The View From 1776

The American Eagle’s Two Wings

Robert Curry presents another essay in his series making us aware of the moral underpinnings, the unwritten constitution, upon which the written Constitution rests.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/18 at 11:40 PM
  1. I think part of the disagreement over the religious founding aspect comes from a lack of understanding of what "religious" meant. There were different state religions either declared or just by the simple fact the majority were of one church and states without state religions and a more diverse religious population where no single church was overly influential but, the commonly held beliefs about moral and social conduct in all the religions (including deists) were very influential.

    Religion is viewed as "some church" when the definition is
    quote:
    . A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
    ================================

    First, what greater cause was their at that time, commonly held, then an orderly and well protected society. Second would be how that order was achieved through the legislation at that time in a nation where each state was sovereign and different from the other states. It was acheived with a Constitution that blocked the "central government" from interfering in the social and moral aspects of the people in each state but, at the same time with a Constitution in each state that protected the rights the people they wanted protected (majority rule prevails in all free societies even when the majority limits it with a Constitution since the majority can change the Constitution).

    However, the biggest problem we face today, that divides the nation, is that we don't teach that the States followed state constitutions and the Federal government followed a Federal Constitution and only a very few areas in that Federal Constitution affected what states did. In 1833 the Supreme Court ruled as much in Barron vs. Baltimore. That lasted until 1925
    quote:
    But in the 1925 ruling, Gitlow v. New York, the Supreme Court began ignoring its predecessors and precedents. The Court reasoned that one of the purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment was to extend the Bill of Rights to the States. (This would obviously expand the powers of the federal courts to a great degree.) The history of the Fourteenth Amendment does not support their contention, nor do the earlier Courts.

    Nonetheless, the 1925 Court ignored the historical record and the opinions of their predecessors, establishing a new precedent. Gitlow dealt with freedom of speech and the press; religious matters would soon follow.

    In the context of religion, the Court's first and most abusive reinterpretation began in a 1940 Supreme Court ruling, Cantwell v. Connecticut. Here, the Court applied the "free exercise" clause of the First Amendment to the states. Again, religion was a State matter. State courts were, and are, completely capable of handling the issue. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court, in direct opposition to the original intentions of the Constitution, applied yet another portion of the Bill of Rights to the States. They did not stop there.
    http://www.christiananswers.net/q-wall/wal-g004.html
    =========================
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/19  at  11:30 AM
  2. Here is the site for the 1833 ruling
    http://www.constitution.org/ussc/032-243a.htm
    quote:
    Had the people of the several States, or any of them, required changes in their Constitutions, had they required additional safeguards to liberty from the apprehended encroachments of their particular governments, the remedy was in their own hands, and could have been applied by themselves. A [p*250] convention could have been assembled by the discontented State, and the required improvements could have been made by itself. The unwieldy and cumbrous machinery of procuring a recommendation from two-thirds of Congress and the assent of three-fourths of their sister States could never have occurred to any human being as a mode of doing that which might be effected by the State itself. Had the framers of these amendments intended them to be limitations on the powers of the State governments, they would have imitated the framers of the original Constitution, and have expressed that intention. Had Congress engaged in the extraordinary occupation of improving the Constitutions of the several States by affording the people additional protection from the exercise of power by their own governments in matters which concerned themselves alone, they would have declared this purpose in plain and intelligible language.

    But it is universally understood, it is a part of the history of the day, that the great revolution which established the Constitution of the United States was not effected without immense opposition. Serious fears were extensively entertained that those powers which the patriot statesmen who then watched over the interests of our country deemed essential to union, and to the attainment of those invaluable objects for which union was sought, might be exercised in a manner dangerous to liberty. In almost every convention by which the Constitution was adopted, amendments to guard against the abuse of power were recommended. These amendments demanded security against the apprehended encroachments of the General Government -- not against those of the local governments. In compliance with a sentiment thus generally expressed, to quiet fears thus extensively entertained, amendments were proposed by the required majority in Congress and adopted by the States. These amendments contain no expression indicating an intention to apply them to the State governments. This court cannot so apply them.
    ===========================
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/19  at  11:32 AM
  3. Religion is much more than going to church or even belonging to a religion. In a society, religion can be the common base they share that drives the decisions of that society. Much of the current split is over moral issue which have more to do with economics than religious beliefs based on God or the Bible.

    Quote:
    Quote:A. The Facts Regarding The Sexual Disease Epidemic In America
    Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are caused by more than 25 infectious
    organisms that are transmitted through sexual activity.9 In the 1960
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/19  at  11:36 AM
  4. Because GOD is the Creator of all things, from the universe to man to the sub-atomic particle and nature's perceived laws. His opinion is the only accurate one about anything, including sequential growth of human understanding and progress.

    Since His Freedom of the Individual is paramount in His chosen fellowship relationship to the creature He made in His own image, we can understand the advantages of Liberty, opportunity, and creative progression as the result of prioritizing His Criteria. Whether nation-founding, or educating children, or solving human disagreements, His Criteria is available to every person , |Believer or not.

    If He were to reveal Himself more than He does, humans would lose their Freedom to choose Him or reject Him: Our knees would buckle in the overwhelming Knowledge. In His wisdom, He has chosen faith as the safe process in which we can grow in the knowledge of Him. selah

    Thank you, Lord. You did it for me...

    semper fidelis
    vincit veritas
    Posted by Jim Baxter  on  09/20  at  10:36 AM
  5. One thing I might ask you is what do you consider to be "good exemplars of religious faith." No doubt the key founders -- Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Wilson, G. Morris, and Hamilton -- were "religious" in the sense that they were theists who believed in an active interventionist God. However, these men arguably weren't Christian, as strictly defined by its traditional orthodoxy (in other words as Evangelicals and Catholics define the term "Christian"). As men of the Enlightenment (yes, more the Scottish than French) they were rationalists in the sense that they elevated man's reason over revelation or the traditional teachings of Christianity.

