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Title: 5 Great Moments in History That Could Teach Christian Zealots Important Lessons
Source: AlterNet
URL Source: http://www.alternet.org/belief/1543 ... ian_Zealots_Important_Lessons/
Published: Mar 4, 2012
Author: Rob Boston
Post Date: 2012-03-04 23:13:55 by Brian S
Keywords: None
Views: 4729
Comments: 22

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum says John F. Kennedy’s strong defense of church-state separation makes him want to “throw up.” His rival on the campaign trail, Newt Gingrich, frequently knocks “secular elites” who supposedly yearn to tear down America’s great Christian heritage. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney, a Mormon whose faith is not well understood by many Americans, would seem likely to benefit from an embrace of church-state separation, but fear of angering Religious Right voters keeps him from doing it.

It seems these days that a lot of public figures are wary of endorsing the separation of church and state. They shouldn’t be: The principle is as American as apple pie and has long roots in our nation.

Of course, church-state separation and the religious and philosophical freedom it gives us didn’t just happen in America. It was all part of a long process, an evolution of attitudes over many years. There were plenty of bumps along the way, and lots of people weren’t convinced that dividing religion and government was the way to go – and some still aren’t today.

There have been many crucial moments in America’s church-state history, some of which took place before we were officially a nation. Here are five of the most significant.

1. The Flushing Remonstrance (1657): Back in the day when New York was New Amsterdam, it was a good idea to belong to the state-established Dutch Reformed Church. In fact, other religions were banned in the colony, and failing to show the proper degree of government-approved piety could land you behind bars. Everyone had to pay church taxes, and the law mandated that all children be baptized in the Reformed Church.

New Amsterdam’s leaders had a special antipathy toward Quakers. Members of that faith were barred from even entering the colony, and anyone who came across a Quaker was expected to turn him over to the authorities. Steep fines were levied on those who harbored Quakers.

In light of these strict laws, what happened in 1657 is nothing short of remarkable. Thirty residents of the village of Flushing (now part of Queens) sent a letter to Peter Stuyvesant, director of the colony, telling him to let up on the Quakers.

The signers argued that religious persecution wasn’t in keeping with Christian theology, and they boldly closed their letter by vowing to protect Quakers. Wrote the signers, “Therefore if any of these said persons come in love unto us, we cannot in conscience lay violent hands upon them, but give them free egresse and regresse unto our Town, and houses, as God shall persuade our consciences, for we are bounde by the law of God and man to doe good unto all men and evil to noe man.”

It should be noted that none of the signers were themselves Quakers. They were arguing for the rights of others. Not surprisingly, this didn’t go down too well. Some of the signers were thrown into jail and ordered to recant. Locked in filthy, vermin-ridden cells, they did so – at least on paper. Who knows what was really in their hearts?

The Remonstrance proved to be ahead of its time, but the signers were vindicated when religious liberty was ensured in the Bill of Rights in 1791.

2. James Madison’s Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments (1785): Patrick Henry was a fiery patriot famous for uttering the line, “Give me liberty or give me death!” But there was one area where Henry could not break with the British: All of his life, he argued in favor of church-state union.

James Madison disagreed. And when Henry proposed a bill in 1785 to require all Virginians to pay a tax to support “teachers of the Christian religion,” Madison swung into action. The diminutive Virginian penned the “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments,” one of the greatest documents in American church-state history.

Madison’s Memorial and Remonstrance is essentially a list of 15 reasons why no one should be forced to pay taxes to support religion. The broadside circulated throughout the state, and petitions flooded the Virginia legislature demanding the defeat of the Henry bill. It was rejected.

What’s amazing about Madison’s document is that its arguments remain so relevant today, in this age of “faith-based” initiatives and demands for vouchers to fund religious schools.

