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.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Actually His name is Yehoshua. As you will be discovering for yourself, much to your regret, here shortly.

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

          SkyCaptain is the name of a commenter.

          This argument is of the “my big brother can beat you up!” kind, which isn’t a particularly attractive way of selling your religion. Do you have good reasons why Christianity is correct? Tell us.

        • MNb

          Boooooh! Mama, help me! I’m scaaaaaaaaared! EDQ is bullying us! Weeeeehhhhhhh!
          What I would regret is sharing eternity in Heaven with religious folks like you. That really sucks.

        • adam

          Why would anyone regret, here shortly?

        • 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://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Typing to yourself in the mirror again.

        • Dys

          Since you’ve failed to really deal with anything I’ve said, your criticism is worthless.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          It’s almost like you are typing to yourself in the mirror. The framers of our Constitution made it crystal clear who they were referring to in their writings. But they had to be careful so as not to cause offense to others. As well as dissensions among the various religions. And THAT was the whole point – not to give any particular Christian sect government favoritism. Which is one of the European practices that caused people to flock to America to begin with.

        • Dys

          The framers of the Constitution never mentioned any god or religion in the Constitution, except to say that there would be no religious test for office.

          The notion that the whole point was to make sure that the various sects of Christianity didn’t get preferential treatment is revisionist history because conservatives hate the separation of church and state because they don’t understand how it benefits them.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          How is it that I’m able to provide accurate historical facts that bolster what I state. While you have nothing that even remotely solidifies what you [errantly] claim?

        • Dys

          Your issue is that you don’t understand the things you’re copy/pasting – they don’t support what you want them to.

          You haven’t demonstrated at all that the separation of church and state was only intended to keep the various Christian sects from oppressing each other. That was merely one of its intentions, because it stopped the government from endorsing any religion, including the Christian religion.

          You’ve already shown that you’re willing to be dishonest and pretend that Christianity isn’t covered under the term ‘religion’, and you haven’t demonstrated, at all, in any sense, that your revisionist history is accurate. It’s just the stereotypical David Barton-esque garbage that fulfills your wishful thinking.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          No, what I’ve done is supply quotations from the men instrumental in framing and promoting our Constitution. Which prove exactly what was originally intended. You on the other hand have just spewed conjecture and bluster. In other words, you’ve got nothing.

          How about you provide quotes from the framers which bolsters what you [errantly] claim? What?! You can’t? Yeah, that’s what I figured. Get back when you have something of any real substance. Because it is evident that all you are doing now is blowing smoke. And this in order to cover up your gross inadequacy.

        • Dys

          Your quotes simply don’t demonstrate what you want them to. At best, they show that most of the founders were religious, which was never in question.

          You keep insisting that you’re tearing things to shreds, but your abysmal reading comprehension has led you to post quotations that don’t contradict anything that’s being said.

          You’ve relied on the common method of dating at the time as evidence, but haven’t said how, if that were the case, that using the days of the week wouldn’t constitute and endorsement of norse and germanic pagan religions.

          In short, you’re deliberately cherry-picking and ignoring the inconvenient facts that demonstrate that you’re just another shallow and dishonest revisionist.

          Get back when you have something of any real substance.

          You’ve offered nothing of substance to support your claims. Instead, you’ve offered quotes that don’t say what you want them to, or you’ve drawn faulty conclusions from them.

          And this in order to cover up your gross inadequacy.

          Fact – the founders, regardless of their religious beliefs, established a secular government via a secular constitution. Nothing you’ve offered refutes this in the slightest. If you’re looking for a testament to inadequacy, your willful ignorance and inability to comprehend what you’re reading is a decent start.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Once AGAIN:

          “Two questions of a very delicate nature present themselves on this occasion:

          1. On what principle the Confederation, which stands in the solemn form of a compact among the States, can be superseded without the unanimous consent of the parties to it?

          2. What relation is to subsist between the nine or more States ratifying the Constitution, and the remaining few who do not become parties to it?

          “The first question is answered at once by recurring to the absolute necessity of the case; to the great principle of self-preservation; to the >>>>>transcendent law of nature and of nature’s God<<<<>>>>the principles of the compact itself.<<<<<"–James Madison, The Federalist No. 43, Independent Journal, Wednesday, January 23, 1788.

          “The laws of nature are the laws of God, whose authority can be superseded by no power on earth.”–George Mason, 1772 [Robin v. Hardaway, General Court of Virginia]

          You do realize that James Madison was considered the "father of our Constitution", right? Do you even know how to process what you see with your eyes? Or does your LIE-beral mentality blind you to the acts?

        • Dys

          law of nature and of nature’s God

          Once again, because it apparently isn’t getting through your skull yet – this isn’t a reference to the Christian God at all. The enlightenment produced quite a few deists.

          You do realize that James Madison was considered the “father of our Constitution”, right?

          You do realize that James Madison, along with Thomas Jefferson, was a staunch supporter of the separation of church and state, right? To the extent that he stated he regretted issuing proclamations for national days of prayer, as they were endorsements of Christianity, and opposed chaplains for Congress for the same reason.

          Or does your LIE-beral mentality blind you to the acts?

          Does this constant ad hominem get you excited or something? It’s pretty pathetic and childish…maybe you’ll get over it when you grow up.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Yet you still provide no EVIDENCE that supports your [errant] claims. Just more conjecture and vain babbling. WHY is that? How come you can provide NO citations that support that which you contend? I’ve had no problem at all coming up with citations that support what I claim. How about >you< do the same?

        • Dys

          WHY is that? How come you can provide NO citations that support that which you contend?

          Well, I’ve already provided numerous quotes showing that Jefferson didn’t accept the Christian god, and since he wrote the Declaration of Independence, it’s not going to contain a reference to it.

          As for the fact that Nature’s God is a reference to the God of deism…

          http://history.hanover.edu/hhr/hhr93_1.html

          http://www.npr.org/2014/07/13/331133858/founders-claimed-a-subversive-right-to-natures-god
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism

          It’s not that it’s hard to provide references, it’s that I’m a bit abhorred by your wilful ignorance of history and your attempts to co-opt the founders into saying and believing things that they did not.

