Sunday, May 04, 2008

A Secular nation or A nation under God

As grandpa and I were walking out to the back 40 one morning to do some cleanup of trees that blew over during the last winds I thought of something my teacher said.

"Grandpa, what does it mean when people say we are a secular nation?"

Without even slowing his step, he responded this way.

"That is a good question, boy. There are times I wonder that also. This is another issue of principles and I never really understood what the principles of a secular nation are. However, I will admit to the fact that those who advocate this thought are men of good intentions.

It is an attempt to declare that our nation is not associated with any particular religion. For the founding fathers saw this as a cause for religious persecution. They wanted to create a government that would protect the people of all faiths and not force anyone to abide by the religious viewpoint of a singular faith that the government was associated with. There is one problem though. In declaring we are a secular nation, we have achieved just that.

Declaring that we are a secular nation is declaring that the government abides by worldly principles rather than by religious principles. Worldly principles are the principles that conform to the beliefs of atheism. Atheism is as much a religious belief as any other religious belief whether that belief be Jewish, Christian, Islamic or Hindu.

So, when they say we are a secular nation they are advocating for a nation that goes against the very intent of what they were trying to achieve. Secularism, in regards to this issue, is synonymous to atheism. That was not the intent of those who founded this nation as far as I can see.

The federal government was set up to be the representative government of the states. That was why they named this nation the United States. It was also set up so that the states were to be the dominant power while the federal government was to be the subordinate government. Now, if the states recognizes God and declare they be under Him how can the nation be any less under God? If this were so, how can we be, as a nation, a secular nation?

There may be those that would agree but do not agree that the government should advocate this belief. That may be debatable but one thing should not be debatable, the recognition of this belief by government. We need to remember that the words advocate and recognize are not synonyms. This is true although in recognition of something we may appear to be advocating it also.

We are a nation declared to be under God. That is a fact. To declare that we are not is a corrupted viewpoint of our nation. For a branch of our federal government not to recognize this is to advocate that the founders of this nation were fools to think so. For a branch of our federal government not to recognize this is to advocate that they are right and it does not matter what the states of this nation declares.

To declare that we are a secular nation rather than a nation under God is to declare that 5 men knows better than all of the men who created 51 constitutions along with all of the men in Congress who added it to the pledge we take. When those men of Congress added that small phrase to the pledge they were not declaring anything new. They were only making what was already known clearly understood.

There are some who declare that our government should reflect the beliefs of the people. They will sit and adamantly declare that government should subordinate itself unto the people over which it rules in regards to what it does. Yet it is these same people who advocate that we are a secular government when the people themselves declare they are under God. Then they wonder why I will not subordinate myself unto their political ideology."

I just nodded and said, "I agree gramps. That was why I asked the question"

32 comments:

dcat said...

some are just plain power hungry!

The Griper said...

hunger for power is a disease that all men have who seek to rule over others, dcat, not just some.

repsac3 said...

It sounds as though you are advocating for a purely democratic majority rule in this case. When I read such opinions, I always wonder whose God we're all under. Do all religions and denominations worship the same God? And if not, is it just a matter of our all being under the God worshipped by the majority?

The way I read it, the intent of the framers (& many from then until this day) was that government (federal & state, btw...) have no sway over religious faith, or the lack of it. Individuals should be free to worship (or not) as they wish, without government intervention of any kind.

That isn't to say that every believer cannot or should not believe that we are a nation under the God of his or her faith. Of course we are. My faith teaches that the whole world is under God's protection & benificence. But according to those framers, my religion / denomination (or yours, or his, or hers) doesn't prevail over anyone else's here in America. And belief in general doesn't prevail over those who don't believe. The only way to remain neutral and not be perceived as establishing any particular faith is to not officially recognize ANY religion, and leave it to the individual to worship their God however one wishes.

Of course, it's fine for the government to recognize that most people believe... It's even fine for them to get specific, and state that most Americans are of a particular denomination. But that recognition should never imply that that we are therefore a (Baptist, Roman Catholic, Unitarian Universalist) nation. Another principle of our government is respect for the minority, and that those Americans who worship in the faith with the fewest members are as free to do so and as respected as those Americans who worship in the faith with the most members. Even the right not to worship at all is recognized & respected, governmentally.