    Their Enlightenment theology was, as you note, far friendlier to "religion" in general (it was actually extremely friendly to "religion" in general and looked there to provide the moral support that all republics need) and to the Christian religion in particular. What I have found, however, is there is far more tension between the key founders' creed and Christianity than Novak gives credit for, and that's because whereas Christianity tends to be very exclusive in its claims of truth (after all, Jesus claims to be the only way), the key founders' theology was anything but, and was far more inclusive (inclusive to the point of being heretical and arguably speaking, non-Christian) than traditional Christianity. Further the "rationalism" of their theology led the mto take a cafeteria approach to the Bible, something today's evangelicals and Catholics scold.

    Novak and I have gone back and forth a few times, for instance, see this post where he responds to me. Though, I can't hold any kind of animus towards him; he is on the editoral board of First Things and they let me publish an article there -- a brief book review -- on the Founders & Religion, where he probably could have put the kibosh on it.
    Posted by Jon Rowe  on  09/23  at  12:13 PM
  6. Evangelicals are simply those Christian protestants who follow scriptural direction from the Lord to witness in behalf of their faith and knowledge, and seek free-will converts to their Christian position.

    The Roman Catholic priesthood maintains a dominant intermediary-role of the individual in their church, without scriptural support, via "the rent veil" at the death of Jesus. Reason? Faith without scripture? Tradition and ritual? Christian???

    Human "reason over revelation" was and is practiced by many individuals who do not recognize that reason/logic is no better than its criteria - and revelation is just one of the ways God has revealed criteria that man cannot invent: Transcendent Criteria. Hobbled as he is, in an ego-centric carnal nature, he cannot invent criteria greater than himself. Anyone care to try?
    Ted Turner, for example said a few years ago that the 10 Commandments should be replaced. He hasn't come up with one!

    The average deist will often support some scriptural criteria except where faith is requisite of acceptance to displace ignorance. Ignorance is not admitted on the part of reason-based persons who reject faith as 'a filler' for missing knowledge.

    Based on scripture, God-initiated faith is superior to ignorance and man-made opinion and delimited knowledge.

    semper fidelis
    vincit veritas
    Posted by Jim Baxter  on  09/23  at  08:43 PM
  7. Jim,

    You make good points for your side, but I am not interested in a debate about personal theological issues. Rather, I'm discussing what it was that America's key founders (Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, etc.) believed. And they believed God only partially inspired the Bible and primarily revealed Himself through Nature. As such, according to THEM, reason supersedes revelation as the ultimate arbiter of truth and determines which parts of the Bible are legitimately revealed.

    You may call this "deism"; though these founders believed in an active interventionist God and were actually more likely to call themselves "Christians" not "deists."
    Posted by Jon Rowe  on  09/24  at  09:27 AM
  8. You have accurately described many of today's humanistic 'Christians' - and 'Jews.' Selective 'religion' is simply a variety of humanism. Self- proclaimed intellectualism is delimited by man-made criteria that rises little higher than the belly-button - or the 'PhD' eyebrows. sic

    Man cannot invent criteria higher than himself - hobbled as he is in an ego-centered self. Thus, if he rejects the Creator's Transcendent Criteria, he is doomed to a life of mediocrity - and worse. Surely, no one needs further evidence at the individual or the collective level? Wrong!

    The 'pragmatic' collective/socialist never learns!

    Lumping the individual Founders won't be close to accurate - when they individually were never clearly understood in their own time. Even today, Christians believe, with no fear of contradiction, the Creator of the universe is evident in His creation as well as His Word.

    When human 'reason' utilizing human criteria, judges which parts of God's Word are valid and which are not, it is rigtly called Humanism - not Christian.

    God's gift to man, in Transcendent Criteria, normally came/comes by way of 'revelation.' Humanistic rationality is hobbled in an ego-centric, delimiting effort at self-
    justification.

    IQ Test? No comparison via anticipation of consequences... I have never encountered an IQT that was not a test of one's ability to make choices. Pragmatism; "Wherefore art thou...?"

    semper fidelis
    vincit veritas
    Posted by Jim Baxter  on  09/24  at  10:25 AM
  9. However, since God is nature, ie, gravity, centrifugal force, and the greatest force, life that can take inert matter and form a lifeform that can recreate itself, learning more about nature is also learning more about God and how to carry out His will for each individual.

    Since God calls each person to his own purpose in life, there is no "one church" but, there is one "religion" which is to "do all things God directs us to do." The study of the Bible reveals the cause/effect of the choices man makes when he follows or doesn't follow "nature" whether it is the "human nature" within or the "nature" we live in.

    What I found in the the founders were some common beliefs that we placed in our U.S. government but, they weren't really the true founders of our nation, only our nation's government. Our nation was founded in stages when each colony was founded and later became the states. The nation had only the things in common found in the Constitution while each state was different and had different laws, customs, traditions, etc. Just like individuals, a society can be "called" to be different "under God," and we find that even today, all 50 states have God in their Constitutions. Thus, based on the needs, beliefs, desires, natural resources, possible solutions, defense needs, etc. each society sought a relationship with God and "nature" that allowed not only survival but progression.

