The Bible versus the American Constitution

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The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby hyksos on October 2nd, 2018, 1:05 am 

We have in the United States a demographic loosely referred to as "Evangelicals" in shorthand, or perhaps "Christian Conservatives" in longer form. In terms of the "Culture wars" (as it were) there is an attempt by this demographic to rewrite the facts of history. This revisionism, at its heart is a form of religious propaganda.

In 1787 , a constitutional convention was held in Philadelphia, where the first American constitution was ratified. The christian revisionist propaganda is not a particular claim, per se, but a variation on the following core theme : That the men in the room at that convention were all devout pastors of strong faith, and they essentially framed the constitution and the Federal Government on passages from the Bible.

Several highly prominent public people in America are guilty of perpetuating a revisionist form of history regarding the beginning of the United States of America. A shortlist of those figures includes,
  • Ben Shapiro
  • Pat Robertson
  • Rush Limbaugh
  • Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
  • William Lane Craig
  • Ken Ham
  • Kent Hovind
  • Eric Hovind
  • (tentatively) Glenn Beck
.

(Beck has recently softened his stance and seems to refer to the Enlightenment more frequently)

google_constitution.png

The above exercise in Googling leads to a wall of Christian Conservative websites, which one can douse one's self into , if you dare.

Attempts to correct this history in light of historical facts are met with goal-post shifting and topic switching, and backsliding. Often the retort is that the christian conservative will produce evidence that the Founding Fathers were not atheists. But that claim is not being made. Attacking that claim is a fallacious form of sophistry called straw-manning.

The facts of history will show that the writings of John Locke are soaked in Christian sentiment, and furthermore he quotes scripture directly in several places. John Adams wrote that a man should regularly attend Church service as it will reinforce his morality. The founding documents refer to "the Creator" and even "God's Providence". James Madison, perhaps the most vocal defender of Separation of Religion and State, railed against "pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution." In the very same speech from which that quote is derived, Madison referred to Christianity as quote, "the greatest gift to Mankind."

The the Founding Fathers were Christians cannot be denied as the raw facts show them. Instead what is being brought to light here is that they were not Christian Fundamentalists, they were not pastors. Their goal in Philadelphia was not to establish a theocracy. Their vision for a Republican government was not taken from the Bible -- not even primarily.

A second sophistry tactic employed is to goalpost shift the argument -- and claim that we "Can never know what was in their minds. So historians have to engage in guesswork, estimation, and assumption." This claim is historically and factually false. We have enormous amounts of writings of the Founding Fathers; their speeches, their letters, and their legal documents. Historians, and anyone else for that matter, can absolutely reconstruct the Founders' thoughts and feelings, to a highly precise degree. This will become obvious below.

To arm one's self for the culture wars, I present the following tool that can be used in debate and discussion. I have compiled 25 Questions that Christian Conservatives Cannot Answer. Some of these are obscure enough that even Jeopardy contestants would be stumped. Some are anecdotal trivia, while others are very deep, and may require research and time. Nevertheless, all of them have clear answers from history, and can be resolved without interpretative twist or historical conjecture. The facts alone are sufficient to answer all twenty five.

As an appetizer, the answer to question (21) is mind blowing.
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby hyksos on October 2nd, 2018, 1:15 am 

25 Questions that Christian Conservatives Cannot Answer

(1)
Did any democracies exist in the world prior to the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth? Where and when?


(2)
In the 1780s, England had a legislative body composed of 2 houses called a "PARLAIMENT". However, the oiriginal American Constitution from 1789 refers to a "SENATE". Where did the Founding Fathers get the word "SENATE" from?


(3)
How many times does the word "SENATE" appear in the Bible?


John Adams was present at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and he was present in the room in Philadelphia during the Constitutional convention. He was the second president of the United States. Adams referred to the convention in Philadelphia as "this Areopagus, Council of Amphictyons."

(4)
What was the The Council of the Areopagus ? Does "Areopagus" appear in the Bible?

(5)
What was Amphictyony? Does the word "Amphictyony" appear anywhere in the Bible?

(6)
What is the difference between a REPUBLIC and a DEMOCRACY?

(7)
In 202 BC, what form of Government did the Romans have?


(8)
The in the 1780s England had a state-sponsored church called The Church of England. Did the American Founders want a parallel version of a state-sponsored church in America? Yes or no? How do we know this?

(9)
What is a "Congregationalist"?

(10)
Were any of the American Founders a Congregationalist? Who?

(11)
Did the American Founding Fathers want to have a religous test applied to anyone who holds public office? Yes or no? How do we know this?