If one looks at our population, we are clearly a nation under God. But when it comes to official government action, we are a secular nation, which protects the freedom of all Americans to worship God (or not) as they wish without government interference.

Lista said...

A lot of people do not realize that "Atheism is as much a religious belief as any other religious belief." We should not have Atheism imposed on us any more than any other religious belief and yet that appears to be what is happening.

Based on the statement that Atheism is also a religious belief, to declare that we are a "Secular Nation" is no less of a religious imposition as declaring that we are "a Nation under God".

In relation to "If the states recognize God and declare they be under Him, how can the nation be any less under God?", unfortunately, usually the "Separation of Church and State" is interpreted as applying to the states as well. It is misinterpreted, though, and used in ways that violate freedom of speech. The "Separation of Church and State" was originally written to protect the Church from the Government, not the Government from the Church.

The Griper said...

its apparent from your response repsac, that you didn't read my post with understanding.

my post never declares a democratic basis. and you are the one that always declares that the government is subordinate to the people not me. and God belongs to no man so there is not any "whose God" it is you that says that the people have authority and power over the government but apparently not in this case huh?

The Griper said...

that it was lista. it was meant to assure people that the state would not persecute them for their beliefs as was the case for those who came here in the beginning.

The Griper said...

oh, and one more thing repsac. calling ourselves a secular nation rather than a nation under God protects no man. it is the first amendment that does. that first amendment would apply regardless of how we view ourselves as a nation.

without that amendment no religious belief is protected including the religious belief of atheism.

BB-Idaho said...

"The "Separation of Church and State" was originally written to protect the Church from the Government, not the Government from the Church." It was written to protect both: remember, the founding fathers were much influenced by The Enlightenment, which itself began as a resistance to the European practice of the monarchy establishing and maintaining the religion of its state. (A practice which brought us the Puritans, later Catholics and later yet Jews). One wonders if "To declare that we are a secular nation rather than a nation under God is to declare that 5 men knows better.." refers to the 5 Roman Catholic Supreme Court Justices? One might argue that we are a nation under God, indeed the entire planet falling in that category; like most nations, we have secular aspects.
Not as secular as most European nations, but certainly more secular than the strict Muslim countries.

Karen said...

Declaring that we are a secular nation is declaring that the government abides by worldly principles rather than by religious principles. Worldly principles are the principles that conform to the beliefs of atheism. Atheism is as much a religious belief as any other religious belief whether that belief be Jewish, Christian, Islamic or Hindu."

Can I just say AMEN?

1. "Secular", from the Latin, means "of the age", and doesn't mean "worldly" as it means "dated." Of course it can be said that the state of earthly things is by nature dated, ever-changing.

2. Atheism, which is what most folks mean when they say "secularism", is as much of a religion as any other. Too bad people today don't actually understand the first amendment.

If you ever want to tick off an atheist, call atheism a religion. ;-)

The Griper said...

bb,
"which itself began as a resistance to the European practice of the monarchy establishing and maintaining the religion of its state."

exactly. the state imposing religion upon the people, thus religion needed protection from the state. the state needed no protection from religion. the Puritans migrated out of fear of persecution because there was no protection. the only protected religion was the religion of the state.

as for my claim of five men, that only refers to the number necessary to make a determination by the Supreme Court and is the number that usually is the determinate. that could have been clarified more.

" like most nations, we have secular aspects."

clarify this for me. if you are meaning a strict adherence to the beliefs of a particular religion, i'm not advocating for that. declaring we are a nation under God does not need to be adherence to any particular religion.

we could be a nation that was predominately islamic or Hindu rather than a nation predominately Christian and still be a nation under God.

for if God exists he exists as He is and that doesn't necessarily mean that He is as any particular religion depicts Him to be. what He is could be entirely different from what anybody thinks He is.

