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God in Our Heritage (Why the Pledge of Allegiance is constitutional)
The Wall Street Journal ^ | Thursday, December 18, 2003 | GREG ABBOTT

Posted on 12/18/2003 6:37:16 AM PST by presidio9

Edited on 04/22/2004 11:50:40 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

Half a century after Congress added the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance, the Supreme Court is poised to consider whether those words make it impermissible for children to recite the Pledge in our nation's public schools. Michael Newdow, the man at the center of the case now before the court, contends that requiring students to say the words "under God" unconstitutionally establishes religion. An overwhelming majority of others, including the attorneys-general of all 50 states, strongly disagree.


(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: heritage; undergod
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1 posted on 12/18/2003 6:37:17 AM PST by presidio9
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To: presidio9
Why we should continue to say "under God" while saying the pledge of allegiance:

1. We have freedom of speech, guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.

2. Newdow is seriously mentally ill, and mentally ill persons should not be allowed to shape our law.
2 posted on 12/18/2003 6:53:14 AM PST by Devil_Anse
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To: presidio9
First, in the phrase "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," - the "an establishment of religion" was intended as a noun, not in the verb sense. Viewing it as intended, the recognition of God cannot be seen as "respecting" a particular "establishment of religion", for no law is made with respect to one particularly.

Secondly, the phrase "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" guarantees every individual the right to worship God (or not) without fear of government intervention or coercion to a particular faith (religion).

Without both aspects having equal weight, government could establish and demand a particular "religion" be practiced.
3 posted on 12/18/2003 6:56:35 AM PST by azhenfud ("He who is always looking up seldom finds others' lost change...")
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To: Devil_Anse; presidio9
Brennan....may merely recognize the historical fact that our Nation was believed to have been founded 'under God.'"

It is true that it was believed to have been founded under God.

It is also true that it was founded under God.

Funny, though; if they can 'separate' themselves from the belief in some way, then they feel better. It's like the creche amonst the reindeer and the Santa's. Their point is that it's a 'cultural' phenomenon as distinguished from advocacy.

That was Roy Moore's crime. He wanted to elevate the discussion to the level of "actually" recognizing that the nation IS under God. (Which it is. And which our forebears were careful to point out.)

4 posted on 12/18/2003 7:04:26 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!)
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To: xzins
That was Roy Moore's crime. He wanted to elevate the discussion to the level of "actually" recognizing that the nation IS under God.

"elevate the discussion" LOL. Moore is a joke.

5 posted on 12/18/2003 7:09:19 AM PST by TheOtherOne
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To: xzins
"Justice William Brennan, one of the Court's more liberal members [CHOKE!]... ADMITTED"... etc.

I wonder how many pins they had to stick in that culture-murdering liberal skank to get him to admit any such thing.
6 posted on 12/18/2003 7:13:11 AM PST by Devil_Anse
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To: presidio9
Language is still free. It is the judges who threaten to remove the term "under God", from the pledge that the majority approved through Congress. If they succeed, then the new pledge should have a new title to differentiate it from the "under God" pledge. Anything less is dishonest and a sign of a derelict language. I suggest the proposed pledge be titled "The Judges Pledge of Allegiance."
7 posted on 12/18/2003 7:16:51 AM PST by reed_inthe_wind (That Hillary really knows how to internationalize my MOJO.)
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To: presidio9
In 1954, Congress inserted the phrase "under God" to make the Pledge more reflective of the nation's character.

Nice historical revisionism.

The pledge was added at the height of the cold war as a means to weed out communist sympathizers, who were thought to all be atheists.

8 posted on 12/18/2003 7:21:34 AM PST by freeeee (I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it)
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To: Devil_Anse
Here is the Oath of Office taken by our Congressmen as they are sworn in to their elected office:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter:
So help me God.

I wonder if this Oath is therefore unconstitutional...?

The assumptions being made in this trumped-up fight gainst the pledge are twofold—

1...that because schools accept Federal funding, they are Government institutions...

2...that under the Constitution, it is prohibted for Government to "establish a religion."

Neither of these assumptions have any basis in fact. Schools are not Congress, and only Congress is Constitutionally prohibted from passing legislation regarding any religious group or establishment.

The fight as presented now completely twists the usage of the language employed by our Founders in framing our Constitution, and such twisting is treasonous against America.

If the U.S. Supreme Court chooses to become an accomplice in this treachery, they should be disbarred and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the Law for crimes against the Consitution and Country they were sworn to serve.

