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Atheism and The President of the US watch

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    (Original post by NietzschanGuy)
    If the values that the founding fathers held were in any way still adhered to, I would answer that yes they could. Since, however, this idea of 'One nation under God' has taken over from the ideal of secularism, then I'd say it's unlikely unless they outright lie.
    The founding fathers were atheists, and Deists.

    I can't stand the new mottos "One Nation under God" and "In God we Trust".

    The old motto "From the many, One" is so much more powerful because it speaks to our ideals, hopefully we can bring it back some day.
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    (Original post by Phugoid)
    But Jefferson wasn't all that quiet about his religious standings. He believed quite firmly that there should be absolutely no involvement of Religion in government, and he fought for that all through his political career (well, I say 'fought', but there wasn't really an opposition to this ideal, it was unanimously thought among all politicians of the time, more or less, but they were deeply passionate about it, nonetheless).

    The argument about whether they are personally religious or not isn't really the first argument they would consider. Although many of the founding fathers were religious, they all believed passionately that it should not be allowed anywhere near government. Even if a Christian presidential candidate said that today, he would lose quite a lot of votes. Americans don't just believe that their president should be a Christian, they also tend to believe that he should actively involve God in his governance of the country.
    Completely and utterly wrong. You are trying to make it seem as if they were militant secularists like yourselfs to suit your agenda.

    The constitution only prohibits a national established Church. State churches were compltely fine. One of the first actions of the US government was to buy 20,000 Bibles. If you read quotes from the majority of the Foundinf fathers you can also see that they certainly didn't believe that it should be nowhere near the government.

    What nonsense.
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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    Completely and utterly wrong. You are trying to make it seem as if they were militant secularists like yourselfs to suit your agenda.

    The constitution only prohibits a national established Church. State churches were compltely fine. One of the first actions of the US government was to buy 20,000 Bibles. If you read quotes from the majority of the Foundinf fathers you can also see that they certainly didn't believe that it should be nowhere near the government.

    What nonsense.
    Jefferson never included a Church in the University of Virginia, Thomas Paine, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin ridiculed Christianity.

    They found Christianity absurd, so why would you think they would have wanted it close to government?
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    (Original post by Saff123)
    Jefferson never included a Church in the University of Virginia, Thomas Paine, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin ridiculed Christianity.
    I never said Jefferson did such a thing and he wouldn't have expected him to. John Adams was a praticing Unitarian who said to Thomas Paine that:

    "The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity, let the Blackguard Paine say what he will."

    So he never "ridiculed Christianity".

    (Original post by Saff123)
    They found Christianity absurd, so why would you think they would have wanted it close to government?
    "They" didn't. The majority of the Founding Fathers were Christians. The US Constitution only prohibits an established national or federal Church, it doesn't mean that there should be no religious influence on politics. This is quite clear from reading the first admendment.
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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    I never said Jefferson did such a thing and he wouldn't have expected him to.
    He didn't want religion of any form involved in government, or government spaces.

    John Adams was a praticing Unitarian who said to Thomas Paine that:

    "The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity, let the Blackguard Paine say what he will."

    So he never "ridiculed Christianity".
    He was a Christian who denied the divinity of Jesus, and saw the Bibles miracles as nothing more than "fables". He makes Americas position quite clear in the Treaty of Tripoli:

    "The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."

    The majority of the Founding Fathers were Christians. The US Constitution only prohibits an established national or federal Church, it doesn't mean that there should be no religious influence on politics. This is quite clear from reading the first admendment.
    Thats utterly false, while some of Founding Fathers may have reffered to themselves as "Christian" they were in no sense literalist followers of the Bible, they didn't believe in virgin births, and divine humans. Most Christians would not identify such beliefs as "Christian".

    The Founding Fathers never made religion part of their discourse, religious differences between the so called "Christian", Deist, and Atheist never had any bearing on their co-operation in establishing the USA. While Adams's in your quote disliked Paines mocking of Christianity he still agreed with him on the fundamental values of governance, and Bengamin Franklin who found Light houses much more useful than churchs was still able to work with his colleges toward that common goal. Unless your view is while those who despised Christianity like Franklin were non-the-less still working to establish a Christian country.

    Now thats an absurd idea. The one thing they agreed on was that it was to be a Secular state, governed by reason.
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    (Original post by Saff123)
    He didn't want religion of any form involved in government, or government spaces.
    I doubt it.

    (Original post by Saff123)
    He was a Christian who denied the divinity of Jesus, and saw the Bibles miracles as nothing more than "fables". He makes Americas position quite clear in the Treaty of Tripoli:

    "The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."
    That was to appease the Muslims of the Barbary states. And I'm not saying that it was founded on the religion, just that the US had a Christian character and that is less secular than many suggest.

    (Original post by Saff123)
    Thats utterly false, some of founding fathers were "Christian" but were in no sense literalist followers of the Bible, most Christians today would question how someone who did not believe Jesus was divine could even call themselves a Christian.

    But for the Founding Fathers religious differences between the so called "Christian", Deist, and Atheist were not of importance in the political arena, which why they co-operated in establishing the USA, unless your view is while those who despised Christianity were non the less all still working to establish a state where Christianity would have influence on politics.

    Now thats an absurd idea.
    First of all, I think it's quite clear that none of them could be considered atheists. The majority of the Founding Fathers were Bible believing Christians. And of course Christianity would have influence on the politics of a nation if the vast vast majority of the nation were Christian.

