The U.S. Constitution is 100 Percent Secular—or Is It?

Is the Constitution secular? Yep.In other blog posts, I’ve made the point that the secular U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from getting involved with religion, which makes the best environment for both atheists and Christians. However, on several occasions, I’ve gotten pushback that the Constitution isn’t secular. Let’s investigate this claim.

First consider a historic document that is easily seen to be religious, the Mayflower Compact (1620). It’s quite short, and the majority of the body is here:

Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic.

This is one of the documents that David Barton likes to use while bending history to take on his preconception of America as a Christian nation. There are also several federal Thanksgiving declarations that acknowledge the Christian god. For example, George Washington in 1789 created the first national Thanksgiving Day with this statement:

[Congress requests that the president] recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God.

The constitution of the Confederate States (1861) was adopted with few changes from the U.S. Constitution, one being the addition of “invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God” in the preamble.

However, when we read the U.S. Constitution, this overtly Christian language isn’t there. Neither is the vaguely deist language present in the Declaration of Independence. It’s 100 percent secular. It’s not God making this constitution; it begins, in big letters, We the People. In fact, Article 6 says in part, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

But is it secular? Some Christians assert that it’s not. The first example is from Article 1:

If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law.

In other words, it recognized Sunday as a holiday. The second example is the wrapup in Article 7:

done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven.

In other words, it replaces AD (Anno Domini—“in the year of our Lord”) with its English translation, as was customary for formal documents at the time.

That’s it?? Those are the powerful counterexamples? Compare this to the Mayflower Compact—a constitution with some balls that not only affirmed God’s existence but said that the entire project was for his glory.

That Sunday was a holiday simply acknowledged the custom of the people of the time. Spelling out AD and saying that this acknowledges Yahweh is like saying that the use of the names Thursday, Friday, and Saturday acknowledges the gods Thor, Frigg, and Saturn, respectively. Or that the use of the names May and June acknowledges the Roman goddesses Maia and Juno. “AD” is just another part of the same calendar.

The final irony is that “in the year of our Lord” isn’t even correct from a Christian standpoint. The few clues we have of Jesus’s birth in the gospels make clear that he wasn’t born in the year 1 but probably around 5 BCE.

So, yes, the Constitution does reflect the customs and calendar of the people of the time. But it’s still obviously and boldly secular. Isn’t that the best for everyone who is governed by it?

None are more hopelessly enslaved
than those who falsely believe they are free.
— Johann Wolfgang van Goethe

(In honor of the upcoming anniversary of the signing of the Constitution, this is a modified version of a post originally published 1/30/12.)

Photo credit: Wikipedia

About Bob Seidensticker
  • Michael Edwards

    George Washington read sermons sent to him and planned that there be a national cathedral in his capitol city. He also walked to St Paul’s Chapel for a prayer service following his inauguration. And he laid the cornerstones of the capitol buildings with the members of his Masonic Lodge, which is overtly Theistic. I do not doubt he believed in God and Christ, though I am also sure he meant to be neutral on religion when it came to matters of state, and in his letters used vague terms like “Providence”.

  • http://luvsiesous.com/ Luvsiesous.com

    Wow.

    You keep believing what you want – my family was there.

    Wayne
    Luvsiesous

    • Dys

      The presence of your family has no bearing on the fact that the Constitution is a secular document establishing a secular government. In fact specific references to Christianity were put forth for inclusion and rejected by the Constitutional Convention.

      Sure revisionist hack faux-historians like David Barton desperately wish it were otherwise (and lie shamelessly to promote that view), but America is a secular nation where the majority of the population follows some denomination of the Christian religion. America is not a Christian nation.

      • 1SkyCaptain1

        You based your position on a term coined in 1851.

        Nuff said!

        • Greg G.

          Does that mean that the Roman Empire cannot be discussed in English because the language didn’t exist back then? Sometimes words have to be coined to describe a new concept. A concept does not need to be preceded by a word for it.

          “A rose by any other name…”

        • 1SkyCaptain1

          Exactly!