Consider Point 5:

“[T]he Bill implies either that the Civil Magistrate is a competent Judge of Religious Truth; or that he may employ Religion as an engine of Civil policy. The first is an arrogant pretension falsified by the contradictory opinions of Rulers in all ages, and throughout the world: the second an unhallowed perversion of the means of salvation.”

Point 7 is also powerful:

“[E]xperience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of Religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.”

After the defeat of the Henry bill, Madison used the momentum he gained to push Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom through the legislature in 1786. The bill disestablished the Anglican Church in Virginia and ensured that no resident “shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”

Historians agree that the Virginia struggle reverberated nationally. Five years later, Madison helped draft the First Amendment, writing church-state separation into the federal constitution.

3. George Washington’s Letter to Touro Synagogue (1790): Jews were uncertain of their status in the new nation of the United States of America. Even after the revolution, many states retained established Christian churches, and some states even barred non-Christians from holding public office.

In 1790, one year before the Bill of Rights was adopted, members of Touro Synagogue in Newport, RI, wrote to President George Washington to express their support for complete religious freedom.

Washington’s reply is a classic of religious liberty. He didn’t say that America was a “Christian nation.” He didn’t tell the Jews that they could expect toleration but little else. Instead, Washington assured the members of the synagogue that they need have no fears, and he assured them that they were valued members in the American experiment of freedom of conscience. Washington wrote:

“The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.”

Religious Right activists who believe that Washington favored an officially Christian America must find this letter vexing. Their vision was of a nation that favored Christianity by law but that might deign to extend toleration to other faiths. The father of our country explicitly rejected this vision in his missive.

4. Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists (1802): Although the Bill of Rights was adopted in 1791, it wasn’t made binding on the states until Congress passed the 14th Amendment after the Civil War. After the Revolution, Connecticut retained its established church, Congregationalism. Members of other religions were compelled to support the church through taxation and were harassed in other ways.

Members of the Danbury Baptist Association were aware that Thomas Jefferson was a champion of religious liberty; they also knew Jefferson wrote the law that ended Virginia’s state-established church. In 1801, the Baptists wrote to Jefferson to thank him and express their hope that his view of religious freedom would someday come to Connecticut.

Jefferson knew his reply would become public and decided to use it to make a pronouncement on his views about church-state relations. He consulted with two members of his cabinet before sending the letter, revising and editing as he went along.

Jefferson’s response, dated Jan. 1, 1802, is rightly famous for this passage:

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, 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 & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.”

Our third president’s “wall” metaphor has infuriated the Religious Right over the years, and they have labored in vain to dismiss the letter as a mere courtesy reply. The history of the document shows that the opposite was true: In a cover memo to Attorney General Levi Lincoln, Jefferson said he hoped his reply would assist in “sowing useful truths and principles among the people, which might germinate and become rooted among their political tenets.”

5. John F. Kennedy’s Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association (1960): This is the speech that makes Rick Santorum nauseous. It wouldn’t if he had a real appreciation for religious tolerance in America.

John F. Kennedy had to deal with a great deal of anti-Catholic prejudice during the 1960 presidential campaign. Rumors circulated that a Catholic president could not put loyalty to America above Rome, and some feared JFK would seek to impose Catholic doctrine on a nation that was still culturally Protestant.

With polls showing Kennedy running neck and neck with Richard M. Nixon, the Massachusetts senator decided to tackle the matter head on. He entered the lions’ den and arranged to deliver a major address on religion to a collection of Protestant ministers in Houston.

The Sept. 12, 1960 speech, strongly worded and deftly delivered, is today remembered as both a turning point in the 1960 campaign and a powerful affirmation of tolerance and church-state separation.

Asserted Kennedy, “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute – where no Catholic prelate would tell the President, should he be Catholic, how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote – where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference – and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

He continued, “I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish – where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source – where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials – and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.”

