There has been a movement to take God out of America, and Glenn Beck's message at the rally was to return again to God before it is too late. As guests he had Sarah Palin and Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Beck said, “Americans have always looked to explore. We went west and then we went up. We went down into the oceans. The time to explore is changing. We must not just change outer space, but we must explore inner space. We must look inside ourselves and look at what we truly believe. The Lord has been sending us wake up call, after wake up call, after wake up call.”
I know he is right. On the Washington Monument it says:
“Praise be to God.”
Our great presidents recognized that America should be in the hands of God. Our current president does not recognize that.
Oh yes, let's do put "God" back into America, like the Muslims put "Allah" into their government. That's just what we should do. Oh wait! IT'S FREAKING ILLEGAL!!!
You want God in your house, keep him there. You DO know that 80% of the 80% of people who claim they are Christians don't attend church or read the Bible, don't you?
So in that respect, practicing Christians are a fringe minority.
"There has been a movement to take God out of America,"
Actually, if there is such a movement, it's in response to the actual movement that seeks to insert God into every aspect of public life whether we, the rest of the people, want Him there or not.
God was not originally mentioned in the Pledge of Allegiance. Not in the first version, not in the second version, and not in the third version. The phrase "Under God" was inserted by Congress in 1954. (And the Pledge didn't exist until 1892.)
God was not originally mentioned on our money. The phrase "In God We Trust" did not appear on coins at all until 1864, and didn't appear on all coins or on paper money until 1954.
God is not mentioned in the text of the Constitution even once (except in the date stamp) despite several efforts through the years to amend the Constitution to acknowledge God.
"Our great presidents recognized that America should be in the hands of God." Conjecture and opinion only.
"Our current president does not recognize that." Again, conjecture and opinion only, and of a rather partisan nature, imo.
Finally, the United States is, or ought to be, in the hands of us, the people. Unfortunately, many of us, the people, have been content to abdicate our responsibilities as citizens to make rational, informed decisions about whom to vote for. Many of us don't even bother to vote at all. (Though I suppose if someone's not going to bother to become informed and make a rational choice, I'd rather they didn't vote at all; it'll be better for the country.)
But my main point is this: don't go making up a bunch of garbage about how the US used to be all about God and now there's this lunatic fringe trying to drive God out of public life. If anything, there's a push to put God in places where he's never been before, and make up 'facts' to support the effort. I'd respect the effort a lot more if it didn't try to make up historical information and pass it off as true. At least it would then be consistent with one of its core values, that is, the one about not lying.
He's in the Declaration of Independence, though. And guess in
how many state constitutions God can be found? 50!
In some states, according to their constitutions, you can't hold office unless you believe in God. I don't agree with this. Can that really be enforced??
You can't be elected if you admit it.
I was recently invited to join one of those charitable orgs - was it Lions or Elks or what, I do not recall. I had to refuse, because they insist upon an affirmation of belief. My friend was annoyed at my stubborn stand. "Just lie", he said, "Everybody else did".
So what happened? Hubby is an Elk, and I think they do have to affirm belief in God to be accepted. Lions might, too? Our Elks Lodge has some great parties! One of my faves is the Christmas party for needy children. Of course, the adult parties are pretty cool, too! lol
"He's in the Declaration of Independence, though."
So? The D of I, which the religious right loves to hold up as proof positive that the US is a Christian Nation (TM), is not the basis for our government. That would be the Constitution.
you said "insert God into every aspect of public life whether we, the rest of the people, want Him there or not."
I, too, am one of the people! and I like God to be part of every day life - so we do not agree on that. You are amongst the minority or else all the constitutions of each state would leave God out:
here is an article written by one of our twelve apostles in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons - it is a nickname BTW)
http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideN … 82620aRCRD
The Divinely Inspired Constitution
By Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Of the Quorum of the Twelve
The "Divinely Inspired" Constitution makes no mention of God (except in the date stamp) and makes no mention of religion except these: religion (or lack thereof) can never be used as a prerequisite for holding public office, and the gov't can't create an established church.
