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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26020 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2005 :  13:17:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
…But our rulers can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. … Reason and free enquiry are the only effectual agents against error. Give a loose to them, they will support the true religion, by bringing every false one to their tribunal, to the test of their investigation. They are the natural enemies of error, and of error only. Had not the Roman government permitted free enquiry, Christianity could never have been introduced. Had not free enquiry been indulged, at the aera of the reformation, the corruptions of Christianity could not have been purged away. If it be restrained now, the present corruptions will be protected, and new ones encouraged…

Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826 . Notes on the State of Virginia

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Doomar
SFN Regular

USA
714 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  01:04:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Doomar's Homepage Send Doomar a Private Message
Because the bill in reserving a certain parcel of land of the United States for the use of said Baptist Church comprises a principle and precedent for the appropriation of funds of the United States for the use and support of religious societies, contrary to the article of the Constitution which declares the 'Congress shall make no law respecting a religious establishment (note: Madison again misquotes the establishment clause).


Misquotes the actual words, but catches the real meaning of the writers. Dave, I love this quote. It provides further evidence to my long held belief (with other written confirmation) that the 1st Amendment, 1st clause was specifically addressing "religious establishments", as they were called in that day...today they would be called religion organizations. This being said, many would do well to reexamine the true meaning of the religious clauses of the first amendment in the correct context. It does not say as many affirm that it means, "Congress shall make no law establishing religion..." It does say, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.." Now replace establishment of religion with Madison's flavor, "Congress shall make no law respecting a religious establishment, or prohibit the free exercise thereof.." Now you have in modern understanding what the first amendment really meant, "establishment of religion" not withstanding. Consider what the affect of these words really means. Does it allow the "establishment of religion" to occur...absolutely not! It is a more specific direction to Congress that they should not show "respect" to a particular religious establishment, which does prevent the "establishment" of a particular sect of religion, such as the Anglican sect in England. It does not prohibit, however, the general promotion of religion as a good thing in society. It does not prohibit calls to general prayer and thanksgiving to God. It does not prohibit the celebration of national holidays, such as Christmas or New Years or Thanksgiving, all religious in nature. In other words, the first clause does not secularize America. On the contrary, the second clause affirms the support of all religion by "or prohibit the free exercise thereof"...of what -- any particular religious organization. Thus, the writers did not intend harm to religion in the 1st amendment, but rather a complete protection of religion from laws promoting or hurting a particular sect, including tax laws. This is the reason why churches and other religious meeting houses are not taxable, nor are the offerings given to such organizations. "no law" means no tax, no restriction, no special respect given to one organization over another. Thus, promotion in general of religious acts, such as prayer or reading scriptures does not constitute any violation of the first clause and it is why there is prayer in Congress before every session. Ministers from many religions and denominations have prayed in public government meetings. One does not have to be religious or belong to any sect to a part of any government proceeding, but a non-religious person does not have the right to call for prohibition of said religious acts that do not promote a particular organization to the exclusion of all others. Such attempts are unconstitutional.

Thus, the unauthorized revised 1st Amendment version ("Congress shall make no law establishing religion...") is in conflict with the 2nd clause and therefore clearly not the original meaning and intent of the learned writers of the 1st amendment.


Mark 10:27 (NKJV) 27But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

www.pastorsb.com.htm
Edited by - Doomar on 01/06/2005 13:07:56
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  02:47:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
"Here it is that the religion of Deism is superior to the Christian Religion. It is free from all those invented and torturing articles that shock our reason or injure our humanity, and with which the Christian religion abounds. Its creed is pure, and sublimely simple. It believes in God, and there it rests."--Thomas Paine, _Of_The_Religion_of_Deism_Compared_With_the_Christian_Religion_


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Doomar
SFN Regular

USA
714 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  12:30:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Doomar's Homepage Send Doomar a Private Message
[quote]Originally posted by filthy

"Here it is that the religion of Deism is superior to the Christian Religion. It is free from all those invented and torturing articles that shock our reason or injure our humanity, and with which the Christian religion abounds. Its creed is pure, and sublimely simple. It believes in God, and there it rests."--Thomas Paine, _Of_The_Religion_of_Deism_Compared_With_the_Christian_Religion_


Interesting quote. Paine was very much against organized religion, as I have read only briefly, yet it is clear by this quote that he either believed in God or supported the Deists in their belief in God .