(12)
Benjamin Franklin was a deist. What is a DEIST?

(13)
Name a specific difference in theological doctrine between a Deist and those of a protestant pastor?

(14)
Historians refer to a period of europe called the Enlightenment. What is the Enlightenment?

(15)
What does "trias politica" mean?

(16)
The American Federal Government is broken into three co-equal branches called the Legislative, Judicial, and Executive branches of government. Did this of "Separation of Powers" exist prior to the American Constitution? Who wrote it first?

(17)
Who is Charles de Montesquieu? Where was he born and where did he live?

(18)
Who is John Locke?

(19)
What did John Locke claim about the legal power of Kings?

(20)
What was the "French Revolution" and when did it happen?

(21)
What is the "Declaration of the Rights of the Man and Of the Citizen"? Who wrote it?

(22)
How did the French Revolutionaries treat the established Church in France?

(23)
Who is Charles Maurice de Talleyrand?

(24)
The British military invaded the United States from the Canadian border in 1812. What was the motivation behind this military campaign?

(25)
What other countries was England at war with at this time?
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby wolfhnd on October 2nd, 2018, 2:08 am 

Ben Shapiro is Jewish?

Rush Limbaugh is not an Evangelical?

Conflating Evangelicals with the Christian right is confusing and an over simplification.

Trump isn't even a conservative which points to a more complex set of associations between conservatives and Christians.

The culture war is not between conservatives and liberals. It is between coalitions of people. A great deal of propaganda has been deployed to paint everyone opposed to globalism, multiculturalism, neo Marxism, unrestricted immigration, political correctness, post modernism, restrictions on free speech etc. as "alt right".

The "founding fathers" can't be lumped together into any ideological group. Most were wealthy Americans who felt that the colonies could not pursue their "destiny" shackled to a constitutional monarchy. Personal ambition should not be discounted as a contribution motivation although few people consider that. The American upper class resented there second class standing as colonials.

The timing of the American revolution coincides with a time when the French government was inclined to treat the upper class British colonials with more respect than their own king and parliament. It can be seen as part of a larger struggle between the British and French. Political intrigue being what it is loyalty to French interests never really transpired despite their massive contribution to a successful American revolution.

It's little wonder that some people feel that the U.S. was inspired by divine providence considering how unlikely American victory against Britain was. What is obvious considering the disastrous War of 1812 is how little the British were inclined to spend blood and treasure on a costly cantankerous colony while heavily engaged in European conflict.

These facts do not really matter to anyone who is interested in the real question which is if the form of government formed by the American colonies is superior to European style democracy. I would say yes with reservations. Certainly the bill of rights is important and I prefer republicanism to the parliamentary system. On the other hand the USSR's constitution is proof that laws do not make a nation. It is the character of a nation that determines what those laws mean.
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby hyksos on October 2nd, 2018, 2:54 am 

wolfhnd » October 2nd, 2018, 10:08 am wrote:Ben Shapiro is Jewish?

Watch Ben Shapiro converse with Stephen Harris about slavery and the Bible. It will become clear in seconds where he stands.

Rush Limbaugh is not an Evangelical?

I don't keep up with him now. I might be referring to my memory of him in the 1990s.

Conflating Evangelicals with the Christian right is confusing and an over simplification.

Trump isn't even a conservative which points to a more complex set of associations between conservatives and Christians.

Fine. I will consult you first if I ever need to draw the intricate borders and separations between these groups.

The culture war is not between conservatives and liberals. It is between coalitions of people. A great deal of propaganda has been deployed to paint everyone opposed to globalism, multiculturalism, neo Marxism, unrestricted immigration, political correctness, post modernism, restrictions on free speech etc. as "alt right"

Your attempt to derail this thread has been noted.

The "founding fathers" can't be lumped together into any ideological group. Most were wealthy Americans who felt that the colonies could not pursue their "destiny" shackled to a constitutional monarchy. Personal ambition should not be discounted as a contribution motivation although few people consider that. The American upper class resented there second class standing as colonials.

I used to think in raw economic terms like this. I have changed recently. Intellectual history is real. In the 18th century context, the ideas are identifiable and traceable.

The timing of the American revolution coincides with a time when the French government was inclined to treat the upper class British colonials with more respect than their own king and parliament. It can be seen as part of a larger struggle between the British and French. Political intrigue being what it is loyalty to French interests never really transpired despite their massive contribution to a successful American revolution.

I refer any passersby in this thread to question (22).