The Griper said...

hello karen,
my definition of "secular" comes straight from the American Heritage dictionary as well as the Merriam-Webster dictionary online.

and yes, its etymology is as you say. don't confuse the two words, definition and etymology.

Gayle said...

I just came by to say "Hi", Griper. This discussion is way to deep for me tonight. I've had a hard day. I drove for two hours in an absolute downpour and was caught drenched head to toe three times today. Perhaps I should use an umbrella but I don't believe in hanging onto a metal rod in a thunderstorm and I couldn't find my raincoat! :(

One thing I can say for certain is that no religion has the right to push it's belief down anyone's throat and that includes Atheists.

Have a great evening.

The Griper said...

howdy soaked gayle,

i guess the point is, regardless of how you call it you will abide by some religious principles. the only question ends up being which religious principles are the most preferable to abide by and then just acknowledge it as a nation.

repsac3 said...

I think we're saying the same thing again, Griper, but just to be certain... Is there any role for government vis a vis our being a nation under God, or are you simply stating that most people in this nation believe?

I'm down with the belief, and with recognising the fact that most people who live here do believe, but I don't want my government involved in any way with my faith, or with anyone else's...

For me, it really depends on what one means by--& wishes we the people or our government to do as a result of being--"a nation under God."

The Griper said...

repsac,
of course the government has a role. it has a role of protecting religious beliefs and religions. and that includes the religious beliefs of atheists. it just can't choose to protect one set of beliefs over the rest. it must treat all as equals.

but to do that doesn't mean that the government can't recognize that it rules over a nation that adheres to a certain set of beliefs.

it is like politics we are a nation that adheres to the democratic system but government must also recognize and protect other forms of political parties also, like the communist party, the socialist parties, the nazi party etc.

like i said in my post, governmental recognition is not governmental advocation.

in other words the federal government can say we are a nation under God but it cannot say that it is the preferred way of a nation.

besides, my post wasn't dependent upon the people's beliefs. it was dependent upon the states that recognized they were under God as declared in their constitutions.and we are a nation of states. thus if they say we are under God how can the federal government say we are not?

Lista said...

When I think of "One Nation under God", I think of being under God's protection and blessing. I don't think that anything has to be expected of anyone. It's just a good thing for those in leadership to acknowledge God's existence and blessing and it's also a good thing to remember our heritage and that it is based on sound religious values.

All I really want is the freedom to express my religion without all the time having to walk on egg shells wondering if what I am doing or saying is "Politically Correct" or whether or not I'm going to offend someone just by expressing my point of view.

The Griper said...

lista,
"the freedom to express my religion without all the time having to walk on egg shells wondering if what I am doing or saying is "Politically Correct"

good point.

repsac3 said...

[the government] just can't choose to protect one set of beliefs over the rest. it must treat all as equals.

It does that by allowing Lista (& the rest of us) to express her religion anyway she likes, and by leaving such expression to Lista & the rest of us.

I have no problem with individuals (even government individuals) expressions of faith. I'm not so sure it should be in anyone's Constitution, in the Pledge, or on money, but I'm not all that offended that it is (though, as you think Atheism is a religion, you might explain how God's presence in such places treats that religion equally with the rest).

but to do that doesn't mean that the government can't recognize that it rules over a nation that adheres to a certain set of beliefs.

What set of beliefs are we talking about? Christian beliefs? Jewish beliefs? The belifs of the majority of citizens?

And what does recognition entail? Is it simply making a statement that "according to census reports, the majority of citizens are of xxx faith, followed by xx, x, & y", or does it involve passing laws or allowing the government the same freedom to express religious thought & values that Lista & the rest of us citizens have, based on the faith of the majority? (And if so, what does that do for (or to) those who ain't a part of the majority faith?)

in other words the federal government can say we are a nation under God but it cannot say that it is the preferred way of a nation.

