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Was the United States founded on Judeo-Christian principles?
AlwaysRight.org ^ | October 17, 2003

Posted on 10/19/2003 10:07:46 AM PDT by rightcoast

Was the United States founded on Judeo-Christian principles?

Is the issue really about what religion our founding fathers practiced? With laws prohibiting many, if not all of the Ten Commandments, I wonder how there can be much doubt where these laws originated. However, I understand that many people believe that these are "universal" ideals, somehow ingrained in man from his conception.

In response to the belief that we are somehow born knowing right from wrong, I ask a simple question. Do you have to teach children to fight over toys, or to share them? I have two children of my own, and I assure you...sharing does not come naturally.

Regardless of whether you subscribe to the Judeo-Christian belief that man was created in the image of God, then man sinned, so now man has fallen and is inherently bent on evil until the return of the Messiah, it is inarguable that we are born with natural tendencies toward conflict and selfishness. These are the exact tendencies our laws were put in place to protect others from.

Michael Savage, in his book The Savage Nation: Saving America from the Liberal Assault on Our Borders, Language and Culture poses an interesting question. Many people, usually those on the side of this argument believing that this country was NOT founded on Christian principles, would take religion completely out of society. They see religion as a destructive force, a source of great conflict, and something to be avoided in any enlightened society at all costs.

In many ways, their beliefs are justified, if even accurate. Many wars are fought over religious beliefs. Many conflicts begin over religion. So in that respect, I tend to agree. Religion does breed conflict. However, what would you replace it with?

The natural response is science. I actually subscribed to this belief at one point in my life...prior to becoming a Christian. It seems that the more and more society and science progress, the more we can explain through science. Religion can appear as simply something that weak-minded people use to explain things for which there is currently no explanation. So, again, the natural tendency is to believe that science will eventually replace society's need for religion.

There is one huge problem with this, and this is the crux of my argument. Science does not, and can not, define a moral code for a society. The example that Michael Savage uses is Nazi Germany. Look at the experiments that the scientists performed once they were relieved of the "restraints" of morality. They conducted innumerable atrocities on human beings in the name of science. I assure that similar things will happen in any society that removes the morality that is the fiber of it's laws.

So back to the basic question posed: Is the United States founded on Christian principles? I believe that the morality that we all ascribe to, whether Christian or not, stems from the Bible. There is a great deal of evidence of this throughout history, regardless of the specific religious preferences of our forefathers.

The real question, though, is would we have morals without religion? I think that, given the above example, the answer is no. Look at the morality of the Native Americans compared to the morality of European Christians. Look at the morality of a buddhist compared to the Native American. They are vastly different, given different moral and religious influences. Left to our devices, we will seek out religion to bring some form of order to our societies. Native Americans practiced some pretty atrocious and heinous things, but they still had a religion that defined what is and what is not acceptable.

In the end, I think the question that Christianity has influenced many of our laws has to go unquestioned. It is evident by simply picking up a Bible, and then comparing it to our laws. They are (or were) identical in many places. Given all of the evidence presented above, do you really believe that we would have these morals were it not for the effect Christianity has had on society?


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: judeochristian
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1 posted on 10/19/2003 10:07:47 AM PDT by rightcoast
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To: rightcoast
Yes it was, undeniably so.
2 posted on 10/19/2003 10:10:01 AM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: rightcoast
We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments." - James Madison
3 posted on 10/19/2003 10:10:51 AM PDT by hosepipe
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To: hosepipe
We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments." - James Madison
Great quote! What is the source of this quote, please?
4 posted on 10/19/2003 10:14:25 AM PDT by rightcoast
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To: rightcoast
Yes....overwhlemingly so.

They were predominately Christian. I doubt anyone back then called it Judeo-Christianity but that's fine with me if saying that today makes us appear more encompassing.
5 posted on 10/19/2003 10:20:11 AM PDT by wardaddy
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: rightcoast
Perhaps even more than National Socialism as practiced in Germany 1933-1945, the religion of International Socialism, as practiced 1917-1989, substituted "scientific reason" for the concept of "God". Nor was this the first example of inventing new dieties for exercise of political power. The French Revolution was an earlier example of the same conformity of thinking, deposing a mystical diety for a concrete and defined explanation that appears rational and "scientific".

But hammered out in the codes by which people everywhere live, is the pragmatic knowledge that certain forms of behavior are simply not acceptable. Without these codes, life becomes anarchy, a reprise on "Lord of the Flies".

These various codes may differ, and some have been shown, over time, to be less practical than others. When two differing codes come into contact, the differences are much exaggerated, but almost always, the code that permits some flexibility prevails over the code that is bound by rigid (and brittle) strictures. Winning the war helps, too.

When the Titantic met the iceberg, the iceberg managed to remain afloat. True, the iceberg no longer exists, because it succumbed to the warmer waters of the Atlantic, but that turned out to be a totally separate issue.
7 posted on 10/19/2003 10:30:04 AM PDT by alloysteel
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To: alloysteel
rm7 ...

To: Hermann the Cherusker

**Your claiming of those Deists as Protestants proves my point that Protestantism doesn't really care what a man believes, and certainly not if he believes in Christ or not, so long as it is not Catholicism. **

Thank you for the opportunity to post this. Note only one Catholic..