It's little wonder that some people feel that the U.S. was inspired by divine providence considering how unlikely American victory against Britain was.

Before I consider validity to this claim, I will require you answer all 25 questions to my satisfaction.

What is obvious considering the disastrous War of 1812 is how little the British were inclined to spend blood and treasure on a costly cantankerous colony while heavily engaged in European conflict.

Anyone who was the under the impression that the Founding Fathers wanted to establish a "Shining City on a Hill" for purely religious reasons (and there are many of them). Such people don't seem to know that the war of 1812 happened. 1812 was not a religious or theological conflict. The Colonialists' beef with King George III was not that he had "fallen from the true faith" or some such, requiring them to go in the wilderness with their bible's clutched under their arms to establish the True Church. When the British armies were sent again in 1812, their principle motivation was not re-imposing a particular theology onto the colonies. None of this is speculation on my part. It is explicit in the documents.

These facts do not really matter to anyone who is interested in the real question which is if the . . .

". . These facts do not really matter to ..." The 25 questions could be expanded into book-length expository. You have announced that you feel no responsibility to address any of them. Is this threadjacking?

On the other hand the USSR's constitution is proof that laws do not make a nation. It is the character of a nation that determines what those laws mean.
Some thinktanks have quantified the level of "Freedom of the Press" in all nations on earth, and then graphed this and made maps of it. They have also quantified the level to which the three branches are genuinely independent. Yes -- you can actually quantify how independent a judiciary is in a nation. Having said that, I generally agree with your sentiment. Civic government deteriorates for reasons that come from a people's character.

Since you are here, did you want to try to answer question (21)?
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby wolfhnd on October 2nd, 2018, 9:57 am 

You could make an argument that communism is an evolution of Christianity if you wanted to. I don't pay much attention to these kind of claims because it is obvious that Western Civilization has been influenced by many cultures that didn't originate in Europe. Jared Diamond the author of Guns, Germs and Steel makes the argument that geography plays an important role in Western dominance as does Ian Morris in his book Why the west rules (for now). This view seems to discount the enlightenment as an important factor making it a side effect of more fundamental factors in the advancement of the social index. There is simply no way of knowing what influence Christianity had on the enlightenment or how it ranks among the many other influences either positive or negative. What we can be certain of is it had some influence. If you reran history without that influence things would be different. I have no confidence they would be better. In this regard I'm not lining up behind thinkers such as Sam Harris.

Christianity started as a eschatological Jewish cult. Some people point to this basic element of Christianity as accounting for it's most negative influence being nihilistic in the sense that it provides disincentives to improving the here and now. Is it possible that it deepen and extended the dark ages, I suppose so. Other people think that the enlightenment is a direct result of Christian philosophy in the sense of the logos, or truth to power. As with most things the truth probably lies somewhere inbetween.

The people that try to rewrite history to place Christianity at the center of the political development of the U.S. are only doing what ever tribe does. They are making their tribe the people. Religion is only one element of tribalism and the irony is that those pushing back against it have embraced multiculturalism justifying fragmenting people along ethnic and religious lines. In anything as complex as culture the road to hell may be paved with good intentions.
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby davidm on October 2nd, 2018, 10:10 am 

wolfhnd » October 2nd, 2018, 7:57 am wrote: Religion is only one element of tribalism and the irony is that those pushing back against it have embraced multiculturalism justifying fragmenting people along ethnic and religious lines.


This is curious to me. How does multiculturalism “fragment people along ethnic and religious lines.”? In my view it is just the opposite. Multiculturalism holds that if we stop fragmenting people along these lines, but recognize that people can have different cultures and traditions and skin colors and ethnicities while still living peacefully together, under a constitutional rule of law, then we’d all be better off. Many of the people who whine about the supposed evils of multiculturalism in the U.S. are the descendants of 19th century immigrants to America hailing form Ireland, Germany, Poland, Italy, etc. Do they not remember how shabbily their forebears were treated, because they were “different” from “true Americans?” (whatever that is supposed to be … native Americans, maybe?)