    The teachings of history today seem to focus on the U.S. government instead of the State Governments and their relationship to religion and reason and logic as separate societies. You can't generalize and say the U.S. was "such and such" at the founding except in the broadest since. The founders had to, by necessity, avoid religious issues in the creation of the Federal Government with the Constitution. Each "religious," or semi-religious, or society founded without a religious basis (only one state) feared a central government that would interfere with their religious beliefs, laws, taxes, etc.

    Remember it was 18 years after Jefferson's "separation" statement before the Danbury Baptists were free of a state collecting taxes for the Congregationalist church from them (illegally since the taxes were supposed to support the Baptist church according to an earlier agreement). It was 1877 before the Constitution of N.H. was changed to let Catholics be elected to state office. Reading the Constitutions of the states that were in effect in some cases until the 1870's where the Protestant religion was stressed, reveals more about the nation than any reading of the U.S. Constitution.

    Also, remember that "believers" don't pass laws they will obey as much as laws they believe they should obey. The laws are "public" professions of beliefs in what is or isn't moral. Thus, even adulterer will vote for a law against adultery because he believes he should have "public stand" against adultery even if he doesn't obey the law himself. We have always been a "do as I say, not as I do," society. Trying to place a measure of the relationship between the true beliefs of man with his actions, falls short.

    Also, the term "religious people," may have more to do with a "disciplined" people who follow the law than with a spiritual religion in some references. We have seen examples of very religious people who couldn't survive if they didn't live withing a "protector nation" that respected their religion and allowed them to practice it in peace. They didn't seek knowledge in "technology," and thus, would have been subject to disease, famine or conquest on their own. Instead, they used the protection and advances of the protector nation to survive.

    And there were certainly a combination of deists and Christians in our founders but, their personal faith was more for personal decisions than in how to define government. It was more for what laws would be needed that how to legislate or enforce those laws. It was more about how to let each society (state, city, county) be its own master than in how to create conformity their personal religious beliefs.
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/24  at  10:52 AM
  10. In short, this issue (religion and founding of the nation) is so complex it is virtually impossible to generalize on. Why? Because each of the founders had different beliefs, agendas, and backgrounds. Thus, we ended up with such a "compromise" that there really was no real "identity" revealed as to what the founders themselves were except on the few common things allowed the Federal Government to have dominion over. Thus, the Amendments leaving all other things to the state. Those "other things" are all the things they couldn't agree on or at least agreed they were so diverse in how they were carried out by the states, they couldn't be included in a central government's description.

    Also, we tend to forget the "majority." The Founders didn't. They remembered that regardless of their own beliefs, the majority had to ratify what they did. Thus, they even kept the debates of the Constitutional convention secret until the states had ratified and established the "meaning" of the Constitution through action, not defining of words with more words.

    Quote:
    till the Constitution should be well settled by practice, and till a knowledge of the controversial part of the proceedings of its framers could be turned to no improper account . . . . As a guide in expounding and applying the provisions of the Constitution, the debates and incidental decisions of the Convention can have no authoritative character.
    ...Madison

    It isn't that you are wrong or right but that you may be speaking correctly of one group of "founders" while another is correctly speaking of another group. Where we all may be wrong however, is trying to trace what we ended up with back to specific founders when so much was based on compromise. Better to leave that type of analysis to each state where the State's Constitution actually reflected the founders of that state.

    What the U.S. Constitution has become since 1925 and Gitlow vs. New York, has had too much influence on some in their interpretation of the original document and intent. We are looking at it through the eyes of a strong central government when it was created for a "weak" central government that "strong" and "soveriegn" state governments in a Republic reluctantly joined for defense and trade and monetary policy.

    They preferred no central government but, reluctantly agreed to one and the limited areas of power simply because they needed to have those limited areas of authority over them if they were going to remain united enough for defense.

    They would have even probably preferred not to have trade and monetary policy but, it would have caused such competition and animosity that it would have threatened the relationships needed for defense.

    The only reason they joined together in the first place was England's oppression. About the only thing they had in common was that they were all being abused by England. They certainly had no desire to be like each other, especially since they were often founded by different religious groups previously and had laws, customs and traditions based on different religions. Unless we remember we were a Republic and not a democracy, we can easily confuse the intentions of our founding as "united states" and nation. We were united on so few things, that the nation formed resembles nothing close to what we have now.

    I think it possible, all of our disagreement is based on our trouble in actually having the correct image of each state and why each state ratified the Constitution and why each state fought the Revolutionary war and why each state's Constitution was so different from other state constitutions. We are trying to generalize things that can't be generalized.
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/24  at  10:55 AM
  11. <i>When human
    Posted by Jon Rowe  on  09/24  at  11:12 AM
  12. But remember that the Constitution didn't apply to much except the very limited power of the Federal government with the primary intent to avoid all areas of disagreement between the states on religious issues. You can't extrapolate what the "founders" said and did to the majority in each state. Even our Supreme Court admitted that the states were fearful of the general government.

    Quote:
    But it is universally understood, it is a part of the history of the day, that the great revolution which established the Constitution of the United States was not effected without immense opposition. Serious fears were extensively entertained that those powers which the patriot statesmen who then watched over the interests of our country deemed essential to union, and to the attainment of those invaluable objects for which union was sought, might be exercised in a manner dangerous to liberty. In almost every convention by which the Constitution was adopted, amendments to guard against the abuse of power were recommended. These amendments demanded security against the apprehended encroachments of the General Government -- not against those of the local governments.
    =========================

    Too often we associate what founders said with the nation instead of just the federal government. The states were christian nation-states (except R.I. which was formed with "no state religion" by people who left other societies with them for the most part). We were a Republic and what the people most refer to as founders, weren't founders of the nation, just of the federal government. Big difference!