I just think it's for the individual believer to say we are a nation (& indeed world) under God. The government has no business offering an opinion or expressing faith one way or the other. (And yes, I know that in this zero sum game, NOT expressing faith allows the Atheists to "win," but I really don't see how having my government avoid religious expression adversely affects the religious expression of its citizens. Better that than the other way 'round, because I'd be far too worried that the religion expressed by my government may not be the one in which I bow my head, and that's a far bigger can of worms.)

besides, my post wasn't dependent upon the people's beliefs. it was dependent upon the states that recognized they were under God as declared in their constitutions.and we are a nation of states. thus if they say we are under God how can the federal government say we are not?

For me, government is government. I'd prefer the states stay out of it, too... But when did the Feds say we were not a nation under God?

Lista said...

But it doesn't protect us anymore, repsac3. The freedom of speech of Christians has been very greatly under attack lately. They are even attempting to tell us what we can and can not preach about in church in the name "Hate Speech". All a minister has to do is mention the fact that there are verses in the Bible that instruct against Homosexuality and we are accused of "Hate Speech".

We are constantly having to write to congressmen and tell them not to pass the stuff they are considering because it infringes on the freedoms of Christians. A lot of times it seems like we aren't even allowed to pray at a public gathering that has any ties at all with the Government. Excuse me, but that's a little ridiculous! Don't you think?

You actually think that Griper made the statement "It (the Government) just can't choose to protect one set of beliefs over the rest. It must treat all as equals." out of a vacuum?

Belief in God is not only the "Majority Faith". It was also the faith of our founding fathers and it is what our foundation was originally based on and therefore is very much a part of our culture.

The Griper said...

repsac,
i never said atheism is a religion, i said atheism is a religious belief. it is a religious belief because it declares a statement in regards to the existence of God.

and the issue of this post was whether we are a secular nation or a nation under God. and i presented an argument that we are a nation under God and not a secular nation as many believe and express.

and no where did i say that the federal government said we were not. don't put words into my mouth that i never said. but you know as well as i do that there has been constitutional challenges to the idea of the expression. reread that part and put that question i asked in context of the whole paragraph.
all i was saying there was if all of the parts of this nation declares we are under God then how could the whole not be under God?

and yes we are a christian nation not jewish or any other religion. as i said in a previous post the word "Christianity" does not denote a particular religion. it is a collective term. it is like Protestantism. that word does not denote a particular relligion either. it is a collective term.

as for making laws to determine recognition that is a foolish question. to do that would violate the 1st amendment.

don't confuse declaring we are a nation under God as advocating for a certain religion. there is your problem. you are not separating the two concepts.

it protects the right of the belief of atheism that is how it treats all religions or religious beliefs equally.

by declaring that it should not be in the Constitutions you have declared that by your viewpoint that every state Constitution except one is unconstitutional.

Lista said...

I'm so tired of people trying to do away with all mentions of God in public places. This actually offends me. It seems like a freedom of speech issue to me and to declare this nation a "Secular Nation" would further the cause of those who have this agenda.

To declare this nation a "Nation under God" protects the right to religion and freedom of speech in relation to religion. If some atheist wants to also post a sign in a public place that says "There is no God." of "God is dead.", this would be alright with me too. It is not Atheism that is under attack in this country. It is Christianity and we need all the governmental protection we can get against these assaults against out freedom of speech.

repsac3 said...

i never said atheism is a religion, i said atheism is a religious belief. it is a religious belief because it declares a statement in regards to the existence of God.

I stand corrected (though I expect that you knew what I meant) but my question still stands.

How does the government recognition of God in state & federal Constitutions, on money, & in the Pledge treat those who do not belive in God equally with those who do? If Atheism is a religios belief, should the government not treat that religious belief equally with all other religious beliefs?

i presented an argument that we are a nation under God and not a secular nation as many believe and express.

This is what I keep trying to get to... Why do you believe we are a nation under God? Is it because the majority of American citizens now are believers, because the founders were overwhelmingly believers, or have you some other reason I have not as yet discerned?

If the majority of Americans today were Atheists, would we still be a nation under God?