The founders specifically made sure that no religion would be more important than any other in the USA. Now there's a movement to make one religion more important than any other in the USA and interestingly, most of its supporters are trying to dupe everyone else into thinking that the founders 'wanted it that way.'
If the founders intended for the US to be a Christian nation, they did a piss-poor job of founding one. (Either that, or they weren't a bunch of bunglers and deliberately chose to found a secular republic.)
Beck has part of the right message.
I said "part of" it.
I believe he is well-meaning;
But those missing parts are hugely important.
It will take the full Gospel to really turn America around, if it can even be turned around.
He calls himself a Christian, but I really don't think he understands what that fully means....Mormonism does not equate to Christianity.
I hope Beck takes his own advice and looks inside himself to see what he really believes.
How do you know what the Mormons believe Brenda - have you actually studied that - we are Christians - Jesus Christ is the head of our church - and Beck does look very hard inside himself - that is why he is haviang a peaceful rally for God.
"I believe [Beck] is well-meaning;"
This may surprise you, but I believe he's well-meaning, too. I'm sure he believes he's doing what's right.
But you know what they say about good intentions and the road to Hell.
"He calls himself a Christian, but I really don't think he understands what that fully means....Mormonism does not equate to Christianity."
See, here exactly is why the founders deliberately chose to found a secular republic: overly-zealous people of one sect, if given the chance, will take every opportunity to screw over people of another.
How would you feel, Brenda, if a bunch of Mormons took power and tried to put mormon-style prayer in your local school? I bet you'd be pretty happy to argue separation of church and state in that situation.
How about you, elayne001? Imagine that a bunch of folks from Brenda's sect (whatever that might be) have been elected, and they want to ensure that everyone is taught "the truth" about the LDS church. I bet you'd be pretty strong in favor of secularism in public life in that case.
Isn't it odd that people who profess to be Christians (Mormons) are so soundly beaten up by "Christians" claiming they are not. I guess that's the "Christian" way.
Gee, what would Jesus do?
tell everyone to follow Greek Orthodoxy, duh!
Being adopted into Greek Orthodox is like being adopted by the mafia!! But it is fun and they are wonderful people. I have lots of Greek friends.
OK.. your in.. but don't tell anyone about the secret handshake
You gotta do the secret handshake first, Jeff.
@habee and earnest: I do think kids are way ahead of adults on some things. Their intuition is stronger perhaps because it hasn't been so polluted as most adults. We get pretty jaded in time, I think. Maybe that's why there's a lot from spiritualists about becoming as a little child. Just a thoguht.
Change the names and some of the references, add a few 'Israel must be destroyed" remarks, and you have a speech tailor made for the Ayatollahs of Iran.
America was not founded on religion, Glenn Beck is trying to return America to the religious nut jobs which tried to escape from European persecution.
Why do you refer to religious peoples as nut jobs?
You're implying being religious is a bad thing, which it clearly is not.
I personally feel that dealing with your problems by simply dealing with them, rather than turning to a make believe diety is a much better way to go.
While religion may have helped band together groups of people in the dawn of human history, it no longer serves a purpose other than to create strife between otherwise amicable groups of people.
I make no secret of the fact that while people have the right to believe whatever they want, I also reserve the right to ridicule them for forgetting science and attributing everything to some all powerful being.
No it wasn't but it was founded by religious people. Remember the pilgrims? As such religion has always been part of the country's history, and the founding fathers position was that government shouldn't sponsor any specific one but it's not going to interfere with religion either.
Ah, yes, the Pilgrims. Weren't they Quakers? Are Quakers Christians? I mean, if Mormons aren't...
Are the Quakers the ones who burned the witches? I get so confused. Maybe it was the Calvinists. Well, it was one of those Christian right wing nut job cults.
I have read and heard many times how 80% of Americans are Christians, but I do not believe 20% of that 80% are true Christians, so America will never get back to God
I do hope you are right. It would be wonderful to see America become a country that forces it's political leaders to be judged on how right they are about their god.
America is stifled by religion more than most so called free nations.