During his presidency, Kennedy put those words into action. He rejected demands from the Catholic hierarchy to extend tax aid to Catholic schools, and when the Supreme Court struck down mandatory school prayer in 1962, Kennedy reminded people that they could pray at home. Kennedy’s full-throttle endorsement of church-state separation and his vow to put the interests of the people ahead of church dogma still infuriates today’s budding theocrats.

Separation of church and state isn’t always respected today. Plenty of Religious Right activists, TV preachers and even politicians blast it. They should know that when they assail a principle that has given our nation a greater degree of religious liberty than any other people, they’re at odds with our history.

The current flock of GOP candidates might understand that if they spent less time pandering to religious zealots on the campaign trail and more time reading documents like these.

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#1. To: Brian S (#0)

The above is simply more lies from the Christ hater's club.

Did you know that 52 of the 55 signers of "The Declaration of Independence" were orthodox, deeply committed, Christians? The other three all believed in the Bible as the divine truth, the God of scripture, and His personal intervention.  It is the same Congress that formed the American Bible Society, immediately after creating the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress voted to purchase and import 20,000 copies of Scripture for the people of this nation. Part of our commitment should be to raise Old Glory across the nation's flagpoles and be grateful we live in a nation committed to these ideals

Fisher Ames
“Should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples, captivating and noble. In no book is there so good English, so pure and so elegant;  and by teaching all the same book, they will speak alike, and the Bible will justly remain the standard of language as wellas of faith.”   Fisher Ames: Author of the First Amendment

GarySpFC  posted on  2012-03-04   23:36:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#2. To: Brian S (#0)

"A general dissolution of Principles and Manners will more surely overthrow the Liberties of America than the whole Force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader . . . If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security." Samuel Adams,  The Writings of Samuel Adams, ed., Harry Alonzo Cushing (G. P. Putman's Sons, 1908), Vol. 4, p. 124.

"I ... recommend my Soul to that Almighty Being who gave it, and my body I commit to the dust, relying upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins." Will of Samuel Adams

"We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient." "He reigns in Heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let his kingdom come." Samuel Adams

"How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words." Samuel Adams

The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men. Samuel Adams

GarySpFC  posted on  2012-03-04   23:39:06 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#3. To: Brian S, *Ron Paul for President* (#0)

The false god, Che Obama

Obama is trying to turn this nation into a gay Marxist theocracy, force us to pay tribute to sluts, and worship Che Guevara.

Someone needs to tell him about separation of church and state!

"We (government) need to do a lot less, a lot sooner" ~Ron Paul

Obama's watch stopped on 24 May 2008, but he's been too busy smoking crack to notice.

Hondo68  posted on  2012-03-04   23:40:55 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#4. To: All (#1)

John Jay

"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers. And it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." First Chief Justice of Supreme Court John Jay to Jedidiah Morse February 28, 1797

"God's will be done; to him I resign--in him I confide. Do the like. Any other philosophy applicable to this occasion is delusive. Away with it."  John Jay, first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, in a letter to his wife, Sally Jay, April 20, 1794, reprinted in The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, ed. Henry P. Johnston (New York, NY: Burt Franklin, 1970), vol. 4, p. 7.p> "I have long been of opinion that the evidence of the truth of Christianity requires only to be carefully examined to produce conviction in candid minds . . ." John Jay, in a letter to Rev. Uzal Ogden, Feb. 14, 1796, in CPPJJ, vol. 4, p. 203.

"While in France . . . I do not recollect to have had more than two conversations with atheists about their tenants. The first was this: I was at a large party, of which were several of that description. They spoke freely and contemptuously of religion. I took no part in the conversation. In the course of it, one of them asked me if I believed in Christ? I answered that I did, and that I thanked God that I did." John Jay, in a letter to John Bristed, April 23, 1811, in CPPJJ, vol. 4, p.

GarySpFC  posted on  2012-03-04   23:47:02 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#5. To: Brian S (#0)

John Marshall

"The American population is entirely Christian, and with us Christianity and Religion are identified. It would be strange indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations with it."  John Marshall, in a letter to Jasper Adams, May 9, 1833, JSAC, p. 139. Marshall was Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1801- 1835.

