John McCain: Prejudiced and ignorant of American history.

It’s getting kind of sad seeing how far John McCain is willing to go to pander to the religious right. In a recent interview on Belief.net he decided to make it clear that he is prejudiced towards candidates who share his brand of popular delusion while at the same time demonstrating his ignorance of history:

“I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles, personally, I prefer someone who has a grounding in my faith,” the GOP presidential hopeful told the Web site in an interview published Saturday.

McCain also said he agreed with a recent poll that 55 percent of Americans believe the U.S. Constitution establishes a Christian nation. “I would probably have to say yes, that the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation,” he said.

He’s either pandering or he’s an amazingly dumb shit to make statements like that. Either way it brought out condemnation from some Muslim and Jewish groups (the article doesn’t mention us atheists, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who’s pissed about this) and prompted McCain on Sunday night to try and back his ass up with some damage control:

“What I do mean to say is the United States of America was founded on the values of Judeo-Christian values, which were translated by our founding fathers which is basically the rights of human dignity and human rights,” he said.

“I believe that anyone can be president of the United States of any faith,” McCain said, saying he was angry his remarks were misinterpreted but “there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Sure you do, John, you just wouldn’t vote for them because their delusion is different from yours. And I don’t think your remarks were misinterpreted. In fact I fail to see how they could be, they seem to be pretty straightforward in their sublime ignorance.

“Former maverick John McCain’s statements were repugnant,” the group’s executive director, Ira N. Forman, said in a statement. “It’s been sad watching him transform from political maverick to religious right mouthpiece.”

Forman added, “Someone running for president ought to understand the Constitution a little better. Nowhere does it say the United States is a ‘Christian’ nation. How can we trust someone to uphold the Constitution who doesn’t even know what is in it?”

I don’t know if McCain’s comments were repugnant, but they were certainly ignorant and I can’t argue with the rest of what Mr. Forman says above. If he doesn’t even know what’s in the Constitution and what isn’t then how the hell does he expect us to think he can uphold it?

Via ***Dave.

71 thoughts on “John McCain: Prejudiced and ignorant of American history.

  1. There is no room for misinterpretation here. And maybe we need to have a session, kinda like a debate, where all presidential candidates (and political candidates in general) are grilled on what’s in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Make it a requirement before the can turn in petitions for the primaries.

  2. Let’s add ignorance of the Bible to the list.  In how many places does the God of the Israelites give his nod to mass displacement or even genocide of those who dare oppose his chosen tribe?  Judeo-Christian values being the core of human rights:  riiiiiight…  Like no other religion has any value for human life or places any value on empathy, justice, etc.

    McCain is so obviously going ‘round the twist, though, that I can’t believe anybody even listens anymore.  Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if Russ Feingold avoids eye contact and ducks into the nearest doorway or hall if he sees McCain walking in his direction.

    I think that Webs has a brilliant idea.  Let’s turn the debates back over to the League of Women Voters, while we’re at it.  (I hear that it was fun to watch them run those things with an iron fist.) If we’d done that back in 2000, things would have turned out way different.  Let’s face it:  There ain’t enough flash cards in the world to help Dubya memorize all those pesky Amendments he later trashed.

  3. McCain has just lost it.  Sad ending for a former POW.  If only we could make Webs idea a reality.  I like the orange, btw.

  4. He’s playing to the gallery. They did a piece on BBC News 24 about him and his efforts to raise money. Some democracy- gotta be rich to stand.

    If the US is so Christian why not repeal the amendment and establish religeon.

  5. I would like to see all the Candidates show up on shows like ” Jeopardy ” or even ” Are you smarter than a 5th Grader ” Give us some idea before we Vote.

    As for John McCain, I appreciate his service to this Country in the deepest of ways. But he needs to retire.

  6. Personally I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea if you had to prove you had the mental capacity to understand the issues before you vote.  Over here lots of people are calling for a referendum on the latest EU treaty.  You just know virtually no one is going to read it, but lots of people will vote against because the press tells them to.

  7. Thanks, DOF. That link was very uplifting. Maybe there is hope for the younger generation.

  8. Ok…I am not sure where you came from, but John McCain is not pandering to the Religious Right…by any stretch. He is pandering to the enviros, moderates (aka…weenie Libs) and big business. He has done about everything NOT to get along with the Christian Right, let alone pander.
    As far as his comments about this being a Christian based country..yeah, he is right. To think otherwise would be to ignore the founding documents, purposes for fighting for freedom, and nearly all our laws and what they are based on. So, the one time John McCain was historically correct you lefties claim he is pandering to the Right, you guys are a real gas. What are you complaining about…he is a spineless oppurtunist who will sell out the Right for a vote…as far as I am concerned I will not vote for him at all.

  9. Me either. At least that much we agree on. Though I’d suggest you go back and restudy American history, Johnny.

  10. That was an incredibly nonsensical rant and funny how it ended up to the same conclusion as me. I’m not voting for McCain either. So I guess in a convoluted way that makes Johnny a Librool.

  11. Hey! Thanks for responding!
    While not every forefather was religious and/or had varying opinions on certain biblical doctrines, they all knew that it was because of a creator, aka God, as outlined through the scriptures, that men are given certain unalienable rights that man can not nor should not take away or try to control. It was based on that idea the constructed the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. What federalist document, writ of our forefathers, or where in the Declaration of Independence is there the principles or sayings that America was not built or established on the JudeoChristian Bible and those principles.
    What our forefathers wanted was freedom from a government sanctioned church…not freedom from a religious government! This is a very important yet often overlooked point. The study of American history shows that while an individual has the right not to believe in God and that no specific church should be the State’s, Christianity is most certainly the basis for many of our laws and our culture. Everything from free speech to guns to property ownership (even bankruptcy) was established from the Bible. I know it is hard for some to believe this, because public schools do not teach indepth American history anymore. I dare anyone who really wants to show me wrong, take 2 hours and read some of the Federalist’s Papers, the Constitution of America or even the Declaration of Independence and come back and explain to me how America is not built off of Biblical principles. I would be more then glad to continue this discussion as it is always stimulating to discuss such matters. One last note: I am not voting for John McCain because he is too much like a Lib…you guys should just love him, he does what is liberal, all the while ruining the GOP and Right’s reputation…he is one of you!!

    liberal Supreme Court chief justice, Earl Warren, wrote in 1954:
    “I believe no one can read the history of our country without realizing that the Good Book and the spirit of the Savior have from the beginning been our guiding geniuses … Whether we look to the first Charter of Virginia … or to the Charter of New England … or to the Charter of Massachusetts Bay … or to the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut … the same objective is present … a Christian land governed by Christian principles. I believe the entire Bill of Rights came into being because of the knowledge our forefathers had of the Bible and their belief in it: freedom of belief, of expression, of assembly, of petition, the dignity of the individual, the sanctity of the home, equal justice under law, and the reservation of powers to the people … I like to believe we are living today in the spirit of the Christian religion. I like also to believe that as long as we do so, no great harm can come to our country.”

