The Source of American Exceptionalism

Discussion in 'History' started by PoliticalChic, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    The following 3-part question was asked in a recent thread....

    "So, and here's the part I'd like to have you confirm, are you saying that:

    1. We are exceptional as a result of the intervention of divine providence?

    2. Being "watchmen on the walls of world freedom" not only allows us, but obligates us to intervene in the affairs of other countries if we determine that their level of freedom is not acceptable to us?

    3. Our ability to determine the acceptable level of freedom in other sovereign countries has been given to us by God? In other words, He has made us judge and jury?"



    Short answer: Yes, Not really, and No.

    But….I really would rather a longer answer…so if you can afford the time…..

    1. The Jewish people have the exceptional honor of beholding that there is one God, an invisible one, to whom they made a commitment, and established a covenant. They promised to follow certain beliefs, such as investing the beliefs stated above, and, in turn, certain miracles befell them.


    2. One can debate the existence of, or the definition of, ‘miracle’…but it has been quite a while since the first appearance of the Jewish people. Consider the words of Cicero: “History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illuminates reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life, and brings us tidings of antiquity.”


    3. How to explain the continued existence of a nationless people, who are identified with God, in a world in which power and authority are often based on erasing any indication of God, religion and morality?

    a. “After Buddha was dead, his shadow was still shown for centuries in a cave-a tremendous, gruesome shadow. God is dead; but given the way of men, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown. -And we-we still have to vanquish his shadow, too.”
    From Nietzsche's The Gay Science, (trans. W. Kaufmann), s. 108



    4. Historian such as Spengler, and Toynbee were confounded by the reality of their existence, too.
    Nor, were they the only ones: “Over three hundred years ago King Louis XIV of France asked Blaise Pascal, the great French philosopher of his day, to give him proof of the existence of miracles. Without a moment's hesitation, Pascal answered, "Why, the Jews, your Majesty-the Jews.” History News Network.



    5. In a sense, the Jewish people have been re-born here, in the United States. The Founders rooted the new nation in the Bible. The Puritans, in fact, saw their endeavor as a re-enactment of Exodus. England was Egypt and America, the New Israel. The most quoted source was the Bible. Established in the original writings of our Founding Fathers we find that they discovered in Isaiah 33:22 the three branches of government: Isaiah 33:22 “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.” Here we see the judicial, the legislative and the executive branches. In Ezra 7:24 we see where they established the tax exempt status of the church: Ezra 7:24 “Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them.

    When we look at our Constitution we see in Article 4 Section 4 that we are guaranteed a Republican form of government, that was found in Exodus 18:21: “Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:” This indicates that we are to choose, or elect God fearing men and women. Looking at Article 3 Section 3 we see almost word for word Deuteronomy 17:6: ‘No person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the testimony of two Witnesses. . .’ Deuteronomy 17:6 “At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses. . .”. The next paragraph in Article 3 Section 3 refers to who should pay the price for treason. In England, they could punish the sons for the trespasses of the father, if the father died.
    Roger Anghis -- Bring America Back To Her Religious Roots, Part 7


    a. The first design for the official seal of the United States recommended by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in 1776 depicted the Jews crossing the Red Sea. The motto around the seal read: "Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God."

    b. The inscription on the Liberty Bell at Independence Hall in Philadelphia was a direct quote from the Book ofLeviticus "Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."
    Jews and the Founding of America | Pathways



    7. “In the book, “The Covenant,” Timothy Ballard contends that America’s founding fathers tapped into an ancient power to build the nation — a feat they accomplished against all odds. The founders, being well-versed in Biblical understanding, believed that the U.S. was a new Israel of sorts, birthed out of a relationship and a covenant with the Almighty. Ballard maintains that, in contemporary times, the nation risks losing its blessings if individuals don’t recognize the importance of the covenant and an ongoing relationship with God….According to Ballard, they are liberty, protection and prosperity — all elements that the U.S. has traditionally enjoyed….her transformation from an infant nation with little resources and ability to history’s most profound mega-force …” Tim Ballard Discusses ‘The Covenant’ With The Blaze & Glenn Beck | Video | TheBlaze.com

    a. There are four references to ‘Devine’ in D of I… 1)in first paragraph ‘Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,’ 2) next paragraph ‘endowed by their Creator,” 3) Supreme Judge of the world, and 4) ‘divine’ Providence, last paragraph. This is important because our historic documents memorialize a government based on individuals born with inalienable rights, by, in various references, by the Devine, or Nature’s God, or their Creator, or the Supreme Judge, or divine Providence. http://web.princeton.edu/sites/jmadison/calendar/conferences/Declaration02-Morrison paper.pdf

    b. Freedom sees religion as the companion of its struggles and triumphs, the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its rights. –Tocqueville, Democracy in America



    So...in my opinion, the answer to part one is "Yes."


    Part two.....not really: our obligation extends only to providing a model, what was know as 'a light unto the nations.'
    It is interesting to note how many national constitution are based on ours.

    Part three....not at all.
    To show liberty, democracy and a successful model carries with it no requirement to force
    other to do the same.
    If our citizens vote to aid allies, or to defend ourselves from enemies....that is how we should function.


    Thank you for reading such a long answer.
     
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  2. MuadDib
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    MuadDib He's called The Stig

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    Very well stated.

    Many of the Founders considered the new nation and the Constitution as gifts from God. We are exceptional. We can better spread our form of government by being a shining beacon rather than a blinding light.
     
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  3. C_Clayton_Jones
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    C_Clayton_Jones Diamond Member

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    The truest characters of ignorance are vanity, and pride and arrogance.

    Samuel Butler

     
  4. Mac1958
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    And thanks for providing it.

    The general points of my question were (a) are we here via providence, and (2) does our exceptionalism give us international rights that other countries don't enjoy, such as intervening militarily in the affairs of other countries.

    As a comfy agnostic, I get a little nervous when a person would answer "yes" to both of the above questions. Your answer gives me the notion that the term "American exceptionalism" may mean different things to different people. You appear to feel that the answer to (2) would be "no", and I think there are those who use the term who would disagree.

    A bright, shining light for others to follow? Yeah, no problem there. But a "the rules don't apply to us" policeman of the world? Absolutely not.

    Anyway, thanks again.

    .
     
  5. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    We are exceptional because we say we are.
     
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  6. mememe
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    mememe BANNED

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    Well said, uscitizen!

    :D
     
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  7. koshergrl
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    koshergrl Diamond Member

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    Thanks for dumbing down an exceptionally intelligent discussion, uscitizen. See, you do have a purpose in life!
     
  8. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    And just why is it an exceptionally intelligent discussion?
    Because someone says it is?
    Talk is cheap, which brings me back to the American Exceptionalism discussion.

    American exceptionalism is rapidly dying, the golden age of America is past.
    We have offshored our exceptionalism.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
  9. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    You are certainly free to believe what ever you so choose, as does Barack Obama....that that nation is no different than any other.

    But I recommend that you consider the words of Alexander Pope:

    "A little learning is a dangerous thing;
    drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
    there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
    and drinking largely sobers us again."

    Deep thought might convince you otherwise.



    Should you ever have the opportunity to study United States law, you might want to review item #5 in the OP.


    Glad to help.
     
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  10. koshergrl
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    koshergrl Diamond Member

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    It's exceptionally intelligent for this site, or at least it was, because you weren't participating.
     

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