GarySpFC  posted on  2012-03-04   23:48:36 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#6. To: Brian S (#0)

Benjamin Rush

"I have alternately been called an Aristocrat and a Democrat. I am neither. I am a Christocrat." Benjamin Rush

"Let the children...be carefully instructed in the principles and obligations of the Christian religion. This is the most essential part of education. The great enemy of the salvation of man, in my opinion, never invented a more effectual means of extirpating [removing] Christianity from the world than by persuading mankind that it was improper to read the Bible at schools." Benjamin Rush, The Father of American Medicine, and the Father of American Psychiatry

"The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty- - -"  Benjamin Rush, Letters of Benjamin Rush, L.H. Butterfield, editor, Princeton: The American Philosophical Society, 1951, Vol. I p. 414, "To the citizens of Philadelphia: A Plan for Free Schools", March 28, 1787

"It will be necessary to connect all these (academic) branches of education with regular instruction in the Christian religion."  Benjamin Rush, Essays, Literary, Moral, and Philosophical, Philadelphia: Thomas & William Bradford, 1806, Ch. 'Thoughts upon Female Education' p. 82

GarySpFC  posted on  2012-03-04   23:50:21 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#7. To: All (#6)

Roger Sherman

"I believe that there is only one living and true God - - - That the scriptures of the old and new testaments are a revelation from God and a complete rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him." Lewis Henry Boutell, The Life of Roger Sherman (Chicago: A.C. McClurg and Co., 1896), pp. 272-273  David Barton, Original Intent (Aledo, TX: Wallbuilders, 2000) Ch. 6 p. 138

"Let us live no more to ourselves, but to Him who loved us, and gave Himself to die for us". M.E. Bradford, A Worthy Company (Marlborough, NH, Plymouth Rock Foundation, 1982) p. 29

Joseph Storey

"Christianity becomes not merely an auxiliary, but a guide, to the law of nature; establishing its conclusions, removing its doubts, and elevating its precepts." Joseph Story, "The Value and Importance of Legal Studies," a lecture delivered August 25, 1829 at his inauguration as Dane Professor of Law in Harvard University, cited in James McClellan, Joseph Story and the American Constitution (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma, 1971), p. 66. Story served as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1811-1845, and founded the Harvard Law School.

"My own private judgment has long been (and every day's experience more and more confirms me in it) that government cannot long exist without an alliance with Religion to some extent, and that Christianity is indispensable to the true interests and solid foundation of all governments. . . . I know not, indeed, how any deep sense of moral obligation or accountableness can be expected to prevail in the community without a firm foundation of the great Christian truths."  Joseph Story, in a letter to Jasper Adams, May 14, 1833, in JSAC, p. 139.

"One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is, that Christianity is a part of the common law, from which it seeks the sanction of its rights, and by which it endeavours to regulate its doctrines. And, notwithstanding the specious objection of one of our distinguished statesmen, the boast is as true, as it is beautiful. There never has been a period, in which the common law did not recognise Christianity as lying at its foundations" Miscellaneous Writings, p.451,

“The real object of the (First) Amendment was not to countenance, much less advance, Mahometanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Chrisianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects (denominations).” Original Intent, by David Barton, ch. 2, p. 31, Wallbuilder Press, Aledo, TX, 1996; Commentaries, Story, Vol. III, p. 728, 1871  

Noah Webster

"The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His Apostles.... This is genuine Christianity and to this we owe our free constitutions of government." Noah Webster

GarySpFC  posted on  2012-03-04   23:52:24 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#8. To: All (#7)

Alexander Hamilton

"For my own part, I sincerely esteem it a system which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed  upon by such a diversity of interests."  Alexander Hamilton

"I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man.". Alexander Hamilton

GarySpFC  posted on  2012-03-04   23:53:25 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#9. To: All (#8)

