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I think that people of diverse religions, as well as the non-religious, would be much happier in each other's presence if we all examined our temptations to think of ourselves as martyred because we are surrounded by the "other". Christians do this, and athiests do, too. It wouldn't take long to gather a long lists of complaints from news outlets and blogs where folks are frustrated because they generalize that "Christian beliefs are always picked on, and Muslim beliefs aren't", or "athiest views aren't respected, and religious views are". It would be more profitable to realize that both athiest and christian beliefs and practices are protected more securely now in America than anywhere else and [arguably] at any other time in history. It wasn't that long ago in Europe when you would be burned at the stake for professing athiesm, or sent to the guillotine for professing christianity. Nowadays, the worst anyone could think of doing to you because they don't respect your beliefs would be to ridicule you in a letter to the editor. What privilege we all have! I'm certainly glad I can hear athiests and christians vent their frustrations about other people's beliefs here in this forum, but I ought to examine myself before I consider how my beliefs are treated as somehow unfair. I also ought to consider this when I think of someone else as "bigoted" simply because they take their own beliefs to be superior to others'. After all, if I didn't believe my opinions and beliefs were right, I wouldn't hold them! Once I can engage someone in civil conversation who I know to possess different beliefs, and not hold contempt for them when I consider that they believe I'm wrong for holding different beliefs, I have taken a big step toward truly respecting them as well as their beliefs.
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Chris: Your post made me remember something from decades ago, when the group of exchange students that came that year included a very opinionated young German lad. I'm no psychologist, but it seemed VERY important to this boy that he point out the "superiority" of "the way it's done in Germany" to the way he found it done in the USA ! It got to be a kind of litany with all of us that year-------"Not 'superior' and not "inferior", or "better" or "worse" -------- JUST DIFFERENT!
I've been thinking of getting a couple of T-shirts made up with the photo of planet Earth that the astronauts took from space, and the words "There's NO "Us" and "Them"----it's ALL US, folks!"
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I can't let Brandon shoulder the responsibility for the appologizing for Christians who have forgotten one of Jesus' two greatest commandments. I'm tlaking about he one that states, "Love your neighbor as yourself". I too am sorry for how you have been treated by my brothers and sisters, who should know better.
My problem has been the same as yours from the other side of divide. Where I live, letting people know that I'm a Christian opens me and my family to the same type of attack that you and your children have faced. My training for my sons and that I adhere to is to let my conduct speak for me and I don't argue about my beliefs. I practice my beliefs openly and willingly answer questions but I don't push my belief on others.
I recommend that you teach your children not to argue with others about what they believe. When challenged, they just need to state their position, and refuse to argue about it. At the same time, they should let the challenger know that it is OK with them if they believe differently.
Again, I am sorry that you and yours have been attacked for your beliefs.
In response to the original message, from a Christian standpoint, there is all kind of evil in the world - by Christians and non-Chrisitans alike. It is one sided to say that there are Chrisitians sitting in a jail cell and non-believers are doctors, medics, or other important personnel. It is just as realistic that things are the other way around as well.
If your daughter decided to sing a song regarding her non-belief, and did not get the same ovation as another student who sang about God, it is only an opposition to the belief, not your daughter, thar stops the applause. We are commanded not to love anything above our God, and that is the reason for the difference in the response. In this regard, I hope you will remember that not all Christians are as Christ like as they claim, and there are false believers around as much as their are true believers. Anybody who may judge your daughter based on her song are as wrong as those who would boo or in any other way defame your daughter. Just as we are taught to love our God, we are also taught to love our neighbor, AND it is not our place to judge or discredit anybody in any way. However, I would not be surprised if somebody talked to your family about Jesus after the show, because once again, we are called to love our God above all others - and though you may not view this as an act of kindness or love, I hope you can see that from the Christians standpoint, it is. I (we) feel that the eternal life of your soul is worth talking with you about. Like I said, I know you do not view it as such, but from where I come from, it is. Even if you do not believe it, be kind to the person who approaches you. I have done such with many a witness and non-believer, even though I do not share their belief.
