Why Be So Visible, So Outspoken?

Atheists are often accused of being too outspoken, too militant, to strident. Our mere presence in society offends many people, all of them religious in one way or the other. Our existence is a reminder that the religious worldview is not the only one, that there is some possibility that they might be wrong about their beliefs in the supernatural, which beliefs forms a major component of how they deal with the day to day exigencies of life. We’re simply telling them that their beliefs, their vision of reality, could be wrong. Since there is an underlying current of insecurity in those beliefs, we make them nervous.

Insecurity?

Say you strongly believed in leprechauns, but you had never actually seen one. All of your family believed too, and you were brought up from birth to believe that leprechauns could reward you, or make your life miserable as need be, as long as you kept a thriving patch of clover in the back yard. Your family started the clover patch before you were born, but taught you to care for it as you grew. Certain words, special to leprechauns, were to be recited when you tended to the patch, fertilizing and watering it to make sure it didn’t die, even in times of drought. A failed clover patch meant hard times for your family.

But, sometimes you forgot to water it, or feed it, and sometimes the clover got a little brown around the edges. Your family still seemed healthy, no problems there, and you wondered about whether the leprechaun is paying attention. You had doubts. What does he look like? Where does he live when he’s not enjoying your clover patch? Why doesn’t he make himself known to your faithful family?

You begin to understand the insecurity of unbelief.  Reality, as you experience it every day, doesn’t seem to comport with your beliefs. At first, it’s easy to convince yourself that your leprechaun belief is true. Your grandfather had told many stories of seeing the leprechaun when he was younger, and some of the amazing things that happened to the family, in ages past, as a result of leprechaun intervention.  But Grand-papa died years ago, the old stories are remembered less, and you find more and more inconsistencies between them as you think of them while reinforcing your faltering belief.

As you get older, you notice that a lot of your neighbors don’t have a similar patch in their back yards, and when asked, they scoff at the notion that leprechauns even exist. They seem to be doing OK without a patch like yours in their yard, and in fact, some of them actually seem wealthier and happier than your family.  The existence of your unbelieving neighbors makes you uncomfortable, because you know they are wrong, yet way in the back recesses of your mind, you wonder. Could they be right? Why are they doing at least as good as you, yet don’t have to spend all that time tending to a patch of green in their yard?

Those neighbors, the happy, thriving ones that don’t believe in your leprechaun, are a constant reminder of your doubts, and a reinforcement of your insecurity.

The point of this somewhat lengthy analogy is that your belief in leprechauns, while having absolutely no grounding in reality, and somewhat delusional to boot,  is relatively harmless. It’s a personal belief of yours, and your family, that results at worst in a green spot of nature, well cultivated in your back yard. It does not spill over into society, it causes no harm to your neighbors, and can be characterized as innocuous at its worst. It becomes a center of family unity, and a source of family identification and pride. These are all good things.

Christians say the same thing about their beliefs. To atheists they ask, “What’s it to you?” “Why do you care what I believe”? “Why do you have to make such a big deal about something that brings me comfort?” “My beliefs make me happy; shouldn’t that be enough?”.  All good questions.

I would answer by pointing out some facts that perhaps many Christians, in their insular world of belief, don’t realize, or pay little attention to. Facts that have an impact way beyond their backyard patch of clover. Such as:

  • A significant percentage of our elected members of Congress, at both the federal and state level, have clover patches in their back yards that they would like to replant in everyone’s back yard, forcing us to spend our time and money cultivating all that clover. Shedding the analogy, these Congress Critters of both parties, but primarily the Republicans, want to shove their religion down everyone’s throats.  They consistently and constantly attribute much of the legislation they favor to the word of their god, or some sort of biblical authority. They would have us rewrite the Constitution as a document originally inspired and created in the churches of the Founding Fathers.
  • There is a significant portion of the military, especially in the middle level commands, and significantly among the rank and file, that feel that the US armed forces are actually extensions of God’s Army. This is an insidious and threatening development for a military that is in existence to uphold a decidedly secular  Constitution.
  • There is a large contingent of anti-intellectualism, fueled by religious, primarily Christian, beliefs that butt up against science and technology. The Dover case in York County, PA. George W. Bush’s decision to limit stem cell research. Global warming denial.  Humans riding dinosaurs. These all are based on religious beliefs, or are reactions to perceived opposition to those beliefs.
  • Women are deemed second class citizens by religious thinking. It’s just not in Muslim societies, but in the US, that women can be called sluts and prostitutes by widely regarded talk show idiots, simply for insisting on equal access to medical insurance for contraception; funding for obstetric and gynecological medical service for the poor and  needy are restricted and sometimes cut off, because of religious beliefs; women are forced to have children by people whose religious beliefs demand birth, but then abandon the life created immediately afterwards. Men have none of these problems, and in fact can get medical insurance to pay for their erections with no resulting religious outcry.

These are just a few examples of Creeping Christianity in the secular lives of Americans, and it’s the reason why atheists have become more outspoken and visible in recent years. It’s one thing to privately hold delusional and unsupportable beliefs. It’s another for those beliefs to be forced into public policy and culture over the objections of many Americans who find themselves under religious thumbs. This creeping institutionalization of Christian beliefs is not objected to by moderate Christians, because the beliefs they are based on are  too similar to those they hold, and they won’t realize how much their lives have been affected and infected by the policies created by the extreme side of their co-believers, until it is too late. Not until their daughter gets pregnant, or their son is sent to war to kill a Muslim, or their child comes home from school proclaiming the age of the earth as only 6000 years, or that all homos should be killed, will they realize what they have wrought.

It would be irresponsible for anyone who sees what is happening to not speak out, to not become more visible, to not object and ridicule these religious beliefs wherever and whenever they rear their ugly heads in social and political discourse.

We need to keep those clover patches from spreading.

49 thoughts on “Why Be So Visible, So Outspoken?

  1. The atheists are outspoken only if neutral conversation is considered to be one with occasional references to Christian beliefs and Scripture. I am pretty sure that Christians spend way more time talking about their beliefs, practicing them, and quoting the Bible in conversations than atheists ever do talking about their non-believing.

    • There is a certain amount of persecution complex in the process. According to theists, everyone has to be, at least, accepting of the Christian worldview, and if not, the Christian who happens to hear someone disagree feels he is being persecuted for his beliefs. It’s not really an intellectual process, however. Belief; faith is not intellectual, its visceral, and they “feel” enmity from someone else who happens to not share their beliefs.

      But you know, I really don’t care if my atheism offends them, any more than I should care if my love of chocolate offends vanilla aficionados. They need to understand that belief is personal and individualistic, and unshared belief is not a judgement of the person who does not share the belief. It’s simply a different belief. Leave it at that, and the world runs smoothly. Push your beliefs on others, and the world careens out of control.

      It’s really is that simple.

  2. You are right to question the sanity of the extremists (here, why don’t you play with this rattlesnake?) but I’m sure you know (or should know) that not every believer is an ignorant adherent of baseless superstitions. Your campaign against religion in general will be rejected by those who don’t believe in fairies in the garden.

    • I don’t see it so much as a campaign, Dwight, as a hobby. I do think that when we are criticized for blanket condemnations of religion, there’s some merit to it, because usually it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease, so it’s in response to the extremes that we usually react to.

      I’ve tried to make it clear, especially in this post, that it’s not the moderate, easy going, laisez faire Christians that bother me. It’s the ones who act like I offend them, as if there is only one way to think, and it’s their way. Yea, yea, they say the same about me. I know. I’m close minded to religion. I’ve addressed that numerous times, and won’t repeat myself. I react to religion, I don’t attack it.

      • I think I speak for most atheists when I say that ALL superstitions are baseless, with religion being the queen momma of superstition for humanity. Now perhaps if religions go away there will likely still be superstitions people will indulge in, because the human condition includes the need for indulgences, but I doubt any of them could ever compare to religion.

        As far as the OP, there used to be this false respect everyone was supposed to give to others’ beliefs. I say false because it wasn’t actually a respect for their beliefs but rather their right to have them so they weren’t challenged because I think people used to keep that shit more to themselves. That’s changed drastically in the last 30 years. The key to the leprechaun analogy is imposition, or how much one imposes upon others due to their beliefs. If you want to believe leprechauns exist, or Big Foot, or demons and angels, knock yourself out but then if you start getting laws passed which require others to have clover patches, cut funding for national forests because they’re the land of Big Foot, or ban or limit the sale of alcohol because it’s the vehicle through which demons enter your body and possess you then it’s time to challenge the basis of those beliefs.

        The indulgent want to play the victim card and claim those of us pointing out that the emperor has no clothes are the “militant”, aggressive and rude ones but the truth is they are the ones who are all of those things and more when they impose on the rest of us to help facilitate and enhance their indulgence.

  3. Excellent post. A fellow non-believer told me the other “I for one, do not wish to destroy a theist’s belief or faith, because I believe it is their human right to do such” but I whole heartedly disagreed. My response was “I propose that the basic human right when it comes to religion should be freedom from indoctrination before an age at which religious beliefs can be evaluated, compared and chosen (or rejected) purely on the basis of their own merit. That would mean that peoples faiths would be reasoned judgements and people could start valuing and respecting the truth rather than the results of successful brainwashing”

  4. A very amusing analogy. Here is the problem. Much as you might wish to revise history to the contrary, our republic’s foundational documents are based upon Biblical principles. The ‘why’ for our republic is stated in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence. Our rights are endowed by God and godly government is restrained from infringing upon those rights.
    Our Constitution is the ‘how’ for our republic. It calls for a limited Federal government. Sam Adams said that a limited Federal government was only possible in the case of a citizenry morally restrained by Judeo Christian principles. Without self governing moral restraint, our system of government will fail or , like the Roman Republic descend into tyranny. We are already see the evidence of the impact of godlessness upon our republic. Where there is atheism, the State replaces God. The outcomes of socialist utopias has always been either mass murder or economic catastrophe.
    When our nation forgets God, we will all suffer under a total state or lawlessness.