        • Dys

          Already answered. James Madison is not your friend on this – he was a staunch supporter of the separation of church and state.

          Repeating yourself doesn’t do anything, nor does it make your point.

        • Greg G.

          How is it that I’m able to provide accurate historical facts that bolster what I state.

          The quote you provided that I checked out was quotemined. The context from which it was lifted does not support your claims. You even omitted a sentence from the middle of it that was counter to what you are saying.

          http://disq.us/p/1acm6gv

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          More side-stepping and conjecture. PROVE that which you claim. Oh wait a minute, you can’t. . . .

        • Greg G.

          Wait a minute, I already did and provided the link to it.

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

          THAT was the whole point – not to give any particular Christian sect government favoritism

          That’s the idea in the Constitution? Not to favor one Christian denomination over another? Reference needed.

        • 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://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          You obviously need a history lesson:

          “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which

          the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them,

          a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

          “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. . . .”–Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.

          “Two questions of a very delicate nature present themselves on this occasion: 1. On what principle the Confederation, which stands in the solemn form of a compact among the States, can be superseded without the unanimous consent of the parties to it? 2. What relation is to subsist between the nine or more States ratifying the Constitution, and the remaining few who do not become parties to it?

          “The first question is answered at once by recurring to the absolute necessity of the case; to the great principle of self-preservation;

          to the transcendent law of nature and of nature’s God,

          which declares that the safety and happiness of society are the objects at which all political institutions aim, and to which all such institutions must be sacrificed. Perhaps, also, an answer may be found without searching beyond the principles of the compact itself.”–James Madison, The Federalist No. 43, Independent Journal, Wednesday, January 23, 1788.

          I’ll take it for granted that you do understand the English language.

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

          You obviously need a history lesson:

          Whew! You came to the rescue just in time.

          I’ll take it for granted that you do understand the English language.

          You’re very generous, perhaps too generous. I don’t see your point. Explain it.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          You’ll first have to stop drinking the kool-aid your master’s are giving you. Then after your brain clears, you might be able to comprehend.

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

          So then you’ve got nothing but irrelevant quotes?

          I’m losing patience.

        • Greg G.

          It is not so much that the quotes are irrelevant, the one I checked out is quotemined. The context of his quotes from Eliot is opposite the point Quammen is trying to support.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Yet you provide no PROOF to substantiate your [fallacious] claim. Why is that?

        • Greg G.

          I did provide the proof. I linked to it in a post you replied to and I linked to the whole speech in the post that I linked to.

        • Dys

          Thomas Jefferson….who didn’t believe in the Christian God, or that Jesus was divine, or that he did any of the miracles ascribed to him.

          Jefferson believed in God, but it wasn’t the Christian one.

          “But the greatest of all the Reformers of the depraved religion of his own country, was Jesus of Nazareth. Abstracting what is really his from the rubbish in which it is buried, easily distinguished by it’s lustre from the dross of his biographers, and as separable from that as the diamond from the dung hill” – Letter to William Short, 1819

          “His object was the reformation of some articles in the religion of the Jews, as taught by Moses. That sect had presented for the object of their worship, a being of terrific character, cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust.” – Letter to William Short, 1820

          He also made his own bible in which he went about removing the figurative diamonds from the muck of the NT.

        • Myna A.
        • Dys

          It’s been on my list of books to pick up for a while now.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Really? Care to explain this then?

          “Dear Sir,–In some of the delightful conversations with you, in the evenings of 1798–99, and which served as an anodyne to the afflictions of the crisis through which our country was then laboring, the Christian religion was sometimes our topic; and I then promised you, that one day or other, I would give you my views of it. They are the result of a life of inquiry & reflection, and very different from that anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence; & believing he never claimed any other.”–Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Rush, April 21, 1803. [The Works of Thomas Jefferson in Twelve Volumes. Federal Edition. Collected and Edited by Paul Leicester Ford].

        • Dys

          To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself.

          This is a reference to what I was talking about – Jefferson rejected the supernatural claims attributed to Jesus. He didn’t think he was divine, born of a virgin, etc.

          I am a Christian, in the only sense he wished any one to be; sincerely
          attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to
          himself every human excellence; & believing he never claimed any
          other.

          As I said – Jefferson appreciated the moral and ethical teachings ascribed to Jesus (which is what he means by doctrines), and rejects the notion that Jesus claimed to be divine.

          You’re engaging in the same cherry-picking every Christian that tries to insist Jefferson was one do – they latch onto “Jefferson said he was a Christian!” without actually bothering to understand what the man was really saying. It’s easy to square this quote with the ones I’ve already provided to you, but you’re ignoring them. Because when taken as a whole, what Jefferson actually meant when he claimed to be a Christian doesn’t match up with anything approaching the standard definition.

          He rejected the God portrayed in the OT completely, didn’t think Jesus was divine or performed miracles, rejected the Trinity concept, and thought a decent portion of the NT was bunk. It’s safe to say he didn’t think the Bible was inerrant either. And he made his own bible by cut and pasting out of several other bibles. As I already stated, you’re trying to play the gotcha game, which is severely undermined by your utter lack of comprehension.

          “The truth is that the greatest enemies to the doctrines of Jesus are
          those calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them
          for the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and
          without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come when
          the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in
          the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation
          of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of
          reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away all
          this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine
          doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors.” – Jefferson to John Adams, 1823

        • Michael Neville

          So he thought that Jesus was an alright guy. Jefferson might agree with what Gandhi said:

          I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.

        • Myna A.

          Exactly.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Agreed 100%. And Jefferson stated pretty much the same thing as Gandhi had.

        • Michael Neville

          Which is an excellent reason for keeping the Christians away from running the country.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Good luck with that. The LIE-beral nightmare is just about over. America has grown sick and tired of the LIE-beral perversion of our intended form of government. And your ‘master’ obummer has been rated the worst president EVER.

        • Myna A.

          The LIE-beral nightmare is just about over. America has grown sick and tired of the LIE-beral perversion of our intended form of government. And your ‘master’ obummer has been rated the worst president EVER.