    George Washington
    “Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
    “It is impossible to rightly govern . . . without God & the Bible.”

    Thomas Jefferson, the man “blamed” for the wall of separation between church and state
      “I have always said, and will always say, that the studious perusal of the   sacred volume will make us better citizens.”
    “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that His justice cannot sleep forever.”
    “No power over the freedom of religion . . .[is] delegated to the United States by the Constitution.”
    “Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern, which have come under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus.”
    “I am a Christian,  in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence; and believing he never claimed any other.” Letter to Benjamin Rush, April 21, 1803

  12. What federalist document, writ of our forefathers, or where in the Declaration of Independence is there the principles or sayings that America was not built or established on the JudeoChristian Bible and those principles.

    I don’t know of any, Johnny. But as far as I know, none of these documents say that America was not built or established on the Koran, or on the Church of the Subgenius either.  Not an argument.

    Everything from free speech to guns to property ownership (even bankruptcy) was established from the Bible.

    Property ownership is indeed mentioned in the Bible.  And weapons, if not guns, are too.  But where is free speech supported in the Bible?  I can only think of restrictions on free speech:  for instance, Paul’s injunction against women speaking in the church.  But I’m open to correction.

  13. A muddle of cherry-picked quotes and half-truths. 

    I dare anyone who really wants to show me wrong, take 2 hours and read some of the Federalist’s Papers, the Constitution of America or even the Declaration of Independence and come back and explain to me how America is not built off of Biblical principles.

    OK, one example: where exactly in the Constitution does it even mention God, let alone the Bible?

    And one question: have you ever examined a ‘Jefferson Bible’?

    Lots of stuff has been attributed to the founding fathers but a good many of them were Deists.  They recognized the cultural significance of scripture, and the necessity of working with religious people in the formation of the new Union, but the idea that they were Christians as you would recognize them is a blinkered reading of history.

  14. Johnny is using the “there’s nothing that says it wasn’t founded on Christian principles therefore it must be founded on Christian principles” argument, but alas it just shows an incomplete knowledge.

    I dare anyone who really wants to show me wrong, take 2 hours and read some of the Federalist’s Papers, the Constitution of America or even the Declaration of Independence and come back and explain to me how America is not built off of Biblical principles.

    Easy enough to do, Johnny boy. I submit for your consideration this section of the Treaty of Tripoli:

      Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

    See that first sentence there, Johnny? It states rather unequivocally that the U.S. is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion. Not only is that a pretty straightforward statement of fact, but it’s also—by it’s nature as a treaty—the law of the land.

    It also helps to study up on some of the letters written by our Founding Fathers to see what their intent was. It’s quite clear that the founding principles this country was based on came mainly from the Enlightenment and English Common Law.

    Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren’s quotation clearly shows he’s making a statement of opinion, but not one of fact. Lots of people hold similar opinions, but that doesn’t make them true.

    George Washington was most likely a deist and most of the reports from people who knew him said he was anything but a Christian. To wit:

      “I have diligently perused every line that Washington ever gave to the public, and I do not find one expression in which he pledges, himself as a believer in Christianity. I think anyone who will candidly do as I have done, will come to the conclusion that he was a Deist and nothing more.”—The Reverend Bird Wilson

      “I know that Gouverneur Morris, who claimed to be in his secrets, and believed himself to be so, has often told me that General Washington believed no more in that system [Christianity] than he did.”—Thomas Jefferson, in his private journal, February, 1800

    Thomas Jefferson could be called a Christian, but, as he himself point out, it was of a very exclusive sect:

      “I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.”—Thomas Jefferson, letter to Ezra Stiles Ely (June 25, 1819

    While Jefferson believed that Jesus Christ was an actual historical figure with great moral teachings, he also completely rejected the idea that Christ was literally the Son of God or that any of the miracles in the Bible were anything other than fiction. He even went as far as to make his own version of the Bible in which he cut out all the stuff he considered nonsense:

      We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists, select even from the very words of Jesus, paring off the amphiboligisms into which they have been led by forgetting often or not understanding what had fallen from him, by giving their own misconceptions as his dicta, and expressing unintelligibly for others what they had not understood themselves. There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man. I have performed this operation for my own use, by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging the matter which is evidently his, and which is as easily distinguishable as diamonds in a dunghill.—Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, October 13, 1813

      My aim in that was, to justify the character of Jesus against the fictions of his pseudo-followers, which have exposed him to the inference of being an impostor. For if we could believe that he really countenanced the follies, the falsehoods and the charlatanisms which his biographers father on him, and admit the misconstructions, interpolations and theorizations of the fathers of the early, and fanatics of the latter ages, the conclusion would be irresistible by every sound mind, that he was an impostor. I give no credit to their falsifications of his actions and doctrines, and to rescue his character, the postulate in my letter asked only what is granted in reading every other historian…. That Jesus did not mean to impose himself on mankind as the son of God, physically speaking, I have been convinced by the writings of men more learned than myself in that lore.—Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short, August 4, 1820

    Jefferson’s take on Christianity is so far removed from most of the denominations that he was frequently attacked by religious leaders of the period as being, at best, a Deist and, at worst, an atheist.

    Regardless of the fact that there were Christians among the Founding Fathers, that doesn’t prove that they founded the country on Christian principles. Certainly Christianity had some influence on the system that eventually was set down, but any study of the history shows that the founders went out of their way to make the basis of this government as secular as possible. In fact when some folks proposed language that would’ve included, among other things, references to Jesus Christ the motion was voted down by the majority.

    But, hey, you asked for an example and I’ve provided one.

  15. guns … was established from the Bible.

    “Beat your ploughshares in to a bad motherfucker magnum, boy, cuz ahm gonna whoop your pasty white ass” Gospel according to Samuel L Jackson.

  16. You totally skipped over my first sentence…“While not every forefather was religious and/or had varying opinions on certain biblical doctrines, they all knew that it was because of a creator, aka God, as outlined through the scriptures.” That is the foundation of my argument…

    Regardless of their INDIVIDUAL doctrinal beliefs, they put into motion documents and laws founded, not on the Koran, or Hindu writings, but on the Old and New Testament scriptures…so regardless of individual varying views…the “Principles” are scripturally based, adding the strong Christian heritage and culture of the continuing generations, it is a very safe statement that we are a Christian nation (though I will admit, not nearly as much as we used to be or that we always will stay that way). Also, Thomas Jefferson may have cut out parts of the Bible, but not the parts that govern us, those he believed were divine!

