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Survey: White evangelicals say US no longer a Christian nation

A U.S. flag flies on the grounds of Rock Springs Baptist Church in Easley, S.C., on Feb. 11, 2016. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-CULTURAL-CHANGE, originally transmitted on June 23, 2016.

(RNS) The United States is not a Christian country anymore.

That’s according to 59 percent of white evangelical Protestants recently surveyed by the Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with the Brookings Institution. And that number has jumped 11 points in just four years, from 48 percent in 2012.

Evangelicals’ growing conviction that the U.S. is losing its Christian identity, and that the country now is headed in the wrong direction, comes as politicians debate immigration and cultural change during the 2016 election season.

In the new PRRI/Brookings immigration survey tackling those issues, Americans expressed concerns about foreign influences on the American way of life. They mostly agreed that the U.S. is on the wrong track, but differed as to how to get on the right one. The survey, released Thursday (June 23), polled more than 2,600 adults between April 4 and May 2.

“When we step back and look at the big picture, we do see heightened anxieties among Americans,” PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones said in a Washington press conference announcing its findings.

While a strong majority of white evangelical Protestants agree that the U.S. has lost its Christian identity, Americans overall are split on the question — 41 percent say it was Christian and remains so, and 42 percent say it was in the past but is no longer. Relatively few (15 percent) say America never has been a Christian nation.

The white evangelical Protestant community feels its cultural dominance in America has been lost, said Henry Olsen, senior fellow at the Ethics & Public Policy Center, who attended the press conference.

“Over the last four years a growing number are seeing that it’s lost irretrievably,” he said. “That has massive implications for our politics going down the road.”

Americans also are split on whether American culture and the country’s way of life have mostly changed for the better (49 percent) or worse (50 percent) since the 1950s.

And, the PRRI/Brookings report said, “no group of Americans is more nostalgic about the 1950s than white evangelical Protestants,” with 70 percent saying the country has changed for the worse. Americans also split politically on the question: 68 percent of Republicans agree things have gotten worse, while nearly the same share of Democrats (66 percent) say times are better.

But Americans agree the country is moving in the wrong direction — a belief that crosses the political divide and has inched up from 65 percent in 2011 to 72 percent. And most (57 percent) believe they should fight for their values, even if they are at odds with the law and changing culture.

Other key findings:

    • Nearly 6 in 10 Americans (57 percent) say the values of Islam are at odds with American values and its way of life. Of all major religious groups, white evangelical Protestants (74 percent) expressed the most skepticism.
    • A majority (55 percent) of Americans believe that the American way of life needs to be protected against foreign influence. Of all major religious groups, white Christians — including white evangelical Protestants (76 percent), white Catholics (68 percent) and white mainline Protestants (63 percent) — are most likely to say their way of life needs protection.
    • Americans are split on whether discrimination against Christians has become as big a problem in America today as discrimination against other groups. Many Christians — including 77 percent of white evangelical Protestants, 54 percent of white mainline Protestants, 53 percent of white Catholics and black Protestants and 50 percent of Hispanic Catholics — feel anti-Christian discrimination is a problem. About 8 in 10 Americans who are religiously unaffiliated (78 percent) and members of other religions (77 percent) disagree.

About the author

Emily McFarlan Miller

Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS based in Chicago. She covers evangelical and mainline Protestant Christianity.

241 Comments

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  • Here is the dirty secret………it never was

    Whenever an Evangelical spouts on about the US being a Christian Nation they are trying to say in an indirect manner:
    1. As an Evangelical Christian, I have privilege to do anything I want to anyone I want to.
    2. As an Evangelical Christian, the government is there to only serve my needs, not anyone else
    3. Religious freedom only applies to Evangelical Christians and nobody else.
    4. My posterior should be kissed for being a Christian.

  • The very fact that they think we were EVER a Christian nation is part of the problem.

    We are a nation with a Christian majority, absolutely. Christians have held sway in our country for several centuries, absolutely. Christians have held positions of power and privilege, absolutely.

    But from our inception, we were declared a nation of religious freedom. No religious test is allowed for office. An office holder need not swear at all, let alone swear to god or swear on a bible.

  • A nation of religious freedom can never be a christian nation. Christians simply have not been forced to face those of other beliefs before, and chose to ignore those they did meet. Now, there are too many religions, and too many other believers to be ignored, so the christians are getting edgy, and mean.

  • Being that the first christian colony was rife with all the things christians claim should not be done; unmarried sex, adultery, sodomy, and buggery, they have no claim whatsoever to this country, nor to any moral high ground. They are people, just like the Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, or any other belief group, or those with no beliefs or groups..

  • After so much recent distressing news, it’s a great relief to finally read some really good news again.

  • As noted above, the white evangelical Protestant community feels its cultural dominance in America has been lost. And somehow this loss is perceived as a war on the Christian faith. LGBT civil rights and Pride Parades are perceived as direct challenge to faith. It seems as if some among white evangelical Protestants expect the surrounding culture to cleave to their specific world view. But when others follow their own path, these actions are interpreted as persecution of the Christian faith. I don’t remember reading any of this Scripture (?)

  • If not a Christian nation, then why is God mentioned in the Constitution?

    We, the people…in order to form a permanent federal government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederate States of America.

  • This part: ” …invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God…” is not in the Constitution of the United States. Somebody’s pullin’ your leg.

  • “The white evangelical Protestant community feels its cultural dominance in America has been lost…”

    Loss of dominance, loss of privilege — either way, all it really means is having to share respect.

  • When you step out of the TARDIS you have to make sure you know what time period you are in 😉

  • The US has never been a christian nation. Read the constitution you entitled delusional morons!

  • “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
    http://www.constitution.org/constit_.htm

    There is no mention of god in the constitution. Please provide a source for your “version”.

  • First off WE WERE NEVER A CHRISTIAN NATION. Is Christianity the most popular religion in America? Yes. But the US constitution clearly states we need the separation of church and state. In fact in our very first treaty, the “Treaty of Tripoli” founding father John Adams wrote, “The United States is in no way a Christian Nation.” Its very frustrating when people say that we are a Christian nation because we are not. That is just false statements and its pushed on and on by un educated evangelicals who want us to be.

    We must look at what religion has done to EVERY country that has allowed it to run it. When the church and state was not separate in our history they used to call it “Medieval Times.” The church commonly used the state to commit genocide to spread its wealth and power and convert people or die (Crusades, Inquisition) We also had a long pause in scientific discovery and went backwards because many great thinkers and scientists were killed or hid. Any amazing discovery was squandered if it conflicted with the church. This cost millions of lives in famine and disease.

    Today we see it in the middle east. Did you know that that region used to be at the forefront of scientific discovery? Thats why many mathematical terms are in Arabic. Thats why many scientific names and terms are in Arabic. Its because they invented many things. However religion was allowed to take too much power and they stripped those things away as they conflicted with their stone age book of fairy tales and this sent their civilization back to the stone age. Now you have people still living in mud huts, no electricity, no sewage, no education, no social structure, no healthcare system etc. Thus you have poverty and people who are so un educated they believe that murdering innocent men, women and children by blowing themselves up will send them to paradise with 72 virgins. Insanity. Christians…dont laugh, your next.

    Here in the USA we have congressmen and women who believe that the earth is only 6,000 years old. And these people are on our congressional scientific committees and education committees! They believe a man lived inside a fish for 3 days. We do not have free birth control for our people which would prevent most abortions, prevent millions from getting on welfare and dropping out of school and having to throw away all their hopes and dreams. Think of the money we would save. We would to have as much people on welfare, who have more kids they can’t afford, then those kids commit crimes as they grow up in poverty and the cycle continues. We all suffer. But a simple pill is against some peoples “faith” so we can’t have it?

    We also are set back 8 years on stem cell research (Thank you G.W. Bush). I won’t get into the AMAZING things stem cell can do. I highly suggest you just research the capabilities and possibilities yourself. Reversing cereal palsy, paralyzed can walk, potentially curing cancer. Amazing things! This is just the start. There is so much more they believe we can do. But because of “faith” Bush and his cronies stopped it and now we are 8 years behind where we should be.

    Imagine if we took all the money that is given to churches and used that money for medical clinics, youth programs, infrastructure of our local towns etc. There is a church on every corner it seems like. They are all huge, they all are not taxed and they all get money hand over fist and only use a small fraction for actually helping people. And when they do its with a underlying agenda. Flying to sub saharan Africa where people are extremely poor and un educated and starving. You give them food and help build things but the whole time you are preaching and converting them. How about you just help them. In stead of preaching, educate them on how to build a well, or educate them on how to build a stable society.

    If you look at human history, religion is by far the most dangerous and terrifying thing the human race has ever come across. Its the cause of most wars, conflicts, fights, hate etc. Yet when you look at the countries that have the least amount of religion in them. They are ALL rated as the safest, most educated and happiest places on earth. Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden. Religion is poison.

  • Christian Privileges for Holidays & Holy Days:

    * Many stores take the Christian sabbath into account
    * Most Christians don’t have to work on their holiest days
    * Christians can assume they will see TV specials and hear music related to their holidays
    * Christians can erect Christian holiday displays without fearing vandalism
    * Christians expect to be greeted with references to their holidays (Merry Christmas)
    * Christians can ignore and be ignorant of other religions’ holidays
    * School events will probably address Christian holidays

    Christian Privileges in American Culture:

    * When traveling, Christians can assume they’ll find churches of their denomination
    * It’s easy for Christians to find a religious site to marry
    * Christians easily find Christian movies, radio programs, and TV shows
    * When someone talks about or thanks God, Christians can assume it’s their god
    * Christians will find Bibles in their hotel rooms
    * Christians have many Christian charities to donate to or get assistance from
    * Christians needn’t worry about finding foods to meet religious dietary requirements

    Christian Privileges against Discrimination and Bigotry:

    * Christians can assume that they won’t be discriminated against because of their religion
    * Christians can assume that their opinion won’t be ignored because of their religion
    * Christians need not worry about moving to a place where Christians aren’t welcome
    * Christians rarely encounter groups that exclude Christians
    * Christians don’t worry about revealing their religion to parents, friends
    * Christians can discriminate in ways not otherwise allowed & avoid members of other religions

    Christian Privileges in Schools:

    * Christian children will see other Christians in lessons about history
    * Christian children will participate in events relating to Christian holy days
    * Christian children will find or easily start school clubs dedicated to Christianity
    * Christian athletes are encouraged by Christian coaches
    * Christian children might avoid being exposed to foreign religions
    * Public school space is often shared with Christian churches
    * Christians can easily find private schools that cater to their religion

    Christian Privilege, Fear, and Security:

    * Christians can wear Christian clothing or jewelry without fear
    * Christians can promote their religion on cars or houses without fear of vandalism
    * Christians don’t have to educate their kids about persecution for their own protection
    * Christians can ignore the language and customs of other religions without censure
    * Christians need not worry if their religion will hinder their professional ambitions
    * Christians don’t have to worry about hate groups dedicated to wiping out Christianity

    Christian Privileges in the Community:

    * Many communities have names with Christian origins
    * Christians can assume that most neighbors & coworkers are Christian
    * Christians have directories of Christian-owned businesses
    * Christian businesses can hire all Christians without trying
    * Christians can criticize Christianity & Christian Privilege with more authority than non-Christians and without their motives being questioned
    * Christians can assume that almost anywhere they go and anything they do, they’ll feel normal

    Christian Privileges with Christianity:

    * Christians aren’t expected to speak for all Christians or everyone in a denomination
    * Whatever Christians do, they need not worry that it will reflect poorly on Christianity
    * Christians easily shop for items related to Christianity, even in specialty Christian stores
    * Successful Christians aren’t told that they are greedy because of their religion
    * The word “Christian” is treated as a label representing the best human attributes

    Christian Privileges in the Law:

    * Where relevant, laws take the Christian sabbath (Sunday) into account
    * Laws & regulations come with built-in exemptions for Christians & Christian beliefs.
    * Christians can assume that most politicians are Christians who represent Christian interests
    * Christians can criticize the government or society without being labeled cultural outsiders
    * Christians can assume that politicians won’t attack their religion
    * Christians assume that government prayers will be Christian in nature (they usually are)

  • What Is ironic in this piece, and not intended to be, “…Americans agree the country is moving in the wrong direction…and most (57%) believe they should fight for their values, even if they are at odds with the law and changing culture.” All true apparently, but we manifestly don’t agree on what the right direction is, and as for fighting for a set of values versus both the law and the changing culture, this sounds like the perfect recipe for national anarchy to me, which I suppose anarchists could get behind. (Sigh).

