View Poll Results: Is America a Christian nation?

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Thread: Is America a Christian Nation?

  1. #211
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    Re: Is America a Christian Nation?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark View Post
    Why?

    It is a clear distinction, as I understand the situation.

    So how do you equate the two?

    Please explain.
    A nation of Christians is a Christain nation. The nation is the people. The nation is not the government or its structure. The "nation" is the people. just look at the "Cherokee Nation". Their "nation" was not a defined boundary or system of rules, it was the people.
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    Re: Is America a Christian Nation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    A nation of Christians is a Christian nation. The nation is the people. The nation is not the government or its structure. The "nation" is the people. Just look at the "Cherokee Nation". Their "nation" was not a defined boundary or system of rules, it was the people.
    I was thinking over my statement for a few minutes while I was away for 2 days...

    I think my original statement of "a nation of Christians, not a Christian nation" was misleading.

    What I was attempting to say by that is: "The US is not a Christian nation, but a nation with Christians in it".

    In that statement, the distinction is, IMO, clear.

    I can see how you would think my previous statement redundant/contradictory.

    Further, after reading the intervening discussion between Tucker and Zyphlin, I would say that calling the US a nation might be stretching it.

    However, in disagreement with Tucker, I think that a vague sense of "nationhood" exists for the US as a whole.

    Perhaps not at the level he would consider a "nation", but...
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    Re: Is America a Christian Nation?

    It's a shame that so many Americans have little or no understanding of why we fought the American Revolutionary War. Crown rule at that time meant absolute tyranny under a Monarchy that was hostile to what was wholesome and necessary for the public good. The inhabitants of the original thirteen colonies were denied protection unless they agreed to relinquish the right of representation, which is something that many Americans take for granted. We enjoy a representative government, and in spite of it's faults and corruption, our legislative bodies do not exist under a threat of being dissolved for not being in agreement with a supreme ruler.

    Fundamentalist Christians throughout the nation work hard through many different venues to try and convince us that the founding fathers intended to establish this country on “biblical principles”. History simply does not support this. It wasn't just about taxes, either. As the Declaration so aptly states, it was about being deprived of such things as the benefits of trial by jury, for taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms government without any input from the people. It was about the Crown suspending it’s own legislatures and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate in all cases whatsoever. It was about the ability of the Monarchy to wage war on it’s own citizens and, without reservation, to plunder our seas, ravage our coasts, burn our towns, and destroy the lives of our ancestors without any judicial or legislative regulation.

    The list of charges levied toward the Monarchy, and specifically King George III, in the body of the Declaration of Independence are numerous and largely unknown by our own citizenry. The crimes against humanity that were committed by the Crown were egregious and many. But instead of recognizing the Declaration of Independence as an important document stating our insistence to individual freedom and a government of the people, by the people and for the people, it has been relegated by the religious right as a weapon to promote their desire to bring the United States to a form of government that is almost identical to the one we originally fought so hard to be free of.

    The sole purpose of the Declaration was to “dissolve the political bands”, not to set up a religious nation. Its authority is based on the idea that “governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”, which is contrary to the biblical concept of the Theocracy that the Religious Right and people like Palin, Buchanan and the rest of the Tea Partiers would impose upon us.

    A vast majority of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence were not bible-believing Christians and the document that governs our Nation, our Constitution, was specifically drafted as a secular document and very purposely begins with “We the people”. We are the only nation on the planet to have a completely secular constitution, and this is why it purposely does not contain any mention of God, especially Christianity. Its only references to religion are exclusionary and the very first amendment made to our constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. In fact, the presidential oath of office, the only oath detailed in the Constitution, does not contain the phrase “so help me God” or any requirement to swear on a bible

    The 1797 Treaty with Tripoli declares that “the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion” and was written under Washington’s presidency and approved by the Senate under John Adams. In fact, the author of the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson, was a Deist and vehemently opposed to orthodox Christianity, as well as the supernatural. The famous quote of Thomas Jefferson, which includes the phrase “a wall of separation between church and state” was part of a letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1802. They had asked President Jefferson to explain the First Amendment, to which he replied, “the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions”.