          What are you, 15 years old? Who says, LIE-beral? What person of any measure of adult maturity, intellectual honesty and dignity says ‘master’ obummer?

        • Dys

          And your ‘master’ obummer has been rated the worst president EVER.

          Obama has been labelled the worst president ever by ignorant tea party morons and white supremacists.

          The LIE-beral nightmare is just about over.

          Liberal isn’t a dirty word, and conservatives don’t have any exclusive claim to honesty. This should be incredibly obvious given how often the Republican nominee for president lies. And the GOP’s various anti-science stances. And the fact that they’ve been lying in order to disenfranchise voters who would vote democrat.

          Your childish ad hominem that liberals are liars is nothing more than an example of your immaturity and dishonesty.

        • Michael Neville

          Whine whine whine! So Christians are starting to lose their unwarranted privilege. Cry me a fucking river, asshole, and learn to live with reality. But I forgot, you’re a conservative as well as being a Christian so reality and you have nothing in common.

        • Myna A.

          Care to explain this then?

          Or this?

          “Thomas Jefferson was always reluctant to reveal his religious beliefs to the public, but at times he would speak to and reflect upon the public dimension of religion. He was raised as an Anglican, but was influenced by English deists such as Bolingbroke and Shaftesbury. Thus in the spirit of the Enlightenment, he made the following recommendation to his nephew Peter Carr in 1787: ‘Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.’

          In Query XVII of Notes on the State of Virginia,
          he clearly outlines the views which led him to play a leading role in the campaign to separate church and state and which culminated in the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom: ‘The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. Reason and free enquiry are the only effectual agents against error.’

          Jefferson’s religious views became a major public issue during the bitter party conflict between Federalists and Republicans in the late 1790s when Jefferson was often accused of being an atheist.”

          Link to above here: https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/jeffersons-religious-beliefs

          Thomas Jefferson’s religious moods changed with the seasons, primarily due to an ongoing conflict with his abhorrence of religion as a manipulative institution, and a natural inquiry into what he assumed must be a direction to understanding some concept of deity as inherited from the Christian tradition.

        • adam

          “Reason and free enquiry are the only effectual agents against error.'” T Jefferson

        • 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://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Really? The U.S. Supreme Court disagrees:

          http://righttobearmed.org/constitution-declaration/

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

          That’s a lot of white text on a black background. You’ll have to summarize it for us.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Lazy, eh? Can’t afford to have your pet theory torn to shreds?

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

          Yes, lazy. I’d be delighted to have my theory torn to shreds. Do it.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Already have, and more than adequately as well.

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

          “I can’t do it, but I’ll say that I did and congratulate myself for the fine job as well.”

          OK, got it. I’m glad this conversation resolved itself so quickly. The last braindead Christian we had in here had five doctorates, including seven law degrees. I think he just wanted to waste atheists’ time. I think the same about you.

        • adam

          ….

        • 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://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

        You are either fabricating, or grossly unaware:

        http://righttobearmed.org/god-in-america/

        • Dys

          You’re apparently unaware that “Nature’s God” isn’t a reference to the Christian God. The Declaration of Independence contains a reference to the god of classical deism.

          I also notice that you completely failed to address anything about the Constitution. Probably because I’m not wrong. The US is a secular nation with a predominantly religious people. It’s not a Christian nation.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          And it is quite apparent you don’t actually know what you are writing about. Or, you are deliberately fabricating.

          II. The Rights of the Colonists as Christians.

          These may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institutes of the great Law Giver and Head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament.

          [420]

          By the act of the British Parliament, commonly called the Toleration Act, every subject in England, except Papists, &c., was restored to, and re-established in, his natural right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. And, by the charter of this Province, it is granted, ordained, and established (that is, declared as an original right) that there shall be liberty of conscience allowed in the worship of God to all Christians, except Papists, inhabiting, or which shall inhabit or be resident within, such Province or Territory. Magna Charta itself is in substance but a constrained declaration or proclamation and promulgation in the name of the King, Lords, and Commons, of the sense the latter had of their original, inherent, indefeasible natural rights, as also those of free citizens equally perdurable with the other. That great author, that great jurist, and even that court writer, Mr. Justice Blackstone, holds that this recognition was justly obtained of King John, sword in hand. And peradventure it must be one day, sword in hand, again rescued and preserved from total destruction and oblivion.–Samuel Adams and Benjamin Franklin, Nov. 20, 1772 The Report of the Committee of Correspondence to the Boston Town Meeting, (A.K.A.; ‘The Rights of the Colonists’).
          http://righttobearmed.org/rights-of-the-colonists/

          Those responding here really do need to do some historical study before commenting any further. Or do you enjoy looking totally dense?

        • Dys

          The fact that you copy/paste these things without any real understanding of what the authors are actually saying is incredibly funny to me.

          I’m perfectly aware that most of the founders accepted the Christian religion (although many prominent ones were classical deists). They wrote a secular Constitution establishing a secular government nonetheless.

          In this particular case, you’ve once again failed to contradict anything I’ve said. Congratulations on continuing the trend.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          More idle conjecture without one historical fact to back what you claim. So I guess you realize that you’ve lost, eh? Or, can you come back with any relevant quotations that back what you claim?

        • Dys

          You haven’t backed up your assertions….you keep acting as if you’ve somehow made an argument by making assertions, and then copy/pasting quotes that don’t actually support what you’re saying.

          There are only two relevant mentions of religion in the Constitution. One is in the Constitution proper, banning religious tests for office. The second is in the Bill of Rights, barring laws respecting an establishment of religion.

          I get that you desperately want it to mean that the Constitution only bans the establishment of a particular sect of Christianity as a national religion, but even the quotes you’ve provided demonstrate that that isn’t true.

          And you’ve decided, for some bizarre reason, that the 14th amendment doesn’t really enforce the Bill of Rights onto the states, even though it does. This has repeatedly been held up in courts through various cases under the Equal Protection clause.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorporation_of_the_Bill_of_Rights#Amendment_I

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          “Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament be read and taught as a divine revelation in the school? Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?”–Vidal v Girard’s Executors, 2 How. 127 (1844).