    Again, you can't generalize what can't be generalized about a "Republic" of different sovereign societies fearful of a general government.
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/24  at  11:56 AM
  13. Jefferson's booklet, the 'Jefferson Bible,' showed via deletion, a humanistic bent based on a delimited human knowledge that required faith, which he rejected. Still, he called himself "a true Christian" because he included the intelligent morality of Jesus.

    GOD is more than 'a force.' Force is available to His Person as simply a cause or an effect He created. He is a Being; much more definitively than you or I. Such a category makes possible (in our own eyes) a human standing greater and higher than GOD: a force. Not. Such a category is pure exalted humanism on a pedestal. He will not honor such an opinion.

    Yes, some of the motivation behind the Declaration/Constitution was 'humanistic.' Its principles were not. They were not man-made. (Individual value, Liberty & Freedom of choice, representative government, constitutional law protecting Rights. separation of powers, etc.) were Judeo-Christian scripturally-initiated and based.

    We do struggle to hang onto our humanISM, don't we? It only means we have yet to encounter true superiority in Word, Spirit, and Being, - and recognized Him. Thus, we delimit our validity to citicize socialistic humanistic collectivism. selah

    semper fidelis
    vincit veritas
    Posted by Jim Baxter  on  09/24  at  12:06 PM
  14. Jim Said
    GOD is more than
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/24  at  12:59 PM
  15. "Individual value, Liberty & Freedom of choice, representative government, constitutional law protecting Rights. separation of powers, etc."

    The first one -- individual value, i.e., all men having dignity from being made in the image of God -- I can see as having a biblical connection. However, virtually everything else you mentioned -- political liberty, separation of powers, governments being instituted to protect men's unalienable rights and I might add, a right to revolt against governments -- are entirely extra-biblical concepts, and have little if anything to do with authentic "Christian" principles.
    Posted by Jon Rowe  on  09/25  at  10:29 AM
  16. The nation, is believed by some, to have based the power of government on Romans 13.

    quote:
    3Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained [1] of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

    7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
    =================================

    Now, defining exactly what the role of government is, regarding "love" for your neighbor, is certainly open to debate. The other thing is that what was founded on Romans 13 was local and state government, not federal. Again, we are not a democracy, but rather a Republic, or were until after 1925. Thus, Romans 13 and its guide that we are to care for our neighbors which in a majority rule society, would entail some government action (education, defense, laws regulating moral and social behavior, etc.) doesn't mean the Federal Government is to step into that same role given to the local and state governments.

    Also, keep in mind that for the most part, in America, the congregation ruled the church leaders rather than the church leaders ruling the congregation. This is also one of the reasons protestants in many states, specifically defined acceptable religion as the protestant religion and even banned Catholics from public office because they didn't like a top down hierarchy where the "masses" were under the control of the church leaders instead of God on an individual basis.

    While that could take books to fully discuss, and generalization is dangerous, religion played a huge role in state and local politics, and what government's role would be in each community, even more than at the state level.

    Our government was formed on Christian principles at the local level in most of the 13 states if for no other reason than the fact the majority were of one religion and thus, the majority legislated their own will. That will also, due to the majority being protestant was even ratified in their Constitutions. For example:
    Quote:
    7. New Hampshire

    Official Religion: Congregational Church
    Original Charter Date: August 4, 1639
    Full text of the Agreement of the Settlers at Exeter in New Hampshire (PDF) 5.08K
    Ended Support: 1877

    "Article III. When men enter into a State of society they surrender up some of their natural rights to that society, in order to ensure the protection of others...

    Article IV. Among the natural rights, some are in their very nature unalienable, because no equivalent can be given or received for them. Of this kind are the RIGHTS OF CONSCIENCE...

    Article V. Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship GOD according to the dictates of his own conscience and reason; and no person shall be hurt, molested, or restrained in is person, liberty, or estate for worshipping God in the manner most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience, or for his religious profession, sentiments, or persuasion; provided he doth not disturb the public peace or disturb others in their religious worship.

    Senate. Provided, nevertheless, That no person shall be capable of being elected a senator who is not of the Protestant religion...

    House of Representatives. Every member of the house of representatives... shall be of the Protestant religion...

    President. [H]e shall be of the Protestant religion."

    New Hampshire Constitution
    1784
    http://www.undergodprocon.org/pop/statereligions.htm
    ===================================
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/25  at  11:01 AM
  17. The Federal government had almost no power over the states. The states were their own societies with their own laws, influenced only by the majority and their state constitution and it was for the most part, this way until 1925 when the Bill of Rights first started being applied to the state powers. So, Christian principles did greatly influence government including the use of Bible's as required text books in many schools. The use of prayer in legislative bodies, the oath to God, the forbidding of laws that ran counter to Bible-based morality, etc. Remember the law "lewd and lascivious behavior" most societies had was directly from the Bible as were the laws on sodomy, adultery, and other "sins."

    Also, the ministers of the period leading up to the Revolution were instrumental in using the Bible to convince the people that a revolution to overthrow the authority of the government (England) was Biblical and God's will. Many ministers also led their congregations in battle or at least joined them in battle as it was "God's will" they do so.

    Remember too, the role religion in northern states played in the pre-civil war rhetoric against slavery. Not that it was "good" that religion played such a role throughout our nations founding and struggles. That has to be left to each person to decide for themselves, but, it is "history" and has to be included in any study of this nation.
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/25  at  11:03 AM
  18. Jan,

    You put a lot of points on the table and I'm not going to respond to all of them. Two I will.

    First, I think it's ironic that you invoked Romans 13 because that text seems to EXPLICITLY forbid revolt against civil government, which is exactly what America's Founders did in their "revolutionary" war.