          Secularism was a new idea; so new that it did not even exist in 1788.

          The U.S. Constitution was not written in opposition to the Decleration of Independence; it was written so as to affirm it.

          You use bastardized words as facade in defense of the indefensible. Evil is still evil; even when you call it secular, or even Gay.

        • Greg G.

          When the Constitution was being framed, religious language was proposed and rejected.

          Many of the early settlers came to the colonies to escape from the religious tyranny of other versions of Christianity. When Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists to assure them that no religion would be able to use the government to persecute them. That is what they wanted.

          The Constitution was intentionally made to be non-religious. The synonym “secular” was coined later. So what? That doesn’t mean it doesn’t apply.

          Protestants and Catholics have had bloody fights over the years. Our Constitution has kept either side from being able to use the government for the purpose. Secularism is a good thing.

        • 1SkyCaptain1

          The founding fathers knew the truth of their faith to be self evident; they saw no need to spell it out for you – every state constitution noted God as its authority.

          Of the two hundred or so noted founding fathers one was a professed Catholic; the rest were all self identified Protestant Christians. Catholics were fewer than five percent of the population for well over half of this nations existence; with the majority of those in existence today coming from South America in the last 60 years.

          Secularism is a religion; it is a Godless religion, but it is a religion nonetheless.

        • Greg G.

          Many of the Founding Fathers were nominal Christians who abandoned that faith in favor of Deism. Jefferson and Washington are examples of that.

          You are bastardizing “secularism” and “religion”. Secular means the absence of religion.

        • 1SkyCaptain1

          Every one of them returned to the faith of their youth in their later years; as most people do today.

          You should not stop reading historic accounts when you believe you found the answer you were looking for.

          Religion: a system of belief

          There is no such thing as no system of belief.

        • Greg G.

          Jefferson didn’t. Washington didn’t. Madison didn’t. Paine didn’t. They weren’t believers when they framed the Constitution.

        • 1SkyCaptain1

          You should restart your research at Monticello.org; the foremost experts on Thomas Jefferson -they’ll set you straight.

        • Dys

          And the letters Jefferson wrote make it very clear he wasn’t a Christian. He was a classical deist who appreciated many of the principles attributed to Jesus.

          But he rejected the miracle claims, rejected Jesus’s divinity, rejected that he was the son of God, rejected the trinity, and didn’t have anything nice to say about the God of the OT.

          You might want to do some more research yourself.

        • 1SkyCaptain1

          Jefferson penned on his well worn Christian Bible:

          I am a real Christian, that is to say a deciple of Jesus..

          https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/jeffersons-religious-beliefs

          The truth is not on your side; which is proably why you embrace and cherish a lie.

        • Dys

          As I mentioned in a previous comment, you should follow your own advice when it comes to stopping your research when you find something that seems to confirm your bias.

          You need to actually read what Jefferson wrote in order to understand what he meant by that line. Instead, you mistakenly stopped at “Jefferson said he was a Christian” without bothering to understand the context.

          I suggest you start here:

          http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/98-01-02-1438

          Speaking of Jefferson and the bible…he constructed his own, removing the parts he found ridiculous and false. In other words, no divine Jesus, no miracles, no son of God, etc. Jefferson was philosophically a follower of Jesus, but he threw out so much Christian dogma that he can hardly be considered a Christian.

        • Randy King

          Jefferson was a self professed Christian; Christ is not Jesus’ last name, it is a designate – Christ: the anointed one.

          Jefferson could not believe Jesus was Christ if he did not believe in the God of Abraham.

          I gave you a link to the actual writings of Thomas Jefferson as offered by the foremost experts on Thomas Jefferson. I’ll take their findings over the ideology driven snippets you offered; thank you very much.

        • Dys

          Jefferson was a self professed Christian; Christ is not Jesus’ last name,

          Are you really so childish that you’re going to insist on playing these types of silly word games?

          Jefferson could not believe Jesus was Christ if he did not believe in the God of Abraham.

