but never joined any congregation as an adult. He declared himself to be a sect of one, and petitioned the Unitarian Association to begin a congregation in Virginia that he could attend. He rejected the notion that Jesus Christ might be other than a very special man and in fact rejected almost all notion of miracles of any kind (evident in his rewrite of The Jefferson Bible.).

John Adams was initially a Congregationalist, but became a Unitarian as the split developed in Massachusetts, rejecting the signing of a creedal statement accepting the divinity of Jesus. Adams, who was no friend to Jefferson until much later in life, made many statements of admiration for Jesus and generally called himself a Christian, but rejected the notion of any link between government and organized religion and, as noted, ultimately called himself a Unitarian.

Robert Treat Paine, also a signatory, followed a similar path although he is less well known. He was originally a member of a Congregationalist Church but became a Unitarian when the two denominations split.

In fact, altogether, about a quarter of the signers of the Declaration were Congregationalists (second only to Anglicans), believing in the complete autonomy of individual churches to define their own religious creeds. That made this group strong supporters of a firm separation of church and state.

James Madison was an Episcopalian but was violently opposed to ties between government and religion and distrustful of organized religion even as he attended church while President. As noted in the quote cited previously, he stated "During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution."

Thomas Paine, often identified as a father of the revolution because of his publication of the treatise Common Sense and late The Age of Reason, was never a signatory to any of our founding documents. However, he rejected the notion of all revelatory religion and was generally classified as a deist.


Jeff, one of my professors was a congregationalist and a very devout Christian ...no they are not free and easy with their profession of Christ they are however with their methods of ministry they are not as structed as say the Anglicans are.. The religious make up of the colonies was Lutheran, Baptist,Anglican/Episcopal, Catholic, Moravian, Puritans, Methodist all churches with creeds and confessions. To be sure it was an atmosphere of religious tolerance that wasn't found anywhere else. The way you are describing early America it was settled by pagans, sorry but I don't see it..

How can you reconcile that with the Great awakening that began in 1730 by Ministers such as Johnathan Edwards certainly not a deist the same era that John Wesley began the Methodist movement of circuit riders planting churches throughout the colonies. All Confessing Christian churches.

And I think some of the quotes you quoted would need to be qualified to be put in context. Quotes don't go to far in my estimation, I would hate for someone to find what I wrote regarding religion or even parenting 15 years ago and and after I am gone assume that was my worldview over my entire lifetime.

http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/tserve/eighteen/ekeyinfo/deism.htm




Like their English counterparts, most colonial deists downplayed their distance from their orthodox neighbors. Confined to a small number of educated and generally wealthy elites, colonial deism was a largely private affair that sought to fly below the radar. Benjamin Franklin had been much taken with deist doctrines in his youth and had even published a treatise [A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain] in England on determinism with strong atheistic overtones. But Franklin quickly repented of his action and tried to suppress the distribution of his publication, considering it one of the greatest errors of his youth. Henceforth he kept his religious convictions to himself and his clubbical “pot companions” or drinking friends, and tried to present as orthodox a public appearance as possible. Like his handful of fellow colonial deists, Franklin kept a low theological profile. As a result, deism had very little impact in early America up through the American Revolution.

Your position on the scope and presence of Deism in early America is way overstated.

Pete
07-05-2009, 06:33 PM
Jeff
As I have stated before I am glad there is a seperation of church and state. But that is totally different than biblical principle being tightly woven through the constitution.
Thats why its critical to realize that someone who has a respect for the creator can put together a document that all that in which people who live under it can be free of religious terrony.
The document enables people to be free and choose as they see fit in their pursuit of life liberty and the pursuit of happyness. It is a Godly document .period. weather it was inteded that way or not.

I would have to study and compare the constitution against the word in
entirety to see if any of it is contrary,,,but off hand ,,,everything I can think of paraells it.

Man in his thoughts of lust and vanities has tendencies is to put in place rules and reg.s which make life fair to some and unfair to others.
Unless a person is a commie or marxist or something the constitutions benefits all with fairness.

