If Christianity were left to it's own devices, America would not have existed. There would be no freedom of religion. There would have been a theocracy, similar, in style, to that which controlled Europe during the Dark Ages. The New World would have been plagued by constant religious wars, fought between the factions of Christian beliefs, patterned after the Catholic and Protestant wars that ravished Europe. A modern example of this can be found in the barbarism of Islam and the fight between the Sunni and the Shiite.
America was not founded on Christian principles, as it's founding was on an absence of religious dogma and tenants. The Bill of Rights are the Founding Principles and, none, are rooted in any religious belief.
Where in history or in current events has Christianity or any theistic belief brought peace to the world? Freedom or prosperity?
There is value to Christianity, but only after it was de-fanged and de-calwed by The Bill of Rights, after it had become Americanized.
Although I think it is a wonderful thing that religion is defanged and declawed in America I think it is unfair to say if Christianity had been left to its own devices America would not exist. Many religious people worked hard to ensure the separation of church and state.
Here is a quote from a Baptist minister of the time. He wasn't the only Baptist pushing these ideas.
"The notion of a Christian commonwealth should be exploded forever. ... Government should protect every man in thinking and speaking freely, and see that one does not abuse another. The liberty I contend for is more than toleration. The very idea of toleration is despicable; it supposes that some have a pre-eminence above the rest to grant indulgence, whereas all should be equally free, Jews, Turks, Pagans and Christians." John Leland, "A Chronicle of His Time in Virginia," The Writings of the Later Elder John Leland, published in 1845.
Was not familiar with that quote and it is a good one. There were many Christians who spoke of a conscience mandate, as opposed to a religious mandate. The most notable of the New Word theists, to my thinking, was Roger Williams of Rhode Island. John Locke, of course, was the most influential of European thinkers, with regard the Founders and the Constitution.
I would have to maintain my claim though, even with consideration of these men, that the zealots would have won out, as both Williams and Leland were victims of their religious counterparts. Even, John Locke with the great influence that he had, with the Founders was ignored at the time and even banned.
Are you involved in that endless merry-go-round on Dishonesty thing. I can't stop the endless email notifiations?
CJ, I agree with Emile. Not all Christians are the evil, destroy American ideals, that you make them out to be.
This non-denominational Christian believes strongly in a separation of church and state. I wouldn't want some versions of Christian dogma foisted on my own children or myself.
Too many take the Bible literally (atheists and believers, alike) and miss all the good stuff.
The value of Christianity to America is immense, if self-concern (ego) is removed. All too often, Ego corrupts the activities of man. Ego has corrupted the activities of government in America, too. Not just religion. The Bill of Rights and Constitution are slowly being shredded by the only true party in America -- the Corporate Party.
The psychopaths responsible for this are consummate egoists. They are the quintessence of selfishness. They would murder 3,000 Americans and blame it on innocent patsies just to gain greater power in the Middle East and to earn a few $Trillion extra dollars. They don't care about the "useless eaters" of the world -- you, Emile and me.
I wouldn't doubt if these same psychopaths are responsible for the corruption of biblical interpretation. Perhaps they didn't do the actual interpretation, but they may have cherry picked the people who had the most divisive interpretation to fit their plans to "divide and conquer." One take on their plans has atheists and Christians destroying each other after Armageddon has started. This leaves more of the world to their greedy hands.
These same psychopaths are likely responsible for the neutering of the two main political parties. During the 2012 presidential conventions, voting was entirely ignored. The script had to be followed. At the Democratic convention, the Mayor of Los Angeles was so flustered by the script and its mismatch with reality that he asked for another voice vote -- twice! One of the script caretakers whispered in his ear merely to ignore the votes and to follow the script. To our shame, he did.
The psychopaths don't own America, yet. But they're nailing the coffin shut.
If we would stop bickering with each other and help spread the word of Love and awareness, then the psychopaths wouldn't have a conspiracy to stand behind.
Ah, yes. They're good at corrupting our words to have meanings they never had before. "Conspiracy" merely means 2 or more people getting together to do something unethical or unlawful. This last semester, several of my students were guilty of conspiracy to commit cheating on their exams and quizzes. Conspiracies happen thousands of times a day. The only ones who would want to marginalize the idea are the conspirators themselves. "You don't see us. We're not here. Are you some kind of conspiracy nut?"
Another word -- "War" -- now means "peacekeeping" action, if America does it. Straight out of Orwell's 1984.
We share common goals. Let's start with that.
Love really is the answer. (And we can use reason, too.)
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