It’s the monoculturalists — many of them descendants of the aforementioned ethnicities, whose forebears faced terrible discrimination — that want to fragment people into tribes, while of course maintaining, either implicitly or explicitly, that their tribe is the best tribe — the entitled white male heterosexual tribe, of course.
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby davidm on October 2nd, 2018, 10:15 am 

IOW, multiculturalism is the opposite of tribalism -- and tribalism in the broad sense has been at the root of war and conflict since time immemorial.
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby Braininvat on October 2nd, 2018, 11:57 am 

It's crossed my mind before, in the past few years, that Wolf should just start a thread dedicated to multiculturalism and his thesis on its downside. Could we do that? Then we wouldn't keep having other threads get derailed over what MCism is or is not. And that thread would be, one hopes, a learning experience for all involved.
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby wolfhnd on October 2nd, 2018, 12:23 pm 

You can't have it both ways where all cultures are equally valid and the enlightenment saved the West from Christianity. Many cultures are hostile towards fundamental principles of the enlightenment. The logical conclusion is that their religions, and ethnic traditions must go through the same transformation, i.e. be scrapped, if the principles of the enlightenment are valid. The propagandists would have you believe this is an ethno nationalist argument. The opposite is true in so far as validating ethnic differences is unavoidably divisive. You can go further and say that even self determination will not necessarily have a positive outcome.

Accidents of birth are just that accidents. They are the largest contributing factor to religious affiliation and how you view the enlightenment simultaneously. If we believe in the enlightenment evidence and reason may lead us to question our religious traditions but the same principles should lead us to question all traditions including those of groups to which we do not belong. Being "oppressed" is not an excuse for rejecting enlightenment principles.

Artificially imposing "equally" in a world where nothing is equal is problematic. Some traditions are unavoidably better than others. The application of the principle of equality only applies to individual rights. Equal rights cannot make individuals or traditions equal. The individual has the unalienable right to choose what traditions to adhere to but that choice does not validate the traditions.

The evolutionary argument for diversity is obvious but it is equally obvious that almost every variation from the norm is detrimental. That is the conservative argument and it shouldn't be confused with bigotry. The question of what kind of diversity is desirable must by the nature of things be addressed by those promoting change. In this case many of the founders were probably faced with the if not Christianity then what problem. Human history shows that nature abhors a vacuum. Currently the cult of social justice is trying to feel the vacuum but is so chaotic and unsophisticated it is probably doing more harm than good. The central question of our time is how do we know when the left goes to far.
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby wolfhnd on October 2nd, 2018, 12:30 pm 

Braininvat » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:57 pm wrote:It's crossed my mind before, in the past few years, that Wolf should just start a thread dedicated to multiculturalism and his thesis on its downside. Could we do that? Then we wouldn't keep having other threads get derailed over what MCism is or is not. And that thread would be, one hopes, a learning experience for all involved.


You may not believe it but I'm trying to be helpful. I could be completely off base but what is and isn't relevant to an issue defines the issue and is seldom obvious.

You are not going to find something like multiculturalism in it's pure form in the body politic. I'm not sure that a thread on the theory would be useful. I use the term only to denote the vague influence of the philosophy on the culture outside academia.
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby Serpent on October 2nd, 2018, 12:58 pm 

This may be an ignorant question:
What is the ultimate purpose of reliogionizing - or possibly re-reliogionizing - the founding fathers and, indirectly, the US constitution?
If they succeed, what is supposed to happen to all those amendments?
How will the catholic/Protestant rift play out in America? (Not as it did in Europe, one hopes!)

(I have a pretty good idea what is supposed to happen to women, gays, atheists and Muslims - not a pretty picture!)
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby davidm on October 2nd, 2018, 2:40 pm 

You can't have it both ways where all cultures are equally valid and the enlightenment saved the West from Christianity.


I’m not sure who “you” is here, but I don’t think that the enlightenment “saved” the West from Christianity. On the contrary, 
Christianity in many ways contributed to the enlightenment. Of course I also find here the implication that the so-called dark ages were really dark, a claim not evidenced. And finally, you do not define what you mean by enlightenment. There are many such definitions, including that the enlightenment was a myth, that it may have been harmful in many respects, and that it may have given rise to 20th century totalitarianism. These are all very complicated issues of philosophy and historiography that cannot be dismissed by implying that someone else is offering a self-contradictory thesis without even defining your terms.

Many cultures are hostile towards fundamental principles of the enlightenment.


Which principles? And even if they are opposed to some of those principles, so what? Maybe they even have a valid reason to oppose them?

The logical conclusion is that their religions, and ethnic traditions must go through the same transformation, i.e. be scrapped, if the principles of the enlightenment are valid.


Why must they be scrapped? And must all of them be scrapped, or just some of them? Which ones, and why? I am of Polish descent. It is OK for me to adhere to certain Polish traditions or must I scrap those in favor of the enlightenment? If so, why? It seems this would make your enlightenment an absolutist monoculture, ironically enough. But also, which principles of the enlightenment are you talking about? Enlightened absolutism, for example, or deism? Objectivism? Logical positivism? Bolshevism? Materialism? Reductionism? Enlightenment mythicism? Or what? There are many different interpretations of the enlightenment and each arguably instantiates its own monoculture with its attendant provincialisms.