One more thing - I do not want you to believe this is just another Christian talking. I have spiritualist, atheist, agnostic, and pagan friends in my circle. And yes, I am a Chrisitian. You see, I love my neighbor beause of who they are as a person and because, though they may not believe it, they are a child of God. And yes, I do try to influence their beliefs as much as they try to influence mine - and we still love and respect one another. Amazing how that can work!! And I admit freely that I am a sinner and not perfect, but I try to be as much like my Christ as I can. And in his goodness, he forgives my shortcomings. That to me, is always incredible.
I say this in respect and love - God Bless.
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.I think since we have such a mix in or country songs about religion should be reservered for church or religious based school where everyone is like minded in Faith.Drawing special attention to a girl who sang about God is just wrong no one child should be singled out in a school talent show it is unfair to the other children/ Talent shows when I went to school were for fun and building confidence and everyone recieved the same level of praise.and we would all come out together at the end and all recieve a standing O and we all left feeling good about ourselves.
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Another question: Why are tornados, hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, wildfires, droughts, electrical storms, straight-line windstorms, mudslides, and cave-ins referred to as "Acts of GOD" ? ? ?
@ Bonnie A.: I do not believe that God looks down on the earth and throws around catastrophies. God created a perfect world. Man ruined it by disobeying, thus bringing sin into the world. Things happen. I do not know why such things are called "Acts of God". People seem forever trying to pin something on God in order to find a reason not to like Him. Why must you blame God for every bad thing that happens? You don't give Him credit when something good happens...you'd rather say it was "luck" or whatever.
Please do not forget...This country, the USA, was *founded* on God and on Christian morals and values.
Declaration of Independence
There are no specific reference to Christianity or Jesus in the Declaration of independence. There are a few references to a 'Nature's God' who is the creator of life, giver of rights and 'supreme Judge of the world' but that is rather vague..
"...the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them"
Notice that it specifically describes 'Natures God', this is a more generic idea of God, this is god as nature.
"...that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights"
This does describes God as a creator of life and giver of rights but goes no further.
"...appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions"
Here God is the 'Supreme Judge'.
It is expected that people of the time would speak of a god, there was little to no doubt at that time of God's existence, but there was plenty of doubt about Christianity among the framers. In order to justify their defiance of the King they had to invoke a higher authority and make the case that they were endowed with the higher power's blessing.
Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation were the first constitution of the United States. During 1776–1777. In a sentance stating the date it speaks of 'our Lord'.
"on the fifteenth day of November in the Year of our Lord..."
This is the only mention of God or Jesus in the Articles and although clearly a Christian practice, it was a common way of writing the date. On March 4, 1789, the new U.S. Constitution took effect, superseding the Articles of Confederation and giving them no legal standing.
The 1787 constitution is a nearly godless document. It mentions neither God, nor Christianity outside of a reference to the date using the Christian calandar. It does however have a provision against requiring specific religious ideas as a qualification for office.
Article VI, Section 3, US Constitution
"...no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."
Article. VII, US Constitution
"Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven"
It certainly can be argued that this sentence sets up The United States under 'our Lord' Jesus Christ, but when viewed in context it takes on a much lesser importance. The sentence is in the last section of the fourth and final page of the Constitution and was a common way of referencing the Christian calendar. 'In the year of our Lord' translated to latin is 'Anno Domini' which is commonly abbreviated 'A.D.' and is still used to this day by most of the western world when stating the year. It is merely a tradition and holds no religious significance.
First Amendment to the Constitution
If the United States were set up as a Christian Nation would it grant equal rights to all religions?
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..."
Treaty of Tripoli, article 11
A 1797 treaty between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli of Barbary, ratified by the US Congress and signed by President John Adams.
"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..."