That wasn't an accident,,,,,, Gods hand of blessing is made evident because Gods principles permiate the documents. It doesn't matter the state of mind of the framers. The chips all fell in place.

Pete

YardleyLabs
07-05-2009, 08:13 PM
Jeff, one of my professors was a congregationalist and a very devout Christian ...no they are not free and easy with their profession of Christ they are however with their methods of ministry they are not as structed as say the Anglicans are.. The religious make up of the colonies was Lutheran, Baptist,Anglican/Episcopal, Catholic, Moravian, Puritans, Methodist all churches with creeds and confessions. To be sure it was an atmosphere of religious tolerance that wasn't found anywhere else. The way you are describing early America it was settled by pagans, sorry but I don't see it..

How can you reconcile that with the Great awakening that began in 1730 by Ministers such as Johnathan Edwards certainly not a deist the same era that John Wesley began the Methodist movement of circuit riders planting churches throughout the colonies. All Confessing Christian churches.

And I think some of the quotes you quoted would need to be qualified to be put in context. Quotes don't go to far in my estimation, I would hate for someone to find what I wrote regarding religion or even parenting 15 years ago and and after I am gone assume that was my worldview over my entire lifetime.

http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/tserve/eighteen/ekeyinfo/deism.htm





Your position on the scope and presence of Deism in early America is way overstated.
With respect to Congregationalists, I agree that there is no question at all about the Christian basis of modern Congregationalism. However, as I noted in my comments, that is a position that emerged on in the late 18th century when conservative members demanded a that formal statement of Christian creed be executed by each minister and congregation. That is what split the church with a very large percentage of Congregationalist churches becoming Unitarian.

My comments with respect to deists were very much directed at our "founding fathers" who were, not surprisingly, probably more liberal and anti-authoritarian in their leanings than many of their peers (the rejection of orthodoxy was probably more common among the leaders of the revolution than among the balance of the delegates signing the Declaration). However, the belief that religion was primarily a matter of personal conscience was much more widely held and was probably more of a factor in the Constitutional exclusion of the government from passing any laws respecting religion or requiring any religious test (i.e., statement of belief) for holding office.

The move towards greater religious orthodoxy didn't really become a force until the end of the 18th century and early in the 19th. It was a major factor in Jefferson's Presidential campaign in 1800 (against John Adams) with the then equivalent of the religious right campaigning hard to defeat him. Jefferson won despite their opposition and despite widespread belief that he was an atheist. Jefferson also was relatively quiet about his religious beliefs, reserving his religious discussions primarily for his private correspondence. One of his frequent correspondents was Joseph Priestly and later, to the surprise of both, his former political opponent John Adams. Adams had received some details concerning the Jefferson Bible from Priestly and encouraged Jefferson to complete it.

The article you referenced in your link actually supports much of what I say although it appears to have a very specific agenda of trying to formulate arguments to dilute the intentions of the establishment clause. I do disagree with some of the author's facts, including his classification of John Adams as a Universalist Unitarian. The first Universalist church in America was not formed until 1779 by John Murray and the link between Universalists and Unitarians did not emerge until the 20th century, being formalized in 1960. Until the time of the merger, a key distinction between the two was the universalism, while it rejected the notion of damnation, attributed universal salvation to Christ and accepted his deity. Unitarians did not. When the two religions merged, it was based on a complete rejection of religious creed in favor of personal conscience and an agreed set of principles for action. Christian and athiest Unitarians probably exist in approximtely equal numbers.

K.Bullock
07-05-2009, 10:48 PM
With respect to Congregationalists, I agree that there is no question at all about the Christian basis of modern Congregationalism. However, as I noted in my comments, that is a position that emerged on in the late 18th century when conservative members demanded a that formal statement of Christian creed be executed by each minister and congregation. That is what split the church with a very large percentage of Congregationalist churches becoming Unitarian.

