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Perfect John Adams quote showing that Religion has a place in government (Vanity)

Posted on 11/22/2004 8:39:41 PM PST by AVNevis

I was doing reasearch this evening for a debate tournament I am participating in a couple of weeks when I came upon this quote:

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." -John Adams

It seems to me this just nails the aclu argument about separation of church and state. Here we have a founding father stating that the constitution does not work if the people are not moral and religious. It seems to me we should be using this quote much more often in debates with liberals.


TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: adams; churchandstate; debate; founders; founding; foundingfathers; johnadams; moral; morality; quotes; religion
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1 posted on 11/22/2004 8:39:41 PM PST by AVNevis
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Of course the liberals will claim it was fabricated. They can't take the fact that moral men of religion founded the country.


2 posted on 11/22/2004 8:41:22 PM PST by Brian328i
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To: Brian328i
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.
It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
"
-John Adams



"Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith,
but to become dominant. The Qur'an should be the highest authority in America,
and Islam the only accepted religion on earth
"
--Omar Ahmed, Chairman of the Board of CAIR (Council of American Islamic Relations), San Ramon Valley Herald, July 1998

3 posted on 11/22/2004 8:42:52 PM PST by Diogenesis ( Si vis pacem, para bellum)
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To: AVNevis

Well there are some civil states with a democratic tradition that are largely not religious now. So Adams was wrong. Granted, the non religious are living off the capital of religious insights. I certainly do, and I am not religious at all.


4 posted on 11/22/2004 8:44:23 PM PST by Torie
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To: Diogenesis

Sickening huh?


5 posted on 11/22/2004 8:44:43 PM PST by Brian328i
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To: Diogenesis
Did that CAIR guy really say that? If so that is near proof of that Islam really not a peaceful religion. I'll have to look into that quote after I finish preparing for this debate.
6 posted on 11/22/2004 8:44:45 PM PST by AVNevis (Be Thankful for President Bush)
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To: Diogenesis

May the dear Lord help us all.


7 posted on 11/22/2004 8:45:34 PM PST by Paperdoll
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To: Diogenesis
Omar apparently has a cult mentality, and cults are inimical to a pluralistic civil society.
8 posted on 11/22/2004 8:46:56 PM PST by Torie
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To: Torie
No, he wasn't wrong. The great majority of Americians and even the more secular countries that copied our constitution still must have some morals for it to be able to work. And more importantly this quote shows Adams believe religion had a place in government, invalidating the Michal Newdows of the world.
9 posted on 11/22/2004 8:48:09 PM PST by AVNevis (Be Thankful for President Bush)
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To: AVNevis

When a government fails to represent the majority for fear of lawsuits from minorities and can't represent minorities for fear of voters, it ceases to be a government capable of representing anyone.


10 posted on 11/22/2004 8:49:54 PM PST by azhenfud ("He who is always looking up seldom finds others' lost change...")
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To: AVNevis
our constitution still must have some morals for it to be able to work.

Of course. This may shock you, but many non-religious secular types have morals, and make a priori leaps of faith about certain moral precepts (which cannot be validated on rational self interested prudence alone), even if they don't realize it. I happen to realize it, and admit it.

11 posted on 11/22/2004 8:50:50 PM PST by Torie
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To: Torie
Well there are some civil states with a democratic tradition that are largely not religious now. So Adams was wrong. Granted, the non religious are living off the capital of religious insights. I certainly do, and I am not religious at all.

Well, looking at a nation like Belgium - which just banned one of its largest parties - it looks like that capital will only last so long...
12 posted on 11/22/2004 8:51:02 PM PST by swilhelm73 (Dowd wrote that Kerry was defeated by a "jihad" of Christians...Finally a jihad liberals oppose!)
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To: azhenfud
that would make a great quote in itself. Send it to President Bush and get him to say it some sheeple might pay attention.
13 posted on 11/22/2004 8:51:21 PM PST by AVNevis (Be Thankful for President Bush)
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To: AVNevis
In your research, look up the Treaty of Tripoli, article 11: As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

Be prepared (if your opponent is prepared) to defend the "As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion" being taken out of context.

Also, try to understand that our founding fathers believed in deism, and may not have necessarily considered themselves to be Christian. They believed in a higher power called God, and in Natural Law, but were probably not as encumbered by denomination obsession as we are today.
14 posted on 11/22/2004 8:53:28 PM PST by Dalite (If PRO is the opposite of CON, What is the opposite of PROgress? Go Figure....)
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To: swilhelm73
That's interesting. What are the details about that? What major party was banned and why, and on what grounds?