George Washington,

"The Hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations." George Washington's letter of August 20, 1778 to Brig. General Thomas Nelson

"Almighty and eternal Lord God, the great Creator of heaven and earth, and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; look down from heaven in pity and compassion upon me Thy servant, who humbly prorate myself before Thee." George Washington's prayer at Valley Forge

"No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency...We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of heaven cannot be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which heaven itself has ordained." -- George Washington in his Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789

"Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being, who rules over the universe, who presides in the council of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States.." "...Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency"  From President George Washington's Inaugural Address, April 30th, 1789, addressed to both Houses of Congress.

"Let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion."-- George Washington, ca. 1789,  Maxims of Washington, ed. John F. Schroeder (Mt. Vernon: Mt. Vernon Ladies Association, 1942), p. 106.

"And now, Almighty Father, if it is Thy holy will that we shall we shall obtain a place and name among the nations of the Earth...:grant that we may be enabled to show our gratitude for Thy goodness by endeavors to fear and obey Thee." George Washington

"The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man, will endeavor so to live, and act, as becomes a Christian Soldier defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country." General George Washington, July 9, 1776

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports . . . And let us indulge with caution the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion . . . Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail to the exclusion of religious principle." From President George Washington's Farewell Address

"While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian." George Washington--The Writings of Washington, pp. 342-

GarySpFC  posted on  2012-03-04   23:55:30 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#10. To: All (#9)

John Adams,

 "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: 'It connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity."  President Adams, July 4, 1821

"The general principles, on which the Fathers achieved independence, were . . . the general principles of Christianity." John Adams, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, June 28, 1813, The Adams-Jefferson Letters,ed. Lester J. Cappon (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1959), vol 2, pp. 339-40.

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net.  Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams from his Oct. 13, 1789 address to the military.  

"Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there contained! Every member would be obliged in conscience to temperance, frugality and industry: to justice, kindness and charity towards his fellow men: and to piety, love and reverence toward Almighty God....What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be." John Adams diary entry Feb. 22., 1756.

"The Christian religion is, above all the Religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of Wisdom, Virtue, Equity, and Humanity. Let the Blackguard Paine say what he will; it is Resignation to God, it is Goodness itself to man." John Adams retorting to Thomas Paine in his diary, July 26, 1796.

John Adams and John Hancock: "We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus! " April 18, 1775

"A patriot without religion, in my estimation, is as great a paradox as an honest man without the fear of God. Is it possible that he whom no moral obligations bind, can have any real Good Will towards Men? Can he be a patriot who, by an openly vicious conduct, is undermining the very bonds of Society? ...The Scriptures tell us righteousness exalteth a Nation." Abigal Adams, wife of President John Adams in letter to husband John Adams 1776.

"...a true American Patriot must be a religious man...He who neglects his duty to his maker, may well be expected to be deficient and insincere in his duty towards the public." Abigal Adams, wife of President John Adams in letter to husband John Adams 1776.

"The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong; but the God of Israel is He that giveth strength and power unto His people. Trust in Him at all times, ye people, pour out your hearts before Him; God is a refuge for us." Abigal Adams, wife of President John Adams in letter to husband John Adams 1776.

"Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is religion and morality alone, which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater Measure than they have it now, they may change their rulers and the forms of government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty." John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, 1854), Vol. IX, p. 401, dated June 21, 1776.

"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever." --Adams wrote this in a letter to his wife, Abigail, on July 3, 1776.


GarySpFC  posted on  2012-03-04   23:56:47 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#11. To: All (#10)

Thomas Jefferson, 

"God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever; That a revolution of the wheel of fortune, a change of situation, is among possible events; that it may become probable by Supernatural influence! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in that event." President Thomas Jefferson --Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, p. 237.