          “Religion must be considered as the foundation on which the whole structure rests. In this age there can be no substitute for Christianity; the great conservative element on which we must rely for the purity and permanence of free institutions.”–House Judiciary Committee, 1854

          “The great vital and conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and divine truths of gospel of Jesus Christ.”–House Judiciary Committee, 1854

          “Whereas the Bible, the Word of God, has made a unique contribution in shaping the United States as a distinctive and blessed nation of people. Whereas Biblical teachings inspired concepts of civil government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of The United States … Whereas that renewing our knowledge of, and faith in God through Holy Scriptures can strengthen us as a nation and a people. Now therefore be it resolved … that the President is authorized and requested to designate 1983 as a national “Year of the Bible” in recognition of both the formative influence the Bible has been for our nation, and our national need to study and apply the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.” 1983 – Oct. 4, 1982, Joint Resolution of Congress.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Looks like you lose . . . again.

        • Dys

          Should I bother pointing out that none of those quotes does anything to the notion that the Constitution is a secular document establishing a secular government? Or can you figure that out for yourself?

          All your quotes actually accomplish is demonstrating that a lot of people are religious. And that was never in question.

          I’ve not lost…you don’t know what you’re talking about, and you’re reading comprehension is deplorable.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Yet more unsubstaniated blather. You seem very adept at it. It must suck to be you.

        • Dys

          In other words, you have nothing to say, and would prefer to just copy/paste more quotes that don’t do or say what you want them to.

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

          Yet more schoolyard blather. This is the best you’ve got? It must suck to be you.

          Get useful or get banned.

        • MNb

          Only in your stupid apologist eyes.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          No, O’ brain dead one.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          AGAIN, the Bill of Rights applied to the States, according to the EXPRESS TERMS OF THE CONSTITUTION ITSELF, when ratified in 1791:

          The Preamble to The Bill of Rights

          Congress of the United States

          begun and held at the City of New-York, on

          Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

          THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further DECLARATORY and RESTRICTIVE clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

          RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United
          States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.

          ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution….

          U.S. Constitution:

          Article
          V

          The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case,

          >>>>>shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution,<<<<<

          when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

          The [supposed] 'incorporation doctrine' is pure B.S. Those Amendments applied IMMEDIATELY after they were ratified. Thusly becoming "to all Intents and Purposes" "part of this Constitution".

        • Dys

          The [supposed] ‘incorporation doctrine’ is pure B.S.

          Then you have a problem with reality, as I’ve already provided the necessary reference which gives the relevant court cases. If you want to argue that the court cases were decided wrongly, that’s a different issue. The fact remains that the Supreme Court did not originally interpret the Bill of Rights as applying to the states.

          You’re wrong, plain and simple.

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

          I guess you realize that you’ve lost, eh?

          If schoolyard taunts are the height of wit for you, you won’t be around for much longer. Get useful or get banned.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          “Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of The Redeemer of mankind. It’s impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian… This is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation… we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth… These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.”–United States Supreme Court, Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 143 U.S. 457, 12 S.Ct. 511, 36 L.Ed. 226 (1892).

    • 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.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          You are incorrect. The federal sovereignty extends only over the points enumerated within their sphere of delegated authority and power. All other power remains with the States or the People. All power not delegated to the federal or state governments remains with the people. We The People are the ONLY “legitimate” and “ultimate” authority. All the State Constitutions and the Federal are mere creatures of We The People. And we can alter them all at will, (with the exception of inalienable rights).

        • MNb

          “All other power remains with the States or the People.”
          Were the states sovereign you’d have omitted the underlined word.
          Empty words mean nothing. Compare the secession attempt of 1860 with the Brexit and the meaning of the word “sovereign” becomes crystal clear.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          “The adversaries of the Constitution seem to have lost sight of the people altogether in their reasonings on this subject; and to have viewed these different establishments, not only as mutual rivals and enemies, but as uncontrolled by any common superior in their efforts to usurp the authorities of each other. These gentlemen must here be reminded of their error. They must be told that the ULTIMATE AUTHORITY, wherever the derivative may be found, RESIDES IN THE PEOPLE ALONE, and that it will not depend merely on the comparative ambition or address of the different governments, whether either, or which of them, will be able to enlarge its sphere of jurisdiction at the expense of the other. TRUTH, no less than decency, requires that the event in every case should be supposed to depend on the sentiments and sanction of their common constituents.”–James Madison, The Federalist No. 46, Tuesday, January 29, 1788.

        • Dys

          Which doesn’t alter the fact that the states can’t dictate a state religion. Doing so would violate the Constitution.

          If you’re arguing that the people could pass an amendment establishing Christianity as the national religion, you’re correct, although it would fly directly in the face of one of the founding principles of the country.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          We are already a Christian nation, so there is no need for an amendment.

          God in All the States
          http://righttobearmed.org/god-in-all-the-states/

        • Dys

          Your pet website doesn’t prove anything – the government is secular, and the states can’t endorse a religion. And literally nothing you’ve posted has contradicted those facts.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Actually my website proves everything, as almost all of the information is right out of the Congressional Records. So take a hike.

        • Dys

          No, it doesn’t. You’re just a bullshit artist cherry-picking what you want to believe. Having information is one thing – being able to understand it is quite another. You run into the same issue that fake historians like David Barton do – you try to force the facts to the narrative you’ve already decided is true, regardless of whether it’s actually supported.

          The Constitution is secular, and establishes a secular government. Absolutely nothing you’ve said or copy/pasted contradicts this fact.

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

          You admitted that there’s nothing about a “Christian nation” in the Constitution. Why flog this dead horse? Aren’t you Christians supposed to be really truthful or something?

        • MNb

          Irrelevant to my comment.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          You of course mean: ‘Irrelevant [is] my comment”.

        • MNb

          Please tell me – why are apologist attempts at humour always so lame?

        • Dys

          It is a fact that the states are not sovereign – the Federal government is the law of the land. And the states have no ability whatsoever to declare a statewide religion, for the reasons already stated.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Incorrect. They were applied when the Bill of Rights was formally adopted. The people and states retain EVERY power not expressly delegated to the federal government.