Taken from http://bmccreations.com/one_nation/nation.html
I heartily disagree that there was "doubt about Christianity amongst the founders". Proof has shown that the majority of them were professing Christians. Numerous quotes from other writings show this...if you really look.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..." Earlier in this discussion I saw something about someone getting upset because a little girl won a talent show by singing a song about God (please note that when I say God I mean the One True God, Jesus Christ). Freedom of religion?? Its a two way street people! You are offended because religious people loudly proclaim their love for GOD, but you expect them not to be offended when you loudly proclaim that He doesn't exist! Does freedom of religion apply only to atheists? That doesn't look like what the Constitution says.
I have just as much right to sing and talk publicly about God, my Saviour and Creator, as you do to say that you think He doesn't exist. (not to mention I have way more proof that He does exist) :)
Please know, I am not trying to be hurtful or hateful here. I am just so passionate about what I believe, it is mearly impoassible to keep my mouth shut. I am a Contraversial Warrior. :D
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"The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries."
"Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."
"I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved-- the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!"
"The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole cartloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity."
"Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced an inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth."
"It is not to be understood that I am with him (Jesus Christ) in all his doctrines. I am a Materialist; he takes the side of Spiritualism, he preaches the efficacy of repentance toward forgiveness of sin; I require a counterpoise of good works to redeem it." - to Carey, 1816
"I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature."
The father of this country was very private about his beliefs, but it is widely considered that he was a Deist like his colleagues. He was a Freemason.
Historian Barry Schwartz writes: "George Washington's practice of Christianity was limited and superficial because he was not himself a Christian... He repeatedly declined the church's sacraments. Never did he take communion, and when his wife, Martha, did, he waited for her outside the sanctuary... Even on his deathbed, Washington asked for no ritual, uttered no prayer to Christ, and expressed no wish to be attended by His representative." [New York Press, 1987, pp. 174-175]
Paul F. Boller states in is anthology on Washington: "There is no mention of Jesus Christ anywhere in his extensive correspondence." [Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1963, pp. 14-15]
". . . Some books against Deism fell into my hands. . . It happened that they wrought an effect on my quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist."
"I looked around for God's judgments, but saw no signs of them."
"In the affairs of the world, men are saved, not by faith, but by the lack of it."
"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half of the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind.
"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church. Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all."
Sorry that there are so many quotes, but I narrowed it down to some of my favorites. My response is not to the OP's experience, nor to the personal beliefs held by anyone here, but the the statement that the founders of the USA were Christians.
Remember- The more you know>>>> .
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@Melody, I went to school B4 1954 and we DID Say Under GOD, it has been After 1954 and in these later years, that they have taken everything out of the schools. There is a GOD and Jesus and he Saves us from all our SINS.. If it wasn't for GOD none of us would be here today, because GOD is who Made The World... I will pray for everyone of U on here, that does not Believe..!! May God Bless You ALL!!
Rose: The original Pledge of Allegiance was first published in the Sept. 8, 1892 issue of Youth's Companion, a weekly magazine then published in Boston. The original pledge contained the phrase "my flag," which was changed more than 30 years later to "flag of the United States of America." A 1954 act of Congress added the words "under God." (In 2002, the 9th Circuit U.S,. Court of Appeals ruled that recitation of the pledge in public schools could not include that phrase. In 2004, however, the U.S. Supreme Court voted to decline to decide the case on a technicality. The lower court's decision was thus overturned.)
The foregoing is a verbatim quote from the 2011 World Almanac and Book of Facts, page 497.
Some of us septuagenarian and octogenarian Americans went clear through high school saying (hand over heart and facing the classroom flag) the "God-less" pledge, you see? I myself had even graduated from university before Pres. Eisenhower added the phrase.
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Amber, your posts show just how distant our popular understanding of "god" and "religion" has become from how America's founders spoke. It's certainly fair to say that many signers of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were not orthodox christians. It's another thing entirely to imply that, for that reason, America was not founded on Christian principles. It certainly was.