The propagandists would have you believe this is an ethno nationalist argument.


Why, even if they are wrong, must they be “propagandists?” Why can’t they just be sincere, but wrong?

Is the current government of the United States an exemplar of enlightenment principles, as you would define those principles? (even though you have not defined them, still less given us any argument or evidence why your interpretation should take precedence over other, competing interpretations.) Is Donald Trump an exemplar of the enlightenment? Lindsey Graham? Brett Kavanaugh?

The opposite is true in so far as validating ethnic differences is unavoidably divisive.


Why? I validate the traditions of Muslim neighbors every time I eat halal food. That’s not divisive, it’s inclusive. Perhaps you have something either more specific or universal in mind, but again, you write in such generalities that one can’t get a grip on what you really mean.

You can go further and say that even self determination will not necessarily have a positive outcome.


That’s true, but how is it relevant? The U.S. elected Donald Trump, so obviously self-determination can have bad and even ugly outcomes. But this is hardly news. Look what happened to the French Revolution, which was inspired by the enlightenment.

If we believe in the enlightenment evidence and reason may lead us to question our religious traditions but the same principles should lead us to question all traditions including those of groups to which we do not belong.


How about questioning the traditions of those groups to which we do belong, including the traditions of the so-called enlightenment? And, even if we do question those other traditions, why can’t I live and work in peace with people whose other traditions I question, even as they no doubt question my own? Why must every cultural difference be turned into a zero-sum game in which one side must vanquish or subdue the other? Why not live and let live?


Being "oppressed" is not an excuse for rejecting enlightenment principles.


Which enlightenment principles are those? Enlightenment absolutism, for example, which is another form of oppression?

Artificially imposing "equally" in a world where nothing is equal is problematic.


Yet again, your terms are undefined. What do you mean by “imposing”? What do you mean by “equally”? Can you give specific examples of what you are talking about?

Some traditions are unavoidably better than others.


Yes, but this is a matter of perspective. The American tradition of one percent hoarding the vast bulk of wealth while homeless people forage for scraps in garbage cans looks pretty grotesque to many other cultures and traditions.

Equal rights cannot make individuals or traditions equal.


Equal in what way? Again, this is undefined.

The evolutionary argument for diversity is obvious but it is equally obvious that almost every variation from the norm is detrimental.


I’ve no idea what the above means. If the entire sentence is addressing biological evolution, then it is self-contradictory. How can diversity be both good and bad at the same time? Moreover, if you are contending that almost every deviation from the norm in evolution is detrimental, the statement is false. Most mutations are neutral, and neither beneficial nor deleterious. If the second part of the sentence is talking about social norms, than this has nothing to do with evolution, because an appeal to justify social norms from evolution constitutes the naturalistic fallacy. If the second part of the sentence is dealing with social norms only, why invoke evolution? If the second part of the sentence is talking about social norms only, then according to your own logic, any variation from the norms of an Islamic theocracy practicing sharia law is detrimental.

That is the conservative argument and it shouldn't be confused with bigotry.


You have not even defined, much less defended, the conservative argument. You have just written, as usual, in bromides and generalities.

The question of what kind of diversity is desirable must by the nature of things be addressed by those promoting change.


Why? Once again, you provide no argument — just an unsupported assertion.

In this case many of the founders were probably faced with the if not Christianity then what problem.


The founders were deists.
Human history shows that nature abhors a vacuum.


No idea what this means.

Currently the cult of social justice…


What “cult”? Define “cult.” I believe in social justice and I certainly do not belong to a cult.

… is trying to feel the vacuum …


Feed?

…but is so chaotic and unsophisticated it is probably doing more harm than good.


Argument? Evidence?

The central question of our time is how do we know when the left goes to far.


Argument? Evidence?

The irony is that by what I suspect is your own private definition of the enlightenment, your post here, which I have deconstructed, fails every one of your professed enlightenment principals.