;-/

9 posted on 12/18/2003 7:22:01 AM PST by Gargantua (Choose this day Whom you will serve.)
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To: TheOtherOne
"elevate the discussion" LOL. Moore is a joke.

So much for elevating the discussion. Maybe you can handle it next time.

10 posted on 12/18/2003 7:23:19 AM PST by MEGoody
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To: reed_inthe_wind
If they succeed, then the new pledge should have a new title to differentiate it from the "under God" pledge.

What did they call the original version between 1942 and 1954?

11 posted on 12/18/2003 7:23:52 AM PST by freeeee (I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it)
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To: freeeee
"The pledge was added at the height of the cold war as a means to weed out communist sympathizers, who were thought to all be atheists."

So when was it added? Got a link? Everything I've read says it was added in 1954.

12 posted on 12/18/2003 7:24:46 AM PST by MEGoody
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To: MEGoody
1954.
13 posted on 12/18/2003 7:26:26 AM PST by freeeee (I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it)
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To: freeeee
Each generation has its chance to shape language. The sneaky left had no desire to name the current pledge: "The Majority of Americans Pledge of Allegiance."
14 posted on 12/18/2003 7:37:51 AM PST by reed_inthe_wind (That Hillary really knows how to internationalize my MOJO.)
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To: freeeee
Ah, okay. I thought you were saying the date was historical revisionism. You meant the REASON they added it. Gotcha.
15 posted on 12/18/2003 7:38:51 AM PST by MEGoody
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To: presidio9
read later
16 posted on 12/18/2003 7:45:02 AM PST by LiteKeeper
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To: presidio9
Amazingly, the US survived up until the mid-fifties without injecting religion in the patriot's pledge, winning two world wars along the way. Just lucky, I guess.
17 posted on 12/18/2003 8:01:52 AM PST by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com/)
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To: presidio9
Bump for later
18 posted on 12/18/2003 8:03:18 AM PST by The Mayor (If God could Vote, he would vote with the Right wing conspiracy)
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To: presidio9
After an early form first appeared in a youth publication in 1892

I will never understand why conservatives are so in love with a statist credo written by a pinko (really, you can look it up).

19 posted on 12/18/2003 8:05:04 AM PST by steve-b
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To: freeeee
The pledge was added at the height of the cold war as a means to weed out communist sympathizers, who were thought to all be atheists.

"Chiefs and sons of chiefs may speak the words, but the evil one's tongue would surely turn to fire."

20 posted on 12/18/2003 8:08:50 AM PST by steve-b
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To: Gargantua
"Here is the Oath of Office taken by our Congressmen as they are sworn in to their elected office:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter:
So help me God. "

Sorry to pop your balloon, but the "So help me God" part of that is optional. Anyone who affirms their oath need not say it. This applies to all oaths of office and other oaths taken in the United States of America.
21 posted on 12/18/2003 8:23:16 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: TheOtherOne
If you think the nation is under God, then it's an elevation of the discussion.

If you think the nation has a "history of believing it's under God," then you wouldn't think it an elevation of the discussion.
22 posted on 12/18/2003 8:26:28 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!)
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To: presidio9
For another opinion on the pledge... (warning...do not read if you have a high blood pressure) unbelievable...
23 posted on 12/18/2003 8:29:47 AM PST by Capitalism2003 (Got principles? http://www.LP.org)
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To: presidio9
This is about the tryanny of the minority. The right of one single atheist to "not be offended" at the expense of the rights of the majority. The U.S. Constitution was designed to give equal protection under the law. Newdow's rights aren't violated in any way as he is not being forced to do or listen or participate in anything, however, the Christian majority's rights are being violated as the secular humanists want to force their religion on all of America!

It's time to fight! It's time to have MASS ACTS OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. What can those morons in black robes do if 20 million people continue to recite the pledge with "under God"? Nothing, that's what!

24 posted on 12/18/2003 8:31:47 AM PST by exmarine ( sic semper tyrannis)
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To: gcruse
Just lucky, I guess.

Amazingly, the US survived until 2001 without a Department of Homeland Security...

25 posted on 12/18/2003 8:37:19 AM PST by presidio9 (RUN AL, RUN!!!)
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To: MineralMan
Sorry to pop your balloon, but the "So help me God" part of that is optional. Anyone who affirms their oath need not say it. This applies to all oaths of office and other oaths taken in the United States of America.

Our founders wrote that oaths are worthless unless they are sworn to God. Who are you swearing to...yourself? Removal of "so help me God" is a recent evolution.