Mark 10:27 (NKJV) 27But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

www.pastorsb.com.htm
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Doomar
SFN Regular

USA
714 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  13:13:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Doomar's Homepage Send Doomar a Private Message
[quote]Originally posted by Dave W.

…But our rulers can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. … Reason and free enquiry are the only effectual agents against error. Give a loose to them, they will support the true religion, by bringing every false one to their tribunal, to the test of their investigation. They are the natural enemies of error, and of error only. Had not the Roman government permitted free enquiry, Christianity could never have been introduced. Had not free enquiry been indulged, at the aera of the reformation, the corruptions of Christianity could not have been purged away. If it be restrained now, the present corruptions will be protected, and new ones encouraged…

Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826 . Notes on the State of Virginia



Here, here, Thomas Jefferson! My good friend, Pastor Steve Brown is clearly on the side of reason and his web site points out many of the flaws of the current church in America (www.pastorsb.com). He has suffered at the hands of certain denominations for his vocal stand for the true gospel according to Jesus, as opposed to the gospel of the likes of Billy Graham and Benny Hinn.

Mark 10:27 (NKJV) 27But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

www.pastorsb.com.htm
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Wendy
SFN Regular

USA
614 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  13:30:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Wendy a Yahoo! Message Send Wendy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Doomar

Interesting quote. Paine was very much against organized religion, as I have read only briefly, yet it is clear by this quote that he either believed in God or supported the Deists in their belief in God.

Clear to people who can't read maybe.
quote:
Here it is that the religion of Deism is superior to the Christian Religion. It is free from all those invented and torturing articles that shock our reason or injure our humanity, and with which the Christian religion abounds. Its creed is pure, and sublimely simple. It believes in God, and there it rests.--Thomas Paine,
(emphasis mine)

"It" - Deism, not "I" - Thomas Paine. Read it again please, Doomar. He says only that he feels Deism is superior to the Christian Religion. He does not state or imply he supports either.

I prefer boiling bottles to changing diapers, but I'd just as soon do neither.

Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do on a rainy afternoon.
-- Susan Ertz
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26020 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  13:56:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Doomar

Now replace establishment of religion with Madison's flavor, "Congress shall make no law respecting a religious establishment, or prohibit the free exercise thereof.." Now you have in modern understanding what the first amendment really meant, "establishment of religion" not withstanding. Consider what the affect of these words really means. Does it allow the "establishment of religion" to occur...absolutely not! It is a more specific direction to Congress that they should not show "respect" to a particular religious establishment, which does prevent the "establishment" of a particular sect of religion, such as the Anglican sect in England. It does not prohibit, however, the general promotion of religion as a good thing in society. It does not prohibit calls to general prayer and thanksgiving to God. It does not prohibit the celebration of national holidays, such as Christmas or New Years or Thanksgiving, all religious in nature. In other words, the first clause does not secularize America.
Neither does the First Amendment as interpreted by the vast majority of Constitutional scholars, Doomar. It only secularizes the government.

And what kind of baloney apologetics are you coming up with, anyway? The word "respecting" clearly does not mean "to show respect for," but means "about." Since when is New Year's a religious day?