Try getting elected to high public office or getting a decent paying exec job without publicly declaring your "true faith" in the sky fairy and you will be out on your a*se faster than you can say "unbeliever"
It's a bit hard to deal with an administration that still have the bronze aged belief that "The sky fairy dunnit."
"It would be wonderful to see America become a country that forces it's political leaders to be judged on how right they are about their god."
I'd rather see our political leaders judged by how well they do their jobs rather than some un-measurable standard like that, Earn.
Your question has an error. America, the nation, is not a theocracy. It does not and never will "belong to God". So, to make your statement which is the subject correct, it should say the following:
Glenn Beck's rally was to return americans to God.
Religion, faith, belief, salvation. These are innately personal, and not corporate. Beck's fine to call for Americans to return to faith and to the call of God, but not for the country or government.
Returned to God? Like you return a toaster to Wal-Mart?
Maybe Glenn Beck ought to actually study the bible, and he would see that God has the only power to judge, and he who defames is a sinner.
Yes, I've read the Bible, four versions, from cover to cover. 12 years of bible study. Have you done that? In fact, all that was what turned me AGAINST God, and believe me, I wouldn't return to him.
I didn't "lose" God. I know where he is, I just refuse to go there.
I see we have had similar background in religion. Knowledge of the bible allowed me to escape as well!
Your comment is, well, odd. As one who has considerable amount of bible reading and study under his belt, I find nothing negative about God in the Bible. I find a lot of people who hold an extremely negative view, but every time they go to explain it, it's always based, not on what the God of the Bible is, but on what people say about God instead.
So, might you say what it is you find so repugnant?
The U.S constitution protects the freedom of religion, but also enforces the freedom FROM religion. I'm not going to debate my religious convictions in this thread, partly because you wouldn't care (which is made obvious by the fact that you would openly push religious dogma, codes and morals on the "rest of us"), and partly because its about politics.
Washington may have been a theist, but the founding fathers certainly weren't. At the most, they were deists (such as Jefferson), and if you doubt that I suggest you look up the "Jefferson's bible".
I am curious as to what you envision as putting Americans back in the hands of God actually means? If you can elaborate I'll be able to comment further, because as this stands, it remains rhetorical in nature, and judging by the distance between religious interpretation, it could mean anything.
The First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Where in here does it say we have to protect all the atheists from religion??? It even says that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the FREE EXERCISE thereof... The government saying a child cannot pray at school (as long as they aren't forcing their beliefs on someone else) is a violation of our first amendment rights.
There is nothing preventing anyone from praying silently while attending school. Unless of course, you think god can only hear vocal prayers! And if this were true, all mute people would be up that well known creek!
Anna, the freedom of religion includes the right to NOT to be represented by one. What I find amusing is that the answer to your question is in the first line of your quote.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"
From wikipedia's entry on the first ammendment:
"The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits the establishment of a national religion by the Congress or the preference of one religion over another, non-religion over religion, or religion over non-religion"
Secondly, what makes you think I find that a child praying is a violation of my rights? What I take issue with is that the OP advocates steering the country back to God, which IS a clear, legal violation of my rights. What individuals do in their own time, I frankly couldnt care less about.
You wrote it yourself...
Congress shall make no law respecting and establishment of religion. You added crap taken from wikipedia. Take the words for what they are, do not add to them. Congress cannot make a law putting any religion as an official religion for the nation. It doesn't say that all the crazy atheists out there can force their non-religion on those that have faith in something. They ARE forcing non-religion over religion. I have seen news stories all over the nation where children were forced to go home and change their clothes because they wore something having anything to do with religion. A clear violation of free expression of not only religion but also of speech. No prayer in schools...even a moment of silence isn't allowed in some schools because some kid may take it as an opportunity to pray. Even when I was in high school, a kid at my school got in trouble because she would pray before her lunch. She wasn't bothering anyone, wasn't trying to force anyone to pray, or forcing her religion on anyone. She just wanted to pray before she took her meal. She was told if she did it again, she would be suspended, and if it continued further, possibly expelled. You tell me how she was harming anyone? You tell me how that is not forcing non-religion over religion?
