Government And Religion

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Merlin, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. Merlin
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    Merlin Active Member

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  2. listopencil
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    listopencil Member

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  3. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Both posts are overreaching blanket statements, both of which contain elements of truth, but neither of which contain the whole truth.

    There were some Founding Fathers who were devout Christians. There were also some who were deists, or atheists.
     
  4. Merlin
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    Merlin Active Member

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    I agree. I find both articles interesting. Monday morning quarterbacking to see what was meant by every statement made over 200 years ago is difficult to say the least.
     
  5. Nightwish
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    Nightwish Member

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    As someone in another thread rightly mentioned, what they meant by Christianity was different from what we mean by it today.

    Most of them were, in fact, Deists, though a Deism that arose from a core Christian foundation. Thus, their core spirituality was Judeo-Christian in nature, but their approach to it was Deistic.

    If you carefully read the numerous quotes from both sides, you'll see the words "Christian" and "Christianity" used in more than one way, and the only way to determine in what sense it is used is to read it in context. Some, especially Jefferson and Payne, were extremely critical of the Bible as a whole (Jefferson called it "dunghill"), while nevertheless embracing the personal teachings of Christ himself. In other words, they were extremely selective in which parts of the Bible they considered to be the "true Bible," or the "true religion."

    In some instances, they criticized Christianity, meaning specifically Catholicism. In other instances, they criticized Christianity, meaning any doctrinal institution with teachings based on any other scripture than the words of Jesus himself. In other instances, they praised Christianity, meaning the pure religion of Jesus, eschewing most of the rest of biblical Judeo-Christianity.

    In coming to America, they sought to escape not only the oppressions of the Catholic Church, but also the strife and hypocrisy of the European Protestant denominations. As such, very few of the Founding Fathers had any formal allegiance to any particular doctrine or denomination, indeed most of them didn't even exist in America until after the Constitution was already written and ratified.

    Their doctrine was the words, teachings and parables of Jesus, not the myth of Jesus himself, not the parthenogenesis, not the resurrection, not the teachings of Paul or Moses, but what Jesus had to teach us about living with each other.
     
  6. Nightwish
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    In the article from the OP, it calls Patrick Henry the "Firebrand of the American Revolution."

    I found that interesting, because in most cases it is Thomas Payne, not Patrick Henry, who is called by that title. And I've found a few instances where the title is given to Samuel Adams.

    So were all three of them called by this nickname, or are several websites simply mistaken about which one of them actually bore the title?
     
  7. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    I think the website itself has some errors on it that Snopes has noted somewhere.
     
  8. Nightwish
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    I mean I've found several websites for each, although the majority of them give Thomas Payne the nickname.
     

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