"The reason that Christianity is the best friend of Government is because Christianity is the only religion that changes the heart." President Thomas Jefferson

"Of all systems of morality, ancient of modern, which have come under my observation, none appear to be so pure as that of Jesus." Thomas Jefferson To William Canby, 1813

"I hold the precepts of Jesus as delivered by Himself, to be the most pure, benevolent and sublime which have ever been preached to man..." President Thomas Jefferson

“I have always said and always will say that the studious perusal of the Sacred Volume will make better citizens, better fathers, better husbands... the Bible makes the best people in the world." President Thomas Jefferson

"My views- - - are the result of a lifetime of inquiry and reflection, and very different from the anti- Christian 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 in which He wished anyone to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference of all others—"   Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush On April 21, 1803

"God who gave us life, gave us liberty."  Thomas Jefferson

"I am a real Christian, that is to say, a cisciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our Creator." Thomas Jefferson wrote on the front of his Bible.

“Well aware… that Almighty God hath created the mind free… all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments… tend only to begat… hypocrisy… and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of religion, who being Lord both of body and mind… chose not to propagate it by coercions… as was in his Almighty power to do, but to extend it by… reason alone " Thomas Jefferson's tombstone

GarySpFC  posted on  2012-03-04   23:58:28 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#12. To: All (#11)

James Madison,

At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, James Madison proposed the plan to divide the central government into three branches. He discovered this model of government from the Perfect Governor, as he read Isaiah 33:22; “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; He will save us.” [Baron Charles Montesquieu, wrote in 1748; “Nor is there liberty if the power of judging is not separated from legislative power and from executive power. If it [the power of judging] were joined to legislative power, the power over life and liberty of the citizens would be arbitrary, for the judge would be the legislature if it were joined to the executive power, the judge could have the force of an oppressor. All would be lost if the same … body of principal men … exercised these three powers." Madison claimed Isaiah 33:22 as the source of division of power in government See also: pp.241-242 in Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History: The Principle approach by Rosalie Slater]

"Before any man can be considered as a member of civil society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe. And to the same Divine Author of every good and perfect gift [James 1:17] we are indebted for all those privileges and advantages, religious as well as civil, which are so richly enjoyed in this favored land." James Madison

"Cursed be all that learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ."  James Madison - America's Providential History p. 93.

"While we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess, and to observe, the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to them whose minds have not yielded to the evidence which has convinced us." James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance (Massachusetts: Isaiah Thomas, 1786). This can be found in numerous documentary histories and other resources. The religion of divine origin was obviously Christianity, of which Madison said he was convinced.

"Waiving the rights of conscience, not included in the surrender implied by the social state, & more or less invaded by all Religious establishments, the simple question to be decided, is whether a support of the best & purest religion, the Christian religion itself ought not, so far at least as pecuniary means are involved, to be provided for by the Government, rather than be left to the voluntary provisions of those who profess it." James Madison response to an essay/sermon by Reverend Jasper Adams. Religion and Politics in the Early Republic: Jasper Adams and the Church-State Debate, Daniel L. Dreisbach, ed. (Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 1996), p. 117.

"Religion, or the duty we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and, therefore, that all men should enjoy the fullest toleration in the exercise of religion according to the dictates of conscience, unpunished and unrestrained by the magistrate, unless under color of religion any man disturb the peace, the happiness, or safety of society, and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other." James Madison, ca. 1789, cited in Gaillard Hunt, James Madison and Religious Liberty (Washington: American Historical Association, Government Printing Office, 1902), p. 166.

• I have sometimes thought there could not be a stronger testimony in favor of religion or against temporal enjoyments, even the most rational and manly, than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and [who] are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare the unsatisfactoriness [of temportal enjoyments] by becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ; and I wish you may give in your evidence in this way. Letter by Madison to William Bradford (September 25, 1773) • In 1812, President Madison signed a federal bill which economically aided the Bible Society of Philadelphia in its goal of the mass distribution of the Bible. “ An Act for the relief of the Bible Society of Philadelphia” Approved February 2, 1813 by Congress

James Madison, the primary author of the Constitution of the United States, said this: "We have staked the whole future of our new nation, not upon the power of government' far from it. We have staked the future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the 10 commandments."