    The Constitution does not say Bible, nor did I say it did. But the PRINCIPLES are scriptural.
    You are trying to use the varying beliefs of the individuals to prove the whole country was not based on God’s law…when it is clear by the beginning words of the Declaration of Independence that the founding fathers recognized in a higher being (through obvious observation that being the God of the JudeoChristian faith).

    You are using red herring arguments by bringing out Washington’s or Jefferson’s individual religious beliefs rather then arguing where the founding fathers got their governing principles from.

    To answer the treaty concerning Tripoli, I ask you to take this into consideration, for in its context you have to look at who the Mussulman were…they were Muslims who had been at odds with Europe for centuries due to the Catholic church and English rule. To the Muslims, Europeans were synonymous with the Catholic church…aka…Christians (Christian Crusades). And no, America was not founded on the Catholic religion of brutality and mafia tactics in the name of Christ, but its foundation is based on the Bible…going back to Washington…“It is impossible to rightly govern . . . without God & the Bible.” (that sounds pretty Judeo-Christian to me)

    So, here is the situation, America needs for the Muslims to stop pirating our ships and making the American citizens slaves…they make it clear America is NOT Europe, nor is our government on a religious crusade to overtake the Muslims or be at war with them like the Catholic church and English government had. So, one statement out of context is a far cry for the idea were are not a Christian nation.

  17. What happens if there is no recognition of a higher authority over man then himself?

    Then the only obvious conclusion is that man must get his direction and governance from himself in the form of civil government. But as history sadly reveals, those who would renounce God as the highest authority begin a war on him and those who would desire to believe in him. It begins by the exclusion of religious freedom from individuals in their public life because it might “offend” those who do not believe such nonsense. It then moves to a need to legislate against such people and forbid them from office. Then it moves into controlling what everybody thinks and says so as not to upset the governing powers pursuit of peace and utopia. Then comes the call for individuals not to be armed because it is the governments job to protect you just like they did when they barred religious zealots from practicing their beliefs. Then comes the thought police, then the encampments and jails.

    Why does this all happen, because when there is no higher power to get our freedom from, then government is your god and since men are evil by nature, then evil will rule.

    Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mussolini…all atheists, all mass murders.

    While inevitably, someone will write and say, “what about all the murders in the name of religion?” It must be remembered that not all religions are good ones, because tif hey are invented from the evil hearts of men, thus the same outcome is produced.

    However, when you look to the New Testament and find Jesus, who was not politically ambitious, but concerned about reconciling men to God, we find a whole different type of motivating power. The true message of Christ was love and forgiveness and the power through him to love your neighbor as yourself. When these principles are applied, then we have a government that allows men to seek God how they want as long as it does not hurt others pursuing of him, as well and does not hinder that pursuit. You have a government that treats each individual citizen as a special creation of God (even the ones still in the womb) and recognizes all men to be equal. That is the foundation on which this country was established, thus making it Christian based.

  18. Johnny tries again…

    You totally skipped over my first sentence…“While not every forefather was religious and/or had varying opinions on certain biblical doctrines, they all knew that it was because of a creator, aka God, as outlined through the scriptures.” That is the foundation of my argument…

    I didn’t skip it at all. I addressed that argument by pointing out that the basis had more to do with the Enlightenment and English Common Law than any Biblical principles.

    Regardless of their INDIVIDUAL doctrinal beliefs, they put into motion documents and laws founded, not on the Koran, or Hindu writings, but on the Old and New Testament scriptures…

    Please provide something to bolster that claim. So far you’ve yet to cite a single thing that would support that statement whereas I’ve provided you with an actual law that says otherwise.

    so regardless of individual varying views…the “Principles” are scripturally based, adding the strong Christian heritage and culture of the continuing generations, it is a very safe statement that we are a Christian nation (though I will admit, not nearly as much as we used to be or that we always will stay that way).

    Actually there are more self-professed Christians in the country today than there was at its formation percentage-wise. We are a Christian nation only in the sense that we are a nation composed mainly of Christians.

    Also, Thomas Jefferson may have cut out parts of the Bible, but not the parts that govern us, those he believed were divine!

    Again I’d love to see you supply something that supports that claim. Nothing I’ve seen in Jefferson’s writings would indicate what you claim above.

    The Constitution does not say Bible, nor did I say it did. But the PRINCIPLES are scriptural.

    Again please cite something to support that claim.

    You are trying to use the varying beliefs of the individuals to prove the whole country was not based on God’s law…when it is clear by the beginning words of the Declaration of Independence that the founding fathers recognized in a higher being (through obvious observation that being the God of the JudeoChristian faith).

    The Constitution is the basis of our government, not the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution is a wholly secular document. In determining the foundation of this country it’s the Constitution that matters, not the Declaration of Independence.

    That said there’s nothing obvious about the assumption that the Creator listed in the Declaration is definitely the Christian God (Judeo Christian being a silly designation). Especially given the number of Founding Fathers who were Deist at best.

    You are using red herring arguments by bringing out Washington’s or Jefferson’s individual religious beliefs rather then arguing where the founding fathers got their governing principles from.

    You’re the one who started cherry picking quotes from Washington and Jefferson to being with so don’t blame me for throwing them back into your face. If their individual religious beliefs don’t matter to the discussion then don’t pull them in to start with.

    To answer the treaty concerning Tripoli, I ask you to take this into consideration, for in its context you have to look at who the Mussulman were…they were Muslims who had been at odds with Europe for centuries due to the Catholic church and English rule. To the Muslims, Europeans were synonymous with the Catholic church…aka…Christians (Christian Crusades). And no, America was not founded on the Catholic religion of brutality and mafia tactics in the name of Christ, but its foundation is based on the Bible…going back to Washington…“It is impossible to rightly govern . . . without God & the Bible.” (that sounds pretty Judeo-Christian to me)

    You’re a hypocrite. First you cherry pick a quote, then you bitch at me when I point out that Washington wasn’t a Christian, and then you try to use that same quote again. A quote, I might add, that Washington never said. If you’re going to quote the Founders then at least be sure to use stuff they really said.

    So, here is the situation, America needs for the Muslims to stop pirating our ships and making the American citizens slaves…they make it clear America is NOT Europe, nor is our government on a religious crusade to overtake the Muslims or be at war with them like the Catholic church and English government had. So, one statement out of context is a far cry for the idea were are not a Christian nation.