    One third of the populace remained loyal to Great Britain and many Tory ministers and sincere Christian colonial citizens genuinely believed the Revolution was a sin because it violated Romans 13 and Titus iii.

    Further, the most notable ministers (excluding John Witherspoon) arguing on behalf of the revolution from the pulpits weren't even Christians (even if they called themselves that) but rather unitarians. My understanding is most traditional Christians believe you must accept the Nicene Creed or else you aren't a "real Christian," hence Mormons aren't Christian even if they call themselves Christian. Well then neither were America's key founders or the pro-revolutionary Congregational ministers like Mayhew, Chauncy, Howard, and West.

    These ministers, like the key founders were also "rationalists" in the sense that they used reason to "cut out" or explain away parts of the Bible in which they didn't believe. And that's exactly how they tended to handle the provisions of the Bible that forbit revolt.

    Check my blog post entitled "Knapton Responds to Frazer" where I examine one of these sermons by Samuel West where he does exactly that.
    Posted by Jon Rowe  on  09/25  at  03:14 PM
  19. quote:
    First, I think it
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/25  at  04:56 PM
  20. Also, since the Bible is the "inerrant" word of God you may have meant how they interpreted the words in the Bible rather than what they "believed." They believed the Bible was infallible but, their interpretations of the Bible vary almost as much as the interpretation of our U.S. Constitutions varies.

    I was trying to remember what I had in my files about that time and "justification" based on the Bible. This was one of the articles I have.
    quote:
    Jonathan Mayhew
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/25  at  05:07 PM
  21. "What it does teach is that you are to respect authority and that if you do revolt, as Christ did, against authority, you must be prepared to suffer the consequences."

    No Christ never revolted. He accepted the legal authority of a tyrannical regime and allowed Himself to be crucified on trumped up charges. If Christ wanted to revolt, He certainly had the power to do away with the pagan Roman govt. in which He operated, even if He didn't want to make Himself ruler, He could have put one of His followers in charge. Christ didn't overturn ONE social or legal institution in His day. Not slavery, not tyrannical government, not one.

    Obviously the line has to be drawn somewhere and the Bible does not teach you have to obey government if it commands a believer to "sin." But otherwise, the way I read Romans 13 and Titus iii, you obey the legal authorities, even if they are tyrannical, much in the same way that children are to obey their parents even if they aren't "good parents" (but a Christian might be justified in disobeying his parents if they instruct him to sin).

    Jonathan Mayhew was a unitarian and a rationalist and as such interpreted the Bible in a cafeteria way and had no problem explaining away biblical texts he didn't find "rational."
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/25  at  08:32 PM
  22. If you recall, Christ did often revolt against the authorities. He violated many of the laws of the nation of Israel and was constantly being accused of those "crimes."

    Again, he used physical force and assaulted the money changers, he picked food on the Sabbath, called the church leaders vipers and did other things that caused them to sentence Him to death under the laws of Israel.

    Christ did not have, however, the "will" to do away with that authority since His primary mission was to do the will of His Heavenly Father. Thus, if the Father willed him to assault the moneychangers, he did. If he willed him to die on the cross, he did.

    Also, as the author and others point out, that Romans 13 only applies to "good government." Remember they (not me) say that they interpret how it says "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil."

    Evil rulers do harm to the people who do good. Again, it is "interpretation," and this interpretation was used by the ministers at the time of the revolutionary war to justify fighting against England which was hurting the good works of Americans.

    And again, you are using one person as an example instead of the majority which you said yourself didn't agree with the 1/3 minority that remained loyal to England. That 1/3 may have interpreted the Bible one way and the 2/3 another but, to say the 1/3 were right and the 2/3 were wrong seems presumptuous. Why weren't the majority interpreting it correctly and the 1/3 wrong? If Romans 13, itself says "good works" has no fear of rulers and yet, evil rulers do cause fear among those who do good, then what makes you think Romans 13 is referring to all rulers?

    What about the history of the Bible in the Old Testament since that also is the teachings of Jesus as God. What about Revelations where Jesus says he will destroy entire populations that are doing evil including their rulers?

    If Jesus felt he could break the laws of Israel, in order to do God's will (not his own remember, as he said to those he taught, the Father's will was what they were to follow), why couldn't and shouldn't all men do God's will if it differs from "man's will?" God has supremacy over all governments as our founders stated in the Declaration of Independence: "they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

    The government has to answer to the people first before the people have to answer to it. However, once the government does answer to the people (follows the Constitution) they are to bow to the authority of the government that was given it by the people and from God through the people.

    Government that isn't doing God's will isn't doing the will of the people "under God" who are doing His will. And they are obligated, even to death, to carry out God's will first and foremost. At least that was the teachings of many during that period of time. Granted, that was 180 degrees out of phase with the teachings of others in the minority but, I believe the majority was correct in its interpretation.

    Again, look at the wording of Titus III
    quote:
    Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,.....

    "Good work," is the key. No obligation exist to obey government that seeks to do "bad works," only "good works."

    If it meant for them to obey a government that was evil, then that would defeat what God teaches that we are to first do His will and His will is for us not to do evil. God even used Israel to destroy another people when God was upset with Israel and not doing all it should have been doing.

    In Deut. 9
    Quote:
    Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the Lord thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the Lord hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord doth drive them out from before thee. 5 Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 6 Understand therefore, that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people.
    ==============

    God's will has to come first and it can and often does include revolution and going against authority whether in the church or government. But, it is never to be man's decision, only God's to rebel. Just as we saw in the Bible when Israel took matters in their own hands in war, they got into trouble but when they carried out God's will even against legitimate governments, they did well.
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/25  at  10:19 PM
  23. As I understand the demographics of America during the Revolution, 1/3 were Tories, 1/3 were Whigs, and 1/3 were on the fence and the Whigs made more compelling arguments and convinced a clear majority of the population to support revolt.