"We have all been encourged to feel in the guardianship and guidance of that Almighty Being, whose power regulates the destiny of nations" . James Madison

GarySpFC  posted on  2012-03-04   23:59:49 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#13. To: GarySpFC (#1)

Did you know that 52 of the 55 signers of "The Declaration of Independence" were orthodox, deeply committed, Christians?

And yet they squandered a wonderful opportunity to create a Christian theocracy.

Almost every country in the Middle East is awash in oil, and we have to side with the one that has nothing but joos. Goddamn, that was good thinkin'. Esso posted on 2012-01-13 7:37:56 ET

mininggold  posted on  2012-03-05   0:00:16 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#14. To: All (#12)

James Monroe,

"When we view the blessings with which our country has been favored, those which we now enjoy, and the means which we possess of handing them down unimpaired to our latest posterity, our attention is irresistibly drawn to the source from whence they flow. Let us then, unite in offering our most grateful acknowledgments for these blessings to the Divine Author of All Good." --Monroe made this statement in his 2nd Annual Message to Congress, November 16, 1818.

"The liberty, prosperity, and the happiness of our country will always be the object of my most fervent prayers to the Supreme Author of All Good."  March 5, 1821 in his Second Inaugural Address

GarySpFC  posted on  2012-03-05   0:00:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#15. To: All (#14)

John Quincy Adams,

“Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]?" “Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity"?  President John Quincy Adams, July 4th, 1837 when he delivered a Fourth of July speech at Newburyport, Massachusetts

"It is no slight testimonial, both to the merit and worth of Christianity, that in all ages since its promulgation the great mass of those who have risen to eminence by their profound wisdom and integrity have recognized and reverenced Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of the living God." President John Quincy Adams

"The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were.... the general principles of Christianity." President John Quincy Adams

"My custom is to read four or five chapters of the Bible every morning immediately after rising... It seems to me the most suitable manner of beginning the day... It is an invaluable and inexhaustible mine of knowledge and virtue." President John Quincy Adams

"The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity." - John Quincy Adams, July 4, 1821

"The hope of a Christian is inseparable from his faith. Whoever believes in the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures must hope that the religion of Jesus shall prevail throughout the earth. Never since the foundation of the world have the prospects of mankind been more encouraging to that hope than they appear to be at the present time. And may the associated distribution of the Bible proceed and prosper till the Lord shall have made 'bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God' (Isaiah 52:10)." --Life of John Quincy Adams, p. 248.


Andrew Jackson,

"The Bible is the Rock on which this Republic rests." President Andrew Jackson

GarySpFC  posted on  2012-03-05   0:02:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#16. To: hondo68 (#3)

...force us to pay tribute to sluts...

We just hate those sluts!

Tooconservative  posted on  2012-03-05   1:05:20 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#17. To: GarySpFC, Brian S (#1)

G; The above is simply more lies from the Christ hater's club.

Did you know that 52 of the 55 signers of "The Declaration of Independence" were orthodox, deeply committed, Christians? The other three all believed in the Bible as the divine truth, the God of scripture, and His personal intervention. It is the same Congress that formed the American Bible Society, immediately after creating the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress voted to purchase and import 20,000 copies of Scripture for the people of this nation. Part of our commitment should be to raise Old Glory across the nation's flagpoles and be grateful we live in a nation committed to these ideals

Fisher Ames

“Should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples, captivating and noble. In no book is there so good English, so pure and so elegant; and by teaching all the same book, they will speak alike, and the Bible will justly remain the standard of language as wellas of faith.”

Fisher Ames: Author of the First Amendment

Yes the Jesus haters always TRY to lecture Christians.

They, like rust, never sleep.