Besides which, to nationalize Christmas is to show respect for Christianity over, say, Hinduism. The 1st Amendment, by your definition or mine, prohibits that. As it also prohibits "moments of prayer" in public schools, as not all religions share prayer modalities.


quote:
On the contrary, the second clause affirms the support of all religion by "or prohibit the free exercise thereof"...of what -- any particular religious organization. Thus, the writers did not intend harm to religion in the 1st amendment, but rather a complete protection of religion from laws promoting or hurting a particular sect...
Indeed. But how you get from there to
quote:
Thus, promotion in general of religious acts, such as prayer or reading scriptures does not constitute any violation of the first clause...
is completely beyond my understanding. To make a law which says that there shall be a public reading of scripture to begin each school day non-sectarian, you would be required to read a bit from every different sect. The school day would be over before it could begin.
quote:
...and it is why there is prayer in Congress before every session.
If it is a law that there be a prayer in Congress before every session, it is unconstitutional. If, on the other hand, it is simply tradition, that's okay.
quote:
Ministers from many religions and denominations have prayed in public government meetings.
Was it required that they do so?
quote:
One does not have to be religious or belong to any sect to a part of any government proceeding, but a non-religious person does not have the right to call for prohibition of said religious acts that do not promote a particular organization to the exclusion of all others.
You're correct.
quote:
Such attempts are unconstitutional.
Not at all. The first amendment guarantees the right of private citizens to speak in favor of the passage of unconstitutional laws. People do it all the time, like when they call for gay marriage to be banned.
quote:
Thus, the unauthorized revised 1st Amendment version ("Congress shall make no law establishing religion...") is in conflict with the 2nd clause and therefore clearly not the original meaning and intent of the learned writers of the 1st amendment.
You're right. So what? You're still wrong about what the real First Amendment means.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  13:56:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
I suppose we could get through this easily without a word from Benjamin Franklin, but I can't in good conscience allow that to happen:

"Religion I found to be without any tendency to inspire, promote, or confirm morality, serves principally to divide us and make us unfriendly to one another."--Benjamin Franklin


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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R.Wreck
SFN Regular

USA
1191 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  15:45:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send R.Wreck a Private Message
quote:
Wendy wrote:

"It" - Deism, not "I" - Thomas Paine. Read it again please, Doomar. He says only that he feels Deism is superior to the Christian Religion. He does not state or imply he supports either.



I believe that The Age of Reason is pretty clear that Paine was a deist.

quote:
I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life.




quote:
Is it not more safe that we stop ourselves at the plain, pure, and unmixed belief of one God, which is deism, than that we commit ourselves on an ocean of improbable, irrational, indecent, and contradictory tales?



Edited to fix link

The foundation of morality is to . . . give up pretending to believe that for which there is no evidence, and repeating unintelligible propositions about things beyond the possibliities of knowledge.
T. H. Huxley

The Cattle Prod of Enlightened Compassion
Edited by - R.Wreck on 01/06/2005 16:08:05
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Doomar
SFN Regular

USA
714 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  20:02:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Doomar's Homepage Send Doomar a Private Message
[quote]Originally posted by Wendy

quote:
Originally posted by Doomar

Interesting quote. Paine was very much against organized religion, as I have read only briefly, yet it is clear by this quote that he either believed in God or supported the Deists in their belief in God.

Clear to people who can't read maybe.
quote:
Here it is that the religion of Deism is superior to the Christian Religion. It is free from all those invented and torturing articles that shock our reason or injure our humanity, and with which the Christian religion abounds. Its creed is pure, and sublimely simple. It believes in God, and there it rests.--Thomas Paine,
(emphasis mine)


"It" - Deism, not "I" - Thomas Paine. Read it again please, Doomar. He says only that he feels Deism is superior to the Christian Religion. He does not state or imply he supports either.

Well, Wendy, I can read afterall, as I said that he either believes in God himself or supports those Deists that do...His very comments are clear on this. "Creed is pure", "sublimely simple" in reference to "belief in God". He is not anti-god by any means, but anti-religion from these comments.

Mark 10:27 (NKJV) 27But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

www.pastorsb.com.htm
Edited by - Doomar on 01/06/2005 20:08:26
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Wendy
SFN Regular

USA
614 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  20:28:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Wendy a Yahoo! Message Send Wendy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Doomar

Well, Wendy, I can read afterall, as I said that he either believes in God himself or supports those Deists that do...His very comments are clear on this.