Our founders were overwhelmingly Christian and our founding documents (Constitution and Decl. of Indep.) are imbued with Christian principles from Christian thinkers such as John Locke, Baron de Montesquieu, William Blackstone, Samuel Rutherford, Hugo Grotius, Samuel de Puffendorf, and many others. Unlike our leaders of today, our founders were extremely well educated and well-read, especially on history and the lessons to be learned from it. The Christian heritage of American CANNOT BE DENIED with any credulity.

26 posted on 12/18/2003 8:38:19 AM PST by exmarine ( sic semper tyrannis)
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To: steve-b
I will never understand why conservatives are so in love with a statist credo written by a pinko (really, you can look it up).

Ultimately, this isn't about the pledge. It's about the culture war that is raging in America between the secular humanist and the judeo-Christian worldviews. It's about preserving our Christian heritage, and our religious freedomes under the Free Exercise Clause of the U.S. Constitution. It's about fighting against bigots who are trying to silence and marginalize Christians in our schools and government. I'm up for the fight.

27 posted on 12/18/2003 8:42:08 AM PST by exmarine ( sic semper tyrannis)
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To: MineralMan
Furthermore, Bush put his hand on a bible when he took the oath - so did Clinton. The Supreme Court and Congress both invoke God before EVERY SESSION. If SCOTUS strikes down the pledge, they had better strike down their own hypocrisy.
28 posted on 12/18/2003 8:46:54 AM PST by exmarine ( sic semper tyrannis)
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To: exmarine
"Sorry to pop your balloon, but the "So help me God" part of that is optional. Anyone who affirms their oath need not say it. This applies to all oaths of office and other oaths taken in the United States of America.
Our founders wrote that oaths are worthless unless they are sworn to God. Who are you swearing to...yourself? Removal of "so help me God" is a recent evolution."

Our founders also wrote that no religious test shall be applied to any holder of an office in this nation. The affirmation of an oath is provided for in the body of the Constitution.

Some Christian denominations hold that no oath should ever be taking, using the name of God. They base this on Jesus' own words in Matthew.

No matter what the oath may be, you can never be required to take that oath in the name of a deity. That is the law, and it is written in our Constitution that an affirmation is all that is required.

As an atheist, I have affirmed many oaths in my life. I affirmed my oath when I entered the USAF in 1965. I affirmed my oath when I served on my local grand jury in the 1970s for a year. I have affirmed my oath as a juror in three criminal trials. I have affirmed my oath when testifying in court.

I affirm my oath upon my honor, something I take extremely seriously.

I have no problem with anyone taking an oath in the name of the deity they worship. That is their option. Under our Constitution, however, any citizen may simply affirm an oath, however, in any circumstances.

You may not like that, but there it is. I have never betrayed any oath I have affirmed, and never will. I have, however, know those who swore to God that they would not lie in court, yet who have lied blatantly. I give you Clinton as an example.

You may wish that all had to swear in some deity's name, but it simply is not the case. You may question my sincerity in an oath, but that's beside the point. I affirm oaths upon my honor, and will always do so. My history is that I have never violated an oath.
29 posted on 12/18/2003 8:51:50 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: exmarine
"Furthermore, Bush put his hand on a bible when he took the oath - so did Clinton. "

That was his option. He could also have, as President Taylor did, simply affirmed his oath. It's in the Constitution. I suggest a reading of that document.
30 posted on 12/18/2003 8:54:41 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: MineralMan
Oh, I've read it, and I've also read the founders' writings. I suggest you read what the founders wrote about oaths. An oath to oneself isn't an oath at all. You could also read what they wrote about the First Amendment, or you could read the congressional debates on that amendment in the fall of 1789 - strangely, the terms "separation of church and state" is not invoked one time in that 3 month long debate.
31 posted on 12/18/2003 8:57:21 AM PST by exmarine ( sic semper tyrannis)
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To: MineralMan
I never said you HAD TO swear an oath by God. See, we Christians do not try to force people to do things like you atheists. I said the founders believed in it which is undeniable.
32 posted on 12/18/2003 8:59:00 AM PST by exmarine ( sic semper tyrannis)
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To: azhenfud
Without both aspects having equal weight, government could establish and demand a particular "religion" be practiced.

And the religion that is being established is called secular humanism.

33 posted on 12/18/2003 8:59:53 AM PST by highlander_UW
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To: MineralMan
I affirm oaths upon my honor, and will always do so.