By the way, Belgiums are one of the unhappiest nations on earth, per polls. Maybe it is the tension between the Flemish and the Walloons, I don't know. However, secular Danes are rated the happiest folks on earth.

15 posted on 11/22/2004 8:53:40 PM PST by Torie
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To: Brian328i

Brian328i wrote:
Of course the liberals will claim it was fabricated. They can't take the fact that moral men of religion founded the country.

Ok Brian, so you are saying you have to be religious to have morals? I don't think so. And I don't think religion has any part in our government except as a moral foundation for our leaders in making improtant decisions that may affect the rest of the world. As far as any one religion being recognized by our government, well that's akin to taking away my .45 acp ruger, and you know what'll happen if anyone tries that.


16 posted on 11/22/2004 8:54:07 PM PST by phoenix0468 (One man with courage is a majority. (Thomas Jefferson))
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To: AVNevis
It seems to me we should be using this quote much more often in debates with liberals.

You're right, but what good would it do?

Liberals pick the quotes that suit their purpose, and reject any others. That's what they did with Jefferson's quote about the "wall of separation" to the Danbury pastors.

17 posted on 11/22/2004 8:54:28 PM PST by Noachian (A Democrat, by definition, is a Socialist.)
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To: Dalite

Thanks, but that's not actually the topic. The topic is whether individual claims of privacy come before the greater societal good. I was looking up Adams to hopefully find a quote on that topic and stumbled on this.


18 posted on 11/22/2004 8:55:28 PM PST by AVNevis (Be Thankful for President Bush)
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To: Dalite

Putting aside Jefferson and Franklin, the balance of the key founding fathers were indeed professed Christians, and held Christ in high esteem, although they certainly had a relaxed view about it (no fundamentalists they), and were not afraid to probe and question. In short, they were intellectuals and/or practical men of affairs.


19 posted on 11/22/2004 8:56:59 PM PST by Torie
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To: AVNevis

Have John Adams' remains been dug up and sued by the ACLU yet?


20 posted on 11/22/2004 8:58:30 PM PST by F16Fighter
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To: Torie

(Islam) isn't in America to be equal to any other faith,
but to become dominant. The (Qur'an) should be the highest authority in America, and (Islam) the only accepted religion on earth.

(Christianity) isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The (Bible) should be the highest authority in America, and (Christianity) the only accepted religion on earth.


21 posted on 11/22/2004 8:59:15 PM PST by eagle11
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To: Brian328i
Of course the liberals will claim it was fabricated. They can't take the fact that moral men of religion founded the country.

No, they won't claim it was fabricated. They know he said it. They just don't care. He's a dead white guy... they don't count.

22 posted on 11/22/2004 9:03:29 PM PST by Swordmaker (Tagline now open, please ring bell.)
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To: AVNevis

Why did John Adams have to take a cheap shot at Clinton?


23 posted on 11/22/2004 9:03:55 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: Torie

Which "civil" states are those? Last time I checked the US was about 92% chistian.


24 posted on 11/22/2004 9:04:24 PM PST by scars
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To: eagle11

The happy thing though is that most Christians in America really don't accept the second paragraph in their hearts, even if that is in the fine print of the religion. Most Christians are live and let live folks, who respect and protect the right of each individual to find they own way. Indeed, only if acceptance of Christ is wholly voluntary and genuine, made by a sentient adult, is it something in which to rejoice. That is my sense of it, as one who has not traveled that path.


25 posted on 11/22/2004 9:06:50 PM PST by Torie
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To: scars

chistian=christian


26 posted on 11/22/2004 9:07:09 PM PST by scars
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To: scars

Most of Western Europe, and Taiwan come to mind.


27 posted on 11/22/2004 9:07:58 PM PST by Torie
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To: Torie

I'm sorry, I was thinking of home. Point well taken.


28 posted on 11/22/2004 9:09:26 PM PST by scars
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To: AVNevis
Here's another one for your arsenal from President George Washington:

"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. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. 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."
29 posted on 11/22/2004 9:13:12 PM PST by so_real (It's all about sharing the Weather)
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To: AVNevis
It's a great quote, but there's one problem:

Liberals don't like John Adams.