  5. If you believe that Reason, uninformed by the Bible, can succeed you seem to have missed the past 250 years of history. WWI and the genocides of the atheistic systems have disproven the merits of Reasonable systems sans the God of the Bible. Thomas Paine, who believed that he was good without God, supported the French Revolution as a ‘consultant’. Without a Biblical foundation the French Revolution of 1789 rapidly deteriorated into the Reign of Terror, which itself was only resolved by the dictatorship of Napoleon!
    American Exceptionalism is based upon our system founded upon Biblical principles, anchored in a transcendent accountability to an ultimate omniscient judge, the Creator. It is this system which has produced unprecedented stability, prosperity and liberty that we enjoy. To strip God and the Bible from the system is like taking the engine out of a car. Momentum may carry it forward temporarily, but only faith in the God of the Bible can restore the engine that has driven our nation since its founding.
    Atheists have a right to believe or disbelieve as you choose; however, when you strip God, prayer, the 10 Commandments from public education and the public square, you are drilling a hole in our common boat!

  6. Ragfish: Let’s go through your mistakes systematically, shall we?

    • The invocation of a “creator” in the Declaration of Independence served 2 main purposes, none of which are what you assert:
    1) To attack George’s failure to live up to his responsibilities as a ruler without directly challenging the idea of divine right
    2) By not challenging divine right, it spared the colonists the wrath of other monarchs as well as allowed them to pursue the support of France

    • The US constitution is a secular document, invoking no god or religion, and which is at direct odds, on many counts, with monotheism in general and Christianity specifically.

    • The assertion that Christianity is necessary as a moral safeguard to prevent our republic from ending like Rome’s is demonstrably false. EVERY politician convicted of a crime or otherwise engaged in morally and/or ethically questionable behavior was a professed Christian.

    • The US engaged in genocide against the indigenous population of what is now US territory, therefore lack of socialism is no safeguard from mass murder.

    • The US has certainly not been immune from economic catastrophes, whereas the People’s Republic of China is in the midst of an economic boon.

    • Not only is there no evidence for the assertion that “When our nation forgets God, we will all suffer under a total state or lawlessness”, but evidence suggests quite the contrary.

    • The Christian bible, full of logical and factual contradictions and espousing faith over reason, clearly does not “inform” Reason.

    • The presence of Christianity in French government has never precluded it from behaving poorly, including engaging in atrocities; therefore citing the Reign of Terror as an indictment of atheism would then mean Christianity deserves quite the indictment.

    • To follow up on that last point and other things you attempt to lay at the feet of atheism, it is not a philosophy of tenets to follow, therefore blaming it as responsible for anything is simply as foolish as blaming the atrocities of WWII on men with mustaches.

    • American exceptionalism is a smug sentiment. Only those who are superior deserve to feel superior. Too many Americans feel superior when they have little to no right to feel that way.

    • Religious icons have no business on public property as they are a potential violation of the Establishment Clause.

  7. Dear PhillyChief,
    You are an excellent apologist! I appreciate your well organized rebuttal.

    While genocide is unpleasant, I am not opposed to ethnic cleansing by relocation. This was successfully accomplished in the WWII settlement of Potsdam, which exiled German nationals from what was to become Poland. Jews were similarly exiled from Muslim nations and fortunately had a place to go, Israel. Unfortunately, Muslims hostile to the existence of the Jewish state were not similarly resettled in Jordan or one of the other 22 Arab/Muslim nations. The establishment of a Commons requires a common ethic. I understand your desire to cleanse the commons of religion; however, the Establishment Clause is restricted a) to the Federal Congress and b) to the establishment of a Federal denomination as in the Anglican Church in England.

    The term American Exceptionalism is no more smug than naming the New York Giants “Superbowl Champions of 2012″. They are the best team for 2012 as a statement of fact. Before the Warren Court of the 1960’s, America was first in literacy, math and science education. We are now in the educational pits. Taking the 10 Commandments, Bible and prayer out of the schools has left children under-instructed in the principles of righteousness. Whereas problems in the schools use to be chewing gum, running in the hall or talking in class, we now have STD’s, youth gang murders in jr. high schools not to mention illiteracy. Admittedly, the stripping of God only from public education is not the entire cause; however, the relentless efforts of atheists to strip the entire commons of religious principle IS!
    Atheists are proposing a change in American tradition and a fundamental change in our historical narrative. The burden of proof rests with you to demonstrate the comparative advantages of a diminishing of Biblical influence upon our common space. Aside from making atheists uncomfortable in the midst of people believing and publically expressing their faith, there is more benefit to the American commons from embracing religious moral influence than in its denial.
    Jefferson founded the U.of Va. as a place where 8 Christian denominations each had a college. This was not eccumenicalism, but rather the clear endorsement of the influence of Christianity as a common religious principle. Jefferson also funded Catholic missions to the Indians in the territory of the Louisianna Purchase as well as held religious services in the Capitol rotunda, the music being furnished by the USArmy band.

    Actually, atheism is the doctrine seeking the removal of religious tenets from the commons and therefore is NOT value free. It worships HUMAN REASON as the ultimate goddess. Secular humanism is a religion.

    “Not only is there no evidence for the assertion that “When our nation forgets God, we will all suffer under a total state or lawlessness”, but evidence suggests quite the contrary.”

    Can you provide a single example of a secular/godless nation that has sustained itself God for 250 years or a system other than ours which has provided the stability, prosperity and liberty that has been afforded by our Republic? Yes, the only god reference in the Constitution is the date “in the year of our Lord”; however, the Declaration is the ‘why’ of our republic and establishes that upon the idea of rights ordained by a transcendant deity, who has the creator, has the right to rule his creation. Human govt. is ordained by God to punish the wicked and reward the righteous. Rebellion against established govt. is justified when appeals have failed to redress evils.
    Joseph Stalin allegedly opined that Communism could not defeat America militarily; however, by a gradual subversion of American spirtuality, morality and patriotism it would collapse from within. The same sentiment was clearly delinieated in the Muslim Brotherhood’s documents exposed in the Holy Land Trial. (Yes, I believe that all religions are not morally equivalent).
    I believe that in the case of America, atheism has accelerated our decline into a ‘reasonable, rationalized and justified’ Brave New World of state tyranny. I am supposing you wish to ban memorial crosses, stars of David, etc. from Veteran cemetaries as well as denying families of fallen veterans the right to a religious burial of their choice. Such is an example of the tyranny of the religion of secular humanism/atheism.

    • While genocide is unpleasant, I am not opposed to ethnic cleansing by relocation.

      Congratulations! You’ve just forfeited the moral high ground. Furthermore, if being a Christian either promotes such a sentiment or at the very least fails to deter such a sentiment, than its usefulness for morality doesn’t appear to exist.

      the Establishment Clause is restricted a) to the Federal Congress and b) to the establishment of a Federal denomination as in the Anglican Church in England

      I suggest you research that one again. You’re espousing preferentialism which is not a position supported by the courts, but by crackpots like Pat Robertson.

      We are now in the educational pits.

      Then you admit American exceptionalism is unwarranted. Thank you.

      Taking the 10 Commandments, Bible and prayer out of the schools has left children under-instructed in the principles of righteousness.

      Not only is that nonsensical, it has nothing to do with the issue of American educational standing in math, science or literacy which you specifically cited. Furthermore, religious “righteousness” is largely to blame for the degradation of science education and education in general in the US.

      The burden of proof rests with you to demonstrate the comparative advantages of a diminishing of Biblical influence upon our common space.

      Although I could probably do that, I don’t have to because the trespass of public space by religion is unconstitutional.

      Jefferson also funded Catholic missions to the Indians in the territory of the Louisianna Purchase as well as held religious services in the Capitol rotunda, the music being furnished by the USArmy band.

      You’re quite mistaken and should check your sources more closely, especially since Jefferson’s Presidency ended in 1809, 9 years before construction on the Rotunda began.

      Actually, atheism is the doctrine seeking…

      ACTUALLY, atheism isn’t a doctrine therefore anything you write after that is mistaken.

      You’re embarrassingly mistaken on everything else as well and I once again urge you to do some fact checking on your source(s) of information.

    • The term American Exceptionalism is no more smug than naming the New York Giants “Superbowl Champions of 2012″. They are the best team for 2012 as a statement of fact.

      Bad analogy. American Exceptionalism says that America is the greatest nation on earth, because there is something inherent in our make-up, our national identity that makes it so, and mandates that we continue to be so. We are not a great nation because of, say being chosen by god. We happened to win WW2 and came out on top in the global economy post-war. We are presently in decline, and most observers will give China a fighting chance for the greatest nation on earth status in the not too distant future. So then we’ll be hearing about Chinese Exceptionalism? I suspect that phrase is being bandied about in China as we speak.

      A better analogy would be to declare the NY Giants “Superbowl Champions of 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, etc. ad infinitum, based on one victory in 2012, and because they happen to be in NY.

  8. “You’re quite mistaken and should check your sources more closely, especially since Jefferson’s Presidency ended in 1809, 9 years before construction on the Rotunda began.”

