Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lies and Liars, or Why Do You Want a Theocracy?

I love history. A lot. It's like a drug for me. I read a ton of it. And when people take and twist history into something that it never was, it really pisses me off. I think that may well be an understatement.

So when I read this:

I thought I might break my teeth from clenching my jaw.

These bastards, and yes that's exactly what they are for rewriting and covering up history (and the author of this piece isn't alone), get no respect from me. I can get past the fact that he doesn't like our new president, to the point of calling him by his middle name as an insult. I can get past the fact that he thinks the way things are going is wrong. You have an opinion, fine, but state it with the FACTS. I can disagree with you, you can disagree with me, and we can still get along. However I don't get along at all with LIARS. Because if you lie to me once, I have no further cause to *ever* believe anything you say to me at any later date.

This country was never a Christian nation. I know that these people wish that it had been, that was really why the Puritans came here, not for religious freedom for everyone, but for themselves. However, by the grace of whatever god you want to thank, the founders had a depth of sense and foresight rarely matched in any other age, including our own. I cannot reiterate this enough. They had something that only comes around every once in a great while. And I can tell you, it ain't here now.

While some of the founders were Christian, many weren't. Many were deists, and others such as Thomas Jefferson, were accused of being atheists for failing to mention or worship god enough to suit the preachers of their day. The Constitution of the United States, that document that all Presidents are sworn to "defend against all enemies, both foreign and domestic" was lambasted in newspapers while it was being ratified as an atheistic document because it failed to mention god. Jefferson caught most of the heat for it too.

Grant Swank, the writer of the above article, obviously hasn't studied the subject or read any of Jefferson's letters, which are available online or he would know that this wasn't a country founded as a Christian Theocracy. Some choice tidbits from Thomas Jefferson:

"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between church and State." Letter to Danbury Baptist Association, 1 January 1802

"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." Letter to Alexander von Humboldt, 6 December 1813

And those are just two small examples of what Jefferson thought about religion when used in conjunction with government. There are dozens more. There are also attacks on Jefferson in the opinion section of many papers of the day. See, nothing really changes! He wrote in 1800 in a letter to his friend Benjamin Rush that the preachers who were lambasting him in Sunday church services while he was running for president, did indeed have cause to fear him.

"The returning good sense of our country threatens abortion to their hopes, & they [the clergy] believe that any portion of power confided to me, 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: & enough too in their opinion, & this is the cause of their printing lying pamphlets against me..."

The bolded phrase there is carved into marble on the rotunda of Jefferson's memorial in Washington D.C. When Jefferson speaks of tyranny, he doesn't just mean political tyrants, he also means religious ones as well. So, Jefferson is just one president, what about others? I think one of the most telling documents, and often quoted is the Treat of Tripoli. Article 11 states:

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

This treaty was to assure the citizens of Tripoli that we would not wage a religious war with them, as our government was not Christian and had nothing against the Muslims there. It was *unanimously* passed in the Senate of the United States on 7 June 1797 and signed into law by President John Adams. If it had been so abhorrent to said Senators, why was there not a single vote against it? Unless of course, they believed what the document said.

So the real question is, why did the founders and early law makers in this country shy away from religion in government? Notice, I didn't say shy away from religion in general. Many of them were religious. They didn't feel that religion had a place in government for more reasons than one. If you look back at history, it becomes startlingly clear as to why they didn't want religion in government. In Europe, religion was what ran the state and it didn't turn out well. Besides the specter of the Inquisition from the medieval period through the Renaissance, if you didn't belong to the official state religion, you couldn't hold office. Indeed, this was the case in many of the colonies, where in Massachusetts Bay Colony you had to be Puritan to hold office, which was the reason why Rhode Island was founded. In the south, especially in Virginia, you had to be Anglican or Episcopal to hold office, a hold-over from the Old World, as many of the colonist there were of English decent. But that was prior to the founding of the United States as a nation, and the founders upon uniting the colonies into the United States sought to do away with that.

Indeed the only mention of religion in the Constitution, is article six. " religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." Soon after most states did away with the religious tests too.

These people who seek to institute theocracy in this country are traitors to the Constitution. I don't say that lightly, nor with any humor. It's not funny. One need only look at Iran and Saudi Arabia to see how theocracies work in the modern era. You don't even need a history book for that one. All one has to do is read Yahoo! news. In theocracies, the People are never in charge. It's always the clergy of the religion, and they choose the leaders. Or a dictator, who uses the clergy as his puppets. In theocracies, it is religious law that trumps any other law. Do we really want Biblical law in this country? Girls, do you want to be able to be sold into slavery? (Exodus 21:7) Are you a teacher and a female? Well, you're out of a job! A female student? Better shut the hell up! (1 Timothy 2:11-12)

If you think you'd like a Christian Theocracy, because well, you're a Christian, think again. Which version of Christianity? There's a ton of different sects in this country. Which one wins? Think about that.

Don't let it be too late.


"I hated the growing atheistic movement, which was fostered and promoted by the Social Democrats and the Communists. Their hostility toward the Church made me pin my hopes on Hitler for a while... I am paying for that mistake now; and not me alone, but thousands of other persons like me."--Martin Niemöller

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