Denominational Affiliations of the Framers of the Constitution

Dr. Miles Bradford of the University of Dallas did a study on the denominational classifications that the delegates to the Constitutional Convention accepted for themselves. Contrary to myth, the following list, published by Bradford, indicates that only 3 out of 55 of the framers classified themselves as Deists.

Note: only those Denominations whose Confessions of Faith were expressly Calvinistic at this time have been identified as "Calvinist" denominations. While many "Old-School" Lutherans and "Whitfield" Methodists at this time would have identified themselves with a Calvinistic view of Predestination, their affiliation has for the sake of charity been assumed to be non-Calvinist.

New Hampshire

* John Langdon, CONGREGATIONALIST -- Calvinist
* Nicholas Gilman, CONGREGATIONALIST -- Calvinist

Massachusetts

* Elbridge Gerry, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist
* Rufus King, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist
* Caleb Strong, CONGREGATIONALIST -- Calvinist
* Nathaniel Gorham, CONGREGATIONALIST -- Calvinist Connecticut
* Roger Sherman, CONGREGATIONALIST -- Calvinist
* William Johnson, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist
* Oliver Ellsworth, CONGREGATIONALIST -- Calvinist

New York


* Alexander Hamilton, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist
* John Lansing, DUTCH REFORMED -- Calvinist
* Robert Yates, DUTCH REFORMED -- Calvinist

New Jersey

* William Patterson, PRESBYTERIAN -- Calvinist
* William Livingston, PRESBYTERIAN -- Calvinist
* Jonathan Dayton, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist
* David Brearly, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist
* William Churchill Houston, PRESBYTERIAN -- Calvinist

Pennsylvania


* Benjamin Franklin, DEIST
* Robert Morris, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist
* James Wilson, DEIST
* Gouverneur Morris, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist
* Thomas Mifflin, QUAKER
* George Clymer, QUAKER
* Thomas FitzSimmons, ROMAN CATHOLIC
* Jared Ingersoll, PRESBYTERIAN -- Calvinist

Delaware

* John Dickinson, QUAKER
* George Read, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist
* Richard Bassett, METHODIST
* Gunning Beford, PRESBYTERIAN -- Calvinist
* Jacod Broom, LUTHERAN

Maryland

* Luther Martin, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist
* Daniel Carroll, ROMAN CATHOLIC
* John Mercer, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist
* James McHenry, PRESBYTERIAN -- Calvinist
* Daniel Jennifer, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist

Virginia


* George Washington, EPISCOPALIAN (Non-Communicant)
* James Madison, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist
* George Mason, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist
* Edmund Randolph, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist
* James Blair, Jr., EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist
* James McClung, PRESBYTERIAN -- Calvinist
* George Wythe, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist

North Carolina

* William Davie, PRESBYTERIAN -- Calvinist
* Hugh Williamson, DEIST
* William Blount, PRESBYTERIAN -- Calvinist
* Alexander Martin, PRESBYTERIAN -- Calvinist
* Richard Spaight, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist

South Carolina

* John Rutledge, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist
* Charles Pinckney, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist
* Pierce Butler, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist
* Charles Pinckney, III, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist

Georgia

* Abraham Baldwin, CONGREGATIONALIST -- Calvinist
* William Leigh Pierce, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist
* William Houstoun, EPISCOPALIAN -- Calvinist
* William Few, METHODIST

327 posted on 09/30/2003 9:47 PM PDT by RnMomof7


8 posted on 10/19/2003 10:33:18 AM PDT by f.Christian (evolution vs intelligent design ... science3000 ... designeduniverse.com --- * architecture * !)
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To: rightcoast
The real question, though, is would we have morals without religion? I think that, given the above example, the answer is no.

If you mean "organized" religion(s) then I would categorically disagree with your premise.

I believe organized religion(s) to be the bane of human existence and the cause of endless misery.

Now, if you want to talk of belief in God or the teachings of the Bible, that's a different story.

9 posted on 10/19/2003 10:34:25 AM PDT by evad (liberals & lying..It's WHAT they do, it's ALL they do and they WON'T stop...EVER!!)
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To: wardaddy
Actually.... not so.

They were prodominantly NOT Christian. In fact, much of what they believed came from a objective look at religion and what it had done to the world.

What were they you ask? Deists. http://www.deism.org/
10 posted on 10/19/2003 10:35:45 AM PDT by ThirdEye
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To: evad
I believe organized religion(s) to be the bane of human existence and the cause of endless misery.

Pol Pot, Josef Stalin, Chairman Mao, Karl Marx, Jesse Ventura and a host of others would take agree with your statement.

11 posted on 10/19/2003 10:37:58 AM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: ThirdEye
You're dreaming.
12 posted on 10/19/2003 10:39:26 AM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: rightcoast
"In many ways, their beliefs are justified, if even accurate. Many wars are fought over religious beliefs. Many conflicts begin over religion. So in that respect, I tend to agree. Religion does breed conflict. However, what would you replace it with?"

IMHO, this is one of the biggest red-heerings used to assault religion. While there is no-doubt a bloody history that exists when it comes to religion, it is not the Faith that is at fault but those who would use that Faith to advance a political agenda. Religion and one's beliefs were one of the easiest ways to consolidate power to advance and agenda of control.