    My mistake, I should have said that services were held in the Capitol. His attendance at Sunday services held in the Capitol (in whatever its state of construction) was documented within days of his letter to the Danbury Baptists, where the term ‘separatation of church and state’ first appears in 1802. Wherever this largest District congregation was meeting, it was on public land.

    http://www.aoc.gov/cc/capitol/capitol_construction.cfm

    Jefferson at Church in the Capitol
    In his diary, Manasseh Cutler (1742-1823), a Federalist Congressman from Massachusetts and Congregational minister, notes that on Sunday, January 3, 1802, John Leland preached a sermon on the text “Behold a greater than Solomon is here. Jef[ferso]n was present.” Thomas Jefferson attended this church service in Congress, just two days after issuing the Danbury Baptist letter.

    ———————————————————————————————————————
    Consider the fact that at least 27 of the 56 signators of the Declaration of Independence were ordained pastors and some,(John Witherspoon) seminary presidents. These were certainly not deists, let alone atheists. Unlike the French Revolution that lumped the Catholic clergy along with the monarchy, America’s course was religiously/Biblically informed and morally restrained. Who were the atheists among the founders, who were literally hellbent in banishing religious expression from the common space??
    The first amendment is clear that Congress can pass no law limiting the public expression

    It was de Toqueville, who declared America to be ‘exceptional’ among nations in the 1830’s:
    “In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.
    Religion in America…must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it. Indeed, it is in this same point of view that the inhabitants of the United States themselves look upon religious belief.”
    from
    Democracy in America

    Consider de Toqueville to be an objective commentator, attempting to discern the basis of what he perceived as a unique American story. He certainly did not have a Protestant/Biblical/Christian religious ax to grind.
    ____________________________________________________________________________

    Ben Franklin and other founders considered America to be the New Israel. He championed the seal as being the Israelites led by the pillar of fire through the wilderness on one side and Moses leading the crossing of the Red Sea on the other. The Biblical narrative flowed automatically owing to the Christian commons preeminent during the founding of the United States. Our founding documents reflect a unique confluence of Protestant Christianity and the Scottish Common Sense, a tempered manifestation of the Enlightenment/Age of Reason. Franklin was considered perhaps the least religious of the founders; nevertheless, he was the one who called for prayer in breaking a deadlock in the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

    The written and pictorial documentation prayer at the Constitutional Convention, Sunday services held in the capitol, presidential proclamations calling for days of “prayer, fasting and humiliation” were the norm through the 19th century. Election sermons were preached frequently on the day of voting. Literacy was promoted in order that citizens be able to read the Bible, in order to assure that laws were in accord with the Bible.
    Theology was considered the “queen of sciences” as it informed the natural sciences. The very presumtion of a rational, intelligible creation, presumes a Creator. Science itself is built upon the notion of every effect having a cause. Religion provides a first cause, a transcendant God, who is beyond space time but who created the universe from nothing.

    Protestant Christianity was the religion of the overwhelming majority of foundational scientists of the 17th 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. From Newton, whose writings on Bible prophecy exceed his treatises of physics and mathematics, down through Einstein, who believed that “God does not play dice with the universe.”

    The Continental Congress was quick to publish the first American Bible (in English) during the Revolution. While Indian language Bibles were printed under British rule, English language Bibles had to be imported from Britain.
    It was de Toqueville who came from France in order to ferret out the causes of what he termed American exceptionalism. There was something which differentiated the success of the American Constitution vs the failure of French efforts to replicate America’s experience.

    The First Amendment sought to promote religious expression and liberty :
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” (I do not see the separation of church and state clause here, do you??)
    It keeps a Federal denomination from being set up and it precludes the suppression of free exercise … Before the Warren Court of the 1960’s, for nearly 200 years this was universally understood as permitting religion on public lands, in Congress, national cemeteries, at commencement addresses, etc.

    The above all point to the religious foundations of the United States, from its documents to the personalities who drafted the Declaration, Articles of Confederation, Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    It requires a studious rewriting and relentless distortion of history to eradicate Biblical influences and the encouragement of religious freedom throughout the public and governmental sphere.
    This is the effect of modern ‘scholars’ citing one another while ignoring original documents. Such is a web of deception and delusion. It may be that the Christian religion is now seen as itself a delusion; however, if so, it is comprised the common worldview which framed the founding and all but most recent history of the United States.

    I agree that within the past 50 years, we have lost our religious moorings and with it the foundation for the stability, prosperity and liberty that can only exist in a morally restrained society. Examine carefully the actions of consecrating the nation to God at St. Paul’s Cathedral immediately following ashignton’s inauguration in New York (1789). Then see his farewell address, which posits the inseparability of morality and religion:

    “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens…Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
    Q.E.D.!

    • You REALLY need to do more fact checking before copy/pasting nonsense, ragfish. The “27 out of the 56 signators” bull is originally from Barton, the pseudo-historian attempting to rewrite history. The truth, assuming you care about truth, is many Founders graduated from schools like Harvard, Princeton and William & Mary. Those schools began as seminaries, however not all graduates were clergy. FYI, many of those schools, like Harvard and William & Mary, taught “infidelity” which was disbelief in Christian scriptures. The Founders were made up of various Christian sects, as well as other beliefs such as Deism. Jefferson’s discount of the divinity of Jesus and the removal of all supernatural bits from the Christian bible to form what is known as the Jefferson bible, prompted his political opponents to label him an atheist in his time.

      But it doesn’t matter what the personal religious beliefs of the Founders were or what they did in their spare time. What’s important is the constitution they forged and ratified. They understood the personal nature of belief and found THAT to be sacred, thus protecting it by both allowing individuals free exercise and expression of their beliefs and separating state and church. The great irony is that our secular constitution, with its protection of religious freedom, has done more to foster religiosity than any other Western constitution which is non-secular.

      Furthermore, the personal beliefs of any politician, scientist or anyone else, past or present, is largely irrelevant in general, and completely irrelevant when arguing whether our government was or ever should involve itself with any religion, let alone a specific one.

  9. Where we agree is that our present national narrative IS so thoroughly secular, as to be entirely void of that which is required for the sustaining of the stability, prosperity and individual liberty that has been the exception rather than the rule of nations and empires. As per our present dysfunctional narrative, America is no longer a Christian nation. The professing church has itself become devoid of its Biblical literacy as well as the belief in its inerrency. The mainstream denominations are cursed through their preaching of a social gospel, rather than the gospel of reconcilliation between man and God, NOT man and his fellow man.
    I see that we both dwell in an echo chamber where our checking of facts boils down to our trusting different sources. Original documents, the writings and speeches of our founders, the Congressional record are what I trust. I am not sure what your trusted sources might be, but it would seem that they are more contemporary and from what I would see as revisionist citations, which are self referencing and void of original sources.
    I am old enough to have attended public school prior to the secular humanist war of the Federal courts of the 1960’s against religion in schools and ultimately the commons. As a Jew, I experienced mandatory Christian prayer, Bible reading from the Christian Bible and pledge of allegiance to flag and republic. These were longstanding traditions in our public schools. Where do you suppose such religious influences were derived?? If Philly Chief is from Pennsylvania, and is old enough, you might recall the Blue Laws, which made commerce unlawful on the Lord’s Day. The historical revision of our present era is the result of a thorough progressive/secular capture of our institutions which began in the early twentieth century. I recognize that religious tolerance and freedom of conscience is a direct derivative of Biblical principles. While David Barton’s contemporary applications may be attacked, his citing of original documents is unassailable. I see parallels between the work of David Barton and King Josiah’s discovering of the lost scrolls. As with Josiah, the restoration in our day may have come too little and too late; however, should we still remain here in the midst and aftermath of economic, political catastrophe, the rebuilding of civil society cannot be accomplished upon a secular/materialist foundation. The consequences of fundamentalist radical secularism are already evidenced and the natural (as well as supernatural) consequences of our being at odds with “the laws of nature and nature’s God”. From the fantastic economics of fractional reserve central banking and fiat currency, to the replacing of citizenship and individual rights, with consumerism and the rights of special victim group identities we have reached the end of our republic as originally and traditionally conceived. We have arrived at a point of transition into a global dystopia, a hell on earth combining the tyranny of 1984 with the biological reductionism of ‘Brave New World’.

    While infidelity, unitarianism(denying the trinity) and other heterodoxies became prominent in the early 19th centuries and preeminent by 1930, with the fall of Princeton’s fundamentalist seminary and Gretchen Machen, the work of the Rockefellers in funding the likes of Fosdick had an agenda of tearing the church and the nation from its Biblical moorings.
    Do you dispute the distinctly religious example and exhortations of George Washington’s inauguration and farewell address? Even if he were merely a hypocrit, posturing as a religiously influenced politician, such need for pretense would itself indicate that the preeminent world view of the founders’ era was Biblical, religious and specifically Christian. As recently as the 1990’s our secular President would still carry a stage Bible as part of his bona fide! The hope for our nation is not in our progressive university faculty which have served as refuges for the Red Diaper Babies of the Sixties, but in those who recognize our dependence on Providence (not Lepruchans) and the recognition that the Creator holds the hearts of princes and the destinies of nations in His hand.
    It is my belief that those whose faith in God may yet prevail over the those who trust in the desparately wicked and deceitful hearted.
    I pray that God will reveal His truth to both of us. My fact checking of original documents, speeches and behaviors of the first 185 years of our republic keeps confirming my fact set and truth statements. I do find in the writings of a few, such as Thomas Paine’s “Age of Reason” is the secularist foil against which the preeminent world view of the time can be seen most clearly. The advice of Franklin to his friend was NOT to publish the work. My source for the original letter is David Barton. Perhaps you would have it that he simply invented this and other ‘original’ documents?

    http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=58

    What do you suppose were the basis of de Toqueville’s inquiry and conclusions regarding democracy in America?? Why was Washington adament in his warning of the dangers of supposing that it was not possible to have morality without (Beblically informed) religion? Just as there is a scientific need for a transcendant creator, there is a moral need for a similarly transcendant court of accountability and reckoning, without which everyone is free to do that which is right in their own eyes?
    You are certainly mentally acute and able to articulate your view; however, I would benefit from your citation of original documents with online links that I would gladly examine. I value your willingness to inform me of the evidence supporting your views. I would ask that you show me the original documents from America’s 18th century , perhaps from the Avalon Project at Yale (certainly not a fundamentalist, Biblically biased institution), supporting your views.
    Wishing you all of the best.