    I didn’t take it out of context. I provided the entire article in question and I provided a link to the entire treaty, which is more than you’ve done with your claims so far.

    Unlike your claims that the Creator mentioned in the Declaration must “obviously” be the Christian God, the article from the treaty is quite plain and not open to interpretation. Your argument also ignores the fact that the Treaty of Tripoli is part of the law of the land.

    What happens if there is no recognition of a higher authority over man then himself?

    Oh not this sad argument again. We’ve heard that one before. Let’s get through this nonsense then.

    Then the only obvious conclusion is that man must get his direction and governance from himself in the form of civil government. But as history sadly reveals, those who would renounce God as the highest authority begin a war on him and those who would desire to believe in him. It begins by the exclusion of religious freedom from individuals in their public life because it might “offend” those who do not believe such nonsense. It then moves to a need to legislate against such people and forbid them from office. Then it moves into controlling what everybody thinks and says so as not to upset the governing powers pursuit of peace and utopia. Then comes the call for individuals not to be armed because it is the governments job to protect you just like they did when they barred religious zealots from practicing their beliefs. Then comes the thought police, then the encampments and jails.

    Doesn’t take an atheist to do those things. Various Christian regimes have done much the same over the centuries. State religions aren’t know for their religious freedoms and then there’s those various and nasty Inquisitions over the years. And the Crusades, must not forget those attempts to control what other people think.

    Why does this all happen, because when there is no higher power to get our freedom from, then government is your god and since men are evil by nature, then evil will rule.

    And yet here we have the United States of America, founded as a purely secular government and managing to provide freedom on a scale not before seen in the world. Less free today than it once was, but still 13th or so in the world. And in this free land based on secular ideas religion has flourished and grown to the point where it may actually undermine what the Founders created. Meanwhile in Europe where State Christian religions are commonplace and supported directly by the governments in power religion is dieing a slow death.

    The irony is almost overwhelming. Almost enough to make me wish we had a State religion here. But not quite.

    Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mussolini…all atheists, all mass murders.

    We’ll take Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mussolini, but Hitler was a Catholic in good standing right up till the day he died. As far as I know the church has never excommunicated him. None of our boys really stack up to the carnage unleashed by various Christian leaders over the centuries, though. The Catholics are responsible for a good number of deaths, but it’s not like Martin Luther can’t be credited with uncounted sufferings visited upon the Jews over the years thanks to his antisemitic writings. In fact a good argument can be made that Martin Luther is directly responsible for Hitler’s attempt at wiping out the Jews.

    While inevitably, someone will write and say, “what about all the murders in the name of religion?” It must be remembered that not all religions are good ones, because tif hey are invented from the evil hearts of men, thus the same outcome is produced.

    How convenient that religion gets a pass for its murderous leaders, but us atheists are fully to blame for Pol Pot. Nice magic wand waving.

    However, when you look to the New Testament and find Jesus, who was not politically ambitious, but concerned about reconciling men to God, we find a whole different type of motivating power. The true message of Christ was love and forgiveness and the power through him to love your neighbor as yourself. When these principles are applied, then we have a government that allows men to seek God how they want as long as it does not hurt others pursuing of him, as well and does not hinder that pursuit. You have a government that treats each individual citizen as a special creation of God (even the ones still in the womb) and recognizes all men to be equal. That is the foundation on which this country was established, thus making it Christian based.

    Wow, it’s been awhile since we had a pile of bullshit that high around here.

  19. The true message of Christ was love and forgiveness and the power through him to love your neighbor as yourself.

    Try reading the bible sometime. The message of Christ was hatred, violence and intolerance. About the kind of message one would expect from a bronze-age rabble rouser who obviously suffered from delusions of grandeur and narcissistic rage.

  20. Christ had his pissed-off moments, mostly at religious hypocrites, and there are a few passages that suggest hellfire but who knows if that’s him or another guy of the same name.  Paul is your hellfire guy though.  If anybody screwed up Christianity, it was Paul, and all because he couldn’t just move in with Timothy and be happy about it. wink

  21. I will respond with two posts…this first one deal with the response from my last post and then the argument for America being founded on Christian principles.

    You’re the one who started cherry picking quotes from Washington and Jefferson to being with so don’t blame me for throwing them back into your face. If their individual religious beliefs don’t matter to the discussion then don’t pull them in to start with.

    The intent was to show that while they may had differing views within their Christianity, it was still the faith in God that drove them to form the new government.

    You’re a hypocrite. First you cherry pick a quote, then you bitch at me when I point out that Washington wasn’t a Christian, and then you try to use that same quote again. A quote, I might add, that

    Washington never said. If you’re going to quote the Founders then at least be sure to use stuff they really said.

    Kudos to you, I should have verified that statement better, won’t happen again. However, I have never said ort indicated you can’t use quotes or anything of the sort,  I just said it was a red herring argument…it is called debating…you bring your ideas, I bring mine…so please do not accuse me of getting on to you about using quotes just because I do not accept them as relevant and tell you why…that is not relevant and distracts from the debate.

    And yet here we have the United States of America, founded as a purely secular government and managing to provide freedom on a scale not before seen in the world. Less free today than it once was, but still 13th or so in the world. And in this free land based on secular ideas religion has flourished and grown to the point where it may actually undermine what the Founders created. Meanwhile in Europe where State Christian religions are commonplace and supported directly by the governments in power religion is dieing a slow death.

    As I will show in my next post, America has flourished both civilly and religiously because it was founded on the basis of needing divine providence and God’s law, yet allowing men to freely seek after it (or not) without persecution…like a kid should be able to pray for his food at school without a teacher getting on his or her case or threatening. The Constitution provided protection from the Government having a state sanctioned church like Europe; it did NOT void the necessity of God in government or culture (further explained in next post). I agree, a state sanctioned church will destroy because it keeps people from having the freedom of finding God on their own. However, a state free from God is void of morality and causes destruction.

    How convenient that religion gets a pass for its murderous leaders, but us atheists are fully to blame for Pol Pot. Nice magic wand waving.

    I did NOT give a pass to those who use religion to destroy and murder…I was demonstrating the innate evil in men’s heart regardless of atheist or religious nut if the true Gospel of Christ’s love does not dictate and govern individual’s morality. When we strive to follow the Biblical law of love it will produce what I stated in my last post…a government where individuals rights and lives are valued.

    Now on to my next post.

  22. FINAL DRAFT
    “The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His Apostles….
    This is genuine Christianity and to this we owe our free constitutions of government.”
    (Noah Webster, History of the United States, 1832, public school textbook.)

    I always so enjoy open debates! Are you ready? 