          From the letter I provided you a link to, that you apparently instantly ignored:

          “his object was the reformation of some articles in the religion of the
          Jews, as taught by Moses. that Seer had presented, for the object of
          their worship, a being of terrific character, cruel, vindictive,
          capricious and unjust.”

          That was Jefferson’s opinion of Abraham’s god.

          I gave you a link to the actual writings of Thomas Jefferson

          As did I.

          I’ll take their findings over the ideology driven snippets you offered; thank you very much.

          I provided a link to Jefferson’s own words. Unfortunately, you’re too ideologically driven yourself to follow the advice you tried to give out. You found something that confirms your bias, and stopped there.

        • Randy King

          I provided links to Jefferson own words as well; with the noted difference that they were unedited offerings from the curators of Jefferson privately funded museum.

          Jefferson purportedly attending church regularly; even doing so when nobody else was there. Who was he trying to impress by going to church when nobody else was there?

          The facts stand in opposition to your ridiculous assertions to the contrary.

          All this asides from the fact that Jefferson was not a delegate, did not have a vote, and did not sign the United States Constitution.

        • Dys

          I provided links to Jefferson own words as well; with the noted difference that they were unedited offerings from the curators of Jefferson privately funded museum.

          And the link I provided is to a source frequently cited by Monticello for resources they do not host. And Founders.org provides unedited transcriptions. If you’re seriously going to try and play this childish game of trying to cast aspersions on a reputable source about Jefferson because it doesn’t come from Monitcello.org, you’re a complete fool.

          The facts stand in opposition to your ridiculous assertions to the contrary.

          As has already been made abundantly clear, you’re guilty of the same thing you tried to project on others. You cherry pick your facts, and ignore the things you don’t like.

          and did not sign the United States Constitution.

          Which also doesn’t contain any reference to Christianity.

          However, in an effort to restart your stunted research, here’s some links for you:

          Concerning the Jefferson Bible: http://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/life-and-morals-jesus-nazareth

          He omitted passages that he deemed insupportable through reason or that he believed were later embellishments, including references to Jesus’ miracles and his resurrection.

          Concerning the god of Abraham: http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/98-01-02-1438

          Jesus had to walk on the perilous confines of reason and religion: and a step to right or left might place him within the gripe of the priests of the superstition, a bloodthirsty race, as cruel and remorseless as the being whom they represented as the family god of Abraham, of Isaac & of Jacob, and the local god of Israel.

        • Randy King

          “In the Year Of Our Lord 1788”

          This was not a simple slip of the pen; it was an acknowledgment of a self evident truth.

          Jefferson was a self identified Christian; which establishes your guilt, in no uncertain terms.

          After Monticello fell into disrepair it was purchased by a Jewish family who restored the property out of appreciation for Jefferson’s establishment of religious freedom in Virginia.

        • Dys

          You really are just a silly, silly, person, aren’t you?

          Jefferson was a self identified Christian; which establishes your guilt, in no uncertain terms.

          In other words, you found something that confirms what you want to believe, and are conveniently ignoring anything else that contradicts them, especially context and later elaborations that he offered. Despite having them provided to you in Jefferson’s own words.

          This was not a simple slip of the pen

          I agree. It was the standard method of dating at the time. Pretending that it somehow means the Constitution is a Christian document, despite containing no reference to Christianity in the text proper, is merely a sign of your ideological desperation.

          purchased by a Jewish family who restored the property out of appreciation for Jefferson’s establishment of religious freedom in Virginia.

          That makes sense. It certainly couldn’t be on account of his opinion of their god, as the quotes I’ve already provided for you clearly show.

          It seems my first impression was correct – you really are just interested in engaging in pedantry.

          On another side note, the phrase “In the Year of Our Lord” was not in the document approved by the Constitutional Convention. It was a later addition:

          http://www.philipvickersfithian.com/2011/05/us-constitution-and-year-of-our-lord.html

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “In the Year Of Our Lord 1788”

          This was not a simple slip of the pen; it was an acknowledgment of a self evident truth.

          All addressed in the post above. Show that my analysis is wrong, if you’re able.