    • You continue to assert the necessity of your religion in the US government when evidence points otherwise and our constitution, whether written by religious people or not, is a secular document and one that must be circumvented in order to make your assertion a reality.

      David Barton may cite factual documents at times (often his citations can’t be verified), but he’s selective in what he cites, cites out of context, and makes interpretations from those citations which are unfounded, like the one you used where he claimed 27 of the signators were clergy because they attended schools that were originally founded as seminaries. By that logic, Bill Clinton and Bill Gates are clergy. If you continue to use him as a source, you’ll need to do your due diligence to follow up on any of his claims.

      “[Barton’s arguments] range from the technical to the absurd…they proceed from flawed and highly selective readings of both text and history.” – Arlen Specter, “Defending the Wall: Maintaining Chruch/State Separation in America,” The Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy,” Spring 1995, Vol. 18, Issue 2
      He went on to say Barton’s ““pseudoscholarship would hardly be worth discussing, let alone disproving, were it not for the fact that it is taken so very seriously by so many people.”

      Washington never said “god” in his inaugurations or farewell speeches, but the point is irrelevant. Furthermore, one is free to express their personal views as far as they appear to be just that, and not official government views, so politicians can invoke gods, leprechauns, or whatever else they believe.

      The letter you cite from Franklin highlights the problem with religion and faith because in it he warns that despite the value of any argument or evidence, people will not only believe what they want but will likely lash out at those who point out that the emperor has no clothes. Unfortunately for you, that letter has never been verified and was likely never written by Franklin or never intended for Paine. That of course never stopped Barton. To further support the truth of the content of the Franklin letter though, people like you still cite false things from Barton even when he’s publicly retracted them. Why? Because you want it to be true more than you care about truth.

      I have better things to do than fact check the nonsense you dig up. Try doing some work for yourself, ragfish.

    • Where we agree is that our present national narrative IS so thoroughly secular, as to be entirely void of that which is required for the sustaining of the stability, prosperity and individual liberty that has been the exception rather than the rule of nations and empires.

      Exactly. And that’s the way the country was designed by our Founding Fathers, and it has worked quite well, until the last 50-75 years or so when we seem to be inundated with what I called “Creeping Christianity”, which is trying to change us from a secular country, to a more theocratic country. Indeed, what has been the at the root of our so-called “exceptionalism”, as you say, our “stability, prosperity and individual liberty”, is precisely our secularism. Since Christianity has been creeping in, coincidentally, we’ve become that less exceptional. Not necessarily causation, but correlation that should be taken seriously.

      As per our present dysfunctional narrative, America is no longer a Christian nation.

      And never was. You Bartonesqe apologists need to understand the difference between the individual beliefs of the people that comprise the nation, and the form of government the nation is comprised of. There is a difference which you ignore.

      The professing church has itself become devoid of its Biblical literacy as well as the belief in its inerrency.

      So? Who cares. That has nothing to do with American government.

      The mainstream denominations are cursed through their preaching of a social gospel, rather than the gospel of reconcilliation between man and God, NOT man and his fellow man.

      Ditto.

      I am old enough to have attended public school prior to the secular humanist war of the Federal courts of the 1960′s against religion in schools and ultimately the commons.

      Your characterization of the court’s response to social issues of the times, indicates your bias. “secular humanist war of the Federal courts”. Get real.

      While David Barton’s contemporary applications may be attacked, his citing of original documents is unassailable.

      No it’s not. He makes up quotes, mis-attributes them, and/or ignores their underlying context . He’s not an historian, he’s a religious apologist. I wouldn’t use him as a historical source of anything, including his own birthday. I don’t trust him. He’s been caught in outright lies too many times.

      While infidelity, unitarianism(denying the trinity) and other heterodoxies became prominent in the early 19th centuries and preeminent by 1930, with the fall of Princeton’s fundamentalist seminary and Gretchen Machen, the work of the Rockefellers in funding the likes of Fosdick had an agenda of tearing the church and the nation from its Biblical moorings.

      That sound suspiciously like I may need to get my tin-foil hat out. In other words, WTF are you talking about? Do you even know?

      Do you dispute the distinctly religious example and exhortations of George Washington’s inauguration and farewell address?

      Religion was a cultural attribute of just about everyone in the 1790s. That means simply that most people live in a culture steeped in religion. We now live in a culture steeped in television. If Obama references “Leave it To Beaver” or “Lassie” or “Star Wars” or “It’s a Wonderful Life” in a speech, does that mean our government is just one big TV show or movie?

      …stage Bible…

      And what do those two words mean to you concerning the sincerity of one’s religious beliefs, or their application to our form of government?

      The hope for our nation is not in our progressive university faculty which have served as refuges for the Red Diaper Babies of the Sixties, but in those who recognize our dependence on Providence (not Lepruchans) and the recognition that the Creator holds the hearts of princes and the destinies of nations in His hand.

      Word salad. Completely empty of any meaning, but it sure sounds good. My Creator(s) was my parents. My creation had nothing to do with princes and destinies of nations. Unless I’m reading science fiction, (emphasis on fiction).

      I pray that God will reveal His truth to both of us. My fact checking of original documents, speeches and behaviors of the first 185 years of our republic keeps confirming my fact set and truth statements.

      Look up the term confirmation bias. Here, I did it for you. If your so-called research confirms your bias, you’re ignoring that which doesn’t confirm it, and from what I’ve read, your ignoring more than you are accepting.

      Since you seem to love Barton’s so-called research, perhaps you ought to read some of his critics? Try Chris Rodda’s “Lying for Jesus”.

      One last thought. Mining historical quotes, like mining Biblical quotes, is very much similar in nature. Given the sheer volume of quotes, it is possible to find many quotes that support both sides, leaving you with no resolution. A better source of research is the Constitution itself, The Federalist Papers, and the construction given to the Constitution in the courts for the past 225 years. If you use those sources, you’ll find that the fact that George Washington went to church (but regularly left early) has no bearing on the interpretation of the Constitution.

  10. Actually, Barton more recently claims 29/56 signers were ordained clergy, not merely graduates of former seminary training institutions. If he has retracted the claim of 27 or 29, it is not evident from his website.
    We both suffer from extreme confirmation bias. I would posit that even if founders’ personal theologies were beginning to veer from trinitarian orthodoxy, their common ethics and behaviors were religiously informed. Our present day historical revisionists so secularize Locke as to dismiss his principle work as a theologian, which preceds and underpins his “Two Treatises of Nations”.
    Like you, I was a brainwashed secularist, but am now a repentant high priest of material secularism. I can understand your position. I wouldn’t waste my time, except that I believe that the followers of your ‘faith’ are incompatible with inculcating the moral restraint required of a civil society. While your acolytes free of the ‘supestitions’ that underpin our self governance and moral restraint Occupy (fill in the blank), present day evangelicals are witnessing in the face of increasing ridicule,marginalization, global persecution,hile in the West being identified as reactionary bigots and whose religious speech and activity in the commons is soon to become illegal! The present collusion of government, media and education to secularize the commons is not the pre-1960’s (traditional) American ethic. It coincides with rising lawlessness and mayhem within our society.I believe that as we as a nation have deviated from ordained life, marriage and family, that we’ve raised two fatherless generations and are reaping the bitter harvest of our nation’s choices. It is when a nation forgets God, that it suffers both the natural consequences and supernatural judgments.While we may wish the pure reason of Voltaire were true, history have proven otherwise.

    Prior to the Warren court’s disregarding all precedent, the Supreme Court consistently upheld the Christian/Biblically informed nature of the nation.
    As Emmanuel Kant concluded in his critique of pure reason, if God did not exist, it would be necessary for society to invent him!
    The Bible is an anvil upon which every hammer has been broken for two thousand years. Our secular rebellion is about to meet its tragic conclusion.
    I wish you well and may God continue to extend his grace and mercy to us all.

    • We both suffer from extreme confirmation bias.

      Hazard of the job. It’s why I don’t rely on “original quotes” exclusively. I rely on actual history, as it’s compiled and interpreted by reliable historians. Quotes can be just one component of history. What the actors say are often not for the purpose of preserving history, but more for the benefit of the listeners of the moment. If they consistently say the same thing, over and over again, to different people, one can generally extrapolate their true feelings.

      But one quote does not an issue resolve.

      And as a student of history, I ignore David Barton and his Wall-builders. He has been proven wrong so many times, and he keeps trying to foist on us his religious convictions in the guise of history, that it’s intellectually insulting to listen to him.

      Like you, I was a brainwashed secularist,…

      I think you presume a bit much. I was actually a brainwashed Christian, until I realized just how void of reality Christianity was.

      As Emmanuel Kant concluded in his critique of pure reason, if God did not exist, it would be necessary for society to invent him!

      It says a lot that people might actually worship and revolve their life around an invented god, doesn’t it? Self-delusion is an ugly thing.

      • We both suffer from extreme confirmation bias.

        Everyone harbors a degree of bias, but on what basis are you asserting I suffer extreme confirmation bias? Sounds like yet another demonstrably false assertion of yours. How many is that now? I’ve lost track.