  • What an apt description of 21st century America. (I caught myself sighing as I wrote this.)

  • Our founding fathers were at the very least Theists who agreed on a set of values and type of government which included God given rights, referred to as unalienable rights. There being no mention of Jesus in any official papers it is up for argument of definition as to whether they were Christians.

  • “No religious test is allowed for office.”

    Not quite. That wasn’t really fixed until Torasco v Watkins in 1960.

  • I stole from a guy named Austin Cline, I think. Handy for these types of articles. Cut and paste a shut the hell up right in their privilege.

  • It may have been slightly more accurate if the author had said, “The white evangelical Protestant community feels its cultural dominance dominion in America has been lost . . .”

  • Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. John Adams

  • As if that were a bad thing…who then hell wants to live in a theocracy…with Saudi Arabia and Iran is enough

  • Curious how the article only mentions white evangelicals. Apparently some writers think the black evangelicals are all firmly stuck in Hillary’s back pocket. That ain’t true.

    Hillary is a committed Liberal Methodist, but she is just no good for black Christianity.

  • Torcaso was a 1st Amendment case that established a state could not impose a requirement that public officers declare a belief in the existence of a deity. It did not reach the question of whether the no-religious-test clause of Article VI bound the states — I think Ben in Oakland is talking about this part of the Constitution.

  • This has never been a Christian nation; treaty of Tripoli, 1797. The loss of some privilege is perceived as persecution by certain factions. It’s the 21st century, time to live your lives and quit trying to force the superstitions into public policy. This goes especially for women’s rights, don’t dictate morality, they can make their own choices.

  • It’s certainly not a Christian nation, but this ain’t North Korea either. Christians get to vote, organize, buy TV ads, support Trump, and try to influence public policy just like everybody else.

  • Fake? Read “Letter to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts, 11 October 1798”

  • Which I sincerely doubt you read.

    You truncated the rest of the quote to misrepresent its meaning. the rest of quote was already provided by another poster, about the United States was never a Christian nation.

    It’s such a common ploy by Dominionists to misrepresent, fabricate, edit and truncate quotes by the Founders. All done to undermine notions of religious freedom and 1ie about the intent and effect of the First Amendment.

    To put it more simply enough theocrats have used phony quotes that anything sounding vaguely sympathetic to them require some form of online corroboration before they can be accepted at face value.

  • Hmm….now, when evangelicals say the US is no longer a “Christian” country…do they include Catholicism in the group of religions they call “Christian”? Liberal Episcopalians or liberal Lutherans?

    Evangelicals are mostly a bunch of liars and people who define words in very different ways than mainstream Americans.

  • Phase only appears in the Treaty of Tripoli–WHICH ADAMS DID NOT WRITE. Adams himself never said such a thing nor does the notion appear in his papers.

  • “No religious test is allowed for office.” Perhaps in your state. But Article VI, Sec. 8 Disqualifications for office in the North Carolina state constitution states, “The following persons shall be disqualified for office:
    “First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God.”

  • Actually, eight states have such a provision. The us constitution is supreme over the state constitution in every case.

    The Supreme Court decided in torasco, mentioned below,

    We repeat and again reaffirm that neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person “to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion.” Neither can constitutionally pass laws or impose requirements which aid all religions as against non-believers, and neither can aid those religions based on a belief in the existence of God as against those religions founded on different beliefs.

    The Supreme Court however did not rule on the applicability of Article VI, stating that “Because we are reversing the judgment on other grounds, we find it unnecessary to consider appellant’s contention that this provision applies to state as well as federal offices.”

  • But might doesn’t equal right. You don’t get to attack the civil liberties of others in defense of your faith. You don’t get to use government apparatus to support your sectarian belief. You don’t get a free pass to ignore laws of general application for religious reasons.

  • He’s using the Confederate States of America Constitution. See the last five words of his post. Its a big joke on people reading it too fast.

  • Nothing was truncated. The entire letter is easily googled and reads exactly as quoted. The Treaty of Tripoli (which was soon superceded by another treaty with none of the quoted language in it) was not written by Adams at all but was written in Arabic and very badly translated by Joel Barlow. The exact translation of it, done by a scholar of Eastern languages and available online courtesy of Yale University’s Avalon Project, contains nothing even remotely like the famous “Christian Nation” quote… but DOES, in its final article, lump the United States in with “the other Christian nations.”

    Independent’s entire post was a mishmash of mythology skimmed from atheist echo-chambers and passed about the internet like a common cold. The truth is that the founders did not intend our country to be an officially Christian nation but did hope for a religious populace because they considered both religion and education indispensable to the virtue necessary for exercising the freedom and responsibility which they were enshrining into law but which find their source in God.

  • I have no use for theocrats. Nevertheless, I do believe that in a free society everyone (even idiots and fools) get to propose measures which reflect how they think we should organize how we order our lives together. It is up to the wider, free public to decide which proposals are worthy and which are B.S.

    You are not the first to try to impose modern notions of “separation of church and state” onto the founding fathers. Their thinking on the matter was far more complex than you allow.

  • I agree with much of your point but THIS

    “When the church and state was not separate in our history they used to call it ‘Medieval Times.'”

    That’s just historically illiterate. Church and State in many places remained connected long after the Medieval Age and THROUGH THE ENTIRE RENAISSANCE. I’m sure this is just as a result of you not knowing the names of different historical periods and thinking that everything before America was “Medieval” or something, but that statement above is just soooooo incorrect, factually speaking.

    “Yet when you look at the countries that have the least amount of religion in them. They are ALL rated as the safest, most educated and happiest places on earth.”

    I don’t think that religion leads to happier people or whatever, but the nations of Japan and South Korea pretty much decimate your claim, with huge levels of both Atheism and Suicide. They are NOT “ALL” rated the happiest places on earth!! If a nation of 50% atheists can be number 2, worldwide, for the amount of suicides then your claim is cleanly debunked.

  • As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?

    — John Adams, letter to FA Van der Kamp, December 27, 1816

    http://www.positiveatheism dot org/hist/quotes/adams.htm

    Btw Adams had some very bigoted words to say about Catholics at the time. If you want to quote founders concerning religious freedom, the most honest way is to use the Federalist Papers, the writings which directly explain the intent and effect of the Bill of Rights or quote Madison who was the key author of much of the Constitution.

  • Ironically, no one in the “atheist” nations that he mentioned would characterize their nations as atheist. They all recognize the source of their culture, values, and institutions.

  • Maybe gay marriage isn’t a civil liberty. Maybe it’s not a right at all. Especially since (Christian nation or not), gay marriage wasn’t legal anywhere in America until 2003.

    Maybe gay marriage is not a right, but a horrific wrong.

    Maybe, just like the Dred Scott decision, the Supreme Court screwed up again and gave us a decision (Obergefell) that’s not only totally wrong, but guaranteed to cause some serious damage to this nation before it’s over.

  • Lol. Civil liberties do not require ancient precedent. Just because an idea is relatively new doesn’t mean it lacks merit or is somehow invalid. Nor does it mean you can justify its ban on such a reason. Marriage is a civil liberty for consenting adults. Where there are no rational and secular cause to ban it, it is a right and liberty.

    Why is gay marriage wrong? You can’t give a reason which isn’t dripping with bigotry and religious BS.

    You don’t like Obergfell’s results (which was entirely spurred by bigoted legislation lacking merit). But you can’t provide a valid argument why they should have ruled differently. The arguments for the gay marriage bans were ridiculous and strained credulity.

    The only damage here is bigotry which used to have social acceptance, no longer does. I could not possibly give a sh!t. We as a society are better off without it.

  • What these evangelicals mean is: no longer majority white. The issue is simply displaced resentment: as black and hispanic Christians are not included in their thinking when white evangelicals think “Christian nation”.

    Let’s try it out. Here’s how the conversation goes . . .

    Do you think Hispanics are no longer Christian? (No, they are predominantly Catholic or Charismatic.)

    Are blacks no longer Christian? (Better not try that one.). That mostly leaves whites.

    So are whites no longer majority Christian? (Faces look perplexed. Surely the fault can’t be ours!)

    So you were not thinking of hispanics or blacks when you pictured their Christian nation!

  • Got a link to a source where we can see the quote in its entirety?

    I have seen too much evasive dishonest BS by quoteminers to bother with continuing a discussion on quotes by founding fathers that somehow undermine notions of separation of church and state, unless they can give online attribution of their quotes.

    Sorry, the theocratic fibbers ruined it for everyone. No trust without verification.

  • Your word on the subject is even less credible. Instead of Gish galloping nonsense and evasion, just provide a link to the quote in its entirety and original context.

    If you want to look at constitutional drafters intent, it’s either Federalist papers or go home. Those were the closest we have to the stated intent of its sections. As it’s purpose was an explanation of the constitution to voters.

  • Sigh…here you go:

    http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/99-02-02-3102

    Larry, I’m sure you think that demanding “sources” makes you look tough and/or knowlegeable, but what it actually communicates is that you know nothing about the subject, do not know how to find out anything, and have no response of substance. You’d do much better to actually do some studying — not for the purpose of arguing but for the purpose of learning.

  • Speaking as a fourth-generation American Jew, calling the United States a Christian nation tells me I am at best tolerated in my own country.

  • Excellent stuff, Mike. Thanks for posting. What these evangelical “Christians” did here is absolutely characteristic of the way right-wingers operate: they make a claim –that is, a lie–about their own rights being threatened, and the content of the claim is actually about the way they are threatening the rights of others, or wish to. I’ve seen this over and over again.

  • Never was. Sheesh. And lets hope that the idea that it ever was or is now will die the death it so deserves.

  • I strongly disagree, and I’m curious about why you say that. What is your opinion based on?

  • “The white evangelical Protestant community feels its cultural dominance in America has been lost, said Henry Olsen, senior fellow at the Ethics & Public Policy Center, who attended the press conference.”

    I’m hoping patriarchal dominance regardless of race hurries its decline too. All of this makes America a better, stronger nation.

  • The US is an “atheist” nation. Our government recognizes no official religion and forbids state sponsorship of any given faith.

    “I don’t think that religion leads to happier people or whatever, but the nations of Japan and South Korea pretty much decimate your claim, with huge levels of both Atheism and Suicide.”

    Neither Japan and South Korea have “huge levels of Atheism”. Japan is largely Shinto/Buddhist*. South Korea is majority Confucianist/Buddhist* with a large Protestant Christian minority (about 30%+). South Korea sports the most evangelical Christians in Asia.

    It was a factually incorrect claim from the outset.

    *Buddhism is a very syncreatic faith which tends to incorporate pre-existing faiths when it is adopted in a region. Its not uncommon for Buddhists to also be adherents to another faith as well.

  • Of course they’re right. That segment of American culture which made America Christian-ish, though never as these liars claim Christian, has been supplanted. Cult neo-Calvinism and the Church of St. Paul.

    They are Trumpling out the vintage where the graps of wrath are stored…

    -dlj.

  • I hope that link posted. I posted it earlier and it didn’t go thru. Not sure what problem this system has with the National Archives when it lets you link to garbage like positiveatheism.

    Larry, it doesn’t make you sound tough to demand “sources.” If you’re going to weigh in on things like this you ought to already know your opponents’ main arguments and sources. Demanding cites for easily accessed information just communicates that you don’t know the subject matter or how to find it and probably don’t have a substantive response, either.

  • The problem is our moderators don’t know how to handle or are afraid of hyperlinking.

    The trick is type “dot” instead of the “.”

    Don’t care about sounding tough. Just care about cutting through nonsense. Nothing brings more useless nonsense posts than quotemining and denials about where one got them from.

    That being said, at no point did our founders consider the nation “A Christian Nation” in any official or figurative sense. They had the option of making such ideas crystal clear when the 1st Amendment was being drafted but deliberately avoided any such language. Also one does not argue constitutional intent by quoting Founding Fathers partially at random like they are proof-texting the Bible. The Federalist Papers however do provide a decent guide to such things.