An atheist with honor? If there is no god, it can't be wrong to lie or be dishonorable. If there is no god, all things are ultimately permissible.

34 posted on 12/18/2003 9:01:32 AM PST by exmarine ( sic semper tyrannis)
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To: exmarine
"An atheist with honor? If there is no god, it can't be wrong to lie or be dishonorable. If there is no god, all things are ultimately permissible."

Indeed. There is nothing more important to me than my honor. If I give you my word, based on my honor, you may be absolutely certain that I will do what say.

Apparently that honor is sufficient for me to have served in our military, to have held a security clearance of the highest possible nature, and to have never violated any oath I have taken.

Do you not know of Christians who have violated an oath they have taken? I certainly do. It is not the oath that guarantees loyalty, it is the honor of the person taking it.

I needn't have a deity to honor my oaths.
35 posted on 12/18/2003 9:13:51 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: exmarine
Furthermore, Bush put his hand on a bible when he took the oath - so did Clinton.

I am reminded of that "Knowing When To Stop Is A Good Thing" commercial.

36 posted on 12/18/2003 9:15:17 AM PST by steve-b
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To: MineralMan
"Furthermore, Bush put his hand on a bible when he took the oath - so did Clinton. "
That was his option. He could also have, as President Taylor did, simply affirmed his oath. It's in the Constitution. I suggest a reading of that document.

In any case (as I obliquely noted in my previous message), an oath made by someone like Clinton would be worthless if he took it in the name of every god, demigod, spirit, or other supernatural entity ever conceived by the mind of man.

37 posted on 12/18/2003 9:17:40 AM PST by steve-b
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To: exmarine
"Our founders were overwhelmingly slave owners and our founding documents (Constitution and Decl. of Indep.) are imbued with slave owning principles from Christian thinkers such as John Locke, Baron de Montesquieu, William Blackstone, Samuel Rutherford, Hugo Grotius, Samuel de Puffendorf, and many others. Unlike our leaders of today, our founders were extremely well educated and well-read, especially on history and the lessons to be learned from it. The slave owning heritage of American CANNOT BE DENIED with any credulity.

Thanks for playing.

38 posted on 12/18/2003 9:20:25 AM PST by ContemptofCourt
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To: reed_inthe_wind
How about "The ORIGINAL Pledge of Allegiance". Just a thought.
39 posted on 12/18/2003 9:21:20 AM PST by ContemptofCourt
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To: ContemptofCourt
"Our founders were overwhelmingly slave owners and our founding documents (Constitution and Decl. of Indep.) are imbued with slave owning principles from Christian thinkers such as John Locke, Baron de Montesquieu, William Blackstone, Samuel Rutherford, Hugo Grotius, Samuel de Puffendorf, and many others. Unlike our leaders of today, our founders were extremely well educated and well-read, especially on history and the lessons to be learned from it. The slave owning heritage of American CANNOT BE DENIED with any credulity.

Spoken like a true dumb-down, public-edcuated, anti-Christian bigot. Every man has his shortcomings - no one is perfect, but our founders had values, unlike the secular humanists of today. It is because of them that you live in a free country (at least it used to be free), it is because of Christianity that you have freedom.

A few of the founders believed in slavery - it was a blind spot. It was a mistake to defer this issue at the Constitutional Convention, no doubt. But people like you want to DEMONIZE these men for their mistake, while ignoring the fact that they gave you your freedom, while ignoring that fact that it was white Christian men who are responsible for freeing the slaves (beginning with Wilberforce in the UK and ending with the Christian abolition movement in the USA)!

Now, either you are ignorant of history or you hate our country and its heritage. Which is it? Let's play some more so I can expose your bigotry and ignorance!

40 posted on 12/18/2003 9:35:08 AM PST by exmarine ( sic semper tyrannis)
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To: MineralMan
I needn't have a deity to honor my oaths.

True, you don't. However, without a deity, there can be no right and wrong outside of yourself. That makes you a moral relativist.

41 posted on 12/18/2003 9:37:12 AM PST by exmarine ( sic semper tyrannis)
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To: MineralMan
In other words, if an atheist be honest, morals can be nothing more than mere personal preferences and being honorable can be no more noble than being a serial killer.
42 posted on 12/18/2003 9:40:44 AM PST by exmarine ( sic semper tyrannis)
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To: ContemptofCourt
Did you know that California has the most lawyers in the country? And that New Jersey has the most toxic waste dumps? You know why? New Jersey had first pick!