    Also, even though 98% of the population was formally or nominally associated with some Christian (Protestant) Church, huge % of the population were unchurched or otherwise nominal Christians (I've seen the figure that as low as only 17% of the population were active Church members during that time). Thus, they might be susceptible to unorthodox, enlightenment influenced hermeneutics. This is essentially what Mark Noll, Nathan Hatch, and George Mardsen, who are three of the most distinguished evangelical scholars in the nation argue in The Search For Christian America. As they put it, to justify revolution, Christianity had to become an "importing" religion -- "importing" extra-biblical ideas into the pulpit.

    <i>Also, as the author and others point out, that Romans 13 only applies to
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/26  at  09:09 AM
  24. I'd be interested in your definition of a "believing Christian." King or pauper.

    There are many who join a church for business and economic reasons. Some join, believing that is all it takes to qualify for Heaven (if there is one) - another variety of humanism.

    The Lord said, "You must be born again." Failing that, each individual should be prepared on the Day of Judgement to hear Him say, "I never knew you - depart from me."

    There are many 'King George IIIs' in almost every congregation. Members.

    It remained, therefore, to the initiative of a personal and living Creator to traverse the human horizon and fill the vast void of human ignorance with an intelligent and definitive faith. Man is thus afforded the prime tool of the intellect - a Transcendent Standard by which he may measure values in experience, anticipate results, and make enlightened and visionary choices.

    Only the unique and superior God-man Person can deservedly displace the ego-person from his predicament and free the individual to measure values and choose in a more excellent way. That sublime Person was indicated in the words of the prophet Amos, "...said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel."
    Y'shua Mashiyach Jesus said, "If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto myself."

    As long as some choose to abdicate their personal reality and submit to the delusions of humanism, determinism, and collectivism, just so long will they be subject and reacting only, to be tossed by every impulse emanating from others.

    Those who abdicate such reality may, in perfect justice, find themselves weighed in the balances of their own choosing - and found wanting. selah

    semper fidelis
    vincit veritas

    Got Transcendent Criteria?" See Psalm 119:1 - 176
    Posted by Jim Baxter  on  09/26  at  09:46 AM
  25. Jon said:
    It defies credulity to believe that King George III (or Parliament) flunk a standard which Nero could pass.
    =================================

    You may have missed the point, only when God directs the person to revolt, should he revolt. God doesn't "will" the people to revolt every time a ruler does bad or is bad. Israel was also forced to submit to conquering rulers when God chose so.

    The point is that God isn't going to have the people revolt against a good ruler doing his will but, he may, have them revolt against a bad ruler as we saw in the Bible on different occasions. Also, keep in mind the type of nation we had when we were founded. People didn't have "easy" means of transporting large families to communities where churches were. But, what is telling is the Constitutions of the states, Each Constitution was "religious in nature." The schools used the Bible for a text book. Prayer was common in the legislatures, the oath of office was to God. The laws were from the Bible.

    Even public profanity was against the law.
    quote;
    Profanity implies using the name of God with abuse, irreverence, or contempt such as when one swears or connects God's name to filth, crime, or the unseemly; it also concerns the similar use of degrading, polluted, soul destroying speech in reference to other sacred things, such as the sacred sexual powers or functions of the body, which we sometime categorize as obscenity, or vulgarity, or lewdness.

    Such laws are now a part, and have always been a part of American law. The earliest examples are found in the first colonial charter in 1629. From that time forward, a common thread in nearly every colonial charter listed as crimes swearing, or cursing, or profaneness; and besides these, the other forms of taking God's name in vain, namely, perjury (bearing false witness) and blasphemy. Justice Joseph Story summarized the common standard from which these laws were drawn in every colony as thus: The laws of England, the common law, and the law of God, which latter law ranked as the guiding star of all law, especially the criminal code.
    http://www.meridianmagazine.com/ideas/021121profane.html
    =========================
    Remember the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution didn't apply to the States and the State Constitutions reigned supreme for all social and moral issues regulating the behavior of the people and religious laws, including laws banning business on the Sabbath were standard. Whether the people themselves would be regarded as obedient to God's will isn't the point. The point is that they believed that as a society, it was to follow God's will and that God's blessing would only come upon a society that was at least attempting to follow God's will.

    Again, it may very well have been a "do what I say, not what I do," society as most Christian societies are but, that was true even in the time of Israel. People knew what "should be," and passed laws and wroted constitutions based on that "should be" and that "should be" was based on the Bible.

    If you read history books from over 100 years ago or even read Supreme Court rulings from the time of the founding on for decades, there are places where the "religious nature" of the nation is mentioned. It has only been since the 1950's predominately that challenges to our religious foundations have been challenged. Why is it that the people's writings who founded and ran and lived in that time are less reliable than people 225 years later who find a few individuals that were in the minority to base their "history" on?
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/26  at  10:43 AM
  26. Cont:
    Quote:
    Joseph Story, a Member of this Court from 1811 to 1845, and during much of that time a professor at the Harvard Law School, published by far the most comprehensive treatise on the United States Constitution that had then appeared. Volume 2 of Story's Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States 630-632 (5th ed. 1891) discussed the meaning of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment this way:

    "Probably at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and of the amendment to it now under consideration [First Amendment], the general if not the universal sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the State so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience and the freedom of religious worship. An attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation.

    . . . . .