    Also Atheism as we know it now more or less post-dates them by a generation or so. So the idea that
    they are a group to be specifically excluded by consideration by the 1st
    Amendment or somehow the target of attack in various quotes by the
    founders is silly.

  • Loss of religious privilege is a harsh reality. Equality seems like repression when you’ve always ruled and could force others to follow.

  • waaaaa we are angry that we only have most of the power and have to start to care about other peoples feelings and beliefs!

  • number 4 is incorrect! Kissing isn’t allowed till marriage. All the others were spot on.

  • I was truly hoping you didn’t do all that work for just one post. Kudos to Austin Clime and you for your c/p of the list.

  • clever use of wordplay. Mind if I steal it? Imitation is the sincerest form of plagiarism– St. Oscar Levant.

  • but you are half of the non-existent judeo-christian. That’s gotta be worth something!

  • How are they interpreting the fact that the most devout GOP candidates (Bachmann, Palin, Cruz, Carson) were all told by God to run, then God abandoned them? Perhaps God has moved on to another country, and the Christians who want our government to rule as a Christian nation should take some time to leave the country and see where God is really working with the government as they’d wish.

  • Article VI ¶2 of the Constitution of the United States of America expressly states that itself, any Laws passed by Congress in pursuance thereof, and all Treaties, collectively comprise the Supreme Law of the Land, and specifically states that as such it overrides anything in the Constituitions or laws of any State notwithstanding. This is known as the Supremacy Clause.

    Immediately following this, written by the same hand on the same sheet of parchment, only about 1″ below it, is Article VI ¶3 which, among other things, states that no religious test shall ever be required for any Office or public Trust under the United States. Note: not “in” or “of” the United States government. Under the United States. Period. No mention of “government.”

    Why is this significant? Because it clearly establishes that (A) the Constitution of the USA (and Treaties, including the Treaty of Tripoli including Article 11 thereof which was unanimously ratified without a single vote of dissent by the entire Senate at the time, which included many of your oh-so-Christian Founders and Framers — but I digress…) takes precedence over the Laws or Constitutions of any State wherever they conflict, and (B) that the prohibition against religious tests for any office or public trust under not just the government of the United States, but the United States as a whole! That includes all States, Counties or equivalent (e.g. Parishes in Louisiana), municipalities or equivalent (cities, towns, townships, etc., whether incorporated or not), etc.! All of those are under the United States.

  • Yes, it’s common sense derived from the plain language of Article VI ¶s 2 & 3 when read together. See my Reply to @carolynkotlas:disqus for details.

  • Is that like premarital anal sex, which is OK because it is not mentioned in the buybull? (Goto YouTube and search for “The Loophole by Garfunkel and Oates”)

  • Yours was a much more detailed response than mine, but we covered the same ground.

  • A great example of how widespread delusional thinking is. At no point was the US ever “a Christian nation.” The idea that it ever had been one, or worse, that it should be one, is a lie, plain and simple, manufactured out of whole cloth by Christofascists.

    There are many reasons one can say this, but the most obvious is this: The US as it’s structured bears NO resemblance to any governmental form reflected in the Abrahamic religious tradition. The government types dealt with in the Old Testament are: Tribalism (i.e. people led by the patriarchs and living in tribal arrangements); tribal confederations (i.e. the Judges era, where the dozen tribes of Hebrews operated under a loose coalition); monarchies (i.e. the kings of Israel combined then of the two kingdoms); and theocracy (i.e. when the priesthood ruled after the restoration of the Temple). The New Testament was written by people living under the Roman state, which in the late 1st and early 2nd centuries was a somewhat unique amalgam of republic and autocracy, but overall was much more of the latter than anything else.

    The US, by contrast, is a representative republic, one in which leaders are elected by the people, at multiple levels (having, as it does, distinct jurisdictional layers). Moreover, it differs from all of the above by virtue of its basis being — as stated explicitly in the Constitution’s Preamble — “We the people.” All of the above systems, by contrast, had their basis either in mere tradition (i.e. that’s the way it always was), or in divine ordinance (i.e. that’s how God wants it). In fact, this latter basis is reflected in the Christian Bible explicitly, e.g. in Romans 13.

    In short, there is nothing — not one freaking thing — about Christianity, or the wider Abrahamic religious tradition, that sets the stage for anything even remotely resembling the type of government the US established. Sure, most of the Founding Fathers were Christians, or near-Christians, but that doesn’t mean they’d been trying to establish “a Christian nation.” Far from it: they were aware of the theocratic experiment during the English Civil War, the period of the “Protectorate,” where the country was ruled by dour, sanctimonious Calvinists (led by Oliver Cromwell) a little over a century before. They knew of it; they wanted no part it; and they built something intended to discourage it.

    If America’s Christianists don’t like hearing this truth, that’s OK. They don’t have to like it. They can just trot off somewhere else and build their own Christofascist regime … if any other place on earth will have them and will allow them to. Personally, I doubt they’d be able to go anyplace else and get the locals’ consent, but then, what could I — cynical, cold-hearted, godless agnostic heathen than I am — possibly know about such important, sacred things?

  • How does it feel to know that what support the Christianists (as opposed to Christians) give to Israel and Zionist Jews is only because they think they need a Temple in Jerusalem to get the End Times going? There are Christianist ranchers in Texas trying right now to breed Red Angus cattle hoping to breed one that qualifies as a Red Heifer, considered necessary to purify the Jews before the Temple can be rebuilt. Yes, they’re actively trying to bring about the end of the world!

  • It should be noted that Japan at least (not sure about Korea, but given how closely related they are both physically and culturally, it’s not such a stretch that it would apply there, too), suicide has a rich cultural heritage and is considered a noble way to atone for a grievous misdeed or error. Seppuku, hara-kiri, and of course the Kamikaze pilots who attacked Pearl Harbor and elsewhere in WWII, all demonstrate this. This dates back to long before atheism became popular in Japan, when Shinto was still the dominant religion with Buddhism being a close second, and Christianity also predominant in a certain city (more on that later because it really demolishes the idea that the USA is some God-blessed Christian nation).

  • If you think our marriage laws were Bible-based, then why was polygamy forbidden in the USA, up to and including forcing the Mormons to stop it (in express violation of the First Amendment)?

    The Second Book of the Prophet
    SAMUEL

    ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀ 12

      7   And [the Prophet] Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lᴏʀᴅ God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;
      8   And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.

    Got that? The Lᴏʀᴅ God Himself point-blank told David (through Nathan) that He personally gave David the wives (plural!!) of his former master Saul into his bosom!

    There are numerous other examples of polygamy (well, polygyny anyway — women were apparently not permitted to have multiple husbands simultaneously) apparently being at least permitted, if not outright endorsed, by the Lᴏʀᴅ God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, aka the Lᴏʀᴅ Sabaoth of Hosts. Jacob-cum-Israel, forefather of all of the Israelites, sired his twelve sons (each of whom fathered one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel [actually Joseph was given two, one for each of his sons Ephraim and Manasseh, but Levi was later considered a priestly non-tribe that ministered before the Lᴏʀᴅ on behalf of the other tribes, bringing the number back down to twelve]) on four separate women, including at the same time!

    So why do all, and I do mean all, of the “Defense of Marriage” laws proposed or passed by Christians in various States (even Utah!!) and other jurisdictions, and proposed for the USA as a whole, all specify that marriage is defined as being not between “men and women” (which would permit heterosexual polygamy) or even between “a man and women,” but always between a man and a woman, hmmmm?

  • What a bunch of entitled people. This nation remains firmly in Christian control, yet when they dictate 92% of all decisions rather than 96% of all decisions, they act as if they are oppressed.

  • Wrong. The Declaration of Independence makes four references to deity, but in all four cases Jefferson used generic Deistic euphemisms for generic functions of deities in general.

    There is no mention of “God-given Rights.” The Declaration states that all Men (today we would use the term “Natural Persons” to include women and potentially any other truly sapient beings we may ever discover or create) are created equal, and are endowed by “their Creator” with certain unalienable Rights. Jefferson’s point here was that the Rights do not derive from any human agency, such as any man, men, body of men (even when called by such fancy names as “Congress” or even “the Founding Fathers”), or document (even the Declaration itself, or the Bill of Rights), but rather are inherent in us just because we’re Natural Persons. Because the Rights are not granted nor bestowed by any human agency, they cannot be revoked nor rescinded by same, which is what makes them Inalienable. Jefferson called these “Truths” that are “self-evident” — in other words, axioms! Do you know what axioms are?

    Anyway, Whoever or whatever “their Creator” might be has absolutely zero bearing on this. It remains true regardless of whether “their Creator” is Elohim (aka simply “God”) or YHWH (aka “the Lᴏʀᴅ”) or Elyown (aka “the Most High”) or Allah (basically Arabic for Elohim) or Zeus aka Jupiter aka Jove or Odin aka Wotan aka Woden aka Grimner aka a whole bunch of other names (including Santa Claus) or Brahma or Izanagi or Quetzalcoatl — or, for that matter, neo-Darwinian evolution (granted, Jefferson and other Deists of his day had never heard of the Big Bang and Darwinian evolution, but if they had, they would’ve recognized the Big Bang as qualifying in every respect [only one respect, actually — they only had the one qualification, i.e., being a First Cause aka Uncaused Causer necessary in their view to initiate the causal chain of cause-and-effect] as their “God”!) or any other completely materialistic explanation for the existence of Natural Persons.

  • A few literally token black evangelical reactionary types. Like the kind of people who though Ben Carson was capable of elected office or call Alveeda King a leader in the black community.

  • Only the most extreme of black Christians oppose Hillary. Hillary overwhelmingly won the primaries in the South largely because of the black Democratic vote.

    Most of them snubbed Bernie, who not only marched for Civil Rights on at least two occasions that we know of, but was actually arrested and jailed for doing so. He sacrificed his own liberty, at least briefly, on their behalf. I never could figure that one out, especially given that Hillary was the one who popularized the concept of “superpredators” that is largely responsible for so many Black youth being imprisoned.

    Granted, Hillary also campaigned for Civil Rights in the 60s, but also canvassed for Goldwater.

  • I don’t like it one bit. For all their “Judeo-Christian” nonsense, Christianists don’t care about Jews in the slightest. They support Israel not because it’s a democracy or a firm friend of the US but because in their Left Behind-type theology Jesus can’t return without an independent Jewish state. In their timeline, anyone who doesn’t believe what they want us to believe gets thrown in the lake of fire for all eternity. Thanks, but no thanks.

  • You are correct. The United States was not founded as a specifically Christian nation, but it was a nation of Christians where Christian values were the governing norm. The West became a free society because of Christianity. Modern health care, science, education and the like are outgrowth of what Christian monasteries of the Middle Ages gave birth to. The principles of British Common Law – upon which our own Constitution is built – can be traced back to the Ten Commandments. “Thou shalt not murder. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Wonderful building blocks for society.

    Can’t think of his name now, but in the news this week was a former Marxist professor from Yale or Harvard. He wanted to visit the socialist countries of the world (which are mostly atheist) to compile their glories. Instead he found only misery. And we have one outright socialist running for president and one soft socialist. God help us.

  • The principles of British Common Law — upon which our own Constitution is built — can be traced back to the Ten Commandments. “Thou shalt not murder. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Wonderful building blocks for society.

    First off, adultery isn’t illegal nor is it mentioned in the Constitution.

    Secondly, and more importantly, all of those commandments you mentioned, plus the one and only one other that you could make any case for, namely, “Thou shalt not perjure terstimony” (KJV renders as “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”) are found in practically every society that has ever existed, including ones that predate the Mosaic Law by over a millennium, including ones that never heard of Christianity or Judaism or the Biblical God in any way. Those are simply common-sense laws necessary to the functioning of any civilization.

    Thirdly, the list of commandments you cited is from a list in Exodus chapter 20 and repeated in Deuteronomy chapter 5 which is commonly mistaken for the Ten Commandments, but isn’t what the Bible itself actually refers to by the name “the Ten Commandments.” Only one list anywhere in the Bible is actually called that, and it’s in Exodus chapter 34. It’s very different from the list in Exodus 20 / Deuteronomy 5. Commandment #10 thereof is not “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s …,” but rather, “Thou shalt not seethe [boil] a kid [infant goat] in its mother’s milk.”