Unfortunately, religion is no different than any other belief, that brings together people with common cause to advance that agenda. The secular/anti-religious movement is as much a religion as any faith-based movement. It is also no different from those who believe in socialism and communism, as they advance agenda's based on their own philosophical beliefs. While they may not have a Diety they look to for wisdom, they themselves replace that Diety with man...and the rule of State.

Interestingly, with as much blood that has been spilled in the name of religion, even more has been spilled in the name of these pseudo-religions that spite God. It is also ironic, that it has been Man that has corrupted these Faith-based ideals and not the belief, itself. It has been those, who have used the power of religion and perverted these beiefs to advance their own causes. We saw this with the early Roman Catholic Church and Popes as they used religion to influence the governance of foreign countries...just as we see this being done in Islam, today. But again, I say that it is not the Faith that is at fault but those who would abuse that Faith. While you may be able to get rid of God, you would still not get rid of the violence that "Man" is responsible for. We would just find a different reason to fight each other.
13 posted on 10/19/2003 10:43:03 AM PDT by cwb
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To: rightcoast
All societies evolve over time, but most on this forum would agree that our society has evolved in ways that are not desireable. We believe in the natural law that is enumerated in the Ten Commandments, and we know that the founding documents of our nation are premised on those laws. The real question is why we stood idly by, or if we fought, it was insufficient, and we watched the roots of our society torn from the ground and left to wither, and our enemies triumphed.
14 posted on 10/19/2003 10:43:29 AM PDT by Batrachian
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To: jwalsh07
Sometimes, I wonder if I am.

People have given up on discussion and the evolution of ideas and instead simply hold on to the beliefs they've always had...ie taught through their environment. It's made it quiet difficult for me to grow through intelligent conversation with others. Maybe that's why I predict I will never be anything by agnostic. Aethesist and fundementalists alike... ruining the expansion of ideas and knowledge.

Our founding fathers represented people who were trying to reach a new level of reason.
15 posted on 10/19/2003 10:46:27 AM PDT by ThirdEye
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To: jwalsh07
Pol Pot, Josef Stalin, Chairman Mao, Karl Marx, Jesse Ventura and a host of others would take agree with your statement.

Taken out of context, as you did, I'm sure they would.

However, I seriously doubt they would have agreed with the entire statement taken in context.

16 posted on 10/19/2003 10:49:31 AM PDT by evad (liberals & lying..It's WHAT they do, it's ALL they do and they WON'T stop...EVER!!)
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To: ThirdEye
Reason vs reality ... insanity !
17 posted on 10/19/2003 10:51:58 AM PDT by f.Christian (evolution vs intelligent design ... science3000 ... designeduniverse.com --- * architecture * !)
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To: rightcoast
I do not think the republic was founded on religious values. I think the constition came out of the founders' understanding of what made the Roman Republic work and fail and of what worked in the English parliment. The nation's government was formed more on Roman and English values than on any religious values.

If you want to see some scary parallels to the functioning of the current political scene, read "Livys - History of Early Rome."

18 posted on 10/19/2003 10:52:16 AM PDT by FreedomSurge
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To: ThirdEye
Our founding fathers were overwhelmingly Christian. Denying that does not advance rational discourse, it hinders it. Any cursory reading of the history of this nation makes it clear that the founding fathers were overwhelmingly Christian.

Yes Jefferson was a deist at one time in his life and yes he rewrote the Bible to accord with his belief system at that time.

But Thomas Jefferson was one man. Almost all of the remaining founders were Christian.

The evidence is quite clear on that and running around yelling "rational" will never change that fact.

Madison offered and passed a bill with criminal liability for breaking the sabbath.

Washington prayed for divine intervention, a notion unfamiliar to deists.

Fisher Ames, author of the 1st Amendment lived and worshipped in MAssachusetts which had a state established religion backed by AMes.

These things are not conjecture, they are facts.

19 posted on 10/19/2003 10:52:57 AM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: ThirdEye
What were they you ask? Deists.

Some were. And some were marginal Deists. Speaking of which...
Where was Thomas Jefferson on the Sunday morning following his writing of the
"separation of church and state" letter to the Danbury Baptists?
20 posted on 10/19/2003 10:53:58 AM PDT by VOA
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To: evad
I took nothing out of context. You made a declarative statement that stood on its own. I think your statement was foolish. Religion is no more evil than Government, it is the men or women who occupy them that make it evil.
21 posted on 10/19/2003 10:54:53 AM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: rightcoast
Is his Holiness Pope John Paul polish?
22 posted on 10/19/2003 11:02:04 AM PDT by RiflemanSharpe (An American for a more socially and fiscally conservative America.)
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To: ThirdEye
Our founding fathers represented people who were trying to reach a new level of reason.

And they did. Some of them turned to political philosophers of history, including
one who reminded people to "render unto Caesar, that which is Caesar's"...and early
enunciation of the separate kingdoms of the government and the human spirit.

Now, no human can read the inner recesses of the heart, soul and mind of the Founders.
Some who were publically religious may have been day-to-day bad-boys; fellows like Franklin
and Jefferson that were "off the scale" in terms of intellect may have
been much more religionally-oriented than they'd wanted their colleagues to realize.

I'll leave it here: whether it was the aspiration of pure human reason AND/OR
the guiding hand of Providence, the Founders did find a way to benevolently bridle the
good and evil found in governmental institutions and the minds of the citizens.