    1. Looking at the frame work that led up to the founding of our nation
    The colonies constitutions give a clear indication of who they were referring to when they wrote the Declaration of Independence. It is the same people, same colonies that wrote these constitutions and then brought themselves together to form a single government. Here are some examples:

    A. Charter of Connecticut
    For as much as it hath pleased Almighty God by the wise disposition of his divine providence so to order and dispose of things that we the Inhabitants and Residents of Windsor, Hartford and Wethersfield are now cohabiting and dwelling in and upon the River of Connectecotte and the lands thereunto adjoining; and well knowing where a people are gathered together the word of God requires that to maintain the peace and union of such a people there should be an orderly and decent Government established according to God, … to maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus which we now profess… as also in our civil affairs to be guided and governed according to such Laws, Rules, Orders and Decrees as shall be made, ordered, and decreed as followeth: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/order.htm

    B. Fundamental Agreement, or Original Constitution of the Colony of New Haven, June 4, 1639
    Query I. WHETHER the scriptures do hold forth a perfect rule for the direction and government of all men in all duties which they are to perform to GOD and men, as well in families and commonwealth, as in matters of the church ? This was assented unto by all, no man dissenting, as was expressed by holding up of hands. Afterwards it was read over to them, that they might see in what words their vote was expressed. They again expressed their consent by holding up their hands, no man dissenting.  http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/states/ct01.htm

    C. Charter of Delaware – 1701
    BECAUSE no People can be truly happy, though under the greatest Enjoyment of Civil Liberties, if abridged of the Freedom of their Consciences, as to their Religious Profession and Worship: And Almighty God being the only Lord of Conscience, Father of Lights and Spirits; and the Author as well as Object of all divine Knowledge, Faith and Worship, who only doth enlighten the Minds, and persuade and convince the Understandings of People, I do hereby grant and declare, That no Person or Persons, inhabiting In this Province or Territories, who shall confess and acknowledge One almighty God, the Creator, Upholder and Ruler of the World; and professes him or themselves obliged to live quietly under the Civil Government, shall be in any Case molested or prejudiced, in his or their Person or Estate, because of his or their conscientious Persuasion or Practice, nor be compelled to frequent or maintain any religious Worship, Place or Ministry, contrary to his or their Mind, or to do or suffer any other Act or Thing, contrary to their religious Persuasion.
    AND that all Persons who also profess to believe in Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World, shall be capable (notwithstanding their other Persuasions and Practices in Point of Conscience and Religion) to serve this Government in any Capacity, both legislatively and executively, he or they solemnly promising, when lawfully required, Allegiance to the King as Sovereign, and Fidelity to the Proprietary and Governpr, and taking the Attests as now established by the Law made at Newcastle, in the Year One Thousand and Seven Hundred, entituled, An Act directing the Attests of several Officers and Ministers, as now amended and confirmed this present Assembly.  http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/states/de01.htm
    To see all the charters, please go to: – http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/states/statech.htm you will find all but one charter makes reference to God and many of them to Jesus and the Bible.

    When you read the Declaration we find these words
    “…station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…”

    Based on historical documents in the charters we see they were not referring to just any religious deity other then God and Jesus of the Bible. Also this shows the culture and what drove the people to seek after a better form of government, hence, we are a nation built on Christian principles.

    To argue that the Consitution was purely seculer becuase they did not put the word “God” in it is really rather idealistic when almost every other document that was written to support and make the Constitution was submerged in references to God. When attempts were made to add God in the preamble were not passed, NOWHERE do you find the explanation from anybody that it was becuase the Constitution was to be purely secular. That thought is pure speculation and does not fit the historical documentation.

    2. The Treaty of Tripoli was a good point, though I felt I explained it well…however after further research, t seems we were both incorrect for the Treaty of Tripoli was ratified and an explanation of the mishap is in full detail and to back it up…here you go:

    As even a casual examination of the annotated translation of 1930 shows, the Barlow translation is at best a poor attempt at a paraphrase or summary of the sense of the Arabic; and even as such its defects throughout are obvious and glaring. Most extraordinary (and wholly unexplained) is the fact that Article 11 of the Barlow translation, with its famous phrase, “the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,” does not exist at all. There is no Article 11. The Arabic text which is between Articles 10 and 12 is in form a letter, crude and flamboyant and withal quite unimportant, from the Dey of Algiers to the Pasha of Tripoli. How that script came to be written and to be regarded, as in the Barlow translation, as Article 11 of the treaty as there written, is a mystery and seemingly must remain so. Nothing in the diplomatic correspondence of the time throws any light whatever on the point
    Source: Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America.
    Edited by Hunter Miller
    Volume 2
    Documents 1-40 : 1776-1818
    Washington : Government Printing Office, 1931.
    USMARC Cataloging Record
    http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/diplomacy/barbary/barmenu.htm
    http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/diplomacy/barbary/barmenu.htm

    In fact the final draft was written in Italian is translated with the proper reading…funny, it seems to be sure to emphasize the point of our Christian heritage because nearly every paragraph begins with “Praise be to God”

    Source: Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America.
    Edited by Hunter Miller
    Volume 2
    Documents 1-40 : 1776-1818
    Washington : Government Printing Office, 1931.
    USMARC Cataloging Record
    The Barbary Treaties : Tripoli 1796
    The Annotated Translation of 1930
    http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/diplomacy/barbary/bar1796e.htm

    3. Forefathers were Diests
    The belief in God’s providence was so widespread at America’s founding that George Washington credits God’s providential control over creation for our victory in the War for Independence and for the framing and ratification of the Constitution in his Inaugural Address

    “it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow-citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States.
    http://www.bartleby.com/124/pres13.html

    This also points to the fact that AFTER Constitution the reference to God direction and law were paramount to the new country.

    In his Farewell Address he says “.probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend.”
    http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/washing.htm
    Thomas Jefferson – and the 55 signers of the Declaration of Independence – stated they had a firm reliance on Divine Providence for the support of the Declaration in the closing paragraph of the Declaration itself.
    George Mason based his warnings at the Constitutional Convention on God’s providential control of the affairs of nations when he said the practice of slavery would lead to a national calamity.
    It also appears in the Federalist Papers written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay explaining the ideas of the constitution and why the states ought to stay united. In Federalist No.2, John Jay credits God’s providential control of creation not only for victory in the War for Independence but also for the very characteristics of America’s land and people. John Jay was the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court:
    So, with all this here with references to say this country is not a Christian based country is pure illogical based on the drive of not wanting to humble oneself to the almighty God who is providential in his workings for the salvation of men.
    http://www.citizensoldier.net

    It has been a real joy speaking with you and I hope we can both walk away with something from this discussion.