        I believe that the followers of your ‘faith’…

        It never ceases to amuse me that as an attempt to disparage reason and/or atheism, the religious assert that it’s the same as religion. LOL!

        I assure you that faith is not one of my indulgences.

        You know what else coincides with rising lawlessness and mayhem within our society? Adding “under god” to the Pledge. And look at the prison population. It’s overwhelmingly Christian!

        Anyway, until you can make a reasoned argument, or at least get your facts straight, you’re going to just continue to embarrass yourself, ragfish. No amount of prayer can change that.

        • “but on what basis are you asserting I suffer extreme confirmation bias?”

          My bias is a choice based upon seeing by faith as well as by sight. Your bias is not a choice insofar as you can only see by sight … not your fault, but I feel like someone trying to warn a blind man crossing the street about an oncoming peril that he cannot see. It is a fact that the greatest men and women of science are/were theists. (Newton, Boyle, Einstein, Schrodinger, Edwards). Simply such faith is requisite in order to presume intelligibility of the world.

          Adding under God to the pledge was a product of the cold war in order to distinguish our republic from the republics of the USSR and godless communism. This poses a problem today insofar as when people use the term God, many equate this with false deities (Allah, Zeus, the flying spaghetti monster, etc.). In the 1950’s the meaning of the word ‘God’ was understood. Nevertheless there are reasoned proofs of the validity of the Bible, the existence and sovereignty of the God of the Bible, as well as reasoned proofs of the limits of reason (Kant:Critique of Pure Reason).

          The order of the natural world, the foundation of science is based upon intelligibility and predictability based upon laws. Reason can operate within this framework, but cannot explain its origin or answer why the physical world makes sense. The mathematical perfections of physics and the irreducible complexities inherent in the molecular biology of life, present evidence of design. Information, matter and energy – you may assume the latter two to be everlasting since the Big Bang; however, laws of physics cannot explain the order/information coming from an explosion or even the origin of matter and energy.

          The proof that God exists is revealed in and proven by the physical world. Science without God (pure reason) cannot explain itself (origin, destiny, purpose and ethics). These are revealed in Scripture (the Bible). The pagan/atheist is accountable to acknowledge God via the witness of the creation. That this creator is the God of the Bible is proven by its endurance over time, its impact upon human society (the ‘exceptional’ stability, liberty and prosperity produced by societies which embrace it compared to any system uninformed by the Bible).

          While I will not be able persuade you to affirm the God of the Bible, it is clear that there is more to heaven and earth than can be explained by your philosophy. If you are sincerely a seeker of truth rather than a mere deluder, you will consider the many accounts of other atheists who arrived at the answer that they were not expecting. Lee Strobel and Dr. Jobe Martin are among our contemporaries who wrestled against the idea of the Biblical God and in trying to disprove Him found him to be not only real but also true, faithful to his word,and a keeper of covenant.

          For myself, what led me to believe in the authority of the Bible was a careful examination of prophecy fulfilled and being fulfilled in our day. Like you, I was hardheaded. It took seven years of study, motivated simply by a desire to be able to predict the future for profit. Frankly, if you believe that you are able to make any sense of current events, the confluence of natural disasters, economic collapse, global failure of human government without the Bible as a libretto to what is unfolding in front of you, please enlighten me. My Bible informs me that we are entering a chaotic phase which will be answered by the son of perdition described in Daniel. A man with solutions, but who will usher in a brief period of hell on earth, which God will step into history to directly intervene.

          If you were able to dismiss religion and examine original source material in Bible prophecy (this is over 1/4 of the Bible), you will be amazed. Everything from the coming Russian-Islamic alliance coming against Israel to the increasing frequency of natural disasters and the perplexity of human government are delineated to the finest detail. If you are watching the drama without the Biblical libretto, you cannot possibly comprehend what is happening.

          I am making an assumption that you have an affirmative case to make for some framework of understanding the world and the origin, purpose, destiny and means of yourself within it. If you are only seeking to tear at the beliefs of others, then you are a deluder, an unwitting agent of that spirit which seeks to lie, kill and destroy. If so, your best days are immediately ahead as you sit upon the ruin that your designs will bring to pass.
          There are perils in religion, as mans attempt to define/seek God; however, there must be a pony beneath it all.

          With regard to ‘embarrassment’, beware of your tripping over your own epistemology! Your well defended facade of reason, leaves you embare-assed, as you remain exposed from behind!

          Someday we will all know what is true. I hope that for you it is sometime before your demise.

          • Do me a favor ragfish, cover your eyes and ears and try relying on faith to “see” when it’s safe to cross the street.

            Faith is an indulgence. Like an alcoholic insisting a drink is necessary for this or that, you continue to insist faith is necessary for so many things yet not only can’t you demonstrate that it is but evidence points otherwise.

            Your “irreducible complexity” and other logically fallacious arguments are merely rationales or excuses to indulge. You’re an addict, ragfish, but I don’t give a rat’s ass about that. You can indulge to your heart’s content for all I care, but if you’re going to try and insist I or anyone else NEEDS to indulge as well, then I’m going to call you on it. Furthermore, just as we try to stop drunk driving and other dangerous ramifications of impairment through indulgence, I and other atheists will continue to raise awareness and object to the dangers of faith indulgence such as threats to education, science and educational funding, threats to the constitution, equal rights, and so on.

            • You are being concrete. Of course, one uses reason and sensory perception in crossing the street.
              I am not saying that you MUST indulge; however, you are like a pilot flying in a fog and refusing to use instruments rather than sight.
              Since I am able to operate from both perspectives simultaneously, I can see the danger of cleansing the common space of God as posing the greatest danger to science, education and the republic. The deterioration of public education since the Warren Court of the 1960’s stands as the historical witness to the failure of fundamentalist secularism (atheism). Of course, you will find other possible causes. However,neither the cost effectiveness and superiority of outcomes of Christian education will not convince you of the societal disaster that your atheism is producing.
              In your ‘jihad’ of seeking to tear down the “God delusion”, you fail to recognize the limits of your own philosophy, which even its exponents confess.
              It is said that there are no atheists in foxholes. Perhaps you have been so fortunate as to not have found yourself in a season of serious testing. Or alternately, you have not experienced miracles or even providence. Thus far, you have been able to rely upon your own devices. There will come a time, when your burning of Bibles and denigration of God will not serve you. It is not me that troubles you, but the One whom I represent.
              In a Christian world, you are free to believe and profess atheism. In an atheist world, such beliefs and profession are not to be tolerated.

              • I am not saying that you MUST indulge…

                Really? Because everything prior was about how government and public schools needed Christianity or else everything goes to shit and our Republic goes the way of Rome’s.

                Since I am able to operate from both perspectives simultaneously…

                I’ve known my share of operational or “functional” alcoholics and addicts, ragfish.

                Perhaps you have been so fortunate as to not have found yourself in a season of serious testing.….

                Spoken like a true addict rationalizing his use of a crutch. And btw, that was the point of Kant, that he was commenting on the weakness of most people and their need for a crutch, thus god belief was necessary. Nietzsche thought better of the potential for humanity and felt it was possible for all of humanity to eventually overcome such a crutch. But ultimately it’s not about what some smart guy thinks. That’s another fallacious argument known as an appeal to authority. It’s ok to argue using WHAT someone else has said, but not because THEY said it. Capiche?

                And since you brought up the atheists in a foxhole canard, try on these current and veteran military who are atheists.

          • My bias is a choice based upon seeing by faith as well as by sight. Your bias is not a choice insofar as you can only see by sight … not your fault, but I feel like someone trying to warn a blind man crossing the street about an oncoming peril that he cannot see. It is a fact that the greatest men and women of science are/were theists. (Newton, Boyle, Einstein, Schrodinger, Edwards). Simply such faith is requisite in order to presume intelligibility of the world.

            Where to start….

            Seeing by faith…You don’t actually obtain knowledge via the use of faith. What you do is pretend that you know something you don’t know, and can’t know, and call it faith. Here. Peter Boghossion does a good job explaining it. You use the term faith, (which really means belief in something without evidence, or belief in something in the face of contrary evidence) as a handy word to allow you to hold beliefs you find comfortable to your worldview, but that you cannot substantiate any other way, other than saying “faith”.

            Newton, Einstein, et al… So what? So they happen to live in an age of religious belief, and even professed theistic notions? They are not known for their science because they discovered explanations of the natural through the use of their religion. Saying Newton was a theist is the same thing as saying (thanks Philly)that Hitler and Stalin had a mustache. Neither had anything to do with their accomplishments, and religion had nothing to do with the accomplishments of our Founding Fathers.

            Jeez. What is there about the simple application of logic that eludes you people?

            And that was just your first paragraph. I’m not wasting time on the rest, until you come up with a satisfactory response to this. Which I suspect won’t occur….

      • “As Emmanuel Kant concluded in his critique of pure reason, if God did not exist, it would be necessary for society to invent him!

        It says a lot that people might actually worship and revolve their life around an invented god, doesn’t it? Self-delusion is an ugly thing.”

        You and the Bible agree.
        2Th 2:10-11 “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”
        This is happening in religion today, big time and specifically within the professing church. Yes, it is tragic.

        2Timothy 3:13 But evil people and phony preachers will go from bad to worse as they mislead people and are themselves misled.

        Nevertheless, Kant, a proponent of Reason, delineates its limitations. He concludes that belief in God is essential for civil society. By no means does he deny the existence of God, but muses that should he not exist, society would have to invent him.
        Reason operating under God, informed by Scripture, encourages keen scientific inquiry. False Religion is frequently the enemy of science and reason. This is often the test of false religion. The author of creation and the Bible are the same personality. Science confirms the Bible and Scripture inspires scientific investigation of creation.
        The problem is that everyone believes in some organizing principle. If it is not based upon truth, it is an idol. What Kant demonstrates is that Pure Reason can be such an idolatry, the application of which is societally dysfunctional.