My comments with respect to deists were very much directed at our "founding fathers" who were, not surprisingly, probably more liberal and anti-authoritarian in their leanings than many of their peers (the rejection of orthodoxy was probably more common among the leaders of the revolution than among the balance of the delegates signing the Declaration). However, the belief that religion was primarily a matter of personal conscience was much more widely held and was probably more of a factor in the Constitutional exclusion of the government from passing any laws respecting religion or requiring any religious test (i.e., statement of belief) for holding office.

The move towards greater religious orthodoxy didn't really become a force until the end of the 18th century and early in the 19th. It was a major factor in Jefferson's Presidential campaign in 1800 (against John Adams) with the then equivalent of the religious right campaigning hard to defeat him. Jefferson won despite their opposition and despite widespread belief that he was an atheist. Jefferson also was relatively quiet about his religious beliefs, reserving his religious discussions primarily for his private correspondence. One of his frequent correspondents was Joseph Priestly and later, to the surprise of both, his former political opponent John Adams. Adams had received some details concerning the Jefferson Bible from Priestly and encouraged Jefferson to complete it.

The article you referenced in your link actually supports much of what I say although it appears to have a very specific agenda of trying to formulate arguments to dilute the intentions of the establishment clause. I do disagree with some of the author's facts, including his classification of John Adams as a Universalist Unitarian. The first Universalist church in America was not formed until 1779 by John Murray and the link between Universalists and Unitarians did not emerge until the 20th century, being formalized in 1960. Until the time of the merger, a key distinction between the two was the universalism, while it rejected the notion of damnation, attributed universal salvation to Christ and accepted his deity. Unitarians did not. When the two religions merged, it was based on a complete rejection of religious creed in favor of personal conscience and an agreed set of principles for action. Christian and athiest Unitarians probably exist in approximtely equal numbers.

Is this what you are taking issue with?



Deist phrases may thus have been a sort of theological lingua franca, and their use by the founders was ecumenical rather than anti-Christian. Such ecumenical striving sheds fresh light on the first amendment and the secular order it established. This secularism forbade the federal government from establishing a national church or interfering with church affairs in the states. However, it did not create a policy of official indifference, much less hostility toward organized religion. Congress hired chaplains, government buildings were used for divine services, and federal policies supported religion in general (ecumenically) as does our tax code to this day. The founding generation always assumed that religion would play a vital part in the political and moral life of the nation. Its ecumenical secularity insured that no particular faith would be excluded from that life, including disbelief itself.

I thought that was an interesting take on the use of ecumenical terms, that would seem to be very logical to me. Considering the founders were attempting to escape a state run church.

YardleyLabs
07-06-2009, 06:03 AM
Is this what you are taking issue with?



I thought that was an interesting take on the use of ecumenical terms, that would seem to be very logical to me. Considering the founders were attempting to escape a state run church.
I believe, beyond the notion of a state church, that the founders viewed religion as a matter of personal choice, whatever that choice might be, and fully intended government to not take any position on religious issues. Today, many prefer to believe that their intent was simply that you were free to choose what brand of Christian you wanted to be but that the assumption was that you would be Christian. The point of my postings on this has been to show that, while most may have been Christian, our founders were a diverse group that included clear non-Christians among its respected leaders and even some who at times questioned the existence of a deity altogether. Their views of acceptable religious diversity encompassed a full range of personal choices including no religion at all.

Gerry Clinchy
07-06-2009, 07:40 AM
The European experience from which our founders came clearly demonstrated the negative aspects of church involvement in state affairs. It makes absolute sense to me that they would want no church to precedence over the inalienable rights mentioned in the Declaration.

However, I think we take this to extremes in today's world n ways that prevent voluntary, free expression of one's religion because it happens to take place on government property, most notably schools. If all forms of religious expression, including atheism, are equally permitted, I see no reason for government to regulate voluntary gatherings or expressions.