And most of the world has voted "Yes" to the results, by coming here, sometimes at risk of life.
23 posted on 10/19/2003 11:03:27 AM PDT by VOA
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To: ThirdEye
Nice objective source you got there Pineal.
24 posted on 10/19/2003 11:06:59 AM PDT by wardaddy
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To: wardaddy
Judeo-Christian is fine with me also since Christianity are the branches that were grafted in with the first Word of the Lord.
25 posted on 10/19/2003 11:08:05 AM PDT by hope
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To: rightcoast; ThirdEye
Was the United States founded on Judeo-Christian principles?

Well, I think conservative Jewish radio show host Dennis Prager has summed it up
pretty well: "America is the only Judeo-Christian country in the history of the world".

And as for a great book (Five Stars of five from nine reviews at amazon.com) on the topic:

On Two Wings: Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding
by Michael Novak


Novak is at The American Enterprise Institute...and I think that he is a
Messianic Jew (a Jew converted to Christianity...talk about having all the tools
for a book on this topic!
26 posted on 10/19/2003 11:08:47 AM PDT by VOA
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To: ThirdEye
I got my references too.

Let's have a link battle..lol

http://www.shalomjerusalem.com/heritage/heritage19.html
27 posted on 10/19/2003 11:09:26 AM PDT by wardaddy
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To: hope
I agree but the founders were men of their day and not so politically correct as we are today.
28 posted on 10/19/2003 11:10:10 AM PDT by wardaddy
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To: FreedomSurge
The nation's government was formed more on Roman and English values than on any religious values.

Which Roman values?
Are you denying history post-Constantine?
How convenient and circular!

29 posted on 10/19/2003 11:11:44 AM PDT by Publius6961 (40% of Californians are as dumb as a sack of rocks.)
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To: FreedomSurge
I think the constition came out of the founders' understanding of what made
the Roman Republic work and fail and of what worked in the English parliment.
The nation's government was formed more on Roman and English values than on any religious values.


I agree with the assessment of the philosophical source the Founders used to build our government.

I suspect the real reason this sort of thread gets all sort of noise is that
there is now a push in the country to censor any thought that (at least some)
Founders were imploring a higher power at the time they were deliberating.

Thanks to the biased teaching of history for the past generation or so,
people seem to be clueless that the folks trying to erase the country's religious
heritage from the commons would make Stalin proud (Ref: the book "The Commissar Vanishes"
a collection of series of photos in which Stalin had disfavored party members "disappear"
from various edits of the photos.)
30 posted on 10/19/2003 11:18:51 AM PDT by VOA
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To: jwalsh07
You are correct, also why is it that most people alive have not even heard of Diesm? Well if you read the later writings of the Diesm followers- especially Thomas Jefferson they said it was a failure, because the whole premise was that man did not need religion to be moral; that man could be moral based on ideals and not belief in a higher power. They said later they found that not to be true. It sounded good, but did not work. If you study a great number of writings of Thomas Jefferson you will find that he was seeking the truth throughout his life and that is why today his writings seem confusing. In some he sounds like an athiest, believing religion has NO place in Government and in other writings he makes it plain that any Government that is not supported by people with a belief in a higher power cannot long exist.
31 posted on 10/19/2003 11:23:09 AM PDT by Tammy8 (helpterri yahoo group)
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To: ThirdEye
Our founding fathers represented people who were trying to reach a new level of reason.

They were hardly messianic. They were theocentric with one foot in anthroprocentric thought or perhaps maybe viceversa. Except for a handful, they frequently referred to God or the Bible. The more radical leaders were admittedly influenced by the anthroprocentrists of the time.

32 posted on 10/19/2003 11:28:45 AM PDT by wardaddy
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To: cwboelter
But again, I say that it is not the Faith that is at fault but those who would abuse that Faith. While you may be able to get rid of God, you would still not get rid of the violence that "Man" is responsible for. We would just find a different reason to fight each other.

Of course it's the Faith that is at fault. Islam teaches, over and Over and OVER, to KILL THE INFIDEL, lie to him, betray him, wait for him in ambush wherever you see him, chop off his fingers, toes, hands, feet, arms, legs, ears, tongues, heads, etc., etc., etc.!!! Would you call that a faultless faith??? Only if you are a Muzzle-em!!!

In stark contrast the Christian Bible teaches The Ten Commandments and love and forgiveness!!!

.

33 posted on 10/19/2003 11:30:38 AM PDT by GeekDejure
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To: wardaddy
Given the case in front of the Supreme Court right now (Pledge of Allegiance) this question has enormous implications. I happen to agree with you, btw.
34 posted on 10/19/2003 11:36:14 AM PDT by truthandjustice1
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To: rightcoast
The article seems to be more an exercise in semantics than anything.

It should be pretty obvious to everyone that the United States was consciously founded within, and depends upon, the Judaeo Christian system of ethics.

The primary goal of the founders, that of creating a nation which could not threaten the natural rights of the citizenry, was not, IMO, based on Judaeo Christian tradition. However, most of the founding fathers recognized that this nation, with its system of individual freedom and personal liberty, could never work without a "virtuous people." And although they undoubtedly would not have approved of a theocracy, there is no doubt that they generally meant those virtues practiced by Christians.
35 posted on 10/19/2003 11:38:00 AM PDT by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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To: truthandjustice1
I am betting that 6-3 or 5-4, they will leave in "under God".

Scalia and Thomas and Rhenquist are sure bets for our side.

Ginsburg is the only sure bet for the left...but she'll have some company no doubt.