(My take is this; We are a nation under God because my faith teaches me we are. That belief would remain the same if I were the only believer in this country. I don't need my government, or other citizens to affirm my faith in God. For the most part in fact, I'd prefer that both the government & the masses stay out of it. My faith is between me, my God, & my religious community.)

and no where did i say that the federal government said we were not. don't put words into my mouth that i never said.

I'm pretty sure I quoted your exact words right before asking that question, Griper...

You said: thus if they [state constitutions] say we are under God how can the federal government say we are not?.

If the federal government never did say we are not a nation under God, I'm not sure I understand your reason for asking the question you ask.

and yes we are a christian nation not jewish or any other religion.

Yeah, that's where you lose me... ...and I'm a Christian...

Using a collective religious term does not absolve you of declaring other religious terms, collective & specific (and the people they represent, of course), as being "less equal" than Christianity in this nation (in that Animal Farm "all animals are created equal, but some animals are created more equal than others" sense).

As with the previous statement, I ask is this belief in our being a Christian nation based on the dominent faith among the population, the faith of the founders, or on something else?

don't confuse declaring we are a nation under God as advocating for a certain religion. there is your problem. you are not separating the two concepts.

I think I'm doin' just fine separating recognition & advocacy, thanks... What concerns me is your unwillingness to spell out what you believe government recognition means & entails...

by declaring that it should not be in the Constitutions you have declared that by your viewpoint that every state Constitution except one is unconstitutional.

No, it wasn't a Constitutional argument... My belifs on the subject are personal, not legal... The way I understand intent, the founders, and subsequent writings on the subject, government--all government--should stay out of the religion game, with the exception of preventing discrimination based on belief, through law.

Your "recognition" may be innocent, or it may be a stand in for something less so... Either way, I'll remain concerned about it until I have a clearer picture of what it does & does not entail.

repsac3 said...

They are even attempting to tell us what we can and can not preach about in church in the name "Hate Speech". All a minister has to do is mention the fact that there are verses in the Bible that instruct against Homosexuality and we are accused of "Hate Speech".

I guess my question is, accused of "hate speech" by who? Are these other citizens (who more than likely don't share your faith) or is it the government making the accusation? Have the courts been willing to hear any cases regarding this "hate speech?"

We are constantly having to write to congressmen and tell them not to pass the stuff they are considering because it infringes on the freedoms of Christians.

Congress can be as clueless as anyone... They are just a group of fellow citizens, after all...

That said, I'm unaware of the proposed laws in question, so I cannot speak to them... ...not intelligently, anyway...

A lot of times it seems like we aren't even allowed to pray at a public gathering that has any ties at all with the Government. Excuse me, but that's a little ridiculous! Don't you think?

As far as I know, individuals can pray any time or place they like. There are laws preventing public group prayers lead by govenment agents (like teachers) however. That's to prevent the three jewish and two muslim families from being overrun in a town full of Christians.

Imagine how you would feel if you lived in a majority muslim neighborhood, and the school agreed to have the local imam lead a prayer before the homecoming game...

(Personally, I'm all for having a variety of prayers from whatever faiths are represented in the school district, but we citizens decided otherwise, and passed laws preventing most religious expression by the government & government sponsored institutions. In a country where folks got all up in arms over a congressman who wanted to use the religious text of his faith in a photo-op version of his swearing in ceremony, perhaps we're not yet ready to handle a variety of faiths on government sponsored "stages," much as I wish it were different.)

Belief in God is not only the "Majority Faith". It was also the faith of our founding fathers and it is what our foundation was originally based on and therefore is very much a part of our culture.

While I agree that the majority of the founders believed in God, it seems to me that they were wise enough to forsee that all religious belief--including Atheism--needs to be protected, and thus avoided enshrining religious belief into the government. You are responsible for your worship. Your government has no place in your church, and your church has no place in your government.

Lista said...

Repsac3,
Maybe I shouldn't continue to be involved in this conversation, yet it is both interesting and important. I think that this nation is a "Nation Under God" because the founding fathers prayed often for our country and asked for God to bless it. I fear sometimes that if we were to drop all of the symbols of this blessing, we may not be so blessed by God. Maybe I'm wrong, but if I am not, than this is an extremely important issue that could have devastating consequences.