  • Read what @Agnikan:disqus posted carefully. Especially fourth-from-the-last word. 😉

  • To properly hyperlink on Disqus, use the actual HTML syntax for hyperlinking. That way you can make whatever text you want be the displayed clickable link.

  • That’s the problem. They don’t just think of Armageddon as a prophecy.
    They think it’s a command.

  • The Treaty of Tripoli (which was soon superceded [sic] by another treaty with none of the quoted language in it) was not written by Adams at all but was written in Arabic and very badly translated by Joel Barlow. The exact translation of it, done by a scholar of Eastern languages and available online courtesy of Yale University’s Avalon Project, contains nothing even remotely like the famous “Christian Nation” quote… but DOES, in its final article, lump the United States in with “the other Christian nations.”

    Even if that were true, it’s irrelevant. The U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, Article VI ¶2, expressly places all ratified Treaties as equal to the Constitution itself, jointly forming with it (and all Laws passed in pursuance of the Constitution) the Supreme Law of the Land.

    The version of the Treaty of Tripoli that was actually ratified is Barlow’s translation, complete with Article 11 as worded. That’s the one that the entire Senate at the time voted to ratify without a single dissenting vote (it only takes a ⅔ supermajority to ratify a Treaty, and this one got a 100%!) — many of whom were among your oh-so-Christian Founders and Framers — and signed by then-President John Adams (yep, the same guy you just quoted out-of-context!). So that one is the one that the Supremacy Clause makes part of the Supreme Law of the Land!

    Like it or not, the Supreme Law of the Land says, “… the Government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” Sorry, but nothing trumps the Supreme Law of the Land! Nothing!! By definition!

    Every one of the Senators in that session, and the President you just quote-mined, read that Article, read the Constitution including the Supremacy Clause, knew what that meant. and not a single one of them expressed having any sort of problem with that.

    Game, set, match.
    Game over, man. Game over.

    (And besides, Are Ee El Eye Gee Eye Oh You Ess does not spell “Christian.”)

  • I know. But its tough to pull off on a phone with my giant sausage fingers. Plus the mods here are really gunshy about links. Moreso than a lot of boards.

  • In all seriousness, this may well explain why Ron Paul, self-proclaimed “Champion of the Constitution,” infamously wrote that the Constitution is “… replete with references to God.” Champion of which Constitution? We know from his policies that he’s not the libertarian he pretends to be, but is actually a neo-Confederate and wannabe theocrat who differs from other Christianist Christofascists only in that he prefers his theocracy at the State level, not the Federal level. I suspect that when he wrote that and when he called himself “the champion of the Constitution,” he mentally followed “the Constitution” with, “… of the Confederate States of America.”

  • Started to, didn’t finish it. I got part of the way through the first book. It was weird and, to my mind, had little to do with the series (other than providing backstory for the PsiCorps). I liked some of the other books, but not all, and for similar reasons.

  • > socialist

    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
    – Inigo Montoya

  • You should finish the first book. You’ll know why at the very end. I’ll say no more for now. 😉

    Oh, and your O.P. was outstanding, BTW.

  • Others have accurately commented on the inaccuracy of your contention. To add to their comments, not only are the principles on which this country founded NOT unique to the 10 commandments, and most of the 10 commandments are unconstitutional, the commandments that are consistent with our laws have NOTHING to do with the US Constitution. Murder, robbery, and adultery are not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. They are illegal or at least sanctioned in some way in just about every human society that has existed.

    The main principles on which the country was founded are really based on classical Greek and Roman teachings, that have nothing to do with the bible. The core principles of individual rights and liberty and representative government are NOT core biblical principles in any way.

  • So much entitlement, so little time.

    A Nation of mostly Christians, who slaughtered the non-Christian natives over several centuries. The entire economy of the Sotuh depended on slavery, condoned by Christianity. So a nation founded on blood and theft.

    The West didn’t become a free society be chase of Christianity, but despite Christianity. You always want to take credit for the good stuff, and none of the bad.

    Other societies also forbade theft and murder.

    An unknown professor visited unknown countries to detail the unknown glories of socialism, and found unknown problems.

    Well, I’m convinced.

  • A little correction. Shinto and Buddhism are not competing or exlusive faiths in Japan. Japanese consider themselves both.

    Shrines and temples are to both faiths concurrently. For example Todaiji temple in Nara has a huge bronze Buddha, but it also had the Shinto Tori arches at the entrance and is overrun with semi domestic deer who are revered in a very non Buddhist fashion.

    I get your reference to Christianity in Japan. Cute. I am not going to ruin it for others.

  • OK then: founders dot archives dot gov/documents/Adams/99-02-02-3102

    “at no point did our founders consider the nation “A Christian Nation” in any official or figurative sense.” Duh, I just stated that above. But neither did they wish to remove religion from the public square because they considered it necessary to public virtue for most people.

    “Also Atheism as we know it now more or less post-dates them by a generation or so.” Nonsense. Atheism (and the accidental universe) goes all the way back to ancient Greece.

  • I might pick it up and resume, if I can get through my queue of books in Kindle first … ! 😉 And thanks for the compliment. It’s appreciated!

  • God is a lousy campaign manager or he has a sick sense of humor and likes to see people make fools of themselves.

  • “But neither did they wish to remove religion from the public square because they considered it necessary to public virtue for most people”

    A phrase which is intentionally vague and misleading.

    Government endorsement of a given faith is in the public square and is expressly forbidden. As the founders intended of the establishment clause. Religious neutrality/ecumenism in the public square is the accepted way government intersects with religion in such ways. All religions referenced and honored without favoritism or none at all.

    People who moan about religion being banished from the public square inevitably are annoyed their religion is not being endorsed by government. They are seeking to violate the establishment clause and appropriate apparatus of government to serve sectarian ends.

  • I should have been clearer. I’m asking about the last paragraph. Referring to Hillary, you said, “she is just no good for black Christianity.”

    floydlee, why do you say that? I think you’re completely wrong. Hillary is very good for Christianity of all shades. She’s not good for righties focused on using that faith to excuse their political behavior and bigotry.

  • So you think it goes something like this, “I THINK YOU SHOULD RUN FOR PRESIDENT!!!!!! To the candidate, Then, separately to the Angels, “Bwhaaaaaahahahaha”.

  • What white evangelicals are worried about is not whether this is a Christian nation, but whether white people will continue to control it. True Christians aren’t concerned about such things.

  • English Common Law existed before Christianity hit its shores.
    It comes from Pagans who lived long before Christianity was even a thing,
    Our constitution is based off Native American political structures which Mormon beliefs not withstanding were not Christian.

    I should also point out Moses laws are the Basis for Sharia Law…

  • Well there is a line from the Blake Edwards film, Skin Deep which describes the situation:
    “There is a God! And he’s a gag-writer!”

  • (groans)
    At what time of day does a priest molest an altar boy?
    When the big hand touches the little hand.

  • “Government endorsement of a given faith is in the public square and is expressly forbidden.” The actions of the founders as they went ahout the actual business of government are inconsistent with this notion.

    “As the founders intended of the establishment clause.” The founders intended the establishment clause as a limitation upon the FEDERAL government. Which is why Jefferson told the Danbury Baptists that although he sympathized with them he could not help them.

    “People who moan about religion being banished from the public square inevitably are annoyed their religion is not being endorsed by government.” I care nothing about government endorsing my religion. But I do care about the history of our country being misrepresented and our inalienable rights being therefore imperiled.

  • Superceded treaties are defunct, just like the 18th Amendment is now.

    And nope, sorry but Adams was not quoted out of context. Just like here:

    “As the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and the blessing of Almighty God, and the national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him, but a duty whose natural influence is favorable to the promotion of that morality and piety without which social happiness can not exist nor the blessings of a free government be enjoyed; and as this duty, at all times incumbent, is so especially in seasons of difficulty or of danger, when existing or threatening calamities, the just judgments of God against prevalent iniquity, are a loud call to repentance and reformation; and as the United States of America are at present placed in a hazardous and afflictive situation by the unfriendly disposition, conduct, and demands of a foreign power, evinced by repeated refusals to receive our messengers of reconciliation and peace, by depredation on our commerce, and the infliction of injuries on very many of our fellow-citizens while engaged in their lawful business on the seas–under these considerations it has appeared to me that the duty of imploring the mercy and benediction of Heaven on our country demands at this time a special attention from its inhabitants.

    I have therefore thought fit to recommend, and I do hereby recommend, that Wednesday, the 9th day of May next, be observed throughout the United States as a day of solemn humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that the citizens of these States, abstaining on that day from their customary worldly occupations, offer their devout addresses to the Father of Mercies agreeably to those forms or methods which they have severally adopted as the most suitable and becoming; that all religious congregations do, with the deepest humility, acknowledge before God the manifold sins and transgressions with which we are justly chargeable as individuals and as a nation, beseeching Him at the same time, of His infinite grace, through the Redeemer of the World, freely to remit all our offenses, and to incline us by His Holy Spirit to that sincere repentance and reformation which may afford us reason to hope for his inestimable favor and heavenly benediction” — John Adams, Proclamation 8, March 23 1798

  • Greeks and Ronans knew nothing of religious freedom. Nor of equality. Nor of fundamental human rights that exist by virtue of human birth alone irrespective of tribal ties.

    “Justice is equality, but only for equals; and justice is inequality, but only for those who are unequal.” — Aristotle

  • Democracy and money lending at interest are both forbidden to Christians so the United States never was a Christian country and most people who say they are Christians are not, they follow neither the Torah nor the Teachings of Jesus. The people most closely following the Torah are the Taliban and the group of Jews who have barbecues and raucous parties on Holohoax remembrance day in Israel…. when did God ever say it was okay to shave? Never! Yet Christians do it all the time…

  • It’s not a “Christian country”, and never was. It is a constitutionally limited representative democratic republic. We have a strictly secular government, not a theocracy. However the population is composed of around 70% self-identified Christians, and over 95% of elected members of Congress are Christian, so I really don’t get what their issue is. They have plenty of company, and they’re very well represented by any measure.

  • It almost makes me want to invoke Jimmy Carter, and the remarks he made during his presidency about a “national malaise.”

  • Democracy is not quite what I think we are seeing and experiencing, my point is we are balkanizing, if I may use the word, into a myriad of special interest groups less interested in a healthy organic whole, but rather focused on specific particular wants that will continue to divide us as a nation. That’s why I believe, republicanism (small r) is better ultimately than pure democracy (small d). We choose (hopefully) gifted, talented, and objective people to represent our interests in government, and they then govern on our behalf. The splintering of the culture on social and political grounds will make us weaker, not stronger.

  • I do believe our “roots” are Christian. There was many variations of believing and the founding fathers believed more in a personal relationship with God,than one of exercising their beliefs to the public. As of today, we are moving into an arena of diversity of all religions. That is the way it should be,but change is difficult for many, because they have been taught their belief is the only belief.

  • What does “socialist” mean to you? The fundamental principle that American democracy is based on is that people are born with God given inalienable rights. A fundamental principle of socialism is that religion (which,as as many posts above confirm), equates to the acknowledgement of “an Almighty God,” is divisive and detrimental to any society. I do not consider myself to be religious at all, but my faith in God illuminates everything else in my life. Although I wholeheartedly agree that racism and class-isms are wrong, and that is the duty of the prosperous to share with those who either cannot work or do work but still come up short, I still find myself being branded as a bigoted Imperialists just because I love God and Country.

  • The fewer of those who have been conned into believing in mythology and superstition, the less of racism, bigotry and hate there will be.
    Religion was invented when the first fool met the first charlatan.

  • NO organized RELIGION is the answer, but rather the problem! All you have to do is read about the DARK AGES when Christianity ruled! We (NON religious made it the CIVIL institution it is today)! Do you want to go back to the GOOD OLD DAYS, burning people to death, witch hunts, and dunks, torturing people because they are possessed by an imaginary devil, or SIMPLY do not believe in a GOD! GOOD and evil are what we decide it to be in our culture. MANY of the nicest people I know personally are not religious at all. If you are one who believes in a god, then why do you need a RELIGION??? Religions and Governments work hand and hand, always have, and always will. Both are a controlling agent that use one another to their own benefit,,, NOT YOURS! RELIGION is maybe the stronger of the two, haveing you believe that their is an invisible God hearing and knowing your every thought! If that’s true,,, LOL,,, he, it, must be not like us in any way,,, I can’t remember where I put my keys,,,, but to hear billions of people’s thoughts all at the same time… LOL,,, I rest my case! Love, Peace, are the two gods we should follow!