          What you are errantly attempting to claim, is that the creature is above its creator.

          “The adversaries of the Constitution seem to have lost sight of the people altogether in their reasonings on this subject; and to have viewed these different establishments, not only as mutual rivals and enemies, but as uncontrolled by any common superior in their efforts to usurp the authorities of each other. These gentlemen must here be reminded of their error. They must be told that the ULTIMATE AUTHORITY, wherever the derivative may be found, RESIDES IN THE PEOPLE ALONE, and that it will not depend merely on the comparative ambition or address of the different governments, whether either, or which of them, will be able to enlarge its sphere of jurisdiction at the expense of the other. TRUTH, no less than decency, requires that the event in every case should be supposed to depend on the sentiments and sanction of their common constituents.”–James Madison, The Federalist No. 46, Tuesday, January 29, 1788.

        • Dys

          Then you don’t understand the 14th amendment. You’re simply wrong, and your responses have basically just been rages about how you don’t like that fact.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          No, it’s quite obvious that >you< don't understand the 14th amendment. As it has no bearing on this topic at all.

        • Dys

          Well, it certainly deflates your insistence that the states could establish a religion. The first amendment has been incorporated onto the states.

        • 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://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          ONLY over the enumerated powers.

        • Donalbain

          Nope. Doesnt say that.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Yes, it most certainly does:

          “There is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

          “Until the people have, by some solemn and authoritative act, annulled or changed the established form, it is binding upon themselves collectively, as well as individually; and no presumption, or even knowledge, of their sentiments, can warrant their representatives in a departure from it, prior to such an act.”–Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 78, Independent Journal, Saturday, June 14, 1788.

          Are you even aware of the whole intended purpose of a written Constitution?

        • Donalbain

          OK.. that says nothing that supports your claim. Have a lovely day.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Lame side-stepping, how typically LIE-beral of you.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Correct. More importantly however, the fed was set up to secure the blessings of liberty to people, not states. States are just artificial beings.

        • Dys

          Establishing a state or national religion would be a violation of that liberty, as the founding fathers adequately pointed out.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Agreed, totally. ‘Religion’ is just the man made form of worship. It was despised by most of the framers. But the modern day LIE-beral perversely attempts to throw the baby out with the bathwater. And this by falsely contending that our nation wasn’t established as a Christian one. Which is plainly false, as shown in the Constitution itself. For “in the year of our Lord” is a term employed by Christian nations in order to publicly declare themselves so. Many of our Treaties also make it equally clear:

          United States Treaties which refer to Jesus:

          “ARTICLE

          5….In witness of all and every thing herein determined, the parties have hereunto interchangeably set their hands and seals, in the Chickasaw country, this twenty-third day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and five, and of the independence of the United States of America the thirtieth. “–Chickasaw Treaty — 1805

          “In testimony whereof, the said Henry Knox, Secretary of War, and the said chiefs and warriors of the Cherokee nation, have hereunto set their hands and seals, in the city of Philadelphia, this seventeenth day of February, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and
          ninety-two.”–Treaty With the Cherokee : 1791

          “In witness of all and every thing herein determined between the United States of America and the whole Cherokee nation, the parties have hereunto set their hands and seals in the city of Philadelphia, within
          the United States, this twenty-sixth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety four.”–Treaty With the Cherokee, 1794

          “In Testimony whereof we annex our names and the Consular seal of the United States. Done in Tunis the twenty sixth day of March in the year of the Christian Era one thousand seven hundred and ninety nine, and of
          American Independence the twenty third.”–Treaty of Peace and Friendship, Signed at Tunis August 28, 1797

          “ARTICLE 5….In witness of all and every thing herein determined, the parties have hereunto interchangeably set their hands and seals, in the Chickasaw country, this twenty-third day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and five, and of the independence of the United States of America the thirtieth. “–Chickasaw Treaty — 1805

          “Done at the Chickasaw council house, this twentieth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixteen.”–Treaty With the Chickasaw : 1816

          “In the name of the Most Holy and Indivisible Trinity….”

          “…In faith whereof we, the Plenipotentiaries of the United States of America and of His Majesty the Emperor of Brazil, have signed and sealed these presents.”

          “Done in the City of Rio de Janeiro this twelfth day of the month of December, in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ
          one thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight.”–Brazilian -American Diplomacy – Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation; December 12, 1828.

          You do realize that Treaties are part of the Supreme Law, right?

        • adam

          “For “in the year of our Lord” is a term employed by Christian nations in order to publicly declare themselves so.”

          And Thursay is actually Thor’s day, proving that they believed in Thor…

          Come on……

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Obviously you have no concept of legal terms:

          In The Year of Our Lord:

          “Anno Domini (abbreviated A.D.), in the year of the Lord. The Christian computation of time is from the incarnation of our Saviour Jesus Christ.”–Wharton’s Law-lexicon, 1892.

          Wharton’s is the same as used by S.C.O.T.U.S.

        • Myna A.

          To put it more thoroughly (and Adam is correct):

          From: http://candst.tripod.com/tnppage/arg10c.htm

          Despite the secular nature of our national government, there is one unambiguous reference to Christ in the Constitution. Article VII dates the Constitution in “the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven.” But what does this mean for the principle of religious liberty?

          The answer is: nothing. Our dating system is an historical artifact of Western culture, and has no legal significance or implications for the meaning of the Constitution or the First Amendment. The American Colonies were established by Europeans; we naturally inherited the European practice of dating years from the birth of Christ. Nothing follows from this except the trivial observation that, in establishing our independence, we decided not to completely overthrow our cultural heritage.

          In fact, the European dating system is infused with pagan holdovers that, if taken seriously, lead to exactly the opposite conclusions reached by accommodationists. We have a seven day week, after the model of ancient Israel, but we inherited Pagan names for these days; does the Constitution then establish Sun worship when it excepts Sunday from the ten days Presidents have to veto a bill before it becomes law? Does it establish worship of the Moon when it says that Congress will begin it’s sessions on the first Monday of December? Does the use of European names for months mean that the Constitution establishes worship of Julius Caesar (July) or Augustus Caesar (August)? The issue was a serious one for some Christians; Quakers, for example, adopted numerical references for days and months precisely to avoid objectionable Pagan names. The rejection of the Quaker system suggests that the founders read very little into their dating practices. To base an argument on those practices is to stand on extraordinarily shaky ground.