    Our government has no right to promulgate religion. The Supreme and lower courts have used Jefferson’s “wall of separation” phrase repeatedly in major decisions upholding neutrality in matters of religion. In 1971, referencing the Lemon v. Kurtzman decision, the Supreme Court forged what is known as the “Three Part Lemon Test” to determine if a law is permissible under the First-Amendment religion clause.

    1. A law must have a secular purpose.
    2. It must have a primary effect which neither advances nor inhibits religion.
    3. It must avoid excessive entanglement of church and state.

    While I am at it, those billboards that are popping up all over the country that exclude “Under God” from a portion of the Pledge of Allegiance are very patriotic and true to the principles that our country was founded upon, which is contrary to the propaganda being distributed by the Religious Right, most of the GOP and just about all of the Tea Baggers. The United States of America is NOT "one nation under God", but one nation under a Constitution. The Declaration of Independence served an honorable purpose and paved the way for the drafting of our Constitution, which was immediately and specifically amended with the Bill of Rights to uphold individual and minority rights. The fact that a majority of our citizens are Christian does not make us a Christian nation and on constitutional matters there is no majority rule. The majority has no right to tyrannize the minority on matters such as race, gender, or religious belief or the lack of religious belief. The wisest policy is the constitutional one, and that is neutrality.

    The Religious Right are behaving like petulant, spoiled children. Nobody is deprived of worship in America. Tax-exempt religious organizations are everywhere. The state has almost no say about private religious beliefs and practices. The Christian Fundamentalists are behaving just like the Monarchy was in the Revolutionary War days and they cannot even see it because they are blinded by their own ignorance. They seem to have forgotten that the “due process” 14th Amendment assures no public official from the governor all the way down to the public school employee may violate the human rights embodied in our Constitution. At every level, the government must respect the separation of church and state.

    Those who believe that our laws are based on the Ten Commandments would do well to crack open a bible and see that the first four Commandments are religious edicts having nothing to do with law or ethical behavior. Only three (homicide, theft, and perjury) are relevant to current American law, and have existed in cultures long before the fictional character of Moses was invented. It’s ironic that during this recession if we honored the commandment against “coveting”, it would cause our entire economy to completely collapse.

    Our secular laws are based on the secular humanist principle of “justice for all” and they provide protection against crimes that our secular government enforces through a secular criminal justice system. The religious fanatics are ignoring history, law and fairness in their efforts to turn America into the Christian nation that it never was. Fundamentalist Christians would like nothing more than to deny the constitutional freedoms that are guaranteed to all Americans, including non-Christian religious minorities and unbelievers. What they refuse to acknowledge is that history shows that only harm comes of uniting church and state. The actions of the collective Religious Right are mirroring the tyranny of 18th century British Monarchy. This only proves that ignorance of history results in it’s repetition.

    America has never been a Christian nation. It was not founded on Christian or Biblical principles. The founding fathers were not all Christians. We are and must remain, at all costs, a free nation. Anne Gaylor, president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, points out: “There can be no religious freedom without the freedom to dissent.” As Americans, we must continue to uphold the principles of individual freedom that our country was founded upon. As Atheists, we must work against the real enemies of the state, those who would see our great Nation transformed into a Theocracy.

    There is no room in our government for the arrogance of religion and the doctrine that a “chosen few” who walk some ridiculous “narrow path” are responsible for what this Nation is, nor that our problems have anything to do with a lack of religious belief by any of our Citizens. The blessings we enjoy as Americans do not come from an imaginary skydaddy, but from the guarantees that are set forth in our secular constitution, which was the outcome of our declaration of independence. We are a secular nation.
    Last edited by UAF; 07-10-10 at 04:04 PM.
    Al Stefanelli, founder, United Atheist Front - Since 2005

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    Re: Is America a Christian Nation?

    Well, that was masterfully written by Al Stefanelli. Save for the fact of his inability to seemingly understand that a nation is not defined by its government nor by its founders.

    Do you have any, I don't know, ORIGINAL thought you'd like to add?
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    In fact, I would wager to you that within 10 years of today's date that stupid MAGA hat will be registered as a symbol of hate on par with a Swastika.
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    Re: Is America a Christian Nation?