Protecting the phrase in the pledge; "One Nation Under God" may be harder to do since it was added more recently than some of the other things in our heritage. The phrase "In God We Trust", however, was introduced as our countries motto and some of our patriotic songs that contain religious words are ancient. Our National Anthem has religious words. Have you looked at the second verse lately. It is highly religious, so obviously, the founding fathers never intended for such expressions to be absent from public life.

We need to protect our heritage, if for no other reason, than because it is a part of our history. Why are the atheists so determent to take something so precious away from this country.

The Griper said...

"How does the government recognition of God in state & federal Constitutions, on money, & in the Pledge treat those who do not belive in God equally with those who do? If Atheism is a religios belief, should the government not treat that religious belief equally with all other religious beliefs?"

i answered that question already. "equal protection." that is what religions needed. protection from persecution.

as to the criteria that can be used to declare we are a nation under God.
1. because, as you say, we are a nation of people who believe it.
2. because the constitutions recognize this concept
3 our laws are based upon Christian principles of justice, specifically the ten commandments.
4. every government is founded and abides by one religious concept or another. it is impossible for any to not abide by a religious principle.
5. the difference being whether or not it be a specific religious principle or generalized religious principle. specific meaning a particular religion. atheism would fall under the concept of a specific belief.
6. history has shown that those governments that abide by the principles of a specific belief will more likely ban other religious beliefs or persecute those who do not adhere to the specific belief as advocated by that government.
6. Christianity has an advantage by not being declared as a specific religion for then each religion within it then acts as a check on the others thus contributing to the idea of a government of checks and balances.
7. yes you are a christian as i might declare myself one or lista will also but it doesn't declare what religion we each advocate, does it? you may be a Baptist, i might be a Methodist and lista may just be Deist or we could be of any other designation. We would all declare ourselves under God.
8. declaring we are a nation under God only recognizes that there is a power higher than we are that rules over us. and in recognition of that we must declare that all things, even governments and nations, are under Him.
9. Constitutions declare the principles of rulership. it declares what issues can be addressed by which party. by declaring we are under God we recognize that only He has the right to address certain issues and neither government nor man has that right. the Constitution also declares the the federal government can only address certain issues and the rest are to be addressed by state governments or the people themselves.
10. without the recognition of being under God then there is no recognition of His rights. and without the recognition of being under God how can we declare that certain rights are God-given rather than government given? and if they be government given then government has the right to take those rights away too.

BB-Idaho said...

"Worldly principles are the principles that conform to the beliefs of atheism." Interesting
definition. This would imply that
any priniciple and laws derived from other than divine sanction is atheistic: traffic lights, speed limits-atheistic; science and medicine-atheistic, etc. Jehovah
Witnesses, Unitarians believe in God, but not the trinity-atheistic?
A particular polygamous sect in the recent news provides young girls, harem-like, for the elderly men, based on THEIR religious belief. Polygamy in this country
is illegal..religous prinicple or
atheistic law? Lista bemoans, correctly, IMHO. a banning of Christian symbolism. Conversely,
yet some Christians actively boycott retailers that advertise
'happy holidays'. Either of these two not only lacks in the sensible
inate human tendency of toleration..but approaches, IMHO,
the current 'junk philosophy'
horse-blinder view of our human condition. Caesar noted that a
man believes what he WANTS to believe, and Christ said 'render unto Caesar. Discussion in these matters is hardly novel.."What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." Ecclesiates 1:9

The Griper said...

bb,
as i admitted right off in my post i have no idea what could be declared as secular principles.

the only difference i may see in regards to religious principles of government and secular principles is the recognition of the existence of God.

as for your example of polygamy that is a good question. for as you say we have laws declaring it illegal but the Constitution declares that no laws are to be written or enforced against religious beliefs. how would that law be reconciled with 1st amendment protections?

another case would involve the Bob Jones University that practiced segregation of races based upon religious beliefs and the government penalized them by refusing to grant scholarships to them because they didn't abide by laws rules for them.

a third case would be the civil war itself because some states seceded because they were deprived of their state rights on an issue that was religiously founded.

there are other religious issues that government has subordinated unto their laws too. yet the Constitution was very clear, "no laws"

so, as we see, it is not government that needs protection from religions and religious beliefs. it is religions and religious beliefs that need protection from government.