And, finally, after writing all these words, you have never once provided your definition of multiculturalism, still less why anyone should fear it.
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby hyksos on October 2nd, 2018, 5:50 pm 

The thread is officially hijacked.
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby wolfhnd on October 2nd, 2018, 6:04 pm 

I think you got the best answer that can be given. The bible influenced the enlightenment and the enlightenment influenced the constitution.
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby Braininvat on October 2nd, 2018, 6:13 pm 

Some incisive crits and challenges from David, and further indications that some terms have gone undefined. Still not sure if this sidebar will take us back to the OP topic, or if a different thread is needed. I feel terms like "the Left" or multiculturalism are semantic swamps we could get lost in. I find liberal democracy a more useful term that gives more precise shape to "Enlightenment values. "

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_democracy

Other terms are so tainted with partisan spin that I see them as kind of hopeless, e. g. "identity politics, " which seems to morph into some weird pejorative form of a better and clearer term, "civil rights." And "social justice" seems to get dragged through the mud, falsely characterized as something insidious or even fascistic, when it really just refers to equality of opportunity, equality before the system of jurisprudence, and equal access to things we all see as social goods. I don't think any sane person of normal intelligence has ever taken the "equality" sought by liberal democracy as meaning that individual humans are all equal in capabilities or must be so rendered.
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby davidm on October 2nd, 2018, 6:49 pm 

wolfhnd » October 2nd, 2018, 4:04 pm wrote:I think you got the best answer that can be given. The bible influenced the enlightenment and the enlightenment influenced the constitution.


If this is addressed to me, I will take that you have no interest in defending either by argument or evidence the vague generalities you have tossed out here, just as you declined in another thread to support your mischaracterizations of homeless people in San Francisco.
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby davidm on October 2nd, 2018, 6:58 pm 

wolfhnd » October 2nd, 2018, 4:04 pm wrote:I think you got the best answer that can be given. The bible influenced the enlightenment and the enlightenment influenced the constitution.


The Bible influenced the enlightenment. For good? For ill? Which parts of the bible influenced which parts of the enlightenment?

The enlightenment influenced the constitution. Which parts of it, influenced which parts of the constitution? Surely the constitution had other influences besides the bible or the enlightenment?

In seems that everything is reduced to an unreflective and unsubstantiated sound bite in your posts, and when challenged, you decline to engage.
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby wolfhnd on October 2nd, 2018, 9:21 pm 

The point I have been trying to make is in the absence of Christianity then what. Has there ever been a civilization without religion to compare. Nietzsche was not a fan of Christianity but he said "God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?" Now science has gone one step further and killed free will. Some people suggest that the death God is directly responsible for the Nazi concentration camps and the gulag archipelago. Certainly the blood spilt in the name of rationality during the French revolution is not hopeful. If it is true that free will is an illusion what will the death of free will bring. There are a lot of questions we should be asking instead of engaging in the rather superficial deconstruction of obvious superstitions and cultural biases.

I'm not making an argument in favor of the Evangelicals, as poorly defined as they may be here, their claims are so obviously exaggerated that they are not worth discussing. Nor would I paint Christianities influence as negatively as say Gibbon or Harris. Like most things it's a mixed bag.

It is important to note that Christianity grew out of an older tradition which grew out of an even older tradition. It's likely that these older traditions predate Judaism and may have indirectly influenced Greek philosophers. Deep history is murky and if you go back far enough perhaps it is human nature that determines the form of religion.

I pointed out Jarred and Morris earlier because they seem to question if any part of the traditional view, the locked in theory as Morris refers to it, in which Greek philosophy and Roman civic structure had much to do with the enlightenment or the relative rise of the social index in the "West". Jordan Peterson on the other hand seems to think that Christianity played an important role in the development of liberal democracy. Who is right? I don't know but they are asking the right questions.
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby hyksos on October 3rd, 2018, 12:22 am 

I have never described the American Revolution and the French Revolutions as "atheist holidays".

I very clearly stated the Founding Fathers were Christians.

I did not describe the content of the Declaration of Independence, nor the Constitution as a "rejection of Christian principles".

So attacking any of the above is a strawman. (A strawman on top of thread hijacking into recent politics and even an attempted digression into world politics).

I think you got the best answer that can be given. The bible influenced the enlightenment and the enlightenment influenced the constitution.

This is nearly close enough to the thread's topic so that you can "get away with it" in the minds of the forum moderators. It is in fact a digression away from the core material. Even the enlightenment itself has roots in the Renaissance, which all historians of all stripes (art historians, historians of mathematics, linguists, regular historians, etc) all agree contained ancient Greek elements. At base, this would sidebar the topic of this thread into "What were the intellectual roots of the Enlightenment?" (IF your answer to that question is : "it all came from the Bible." I would find that prima facie false. But please MAKE A THREAD ON IT and do not adjudicate it here.)


I think you got the best answer that can be given.