    The first admendment clearly only forbids the formation of a national church and the taking away of other's right to act on their religious freedom, agree or disagree?
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    First of all, I think it's quite clear that none of them could be considered atheists. The majority of the Founding Fathers were Bible believing Christians.
    Of the central Seven fathers:

    Franklin, Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, and Washington, believed: the Bible was written by ignorant and superstitious folk, that Jesus was:

    1) not the son of God. 2) not born of a virgin. 3) never performed miracles.

    They viewed the Bible as a false representation of the moral teachings of Jesus, cloaked in superstition by it's "ignorant" (to quote Jefferson and Adams) writers.

    If your in doubt read their letters, Washington was not as overt in his letters, but he makes references. His reverend believed that he was no Christian, and only occasionally attended Church for the sake of his wife. He also refused a religious funeral.

    They were Deists.

    John Jay and Hamilton were the only two who could be described as Christian, and Bible believers, Hamilton accused Jefferson of being an Athiest, not even a deist. Remember Hamilton also advocated monarchy- Washington as King, which he in turn rejected.

    And of course Christianity would have influence on the politics of a nation if the vast vast majority of the nation were Christian.
    Of course it does but that does not mean it should, the rights of the minority is not to be stifled by the majority.

    The first admendment clearly only forbids the formation of a national church and the taking away of other's right to act on their religious freedom, agree or disagree?
    It forbids "the establishment of religion", either through a national Church, Mosque, temple, or the preference of one faith over another.

    Jefferson said it best in his letter to the Baptists:"that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State"
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    They are allowed to become the President but that is only in theory. I don't actually see it happening in the near future.
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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    That was to appease the Barbary states, mainly.
    Perhaps. Still, thats not going to please American conservatives: Either your first POTUS was a liar or your system is not founded on Christian beliefs - which do you prefer?

    I think it would be more appropriate for conservatives to take the latter but use it as proof of the virtues and possibilities of civil society, a la de Tocqueville or Burke's "little platoons": The US proves that religiosity can thrive in a technically and formally secular society. The state does not need to mandate religion for it to survive, all it need do is leave well alone and protect against force and theft, and religion can prosper and flourish on its own merits.

    Of course, that ignores tax breaks to religious organisations.
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    Perhaps. Still, thats not going to please American conservatives: Either your first POTUS was a liar or your system is not founded on Christian beliefs - which do you prefer?
    POTUS?

    My system? I'm not American. But even if they really meant it, it doesn't mean that all religion in politics isn't allowed.

    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    I think it would be more appropriate for conservatives to take the latter but use it as proof of the virtues and possibilities of civil society, a la de Tocqueville or Burke's "little platoons": The US proves that religiosity can thrive in a technically and formally secular society. The state does not need to mandate religion for it to survive, all it need do is leave well alone and protect against force and theft, and religion can prosper and flourish on its own merits.

    Of course, that ignores tax breaks to religious organisations.
    Tax breaks are completely constitutional. The only thing the constitution bans is a national church. State churches and various other things are completely constitutional.
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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    POTUS?
    President Of The United States.

    My system? I'm not American.
    I know, you were meant to imagine speech marks around that.

    But even if they really meant it, it doesn't mean that all religion in politics isn't allowed.
    True, only an established religion is prohibited.

    Tax breaks are completely constitutional. The only thing the constitution bans is a national church. State churches and various other things are completely constitutional.
    Perhaps, though I have heard that usage of the ninth and fourteenth Ammendments sometimes restrains State Governments by the same restraints as the Federal gov. I can't remember the issue, but I once said that a state government was not constrained by something in the Bill of Rights and an American pointed out that further Ammendments or interpretations meant it was.
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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    As long as he didn't shout it from the rooftops. I mean Reagan was divorced but still many voted for him even though he went against family values in a sense.
    Last year, some conservative pundits were saying that Reagan, one of the greatest presidents in US history, imo, would have had a much harder time getting the presidential nomination in today's Republican party.
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    (Original post by Saff123)
    The founding fathers were atheists, and Deists.

    I can't stand the new mottos "One Nation under God" and "In God we Trust".

    The old motto "From the many, One" is so much more powerful because it speaks to our ideals, hopefully we can bring it back some day.
    How do you feel about "God Save the Queen?"
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    (Original post by Made in the USA)
    How do you feel about "God Save the Queen?"
    Personally, I would replace the monarchy with an elected head (Cromwell had the right idea), and than worry about changing the motto.

    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    Perhaps, though I have heard that usage of the ninth and fourteenth Ammendments sometimes restrains State Governments by the same restraints as the Federal government...
    Perhaps nothing, you were right the first time:yes:

    The 1st Amendment of the American Constitution, requires the government to not give preference to one religion over another which effectively prohibits the establishment of a federal church, let alone a state one.

    The unique power-sharing system between federal and state government grants states a great many powers, their own local govt. constitutions, taxes, running elections, and polices not covered by national law...etc. but they must comply with the national constitution and Federal law. Although the south was effectively given great leeway after Reconstruction the Civil Rights Act effectively ended discrimination based on "race, color, religion, sex or national origin". And there are plenty of legal cases to come before the Supreme Court since to prove that point.

    The other side has yet to make a single coherent argument for their position.
 
 
 
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