If that happened, she or her parents should have sued.
But in the real world (as opposed to the world of apocryphal stories), children can pray. If there was a code of general silence during lunch, of course that would be different,
All that has changed is that we banned institutionally led prior like that I had to endure as a non-believing child.
They should have sued, but where is the ACLU when things like this happen? If a child wears a Mexican flag shirt to school, and is asked to change, the ACLU jumps in to defend the child. If a child wears an American flag shirt to school and is asked to change, the ACLU looks the other way. If a Muslim child is bullied in school, the ACLU is all over it, but if a Christian child is bullied, or forced to not pray, the ACLU looks the other way. I understand the necessity of separation of church and state as it was intended, to keep the Catholic Church from controlling government as it did in Europe. What I don't understand is the overwhelming double standard in America today. Free speech rights are protected only if you are saying what the liberal nut-jobs want you to say. If you disagree with the liberal status-quo, you might as well give up. The ACLU is supposed to stand up for anyone who's civil liberties are trampled on, not just those that fall in line with the liberal agenda.
Anna, I was about to chime in in support for your position. I still will, but then I have to argue against you in the same post.
First, the support.
If a kid wants to pray in school, there is no moral or legal reason to stop him or her from doing so. The only times it should become an issue is if a) the teachers or other staff start to lead prayers and there's pressure for students to join them, or b) the kids who are praying start pressuring the other kids to join them. That's just a form of bullying, and shouldn't be allowed. But silent prayer, or even an out-loud prayer, if it's not disruptive of instruction (for example, a prayer of thanksgiving at lunchtime) should be allowed and defended.
Now the part where I call you on your BS about the ACLU.
The ACLU has on many occasions stood up for the rights of Christians to freely exercise their faith. The main reason you don't hear a lot about it is that it's usually non-Christians that face discrimination in the US, since most Americans are one variety of Christian or other. But once in a while, a Christian's rights get stepped on (usually by different Christians) and the ACLU is there to defend them. Check it:
The ACLU opposed unconstitutional laws that effectively ban Jehovah's Witnesses from freely expressing their faith in the streets of Puerto Rico.
The ACLU fought successfully to restore the right of an ordained Pentecostal minister to preach to his fellow prisoners.
Sossamon v. Texas: The plaintiff in this case is a Texas state prisoner who was denied the opportunity to participate in Christian worship services.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the Tabernacle Community Baptist Church, charging that the city of East Point, Georgia violated a federal religious discrimination law when it denied the church a zoning permit needed to establish its house of worship.
When Christians' free-exercise rights are violated, the ACLU will stand up for them. And it does. Let's not bear false witness against them, shall we?
Anna. do you actually read what I write?
"Congress shall make no law respecting and establishment of religion. You added crap taken from wikipedia. Take the words for what they are, do not add to them."
I am making the point, that you seem to agree with, that there legally cannot be an official religion. What exactly is wrong with what Wikipedia wrote? In what way is it "crap"?
You are obviously a little bottled up about atheism, I'm sorry, I'm not here to dissuade you or convince you otherwise. I am here to affirm that a single religion cannot rule over faiths, or other belief systems. As I stated above, I'm not here to debate my religious convictions.
" Congress cannot make a law putting any religion as an official religion for the nation."
Exactly, which is why I brought it up as a response to the OP. I'm having a hard time understanding what you disagree with me about.
You then go out on a tirade against the evils of "crazy" atheists and such, asking whether the girl praying was harming anyone. The answer to that was in the last line of my previous post. I'm not going to bother repeating myself.
You seem to want to portray my reasoning as putting atheism above religion. But where in what I've said do I advocate that?
The crap from wikipedia I was referring to was about not putting non-religion above religion. That is exactly what is happening in this country. I have no problem with atheists, as long as they aren't forcing their lack of faith on others...which they are...