  23. Try reading the bible sometime. The message of Christ was hatred, violence and intolerance. About the kind of message one would expect from a bronze-age rabble rouser who obviously suffered from delusions of grandeur and narcissistic rage.

    Please forgive my scriptural ignorance…could you please be as so kind as to give the scriptural references that shows this about Jesus??
    Thanks!

  24. PLEASE BE PATIENT FOR MY NEXT POST…IT HAS MANY LINKS TO CITATIONS AND THE SYSTEM THOUGHT IT WAS SPAM SO IT IS REVIEWING IT. I DO APPOLOGIZE, I AM NOT SLACKING…HONEST! smile

  25. Please forgive my scriptural ignorance…could you please be as so kind as to give the scriptural references that shows this about Jesus??

    Hatred and intolerance : Calling a gentile woman a dog. Forcing her to call herself a dog before agreeing to help her.

    Hatred and violence: Hate your families, only love me. He who does not hate his father is not worthy of following me. I come not with peace but with a sword. I come to set father against son etc.

    Delusions of grandeur: I am god. I am the son of god. I’m all that and a bag of chips.

    Narcissistic rage: How dare this tree not bear fruit? Who cares if it isn’t the season for fruit, I want my shade dammit! Curses foiled again! Curse the tree!

    You or someone else will need to Google the exact chapter and verse. I already have an upset stomach and dont want to subject myself to more nausea by reading bible verses.

    Question: Does using two question marks (??) indicate more curiousity than using just one (?)?

  26. Assuming Christ existed at all* and assuming he actually said all the things attributed to him in scripture** then he was pretty much like the rest of us – good days and bad days.  Which does not argue in favor of his divinity.  Of course there are rationalizations explanations for it all.

    * We’ve gone into that question ad nauseum on these pages so please let’s skip it for now.  My assumption is he probably did exist but wasn’t a big deal in his own time.  His legend has become a big deal.  Others make different assumptions, which is fine.

    ** Very big assumption.  It’s been said people who love sausage and who love scripture probably don’t want to know too much about how either one is made.

  27. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mussolini- all men- Its the Y chromosone that does it!

    Specially that Hitler- got to watch out for those farting tee-total vegetarians.

    While the Constitution may be ‘christian based’ its because the men who wrote it were Europeans- they believed what they believed morally because of their upbringing.  The constitution reflects the morals of white men.

    Stalin.  Also had a moustache- perhaps its wearing moustaches that make people evil.  What motivated him was a control freakery- The church in Russia holds a lot of sway over people, so became the enemy on basis of organisation, not belief.

    Would have been nice if the Pope hadn’t colluded with Hitler and Mussolini.

    Mind you Johnny, your revolutionaries produced a document that all men were born equal, specifically wrote in the seperation of church and state, then revolted against a country whose head of state is also the head of the church.  I guess that gives the USA a Godless Communist birth.

  28. LOL LH!  Stalin also went to seminary- perhaps studying to be a priest makes one evil.  Martin Luther, too.

  29. The intent was to show that while they may had differing views within their Christianity, it was still the faith in God that drove them to form the new government.

    Doesn’t matter what the intent was, you still were cherry picking and then got on Les’ ass when he showed you how you were cherry picking.

    However, I have never said ort indicated you can’t use quotes or anything of the sort, I just said it was a red herring argument…it is called debating…

    Again doesn’t matter, you still cherry picked and got on Les’ ass about it. Which is why your arguments come off as incoherent rambles.

    I did NOT give a pass to those who use religion to destroy and murder…

    Really!? You didn’t give a pass?

    Let’s review…

    Johnny: Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mussolini…all atheists, all mass murders.

    Right! So atheists are fully to blame for those four above… even though 3 of them can be said to be atheist. With Johnny’s statement above we are lead to assume that the evil nature of men doesn’t matter, only the fact the men were atheist.

    Then from the same comment…

    Johnny: While inevitably, someone will write and say, “what about all the murders in the name of religion?” It must be remembered that not all religions are good ones, because tif hey are invented from the evil hearts of men, thus the same outcome is produced.

    Right! So because many murders happened under the name of religion it makes no sense to argue that religion is evil? WTF? This makes no sense as up above you stated atheists were solely responsible for those three evil people.

    I was demonstrating the innate evil in men’s heart regardless of atheist or religious nut if the true Gospel of Christ’s love does not dictate and govern individual’s morality.

    Right, you are stating the same thing many people here state, PEOPLE are evil. You can have a Christian, Catholic, Hindu, Jew, whatever that does terrible things because the religion doesn’t matter. It’s the character of the individual that matters.

  30. Johnny, if evil lies in the hearts of men, it functions just as easily in a religious as a nonreligious context.  And how seriously should we take you while you’re repeating that “Hitler was an atheist” thing?  Where do you get that?  Not from Hitler’s own writings.

    Fear of hellfire is one inducement to morality, but there are others, some more intrinsic to the self and not dependent on belief in something outside the real world as we experience it.

  31. I’ve cleared Johhny’s long attempt at arguing that America was founded as a Christian nation, but you’ll need to go back up the chain a bit to see it as it put it in chronological order.

    I don’t have time at the moment to read it through and respond, but I’ll try to get to it before the end of the day.

  32. Because it’s using the time he submitted it and not the time I cleared it. ExpressionEngine doesn’t offer the option of editing the time a comment was submitted, though I could probably do it with a SQL query. It’s just a quirk of the moderation system.

  33. I didn’t argue Stalin’s seminary, bacause that isn’t what he was at the time he was in power- I couldn’t say if he still had any faith.  I’m surprised at Mussolini- would have had him for a good Catholic boy.  Interestingly he wasn’t always a brown noser to Hitler. He stopped Hitlers original attempt at Anschluss by moving troops to the Austrian border.  He also did a lot of good for Italy, dragging it into the 1930’s. He drained swamps, built autostrada, rejuvinating the economy. 

    Obviously he wasn’t with out many faults, but it was becoming mates with Hitler that made him the man we remember- Led astray by a God-bother.

  34. Johnny- first of all, I commend you for your tone.  Not all conservative Christians who come here are as polite as you are, and many obviously don’t really consider what we have to say.  Your doing so goes a long way in my book for making good neighbors, and making good neighbors is a large part of what makes the world go round.

    About the issue of whether or not the United States was founded on Christian principles:  as interesting as it is, I don’t really have a dog in that fight.  Some of the reasons have already been stated by others here:  you can match quote against quote till the cows come home, and still not know exactly what, say, Jefferson thought about God.  Obviously, the Founding Fathers were a mixed bag.