          To be sure, the Constitution could have avoided the words “Year of our Lord” in the date (as it does elsewhere when it refers to specific years), but it’s hard to imagine why. “The Year of our Lord” was the standard way of dating important documents in the 1700s; its use was ritualistic, not religious. It is doubtful that anyone, Christian, deist, or otherwise, would have given the words a second thought, or ascribed to them any legal significance. And if the intent of the Constitution was to signal a favored status for Christianity, it could have done so in a thousand less ambiguous ways than including the words “in the Year of our Lord.” That some accommodationists appeal to these words is silent testimony to how little evidence there is for the idea that the Constitution embodies Christian morality or thought.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          AGAIN:

          “Anno Domini (abbreviated A.D.), in the year of the Lord. The Christian computation of time is from the incarnation of our Saviour Jesus Christ.”–Wharton’s Law-lexicon, 1892.

          The very same Law-lexicon used by S.C.O.T.U.S.

        • Myna A.

          Again…Adam is correct.

        • adam

          And Thursday is Thor’s Day, taking from you line of thought, then Thursday means we validate the Norse Gods.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4b485a5fc5326ff0bbcc16ee530542d16d16db54bd64a6295763b11467b3d1bf.jpg

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

          How clueless are you? Did you not read the post?

          Using AD is as religious as using the words Thursday (Thor’s Day) or June (Juno).

        • Dys

          You do realize that “In the year of our lord” was the merely the common method of describing the date, and that attempting to use it to demonstrate an endorsement of Christianity is the height of intellectual dishonesty, right? That’d be like insisting that using the days of the week are endorsements of old Norse and germanic gods.

          Agreed, totally. ‘Religion’ is just the man made form of worship.

          Oh no…you’re one of those idiotic “Christianity isn’t a religion” whackjobs? No wonder you’re so delusional. Christianity is a religion. You can call it a “personal relationship” or whatever nonsense you like, but it is most definitely a religion as well.

          Also, the Treaty of Tripoli states outright that “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” It was signed in 1796, by founders.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          No, it most certainly was not. It is a legal term employed in order to designate that the Nation is a Christian one.

        • Dys

          It is a legal term employed in order to designate that the Nation is a Christian one.

          That’s what you want to believe, but the truth is that what you want to believe doesn’t mesh with reality. You’ve demonstrated quite clearly that despite trying to portray yourself as an authority, you really don’t know what you’re talking about.

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

          Treaty of Tripoli: “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion”

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          One treaty vs. EIGHT that declare differently?

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

          Eight? Sorry–I missed those. Show me 8 treaties that say that the United States is a Christian nation.

          Tip: using dating trivia, as noted in the blog post, means bupkis.

        • MNb

          All nice and well – but I only referred to the American Civil War to demonstrates that the states are not sovereign – like the UK, which is busy leaving the EU.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          No, what you are actually referring to is the usurpation of authority and power by the fed. And the only reason they have been able to get away with it is because the states and people became lazy.

        • adam

          ” And the only reason they have been able to get away with it is because the states and people became lazy.”

          No, actually the REAL reason is that “God” is actually IMAGINARY, and it is just PEOPLE who do this shit.

        • Dys

          Ah, so you’re making your argument for an alternate timeline United States that doesn’t actually exist. Now your revisionism makes sense, as it’s clearly not describing reality.

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          And we have another stupid christian who claims to understand better what I mean than I myself.

        • 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.

      • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

        What is the United States other than ALL the States combined? And the U.S. Constitution most certainly was considered as inspired by God. As one of the main framers and promoters of that Supreme instrument publicized:

        “It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it [the Constitution] a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution.”–James Madison, Federalist No. 37, Daily Advertiser, Friday, Jan. 11, 1788.

        The Fedralist Papers were the means employed to sell We The People on the new Constitution. As such, it is an explanation of the compact. And therefore has direct legal bearing, depth and weight. As the U.S. Supreme Court itself will tell you:

        “In the course of the argument, The Federalist has been quoted ; and the opinions expressed by the authors of that work have been justly supposed to be entitled to great respect in expounding the constitution.”–Chief Justice John Marshall, U.S. Supreme Court, McCULLOCH v. MARYLAND, [4 Wheaton 316.] 1819.

        “The opinion of the Federalist has always been considered as of great authority. It is a complete commentary on our Constitution; and is appealed to by all parties in the questions to which that instrument has given birth. Its intrinsic merit entitles it to this high rank; and the part two of its authors performed in framing the constitution, put it very much in their power to explain the views with which it was framed…”–Chief Justice John Marshall, U.S. Supreme Court, Cohens v. Virginia (1821).

        “The Federalist is regarded as the highest contemporary authority on the construction of the Constitution….”–Salmon P. Chase, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. [Journal of the Senate of the United States of America, WEDNESDAY, March 4, 1868.]

        Who are we to believe? One of the main authors of our Constitution. or you?

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

          We’re to believe the Constitution itself. It’s secular.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          You obviously have a reading comprehension problem. As one of the main authors of the instrument claims differently.

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

          Too terse. Make an actual case. You say that the Constitution is not secular? I’m all ears.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          “But it is never to be supposed that the people of America will trust their dearest rights to persons who have no religion at all, or a religion materially different from their own. . . . The divine Author of our religion never wished for its support by worldly authority. Has he not said that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it?”

          “…This country has already had the honor of setting an example of civil freedom, and I trust it will likewise have the honor of teaching the rest of the world the way to religious freedom also. God grant both may be perpetuated to the end of time!”–[Future U.S. Supreme Court Justice] James Iredell, July 30, 1788. The Debates in the Several State
          Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution [Elliot’s Debates, Volume 4]

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

          Why quote a guy I’ve never heard of and don’t care about? You could do the same thing by giving your own argument.

          And we’re still left with the Constitution being secular.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          No, we are left with the knowledge that you are nothing more than a typical LIE-beral.