    "The real object of the [First] [A]mendment was not to countenance, much less to advance, Mahometanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects, and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment which should give to a hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the national government. It thus cut off the means of religious persecution (the vice and pest of former ages), and of the subversion of the rights of conscience in matters of religion, which had been trampled upon almost from the days of the Apostles to the present age. . . ." (Footnotes omitted.)
    http://www.belcherfoundation.org/wallace_v_jaffree_dissent.htm
    =============================
    Story lived during that time and knew what the people believed, what the State Constitutions contained, what the laws based on the Bible were. He was on the Supreme Court and held in high esteem for his knowledge and his Commentaries on the Constitution of the U.S. have been used by scholars and courts long after his departure from this earth. But, he wasn't alone in his views.

    Also, he understood the need for the Federal Government to be "separate" from what took place in the states.
    Quote:
    In some of the states Episcopalians constituted the predominant sect; in other Presbyterians; in others, Congregationalists; in other, Quakers; in others again, there was close numerical rivalry among contending sects. It was impossible, that there should not arise perpetual strife and perpetual jealousy on the subject of ecclesiastical ascendancy, if the national government were left free to create a religious establishment.
    ============================
    These comments were used by Justice Rehnquist in 1985 in Wallace vs. Jaffree so, over 100 years later they were still considered important observations on our founding.

    What the people created as entities in a Republic were religious based societies with religious based laws and religious holidays proclaimed by their governments and use of chaplains and prayer in their legal government deliberations and use of the Bible to base an oath on. They bought Bibles with government tax dollars, even at the Federal level, to teach the native Americans about Christianity.

    Again, reading the Constitutions of the states is most telling. It was the Protestant religion or Christian faith that was required, not a particular church.

    Quote:
    "That all Men have a natural and unalienable Right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates Of their own conscience and understandings; that no Man ought or of right can he compelled to attend any religious Worship or maintain any Ministry contrary to or against his own free Will and Consent, and that no Authority can or Ought to be vested in, or assumed by any Power whatever that shall in any Case interfere with, or in any Manner control the Right of Conscience in the Free exercise of Religious Worship.

    That all Persons professing the Christian Religion ought forever to enjoy equal Rights and Privileges in this State..."

    Delaware Declaration of Rights and Fundamental Rules
    1776

    quote:
    10. North Carolina

    Official Religion: Anglican/Church of England
    Original Charter Date: March 24, 1663
    Full text of the Charter of Carolina (PDF) 23.6K
    Ended Support: 1875

    Article XXXII. That no person, who shall deny the being of God or the truth of the Protestant religion, or the divine authority of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any office or place of trust or profit in the civil department within this State.
    =================================

    That last, "no person," is very telling. You can't even be a Catholic and hold office in many local or state governments. Justice Story covers that bias against Catholics in his commentaries too.
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/26  at  10:53 AM
  27. <i>The Lord said,
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/26  at  11:00 AM
  28. Jan,

    Yes, I'm very aware of Joseph Story's opinions. You might want to contrast what the US Constitution actually says v. what those of state governments said. Art. VI. Cl. 3 is 180 degrees opposite of the religious tests contained in NC's and other states' constitutions.

    I have no doubt that eliminating the strife between the "Christian" sects was one of the underlying purposes of the First Amendment. However, 1) there may have been other underlying purposes as well, for instance, to take religious passion out of politics, consign much of religion to the realm of private conscience or "opinion," or at least to limit its zeal, and 2) we aren't governed by these "underlying purposes" but the original meaning of the Constitution's text. And such text never uses the term "Christian religion" but "religion." As such, whatever rights or restrictions attach to "religion" equally apply to all "religions," Christian or not.

    Further, I can offer quotations from the leading founding fathers (Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, et al.) that show they believed the unalienable rights of conscience applied equally to all, not just Christians. In Jefferson's words to "the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination."

    This is important because the notion of unalienable natural rights, though not explicated in the Constitution (though I think they are implicated in the Bill of Rights), is central to the Declaration of Independence. And if that document, in turn, forms the "organic" laws of the US, such may, as Justice Thomas believes, rightly supplement or "fill in gaps" of the Constitution's text, where parts of it, like the religion clauses, are worded in extremely broad, vague, general language.
    Posted by Jon Rowe  on  09/26  at  11:14 AM
  29. <i>If you read history books from over 100 years ago or even read Supreme Court rulings from the time of the founding on for decades, there are places where the
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/26  at  11:29 AM
  30. Jon
    Quote:
    You might want to contrast what the US Constitution actually says v. what those of state governments said.
    ===================
    What does the U.S. Constitution have to do with this? It didn't apply to the state and local governments and their relationship to religion. The U.S. government had no power over these things nor did it try to have power over them.

    That is why Jefferson was unable to do anything but write about the "separation" the Danbury Baptists wanted. For another 18 years they had to pay taxes to support religion after Jefferson wrote that.

    The "unalienable" right was the right of each society to have whatever "state religion" (or local) they wanted. The individual had no more right to go against the will of the majority in religious based laws than he did in any other law. Only by convincing the majority to change their laws (or Constitution) were changes made. The U.S. government had no authority to make the states and local governments end their use of relgious based laws.`

    I believe you are making a mistake to use the U.S. Constitution in this discussion as any basis of what was. It wasn't until after 1925 that the Bill of Rights had any affect on the states and even to this day, not one single Supreme Court has applied all of the Bill of Rights to the states.

    Quote:
    Under the incorporation doctrine, the core protections of the First Amendment and other parts of the Bill of Rights have been applied to the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/26  at  11:46 AM
  31. It seems like you use the creation of the government for the Republic as some kind of model when it wasn't a model for government in any state or community. It was unique and only applied to the Federal Government in social and moral issues and only when one of the limited roles given it conflicted with the State did it reign supreme.