We all have the freedom to worship as we want and if that includes wanting God to be part of our every day, in prayer, song, activities, etc. the law should not say we cannot do those things wherever we are. You have the same right to not do any of those things, and we should be able to get along and respect each others rights. I am not trying to push any agenda on you or anyone else. I was just reiterating what was done in Becks rally as reported here:
http://www.ldsmag.com/lds-church-update … /6137?ac=1
You can take your stories from elsewhere, but to me this is a reliable source.
I don't think there is a lack of people who believe in God. I think the problem is that what they were taught and what they experience doesn't add up. God isn't who they thought he was, based on a church teaching. So they flounder, sort of believing in something but not sure what. Others are more adamant that such doubters are going to miss the Rapture, be cast into hell, and much more.
Rather comforting isn't it? No wonder people aren't sure about God. No wonder they act the way the do, feeling betrayed and led astray by a religion.
Perhaps it's time to stop all the debates about God and start living by ethics and morals and values. That might turn the country around.
What about this rapture you speak of. I've heard it discussed before but it seems allful vague in the biblical text, "one shall be taken," and all that. I always thought that meant one person was saved at judgement and one wasn't. Recently, it's come to my attention that it means something totally different.
Inquiring minds want to know.
You'll have to ask the fundamentalists about it. I don't believe it at all.
Only the righteous will be taken up in a cloud with Jesus and the rest will be left here on earth. So the fundamentalists believe it's all them.
Well that's certainly depressing isn't it.
Depends if you think you're going to end up on that cloud or not, I guess.
But, why Daniel? Then people have to face the facts of living a responsible life, which religion has already drummed out of them. Due to the ignorant teachings within scripture.
The OT was garbage and only included Jesus' work, because Christianity put it there. The NT was garbage, due to the fact that translation of Jesus' work was screwed up by man.
No wonder why the world is so messed up. Over 4 Billion people who believe in the teachings refuse to live this life their living, and waiting to be saved by some mythic, non-existent god.
Whether God exists or not, it's an individual right to belief. What is important is that there are shared ethics, morals and values. I believe that this should be the basis for common ground on how to proceed in helping this country (and all others) become what we dream them to be.
Morals, ethics and values come from God. Satan loves contention which is what is bringing our country down now. Without believing in God, why would any even care to be good citizens or good in any other way. It would be a Dog eat Dog world and it wouldn't matter because it is only for this life. Faith is what makes people love one another - lack of faith breeds hate.
Looks like halloween party of deluded higher ups. How much money wasted by these proud conservationist ?
I can say that as society progresses and develops in terms of technology/innovations, many of the things which are unanswered before can be answer now, so the tendency for the society is to depend on themselves more, and become less religious --
Glenn Becks message is good, but that's not the way value systems change, it change because of the ever evolving culture and the institution of family is changing more than ever. This is brought about by the changes in economic mechanisms. The reasons Muslim countries value system is partly intact because in most parts their government prohibit the use of cultural innovations like internet etc to preserve what is their values based on their religions. There is minimal outside influences which affects changes of behavior. I believe that market economy (economy on the whole) has a big role in the changes of behavior of the people.
Oh great! Now you are condoning countries who take away all rights - even internet use - that totally is denying human rights - some of those people are even willing to kill themselves and all those around them just to prove they are right - is that what you want for America?
I think Mam that you misinterpreted me. All I am saying is that given full potential and freedom of expression, people can have a choice and value formation is affected by this -- technology like Internet. I would like to say that in the end, when you allow people to have access for example to Internet, then they will have choice.
America for me is not different in other countries, we have challenges but we have potential. The GDP is improving and that is positive.
At our school we had teachers in the cafeteria keeping an eye on things, a teacher saw her with her head bowed on several occasions, approached her, and made a huge issue out of it.
As long as she wasn't praying aloud it should have been no problem! If she was praying aloud then that is a different situation!
Nope, praying silently at the table.
It's hard to believe a teacher would go to so much trouble to do this several times. So why did the child keep doing this if it caused trouble? Is there a law in the bible which states a person has to bow their head or close their eyes?
I'm not trying to be difficult, but I don't understand why it was important to do something in such a way as to draw attention to the person! Especially when the child already knew it would cause trouble!