Being a Christian in a SECULAR NATION is what this was, and IS still, about.

Our founders simply lived in a totally CHRISTIAN dominated culture, any other cultural condition was actually unthinkable to them. They knew no other way.

It is DEMOGRAPHIC changes to the USA population, many of us believe as a matter of policy, that have thrown other faiths into OUR culture, (such as in we Christians and those of other faiths OUR), together. That begs the righteous traditional AMERICAN point of demanding EQUAL treatment of ALL faiths before the LAW. BUT proscription of those faiths is NOT supposedly in the mix, (a little thing called the US CONSTITUTION).

What our founders meant to be proscriptions against ANY state established or supported religion, has been twisted by the enemies of LIBERTY into a fictional freedom FROM religion in the public square.

How far are we fallen now where a usurper would be "king" seeks to impose the state's will onto ALL AMERICANS of faith, and the would be "king" and his whores TRY to cast the so called "argument" as a woman's right to have people of faith, (who believe infanticide is WRONG), to pay for their contraception and abortion?

We ALL know where this is going.

HELL, we're already HERE.

Historical FACT ...


The comfort is in the sure and certain knowledge that OUR Lord IS.

"Kill" GOD!


If only the innocent did not have to pay the blood price of the folly of these God haters?

Of course that only happens in THIS world.


Spoiled, stupid and ignorant, brain dead phuckwads, libTURD fools, tools, and idiots, are the real sickness; the messiah "king" obammy and his regime are only the symptoms.

Mad Dog  posted on  2012-03-05   2:24:00 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#18. To: mininggold (#13)

Did you know that 52 of the 55 signers of "The Declaration of Independence" were orthodox, deeply committed, Christians?

hag; And yet they squandered a wonderful opportunity to create a Christian theocracy.


You gibbering brain dead libTURD hag!

OUR founders sought to found a just SECULAR gooberment and society where ALL individuals could BE FREE and act with LIBERTY!

It is YOUR libTURD heros you insipid mewling libTURD cow, who seek to RULE and DOMINATE the people with gooberment!

Thank you LORD!

For making OUR enemies so fence post STOOOOOOOOOOPID!


Spoiled, stupid and ignorant, brain dead phuckwads, libTURD fools, tools, and idiots, are the real sickness; the messiah "king" obammy and his regime are only the symptoms.

Mad Dog  posted on  2012-03-05   2:31:02 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#19. To: Mad Dog, GarySpFc, TooConservative (#17)

Our founders simply lived in a totally CHRISTIAN dominated culture, any other cultural condition was actually unthinkable to them. They knew no other way.

Excellent point. And a point lost on the generation of Facebook posting the latest drunken bout to 400 "friends."

redleghunter  posted on  2012-03-05   18:09:39 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#20. To: mininggold (#13)

And yet they squandered a wonderful opportunity to create a Christian theocracy.

A theocracy was never thr Founding Fathers goal, rather they sought to form a government, which allowed freedom of religion, with Christianity favored above all. However, the Christ-haters will never admit that, because they are too busy promoting their atheism

GarySpFC  posted on  2012-03-05   18:49:31 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#21. To: GarySpFC (#20) (Edited)

A theocracy was never thr Founding Fathers goal, rather they sought to form a government, which allowed freedom of religion, with Christianity favored above all.

Explain your position a wee bit more.

As an example, if Christianity was favored, why is it that I find no trace in the US Constitution about the existence of Christianity. In a true sense, "slavery" was more sacred within the founding father's goal about the US Constitution because of the slave states: a "slave" was considered 3/5 of a white person for voting purposes, yet, a "slave" could not vote.

Does Christianity somehow endorse "slavery"? Explain your position.

buckeroo  posted on  2012-03-05   19:00:19 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#22. To: mininggold (#13) (Edited)

Not even Jesus would create a Christian theocracy. You have read the Bible, right?

diva betsy ross  posted on  2012-03-05   19:11:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

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