          Your argument has been factually torn to shreds by the very men responsible for framing our Constitution. And now you are left repeatedly drooling out the same blather as would a child that’s not getting its way.

        • adam

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          “I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling in religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises.”–Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Miller, 1808

          “Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker, in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle.”–Thomas Jefferson to Richard Rush, 1813

          “The clergy, by getting themselves established by law, and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man.”–Thomas Jefferson to Jeremiah Moor, 1800

          “I am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendency of one sect over another.”–Thomas Jefferson to Elbridge Gerry, 1799

          “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.”–Thomas Jefferson: Statute of Religious Freedom, 1779

          “The clergy….believe that any portion of power confided to me (President) will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion.”–Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Rush, 1800

          “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.”–Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, 1813

          “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.”–Thomas Jefferson to Horatio G. Spafford, 1814

          “Having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions.”–Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural Address, 1801

        • adam

          Thanks for helping make my point.

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

          I’ll pretend for the moment that you’re trying to have an honest discussion. Let me try again. I say that the Constitution is secular. You disagree? That’s fine, but I need an argument. Don’t give me an irrelevant quote. You tell me why the Constitution isn’t secular.

        • Dys

          What is it that you think you’ve torn to shreds? Nothing you’ve posted actually contradicts much of anything. No one disputes that the founders were religious men (although they were not all Christian). But they still established a secular government.

        • Dys

          The divine Author of our religion never wished for its support by worldly authority.

          Maybe you should read what you post. The guy literally says the government should not support Christianity.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Who stated anything about “support”? It’s about recognition, which our nation plainly historically has – including the U.S. Supreme Court. Your perverse attempt at twisting the words to suite you isn’t effective.

        • Dys

          Who stated anything about “support”? It’s about recognition

          And you display your lack of understanding once again. Recognition can be support, especially if it’s by a government institution.

          Your perverse attempt at twisting the words to suite you isn’t effective.

          Says the moron who tried to pull the “Christianity isn’t a religion” trick. Your hypocrisy is telling, as is your rather limited understanding of the topic you’re trying to discuss.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          No, more like you are displaying your own ineptness with more vain babbling. Which of course doesn’t alter the actual facts one iota. Classic LIE-beral side-stepping and evasion, nothing more.

        • Dys

          You’re suffering from a massive case of Dunning-Kruger. You should get it checked out.

        • Greg G.

          “But it is never to be supposed that the people of America will trust their dearest rights to persons who have no religion at all, or a religion materially different from their own. . . . The divine Author of our religion never wished for its support by worldly authority. Has he not said that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it?”

          The sentence omitted with (. . . . ) is, “It would be happy for mankind if religion was permitted to take its own course, and maintain itself by the excellence of its own doctrines.”

          The whole thing can be read at http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/print_documents/amendI_religions52.html

          Mr. Eliot is responding to questions raised by Mr. Abbot who was concerned about such things as the lack of a religious test for holding office might allow pagans, deists, Mohametans, and Catholics from holding office. Eliot explained the reasons for not having the test. He said the Constitution mandated the states have a republican form of government but there were no religious mandates. Eliot’s argument is counter to the points Quammen is trying to make.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Not even close. In fact it supports my argument 100%. The government of the United States of America was established under “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”, as was shown in our Declaration of Independence. Mr. James Madison then made it perfectly clear in The Federalist No. 43 that those very same “transcendent” laws are what had prompted and justified the establishment of our current Constitution. Our government was intended to operate under the presumption that there is a Divine Creator which is ultimately in control of everything.

          Amendment I was demanded in order to make it plain that government was not to control religion, nor was religion to control our government. Nor that one denomination of religion was to be the state sponsored religion, as had been the case in Europe. But that each citizen had a right to believe, or not, as their own conscience moved them. Rather than being forced to believe as either government or religion dictated.

          Amendment I by no means eliminates God from His “transcendent” station in American government. If citizens chose not to believe in a Divine Creator, then that is their choice that they are perfectly free to make. Although, those very same citizens have no right to call out for removal of the very Basis upon which our government was founded. Those citizens would have a just cause for complaint if they were being forced to believe. But, that is clearly not the case here in America however. Their unbelief does not justify nor allow the alteration of the fundamental Basis upon which our government was formed. It does not alter the factual historical record one iota. They are still left free to believe or not.

        • Dys

          The government of the United States of America was established under
          “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”, as was shown in our
          Declaration of Independence.

          Which isn’t the Christian God, but a reference to the god of classical deism.

          Amendment I by no means eliminates God from His “transcendent” station in American government.

          Transcendent in this case meaning he plays no part in the founding documents for it.

          Although, those very same citizens have no right to call out for removal of the very Basis upon which our government was founded

          Your understanding of what freedom of conscience actually entails is lackluster to say the least. It means Christianity doesn’t get special treatment, because the government is supposed to act on behalf of all its citizens, not just those of the majority religion.

          It does not alter the factual historical record one iota.

          And your understanding of the historical record is demonstrably not particularly good either.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          Here, read it AGAIN:

          “This law of nature, being coeval [existing at the same time – ed.] with mankind, and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original.”

          “Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered [permitted] to contradict these.”–William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1765–1769.

          “The laws of nature are the laws of God, whose authority can be superseded by no power on earth.”–George Mason, 1772 [Robin v. Hardaway, General Court of Virginia]

          “The law of nature is immutable; not by the effect of an arbitrary disposition, but because it has its foundation in the nature, constitution, and mutual relations of men and things. While these continue to be the same, it must continue to be the same also. This immutability of nature’s laws has nothing in it repugnant to the supreme power of an all-perfect Being. Since he himself is the author of our constitution; he cannot but command or forbid such things as are necessarily agreeable or disagreeable to this very constitution. He is under the glorious necessity of not contradicting himself. This necessity, far from limiting or diminishing his perfections, adds to their external character, and points out their excellency.

          “The law of nature is universal. For it is true, not only that all men are equally subject to the command of their Maker; but it is true also, that the law of nature, having its foundation in the constitution and state of man, has an essential fitness for all mankind, and binds them without distinction.