I guess she'll have to see what French or Latvian law and customs have to say first.
36 posted on 10/19/2003 11:39:46 AM PDT by wardaddy
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To: evad; jwalsh07
I believe organized religion(s) to be the bane of human existence and the cause
of endless misery.


I would have made similar statement for...decades after I graduated from college.

But, as Churchill would say about democracy being the worst political system, except for
all the other systems that have been tried...my view now is that about the same thing
can be said about organized religion of the Judeo-Christian bent being the worst belief system...
except for all the other belief systems tried.

As the writer Chesterton said, when people stop believing in religion, it doesn't
mean they stop believing in anything. And the suggested books (below) shows the
bitter fruit of that approach.

The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression
by Stephane Courtois, Mark Kramer (Translator), Jonathan Murphy (Translator),
Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Panne, Andrzej Paczkowski, Karel Bartosek, Jean-Louis Margolin

from the Editorial Review at amazon.com:
Communism did kill, Courtois and his fellow historians demonstrate, with ruthless efficiency:
25 million in Russia during the Bolshevik and Stalinist eras, perhaps 65 million in
China under the eyes of Mao Zedong, 2 million in Cambodia, millions more Africa,
Eastern Europe, and Latin America--an astonishingly high toll of victims.
This freely expressed penchant for homicide, Courtois maintains, was no accident,
but an integral trait of a philosophy, and a practical politics, that promised to
erase class distinctions by erasing classes and the living humans that populated them.


Hungry Ghosts: Mao's Secret Famine by Jasper Becker

from the Editorial Review at amazaon.com:
Journalist Jasper Becker conducted hundreds of interviews and spent years
immersed in painstaking detective work to produce Hungry Ghosts, the first full
account of this dark chapter in Chinese history. In this horrific story of
state-sponsored terror, cannibalism, torture, and murder, China's communist
leadership boasted of record harvests and actually increased grain exports,
while refusing imports and international assistance. With China's reclamation of
Hong Kong now a fait accompli, removing the historical blinders is more timely than ever.
As reviewer Richard Bernstein wrote in the New York Times, "Mr. Becker's remarkable
book...strikes a heavy blow against willed ignorance of what took place."
37 posted on 10/19/2003 11:43:37 AM PDT by VOA
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To: wardaddy
Scalia and Thomas and Rhenquist are sure bets for our side.

Scalia has stepped aside from the deliberations and the eventual ruling...apparently due
to the plaintiff's request because Scalia made some negative comments about the
Ninth Circuit ruling at some meeting.

Of course, I've yet to hear all the times Justice (guffah, barf) Ginsburg
has stepped aside on issues she was involved in when she was a hack at the ACLU.

A 4-4 tie will affirm the Ninth Circuit ruling.

My info source? American Center for Law and Justice counsel Jay Sekulow, who argues
religious freedom issues even before the US Supreme Court.

You might check www.aclj.com and his show "Jay Sekulow Live" to see if he's on in your area.
38 posted on 10/19/2003 11:47:53 AM PDT by VOA
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To: wardaddy
"I guess she'll have to see what French or Latvian law and customs have to say first."

Boy, you are spot on. Imagine a court that looks to other countries courts for guidance, and not the constitution. Darth Bader is a bad judge. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

39 posted on 10/19/2003 11:51:26 AM PDT by truthandjustice1
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To: VOA
I had no idea....that is not good news.
40 posted on 10/19/2003 11:59:28 AM PDT by wardaddy
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To: truthandjustice1
She is a Hillary judge....if not for all those border jumper maids and au pairs, we might have ended up with a more moderate judge in her place.
41 posted on 10/19/2003 12:00:45 PM PDT by wardaddy
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To: wardaddy
How can you equate Judeo and Christian values? The only common denominator is the Old Testament. You can on this basis include the Muslims as well as the Jews. All three religions received the same commandments when Moses came down from the Mount. The divergence since Christ is where the differences lie. The Ten Commandments still outline the preferred human behavior. When it is deviated from, problems arise.
42 posted on 10/19/2003 12:38:14 PM PDT by meenie
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To: GeekDejure
I really don't want to be in the position to defend Islam, so let me say this:

Christianity had many of these same problems but also had the benefit of a Reformation and reality check. While I am not an expert on the Bible, I've seen others take quotes from certain versus and interpret them to fit their own political agendas. Chistianity had its own version of Sharia, were the Church was as much a part of governance as anything...and used that influence over soverign nations.

That's not to mitigate what Islam is or has done, it is however to show how Man can pervert anything for his own political purposes. The persecutions of heretics, the Enquisitions and killing of Jews or he burning of Witches was no better than what Islam believes, now. If it was a threat to those in power...be it the Pope or the Iman, these people used that religion to justify their violence on others. It is still Man that has used that Faith for his own ends.
43 posted on 10/19/2003 12:50:07 PM PDT by cwb
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To: rightcoast
Judaism and Christianity have been far more successful and harmonius in the US than they ever were in the Old World.

Far more good for God than evil against Him.

44 posted on 10/19/2003 12:58:17 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: Prof Engineer
ping
45 posted on 10/19/2003 12:59:31 PM PDT by msdrby (Vowels are overrated.)
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To: GeekDejure
By the way...you make my point with this comment:

"In stark contrast the Christian Bible teaches The Ten Commandments and love and forgiveness!!!"