    Zyphlin, those ARE my thoughts. I am Al Stefanelli. I am the author of those comments, the founder of the UAF (United Atheist Front) and am not in the habit of using someone else's words.

    If you insist on a link to my own work, here are two that I pulled from:

    http://alstefanelli.wordpress.com/20...gious-holiday/

    http://www.examiner.com/x-57388-Birm...igious-Holiday

    While I thank you for the compliments, I do have the ability to understand that a nation is not defined by it's government or it's founders. But our consititution assures us that we are not defined by the majority religious belief of our citizens, which makes us a secular nation. The point was to prove that we are not a Christian nation, but a nation that has Christian citizens, along with many other variations.

    I've updated my signature to include my name in order to avoid any future questions about what I post being my original work, and I will include a link if it will help.
    Last edited by UAF; 07-10-10 at 05:14 PM. Reason: Signature clarification
    Al Stefanelli, founder, United Atheist Front - Since 2005

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    Re: Is America a Christian Nation?

    I've known Mr. Stefanelli for years. I invited him to this forum because I knew he'd have a lot to add, and he'd write it well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Well, that was masterfully written by Al Stefanelli. Save for the fact of his inability to seemingly understand that a nation is not defined by its government nor by its founders.

    Do you have any, I don't know, ORIGINAL thought you'd like to add?

  7. #217
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    Re: Is America a Christian Nation?

    I felt it necessary to post this.


    Not sure why, though...
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  8. #218
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    Re: Is America a Christian Nation?

    Quote Originally Posted by UAF View Post
    Zyphlin, those ARE my thoughts. I am Al Stefanelli. I am the author of those comments, the founder of the UAF (United Atheist Front) and am not in the habit of using someone else's words.

    If you insist on a link to my own work, here are two that I pulled from:

    Independence Day Is Not A Religious Holiday Al Stefanelli

    Independence Day is not a religious holiday

    While I thank you for the compliments, I do have the ability to understand that a nation is not defined by it's government or it's founders. But our consititution assures us that we are not defined by the majority religious belief of our citizens, which makes us a secular nation. The point was to prove that we are not a Christian nation, but a nation that has Christian citizens, along with many other variations.

    I've updated my signature to include my name in order to avoid any future questions about what I post being my original work, and I will include a link if it will help.
    Thank you for the clarification. My apologizes for the suggestion previously then concerning the work. Its nice to see for once such a situation happens and it actually IS the persons own words

    In regards to your further explanation regarding nations, I'd suggest reading through the thread, you may find some interesting discussion on both sides of what you're discussing. I've come to the general belief over time that the notion of suggesting that we're a heavily christian nation, or a nation made up primarily of christians, or a predominantly christian nation, would be better descriptions than suggesting we are "A christian nation". However I would contend that the constitution is relatively meaningless in regards to this, as the constitution is specifically a document regarding the rules of GOVERNMENT and would thus have little affect in control what kind of nation the PEOPLE are. The DOI however would have more substance to it.
    Quote Originally Posted by MrWonka View Post
    In fact, I would wager to you that within 10 years of today's date that stupid MAGA hat will be registered as a symbol of hate on par with a Swastika.
    "One of the greatest human failings is to prefer to be right than to be effective" - Stephen Fry

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    Re: Is America a Christian Nation?

    Quote Originally Posted by ads1981 View Post
    I've known Mr. Stefanelli for years. I invited him to this forum because I knew he'd have a lot to add, and he'd write it well.
    His post was well reasoned, extensive, and well thought out. A lot of times in the past when that happens with someone with under 5 posts its copied and pasted from somewhere else on the net. Its nice to see this time it came from the actual original speaker.

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    Re: Is America a Christian Nation?

    Quote Originally Posted by UAF View Post
    The sole purpose of the Declaration was to “dissolve the political bands”, not to set up a religious nation. Its authority is based on the idea that “governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”, which is contrary to the biblical concept of the Theocracy that the Religious Right and people like Palin, Buchanan and the rest of the Tea Partiers would impose upon us.
    As if the religious left is any better. Liberation theology is the black equivalent of Christian Identity and is just as (if not more) dangerous to individual liberty as the evangelicals.

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