30 posted on 11/22/2004 9:13:32 PM PST by cicero's_son
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To: AVNevis

If you want more material than you can possibly use...

http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/


31 posted on 11/22/2004 9:16:32 PM PST by GoLightly
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To: Torie

---Most of Western Europe, and Taiwan come to mind.---

And Japan and South Korea and others, but given the history of the last century the jury is still out on the lot.


32 posted on 11/22/2004 9:19:30 PM PST by claudiustg (Go Sharon! Go Bush!)
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To: Torie

My point is that both religions are missionary, they seek converts all over the world. However, in much of the world, Islam is influenced by militants that equate converting others to conquest and enslavement. I still believe that enough Muslims don't accept this, and now in places like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan moderate intellectuals and feminists are starting to challenge the radicals. I have no doubt that Bush's hardline stance on terrorism and the Afghan elections have alot to do with this trend.


33 posted on 11/22/2004 9:19:40 PM PST by eagle11
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To: AVNevis; phoenix0468; Torie; B4Ranch; Joe Brower

Adams was one of the more devout among our Founding Fathers. As it turned out we needed the religious zealots and the skeptics alike to form our government. They created a sound balance to one another. In any case, there was a lot of discussion that went on outside of the Constitution. What went into the Constitution is what became our law. The states themselves adopted similar injunctions against religious establishment, including the state of Alabama.

A land which needs to declare the religious beliefs of its citizens through government is a land either gripped by tyranny or fear. We would be both if we suddenly had to announce our religion from Washington DC. It would automatically exclude a lot of people from the right to government with representation. It would also strike fear into many more, many who know the true history of the Reformation and the secular causes for religious civil war.

The Enlightenment freed us to follow our own beliefs in private while using reason and persuasion to establish our laws. The Founding Fathers as well as being mainly Christian were also the best political students of the Enlightenment we know. And they knew better than to establish a state religion or even found this nation on a particular religion. They knew that it was the people whose own beliefs would matter. John Adams does not contradict that argument in any way.

The right defense against Islamism is to remove it from America. Its stated purpose of a religious state is in direct opposition to our Constitution; in fact, it is tantamount to open sedition. The right defense of religious liberty is to keep religion and government separate. We are a nation of laws, not men. Men have their beliefs. The law stands on reason. Any law that doesn't belongs to those who follow them without explanation. And yes, most of the 10 commandments have logical, well-reasoned meanings that we can use to convince each other are just.

In fact, the second amendment, based on our sacred, inalienable right to self-defense, is a far superior protection of religious freedom than any addition we could make to our Constitution today. Never forget that. The minute you do will be the minute someone, somewhere begings to scheme a way to announce your religious beliefs for you. Quite in opposition to what the contemporary liberals believe, arms are the Enlightenment's best friend. They are also the Christian's best friend, as the Swiss proved in their early role in the Reformation.


34 posted on 11/22/2004 9:20:10 PM PST by risk
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To: Torie
Well there are some civil states with a democratic tradition that are largely not religious now. So Adams was wrong.

For the time being, at least.

35 posted on 11/22/2004 9:21:07 PM PST by cicero's_son
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To: so_real

Wow, I had to read that three times to make sense of it, but when I got through the flowerly prose, I agreed 100%. He must have really knocked the socks off those 18th century folks.


36 posted on 11/22/2004 9:22:29 PM PST by scars
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To: AVNevis
Noted your later post (#18) stating that this was not the topic of your debate, but should you want to pursue this topic in your research, might I suggest checking out "The Light and the Glory" by Peter Marshall and David Manuel. Bunches of good info (documented) that among other things debunks the oft mentioned platitude that the founding fathers were only deists and has been posted here...
37 posted on 11/22/2004 9:28:11 PM PST by NoCmpromiz (If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague...)
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To: risk

While I don't agree with or question, or wonder about, some of the points in you post, it is so well crafted and written, that I am just going to let it stand as is. Good job.


38 posted on 11/22/2004 9:28:16 PM PST by Torie
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To: risk

excellent post risk


39 posted on 11/22/2004 9:28:55 PM PST by phoenix0468 (One man with courage is a majority. (Thomas Jefferson))
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To: scars
Wow, I had to read that three times to make sense of it, but when I got through the flowerly prose, I agreed 100%. He must have really knocked the socks off those 18th century folks.