So who was it that perverted these concepts when people were being burned at the stakes? Perhaps Man?
46 posted on 10/19/2003 1:06:50 PM PDT by cwb
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To: rightcoast
America was founded on the Biblical "WORLDVIEW".

Just laws are derived from the broad Christian PRINCIPLES / biblical ethic that are a part of that worldview.

Bottom line: Some interesting parallels between the biblical account of spiritual freedom and political- economic freedom should be noted. For one thing, freedom always has God as its ultimate ground. For another, freedom must always exist in relationship to law. The moral law of God identifies definite limits beyond which human freedom under God should not pass. Liberty should never be turned into license.

Capitalism is the most JUST, moral economic system ever devised.

If you want to know more, read on to see why:

Socialism, Capitalism, and the Bible - Dr. Ronald H. Nash
http://www.summit.org/resources/socialism.htm

Excerpts:

Creator and Freedom; Morality and Sin
Relevant aspects of the biblical world-view:

(1) Certainly the biblical world-view implies that since God is the creator of all that exists, He ultimately is the rightful owner of all that exists. Whatever possessions a human being may acquire, he holds them temporarily as a steward of God and is ultimately accountable to God for how he uses them. However omnipresent greed and avarice may be in the human race, they are clearly incompatible with the moral demands of the biblical world-view.

(2) The biblical world-view also contains important claims about human rights and liberties. All human beings have certain natural rights inherent in their created nature and have certain moral obligations to respect the rights of others. The possibility of human freedom is not a gift of government but a gift from God

The Old Testament tended to focus on the economic and social dimensions of freedom. But gradually, as one moves into the New Testament, a more spiritual dimension of freedom assumes dominance. Freedom in the New Testament is deliverance from bondage to sin and is available only to those who come to know God's truth through Christ and enter into a saving relationship with Christ.

Some interesting parallels between the biblical account of spiritual freedom and political- economic freedom should be noted. For one thing, freedom always has God as it s ultimate ground. For another, freedom must always exist in relationship to law. The moral law of God identifies definite limits beyond which human freedom under God should not pass. Liberty should never be turned into license.

(3) The moral system of the Bible is another key element of the Christian world-view.

While the Ten Commandments do not constitute the entire biblical ethic, they are a good place to begin. But it is important to notice other dimensions of the biblical ethic that have relevance for our subject.

For example, Christians on the Left insist that the biblical ethic condemns individual actions and social structures that oppress people, harm people and favor some at the expense of others. I agree. Where I disagree, however, is with the next step taken by the Leftists.

They claim that capitalism inevitably and necessarily encourages individual actions and produces social structures that oppress and harm people. On this point, they are dead wrong.

Fortunately, the question as to which system actually harms or helps different classes of people is an empirical and not a normative matter. The Leftists simply have their facts wrong.

(4) One final aspect of the Christian world-view must be mentioned: the inescapable fact of human sin and depravity. No economic or political system that assumes the essential goodness of human nature or holds out the dream of a perfect earthly society can possibly be consistent with the biblical world-view.

Peaceful or Violent Exchange?

Now we must examine the three major economic systems that compete for attention: capitalism, socialism and somewhere between, the hybrid known as interventionism or the mixed economy.

One dominant feature of capitalism is economic freedom, the right of people to exchange things voluntarily, free from force, fraud, and theft.

Socialism, on the other hand, seeks to replace the freedom of the market with a group of central planners who exercise control over essential market functions.

There are degrees of socialism as there are degrees of capitalism in the real world.

But basic to any form of socialism is distrust of or contempt for the market process and the desire to replace the freedom of the market with some form of centralized control.

Generally speaking, as one moves along the continuum of socialism to capitalism, one finds the following: the more freedom a socialist allows, the closer his position is to interventionism; the more freedom an interventionist allows, the closer his position is to capitalism.

The crux is the extent to which human beings will be permitted to exercise their own choices in the economic sphere of life.

I will say nothing more about that deplorable economic system known as interventionism, a hopeless attempt to stop on a slippery slope where no stop is possible.

The only way the half- hearted controls of the interventionist can work is if they become the total controls of the socialist. Anything less will result in the kind of troubled and self-damaging economy we have had for the past several decades in the United States.

I shall attempt to get a clearer fix on the real essence both of capitalism and socialism and then see which is more compatible with the biblical world-view.

The best starting point for this comparison is a distinction made most recently by the American economist, Walter Williams.

According to Williams, there are two and only two ways in which something may be exchanged. He called them the peaceful means of exchange and the violent means of exchange.

The peaceful means of exchange may be summed up in the phrase, "If you do something good for me, then I'll do something good for you." When capitalism is understood correctly, it epitomizes the peaceful means of exchange.

The reason people exchange in a real market is because they believe the exchange is good for them. They take advantage of an opportunity to obtain something they want more in exchange for something they desire less.

Capitalism then should be understood as a voluntary system of relationships that utilizes the peaceful means of exchange.

But exchange can also take place by means of force and violence.

In this violent means of exchange, the basic rule of thumb is: "Unless you do something good for me, I'll do something bad to you."

This turns out to be the controlling principle of socialism.

Socialism means far more than centralized control of the economic process. It entails the introduction of coercion into economic exchange in order to facilitate the attainment of the goals of the elite who function as the central planners.

One of the great ironies of Christian socialism is that its proponents in effect demand that the State get out its weapons and force people to fulfill the demands of Christian love.