    Any organized Religion can, and usually are DANGEROUS! At their core is mind control, taking away your free-thought, and replacing it with DOGMA! Most of that Dogma thousands of years old, and simply wrong in regards to modern times. Don’t “Give me that Old Time Religion”, its not good enough fer me!

  • Re: “The United States was not founded as a specifically Christian nation, but it was a nation of Christians where Christian values were the governing norm. The West became a free society because of Christianity.”

    As I noted in another comment here (which I can’t link to, because if I did, this comment would be blocked), there is — for better or worse — absolutely nothing about Christian doctrine, theology or scripture, much less in the wider Abrahamic religious tradition, that sets the stage for anything even remotely resembling the kind of representative republic the F.F.s established. Nor had the concept of a “free society” ever existed prior to the Enlightenment … therefore it cannot logically be said to have been part of Christianity (since that religion dates to the mid 1st century). I agree most of the F.F.s were either Christian (or near-Christian), but they created this country, as it is, in spite of their Christianity (or near-Christianity), not because of it.

    Re: “The principles of British Common Law – upon which our own Constitution is built – can be traced back to the Ten Commandments.”

    Actually, English common law originated with pre-Christian Germanic tradition, not with Christianity. Of the Ten Commandments only 3 (against murder, theft, and perjury) are part of our laws … the rest were jettisoned. It’s legal to take your deity’s name in vain, to worship other deities than him/her/it; adultery and “coveting” (i.e. envying things) are likewise fully legal. Had our legal system descended from the Decalogue, this couldn’t possibly be the case.

    Re: “He wanted to visit the socialist countries of the world (which are mostly atheist) to compile their glories. Instead he found only misery.”

    Ah, “socialism,” the Religious Right’s readiest snarlword. Yes, I get it. “Socialism bad, capitalism good.” Unfortunately, this short aphorism is meaningless since neither socialism nor capitalism are implemented the same everywhere … nor is either one implemented on a “pure” basis (if it can even be said there are such things as “pure socialism” or “pure capitalism”). What this means is that sometimes socialism is good and sometimes it’s bad. Ditto for capitalism.

    I get that there are a lot of folks who’d love to think the U.S. is — or should be — a Christocracy. I also get that there are a lot of folks for whom the word “socialism” strikes terror in their hearts and they think that — at almost any moment — troops of armed socialists will march down the street, smash their doors, stomp through their homes, and take everything they own. Yes, I get that they imagine this is coming. Sadly … it’s a paranoid delusion, woven out of the cavernous vacuum of their metaphysically-soaked minds. None of it has any basis in reality. They need to grow up, get over their fierce, dour religionism, and start acting like adults, instead of pitching fits all over the place because they can’t get their way all the time.

  • Not at all. If you try something other than trying to proof text historical figures out of context and take ahistorical perspectives of events, it is easy to make that mistake. The drafters of the first Amendment were very well aware how entanglement of government apparatus with any given faith has a chilling effect on the exercise of all faiths. Separation of church and state was the intended effect.

    Making your argument even worse is that there is really no good faith way to protect free exercise of religion unless the government takes a neutral stance when it comes to any given faith. Reductive readings of the establishment clause are also attacks on the free exercise clause as well.

    The only arguments imperilling our rights are the ones supporting government endorsement of a given religion in the public square. As for representing history, see #4 of my initial comment. You seek to have your posterior kissed for being Christian. You are not the only one willing to engage in cheap revisionist claptrap to put a Christian “tramp stamp” on our free and democratic society.

  • “Separation of church and state was the intended effect.” Funny indeed from one who used to assert that “people use ‘original intent’ in order to pretend plain language and sensible interpretation of text should be ignored.” Could it be that you are learning something and “evolving” (or are you simply a hypocrite)?

    The fact remains that the founders wrote the 1st Amendment to read that “CONGRESS shall make no law…” If they meant it to apply to states, and if they wanted to erect this famed “wall of separation” they would have so written. Please do not waste our time responding with incorporation — we know that already, but it clearly has no bearing on the views of the founders.

    Just think, Lare — if it were not for the 14th Amendment, in many states you could achieve your goal to remove firearms from everyone except the terrorists! Ah well, win some lose some…

  • For any attempt at original intent try reading the Federalist Papers on the subject. Anything short of that is just being “judicially creative”.

    As for the Imitations of original founder intent as it applies state actions, that got resolved a century later. If anything it shows how short sighted they were on some subjects. Not the point.

    There is no way to protect free exercise of religion without the practice and acceptance of the concept of the separation of church and state. You are not addressing that point. Making your post just a big nasty irrelevance.

    .

  • Well for one thing, countries which are/were specifically communist weren’t remotely Marxist. They were fascist dictatorships with red shirts.

    Countries which were actually socialist, like New Zealand, were perfectly fine to live in and a magnet to those from other countries who wanted a better life. And countries like those in Scandinavia which have moved to socialism are vastly more pleasant and safe than countries like the USA.

    As for ‘socialism’, there are Americans who will tell you in all seriousness that they lost their jobs to foreigners when the corporation moved the factory overseas thanks to “liberal socialists” and their policies. Policies like a $7.25 per hour minimum wage perhaps?

    As for your “Almighty God”, you have the wrong god. Many of the founders were deists and some despised Christianity. Their god was the prime mover, something which created/started everything but then ignored the universe after that. Your Yahweh, a kitchen god of the Jews, was no part of their beliefs. They had seen what horrors Christians were capable of and designed a nation to protect the citizens from such.

    If the US system of law which starts with the Constitution is based on the 10 commandments, why does the First Amendment violate the first commandment?

  • I like to ask, “If the US system of law which starts with the Constitution is based on the 10 commandments, why does the First Amendment violate the first commandment?”

  • > So a nation founded on blood and theft.

    And on tobacco, the first new addictive drug. Like porn started the internet, tobacco started the colonies.

  • No doubt the ORIGINAL Jesus Followers, who are often considered the First Christians, felt the same way 2,000 years back.

    What with theological fighting between Peter, Paul, James the brother of Jesus, the then- splitting into hundreds of factions of Jewish & Gentile Christians who didn’t necessarily follow Peter or Paul or James but took some beliefs and such from all 3 plus whoever else was viewed as a carrier of what Jesus did and said, there was NO “cohesiveness” among first and early Christians.

    Just as there was not full cohesion during the “formalizing” of what would be considered as Christianity back in the 400’s and beyond.

    People’s conceptualizing and views of what JESUS the was, is, what He meant and WHEN He meant it for, changed over the centuries- – each new century of people claiming The True Faith & looking down on The Other, The Heretics.

    “Pete and REpeat.”

  • We are not now, nor have we ever been a “Christian Nation!” Read your history, folks our Founding Fathers were deists, not necessarily Christian.

  • LOL! Um, Larry, this is me you’re talking to. We both know perfectly well that you’ve never in your life read the Federalist Papers — if you had it would be the very last thing you would ever reference as it directly contradicts much of your bloviating.

    “There is no way to protect free exercise of religion without the practice and acceptance of the concept of the separation of church and state. You are not addressing that point.” I’ve addressed it many times. The separation of church and state does not mean to us what it meant to our founders. To them it primarily meant no national church and no state financial support of religion or clergy or, conversely, no physical or financial penalization of individuals by the state on religion’s behalf. One example that immediately comes to mind is that of James Madison having no objection to chaplains as long as they were paid for privately by congressmen instead of by the government treasury. It is a very good thing for religion, for state funding turns clergy into bureaucrats with all the industry and inspiration that bureaucrats are famous for and creates the spiritual graveyard which has been Europe ever since the middle ages. We are so spoiled to this kind of freedom, however, that we imagine there must be something more to it when there is not — and we risk forgetting the spiritual underpinnings of our fundamental rights which serve to protect them from the vagaries of culture, convenience and whim.

  • Yes someone who gets so far off the point they need a GPS to find it.

    Who mires discussions in irrelevant tangents and uses intentionally vague expressions to support fundamentalist nonsense but then takes it back when called on it.

    When you talk about “religion in public spaces “you are making a dig at the separation of church and state. You are seeking to excuse endorsement of usually Christian faith by government apparatus.

    What satisfied people when the nation was 99% protestant would be offensive today.

  • And even from the Iroquois Confederation’s constitution (yes, they had one — in this respect, they were actually more advanced than Europe was at the time).

  • So do I.

    This is just one such example from a couple years ago. The website that’s on used to have a Disqus forum, but @tedrweiland:disqus, the owner of the website, has apparently switched it back to ordinary WordPress commenting but imported the Disqus comments.

    Weiland’s website, and he himself, are quite interesting. Weiland is an ultra-extremist Dominionist Christocrat who insists that God and (his version of) Christianity should rule America overtly. He’s a Kinist, and a Brit-Am (do you know what those are?).

    But despite all this, even he has repeatedly said, built whole websites about (this being just one of them), and even wrote a quite thick book on the subject (website includes the complete text of the book for free, but it’s also available for sale on Amazon and many other sources including his own websites), that the U.S. Constitution is not only non-Biblical, but downright anti-Biblical! I can’t fault his research and indeed praise him for it, even though we mightily disagree on whether the nature of the Constitution is a good or bad thing.

    And he’s not the only one, either. I talk about another in another post in that same thread. Therein I link to an Internet Wayback Machine archive to a website by Dennis Oliver Woods (founder and headmaster of the very Dominionist Christianist King’s Way Classical Academy [slogan/motto: “Discipling the Nations: One Student at a Time”]) and former paid consultant to the Oregon State GOP, which had the (now expired) domain name, “America-Betrayed-1787·com.”

    There’s some great stuff at those websites!

  • Actually, the Roman Empire had considerable freedom of religion at least during the period of the New Testament, which is why the Jews of Palestine (Judæa, Samaria, and Galilee) were free to practice their religion, and the Roman authorities even made concessions to this.

    This is even referred to in your own Bible: Jesus and the two thieves with Him were crucified on the day before the Sabbath, and Jewish / Mosaic law forbade that a dead body go unburied until the Sabbath nor could it be buried on the Sabbath, so the Roman soldiers came along and broke the legs of the two thieves to speed up their demise (by keeping them from pushing up with their legs to relieve the weight of their bodies on their chests by way of their stretched arms — once that happens, suffocation sets in quickly) so that they could be taken down and buried before sunset. They didn’t break Jesus’s legs because He had already given up the ghost.

  • In case my original Reply doesn’t get passed through Disqus Moderation, here it is with the links made underlined text to copy-and-paste into your browser (replace each raised “mid-dot” [“·”] with a period after pasting and before trying to browse to it) instead of clickable links:
    __________________________________________

    So do I.
    constitutionmythbusters·org/salvation-by-election/#comment-1572

    This is just one such example from a couple years ago. The website that’s on used to have a Disqus forum, but @tedrweiland:disqus, the owner of the website, has apparently switched it back to ordinary WordPress commenting but imported the Disqus comments.

    Weiland’s website, and he himself, are quite interesting. Weiland is an ultra-extremist Dominionist Christocrat who insists that God and (his version of) Christianity should rule America overtly. He’s a Kinist, and a Brit-Am (do you know what those are?).

    But despite all this, even he has repeatedly said, built whole websites about (this being just one of them), and even wrote a quite thick book on the subject (BibleVersusConstitution·org — website includes the complete text of the book for free, but it’s also available for sale on Amazon and many other sources including his own websites [title: The Bible vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective]), that the U.S. Constitution is not only non-Biblical, but downright anti-Biblical! I can’t fault his research and indeed praise him for it, even though we mightily disagree on whether the nature of the Constitution is a good or bad thing.

    And he’s not the only one, either. I talk about another in another post in that same thread. Therein I link to an Internet Wayback Machine archive to a website by Dennis Oliver Woods (founder and headmaster of the very Dominionist Christianist King’s Way Classical Academy [slogan/motto: “Discipling the Nations: One Student at a Time”]) and former paid consultant to the Oregon State GOP, which had the (now expired) domain name, “America-Betrayed-1787·com.”