        • Greg G.

          “The year of our Lord” is an expression based on an assumption that doesn’t align with either canonized gospel that discusses when your Lord was born. According to Matthew, he was born while King Herod lived, yet he died in 4 BC. Luke says he was born after King Herod’s son was deposed in 6 AD.

          That means that the “Year of the Lord” cannot refer to the Christian lord.

        • MNb

          Which is one reason to prefer BCE and CE.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Or said another way, Jefferson’s idea of being a true follower of Jesus was quite different from Sky Captain’s.

        • Dys

          If SkyCaptian (aka Randy King) actually understood what Jefferson meant when he declared himself a Christian, he’d have to accuse Jefferson of bastardizing the word Christian for consistency’s sake.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I didn’t know they were the same person. Interesting.

        • Dys

          He switched names on me in a conversation here, but kept referencing things he had said under the other persona.

        • Greg G.

          Ever heard of the Jefferson Bible? It has all the absurd stuff cut out of the New Testament. Jefferson didn’t believe in a supernatural Jesus.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Or you could make plain the error Greg G made, if any.

        • Greg G.

          Can you name any Founding Fathers who were Deist but went back to Christianity. Simply going to church with the wife doesn’t count.

        • Dys

          Every one of them returned to the faith of their youth in their later years

          Entirely untrue…Jefferson was raised as an Anglican, and never returned to that faith (or Christianity).

          You should not stop reading historic accounts when you believe you found the answer you were looking for.

          You should follow your own advice. Because you’re starting to sound like yet another Barton ‘scholar’.

        • 1SkyCaptain1

          “I know you are but what am I” and “no it isn’t” are excuses; not arguments in defense of your baseless position.

        • Dys

          Comprehension is not your strong suit, I see. Your statement is factually wrong, and apparently you’d prefer to throw tantrums and make things up instead of dealing with that fact.

        • 1SkyCaptain1

          Your stating verifiable information is “factually wrong” does not make it so,

          Your atheist faith can be traced back to the 1980’s; the universal faith of every single founding fathers can be traced directly back to th 12th century; with their entire faith being traced back over 5,000 years.

          All you have in your defense is an ability to opine “no it isn’t.”

        • Dys

          the universal faith of every single founding fathers can be traced directly back to th 12th century

          You’ve already been refuted on this. Repeating it as if it hasn’t been is sheer dishonesty on your part.

          with their entire faith being traced back over 5,000 years.

          Well, you can’t mean Christianity, since it didn’t exist 5,000 years ago. And since that means it therefore couldn’t represent the entire faiths of the founders who were actually Christian, you’re wrong once again.

          Your atheist faith can be traced back to the 1980’s

          First, it isn’t a faith. Second, do you just enjoy making things up? Atheism has a far longer history than that. Your education and research on these topics is sorely lacking. You clearly place religious ideology far above pesky things like facts.

          All you have in your defense is an ability to opine “no it isn’t.”

          You must mean except where I’ve pointed out (and backed up with facts that you’ve intentionally ignored) the mistakes you’ve been making.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And the fact remains that the U.S. Constitution is a 100% secular document. Indeed, that’s one of our greatest gifts to the world.

        • MNb

          So what? Because some folks X centuries ago believed in some god the USA in the 21st Centruy must remain a theocracy?
          The Argumentum ad Traditionem is also a logical fallacy.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_tradition

          Unlike you and your compatriots I totally don’t care about Jefferson and co. They are irrelevant to me. What I care for is what works. And given the obnoxious attitude of many christians in the USA it’s obvious that (a)religious minorities need extra protection compared to several European countries. Hence a strict state-religion separation is the best way.

        • 1SkyCaptain1

          Don’t know your pass won’t know your future!

          Basing a nation on the ever shifting sands of popular culture is a recipe for disaster.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Basing a nation on the ever shifting sands of popular culture is a recipe for disaster.

          Good point. If slavery was good enough for great great great grandpappy, it should be good enough for you.