Even if we fail to notice any other contrast between capitalism and socialism, we already have a major difference to relate to the biblical ethic.

One system stresses voluntary and peaceful exchange while the other depends on coercion and violence.

Some Christian socialists object to the way I have set this up.

They profess contempt for the more coercive forms of state-socialism on exhibit in communist countries. They would like us to believe that a more humane, non-coercive kind of socialism is possible.

They would like us to believe that there is a form of socialism, not yet tried anywhere on earth, where the central ideas are cooperation and community and where coercion and dictatorship are precluded.

But they provide very little information about the workings of this more utopian kind of socialism, and they ignore the fact that however humane and voluntary their socialism is supposed to become after it has been put into effect, it will take massive amounts of coercion and theft to get things started.

Socialist Falsehood, Capitalist Facts

To that paradox, add one more: the fact that socialists need capitalism in order to survive.

Unless socialists make allowance for some free markets which provide the pricing information that alone makes rational economic activity possible, socialist economies would have even more problems than those for which they are already notorious.

Consequently, socialism is a gigantic fraud which attacks the market at the same time it is forced to utilize the market process.

But critics of the market try to shift attention away from their own embarrassing problems to claims that capitalism must be abolished or restricted because it is unjust or because it restricts important human freedoms.

Capitalism is supposed to be unchristian because it allegedly gives a predominant place to greed and other unchristian values.

It is alleged to increase poverty and the misery of the poor while, at the same time, it makes a few rich at the expense of the many.

Socialism, on the other hand, is portrayed as the economic system of people who really care for the less fortunate members of society.

Socialism is represented as the economics of compassion. Socialism is also recommended on the ground that it encourages other basic Christian values such as community.

If these claims were true, they would constitute a serious problem for anyone anxious to show that capitalism is compatible with the biblical ethic.

But, of course, the claims are not true. People who make such charges have their facts wrong or are aiming at the wrong target.

The "capitalism" they accuse of being inhumane is a caricature. The system that in fact produces the consequences they deplore turns out to be not capitalism, but interventionism.

Capitalism is not economic anarchy. It recognizes several necessary conditions for the kinds of voluntary relationships it recommends.

One of these presuppositions is the existence of inherent human rights, such as the right to make decisions, the right to be free, the right to hold property, and the right to exchange what one owns for something else.

Capitalism also presupposes a system of morality.

Capitalism should be thought of as a system of voluntary relationships within a framework of laws which protect peoples' rights against force, fraud, theft, and violations of contracts.

"Thou shalt not steal" and "Thou shalt not lie" are part of the underlying moral constraints of the system. Economic exchanges can hardly be voluntary if one participant is coerced, deceived, defrauded, or robbed.

Allowing for Human Weakness

Once we grant that consistency with the biblical doctrine of sin is a legitimate test of political and economic systems, it is relatively easy to see how well democratic capitalism scores in this regard.

The limited government willed to Americans by the Founding Fathers was influenced in large measure by biblical considerations about human sin.

If one of the more effective ways of mitigating the effects of human sin in society is dispersing and decentralizing power, the conservative view of government is on the right track.

So too is the conservative vision of economics.

The free market is consistent with the biblical view of human nature in another way.

It recognizes the weaknesses of human nature and the limitations of human knowledge. No one can possibly know enough to manage a complex economy.

No one should ever be trusted with this power.

However, in order for socialism to work, socialism requires a class of omniscient planners to forecast the future, to set prices and to control production.

In the free market system, decisions are not made by an omniscient bureaucratic elite but made across the entire economic system by countless economic agents.

At this point, of course, collectivists will raise another set of objections.

Capitalism, they will counter, may make it difficult for economic power to be consolidated in the hands of the state; but it only makes it easier for vast concentrations of wealth and power to be vested in the hands of private individuals and companies.

But the truth turns out to be something quite different from this widely accepted myth.

It is not the free market that produces monopolies; rather it is governmental intervention with the market that creates the conditions that encourage monopoly.

As for another old charge, that capitalism encourages greed, the truth is just the reverse.

The mechanism of the market neutralizes greed as selfish individuals are forced to find ways of servicing the needs of those with whom they wish to exchange.

As we know, various people often approach economic exchanges with motives and objectives that fall short of the biblical ideal.

But no matter how base or selfish a person's motives may be, so long as the rights of the other parties are protected, the greed of the first individual cannot harm them.

As long as greedy individuals are prohibited from introducing force, fraud, and theft into the exchange process, their greed mush be channeled into the discovery of products or services for which people are willing to exchange their holdings.

Every person in a market economy has to be other-directed.

New Religion of the Left

Finally, some examples of the way in which attempts to ground American liberalism and interventionism or Latin American liberationism on the Bible involve serious distortions of the biblical message.

For instance, consider how radical American evangelicals on the Left abuse the biblical notion of justice.

The basic idea in the Old Testament notion of justice is righteousness and fairness.

But it is essential to the Leftist's cause that he read into biblical pronouncements about justice, contemporary notions of distributive justice.

When the Bible says that Noah was a just man, it does not mean that he would have voted the straight Democratic ticket.

It means simply that he was a righteous man.

Likewise, many Christians on the Left seek to reinterpret Jesus' earthly mission in exclusively economic and political terms.