    There’s some great stuff at those websites!

    • IWM archive of America-Betrayed-1787:
    web·archive·org/web/20120510014219/http://www.america-betrayed-1787·com/

    • King’s Way Classical Academy: KingsWayClassicalAcademy·com

  • It’s OK. Christians have not gained the country, but they have corrupted texas. But the influx of Hindus and Muslims will bring some rationality back to the state, even should SCOTUS fail to kick them in their sanctified privates.

  • There are only a few laws in the ten commandments and the very first one is at serious odds with our Constitution. It is arrogant to think laws against theft and murder were Judeo-Christian inventions.

  • One good reason that supports another dip in the authority of christianity, is the research done at the University of Texas, Austin. They have found a means to correct a genetic error in the way RNA has been mis-copying during transcription for 3 billion years. Published 6/23/16 in the journal Science!

  • Big deal. There is no constitutional right to not be offended. If a supermajority of our people think the 1st Amendment should be something more than what our predecessors considered and voted for then there is a clearly delineated process for changing it.

    “Who mires discussions in irrelevant tangents and uses intentionally vague expressions to support fundamentalist nonsense but then takes it back when called on it.” Not my fault if you can’t follow along — maybe your school district was subpar in teaching reading comprehension. Perhaps you’d have better luck if you weren’t so busy trying to tell me what I really think.

  • Yeah, Romans valued freedom of religion so much that they fed the early christians to wild animals for refusing to burn a pinch of incense to Caesar and call him God. Is this what you would call “considerable freedom of religion” today?

    Whatever “religious freedom” may be found in antiquity had nothing to do with any concept of fundamental rights but was purely a matter of political expediency and picking one’s battles in the course of governing a huge and unwieldy empire. Wherever it inconvenienced the purposes of the emperor it could be (and was) disposed of summarily.

  • White Evangelicals are upset that they can’t use the law to force people to bow their knee to their sectarian faith. White Evangelicals want to bring back the 1950’s, when blacks had no rights, women were kept in their place, gays were imprisoned and tortured, and Catholics and others were forced to participate in Evangelical prayers and Evangelical Bible lessons in public schools. The white Evangelical dream to “Make America White and Christian Again!” is never coming back.

  • You have already conceded that government has no business giving its support and endorsement of any given faith. Even in the “public square”.That government can’t afford to do such things if it is to protect free exercise of religion of all faiths. Everything else is just your tangents. We have actually agreed here. There. done. Common ground. 🙂

  • Your statement was, “Greeks and Ronans knew nothing of religious freedom.” Copy-paste quoth you. That was what I was refuting. I demonstrated, right from your own Bible (John 19:30–37), that the Romans made concessions for the religions of the peoples they conquered. They did not try to force the Jews to worship Jupiter aka Jove (whom the Greeks called Zeus) and his offspring.

    So, nice backpedaling of your pedal-driven goalpost-mover.

  • A better word is “secularist,” though in the strictest sense our government is indeed atheist because the literal meaning of “atheist” is “not theist,” and our government is indeed not theist.

  • Doesn’t matter if the Treaty of Tripoli was superseded. What matters is that it was ratified (by 100% of the Senate that voted on it). The Constitution doesn’t say that only non-superseded treaties become part of the Supreme Law of the Land. It expressly states that →⇒•ALL•⇐← Treaties do. Ay Ell Ell does not spell “non-superseded.”

  • What an absurd objection.

    The Treaty of Tripoli is no longer in force, Einstein. It was re-negotiated and re-written, in very similar wording except that the specific language you revisionists latch on to in your desperation was deliberately taken out.

    The Treaty of Paris, however, is still in force. And it was executed “in the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity.” ?

  • It’s not merely nor even mainly a matter of offense. It’s a matter of oppression. You are correct that there is no Right to Not Be Offended (which applies just as much to your side when they find, for instance, the idea of two adults of the same gender getting married so offensive to them).

    Tell me, how many of the Founders and Framers do you think were Dispensationalist Christians (the sort of Christians who believe in the Rapture, that we are currently living in the Dispensation of Grace with Salvation by Grace Alone by uttering a two-dozen-word Sinner’s Prayer of Acceptance of Jesus Christ as Personal Savior, etc.)? We know exactly how many were. Do you?

  • “As the founders intended of the establishment clause.” The founders intended the establishment clause as a limitation upon the FEDERAL government. Which is why Jefferson told the Danbury Baptists that although he sympathized with them he could not help them.

    Wrong. The limitations were intended to apply both ways. Jefferson wrote that it established a wall of separation between Church and State. That’s wall. Not door, gate, ramp, turnstile, or any other such thing. Jefferson chose his words carefully.

    You know what walls do? They block passage in both directions. Unless you can draw a picture of a wall that could be built solely with technology that would’ve been available and easily comprehensible by both Jefferson himself and his audience (or what would be the point of using that metaphor?) that blocks passage only from one side to the other, yet freely allows passage in the opposite direction, and upload that picture somewhere and link to it here, then concede defeat on this matter.

  • Except, of course, that any candidate for national office who said he/she was not a Christian would have zero chance of election. Sadly, IMHO.

  • I’m sure I will not sway you from your opinions any more than you will sway me from mine. However, in the interest of accuracy, two of the eleven drafters of the constitution were deists, and the nine belonged to Christian denominations. That would be 18.1% deists, which would make your claim “some” valid, but I think “many” would be a stretch. Concerning the 1st amendment, it only violates the 1st commandment if that is the way you chose to interpret it. It says basically that the government has a job to do, and the church has a job to do, and neither should interfere with the other’s job. It compares with the executive, legislative and judicial branches needing to let the other branches do their job. Of course, the present administration disagrees with my interpretation on both counts, which is why we are having this conversation.

  • Crediting religious freedom to the entirety of Christianity and expecting praise for it is like crediting the Nazis with the creation of Israel for the same effect.

    Our nation was the first to adopt the notion of religious freedom (not religious tolerance) out of a sense of history with government sponsored religious persecution on both sides of the Atlantic. None of the mainstream sects, the ones who wielded political power can lay credit for religious freedom, other than being the persecutors of other sects. Thus laying the foundation of the notion of freedom from such things.

    Now if you were not being a dishonest apologist, you could credit Anabaptist sects and members like Roger Williams and William Penn for giving a religious justification our notions of secular government and religious freedom. (Separation of Church and State was coined by Roger Williams a century before the Revolution) But those sects carry beliefs which you are at odds with On other threads you would call such sects “Not real Christians”.

  • Christianity is responsible for the loss of more science, philosophy, and governmental knowledge after the Church became sovereign in Rome than any retrograde force ever. Roman society was eons more advanced than Christian civilization was five centuries later. And, believe it or not, stipulations against theft, murder, etc… well, to pretend that these things were just hunky dory prior to the advent of Christianity is laughable. Do unto others? Yeah, that was around a long time prior as well…

    It saddens me to think how much further down the road to enlightenment and technological advancement we’d be had there not been centuries of Christian scribes bleaching the works of Pythagoras, etc… off of papyrus so as to use it to write gospels because they had lost the knowledge of how to make paper.

  • “Holohoax”?!?! I thought you disgusting cretins all went back to your troll holes when David Irving went down in flames in the British courts. Oh well. Life is so disappointing.

  • By the way, the Roman Empire was infinitely more accepting of other religions prior to being taken over by the Roman Church. Pot, meet kettle…

  • I strongly disagree. Unity is very overrated. In our nation and culture, it only really happens for one reason: Fear. When we are united, it is because we are rallying against something to save our hides. In only a few cases is it usually justified. Most of the times it simply makes us do silly things in panic. Like Japanese internment, McCarthyism, or The Patriot Act. Democracy works best when people are arguing.

    Society splintering means that people don’t feel hamstrung to certain locii of political power. That they are free to express their beliefs and act on them. American society was always splintered and divided. It was just much easier for certain parties to monopolize avenues of power and expression in the past. Not so much unity as intimidation.

  • “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” is as much a violation of the notion of free exercise of religion as one can get. It is a declaration that monotheism of a certain stripe is the only acceptable religion.

    There is no way to interpret the first commandment as being friendly to other faiths. There are about 1.5 billion people worldwide whose religious beliefs would be violated by notions of enforcing the 1st Commandment, all of which have significant populations here.

    The people most responsible for the 1st Amendment religious freedoms are also of the same group which disavows all public oaths and strongly opposes any intersection of religion and political power. Something which judging by your posts, you would disagree with.
    ,

  • Larry, there simply is no short-cut to doing your homework. Have you ever read the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom yet? It is essentially an essay about the source of religious freedom, a condensation of the principles upon which the 1st Amendment would be created the following year. And it clearly states that religious freedom exists because “Almighty God hath created the mind free; That all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations… are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do”

  • Re-read my earlier posts as you obviously did not understand it the first time (as neither did COMA). There is a huge difference between religious toleration and religious FREEDOM as we understand it today. The latter requires a particular understanding of man’s nature and identity and fundamental rights that simply did not exist among the Greeks and Romans.

  • Try going back one century earlier when Roger Williams spoke of a wall of separation to preserve the integrity of both government and religious belief. Virginia had tax sponsored Anglican faith up until the Constitution ratification. This is in contrast to the colony founded by Williams. Rhode Island was one the first to embody both free exercise of religion and a prohibition on establishment of religion by government from inception.

    More to the point is how you are not addressing a word of what I said previously.

    “Almighty God hath created the mind free; That all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations… are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do””

    At no point does that statement concern religious freedom in any fashion. Free exercise of all religions nor government neutrality to all religion is not addressed. If anything it is a statement concerning solely the author’s faith. Not so much religious freedom as religious privilege. You have demonstrated that Christian faith has a theocratic tendency to it. That it choses to consider itself the only religion which matters and deserves protection under the law.

  • If it makes you feel any better the overwhelming majority of Christians throughout history didn’t understand the concept either. Hence the longest periods of religious persecution were done by state sponsored Christian churches. Our notions of religious freedom came largely from anti-clerical sources and minority sects fleeing official majority faith Christians.

    All of this is just a feeble attempt to do as I described several days earlier under #4. Expecting your posterior to be kissed for being Christian..

  • “Free exercise of all religions ..is not addressed…” It certainly is, in that none may be civilly burdened for freely exercising them.

    “Government neutrality to all religion is not addressed.” Duh, Sherlock. Nor is it addressed in any other writings of the founders. Because that is NOT what the founders understood religious freedom to be. It is a purely 20th century superimposition upon the 1st Amendment.

    “If anything it is a statement concerning solely the author’s faith.” Which was voted on and enacted by the people, is still in force, and is both the philosophical foundation and the forerunner of the 1st Amendment.

    Religious freedom, in a nutshell, is the product of the view of man’s nature and identity which was Christianity’s legacy to the west and which you and your compadres are doing your darnedest to erase. Oh…and, you’re welcome.

  • BTW, you reference Roger Williams quite frequently but in so doing you are unwittingly referencing the same argument that Jefferson incorporated into the Virginia statute above. Williams rationale for religious freedom, phrased less elegantly but more succinctly was that “forced worship stinks in God’s nostrils.”

  • So we have your concession on the actual facts and are getting into flinging p00. The Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom was enacted to undo a century of denial of religious freedom in the state. As opposed to the Rhode Island and Pennsylvania charters which guaranteed the right of free exercise of religion and neutrality of government to religion. Such ideas being central to the founding of those colonies.

    “Duh, Sherlock. Nor is it addressed in any other writings of the founders”

    Other than the Establishment Clause. Which went through various drafts including very reductive ones to just explicitly being about banning a state church. Also as I stated such concepts predated the founders. It is not a 20th Century superimposition. It is a 17th Century concept.

    “Religious freedom, in a nutshell, is the product of the view of man’s nature and identity which was Christianity’s legacy to the west and which you and your compadres are doing your darnedest to erase”

    Well that is an opinion borne largely on dishonestly conflating the efforts of persecuted minority Christian sects with the entirety of the faith. Such sects are at odds with your beliefs. If not for trying to put a tramp stamp on their efforts centuries before, you generally call such sects ‘Not real Christians”.