My guess, she was raised that way. Raised to have faith, taught to pray before meals, felt it was important to stand up for her beliefs. I don't think she was trying to draw attention to herself, or cause trouble. She was doing what she was taught to do. She didn't keep doing it, it was just threatened that if she DID continue, there would be consequences. I think she found a way to do it without being persecuted for it.
Oh, the poor persecuted Christians!
My heart bleeds. Not.
Therein lies the problem! The parents should have educated the child as to what is, and is not, acceptable in school! Sorry, but school is not for religious worship. There are churches just for that. Just as churches aren't for learning math, or especially any of the sciences. Nor history, for that matter!
So cold - poor persecuted Christians! you probably would have been the one hanging Jesus on the cross and stabbing his side - some day you will have to answer for that! But then you don't believe in any of it, so hey - don't worry man.
Religion in a Free Society
Elder M. Russell Ballard
Of the Quorum of the Twelve
http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideN … 82620aRCRD
It must be hard going through life not knowing what you do or don't believe in. You may have resulted from the big bang and evolved from monkeys, but I believe we had a higher purpose. I guess it all boils down to what gets you through each day.
Would you want your child exposed to beliefs you considered ridiculous, Elayne? What if a child, brought up in a household which studied and practiced witchcraft, insisted on casting spells or honoring Satan (you know him as the Adversary I suppose) during school hours? Would this be okay by you?
Parents have no control over what ridiculous beliefs other parents are teaching their children at home, but they do have a right to not have their kids exposed to the same things at school! Sorry you feel as though your beliefs trump everyone elses, but too bad!
It is not my fault you are mired in a cult founded by a known con man, Joseph Smith! Mormonism was his greatest scam of all and people like you are still being conned by his racket!
Here you go, a little reading for those unfamiliar with your cult!
And you wonder why we don't want our kids exposed to your ridiculous cult!
Thats the difference, you don't look at evolution to get you through each day, you just take joy in life itself.
What the heck is inappropriate about praying silently (head bowed or not, eyes open or not) at the cafeteria table at lunchtime? Is any instruction being disrupted? Nope. Is the silent pray-er pressuring anyone else to join him (or her)? Nope. Then what's the harm?
If I were a teacher, I might be concerned that he or she was sad, and wonder if he or she was okay, but as soon as I saw the kid lift her head up and start eating, then the logical conclusion is this: Oh, she was praying before eating lunch. No biggie.
If, on the other hand, the kid was preaching to the other kids, telling them they better give thanks or they risk damnation, well, that's bullying and ought to be stopped. But it sure doesn't sound like that was happening in this case.
I have no problem with silent prayers being made anywhere a person chooses to do so. It isn't necessary to pray aloud nor is there any reason to do so! What if a child raised in the Muslim faith wanted to kneel and face Mecca while silently chanting? Do you think this would be okay too?
I agree the child was harming no one if the truth was told about this incident, but what was the purpose of the child having to make it obvious a prayer was being made? Especially on several different occasions after being told not to do so! I cannot see the difficulty in praying silently without drawing attention to one's self. Perhaps you can enlighten me, Jeff!
"What if a child raised in the Muslim faith wanted to kneel and face Mecca while silently chanting? Do you think this would be okay too?" Between classes? Sure. Free exercise, mate.
"I agree the child was harming no one if the truth was told about this incident, but what was the purpose of the child having to make it obvious a prayer was being made?"
Who cares what the purpose was? Say for example that I worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and part of my daily pastafarian devotions is to enjoy a lunch of spaghetti, and before digging in, I need to sing the following hymn:
"Atsa matta, atsa matta, Hey! Atsa matta fa you!
You eata ma raviolli an-a pastafazhoul-a too!
I make you lots-a good linguini an-a pizza dat's good to chew!
Atsa matta, you no like it, HEY! Atsa matta fa you!"
If I'm not interrupting someone else's education (like during a teacher's lesson or during a test or something), stopping someone else from doing their own prayer (insisting that they shut up while I sing), or pressuring other kids to sing along ("Sing with me, or the FSM will deny you the joy of spaghetti forever!"), there's. No. Violation. Of anyone's freedom of religion.