In their view, Jesus came primarily to deliver those who were poor and oppressed in a material sense. But every member of the human race is poor in the sense of being spiritually bankrupt. Jesus came to end our spiritual poverty by making available the righteousness that God demands and that only God can provide.

It is heresy to state that God's love for people varies in proportion to their wealth and social class.

It is nonsense to suggest that all the poor are good and all the rich are evil.

Once we eliminate the semantic game-playing by which some refer to a non-coercive voluntary utopian type of socialism, it becomes clear that socialism is incompatible with a truly free society. Edmund Opitz has seen this clearly;

As History's vice-regent, the Planner is forced to view men as mass; which is to deny their full stature as persons with rights endowed by the Creator, gifted with free will, possessing the capacity to order their own lives in terms of their convictions.

The man who has the authority and the power to put the masses through their paces, and to punish nonconformists, must be ruthless enough to sacrifice a person to a principle...a commissar who believes that each person is a child of God will eventually yield to a commissar whose ideology is consonant with the demands of his job.

And so, Opitz concludes, "Socialism needs a secular religion to sanction its authoritarian politics, and it replaces the traditional moral order by a code which subordinates the individual to the collective." All of this is justified in the cause of improving economic well-being and in the name of compassion.

The Choice I Make

I think I have said enough to allow me, at least, to make a reasoned choice between capitalism and socialism on the basis of each system's compatibility to the biblical world-view.

The alternative to free exchange is violence.

Capitalism is a mechanism that allows natural human desires to be satisfied in a nonviolent way.

Little can be done to prevent human beings from wanting to be rich. But what capitalism does is channel that desire into peaceful means that benefit many besides those who wish to improve their own situation.

Which choice then should I, as a Christian, make in the selection between capitalism and socialism?

Capitalism is quite simply the most moral system, the most effective system, and the most equitable system of economic exchange.

When capitalism, the system of free economic exchange, is described fairly, there can be no question that it, rather than socialism or interventionism, comes closer to matching the demands of the biblical ethic.

This essay appeared in Imprimis, Volume 14, No. 7, July, 1985. It is used by permission

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/984368/posts?page=43#43
47 posted on 10/19/2003 1:23:20 PM PDT by Matchett-PI (Why do America's enemies desperately want DemocRATS back in power?)
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To: f.Christian; rightcoast
Emory Report November 29, 1999 Volume 52, No. 13
http://www.emory.edu/EMORY_REPORT/erarchive/1999/November/ernovember.29/11_29_99hamilton.html

Marci Hamilton ... [is] a nationally recognized expert on constitutional and copyright law from Yeshiva University's Cardozo School of Law ... . ...

Her forthcoming book, Copyright and the Constitution, examines the historical and philosophical underpinnings of copyright law and asserts that the American "copyright regime" is grounded in Calvinism, resulting in a philosophy that favors the product over the producer.

Calvinism? Hamilton's interest in the intersection of Calvinist theology and political philosophy emerged early in her career when she began reading the work of leading constitutional law scholars.

She was puzzled by their "theme of a system of self-rule." "They talked about it as if it were in existence," she said. "My gut reaction was that direct democracy and self-rule are a myth that doesn't really exist."

What Hamilton found was that a "deep and abiding distrust of human motives that permeates Calvinist theology also permeates the Constitution." Her investigation of that issue has led to another forthcoming book, tentatively titled The Reformed Constitution: What the Framers Meant by Representation.

That our country's form of government is a republic instead of a pure democracy is no accident, according to Hamilton. The constitutional framers "expressly rejected direct democracy. Instead, the Constitution constructs a representative system of government that places all ruling power in the hands of elected officials."

And the people? Their power is limited to the voting booth and communication with their elected representatives, she said. "The Constitution is not built on faith in the people, but rather on distrust of all social entities, including the people."

Hamilton found that some form of Calvinism played a role in the lives of at least 23 of the 55 constitutional framers, and that six were Presbyterian (the reform movement founded by John Calvin). Two of the most important framers, James Wilson and James Madison, were steeped in Presbyterian precepts.

It is Calvinism, Hamilton argued, that "more than any other Protestant theology, brings together the seeming paradox that man's will is corrupt by nature but also capable of doing good." In other words, Calvinism holds that "we can hope for the best but expect the worst from each other and from the social institutions humans devise."

"Neither Calvin nor the framers stop at distrust, however," Hamilton said. "They also embrace an extraordinary theology of hope. The framers, like Calvin, were reformers."
48 posted on 10/19/2003 1:47:09 PM PDT by Matchett-PI (Why do America's enemies desperately want DemocRATS back in power?)
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Comment #49 Removed by Moderator

To: jwalsh07
I took nothing out of context.

Fair enough..let's see.

You made a declarative statement that stood on its own.

Yes I did but the statement included the following:
"Now, if you want to talk of belief in God or the teachings of the Bible, that's a different story."
Do you really think, Stalin et al would be supportive of the Bible? I don't think so.

I think your statement was foolish.

You're entitled to that opinion.

Religion is no more evil than Government, it is the men or women who occupy them that make it evil.

Religion is government and evil is your word but you're probably right on that one. Just as an example of pure evil, just think of all the murder, mahem and misery that has resulted over a little speck of dirt...all in the name of my religion versus yours.

50 posted on 10/19/2003 2:17:03 PM PDT by evad (liberals & lying..It's WHAT they do, it's ALL they do and they WON'T stop...EVER!!)
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