  • I reference Williams frequently because he is the father of our religious freedoms. I could also mention William Penn as well. But his history is far less interesting. He bought Pennsylvania as a refuge for all people fleeing religious persecution by Christian majorities. Williams was forcibly removed from theocratic Massachusetts Bay Colony and created a community which was a reaction to them. Jefferson had nothing to do with the actual he drafting of the Constitution. He was not even in the country at the time of the Constitutional Convention. Also Jefferson also was openly hostile to most concepts underlying Christianity. Especially as you observe it. His views on religion as expressed today would have you calling him a fake Christian at best.

  • Well, they’re right, I suppose, considering we haven’t been a “Christian nation” ever. Some parts of the country fancied themselves as specifically sectarian colonies, states, cities or regions prior to the creation of the United States of America. But all that came to an end in 1789 when the Constitution was ratified. Funny how much you can learn when you listen to somebody besides idiots quoting their favorite, hate-justifying bible-verses.

  • Well, of course, peculiarities abound among the various states’ constitutions, but the type you’re citing would be thrown out by SCOTUS faster than you can blink if they choose to spend the $$ necessary to try bringing it to the Bench.

  • You cannot prove that: the rise of the modern state in the 18th Century, thank God, has protected us from making the same kind of hard-headed mistakes the Europeans fought over for the entire 16th – and into the 17th – Century. If it had been left up to the so-called Christians, we’d still be executing people for unorthodoxy, cropping ears for lying, drowning witches and beating people for “taking the Lord’s name in vain.” For the life of me, I can’t understand what people like you think is so damned good about the idea of a “Christian nation.” In terms of the protection and advancement of human rights, every goddam one of ’em has been a disaster. I”ll stick with my non-sectarian republic, thank you very much.

  • Larry, absolutely nothing you just wrote addresses anything I just said. It’s like I’m writing in English and you’re reading in Hindustani.

    “Jefferson had nothing to do with the actual he drafting of the Constitution. He was not even in the country at the time of the Constitutional Convention.” Very true, but James Madison had everything to do with the drafting of the constitution, and it was Madison who with great dedication led the effort to get the Statute enacted in Virginia. Also it was Madison who saw no need for a 1st Amendment at all since the federal government had no power concerning religion in any case, but threw it in to please the anti-federalists. And the SCOTUS has expressly held that the 1st Amendment incorporates the supporting principles of the Statute.

    “Also Jefferson also was openly hostile to most concepts underlying Christianity. Especially as you observe it. His views on religion as expressed today would have you calling him a fake Christian at best.” Well, tell us some more fresh news, Mr. Hearst! No duh Jefferson was not a Christian in the biblical sense. Which is obviously part of the larger point. If even the least orthodox of the founders could plainly recognize the very religious root of the concept of religious freedom then it is willful ignorance of the grossest sort to try to deny it now.

    And if you think Roger Williams’ notion of religious freedom involved complete government “neutrality” and impartiality toward all faiths, you’ve short-circuited your thinking apparatus from too much time in online opinion mills. True that his views of man’s individual freedom and responsibility to God did not allow him to actively persecute anyone in a penal or financial sense on account of religion — which we can all agree upon, hopefully. Yet, read some of the rants against Quakers, for instance, that Williams published while he led the Rhode Island colony and see if that is something you could stomach the POTUS doing today in our thin-skinned and pearl-clutching 21st century culture. ?

  • So now you are on some kind of digression and engaging in some goalpost shifting. You have lost sight of the point and need a guide dog at this point to bring you back.

    Mostly because you already conceded that separation of church and state as a concept predates the constitution. Its origins have to do with persecution by majority Christian sects. There is nothing left here.

    “If even the least orthodox of the founders could plainly recognize the very religious root of the concept of religious freedom ”

    Well that is your take on such things and simply a lame dodge for the fact you set up an entire argument based on the work of someone who was extremely critical of religious practice and beliefs in general. You are trying to continue with an ahistorical argument beyond reasonable limits.

    Whatever “religious roots” of religious freedom exist, cannot be simply attributed to the entirety of Christianity as you have claimed on numerous occasions. But instead to small persecuted sects and someone extremely critical of religion in general. People whose views you are completely at odds with.

  • “Mostly because you already conceded that separation of church and state as a concept predates the constitution. ” LOL! It predates it all right. No question about that.

    “Well that is your take on such things…” No it isn’t. It is spelled out quite matter-of-factly in the the Statute for Religious Freedom that was the precursor of the 1st Amendment. No “take” necessary at all.

    “Whatever “religious roots” of religious freedom exist, cannot be simply attributed to the entirety of Christianity as you have claimed on numerous occasions.” Did I ever say it was from the “entirety” of Christianity? No. But it comes from a decidedly theistic standpoint, and in the west that is, like it or not, mainly theism that is Christian in nature, steeped in the concept of the Imago Dei that has its roots in the OT and comes to full fruition in the NT. Even YOU largely operate on such premises, although oblivious to the fact that for you it has no underpinnings that render it imperative. Jefferson recognized this too, for while he acknowledged that although the Statute for Religious Freedom might well be changed by future generations, so doing would be a violation of our fundamental rights under the laws of nature ordained by God and therefore would be most inadvisable.

    Just like with slavery…some claimed Christian belief while practicing it, of course, but only Christianity could ever come up with a compelling rationale for abolishing it. And so it is for “religious freedom.”

  • No, I got it, but it’s missing a few things. Firstly, part of Rome’s success was built upon incorporating the gods and religions of conquered peoples into their own culture.

    The persecution of Christians, to whatever extent it actually happened, was, firstly, something that probably would not have occurred during the Roman Republic, but, alas, once Rome was an Empire EVERYTHING existed at the whim of the Emperor, so it’s rather hard to say there was one policy for, well, anything.

    Secondly, the problem Romans had with Christians wasn’t that they worshiped a different god, it was that they refused to add their god into the pantheon of gods. They, in essence, were exclusionary, and refused to acknowledge other gods, including Caesar. I’m not saying that made them deserving of persecution, but that’s why.

    Finally, and hilariously, a Christian commenting negatively on an ancient society for persecuting their religion is a bit rich when Christianity has plenty of blood on its hands for the very same thing. But, alas, it was the ancient world and ancient peoples did horrible things to one another on occasion.

  • “”Mostly because you already conceded that separation of church and state as a concept predates the constitution. ” LOL! It predates it all right. No question about that.”
    Which contradicted your previous statement that it was a more modern concept. Which obviously were incorrect.

    “Did I ever say it was from the “entirety” of Christianity? No. ”

    Yep. That was entirely your intention. As was the claim that elements inherent to the entire faith are the basis of concepts of religious freedom. So now you are backpedaling from that as well.

    “steeped in the concept of the Imago Dei that has its roots in the OT and comes to full fruition in the NT.”

    Which was such an important concept that it was ignored by most of Christianity for 1600 years of its inception. Here you are trying to claim the entirety of Christianity is responsible for religious freedom. A concept you already said was not correct. This is just an outright fiction on your part, given that mainstream Christianity had the role of persecutor of peoples, not its defender.

    “Just like with slavery…some claimed Christian belief while practicing it, of course, but only Christianity could ever come up with a compelling rationale for abolishing it.”

    Because there were no precedent for people opposing slavery before 19th Century abolitionism? LMAO! Never heard of Spartacus and the Servile Wars? Try looking up Epaminondas. Also the details on how and why France abolished slavery. (hint, it was not a religious movement responsible there). Abolition of slavery of Roma people also was not based in religious rationale either. Its just more of your apologia and trying to take credit for an entire faith where it is obviously not the case.

    All of this dishonest apologia, revisionism and ridiculous imaginings of history are done for the sole purpose of trying to get your posterior kissed for being Christian. As I mentioned in one of the first posts here. Well have fun with that. We’re done here. Its all backpedaling, lame excuses for the holes in your historical knowledge, and goalpost shifting from here.

  • I am not going to treat you like someone whose views need to be taken seriously. At this point its difficult to tell whether you are genuinely stup1d or just a 1ying piece of sh1t. Stick to Stormfront, where people are more receptive to such bigoted fictions. Your presence here is unwelcome.

    I will leave the crowd with a site for dealing with wannabe David Irving’s
    hdot dot org

  • “Which contradicted your previous statement that it was a more modern concept. Which obviously were incorrect.” What is a modern concept is not separation of church and state itself but the notion that such separation entails complete “neutrality” of government figures toward all religions. Such a notion appears in none of the founders’ writings. It was not displayed in their actions. It is an invention of the early 20th century. Learn to read.

    “Because there were no precedent for people opposing slavery before 19th Century abolitionism?” LOL! You’ll never hear a claim like that from me, Lare — because Christian abolitionism has a glorious history that goes all the way back to the 4th century and slowly and steadily led to the disappearance of slavery from medieval Europe — but ONLY medieval Europe (a rather substantial accomplishment for a Christian concept which you claim was “ignored” for 1600 years) . Slavery’s revival in the west was a blip, relatively speaking, in Christendom’s 2000 year history — one that coincided, interestingly enough, with a renewed fascination with classical pagan writers as well as with increased contact with Islam. We’ve discussed all this before, but you don’t seem to retain information very well unless, of course, it comes from poor quality atheist opinion mills.

    Seriously? Spartacus? There is no indication whatsoever in the historical record that Spartacus and his gang had in mind the abolition of slavery. What they wanted was freedom for themselves, and probably to accumulate enough followers from among the slaves and the lower classes to wrest some territory away from Rome — where they would, no doubt, have become the new masters with slaves of their own. As for France, they abolished slavery mainly in order to get along with the British, who had abolished it in response to the entirely Christian efforts of Wilberforce who in turn was inspired by John Wesley and the other giants of the First Great Awakening. In the same way the move for Roma emancipation poached off the Christian-driven American abolition movement (ever wonder why Uncle Tom’s Cabin was translated into Romanian? Um, yep). And perhaps you’re unaware that TODAY there are more people enslaved worldwide than at any other given moment in all of history. But again, not in the west. Coincidence, I’m SO sure. ?

    Oh, and learn to read…

  • “What is a modern concept is not separation of church and state itself but the notion that such separation entails complete “neutrality” of government figures toward all religions.”

    No, that is what separation of church and state means and always meant. Compromises on this front undermine the very concept of it and are government endorsement of religion. But of course neutrality also means excumenicalism as well. Embracing all faiths without showing favoritism. You were wrong the first time you made the claim it was a 20th century thing, you continue to be wrong on it. You can’t protect free exercise of religion without the government being neutral to all faiths.

    “”Because there were no precedent for people opposing slavery before 19th Century abolitionism?” LOL! You’ll never hear a claim like that from me, ”

    More backpedalling from your prior statements. Where you claimed abolitionism could only have come from Christianity and then continued to make such claims just now. You really have a problem with honest and consistent arguments.

    “because Christian abolitionism has a glorious history that goes all the way back to the 4th century and slowly and steadily led to the disappearance of slavery from medieval Europe — but ONLY medieval Europe ”

    That is not true either. Slavery was alive and well in Europe well into the 15th Century. Even the word slave comes from the trade in slavic people which went on unabated until the beginnings of the African slave trade.

    “As for France, they abolished slavery mainly in order to get along with the British”

    Wrong, you are talking out of your posterior. France abolished slavery BEFORE the UK. The reasons were largely political. This is typical of you. Making up stuff to cover the gaping factual holes in your premises.

    “In the same way the move for Roma emancipation poached off the Christian-driven American abolition movement

    Except end of the Roma slave trade happened 300 years before any of that. Again, you are completely factually wrong and talking out of your posterior. Making feeble excuses to keep a factually unsustainable argument going. This is quite common of you. You try to make up excuses for obvious gaps in your knowledge of history.

    You really don’t know what you are talking about here. Maybe you should read something other than Christian apologia and proof-texted versions of the Bible.

    Your posterior is still not being kissed for being a Christian. Sorry about that. 🙂

  • “Secondly, the problem Romans had with Christians wasn’t that they worshiped a different god, it was that they refused to add their god into the pantheon of gods. They, in essence, were exclusionary, and refused to acknowledge other gods, including Caesar.” Excuse me, but how exactly does that in any way support the idea that Romans had “religious freedom?” Would you consider yourself a beneficiary of “religious freedom” in being compelled to acknowledge gods you do not believe in? You appear to be supporting my position rather than yours.

