Should religion play a role in politics?
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Cisco Kid

Clements, CA

#230 Oct 15, 2013
Big Al wrote:
<quoted text>
Nor would I want a government that would deny anyone their right to believe or not believe as their conscience dictates. However the problem is that history has shown that religious liberty is denied when one particular religion is allowed to "infect" government. Neither government "infecting" religion nor religion "infecting" is a good thing; hence Jefferson's "wall of separation" between church and state.

"Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights." -- Thomas Jefferson, to the Virginia Baptists (1808)
I agree, the USA is a secular nation, albeit built on Judeo-Christian principles. There should be freedom of, and respect for, all religions and those persons abstaining.

You did give me a chuckle with your comment;
"However the problem is that history has shown that religious liberty is denied when one particular religion is allowed to "infect" government."

Surely you must be aware that currently over 50% of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches of the Federal Government is controlled by Catholics.
With the remaining balance being nearly all Protestant and Jewish persons.

But the Separation of Church and State clause is sound and since no-one can possibly speak with more authority on this subject than George Washington himself, here is what he said in the Farewell Address to the Congress and to the people of America; and his guidance deserves to be put in front of all the others' opinions:

"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 labour to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men & citizens.
The mere Politician, equally with the pious man ought to respect & to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private & 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 & experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

'Tis substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.
The rule indeed extends with more or less force to every species of Free Government. Who that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric.“

http://gwpapers.virginia.edu/documents/farewe...
Cisco Kid

Clements, CA

#231 Oct 15, 2013
Jammercolo wrote:
<quoted text>
Hmmm, Thomas Jefferson also rewrote the bible. Jesus without the Miracles!!! He called it “The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth.”
In this book, he kept the words of Jesus and some of his deeds, but left out the miracles and any suggestion that Jesus is God. The virgin birth is gone. So is Jesus walking on water, multiplying the loaves and fishes, and raising Lazarus from the dead. Jefferson’s version ends with Jesus’ burial on Good Friday. There is no resurrection, no Easter Sunday. Jefferson called this version “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.”
“Question with boldness even the existence of a God,” he urged his nephew, Peter Carr, in 1787,“because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.”
See more at: http://thehumanist.org/march-april-2012/the-b...
You've made a couple of Mistakes there Jammer.

First, it is incorrect to say Jefferson "rewrote" The Bible, he simply edited out some parts of the synoptic gospels and was left dissatisfied with what he had remaining.

Secondly, history does indeed prove Jefferson a Christian.
Conservative scholars such as David Barton point out how Jefferson was a pious orthodox Christian.

(Barton, David. The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You've Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson (2012, Thomas Nelson)

In an 1803 letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Jefferson declared that "I am a Christian," though his view of Christianity was different from most:

"I then promised you that one day or other I would give you my views of the Christian religion. They are the result of a life of inquiry and reflection, and very different from that anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed, but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others, ascribing to himself every human excellence, and believing he never claimed any other."

“Invisible Pink Unicorn”

Since: May 08

Location hidden

#232 Oct 15, 2013
Cisco Kid wrote:
<quoted text>
You've made a couple of Mistakes there Jammer.
First, it is incorrect to say Jefferson "rewrote" The Bible, he simply edited out some parts of the synoptic gospels and was left dissatisfied with what he had remaining.
Secondly, history does indeed prove Jefferson a Christian.
Conservative scholars such as David Barton point out how Jefferson was a pious orthodox Christian.
(Barton, David. The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You've Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson (2012, Thomas Nelson)
In an 1803 letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Jefferson declared that "I am a Christian," though his view of Christianity was different from most:
"I then promised you that one day or other I would give you my views of the Christian religion. They are the result of a life of inquiry and reflection, and very different from that anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed, but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others, ascribing to himself every human excellence, and believing he never claimed any other."
No problem, Thomas Jefferson was a Christians. A Christians that did not believe in supernatural events such as miracles, the inerrancy of scriptures, or the Trinity. AKA god does not make volcanoes erupt to kill people that piss him(god)off. That not much of a Christian in my book.

In simplest terms Thomas Jefferson believe god set up the laws of the universe and that the end of god involvement.
Big Al

Hibbing, MN

#233 Oct 16, 2013
Cisco Kid wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree, the USA is a secular nation, albeit built on Judeo-Christian principles. There should be freedom of, and respect for, all religions and those persons abstaining.
You did give me a chuckle with your comment;
"However the problem is that history has shown that religious liberty is denied when one particular religion is allowed to "infect" government."
Surely you must be aware that currently over 50% of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches of the Federal Government is controlled by Catholics.
With the remaining balance being nearly all Protestant and Jewish persons.
But the Separation of Church and State clause is sound and since no-one can possibly speak with more authority on this subject than George Washington himself, here is what he said in the Farewell Address to the Congress and to the people of America; and his guidance deserves to be put in front of all the others' opinions:
"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 labour to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men & citizens.
The mere Politician, equally with the pious man ought to respect & to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private & 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 & experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
'Tis substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.
The rule indeed extends with more or less force to every species of Free Government. Who that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric.“
http://gwpapers.virginia.edu/documents/farewe...
George Washington was also a resident of the colony of Virginia where the Anglican (Episcopalian) religion was required by law.

"The law of the land from 1624 mandated that white Virginians worship in the Anglican church (Church of England) and support its upkeep with their taxes." - The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

George Wasigton also said...

"There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness." - George Washington, address to Congress, 8 January, 1790

And...

"Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause." - George Washington, letter to Sir Edward Newenham, June 22, 1792
Big Al

Hibbing, MN

#234 Oct 16, 2013
Cisco Kid wrote:
<quoted text>
You've made a couple of Mistakes there Jammer.
First, it is incorrect to say Jefferson "rewrote" The Bible, he simply edited out some parts of the synoptic gospels and was left dissatisfied with what he had remaining.
Secondly, history does indeed prove Jefferson a Christian.
Conservative scholars such as David Barton point out how Jefferson was a pious orthodox Christian.
(Barton, David. The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You've Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson (2012, Thomas Nelson)
In an 1803 letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Jefferson declared that "I am a Christian," though his view of Christianity was different from most:
"I then promised you that one day or other I would give you my views of the Christian religion. They are the result of a life of inquiry and reflection, and very different from that anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed, but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others, ascribing to himself every human excellence, and believing he never claimed any other."
You are obviouly unaware of the fact that the anti-Christian system that Jefferson was referring to in his 1803 letter to Benjamin Rush was your system of Christianity.

Jefferson certainly had respect for the man (not "God") Jesus but was reluctant to discuss the specifics of his beliefs.

"I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know." --  letter to Ezra Stiles Ely (June 25, 1819)

Most historians think Jefferson was more of a Deist or Unitarian. He most certainly did not believe all of supernatural claims of Christians like youself.

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." -- , letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

"The priests of the different religious sects ... dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight, and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subdivision of the duperies on which they live." -- letter to Correa de Serra, April 11, 1820,

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