    There’s a similar debate about Einstein’s belief, and there is no clear conclusion, for the same reason:  for every quote that makes Einstein sound like a believer, if not a Christian, you can find one that makes him sound like an agnostic or atheist.  That’s how it is in debating what people believe: beliefs change over the course of lives, no one believes exactly what someone else believes, and it’s even impossible for people to define for themselves the exact nature of their belief.

    So what?  Why get exercised over exactly what the Founding Fathers or Einstein believed?  Because their opinions are valued, if not venerated: the Founding Fathers’ opinions, because they are minor deities themselves, having established the closest thing to God’s Kingdom there is on this planet; and Einstein’s, because he is popularly considered to be the smartest person ever to have lived.  The old argument from authority.

    This is all very interesting, but ultimately not really important enough to rate more than an article in People magazine:  what Jefferson, and Einstein, believed, doesn’t say anything whatsoever about whether God exists or not, or how we should live.  As much as I admire Jefferson, and Einstein, and Darwin, and Jesus for that matter, I must decide for myself what to believe, and how to behave.  And after carefully examining the evidence, I don’t see any reason to believe that any of these people were inspired by God, or swayed by irrefutable evidence for God’s existence.  Therefore, their opinions on God, however interesting historically and culturally, don’t change my beliefs.

    That said, I’d like to point out a common misconception in your post.  You say:

    So, with all this here with references to say this country is not a Christian based country is pure illogical based on the drive of not wanting to humble oneself to the almighty God who is providential in his workings for the salvation of men.

    As I have said, and others here have said before me, obviously there was a great deal of Christian influence in the founding of the United States.  How could it have been otherwise?  But when you claim that our arguing that the US is not a “Christian based country” is “based on the drive of not wanting to humble oneself to the almighty God”, you are overstepping.  In the first place: are you God?  Do you know our thoughts and motivations?  Perhaps we are arguing this because we are Muslims who humble ourselves to Allah (“Islam” means “submission”), and are attempting to corrupt America from within (not that it needs our help).  Or, more likely in my case, perhaps we are simply trying to find out what really happened, as well as we can, and “not wanting to humble oneself to the almighty God” is meaningless, because we don’t believe in God.

    This is an argument I hear from believers over and over:  If I say I don’t believe in God, that means I must hate God, or I am refusing to humble myself to God.  I guess the existence of God is so obvious to believers, that they simply cannot conceive of not believing in God.  But try to put yourself in our shoes:  what if you say you don’t believe in the Tooth Fairy, and I say that you hate Her, or are just refusing to humble yourself to Her?  Whether God, or the Tooth Fairy, exist or not, this is illogical, and I’m sure both of them would back me up on this.

    In any case,  I don’t really care what people believe, as long as they behave nicely.  Imho, that is not so far from what the Founding Fathers, and Einstein, and Darwin believed as well.  I’m not so sure about Jesus…

    cheers from already warm Vienna, zilch

  35. Thanks, dof.  You rock too.

    “we belong to a mutual
    admiration society…”

    I bet you’re a grudging fan of old musicals too.  Am I right?

  36. Well Julian,
    Due to your extreme over reacting and melodrama, not to mention your sever paraphrasing rather then actual quotes…I can tell you are filled with to much hate and intolerance to listen to what I have to say for me to take the time to respond to your post…it would be fighting and not debating.

    HOWEVER, to ensure no one can say I am just chickening out, if anyone else would like to ask the same questions in the same civil tone as we have held thus far, I would be more then glad to expound my views on Julian’s argument.

    Thank you!

  37. Julian may have paraphrased, but what he did was give the context of what happened.  I read the ‘fig tree’ thing, and as far as I can tell Jesus cursed a tree for not bearing fruit when he was hungry.  I think the facts as the Bible present them makes Jesus look foolish.  Just because I, or Julian, think parts of the bible are foolish, or just plain wrong, and I think that it shouldn’t be used as basis of modern behaviour and science, does that mean that I am hate filled, and wish ill on Christians?

  38. Johnny, you know perfectly well which stories Julian is referencing, there is no need for him to look up each one and type them in word for word.  It is the bible stories, not Julian’s brief summary of them, that are melodramatic.  And strong disagreement is neither hate or intolerance. 

    If we seem a little terse to you it is because we’ve all heard this guff before, and it’s a bunch of nonsense.  It’s been answered over and over, and then along comes you, like you’re the first one to think of it all. Then if we don’t sit down with you and patiently dissect each and every separate tedious point, or if our answers are too short for your liking, you can act like you’re special enough to dictate the “tone” of the discussion.  But you’re not that special.

  39. DOF, I blame zilch. He likes to kill them with kindness. It is as you say, though. We’ve heard it all before and quite frankly, I don’t particularly want to hear it again. It’s Johnny who came to this site and as a general rule, before anybody posts on any site, they should lurk for a while and get acquainted with the tone. If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen…

  40. Well Julian,
    Due to your extreme over reacting and melodrama, not to mention your sever paraphrasing rather then actual quotes…I can tell you are filled with to much hate and intolerance to listen to what I have to say for me to take the time to respond to your post…it would be fighting and not debating.

    Debating? I was never under the illusion that I was “debating” with you. You see, we’ve had ample experience with True Believers™ like yourself to have learned that you and your ilk are immune to logic.

    No, I was simply pointing out that I was right and you were wrong.

    Also it is very common for your kind to respond that we’re bitter, angry, melodramatic and the rest of it when you dont have a logical leg to stand on – which of course you never have. Seen it all before thanks.

    Johnny, you know perfectly well which stories Julian is referencing, there is no need for him to look up each one and type them in word for word.

    Obviously I agree with that DoF, but the fact is that I had quoted the verses word for for with the references on this site at least once before.

    If we seem a little terse to you it is because we’ve all heard this guff before, and it’s a bunch of nonsense.  It’s been answered over and over, and then along comes you, like you’re the first one to think of it all. Then if we don’t sit down with you and patiently dissect each and every separate tedious point, or if our answers are too short for your liking, you can act like you’re special enough to dictate the “tone” of the discussion.  But you’re not that special.

    Exactly.

  41. I’ve never understood debates like this. Mythology and history are both full of things done for crazy reasons that we still do today. Not because the reasoning was sound, but because the idea ended up being a good one. We don’t need to think god is punishing us for flying too close to the sun to know that heat can melt shit.

    Who cares if the founding fathers believed in a god or not? What difference does it make? They were, compared to us, primitive in many respects. We’re talking about a group of slave owners who said “All Men Are Created Equal”.

    We keep laws and rules about because they’ve proven to be good ideas, not because of who or why they were put in place originally. That’s just silly.