        • Rudy R

          Damn the popular culture that outlawed slavery, regulated employment of minors, gave the right for women to vote, outlawed Jim Crow laws, legalized marriage between races/sex. The list could go on and on and on.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          There ya go–shifting sands.

          Don’t go up against the Sky Captain, my friend.

        • Greg G.
        • MNb

          Jefferson and co don’t belong to my past, silly. I’m not American – never even set foot in the USA.

          “a nation on the ever shifting sands”
          False dichotomy.
          The political system of The Netherlands anno 2015 hardly resembles the political system of the 16th Century. That shift hasn’t exactly resulted in disaster though.
          The question is what works now. I have argued that strict state-religion separation is best for your country. You brought up nothing against it but another logical fallacy.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Can you imagine what they said when they realized that they’d forgotten to put anything overtly Christian in the Constitution?! Hilarious!

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          every state constitution noted God as its authority.

          And the federal constitution doesn’t. Further, the First Amendment (now applying to government in general, not just Congress) limits government involvement in religion. Oops—so much for the relevance of God in government.

          Of the two hundred or so noted founding fathers one was a professed Catholic; the rest were all self identified Protestant Christians.

          Hey—you know what would be fun? Just quote David Barton directly. I love him.

        • Randy King

          the 1st Amendment limits the Federal Governments role in religion. The Constitution was written to ensure States writes; not abolish them.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          the 1st Amendment limits the Federal Governments role in religion.

          And the 14th Amendment extends “Congress” to be “all governments, federal, state, and local.” The result is that local government meddling inappropriately with religion is just as prohibited as the federal government doing so.

          The Constitution was written to ensure States writes; not abolish them.

          ?? Uh, yeah—no one except you is talking about abolishing states’ rights.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          It is ironic that the Baptists were eager for separation of church and state. But when they’re feeling their oats, they want more power and the separation becomes an obstacle.

        • Greg G.

          Evil is still evil;

          The word “evil” comes from cognates from older languages but did not have the same specific meaning. You are using it in a bastardized sense.

          In Old English and other older Germanic languages other than Scandinavian, “this word is the most comprehensive adjectival expression of disapproval, dislike or disparagement” [OED]. Evil was the word the Anglo-Saxons used where we would use bad, cruel, unskillful, defective (adj.), or harm (n.), crime, misfortune, disease (n.). In Middle English, bad took the wider range of senses and evil began to focus on moral badness. Both words have good as their opposite. Evil-favored (1520s) meant “ugly.” Evilchild is attested as an English surname from 13c.

          The adverb is Old English yfele, originally of words or speech. Also as a noun in Old English, “what is bad; sin, wickedness; anything that causes injury, morally or physically.” Especially of a malady or disease from c. 1200. The meaning “extreme moral wickedness” was one of the senses of the Old English noun, but it did not become established as the main sense of the modern word until 18c.

          You are using “gay” in a bastardized form, too. Every word you use appears to be a bastardized form of an older word. You should find a better argument or just stop posting your tired, old argument.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The St. Paul’s cathedral rebuilt after the London fire of 1666 was called “amusing, awful, and artificial” by the monarch, but this was high praise given the meaning of the words at the time.

        • William Davis

          Secularism was a new idea; so new that it did not even exist in 1788.

          Dead wrong. One of the first pre-Enlightenment secular philosophers was Baruch Spinoza (1500):

          The ostensive aim of the Theological-Political Treatise (TTP), widely vilified in its time, is to show that the freedom to philosophize can not only be granted without injury to piety and the peace of the Commonwealth, but that the peace of the Commonwealth and Piety are endangered by the suppression of this freedom. But Spinoza’s ultimate intention is reveal the truth about Scripture and religion, and thereby to undercut the political power exercised in modern states by religious authorities. He also defends, at least as a political ideal, the tolerant, secular, and democratic polity.

          http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/spinoza/

          One can actually go farther back, take this statement from wikipedia (which is accurate):

          Secularism draws its intellectual roots from Greek and Roman philosophers such as Epicurus and Marcus Aurelius; from Enlightenment thinkers such as Denis Diderot, Voltaire, Baruch Spinoza, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine; and from more recent freethinkers and atheists such as Robert Ingersoll and Bertrand Russell.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secularism

          I think it’s fine to point to potential issues with secularism (I think the benefits far outweigh any side effects but that’s my opinion) but please get your facts straight at least. Misinformation is a problem by any thinking persons standards. The term “secularism” was coined in the 1800s, that does not mean the concept didn’t exist way before that.