    “The persecution of Christians, to whatever extent it actually happened, was, firstly, something that probably would not have occurred during the Roman Republic” I don’t see why not. Republican Rome wiped out roughly 7000 followers of the Bacchanalian cult over a five year period from 186 – 181 BC — an affair which actually was noted as a precedent for the Empire’s later campaign against Christianity. What the two really had in common boiled down to: neglect of prescribed state deities = religious individualism = apoliticalism = subversion of the common good. As Postumius, consul at the time, put it: “…these are the gods who,according to the institutions of your ancestors, are to receive your worship, your veneration, your prayers – not those gods who would drive on to every sort of crime, to every form of lust, those persons whose minds have been taken captive by degraded and alien rites.”

    So much for Roman “religious freedom.”

    “But, alas, it was the ancient world and ancient peoples did horrible things to one another on occasion.” I hear this a lot but one thing I never hear is why this should be so. Where was all this “innate human empathy” which is popularly supposed by atheists to be responsible for all the progress which had been made (curiously enough, only in the west) but which was conspicuous by its absence from the historical record prior to about the 1st century AD?

  • “No, that is what separation of church and state means and always meant.” Reiterating your position does not render it more valid. So you think ecumenicalism is necessary to protect free exercise. Big deal. Your personal opinion is not the issue. The notion appears neither in the writings nor in the actions of the founders.

    “Slavery was alive and well in Europe well into the 15th Century.” Slavery all but disappeared from the legal record in Europe by the end of the 1100’s. It did, however, exist on the outskirts such as North Africa and far eastern Europe thanks to pervasive Muslim presence and activity there. My Slavic grandfather’s family came from what is now Czechoslovakia where the kidnapping, enslaving, and sexual use of young and pretty adolescents by Muslims was a particular problem during the medieval period. Funny how the same thing is appearing in the headlines just about every day now…

    “France abolished slavery before the UK.” If you mean the little matter over the three Carribbean islands, one of which was possessed by the British anyway, sure. Big deal. Nothing was actually implemented there, and even the empty decree only lasted a few years. French slavery was not definitively abolished until 1848.

    “Except end of the Roma slave trade happened 300 years before any of that.” Slave trade and slavery are two different things, Einstein — they were abolished separately here too, by a half century. Roma were not emancipated until the mid-19th century.

    You remind me of a guy I once talked with at HuffPo who insisted (no doubt from a beer-run to Wikipedia) that Japan had abolished slavery “without Christianity.” Except he was unaware that the same emperor who had “abolished slavery” imported tens of thousands of Koreans as “un-free laborers,” a practice which continued until after WWII. LOL! Just anything, Lord, to escape the inescapable fact that where Christianity has gone, human rights have followed. Where it doesn’t go, barbarism and inhumanity remain the default settings of the human race.

    Oh…and learn to read. 🙂

  • Wow! the Jews are behind just everything! Who knew!

    But I couldnswear that a True Baptists told me it was the gays that controlled everything. And everyone knows a good baptist would neve just make stuff up!

    Except that the priest of the higher hokum told me it was the illuminati. And my catholic friend told me it was the Masons. And my radical and generally unemployed friend insisted it was the corporate masters of G7.

    Where do you people get these ideas of yours? Why are you so afraid of minority groups?

    and why didn’t your mother and father raise you properly?

  • You have not made a single correct factual assertion.

    The notion appears neither in the writings nor in the actions of the founders.”

    Except in every instance when they discuss the dangers of state sponsored religion and how it drove people to the American shortsighted.

    “Slavery all but disappeared from the legal record in Europe by the end of the 1100’s.”

    In the UK and Eastern Europe it was alive and well for at least 400 years after that. Selling people to the Ottomans was an ongoing concern as well. Splitting the hair of slave trading and slavery is so far beyond a reasonable and honest response that it’s laughable. Obviously you got caught flat footed there. As well as your attempt to minimize efforts at abolition you knew nothing about (which had no religious background).

    Fact of the matter is even the most casual research on any given subject you throw up there in your Gish Gallops, refutes your assertions.

    But when spinning fictions for the Lord, it makes no difference.

  • The problem with Article VI is that it is only applicable to things specifically stated by the Constitution. If the Constitution was silent on a subject, it was punted to the states to do with as they saw fit. This is why the only mention of religion in the text of the Constitution (before the Bill of Rights was ratified). The intent of the writers was to punt issue of religion and religious freedom to the individual states and let them handle it as they saw fit.

    Not having a religious test for office did not prohibit a state from actually creating a state church. It only did not allow whether or not a person was a member of that church or a particular faith to be a test for being allowed to hold office.

    This type of thing was the reason why the 14th Amendment was necessary. Without the 14th, if the Constitution did not specifically address a certain topic, states were free to address it in any way they saw fit. It was this very construct that allowed northern states to outlaw slavery while southern states maintain slavery as legal.

    Even after the ratification of the Bill of Rights, which, by the way, was championed by my Baptist forebears, there were still established state churches via state constitutions. The 1st Amendment prohibited states or the federal government from requiring membership or the paying of taxes in support of a particular church; it did not prohibit the establishment of a state church. The last state church via a state’s constitution wasn’t actually abolished until 1833, and that was Massachusetts.

    There were many during the colonial period, the period during which this country was governed by the Articles of Confederation, and during the ratification of and early years of the Constitution who thought there should be a state church and that the states should be allowed to create just such a relationship. It was how things were done during that time. There was a very close relationship between state and church. One just has to look at how those, like Baptists, were treated when they refused to teach what the state-recognized church was teaching or refused to pay to support that church and its clergy.

  • I would, unfortunately, have to disagree with you that, from the inception of this nation, we were declared a nation of religious freedom. Not having a religious test for office did not prohibit the establishment of a state church by individual states. Those who were clamoring for religious freedom, like Baptists, were persecuted and forced to support state churches during colonial times and during the period this nation was governed by the Articles of Confederation. Even the First Amendment did not prohibit states from having constitutionally-established state-churches. The last official one wasn’t removed from Massachusetts constitution until 1833.

    There were minority groups, such as my Baptist forebears, who were pushing for true religious freedom for all, but it was a minority position. Thankfully, through perseverance and the starting point of the First Amendment which eventually led to full religious freedom, these groups continued to push for it to become reality.

    Unfortunately, there are groups today, usually white, evangelical, and Protestant, who would like to go back to the construct of that time. I would most definitely be one of them, even though I am white, evangelical, and Protestant and am a member of the clergy.

  • No, you said, originally, that Romans “knew nothing of religious freedom,” which simply isn’t true. They were happy to allow you to keep your gods as long as you professed fealty to their gods as well. This isn’t religious freedom as we know it, but it was a far sight better than the religious freedom enjoyed during the time the Catholic Church ruled Rome. Rome prior to Augustus was a far more tolerant place for different religions than it was after Constantine. That’s my point, and really my only point. It was also a far more advanced society in a zillion different ways. Christianity erased eons of human progress in technology and philosophy, so thanks to you I can’t have my flying car just yet. Yes, you personally are responsible for my lack of a flying car. Thanks a lot.

    Of course, I’m a casual reader of Roman history and could be wrong. Still want my flying car, tho.

  • “Except in every instance when they discuss the dangers of state sponsored religion and how it drove people to the American shortsighted.” Again, “state sponsored” did not mean the same thing to them. It meant financial support and establishment. I hardly think Adams’ call to national days of prayer “drove people” to the American shortsighted anything (whatever you meant to say by that). The founders would actually be horrified at the hash that has been made of the legacy they took such care in bequeathing to us. All their worst fears about an immoral, uncultivated and uneducated populace, that naturally leans to tyranny in avoidance of the responsibilities of liberty, have come to pass.

    “As well as your attempt to minimize efforts at abolition you knew nothing about (which had no religious background).” Those efforts did NOT free any slaves, Einstein, and amounted to not much more than propaganda and manipulation of rebelling black island populations in war against Britain.

    “Splitting the hair of slave trading and slavery is so far beyond a reasonable and honest response that it’s laughable” Why? Selling people to Muslims was an illegal activity on the outskirts of Christendom which was condemned by both the Church and European society at large. For Muslims, however, it was perfectly legal and acceptable everyday business. Much of Asia and Africa have purported to “abolish slavery” under humanitarian pressure from the west but nevertheless it flourishes because what is missing is the underlying Judeo-Christian view of who man actually is.

    Willful ignorance is going to land you on your knees “kissing the posteriors” of Muslim overlords — before they throw you off a building — if you are not extremely careful.

    You’ll probably scream “It was the Christians’ fault” all the way down to the ground. 😀

  • I’ve reached peak Shawnie. Where patience for your phony excuses for clear gaps, omissions and fabrications has been exhausted and is just devolving into irrelevant nonsense so far from the original argument.

    Makes no difference. Blather, rinse, repeat is the nature of apologetic Christian tramp stamping of history and society.

  • Interesting perspective, some of your points indeed have merit, but permit me to disagree that they only thing that engenders unity is fear.

  • The definition of “socialism” is not in any way contingent upon any religious orientation. It has nothing to do with religion. It is purely a politico-economic term. That is why so many political parties in Europe call themselves Christian Socialists.

  • “These days, the word socialism gets tossed around so much, it’s almost lost all meaning. Originally, though, it was the bedrock of Marxism and meant that workers and their community should control the market for what they make.” (https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/socialism) My original post was in response to a post where Marxism was specifically mentioned.

  • Yes, that is close enough. If “pure” socialism could be said to exist, it would be workers owning the means of production. Atheism is irrelevant to the concept. And Marx did not invent socialism. He was a socialist. An atheist socialist. Just like Patrick Henry, for example, was an atheist republican.

  • I would be all for a “pure” socialistic society, just as I would be all for “true” separation of Church and State as it was intended. As you said, capitalism and socialism are economic situations, and neither should be intertwined with religion.

  • We were never a Christian Nation. Our country was founded on Slavery and force resettlement of an entire ethnic group. Also, read our Declaration of Independence. One of the issue the colonist had was, “He (the King) has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.” Meaning Britain was trying to encourage slaves to fight against their owners and Britain encouraged Native Americans to fight settlers from encroaching on their land. Of course, this is never taught in school.

  • > I guess you don’t know what socialism is.

    You guess wrong. I was raised in a very socialist country indeed. It had its good points and its bad points.

  • Nope, i don’t guess wrong, as long as you consider New Zealand or Scandinavian countries to be socialists while still having free market.

    Well, i was raised in a 100% socialist country as well. Good points almost none.

    A lot of people think that social services and welfare define socialism … wrong.

  • In my opinion state should provide basic services, like education, healthcare, public transportation, police and fire department.

    Would that make it socialist? Nope.

    One instance in which state owns assets doesn’t transform that state in a socialist one. State actually owns a lot of assets in any country, no matter how capitalist you deem it to be. And actually pure, wild capitalism doesn’t exist. Everywhere in the capitalist world there are instances of social infrastructures owned by the state.

    And btw social services and welfare were not even “invented” by the socialists but by a capitalist, Otto von Bismark, as answer to the rise of socialist currents in the late XIX century.

    Really we should stop deem socialism as being the same with social services/welfare/social democracy. Especially if you were raised in a socialist country you should know the difference – unless you were very young when you left that country or the regime changed.

  • > or the regime changed.

    It did. As in the USA, ‘smart’ people did ‘clever’ things and completely screwed it all up.

  • Not true. Article VI3 ¶ point-blank explicitly spells out that not only the Constitution, but also all Laws passed by Congress in pursuit thereof, and all Treaties, are jointly included in being the Supreme Law of the Land.

    Even the Tenth Amendment doesn’t help you here. It states that all Powers (note: not “Rights,” despite that term being used in every one of the preceding Amendments in the Bill of Rights that uses either term — no, they are not synonyms! Ask me about the distinction) doesn’t help you here, since Article VI is among “the powers … delegated by this Constitution to the Federal government” which the Tenth explicitly says are not included in the Powers reserved to the States respectively, nor to the People.

    Moreover, the prohibition in Article VI ¶3 against religious tests for any public office, as I pointed out almost ½ a year ago, apply to the States and all lower levels including Counties, Cities, Townships, Towns, or whatever, as shown by the terminology “under the United States.” Thus, the power to require any religious test for any office is a power that is expressly prohibited by the Constitution to the States, and so, again, the Tenth Amendment doesn’t help you.

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