This is for us to decide, not you. It is coming to realize that the American Revolution was far more radical than most people ever realize. More radical than is taught to school children who are (for some reason) forced to memorize its details.

Overthrow your king and establish a democratic Republic

You could not find a priest, pastor, bishop, nun , or Pope would would have supported this action in 1776. Not even John Locke himself would have supported this action. Locke would have been deemed a Loyalist by the Founding Fathers. While John Locke questioned the legal powers of monarchs, he would never have suggested to "..dissolve all bands which connected them...". Nevertheless this did actually happen. Battles happened. The colonies fought the British military in open conflict, twice.

I typed about this far ------
Then I left my computer and came back with a fresh mind. In the interim I found,
hyksos » October 2nd, 2018, 9:05 am wrote:Attempts to correct this history in light of historical facts are met with goal-post shifting and topic switching, and backsliding. Often the retort is that the christian conservative will produce evidence that the Founding Fathers were not atheists. But that claim is not being made. Attacking that claim is a fallacious form of sophistry called straw-manning.

I predicted this interaction ahead of time.
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby BadgerJelly on October 3rd, 2018, 2:24 am 

Davidm -

It’s the monoculturalists — many of them descendants of the aforementioned ethnicities, whose forebears faced terrible discrimination — that want to fragment people into tribes, while of course maintaining, either implicitly or explicitly, that their tribe is the best tribe — the entitled white male heterosexual tribe, of course.


Said with no irony.
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby BadgerJelly on October 3rd, 2018, 2:32 am 

hyksos » October 2nd, 2018, 1:15 pm wrote:25 Questions that Christian Conservatives Cannot Answer

(1)
Did any democracies exist in the world prior to the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth? Where and when?


(2)
In the 1780s, England had a legislative body composed of 2 houses called a "PARLAIMENT". However, the oiriginal American Constitution from 1789 refers to a "SENATE". Where did the Founding Fathers get the word "SENATE" from?


(3)
How many times does the word "SENATE" appear in the Bible?


John Adams was present at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and he was present in the room in Philadelphia during the Constitutional convention. He was the second president of the United States. Adams referred to the convention in Philadelphia as "this Areopagus, Council of Amphictyons."

(4)
What was the The Council of the Areopagus ? Does "Areopagus" appear in the Bible?

(5)
What was Amphictyony? Does the word "Amphictyony" appear anywhere in the Bible?

(6)
What is the difference between a REPUBLIC and a DEMOCRACY?

(7)
In 202 BC, what form of Government did the Romans have?


(8)
The in the 1780s England had a state-sponsored church called The Church of England. Did the American Founders want a parallel version of a state-sponsored church in America? Yes or no? How do we know this?

(9)
What is a "Congregationalist"?

(10)
Were any of the American Founders a Congregationalist? Who?

(11)
Did the American Founding Fathers want to have a religous test applied to anyone who holds public office? Yes or no? How do we know this?

(12)
Benjamin Franklin was a deist. What is a DEIST?

(13)
Name a specific difference in theological doctrine between a Deist and those of a protestant pastor?

(14)
Historians refer to a period of europe called the Enlightenment. What is the Enlightenment?

(15)
What does "trias politica" mean?

(16)
The American Federal Government is broken into three co-equal branches called the Legislative, Judicial, and Executive branches of government. Did this of "Separation of Powers" exist prior to the American Constitution? Who wrote it first?

(17)
Who is Charles de Montesquieu? Where was he born and where did he live?

(18)
Who is John Locke?

(19)
What did John Locke claim about the legal power of Kings?

(20)
What was the "French Revolution" and when did it happen?

(21)
What is the "Declaration of the Rights of the Man and Of the Citizen"? Who wrote it?

(22)
How did the French Revolutionaries treat the established Church in France?

(23)
Who is Charles Maurice de Talleyrand?

(24)
The British military invaded the United States from the Canadian border in 1812. What was the motivation behind this military campaign?

(25)
What other countries was England at war with at this time?


What is the point of this? I don’t get it. Do you want people to study history or are you actually trying to say something?
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby bangstrom on October 3rd, 2018, 3:48 am 

hyksos » October 2nd, 2018, 12:05 am wrote:Several highly prominent public people in America are guilty of perpetuating a revisionist form of history regarding the beginning of the United States of America. A shortlist of those figures includes,
  • Ben Shapiro
  • Pat Robertson
  • Rush Limbaugh
  • Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
  • William Lane Craig
  • Ken Ham
  • Kent Hovind
  • Eric Hovind
  • (tentatively) Glenn Beck
.