        • 1SkyCaptain1

          Not even close.

          Secularism was coined in 1851 England by George Jacob Holyoake in reference to an ideolgy he never fully defined; an ideology that has yet to be universally defined:

          The rest is just piece meal attempts to justify your baseless position. The fact is that every single original U.S. Colonies respective constitution acknowledges its authority coming from God. The U.S. Constitution did not render pre-existing State constitutions unconstitutional; anymore than it voided the Decleration of Independence.

        • William Davis

          Cool. I don’t bother with people who demonstrate Dunning Kruger like yourself. I’m sure everything in wikipedia is a giant conspiracy created by Satan himself, lol!

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

          P.S. Skycaptain is a really dorky name

        • 1SkyCaptain1

          Did you just close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears, and chant nananana-na?

        • William Davis

          Have a good night! I expect it’s past your bedtime…parents know you are still up?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Skycaptain is a really dorky name

          Maybe he gets high a lot.

        • Dys

          Exactly!

          And the point sails completely over your head…

          In other news, the Declaration of Independence doesn’t contain a reference to the Christian god either.

        • 1SkyCaptain1

          “By the laws of nature and natures God…”

          Your war on self evident truths paints you as evil!

        • Dys

          Your inability to comprehend what people tell you makes it self-evident that you’re blissfully ignorant and don’t know what you’re talking about.

          “Nature’s God” isn’t a reference to the Christian god. It’s a reference to the same type of god Spinoza and other deists believed in. It is mere cultural arrogance that Christians automatically assume that any reference to God must therefore be a reference to the Christian one.

          Now stop being pedantic, and find a real argument.

        • 1SkyCaptain1

          The (G) was capitalized to acknowledge the Christian God. Christians would have used a lower case (g) in reference to any other god.

          There is God the father and god the son. If you had an authentic education you would know this.

        • Dys

          Nice to see you’ve completely abandoned trying to make a point, and instead resort to pathetic semantic arguments. Do let me know when you’ve grown up.

          Your point was refuted, and you’ve got nothing to counter with. Even your attempt at insisting that a capitalized ‘G’ somehow denotes the Christian god exclusively is false – you made it up.

          If you had an authentic education you would know this.

          On the contrary, if you had a real education, you’d have learned how to actually back up your assertions. But you clearly haven’t. Now run along, and try again once you’ve finished high school.

        • 1SkyCaptain1

          The point was made and substantiated. Your refusal to acknowledge it speaks to how little faith you have in your ideology.

        • Dys

          The point was made and substantiated

          Apparently you’ve confused making an assertion with substantiating an argument. They’re not the same thing.

          You made an assertion of an invented fact that you want to be true. What you didn’t do was back it up.

        • 1SkyCaptain1

          If the truth was as opposed to my ideology, as it is to yours, I may be tempted to embrace and cherish lies too.

        • Dys

          So instead of actually backing up your assertions, you’re just going to accuse me of lying, despite the fact that you’re the one making shit up. I guess being a blatant hypocrite isn’t a big deal to you. Which is strange, considering there’s that pesky commandment about it in your religion.

          So, to summarize, you didn’t back up your declaration that a capitalized god exclusively refers to the Christian god, nor did you back up your assertion that atheism only dates back to the 1980s. And considering they’re both false, you’re going to have a difficult time of it.

          You’ve also conveniently ignored the multiple sources that I’ve provided that demonstrate that you don’t know what you’re talking about, including Jefferson’s opinion of the god of Abraham. And his rejection of the miracle claims of Jesus, including his resurrection. And that he didn’t believe Jesus was the son of god or divine. But you’ll just keep ignoring reality, because it conflicts with what you want to believe.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Sky Captain is lying? Baby Jesus is crying.