  42. Julian may have paraphrased, but what he did was give the context of what happened.  I read the ‘fig tree’ thing, and as far as I can tell Jesus cursed a tree for not bearing fruit when he was hungry.  I think the facts as the Bible present them makes Jesus look foolish.  Just because I, or Julian, think parts of the bible are foolish, or just plain wrong, and I think that it shouldn’t be used as basis of modern behaviour and science, does that mean that I am hate filled, and wish ill on Christians?

    First, thank you for your civil tone and response. I would not expect anyone, regardless of persuasion, to waste their time responding to someone who is vehemently mad. No one can be reasonable at that point, thus, it is not worth the effort to type.

    Despite the following accusations by Julian that

    Also it is very common for your kind to respond that we’re bitter, angry, melodramatic and the rest of it when you dont have a logical leg to stand on – which of course you never have

    I have had several really good conversations with several people on this blog. I would dare say that any by standard reading Julian’s post would easily determine his “tone”;  it is not me being high minded, just read what he writes.

    Now concerning your post. “Context” is a far stretch, considering Julian refers (with much sarcasm) to 4 stories in the bible. Simply reading one story doesn’t just settle it either. Many people (and yes that includes Christians) do not truly examine a document in context of the history, culture, or point trying to be made.

    For example:
    Jesus was not using curse words in his “Curse” against the fig tree. His curse was a command for it to never bear fruit again. He was using it as an example to his disciples, a visual learning tool, about how Israel had failed to bear fruit and take the law given to them by God because they buried it with man made traditions and lifeless liturgy. He had just come from Jerusalem and saw how they were using the temple for money changing and a means to take advantage of travelers by charging too much for sacrificial animals. They should have been helping people serve God, not making it harder, in other words, bearing spiritual fruit that spiritually hungry people could eat and be filled with. You need to take into account who he was with, what he had been teaching them, and where they had been and where they were going. Now regardless of whether you believe in Christ or not, or think the story is fake or stupid, when you read it in its context, suddenly it makes more sense and you see his purpose. How many Shakespeare writings would seem insane if you didn’t read the whole play and take the statements in context.

    Taking a few tidbits out of a book you never have studied in context doesn’t show how smart you are, only how intolerant and closed minded you are.

    That is why I do not speak ill of the Koran. Do I believe in the Koran, no, but I do not pick out a couple of sayings out of context and start flailing accusations with melodramatic statements like …I am too sick to keep reading. Surely such educated and logical people such as you all claim to be can see my point.

    !IMPORTANT! I never accused Julian of being hateful and intolerant because of his argument or his views. I said I would not respond to him specifically due to his obvious overreacting and melodrama.

    I do not know what he meant by True Believer with the trade mark symbol after it. I am just some guy who believes in Jesus who came across this blog and thought it would be nice to have some discourse.

    I thought all you Atheists were open minded, tolerant, enlightened, and evolved, yet some (not all) seem so closed to simply having a discussion.

    Anyways, if anyone thinks maybe, just maybe, my explanation of the fig story may lead you to believe that the other stories maybe taken out of context by Julian, just post civilly. But just like I would not defend a Christian who is melodramatic and obviously being spiteful, don’t defend one of your own, it just makes you seem the same.

    Cheers!

  43. Johnny: ” I thought all you Atheists were open minded, tolerant, enlightened, and
    evolved, yet some (not all) seem so closed to simply having a discussion.

    It hinges on how many times we’ve already had that discussion.  If people stopped by your  blog all the time with the same set of outlandish misconceptions, you’d get tired of dealing with them.  You’d be patient at first, and gradually your answers would get shorter.  Then if they started calling you closed-minded, how would you respond?

    Briefly, we’re like a bunch of friends sitting around the table at a coffee shop, enjoying each others’ company.  We’re not here to entertain or educate you.  You’re welcome to join us but starting with a worn-out challenge and then lecturing us about our tone isn’t necessarily the best self-introduction.

    One other thing: be careful about making assumptions.  Some of us reject the bible specifically because we have extensively studied it and found it lacking.  A surprisingly common path to atheism.

  44. Mark, Chapter 11

    12And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:

    13And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.

    14And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

    Matthew 21

    18Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.

    19And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.

    20And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

    That’s it – that’s all there is.  The previous verses he instructs the disciples to steal a horse, and if challenged to explain it is for God, and he enters Jerusalem on it/them (Matthew: a horse and an ass), and then he throws the moneychangers out of the temple and heals some sick.

    In Matthew he does say ‘Look what you can do if you have faith’ in response to the disciples amazement.  Given that he has just healed a bunch of people there is no real need to show off by killing a tree, and the passage is clear.  He throws a wobbly because there is no fruit.  No long comparision to Israel, just Jesus cursing.

    He follows up in Mark 12 with a parable, which is started by saying ‘this is a parable’ about a land owner sending his servant to collect the harvest,  which ends with the ‘Rend unto Caesar’ line, and this parable can be seen as a command to tend the land then turn over tribute to God.  Nothing to do with withering trees that don’t bear fruit out of season.

    I do know what curse means, I know he didn’t swear, I never said he did.  I said he cursed the tree. (Incidentally, the correct spelling is titbit, ‘tidbit is a bowderilised version, used in the US so no one would have to use the word ‘tit’).

  45. I have had several really good conversations with several people on this blog.

    There are some of us who try to be polite to every preaching moron who drives by. I however dont see the difference between you and the people behind the Spanish Inquisistion. The only difference is that you dont have the power to do what they did.

    Jesus was not using curse words in his “Curse” against the fig tree.

    Neither L_H nor I ever said he was “cussing” dont you True Believers™ know how to read? No of course you dont.

    “Context” is a far stretch, considering Julian refers (with much sarcasm) to 4 stories in the bible.

    Sarcasm. I dont think it means what you think it means.

    Taking a few tidbits out of a book you never have studied in context doesn’t show how smart you are, only how intolerant and closed minded you are.

    Actually I’ve studies the holy babble far more than any christian. It’s what turned me away from christianity to begin with. Stop making unfounded assumptions.

    !IMPORTANT! I never accused Julian of being hateful and intolerant because of his argument or his views. I said I would not respond to him specifically due to his obvious overreacting and melodrama.

    That’s what True Believers™ always say when they
    dont have an excuse for the ridiculous things in the babble.

    Just pointing out another of your lies, not expecting a response as you never have any:

    I thought all you Atheists were open minded, tolerant, enlightened, and evolved, yet some (not all) seem so closed to simply having a discussion.

    Actually you were comparing us to Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot. You True Believers™ just cant help lying and contradicting youreslves can you?

    Sheesh what fools these fundies be.

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