"Especially on several different occasions after being told not to do so! I cannot see the difficulty in praying silently without drawing attention to one's self."
Let's turn it around. Suppose everyone was silently praying, and you were the only one who wasn't. The teacher insists that you pretend to pray. Even if you're actually silently singing "Atsa matta" in your brain, you must bow your head and close your eyes just like everyone else. You must conform! Conform to the religious majority!
And that's why it shouldn't matter if the kid was "obviously" praying or not, and why the teacher in this case had no frigging business even to politely ask the kid to conform to the secular majority.
Requirements to mindlessly conform with the majority is what makes life miserable for heretics and atheists, and why I'll never support such requirements.
Loved the song though Jeff...I can just see you singing it.
And that us exactly how it was when I went to school. Teacher led prayers. Jewish children were allowed to leave the room - how nice of these Christians! Considering that the town was about 69% Jewish, they were being very accomodating!
I was a natural atheist and sat stone faced, refusing to bow my head. The teachers ignored my insolence.
I don't have a problem with kids saying a silent prayer before lunch, on their own time. They can pray to God, Allah, a Druid oak tree, the FSM - that shouldn't matter. As long as they don't "bother" anyone else, what's the harm?
When I was teaching, we had a moment of silence each morning. Kids could pray, daydream, whatever - as long as it was done silently. I had students who were Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Taoists, and it was never a problem.
I hate to state the obvious here Anna but it seems to me that you are suggesting that it has to be Christianity or nothing. Uniformly not allowing any religious group to practice or hold power in public and government funded schools is the only fair way to assure that all religions are treated equally.
Saying that we do not want Christianity shoved down our throats by the government does not prohibit any Christian from practicing their religion anywhere that is appropriate, and by appropriate I mean anywhere except where the government enforces mandatory attendance or participation.
In his farewell address to the American people George Washington [the first president of the United States] said:
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.
“Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in the exclusion of religious principle.
“Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.” [See “George Washington: Farewell Address,” in William Benton, pub., The Annals of America, 21 vols. (1968–87), 3:612.] 13
we need leaders that have strong moral convictions - belief in a power higher than themselves - otherwise we will end up with a dictatorship.
I agree that we need leaders with strong moral convictions, but disagree that they must necessarily believe in a higher power* than themselves to have such convictions.
*Unless you're talking about The People, to whom our leaders are (or ought to be) accountable on this Earth. I, too, believe that we're ultimately accountable to God, but it's too easy for a charismatic person to convince people that his wacky ideas about what God thinks are true. That's why I thank God that I live in a secular republic.
Sorry if I am not reading this correctly but to me it seems that you are suggesting that with out religion people would have no desire or cause to me good, kind, nice, etc.
I know many more good, kind non-believers than believers. The majority of Christians I have met are condescending elitist snobs who only place value on what the church sees. Ask them for a dime on the street to have enough money to buy a quart of milk when no one is paying attention and all that kindness and charity is forgotten.
No one needs the church or God to be good. They simply have to be good.
The church has no place in politics in America. Now I am not saying that Atheism or any other belief does either there is a good reason for the separation of Church and State, to prevent the zealots from making screwball decisions in the name of God that would put us on the same level as the extremists that flew planes into the trade towers and the Pentagon. If you think things like that would not happen in the name of Christianity I would remind you of the Rev. Jim Jones.
I am sorry that you feel that way Ohma. Each month our members are asked to fast two meals and give the money they would have spent into funds to help the poor. Our church is amongst the first to help out in any disaster any where in the world, and we help them regardless of their faith. At Temple Square in Salt Lake City there are people who stand there waiting for hand outs all day because they know that that someone will give them money.
I also know many very good people who are not of our faith. I wonder what makes them want to be good. Is it an inborn thing? as quite a few other people seem to only want to do bad.
Check this out on NPR
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor … mp;ps=cprs
Voltaire once said 'If God didn't exist, man would find it necessary to invent him' or something like that. There are evolutionary studies that explain why we created God, that without that sense of a higher power, we would never be able to organize.