        • Dys

          He’s yet another victim of Dunning-Kruger. Maybe if we’re lucky, he’ll return to the World of Tomorrow.

          If he’s not lying, he’s really, really uneducated on the topics he’s attempting to discuss.

        • MNb

          You already do.

        • 1SkyCaptain1

          You do not even have authentic words for your own defense.

          “If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless contusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.”

          Confucius

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “Form of Government” is capitalized. “Safety and Happiness” are capitalized. “Assent to Laws” is capitalized. They liked to capitalized nouns back then.

          Doofus.

        • Dys

          SkyCaptain’s not worried about accuracy…he prefers making shit up and ignoring inconvenient facts.

          Then he projects his own failings on the people he’s arguing against.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I thought he was just throwing out little puzzles. I sensed an implied, “OK, tell me what’s wrong with this argument!”

        • Dys

          Nah…he doesn’t acknowledge any actual responses to his assertions. He ignores refutations, and then accuses you of lying, bastardizing language, being evil, or some other form of projection.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The Declaration of Independence is no friend of yours. It says, “Governments [derive] their just powers from the consent of the governed,” not from God.

        • Randy King

          The Declaration of Independence begins with “By the laws of nature and natures God..” This establishes guiding intent and acknowledges mans powers come from God.

          Little wonder you have found yourself completely dependent upon the bastardization of language in defense of your baseless position.

        • Dys

          Would this be the same bastardization that allows you to keep pretending that Nature’s God is the Christian god?

          It seems you’re suffering from the same affliction you’re projecting onto others.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The Declaration of Independence begins with “By the laws of nature and natures God..”

          First off, no one gives a shit about the DoI. It’s an important historical document; that’s it. It plays no role in governing today.

          Second, as another commenter already pointed out, “Nature’s God” is not Yahweh.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Nor is the DoI relevant to governance today. That’s the Constitution.

        • Dys

          Yep…but too many of the uneducated religious nuts think they can squeeze the Christian god into the Constitution by way of the DoI, and I like pointing out that even if they could get away with it, it doesn’t support their religion in the slightest.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The English word “slave” didn’t exist in biblical times; therefore, the Hebrews didn’t hold slaves. The term “North America” didn’t exist in Viking times; therefore, Lief Erickson didn’t discover North America for the Europeans.

          Hey–this is fun!

        • Dys

          That you ignorantly believe that simply because a term hadn’t been coined until 1851 that the concept therefore magically didn’t exist?

          You’ve already had your ass adequately handed to you by other commenters, but if it comforts you to play semantic word games, by all means, keep at it.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      You need to give us something tangible, Wayne. Is there an error in the post? Point it out specifically and make the correction.

  • http://luvsiesous.com/ Luvsiesous.com

    Really? American women are backwards?

    Thank you for sharing that.

    Wayne
    Luvsiesous

    • Dys

      Except that’s not what she said. What she actually said, rather clearly, that the STATUS of American women was sent backwards.

  • http://luvsiesous.com/ Luvsiesous.com

    That is NOT true.

    America was built upon OUR history, you cannot then isolate US from our history.

    That would be the same as my saying that the Scots and the humanist movement in Europe had no effect upon our Founding Fathers.

    Just not logical in any manner.

    Wayne

    • Dys

      And yet the founding documents contain no reference to Christianity. Not even the Declaration of Independence, which contains a reference to the classical deistic god.

      you cannot then isolate US from our history.

      You’re not being isolated. The truth is that deists and Christians founded a secular country, not a Christian one.

      Insisting that the Mayflower Compact is a founding document of America makes no sense, unless one is desperate to push the false “Christian nation” narrative.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      And it all comes down to the Constitution. It is the supreme law of the land. Sure, the founding fathers had lots of influences. Some of those influences made it into the Constitution; some didn’t. Christianity was one powerful influence that didn’t make it into the Constitution.

