Argumentative Essay for English

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by YoungChristian, May 14, 2005.

  1. YoungChristian
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    YoungChristian Member

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    I would be deeply thankful if you would weigh in on the premise of my argumentative essay for my English Class:

    There are many positive things about the United States: it is one of the strongest, freest, and wealthiest nations in the world. However, there is an ever increasing threat that may dismantle what may be the greatest country of all time. This threat is not George W. Bush, the deterioration of the environment, or even terrorism. The biggest danger to the United States is the gradual deterioration of its national character.
    When the Founding Fathers of the United States of America drafted the Constitution of this country, they spent a considerable amount of time pondering how to keep this nation free from tyranny. They limited the government in many areas through the Bill of Rights. The main reason that the country was allowed to be so free was that there was a sense of a Higher Being in its people, and a very real fear of God. Furthermore, the Founders of this country counted on their own faith in God and the fact that there were absolute morals by which people could be governed. Throughout the country’s short history, the U.S. has reaffirmed its roots many times. However, there is a movement of moral relativism sweeping across this country and, if not stopped, it could destroy this nation.
    There is nothing wrong with social progressivism. There have been many great movements that happened within this country in which God played a very large role. Among them were the Anti-Slavery, Women’s Rights, and Equal Rights movements. These developments never could have been successful without people of faith. However, social progressivism can be very dangerous when it is done in the name of humankind instead of God. Examples of these factions are the Anti-Religion, Tolerance, and Socialist movements. It is radicals such as these that have led to the erosion of the American Dream.
    John Adams, the second President of the U.S. and one of the Founding Fathers, had two very important quotes on the role of religion in our founding:
    “Statesmen…may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand.”
    “We have no government armed in power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”
    These quotes make it plain for the eye to see that America depends on the religion of its people, and if the people lose their sense of morality, America is incapable of protecting itself from implosion. The only way for government to counteract this implosion is by imposing morality upon their citizens and becoming the tyrants that the Founders feared.
    How has religion been lost in America? There are several key issues that all need to be addressed before this country can regain the moral strength it once had. Among these issues are the First Amendment, public education, and the role of government in the economy.
    One way that the enemies of morality have been successful is by manipulating the very amendment that protects religion in all aspects of one’s life. The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” This amendment has created a separation of church and state because of what liberal interpreters call the “Establishment Clause.” The Establishment Clause is an obvious illusion that is still fooling the American people. To put things into perspective, the Founders of the United States were separating themselves from England, a country in which the government controlled the church and thus how people could worship God. By preventing the establishment of religion, the Founders were keeping the government from having any power in the church. Essentially, the first amendment was to keep the government out of religion, not religion out of the government. Even Thomas Jefferson, who is generally idolized by the secular Left wing of politics, was very supportive of religion in the public place. During his presidency, he attended church services, which were held in the United States House of Representatives. Jefferson was once quoted as saying that religion is “deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be its best support.” James Madison, who is credited with writing much of the Constitution and the author of the First Amendment, attended church in government buildings and issued several proclamations thanking God for our deliverance as a country. During Madison’s presidency, members of Congress were hiring and paying for chaplains for the House and Senate. Therefore, it is almost downright absurd for the Supreme Court, the ACLU, or any self-respecting individual to interpret the First Amendment as an anti-religious action.
    Another big way that moral relativism is being promoted on a broad scale is in our school systems. Dr. Benjamin Rush, who is generally recognized along with Thomas Jefferson as the founder of public education, called for free public education supported by a property tax. In fact, he wrote a pamphlet that gave twelve reasons as to why the Bible needed to be the central textbook in schools. One of his most famous remarks was,
    “I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them…We neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government; that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible…equality among mankind…respect for just laws…and sober and frugal virtues.”
    The third problem with today’s America is the role of the government in the economy. Believe it or not this is also closely tied with religion. Capitalism is a beautiful concept in which everyone is free to work as they please, but they also have the responsibility of self-reliance. America is an opportunity-based, not an entitlement-based society. There are several religious problems surrounding capitalism, though. One popular criticism is that the system is driven by greed and love of money. This is very true, especially in this day and age where people often replace God with their love of money. However, Christians need capitalism. It is the most fair and just system there is, one in which God can reward those who work hard. All Christians should care deeply about taking care of the poor, but it should be limited to private means because when the government gets involved in problems, it usually makes them worse instead of better. Therefore, Christians need the government to be separated from the economy so they can care for the poor without the government trying to redistribute their wealth.
    For America to restore their national character, it is an imperative that they return to some of the conservative Christian ideals that we were founded under. It is very important for a society to care for the poor, but not a government. By following Jesus’ advice to “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” everyone in the country can live happier lives. It is both fair and just for Christians to demand that morality is again taught in the public school system. Then many generations will be educated as to how to make the world a better place.
     
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  2. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    It's a good persuasive essay. What year are you in? The grammar and logic are very good. Private or public school?
     
  3. YoungChristian
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    YoungChristian Member

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    I'm a senior at a small public school in Pennsylvania. Right now my plans are to enter a Pre-Law Program with my major in Political Science and my minor in Religious Studies. Someday I want to go to both Law School and Seminary. (haha sounds like contradictory professions) Eventually I would like to run for political office.
     
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  4. Annie
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    I think it excellent. It speaks highly of your school that you are comfortable writing this. :clap: :clap:
     
  5. YoungChristian
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    YoungChristian Member

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    I've grown up my whole life in a church environment and have been inspired by many conservative writers and talkers like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Pat Robertson. However, I also realize that not everything Republicans do is touched by gold. I've read progressive works by Jim Wallis and the humor of John Stewart's America. Public school has taught me how to read, and I've taught myself the rest through many of these sources.
     
  6. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Well you sound very curious and are doing a good job of keeping yourself open to various points of view. I wish all 'adults' would share your outlook. Good luck in your studies, we need more ethical lawyers!
     
  7. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Good essay, YC. My only advice concerns the paragraph which contains this sentence: "[t]his amendment has created a separation of church and state because of what liberal interpreters call the “Establishment Clause.” That label is not one given by the Left; it's common usage. Also, I would suggest a brief discussion of the Free Exercise Clause ("or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."), which backs your assertion that Freedom of Religion was the purpose behind the amendment, not freedom from religion. Otherwise, I think it's a good piece.
     
  8. YoungChristian
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    YoungChristian Member

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    Thanks Kathianne and Gop_Jeff. Your help is much appreciated. I was hoping a liberal would tear it down, though. haha
     
  9. Markainion
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    Good argument for a senior in high school, it’s nice to see bright minds in the youth.

    Advice for college: prepare yourself for moral arguments with and without religious overtones. Some professors and students look down on students who focus too much on religious reasoning. A good debtor should be able to win a moral argument with or without mentioning religion.

    Good luck I think you will be great.
     
  10. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    You may be able to cut out a few 'that's.

    such as (just on instance, there are others)

    Instead of:

    try

    Excellent Piece, however. :)
     

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