My whole view is that America is a christian nation given that the predominant religion is christianity and our the majority of our traditions are christian in origin. However, our constitution is explicitly secular. Our founding documents go out of their way to exclude religion from government.
The way I look at it is to compare a christian group to a non-christian group. The AFL/CIO labor union may very well be predominantly christian in membership, but does that make it a christian organization like the Salvation Army? No. The goal of the AFL/CIO is to look out for the rights of workers, among other things. The goal of the labor union is not to push evangelize or proselytize. The Salvation Army does evangelize and proselytize to those it helps. I would also guess that the rules within the AFL/CIO prevent a religious test for membership, much like our government. At the same time do the religious beliefs of the members within the AFL/CIO color their decisions? Probably so.
Also, I have always found it curious that the Ten Commandments expressly forbid the worship of any other deity besides the God of the Bible and yet our constitution says that we can worship whomever we want.
I'm a Christian and my beliefs definitely affect my decisions. However, I'm glad that there is something in place to restrict my decisions from adversely affecting someone else on a purely religious basis.
I am an atheist, and I can wholeheartedly agree with you here. I have absolutely no problem with people basing their own personal decisions on their personal religious beliefs.
As Otto Ellick put it in msg 33:
quote:Laws must not be based solely on religious doctrine -- each law must have a motivation and purpose that allow it to stand on its own in the face of rational and objective scrutiny, without appeal to supernatural causation or scriptural exegesis. (I don't know if this is from Otto or was quoted from a different source by Otto)
That hits the nail on the head. IMHO, this is exactly what the Declaration of Independence was speaking of. America wanted to separate itself from Divine Right rule and replace it with a government based on reason. From the DoI preamble:
quote:When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
This is speaking to the idea that one can use reason to determine a moral form of government. The reference to "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" is a direct reference to Deist ideals based on such philosophers as Locke and Paine. It is a sharp departure from rule by Divine Right. No longer was "I am God's annointed" a reason for law. Reason is now the source of law.
At the same time, this does not mean that laws derived from a theological view are wrong. Rather, a law is judged independently of the source.
America is christian more then any other nation in human history in passion and results from that in character and intellect and soul.
Talk about a revisionist history. Ever hear of the Holy Roman Empire? When they conquered the Visigoths they gave them two choices: convert to christianity or die. Many chose death. When America invades other countries and converts at the end of a gun then it will top the HRE. Until then, you need to stop smoking whatever it is you are smoking.
The fact of the matter is that christianity is the predominant religion in the US. However, our government was founded as a secular government and continues to be a secular government. We are no more a christian nation than we are a Santa Claus nation or a Bigfoot nation. Our personal beliefs, or lack thereof, have nothing to do with how this country acts as a government.
Yet its a very Puritan/Protestant people in heart and soul and mind.
With the emmigration of Latinos is has taken on a much stronger Catholic flavor. Also, church attendance has been dropping for quite a while. In my opinion, America is slowly taking on the secular attitudes that many European nations have adopted.
Christianity is the great difference between America and the world.
Hardly. The great differences are our money, resources, and military. Economically and militarily, we are the 900 lb. gorilla (and sometimes act the same). In some ways, the EU is an effort to match US economic strength and an emerging Chinese economy.
Your myopic religious views are blinding you to the larger world and how the US really fits in.
I know the founding fathers didn't put it on the money, that's a strawman arguement. I meant "we" as in "the country as it is now". If I meant the founding fathers I would have said "they". The fact remains that is *IS* there on our money and if God didn't exist then our money would be worthless because trust is the foundation of an IOU, which is what money basically is. Obviously America is christian enough for the money system to work.
Wow. If this is an insight into the economic views of conservatives then this is REALLY scary. I guess they never heard of credit ratings? Or what really backs a currency (hint: it isn't a magical guy in the sky)?
I agree about not institutionalizing Christianity. But I guess the question is, what's the difference between what you mentioned, and having taught as undeniable fact to impressionable young minds the theory of Evolution or the Big Bang, both of which are frankly opinions, and using tax dollars to do so?
Neither are opinions. They are well evidenced scientific theories that have proven to be invaluable in doing scientific research. Therefore, there is an undeniable secular use for teaching these two theories. The only people who don't want them taught are doing so because of their religious beliefs, not because of evidence. To not teach something purely because of religious beliefs, and without any secular reason whatsoever, is a clear violation of the Lemon Test (see post above).
What is the difference between teaching children about homosexual role models as the gay rights movement is having done in states across the U.S.?
Can you tell us why it is wrong to teach children not to discriminate against people for being different than they are? Or does your God based morality not have a place for kindness towards others? I would hazard a guess that the Good Samaritan parable was as controversial within the Jewish community as the gay rights issue you are trying to push. Perhaps you should think about that.