  • http://luvsiesous.com/ Luvsiesous.com

    Yep. Wiki was founded in 1775 …

    • Dys

      So rather than addressing the actual content, you’d rather go with attacking the source? If you’re going to be that irrationally picky, here’s a link to the full letter that says the exact same thing.

      http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-31-02-0299

      • http://luvsiesous.com/ Luvsiesous.com

        YOU attack the Founders, the Constitution, and our way of life, but your defense

        Is that I attacked your poor sources ….

        Do you sell used cars, or work for politicians?

        Wayne

        • Dys

          Actually, everything I said is verifiable, so no, I didn’t attack anything other than your rampant persecution complex. And if you think that was my defense, you obviously don’t have a good grasp of the English language.

          The founders were a mix of deists and Christians, yet they still established a secular government with a Constitution that doesn’t mention Christianity once. Neither does the Declaration of Independence.

          Sorry Wayne, but you’re severely uninformed it seems.

        • http://luvsiesous.com/ Luvsiesous.com

          You have a terrible use of Logic.

          Nothing you wrote was ‘verified.’ You throw out an attack as if your attack will make me run and hide.

          The British couldn’t do that when my family threw a Tea Party, so why do you think you can do that now?

        • Dys

          You have a terrible use of Logic.

          I don’t think you have a firm grasp on what logic actually entails.

          I notice you keep saying things, but you don’t ever bother backing them up. You just keep ranting about your family history as if it magically proves something. And yes, actually, the things I’ve stated are rather easily verified.

          You throw out an attack as if your attack will make me run and hide.

          Does that mean you’re actually going to defend your assertions for a change? Because so far you haven’t even come close.

          But I daresay you don’t know anywhere near as much as you want us (or anyone else) to believe. You’re not reading from the David Barton book of dishonest historical revisionism by any chance, are you?

        • 1SkyCaptain1

          The whole bases of your position is firmly rooted in bastardized words.

          The truth of what you are is indefensible.

        • Greg G.

          The whole bases of your position is firmly rooted in bastardized words.

          Is “bases” a bastardization of “basis”?

          The truth of what you are is indefensible.

          Why would the truth of what he is be indefensible?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “Bases” is the plural of “basis,” though his verb choice says that he has a singular subject.

        • Greg G.

          I checked the posting history of 1SkyCaptain1 and he seems to like to parse words that way. I decided to give him a taste of his medicine.

        • Dys

          Actually, as I already stated earlier, the basis of my position is easily verified, and isn’t based on bastardized words at all.

          Go back and crawl into your hole.

  • 1SkyCaptain1

    Every original colony was a Christian theocracy before and after the ratification of the U.S. Constitution; stating so in each of their respective State Constitutions.

    Nearly every State Constitution acknowledeges God as the author of its/their respective rights.

    The term “Secularism” was coined in 1851 England; the U.S. Constitution was ratifified in 1788.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      No tenet of a state constitution can contradict the federal constitution, which is secular.

      • 1SkyCaptain1

        The states are sovereign.

        Secularism did not exist in 1788. The U.S. Federal Government was created to ensure states rights; not eliminate them.

        Wake up Alice; words cannot mean whatever you want them to mean.

        • MNb

          “The states are sovereign.”
          Yeah, we have seen that in the American Civil War.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You stole my line!

        • Randy King

          “…or the free exercise thereof.”

          The Federal government cannot dictate faith to the States but the States are free to dictate it to themselves.

          The Federal Government was set up to ensure States rights; not eliminate them.

        • Dys

          but the States are free to dictate it to themselves.

          No, they’re not. The fourteenth amendment and subsequent rulings have made that abundantly clear.

          The states are not sovereign.

        • Donalbain

          This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And my point remains: the federal constitution trumps any contradicting statement in a state constitution.

          Example: how many states still say that no nonbeliever can hold public office? 6 or so, I believe. No one bothers trying to challenge nonbelievers running because they know how it would end up.

  • 1SkyCaptain1

    Written with eyes closed, mouth shut, and hands over ears.


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