        What history shows us, is that in the absence of God in public life, other gods, such as the State fills the void. The 20th century is filled with examples in which the total state under a single dictator or an oligarchy is the inevitable outcome when God is excluded from public life. Other (false) religions are violent, triumphalistic systems with a thin coat of religion.

        • You and the Bible agree.

          Now that’s ironic. I point out that worship of an invented god is somewhat nonsensical, and you quote me scripture from your invented god to agree with me. That one flew right over your head, didn’t it?

          …but muses that should he not exist, society would have to invent him.

          And that’s what happened. He doesn’t exist, so society invented him. That’s just sad…

          • Kant in his attempt to exalt pure reason, found himself proving God’s necessity. God’s reality is not invented by man, as religion is. Kant did not conclude that God was man invented, that is more along the lines of Karl Marx and Fredrich Nietsche. It seems that you fall into the same camp as Huxley, Nietsche, Marx and Freud, who view the concept of God to be invented as a means of social control/manipulation/oppression.
            Point to me a godless system that has brought about an equal stability, liberty and prosperity as our American system as informed and forged by a confluence of both the Scottish Enlightenment and Biblical principles of human government. The moral restraint of Christianity is what makes limited government possible.
            If God were an product of human delusion, it would be far sadder than if man accidentally invented the true God of the Bible. When He is forgotten, we fall into the very symptoms of Baal Peor worship (child sacrifice & licentiousness) only without the sanctification of even the worship of a false god.

  11. I’ll jump in here. I haven’t read the entire discussion since I have other things to do but I will question Mr. Ragfish on such things as the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades and what seems to be the fact that religious intolerance began with Christianity’s rise to power. Let’s add to that the murder of indigenous people by Spanish conquistadors accompanied by priests who did nothing to stop them, enslavement of Africans, the birth of anti-Semitism and on and on. So perhaps when this great experiment called Christianity is ever successful, I might be willing to listen to people like you. As for American Exceptionalism, that’s just ego at a national level. Having a better military and a higher standard of living doesn’t make us great. How a nation treats its people is what makes it great and exceptional. And most of them good Christians in Washington and state capitols who want to leave the poor, the young, the elderly, the unemployed and the sick to fend for themselves, who want to start new wars, pollute our air and water, generally don’t treat the rest of us very well.

    • Dear Freedom7777- If you look at the number of deaths of the Salem Witch Trials (19) and The Inquisition (~3,000) you come up with much less than the 20,000,000 (Stalin), 6,000,000 of Hitler’s Holocaust and of Pol Pot and Mao Tsedung’s reign of terror. To be fair when Christianity comes under attack as bloody or tyrannical, I would answer COMPARED TO WHAT? So far, no godless utopian system, whether fascism, national socialism or globalist communism has worked out. Even the vision of atheist visionaries such as Orwell and Huxley can only in their imaginations produce a dystopia.
      I do not have the data in mind about the Crusades. However, after Christendom lost 2/3 of its land and people to the sword of Islam, there was a necessary but perverted military response, which is again being fought in the 3rd Jihad, insofar as Islam’s religion exhorts conquest and conversion, dhimmitude or death by the sword.
      I agree that religion including contemporary professing Christianity is flawed in both theory and application; however, there is a pony under there and the God of creation SEEKS US only in the Judeo Christian tradition.
      The devil is in the details and Satan works overtime to subvert the church from within. The church of today in the West most closely resembles the Laodicean church described in Revelation 3, and is a poor example.
      The slave trade was predominantly Quranically justified and practiced by the Muslims. Less than 30% of African slaves headed west, most died on their journey to Muslim lands. Unlike some religions, Christianity preached the equality of all men before God. The abolitionist movement was not birthed by atheists, but by Christians. In Rome, most employed people, including doctors and teachers were slaves. I would posit that voluntary indentured servitude, would be an improvement over our present government’s program of unsustainable entitlements and personal and national debt enslavement to the lender.
      Our minimalist government can only stand amidst a virtuous, self governing people. Otherwise, we must be ruled by external force. As we as a people lose our morality and virtue, we will (have already) necessarily transition toward a more restrictive, oppressive, over regulated total state.
      As per George Washington, morality and religion are the two pillars of our republic. In the same address he warns against the danger of supposing that morality can exist uninformed by religious principle.
      Exceptionalism (as per de Toqueville) was considered to be derived from religion in America (1830). Exceptionalism may be defined as the stability, prosperity and liberty derived from the Biblical principles forged with Scottish Common Sense which underpin our republic.
      I know that there are better arguments to be made and am also aware that no argument ever ‘converted’ anybody. Nevertheless, I view our commons as being like a lifeboat. We must agree to not drill holes even under our own seat! We probably both view one another’s philosophy as drilling a hole in our preferred commons. I only wish you consider that during the first 185 years of our republic, the Christian religion and the Scottish Enlightenment forged and informed our national commons. This firm foundation has been subverted at first subtly and now openly, I believe to our detriment. Simply, Biblical morality and atheism cannot co-exist as ruling our common space. One must prevail.
      Insofar as atheists profess pursuit of truth, I hope that something that I am presenting will spur some to re-examine our true historical traditions and national narrative, before they are totally erased from our consciousness. I admit, that the ‘culture war’ has been won in the public square by the atheists, polytheists and worshippers of other than the God of the Bible. As we enter a stormy time, our philosophies will be tested. Even many of the religious professors will find themselves bereft, as John Wesley found himself on his perilous sea voyage back to England. There is a distinction between religiosity and an intimate knowledge of the one true God.
      During the age of the Laodicean church (now), intimate knowledge of God is a singular experience initiated by God and becoming less common in the apostate church of our day. The critical mass of regeneration required to sustain our republic can only be replenished by another Great Awakening to counter both God forsaking reason and false religion, both of which are now openly proclaimed in the spirit of a misguided tolerance, both of which are as acid disolving civilization or as an ax put to the root of our national faith and virtue.
      PS
      I am appreciative of the monitor of this blog in affording me so much space, as well as your stimulating and provocative responses. As seekers of truth I hope that we may both arrive at the right conclusion. I cannot hope to “win the argument”. I know that your quarrel is less with me personally than He whom I represent.
      Aldous Huxley said, “For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness {atheism} was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.” This would suggest that the honest atheist must hold to his position or find himself convicted under the weight of ‘sin’. It is that very conviction that accompanies conversion, which is radically transformative of the person. I believe that it is not necessary for a majority of citizens to be converted or born again, but merely enough to establish a societal respect for traditional values and beliefs. Such would be sufficient to natually bring forth social benefit and perhaps regain the favor of Providence upon our nation.

    • Freedom7777, one minor quibble. Some Spanish priests did devote themselves to advocating for the indigenous peoples of the America, Bartolome de las Casas being the most famous of them. I recently read his ‘A Short Account of the Destructions of the Indies.”

      If one wants to play the body count game, one I like to bring up is the Taiping Rebellion in mid-19th century China that was led by a failed aspirant to the Chinese civil service who converted to Christianity and then styled himself the brother of Jesus Christ. The fighting between the Taiping and the Qing Dynasty resulted in approximately 20 million dead.

      • If you look at the number of deaths of the Salem Witch Trials (19) and The Inquisition (~3,000) you come up with much less than the 20,000,000 (Stalin), 6,000,000 of Hitler’s Holocaust and of Pol Pot and Mao Tsedung’s reign of terror. To be fair when Christianity comes under attack as bloody or tyrannical, I would answer COMPARED TO WHAT? So far, no godless utopian system, whether fascism, national socialism or globalist communism has worked out.

        Which of us here is arguing for a godless utopian system? But a lot of European countries with low rates of religious belief or church attendance are doing rather well. Hitler has nothing to do with atheism, so you can’t use him. As for Stalin and Mao, as I’ve pointed out elsewhere, both of them rose to power in countries that had long traditions of despotic rule. Stalin was Ivan the Terrible with 20th century weapons, so a higher body count is to be expected.

        I do not have the data in mind about the Crusades. However, after Christendom lost 2/3 of its land and people to the sword of Islam, there was a necessary but perverted military response

        Let me fille you in. Christendom did not lose most of the land to Islam, the Greek Orthodox Byzantine empire lost it. The only land lost to Western Christendom was the Visigoth kingdom in Spain.

        Unlike some religions, Christianity preached the equality of all men before God.

        And Islam doesn’t, or is it just my imagination that I see so many Muslims of different races?

  12. You can’t win an argument, raffish, because all your facts are wrong, you don’t bother to check your sources, you continue to assert misinformation even after factual information has been presented, and rely way too heavily on logically fallacious arguments like your incessant appeals to authority and celebrity.

    To believe you can’t win an argument because you represent an indulgence in self delusion is itself self delusional.