          “This law, or right reason, as Cicero calls it, is thus beautifully described by that eloquent philosopher. “It is, indeed,” says he, “a true law, conformable to nature, diffused among all men, unchangeable, eternal. By its commands, it calls men to their duty: by its prohibitions, it deters them from vice. To diminish, to alter, much more to abolish this law, is a vain attempt. Neither by the senate, nor by the people, can its powerful obligation be dissolved. It requires no interpreter or commentator. It is not one law at Rome, another at Athens; one law now, another hereafter: it is the same eternal and immutable law, given at all times and to all nations: for God, who is its author and promulgator, is always the sole master and sovereign of mankind.”–U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice James Wilson, [The Works of the Honourable James Wilson, L.L.D.; Chap. III Of the Law of Nature].

        • Dys

          Doesn’t address my comment in the slightest. It is pure Christian arrogance that assumes any reference to God or a Creator is a reference to their God, particularly when it comes to the founding documents.

        • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

          “The honorable member has introduced the subject of religion. Religion is not guarded; there is no bill of rights declaring that religion should be secure. Is a bill of rights a security for religion? Would the bill of rights, in this state, exempt the people from paying for the support of one particular sect, if such sect were exclusively: established by law? If there were a majority of one sect, a bill of rights would be a poor protection for liberty. Happily for the states, they enjoy the utmost freedom of religion. This freedom arises from that multiplicity of sects which pervades America, and which is the best and only security for religions liberty in any society; for where there is such a variety of sects, there cannot be a majority of any one sect to oppress and persecute the rest, Fortunately for this commonwealth, a majority of the people are decidedly against any exclusive establishment. I believe it to be so in the other states. There is not a shadow of right in the general government to intermeddle with religion. Its least interference with it would be a most flagrant usurpation. I can appeal to my uniform conduct on this subject, that I have warmly supported religious freedom. It is better that this security should be depended upon from the general legislature, than from one particular state. A particular state might concur in one religious project. But the United States abound in such a variety of sects, that it is a strong security against religious persecution; and it is sufficient to authorize a conclusion, that no one sect will ever be able to outnumber or depress the rest.”–James Madison, Thursday, June 12, 1788. The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution [Elliot’s Debates, Volume 3]

          Perhaps you should actually learn some facts before commenting further? Or do you enjoy appearing as if you know nothing at all?

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

          “There is not a shadow of right in the general government to intermeddle with religion.”

          Agreed.

  • 1SkyCaptain1

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

  • Kevin K

    It’s really a very short document. You can read the entire thing in about 10 minutes. Don’t see any mention of “god” or “Jesus” or “divine” or anything like that. How you can wedge a deity into this document is quite beyond me.

    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html

    • http://righttobearmed.org/ E David Quammen

      U.S. Constitution, Article VII

      The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the
      Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

      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 and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. In Witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names.

      Go Washington –
      President and deputy from Virginia . . .

      The phrase; "in the Year of our Lord" is used to designate a nation as Christian in legal documents. Just as is A.D. or B.C. – The terms anno Domini (AD or A.D.) and before Christ (BC or B.C.)
      are used to label or number years in the Julian and Gregorian
      calendars. The term anno Domini is Medieval Latin, which means in the
      year of the Lord but is often translated as in the year of our Lord.

      It's really not that difficult to understand, provided your mind is open to truth.

      • Philmonomer

        Can’t argue with that logic. (Seriously, you cannot.)

        • adam

          All I can think of is Forrest Gump…..stupid is as stupid does.

        • Greg G.

          Forrest Gump would take offense to that association.

      • adam

        And Thursday is Thor’s Day and is used to designate a nation as Norse in legal documents.

        • Greg G.

          Also, March is named for Mars, the Roman god of war. Our calendar system is based on myths.

          The “year of our Lord” doesn’t even agree with either nativity tale in the Bible. It is six years off either way you go.

        • adam

          Hey your FACTS are in direct contrast to Quammens ‘faith’

      • Kevin K

        Yeah, no. The REST of the document—the stuff that matters—is perfectly silent as to any mention of a deity. Zero mention. Not one. Plus, none of the articles have any cognates in Biblical governmental organization.

        A date convention means precisely squat.

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

          It’s pathetic that E David imagines that a date is equivalent to “This country is founded to serve and honor Yahweh.”

        • Dys

          And he’s ignored every instance of people pointing out the pagan origins for the days of the week and months.

          It seems to be that his MO is to just pretend that legitimate criticism and rebuttals will just magically disappear if he doesn’t pay attention to them.

        • Greg G.

          If you bury your head in the sand deeply enough, everything goes away.

      • Dys

        It’s really not that difficult to understand, provided your mind is open to truth.

        Like how your mind is open to all the pagan gods existing and being honoured when you use the days of the week or the names of the months, right?

      • Ignorant Amos

        The Julian calendar was pagan. Julius Caesar didn’t start it by stating it began in 46 BC.

        46 BC was actually 708 AUC

        The years of the Julian all started from ab urbe condita.

        1 ab urbe condita = 753 BC

        The anno domini is nonsense started by a monk.

        The Anno Domini (AD) year numbering was developed by a monk named Dionysius Exiguus in Rome during 525, as a result of his work on calculating the date of Easter. In his Easter table the year 532 AD was equated with the regnal year 248 of Emperor Diocletian. The table counted the years starting from the presumed birth of Christ, rather than the accession of the emperor Diocletian on 20 November 284, or as stated by Dionysius: “sed magis elegimus ab incarnatione Domini nostri Jesu Christi annorum tempora praenotare…” Blackburn and Holford-Strevens review interpretations of Dionysius which place the Incarnation in 2 BC, 1 BC, or 1 AD. It was later calculated (from the historical record of the succession of Roman consuls) that the year 1 AD corresponds to the Roman year 754 AUC, based on Varro’s epoch. This however resulted in that year not corresponding with the lifetimes of historical figures reputed to be alive, or otherwise mentioned in connection with the Christian incarnation, e.g. Herod the Great or Quirinius.

        Counties around the world used the Julian calendar and Gregorian calendar and they would have nothing to do with your Lord.