Not in your quote they're not. It says nothing of the kind. I didn't know Thomas Paine was a Diest before reading R.Wreck's link, and neither did you.

"... If we did a good act merely from the love of God and a belief that it is pleasing to Him, whence arises the morality of the Atheist? It is idle to say, as some do, that no such thing exists. We have the same evidence of the fact as of most of those we act on, to wit: their own affirmations, and their reasonings in support of them. I have observed, indeed, generally, that while in Protestant countries the defections from the Platonic Christianity of the priests is to Deism, in Catholic countries they are to Atheism. Diderot, D'Alembert, D'Holbach, Condorcet, are known to have been among the most virtuous of men. Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than love of God." (Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Law, June 13, 1814. From Adrienne Koch, ed., The American Enlightenment: The Shaping of the American Experiment and a Free Society, New York: George Braziller, 1965, p. 358.)


Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do on a rainy afternoon.
-- Susan Ertz
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Doomar
SFN Regular

USA
714 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  20:29:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Doomar's Homepage Send Doomar a Private Message

And what kind of baloney apologetics are you coming up with, anyway? The word "respecting" clearly does not mean "to show respect for," but means "about." Since when is New Year's a religious day?
Oops, I meant Easter.
Respecting, however, can be interpreted as regarding or concerning according to The American Dictionary of the English Language.


Besides which, to nationalize Christmas is to show respect for Christianity over, say, Hinduism. The 1st Amendment, by your definition or mine, prohibits that. As it also prohibits "moments of prayer" in public schools, as not all religions share prayer modalities.

Actually, according to my interpretation and Madison's, the first amendment does not do harm to any religion, but only prohibits the making of laws which could promote one sect over another or be detrimental to any. In effect, it prevents the so called "establishment" - the act of establishing, a particular religious organization (establishment). Now allowing for the celebration of a religious holiday loved by so many in America is not promoting a particular religious establishment. Christianity is not a "religious establishment", but a religion. Now Lutheran or Catholic is a particular religious establishment within the Christian religion. The act of prayer is not something particular to one religious sect, but all religions. Even a prayer considered to be Christian in nature is not some sort of violation, but part of the common religious practice of all sects and, therefore, not sectarian or particular to "a religious establishment".

Those that pray in Congress, are sectarian, but by allowing many sects to participate over time, no particular sect is lifted above the other. Even in Thomas Jefferson's college, prayer was promoted and various ministers of different sects participated on a regular basis.

Mark 10:27 (NKJV) 27But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

www.pastorsb.com.htm
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Doomar
SFN Regular

USA
714 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  20:42:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Doomar's Homepage Send Doomar a Private Message
By 1778, George Washington had so often witnessed God's intervention that on August 20, he wrote Thomas Nelson that:

The Hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.

Mark 10:27 (NKJV) 27But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

www.pastorsb.com.htm
Edited by - Doomar on 01/06/2005 20:42:42
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Doomar
SFN Regular

USA
714 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  20:46:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Doomar's Homepage Send Doomar a Private Message
While encamped on the banks of a river, Washington was approached by Delaware Indian chiefs who desired that their youth be trained in American schools. In Washington's response, he first told them that "Congress... will look on them as on their own children." [4] That is, we would train their children as if they were our own. He then commended the chiefs for their decision:

"You do well to wish to learn our arts and our ways of life and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention."

George Washington's Speech to Delaware Indian Chiefs on May 12, 1779, in John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, The Writings of George Washington, Vol. XV (Washinton: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1932), p. 55.

Mark 10:27 (NKJV) 27But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

www.pastorsb.com.htm
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Doomar
SFN Regular

USA
714 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2005 :  20:49:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Doomar's Homepage Send Doomar a Private Message
“Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those that are present.”
From George Washington's Rules of Civility

Mark 10:27 (NKJV) 27But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

www.pastorsb.com.htm
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