  13. Back in the days of a better education than today, Rhetoric (along with Greek, Latin and the classics) were required. In the teaching of rhetoric, Ethos (argument by authority), Pathos (argument by emotion) and Logos (argument via logic) were given equal weight. Like you educated in the second half of the 20th century, I am most comfortable when logic aligns with ethos and pathos. Like Dr. Spock in Star Trek; however, you only will accept one of the three methods of persuasion, logic.
    Wesley spoke of the Quadralateral foundation for discerning truth. Scripture, Tradition, Reason and Experience (I believe in descending order -Scripture being the largest, driving wheel of an imaginary quadricycle). I would challenge your logic/reason as a flawed epistemology. While I believe that the order of creation proclaims a creative intelligence, experience, tradition and the Bible help to reveal His character as well as our own origin, destiny, purpose and moral/ethics.
    I understand your frustration with my deploying something other than reason, but we’ve already covered its insufficiencies. Winning the argument is not my purpose, but rather persuasion. Your logic demands a radical disconnect from the ethos within which our republic was born. I would suggest that such a suffocation will spell the end of the liberty, stability and prosperity that comes not from the law, but from the Biblically informed principles upon which our law was built. Blackstone’s Commentary on the Laws of England (1766) helped to shape the founding documents and laws of our new republic. It in turn is highly influenced by the Moral law of the Bible. Adam Smith’s foundational document of free enterprise/capitalism, “The Wealth of Nations” was preceded by a work of ethics “The Principles of Moral Sentiment”. The latter work underpins the former and is an effort to reframe the moral law of the Bible within a reasoned Enlightenment framework.
    I suggest that the framework for understanding the American Revolution is an effort to express Biblical moral tradition and ordained human government within the new context of the Enlightenment.
    I believe that our republic’s sustainability for over 200 years is proof of its success, in contrast to the pure reason Enlightenment foundations of the ill fated French Revolution.

    The first 104 words of our Declaration of Independence lay out the five cornerstone principles for all that follows:
    1. There is a Creator
    2. Man’s rights are inalienably granted by the Creator
    3. Government is to protect/safeguard those rights, but it is not the grantor
    4. The Creator has revealed the Moral Law in the Bible
    5. The laws of government shall not contradict God’s moral law (the laws of nature and nature’s God)

    Summing up, my principle argument is simply this:

    Given that our republic was birthed at a time when the Christian religion and the Bible were, as Spanish Inquisitor has acknowledged, the predominant American ethic; the atheist is presuming that removed from this soil, that our republic (rule of law) can be sustained. I believe this presumption to be in serious doubt.
    Was the Christian religion and the moral law of Scripture just a passing fad, a decorative ornament of a bygone era or is it the requisite cultural medium or the sustaining engine, without which our republic will (has already) perished?

    All the rest is clanging symbols.

    • Like Dr. Spock in Star Trek; however, you only will accept one of the three methods of persuasion, logic.

      It’s Mr. Spock and no, it’s not a subjective issue of what I will accept or not. Ethos and Pathos are the tools of salesmen and con artists. The are arguments of no substance and merely exploit the irrational side of human nature.

      I understand your frustration with my deploying something other than reason, but we’ve already covered its insufficiencies.

      No, you’ve merely asserted that it’s insufficient but have not demonstrated that it is.

      Winning the argument is not my purpose, but rather persuasion.

      Of course it is, because your argument has no substance so you have no other choice.

      I suggest that the framework for understanding the American Revolution is an effort to express Biblical moral tradition and ordained human government within the new context of the Enlightenment.

      I suggest you actually compare the US constitution to the Christian bible and see how much at odds they are with one another. Furthermore, the very notion of a revolution against a monarch with the desire to establish a democracy couldn’t be further from that bible. In fact, Christian Tories could cite that bible specifically to oppose the revolution, whereas the quotes you and Barton cite by our Founders are vague, dodgey allusions to a “creator” and make claims not in your bible such as everyone’s inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

      Tories cited Paul using Titus 3:1, “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient,” and 1 Peter 2:13, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority” and of course Romans 13:1-2, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves,” 1 Corinthians 14:33, Genesis 9:6, should I go on? Paul exhorted everyone to submit to Nero! George was hardly Nero, ragfish.

      And I explained the use of “creator” in the Declaration earlier, so once again you show that in lieu of having an argument of substance, you must resort to methods of a con artist, lies and emotional appeals.

      • “Christian Tories could cite that bible specifically to oppose the revolution”

        Agreed. In comparing the arguments, the Tories (as represented by John Camm, President of The College of William and Mary) had the winning Biblical and secular argument. At Colonial Williamsburg, the actor in character was most persuasive. The civil rights of British subjects were much greater than any other people. Gambling on losing so much over a mere penny tax on tea was not worthy! I am glad for the outcome; however, if alive at the time, I would have sided with the Crown, particularly given the disrespect of private ownership demonstrated by the destruction of the tea in Boston harbour.

        That, however, begs the question. We are not for reversing the American Revolution on Biblical or secular grounds. What the enlightenment thinking challenged was the absence of reason in religion. The founders continued their religious reference, but sought to express religious values and principles within the new paradigm.

        “No, you’ve merely asserted that it’s insufficient but have not demonstrated that it is.”

        Kant in the Critique of Pure Reason concludes that reason alone is necessary, but insufficient in determining value (the good) and ethics (means of pursuing value or the good). Godless value systems such as utilitarianism still must answer the question of “What is good?” Once one determines the good, reason is applied to optimize its practical attainment. Our common law should never go against the timeless values expressed in Scripture.

        The warning that I am proclaiming is that uninformed prideful reason is exepmlified by the unsinkable Titanic, centrally planned economies and utopian visions that become tyrannies in practice. We in the West find ourselves today at the end of our economic system of fractional reserve central banking, at the brink of a demographic winter and depopulation through social policy or environmental alarms. All of these reasonable/scientific demonstrations have been produced in a Biblical value vacuum and are taking us into a hell on earth, which itself is prophesied in both New and Old Testaments.
        Determining the good is beyond reason and requires something outside of reason to determine value.
        Just as the scientific method (reproducible experimental design for creation?) cannot inform us of the origin of life or of the material universe, it takes more faith in “Scientism” to believe in time and random chance, than it does to believe in a Creator outside of spacetime.

        If the decalogue is taken as a Readers Digest of core Biblical principles, there are certain values in the Ten Commandments which are reflected in the preamble of the Declaration of Independence.
        1&2 – there is a God is to be acknowledged and who ordains value in laws of nature and nature’s God
        6 – life
        8 & 10 Private property – This informs the words, “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”
        Because of abolitionist sentiment, the term ‘pursuit of happiness’ was substituted by Jefferson for ‘property’, which appears in the original draft.
        Liberty is not equal to freedom. Liberty is the freedom to do what one ought to do. The ought is determined for the founders by Christian principles and values. Human government can legislate speed limits, regulations commerce and judicial penalties; however, our civil society is inherently different than the “law of the jungle” or even the shame/honor informed relgio-political systems such as Isalm, which puts honor above truth and reason.

        Human reason is an important tool in its proper place. Like a fire, it is most useful firmly bound by Biblically informed value. Much of what you consider to be both reasonable and good are derived from what God has ordained in civil society, via the Noahide Law and the Decalogue.It is perilous to believe reason alone to be sufficient. Let loose the imaginings of very smart men with inherently wicked hearts can justify and rationalize just about anything … from murder of innocents to marriage of persons of the same gender!

        Just as I would not abandon reason, it is highly unwise and perilous to discard tradition built upon a Biblical world view. The natural consequences alone should be warning enough, without invoking providence and supernatural judgment of apostate nations. The Warren Court ignored all precedent in venturing onto the path to the Brave New World, which we now inhabit.

        btw, how do you copy/paste and wind up with a distiguished italicized text?? I’ve tried copying into an email, italicizing, then returning to paste back into Word Press and still wind up with an undistinguished font.

    • The first 104 words of our Declaration of Independence lay out the five cornerstone principles for all that follows:
      1. There is a Creator
      2. Man’s rights are inalienably granted by the Creator
      3. Government is to protect/safeguard those rights, but it is not the grantor
      4. The Creator has revealed the Moral Law in the Bible
      5. The laws of government shall not contradict God’s moral law (the laws of nature and nature’s God)

      LOL. There is very little (actually nothing) in the DoI that supports your 5 contentions. Your desire that it be so is the only thing that does, and that’s certainly not enough. But Christians are pretty good at creating fiction, so I commend you.

      Was the Christian religion and the moral law of Scripture just a passing fad, a decorative ornament of a bygone era or is it the requisite cultural medium or the sustaining engine, without which our republic will (has already) perished?

      I’d go with “passing fad”. Think about it. Christianity has been around for only 2000 years. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the existence of humanity. Christianity is in decline in most areas where it was once supreme. What you see in America will eventually be seen as its death rattle, its last fight before it dies an ignominious death. It’s not going down without a fight, but it really has very little relevance to civilized life. It’s merely organized superstition, and while organized superstition once had a place in the development of humankind, due to the sheer ignorance of man, it no longer does. I think its demise will hearken a new age of humanity. Right now, it’s an albatross around our necks, pulling us down into a state of intelligence not seen since the dark ages.

      • Here’s a hint if you want to continue going with Ethos and Pathos – most who fall for that shit prefer short, sweet and catchy comments. Long-winded appeals to authority and tradition generally don’t persuade anyone.

        Anyway, religion doesn’t inform people about the origin of life, the basis for what’s good, or anything else for that matter. It merely asserts stories as explanations, stories which not only have no evidence to support their truth but sometimes have evidence to the contrary.

        As far as how to do italics and such in WordPress, that requires research, but many html tags are supported.