Take Madison, for example. Want to know why you don't see Jesus mentioned in the Constitution or Declaration? It was Madison who wrote that "better proof of reverence fo that holy name would be not to profane it by making it a topic of legislative discussion." Far from intenting to imply that the government he helped found was not Christian; the language of the Constitution was carefully chosen, for Christian reasons, to treat the name of God as holy. He even wrote that "Belief in a God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the World and the happiness of man, that arguments to enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources."
Does that sound at all like pantheism? When you see the words "the Laws of Nature and Nature's God", does that suggest deism to you? It certainly didn't to the founders. In fact, a group of lawyers like the founders would have known the words in the context of their collective understanding of law, which would have come from the prominent legal theories of the day, in particular Blackstone's "Commentaries on the Law" which use the words "Laws of Nature" to describe the natural law that is handed down to us and revealed through Christian Scripture. If you find that surprising, it's because the words "Laws of Nature" have no such popular meaning today, but that was not the case in the 18th Century. James Wilson, who signed the Constitution and later went on to be a Supreme Court Justice, said "Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is Divine...Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants." This coming from a Supreme Court Justice! It's a controversial statement today, but I guarantee you it wasn't in Wilson's time. And there is no doubt that when Wilson, Washington, Madision, Jefferson, et al, speak of "religion" they mean the Christian religion. It had to be this way; it was the only religion they knew that they could associate with a familiar system of morality and law.
You and I know that there are books' worth of quotes I could google to find statements about the distinctly Christian profession of many founding fathers, but as I said, it's really not that relevant. What is important is what assumptions they collectively made when they sought to form a government comensurate with the Laws of Nature's God. There's no doubt that they meant the God of the Bible. We modern Americans have revised our understanding of the place of the Christian religion in our culture, and as a consequence we've sought to project that culture of secularism upon our Founders, which is not appropriate, especially when you understand the culture that surrounded them.
And how is slavery "based on Christianity"??? It's certainly true that *christians* advocated for slavery in America, and it's true that *christians* led in its abolition. That says nothing about its christian basis; for that you have to go to the teachings of Jesus.
I am a Christian and I'm gonna jump in on this one.. Yall have talked of Christians being biased towards unbelievers.. I find that really hard to believe, to be truthful. As I work in a VERY large place and there are more unbelievers than believers. And the unbelievers are very judgemental, as they want to discuss their ungodly behaviors, their weekend jaunts and what not. But when I want to discuss my weekend of church and fellowship, they do not want to hear it? Yet what makes them think I care to hear of their stuff? I don't want to hear their criticism and cursing of other people Christian or non-Christian. Their calling people names and acting like they are the only smart people. When in actuality no one is perfect. No not one is perfect but Jesus. Every one makes mistakes, including the believers and non believers. So the next time you have your finger pointing at Christians and how dare we share God's love for you, remember you have your thumb pointing back at yourself.
The reason we want to share the love of Jesus and his truths is because we too were once very lost and undone. And Jesus revealed himself and showed us we could be forgiven and cleansed and given a new start. Once we received that we knew without a doubt there were so many out there just like we had been that needed that cleansing.. That feeling of wow, I get to start over with a clean slate. So please don't take offense to it as they want to share with you what the Lord has done for them he will do for you. Quit being so angry about it, as yall want to share your stuff with everyone also. And that's all a Christian is doing to you. Remember the golden rule, treat others as you would have them treat you.
Deborah, it sounds as though the "unbelievers" in your workplace have made the mistake of thinking that as members of the 'majority' group, some kind of 'privilege' attends them. That is so sad. I do sympathize with you, for your being obliged to try to turn a deaf ear to these coworkers of yours.
But, Deborah, as an 'unbeliever', I also have to express the hope that you can and will refrain from trying to 'share' your feelings with these folks. (Many of them may be tired of being set upon by well-meaning Christians intent upon sharing their faith with the 'heathen'.).
Let's try to let peace prevail.
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