I see from your profile that you are an evil lawyer. No doubt you were educated at one of those paper mills they call law school these days -- where your secular humanist religious belief that laws have no basis in morality, and that the Constitution is a living breathing document and should be rewritten with the changing tide of cultural and moral norms (legal positivism) -- was reinforced and encouraged.

Unfortunately, those "evil lawyers" you listed in your profile would call you a traitor and a miscreant for such views.

43 posted on 12/18/2003 9:46:24 AM PST by exmarine ( sic semper tyrannis)
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To: exmarine
"I needn't have a deity to honor my oaths.
True, you don't. However, without a deity, there can be no right and wrong outside of yourself. That makes you a moral relativist."

Untrue. Morality is equally a philosophical construct. One can justify immorality, even with a deity as the moral source. Certainly we have seen that often enough. One may also have a very strong moral code without any deity involved.

My own moral code is based on a lifetime study of social and religious moral laws. Where all societies and religions share common moral laws, I find the center of my own moral code.

The basis of that code is the Golden Rule, a concept that has been expressed in every religion (many predating even Judaism) and social rule set. It is the only code needed.

I hold this code as strongly as you say you hold your allegiance to the rule set of your deity. I will fight to uphold it, to the death.

Your religious beliefs have no stronger bond for you than that held by me for that moral code.

You're free to think whatever you wish about my morality. However, if I give you my word on something, I promise you that I will keep it.
44 posted on 12/18/2003 9:53:25 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: steve-b
I am reminded of that "Knowing When To Stop Is A Good Thing" commercial.

No big deal. Putting your hand on a bible doesn't make one a Christian any more than going to McDonald's makes one a hamburger. Clinton is no Christian - that can plainly be seen by his actions and his politics. He can build a house from bibles and he would still be a reprobate.

45 posted on 12/18/2003 9:55:32 AM PST by exmarine ( sic semper tyrannis)
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To: steve-b
"In any case (as I obliquely noted in my previous message), an oath made by someone like Clinton would be worthless if he took it in the name of every god, demigod, spirit, or other supernatural entity ever conceived by the mind of man."

Indeed. Any oath, whether taken on the name of a deity, or simply on one's personal honor, is only as strong as the person taking the oath.

I trust my own oaths or affirmations, for I know I will never break them. I trust those of others I know, but somewhat less, and wait for verification. The oath of a stranger to me is worthless without evidence of its sincerity.

That a President or member of Congress takes an oath of office, whether sworn in the name of a deity or not, is little comfort to me, since I have seen such oaths abandoned so many times.
46 posted on 12/18/2003 9:56:37 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: exmarine
Pity that you could not see the point I was trying to make, you mental midget. You epitomize the Freepers that I love to toy with...cant see the forest for the trees.

I am free today not because the founders were Christian, but because the founders tired of religous persecution. Hoooooorahhhhh.

47 posted on 12/18/2003 9:59:58 AM PST by ContemptofCourt
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To: MineralMan
Untrue. Morality is equally a philosophical construct. One can justify immorality, even with a deity as the moral source. Certainly we have seen that often enough. One may also have a very strong moral code without any deity involved.

If God exists, then morality is much more than a philosophical construct, it is a system of universal rights and wrongs that come from the Creator Himself. If God is the moral author, then murder is wrong even if every human on earth says it isn't. Absolute moral principles from God exist independent and irregardless of human belief. On the other hand, moral relativism comes from man, and under such as system, no manmade moral code can logically be superior to any other - they are all equal.

So, you see there are two possible moral systems - absolutism wherein morals are objective and universal and flow directly from the character and person of God; and relativism wherein morals are manmade and are wholly subjective. Under relativism, the words "right" and "wrong" are meaningless as these words suggest an objective moral standard which cannot exist under that system.

48 posted on 12/18/2003 10:00:04 AM PST by exmarine ( sic semper tyrannis)
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To: exmarine
Oh, and just what is a "true patriot," sarge?
49 posted on 12/18/2003 10:01:37 AM PST by ContemptofCourt
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To: ContemptofCourt
I am free today not because the founders were Christian, but because the founders tired of religous persecution. Hoooooorahhhhh.

According to the writings of the founders, morality comes from religion, and so does freedom. We are "endowed by our Creator" (who is that?) with certain "inalienable rights and among these are life, liberty..." - it appears you are wrong again. Freedom comes from God, and the God of our founders was the Christian God. Please keep posting so I can refute your every sentence...I enjoy making bigots look foolish.

50 posted on 12/18/2003 10:02:35 AM PST by exmarine ( sic semper tyrannis)
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