        • I would agree that religions, man’s seeking god(s),may misinform in seeking to explain origins, destiny, purpose and ethics. However, there is archeological evidence of the Bible’s historical accuracy as well contemporary extra-Biiblical sources such as Josephus Flavius confirming the historicity of the Bible, including the early church witness of the resurrection. Contrast the Bible with let’s say the Book of Mormon, which gives a history that cannot be confirmed archeologically or through a corresponding historical testimony. Joseph Smith even claims to have lost the Golden Tablets, whereas original manuscripts of the Bible have been archeologically verified to the first century BC. Nevertheless, even a false religion seeks to explain origins, destiny, purpose and means.While Mormon theology, personal destiny of ruling over one’s own planet, etc. may be false, there are aspects of ethics/means which inform to meet practical needs, such as storing up 1 year of food for a time which may require such preparation. There are Mormon prophesies of a time when the Constitution will be hanging by a thread and God’s people (Mormons) will rise up to restore it. From a Christian perspective, it may be said that God can inform/illuminate whomever He pleases with insight or illumination of things to come.

          In any event, your claim that religion does not inform is false. Perhaps you meant to say that religion misinforms. If that is what you meant to say, I would agree. Man’s seeking God(religion) is generally corrupted; however, God’s revelation to man both in the natural world and the Bible is worthy of trust. The God of the Bible is true and faithful in keeping covenant with man, as well as fulfilling His purposes in redeeming both His creatures (people) and the creation.
          Your assertion that reason uninformed by truth is supreme, itself requires a great leap of faith and epistomologically unsound, ie unreasonable. Reason, ungrounded in truth is a loose cannon on the deck. Unrestrained and uninformed, its outcomes are predictably dystopic. The enlightenment and the blessings of science were informed by the Christian religion.
          By the way, in case you failed to notice, the Modern Age, where reason reigns supreme has also passed away. The Post-Modern Age in which we are now living
          is built upon the absence of absolutes(except that there are ‘absolutely no absolutes’), rabid subjectivism and cultural relativism. Feeling is preeminent over both reason and revelation. Reason, is attenuated to a role of self justification in a world free of absolute truth.The cleansing of common value from the civil space through misapplied reason in a postmodern matrix, spells the derailing of the West, a move from mere decline toward destruction. Interestingly, this pattern of the consequences/judgment upon a nation that forgets God is delineated as a pattern in the OT history of Israel and in the NT in the first chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans.

          Finally, there are repeated historical patterns that God uses to inform us of impending danger.
          Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn’s “The Harbinger” shows how the pattern of ancient Israel of prideful defiance of God in the face of the first Assyrian breach of the northern kingdom of Israel is being uncannily duplicated in the events of our own immediate history. Based upon Isaiah 9:10, our leaders are unwittingly and precisely renacting the prideful defiance in the face of remedial judgment in the events surrounding 9/11.In three instances, Tom Daschell, John Edwards and President Obama specifically quote or paraphrase Isaiah 9:10, but ignore the prophetic judgment context within Israel’s history.
          The correspondence of the numbers of decline in the DJIA on the eve of Jewish feast days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in 2008, (9/29/08 & 10/9/08) is like the writing on the wall of Daniel 5 to our generation.The significance of the precise 7 year (on the Hebrew calandar) interval between the 9/17/01 decline in the DJIA(the greatest to that date) and the 9/29/08 Crash of 2008 (the largest DJIA decline ever) is SIGNificant. Both fall on the 29th of Elul. The DJIA closed down 777 points down on 9/29/08, which was ~7% of it’s precrash value.The 678.91 drop on the Day of Atonement (the Day of Judgment) may be seen as a sequence representing the second (societal) table of the 10 Commandments. Like ancient Babylon, the message is that our nation has been weighed in the balance and found wanting. The book of our nation’s transgressions of the 6th-10th commandments is the basis of God’s judgment.
          Use of reason in tearing down its proper home is like a fire taken out of the hearth and burning down the house!

          Even if you scoff at Bible prophecy and mock divine revelation, I trust that you see it as REASONABLE to prepare practically, if not spiritually, for the things to come. Sixty-six books, written by 40 authors over a period of 1500 years, with remarkable internal integrity, historical and archeological validation and an ability to predict events in the future cannot be ignored, except through arrogance and pride.

  14. The Declaration of Independence was meant to be a propaganda piece to the world (namely the European powers) explaining “this is what we’re doing and these are the reasons why we’re doing it.

    Apart from a couple of vague references to a creator and nature’s god, the DOI contains a laundry list of King George’s abuses. Interestingly, none of them cite any Bible verses to support them.

    The Constitution is a secular document. Notice the Preamble reads “We the People” and not “We the Christian People.” If you were to read anything about the debates that took place in almost each and every one of the state ratifying conventions, it was opponents of the Constitution who raised objections to the Article VI language stating that there would be no religious test for public office. Guess what. They lost and the language was retained.

    If you read the Federalist Papers, supporters of the Constitution do not invoke arguments couched in Biblical language or citations, which is what one would expect if the Founders were late 18th century equivalents of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell.

    Interestingly though, there is one American constitution that explicitly invokes “Almighty God” and that would be the Constitution of the Conferederate States of America. A lot of good that did them, as history shows.

    • Reason, ungrounded in truth is a loose cannon on the deck.

      You have to explain and demonstrate what this “truth” is. I assume it’s all your unsubstantiated assertions of the existence of a god, its wishes, Christian prophecies, et al. Since you admit you’re unwilling to do such things, then your ramblings just get filed under ‘crazy troll talking shit’.

      • Dear Chief – Your restatement of Pilot’s querry of Jesus is ironic (John 18:38)
        All that I have said here will be seen as foolishness by some, those who are perishing (1 Corinthians 1:18) and especially those who a priori assume the non-existence of the God of the Bible.
        I’ve set forth sufficient a postori argument for your consideration, even using examples of enlightenment philosophy (Kant), epistemology as well as several proofs of the Bible’s veracity. These would be prophecy fulfilled and being fulfilled,Bible’s internal consistency,historicity and the persistence of the gospel message and the perseverance the Christian religion for 2 millennia, even though today the professing church is largely apostate/Laodicean. There are more, but these are sufficient.
        Reason must be the servant of some philosophy or worldview. It is the means. When it exalts itself as its own end, history shows the 18th-20th century results to be tragic.
        While atheism may be defended, a probable motive for some may have been expressed by Huxley, which was simply to justify his own reprobate living. I say this not to paint all atheists with such a brush, as there are many who deny God, but who are kind, morally upstanding, ethical, generous, self sacrificing and work tirelessly for the common good.
        I do not intend to mendaciously troll, nor to disrespect you or the Spanish Inquisitor author/moderator. However, I am probably at the end of what I might contribute to the discussion. I appreciate your patient, long suffering consideration and permitting my too long postings. Perhaps they may stimulate others to consider the merits of the Biblical worldview. I do not hold you or other atheists at fault … for over 50 years, I would put myself firmly, proudly and stubbornly within your camp. Regeneration is a sovereign act of God through the Holy Spirit, and that is well “beyond my paygrade”!
        As in the examples of Paul or Augustine, I know that when God reaches a powerfully intelligent and articulate atheist, the results can be magnificent.
        Wishing you well (I would say God’s favor) in your diligent pursuit of and presenting truth.

        • The great ironies are having invisible friends is childish yet your bible says to put away childish things (1 Corinthian 13:11) and your rejection of Logos is at odds with your Paul and later, Aquinas.

          I’ve set forth sufficient a postori(sic) argument for your consideration…

          No, you made naked assertions that Christianity was necessary. A posteriori means “from what came before” but you gave no before.

          Kants argument, although flawed, was about a need for a god, not that one actually existed.

          …as well as several proofs of the Bible’s veracity.

          So-called fulfilled prophesies from the Christian bible are more vague than Nostradamus’, and self-fulfilled prophesies, such as the formation of the state of Israel, can’t be cited. The books of that bible are certainly not internally consistent, and Beowulf’s historicity can be validated, but that doesn’t mean there are or were dragons. NYC is a real place, but that doesn’t mean Spiderman is real.

          I do not hold you or other atheists at fault…

          I hold you at fault for willful self-delusion, ignorance, and wasting people’s time, including mine.

  15. The integrity of the founders (the consistency of their thought, their writing and their actions) may be exemplified by George Washington. In his inaugural address (4/30/1789), he warns of the consequences should the nation ever abandon God. Immediately, he leads his government to St. Paul’s Chapel to consecrate the nation to God. At the end of his presidency, in his Farewell Address, Washington again both exalts the twin pillars of morality and religion (insofar as no Mohammetans or Buddhists were represented, one must assume he was referring to the common faith of the young nation, Christianity of diverse denominations).
    Impugning the motives of Jefferson in writing the preamble as a public relations ploy, predates the 20th century writing of “Propaganda” by Edward Bernays. The result is the perpetual double mindedness and speech of modern politicians. The phrase “War to end all wars!” was Bernays’ propaganda phrase designed to lure America into Europe’s conflict.
    To what foreign powers could the Declaration possibly appeal? A Protestant framed argument would hold no sway with Catholic France or Spain. England was the adversary. Do you mean Holland, Russia or the powerful French Hugonauts or the influential German Moravians??
    Perhaps the DOI can be seen as an appeal to the British subjects living in the 13 colonies.

    • Washington’s personal opinions were just that, personal opinions. As explained ad nauseum, appeals to authority and/or celebrity are meaningless. I could easily trade quotes with you showing various Founders’ opinions against religion. So what? They have no bearing.

      As was also explained about the DoI, it challenged George’s authority without challenging the authority of divine right. Whether the authors were Protestant or not has no bearing.

      • To what foreign powers could the Declaration possibly appeal? A Protestant framed argument would hold no sway with Catholic France or Spain.

        And yet Catholic France and Spain ended up taking up arms against England.

    • Impugning the motives of Jefferson in writing the preamble as a public relations ploy, predates the 20th century writing of “Propaganda” by Edward Bernays.

      As if the concept and use of propaganda did not exist prior to that? Propaganda is as old as the human ability to manipulate other humans.

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