Beck is saying we need to get back to God, but god can be different things to different people the common thread is that there is something larger than ourselves that we have to answer to and that knowledge is what makes us function as a society.
It seems to me to be an idea that would fit really well with liberal philosophy.
Liberals tend to believe facts! There is nothing to show there is a higher power! Superstition is reserved for the religious right!
Liberals tend to believe in collectivism, and religion is a tool for building a society that works together for the "common good", the Utopian ideal of the socialist left. The only problem with religion for the lefties is the elitist leadership doesn't want the "little people" to see any power greater then themselves, so they strive to replace god with government.
I pay no attention to the "elitist leadership" and tend to make up my own mind using known facts instead of superstitious beliefs! All religious cults wish their beliefs to be the ones which hold sway over everything else and castigate those who do not fall in line.
I don't believe in prohibiting any religious groups from believing what they will as long as they do not expect others to be affected by them! Fair enough?
That is very fair, Randy. It is in our human nature to want to be right - but not every one can be as there are so many different beliefs. What to do - what to do?
This is a tough issue.
I don't listen to Beck, so I don't know how religious he really is, but there are people who really believe that their god is punishing us for the awful things the rest of us are doing.
If I see my neighbor urinating on my shrubs, I'm going to be angry. These people think we are urinating on the whole country.
Obviously they are wrong - some would even say insane. But just as obviously, they think we are wrong - and perhaps insane (though they trend more toward "possessed by evil spirits").
It is important to allow freedom of religious belief. I'd say it is critical. Although I find all religious belief ludicrous, I simply have to defend their right to believe. I have no choice and I'm sure many of us feel exactly the same way.
But what do we do when one set of believers wants to take over and, because they believe their way will save the country, actually destroy the religious (and non-religious) freedoms we enjoy now? I understand their motives - they really believe that their god is angry and vengeful. I defend their right to believe that and want to leave them alone. But they aren't willing to leave us alone!
It is a very thorny problem. It is made worse when softer believers fear that any "attack" on their more fervent brethren might lead to discrimination against their more rational beliefs. If I called for some restrictions against Biblical literalists, ordinary Christians could feel threatened. If I even speak against what I see as genuine insanity in some extreme people, ordinary Christians will see me as intolerant of them as well.
And yet we can't keep silent. Radical and extreme religious beliefs are dangerous. It's not just Muslims who threaten this country: home grown Christians threaten it as well and threatening with votes is actually more dangerous than bombs.
So there we are, stuck between our conscience, our principles and a real threat from extremists.
What do we do?
thanks all for the lively discussion - vinegar and pith and all!
"Our great presidents recognized that America should be in the hands of God. Our current president does not recognize that."
What a ridiculous statement....
Ernest, you are so right! Kids are awesome before they learn to hate and judge as adults!
habee I took the twins to their new school (next year preps) and sat through the presentation. The school is an accredited baccalaureate school and teaches about universal tolerance from day one. I am thrilled at the choice of schools my daughter has made, moving across town to get the best school zone she can find.
"So here you have Barack Obama going in and spending the money on embryonic stem cell research. ... Eugenics. In case you don't know what Eugenics led us to: the Final Solution. A master race! A perfect person. ... The stuff that we are facing is absolutely frightening."
Glenn Beck said this, and that should be enough for anyone who has more than a handful of brain cells still operative.
More "wisdom" from Beck.
. "Al Gore's not going to be rounding up Jews and exterminating them. It is the same tactic, however. The goal is different. The goal is globalization...And you must silence all dissenting voices. That's what Hitler did. That's what Al Gore, the U.N., and everybody on the global warming bandwagon [are doing]." –"The Glenn Beck Program," May 1, 2007 (Source)
Some more wonderful quotes from Mrs. Beck's little boy!
"You have the artwork of Mussolini there, here in New York at Rockefeller Plaza." –analyzing the artwork decorating Rockefeller Plaza, which he said contained a hammer and sickle, Glenn Beck show on FOX News Channel, Sept. 2, 2009
Oh yeh! This guy is a legend!
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