Superficially speaking, the revisionist- Christian conservatives, including our pretend “Christian” president, bear the tribal branding of a Christian-conservative cultural leader. That is, they all have an extra carefully quaffed head of hair. The most notable exceptions are Louie Gohmert and Rush Limbaugh who has also lost his look.

We are a multicultural society but the many divisions have a strong tendency to sort themselves into either the liberal or conservative camps. Some of the sorting is natural but it often seems random with conflicting ideologies identifying as either liberal or conservative while having little in common other than claiming a shared side of the cultural divide.

I have never seen the cultural divide as divisive as it is now. Not even in the sixties. Everyone is shouting, 'WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?'
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby hyksos on October 3rd, 2018, 6:03 pm 

I have never seen the cultural divide as divisive as it is now. Not even in the sixties. Everyone is shouting, 'WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?'

Is this an accusation you are making of me?

I ask because I see wolfhnd "liking" your post.
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby wolfhnd on October 3rd, 2018, 10:25 pm 

The problem with the polarization during a moral panic and culture war is people become less self critical. Depending on your proclivities you start seeing Nazis and commies everywhere. It's pretty hard to be nuanced if people that simply disagree with you start calling you evil or deranged.

For the record I have no idea where on the political spectrum hyksos lies and don't care. I just found the list of people in the original post odd especially the evangelical label. They may all believe the constitution was inspired by divine intervention but despite the absurdity of such a belief I'm not sure it is all that important. Devine inspiration, destiny or as Morris would say the meaning of geography what is important is the constitution itself.
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby bangstrom on October 4th, 2018, 3:10 am 

hyksos » October 3rd, 2018, 5:03 pm wrote:
Is this an accusation you are making of me?

I ask because I see wolfhnd "liking" your post.


No, I completely agree with your point of view. Despite the validity to what “wolfhnd” and “davidm” said about multiculturalism, the overwhelming dynamic is a separation into liberal and conservative views with the religious right being one of the many conservative factions and I find it true that they have come up with a revisionist narrative where God was speaking through the founding fathers in the writing of the US constitution.

Two days ago I saw a man on TV explaining the religious rights’ affinity for Donald Trump. He said that God picks our leaders, not man, and God works in mysterious ways as we know from the Bible where the great religious leaders were often far from “godly” men. It bewilders me how perception to the will of God can tell someone whether to be guided by someone like Trump rather than someone like Obama.

There is something about Obama that signals he is from the liberal side of the cultural divide and therefore an anathema to the religious right. It may be his past as a community organizer. There is also something about Trump that signals that he is from conservative side of the cultural divide and therefore a darling to the right but what is it? He certainly has the air and the hair of a televangelist but there must be more. It may be his opposition to abortion or high taxes and we can forgive and forget about the rest of the man since he is on the Right side of the cultural divide.

We can’t single out just the religious right for being revisionists. There are political, economic, and environmental revisionists and one has only has to follow the Kavenaugh hearing to see recent personal histories revised as we watch. As I watch the news an old line that may have originated with Bob Dylan keeps running through my head as a theme for our time.

The Titanic sails at dawn;
And everybody’s shouting;
Which Side Are You On?
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby wolfhnd on October 4th, 2018, 1:40 pm 

"Well you know we all want to change the world"

"But if you go carrying pictures of (insert you favorite ideological prejudice)
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby Lomax on October 4th, 2018, 3:20 pm 

Hyksos,

Since you mention the congregationalists, I would add a question: from whom was Jefferson, in coining the term wall of separation, writing to protect the Baptists of Danbury?

(Anyone who doesn't know can infer the answer from the setup of the question, I would hope.)
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby hyksos on October 4th, 2018, 5:47 pm 

I found an 1802 letter written to Dodge, Robbins, and Nelson. It does mention "wall of separation" in it.
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby hyksos on October 4th, 2018, 5:49 pm 

BadgerJelly » October 3rd, 2018, 10:32 am wrote:What is the point of this? I don’t get it. Do you want people to study history or are you actually trying to say something?

To have a valid opinion of a particular time in history, you must first exhibit competency and fluency in the known facts and some understanding of surrounding events.
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Re: The Bible versus the American Constitution

Postby bangstrom on October 4th, 2018, 7:28 pm 

wolfhnd » October 4th, 2018, 12:40 pm wrote:"Well you know we all want to change the world"

"But if you go carrying pictures of (insert you favorite ideological prejudice)
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow


But if you go singing praises for Kim and Putin
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow.
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