YardleyLabs
07-06-2009, 08:00 AM
The European experience from which our founders came clearly demonstrated the negative aspects of church involvement in state affairs. It makes absolute sense to me that they would want no church to precedence over the inalienable rights mentioned in the Declaration.

However, I think we take this to extremes in today's world n ways that prevent voluntary, free expression of one's religion because it happens to take place on government property, most notably schools. If all forms of religious expression, including atheism, are equally permitted, I see no reason for government to regulate voluntary gatherings or expressions.
My own perspective is shaped by having grown up going to a public school before the SCOTUS outlawed school prayers. There was nothing voluntary about what went on. Morning bible readings were mandatory rotating so that each student would read a selection each day. In fifth grade, my teacher made a point of requiring that the Jewish children only read selections from the New Testament to help them find Jesus.

Public institutions carry an implicit power of compulsion. That is the reason why prayer advocates seek to use those institutions for group prayer. Nothing prevents any individual from speaking to God. If a God is there, I am sure that it does not require a group voice to hear.

road kill
07-06-2009, 08:13 AM
My own perspective is shaped by having grown up going to a public school before the SCOTUS outlawed school prayers. There was nothing voluntary about what went on. Morning bible readings were mandatory rotating so that each student would read a selection each day. In fifth grade, my teacher made a point of requiring that the Jewish children only read selections from the New Testament to help them find Jesus.

Public institutions carry an implicit power of compulsion. That is the reason why prayer advocates seek to use those institutions for group prayer. Nothing prevents any individual from speaking to God. If a God is there, I am sure that it does not require a group voice to hear.

BINGO!!

That is the whole problem in a nutshell!!

Gerry Clinchy
07-06-2009, 12:16 PM
My own perspective is shaped by having grown up going to a public school before the SCOTUS outlawed school prayers. There was nothing voluntary about what went on. Morning bible readings were mandatory rotating so that each student would read a selection each day. In fifth grade, my teacher made a point of requiring that the Jewish children only read selections from the New Testament to help them find Jesus.

Public institutions carry an implicit power of compulsion. That is the reason why prayer advocates seek to use those institutions for group prayer. Nothing prevents any individual from speaking to God. If a God is there, I am sure that it does not require a group voice to hear.

I do not believe that the school should have any type of required ritual such as you describe. I would join you in objecting to the type of thing you describe in your public school experience.

I also went to public school. We were granted released time each week to attend religious instruction at the church of our choice offering same; or use the period as a study hall. The only compulsion for a student to attend religious training was parental, and the school's only participation was to allow such a time period.

I was thinking of such things as not allowing students of a certain religious affiliation to use school property for a gathering, providing such gatherings did not include prosletyzing or solicitations for that group's beliefs.

The closest our school came to what you describe was the daily Pledge of Allegiance, which included the words "under God". I doubt anyone would have noticed if any student chose not to say those words during the Pledge of Allegiance, but nobody was much interested in making a big deal of their choice to do so.

dnf777
07-07-2009, 12:48 PM
My own perspective is shaped by having grown up going to a public school before the SCOTUS outlawed school prayers. There was nothing voluntary about what went on. Morning bible readings were mandatory rotating so that each student would read a selection each day. In fifth grade, my teacher made a point of requiring that the Jewish children only read selections from the New Testament to help them find Jesus.

Public institutions carry an implicit power of compulsion. That is the reason why prayer advocates seek to use those institutions for group prayer. Nothing prevents any individual from speaking to God. If a God is there, I am sure that it does not require a group voice to hear.

My recollection is of an Indian kid in my 6th grade class being ridiculed in front of the class for worshipping cows, while we worshipped the only "true God". To this day, I can see the tears running down his face and his chin quivering. He was new in this country, 8000 miles from his hometown, and very small of stature. He grew up to be a cardiologist, and is one of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet. I still feel ashamed for not standing up to the teacher on his behalf, but at the time, knew better. I pray he has overcome his first impressions we gave him as a nation of freedom of religions.