He was an amazing orator wasn't he! However, I must honestly say I believe that speech would only shock *our* contemporaries. Washington's contemporaries shared in his beliefs. In fact, in the same speech he addresses his fellow citizens saying: "With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles."

I'm glad you liked the quote. If you'd like the whole speech, click here.
40 posted on 11/22/2004 9:32:13 PM PST by so_real (It's all about sharing the Weather)
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To: cicero's_son
Liberals don't like John Adams.

Umm... Liberals don't like the Founding Fathers (with the possible exception of Jefferson quoted out of context.)

(A text without context is usually pretext...)

41 posted on 11/22/2004 9:34:00 PM PST by NoCmpromiz (If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague...)
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To: risk

You are soooo right. The second amendment is the ultimate "check and balance".


42 posted on 11/22/2004 9:36:48 PM PST by scars
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To: Dalite
You are entirely misinformed about the Founders as was I. John Adams, Samuel Adams, and Patrick Henry were the rule not the exception when it comes to the Christianity of the Founders.

I would refer you to books of history on that topic using the Founders' own words. 'Original Intent' by David Barton is one.

43 posted on 11/22/2004 9:36:53 PM PST by 22cal (Forgiven, not perfected)
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To: Dalite
Also, try to understand that our founding fathers believed in deism, and may not have necessarily considered themselves to be Christian. They believed in a higher power called God, and in Natural Law, but were probably not as encumbered by denomination obsession as we are today.

I am getting a little tired of this canard. The truth is that calling "the founding fathers" Deists is flat out wrong. A small number of them may have been undefined "deists" but the vast majority of them were Christians of various denominations. In fact, only THREE of the founding fathers professed "Deism" as a faith... which was mostly undefined and most likely represented a way to avoid claiming one faith or denomination over another but to also say "I believe in God".

The record is clear:

The denominational affiliations of these men were a matter of public record. Among the {55] delegates {to the Constitutional Convention} were 28 Episcopalians, 8 Presbyterians, 7 Congregationalists, 2 Lutherans, 2 Dutch Reformed, 2 Methodists, 2 Roman Catholics, 1 unknown, and only 3 deists--Williamson, Wilson, and Franklin--this at a time when church membership entailed a sworn public confession of biblical faith.

Sectarianism was rampant in the period with mostly friendly rivalry until it came down to matters of doctrine... and then amity was tossed out and disputes often escalated to violence. The formation of the new nation REQUIRED that there be no established religion... or there would have BEEN NO NATION as you would not have gotten the minority denominations to agree to become episcopalians. They agreed to set aside their religious disagreements, not deny them, to form the new nation. They agreed they all believed in God... which might be called a generic "Deism."

The claim that "The Founding Fathers" were Deists is plainly untrue when it is used to imply that they were not Christians. It is, however, true when it is understood that all Christian denominations are a subset of deism, the belief in God.

44 posted on 11/22/2004 9:37:02 PM PST by Swordmaker (Tagline now open, please ring bell.)
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To: so_real; B4Ranch; phoenix0468; Torie; AVNevis
"With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles." --George Washington's farewell speech in 1796

And yet we are told every day by the TV, our public school boards, our politicians, our newspapers, and culturewar.org websites that diversity is our new Holy Grail.

Diversity is something to manage, not encourage. We can manage it well if we aren't force-fed it.

45 posted on 11/22/2004 9:38:25 PM PST by risk
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To: risk
Diversity is something to manage, not encourage. We can manage it well if we aren't force-fed it.

Another great line. However, good management is all about the paticulars. It is not for the lazy, or the sound byte types.

46 posted on 11/22/2004 9:43:49 PM PST by Torie
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To: Torie

Good management would start with enforcing our current immigration laws, and establishing much smaller third world limits.


47 posted on 11/22/2004 9:49:26 PM PST by risk
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To: NoCmpromiz
Bunches of good info (documented) that among other things debunks the oft mentioned platitude that the founding fathers were only deists and has been posted here...

Check out my post 44 for some of those specifics.

48 posted on 11/22/2004 9:51:07 PM PST by Swordmaker (Tagline now open, please ring bell.)
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To: Torie
While I don't agree with or question, or wonder about, some of the points in you post...

II think I'm missing an opportunity.

49 posted on 11/22/2004 9:55:38 PM PST by risk
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To: risk

Smaller third world limits? Please expain.


50 posted on 11/22/2004 9:56:54 PM PST by scars
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