Lista said...

Griper,
"And without the recognition of being under God, how can we declare that certain rights are God-given rather than government given? And if they be government given then government has the right to take those rights away too."

What an interesting point, Griper!

Your closing statement of your last comment is good too; "So, as we see, it is not government that needs protection from religions and religious beliefs. It is religions and religious beliefs that need protection from government."

BB-Idaho,
Here we are again getting back to the definition of "Worldly". My dictionary says "of this world, temporal or secular, opposed to heavenly or spiritual; devoted to or concerned with the affairs, pleasures, etc. of this world."

I guess this could include neutral things, such as traffic laws, but it wouldn't include any of the religious stuff you mentioned, or at least if we said that it did, we would end up in a debate with those who believe in these things.

When employees are told not to say "Merry Christmas" to the costumers, I feel that this is an infringement on the freedom of speech of the employees. I once said "Merry Christmas" to someone and she said "Happy Holidays" back to me in a way that made me feel like she was correcting me and I felt a little offended, not because she said "Happy Holidays", but because she appeared to be correcting me for saying "Merry Christmas".

Retailers were saying "Happy Holidays", whether than "Merry Christmas", in the hope of avoiding offense, but instead it created offense, because there are more people who like the phrase "Merry Christmas", than who don't. That is all that those who boycotted were trying to say.

Personally, I think that the ones who can see only the offense of the atheist and not the offense of the Christian are the ones who have horse-blinders on. We are told that we need to "Tolerate" the atheist, yet they are not even willing to "Tolerate" something as simple as the words "Merry Christmas". This is a double standard and is highly unfair.

BB-Idaho said...

Apologies for wandering off thread, but Lista, the Christmas
controversy even tarred the President and Mrs. Bush with their
"..best wished for your Holiday Season". Read about the invective directed their way by 'Christians' here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/06/AR2005120601900.html The government may not need protection from religion, as Griper notes, but perhaps the president does. :)

The Griper said...

there is only one thing i know. that being that we have 3 documents of government, the declaration of Independence, and the two Constitutions. within these documents contain the principles of government as our founding fathers set up.

they set up a government which was to be the antithesis of the government that ruled over us prior to our independence.

one of those documents was created out of religious conviction, the declaration of independence. it was written in recognition that kings ruled by divine right. and in recognition of the divine right of kings to rule our founding fathers was abiding by the principles of that right by declaring they were justified to seek independence. and they wrote down those justifications for all to know. and all that is written in that document is written in recognition of the role God has in government.

our first constitution declared what role the federal government was to play in relation to the 13 states. the second constitution was enacted to make the union a more perfect union in recognition of the flaws in the first constitution. it did nothing to change the role of the federal government in relation to the 13 states.

within the first ten amendments you will find what right each party of government was to have with the rights of God already agreed upon as declared in the declaration of independence. thus all rights imaginable were recognized. God had certain rights. the federal government had certain rights. the states had certain rights and the people were known to have certain rights.

now you can't declare that God has certain rights without also declaring that we, as a nation, recognize that we are under God.

and if we are a nation under God then we cannot be a secular nation adhering to worldly principles only.

the only basis that i see that worldly principles could be seen as worldly principles would be if we did not recognize the existence of God. for the principles as outlined for the governing of this nation would not change. they'd still be the same principles of government.

The Griper said...

bb,
"The government may not need protection from religion, as Griper notes, but perhaps the president does. :)"

had to chuckle at that one.

Lista said...

Yeh, that one's cute. Isn't it?

The president gets all kinds of flak from all different sources. It just goes along with the office. There really isn't any way to protect him from it.

If our founding fathers recognized the role God has in government than we should too.

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