    Look at the case load for the Supreme Court.
    quote:
    Term Cases Filed
    1900--- 406
    1910-- 516
    1920--- 565
    1930--- 845
    1940--- 977
    1950--- 1,181
    1960 ---1,940
    1970 ---3,419
    1988 ---5,657
    1998 ---7,692
    http://www.kscourts.org/lawwise/lawwise6.htm#supct
    ================
    Since 1998, it has risen to as high as over 8,000

    Notice that only after the 1925 Gitlow ruling that started applying the Bill of Rights to the States, did the case load start making the huge increases it has.

    The U.S. Constitution doesn't really apply to the founding period or the decades after it for these issues. Nor do the things written by the drafters of the Constitution about the U.S. Constitution apply to more than the Constitution itself for the most part.

    Only by examining each sovereign government in the Republic do you see what was the real nature of religion and government. And, in all issues not given to the Federal Government, the states were sovereign with only the people of the state, itself, having more sovereignty (under God of course) since they created the government and gave it its power.
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/26  at  11:49 AM
  32. Jon, I was writing and didn't see your follow-up post
    Quote:
    I would note those
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/26  at  11:58 AM
  33. Jan,

    Good questions. I'll retort with a rhetorical question of my own: Why did the Constitution permit the states to continue to practice slavery (which they did until 1865) when the Declaration of Independence states "all men are created equal?"

    Re incorporation, I suggest you read the research of Yale law professor Akhil Amar which demonstrates the BOR was intended to be incorporated against the states via the "privileges or immunities" clause of the 14th.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/26  at  12:58 PM
  34. <i>
    Posted by Jon Rowe  on  09/26  at  01:10 PM
  35. Because all did believe that way and thus differed with the clauses in those state constitutions. VA was the one which granted full rights to all regardless of religion and that was mainly through the work of Jefferson and Madison.
    ============================
    If all believed that, then how did the State Constitutions get ratified and who put the clauses in them? How can you say all believed something that required the majority to ratify it? How can you say all believed it when somebody included it in the Constitutions? How can you say that all believed it in view of the thousands of religious based laws we have had and still have some of. 21 states still have adultery laws and 7, last the knew of still had cohabitation with intent to commit fornication laws in some form. That law was upheld by the Supreme Court in "Pace."

    How can you say all believed it when they paid chaplains with tax dollars and bought Bibles with the Old and New Testaments with tax dollars.

    You said,
    Why did the Constitution permit the states to continue to practice slavery (which they did until 1865) when the Declaration of Independence states
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/26  at  04:02 PM
  36. No State shall make any laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; and no money raised by taxation in any State for the support of public schools, or derived from any public fund therefor, nor any public lands devoted thereto, shall ever be under the control of any religious sect, nor shall any money so raised or lands so devoted be divided between religious sects or denominations.

    Many of the folks who voted to adopt or ratify the 14th Amendment were (still) in Congress when it debated the Blaine Amendment. They surely remembered what they had done, and intended, a scant eight years earlier. They would not have bothered with a new Amendment to redo what they had already accomplished with the 14th [17].
    http://ttokarnak.home.att.net/UnnaturalSelection.html
    ============================

    There is no question of "intent" to incorporate by some but certainly not the majority of the people who ratified the 14th even if the majority that drafted it intended something different.

    Almost all the "studies" deal with what was said and debated prior to ratification instead of what was said and done during and after ratification. As our drafters of the U.S. Constitution required, their debates were to be kept secret and only the words actually in the final draft were to have meaning as they were applied. As Madison stated

    Quote:
    till the Constitution should be well settled by practice, and till a knowledge of the controversial part of the proceedings of its framers could be turned to no improper account . . . . As a guide in expounding and applying the provisions of the Constitution, the debates and incidental decisions of the Convention can have no authoritative character.
    =========================

    That is what we have to view the 14th amendment with as well. What the writers intended doesn't count. It is only what the people and states who ratified it thought; It is only what the Courts decided in that time right after it was ratified; It is only what the people themselves thought it meant that voted to ratify it, that counts. If even modern Supreme Court Justices say it wasn't meant to incorporate as well as say it was, that demonstrates that it wasn't clear and only the actions of the Courts, States and People in that time, and for the decades following when people were still alive that "knew" what the consensus of the majority was, should be used to interpret it with.

    If change is needed then create an Amendment to do so. If the "equal protection" was there, why did we have to have an amendment for women to vote instead of just legislate it? Same for 18 year olds to vote. Same for the amendment that didn't pass, I just referred to. If the Bill of Rights had been incorporated, why didn't Congress that had been in place when it was ratified, know it? Why did they think they needed Amendments that were duplicating the Federal Bill of Rights?

    If the U.S. Constitution had included any restrictions on slavery, it couldn't have been passed. Same deal if it had stopped any state from continuing to have a state religion or religious based laws, they wouldn't have ratified it. If the federal government had placed any restriction on state gun rights, even though some states did, the Constitution couldn't have been ratified. Only the Federal Government was restricted by the Bill of Rights as is obvious since every State continued to do as it had before in all social and moral areas and all religious relationships unless they changed their State Constitution, as some did.

    The 14th changed none of that but did give Congress the power of oversight to make sure that a law was applied equally to all races and that equal protection under the law would be provided but, not what the laws would be regarding obscenity, adultery, sodomy, closing business on Sunday, gambling, public intoxication, cohabitation with intent to commit fornication, profanity, use of Bibles in public schools, prayer in legislative bodies, etc. Those laws were never threated by the 1st Amendment until after 1925 nor were they ever intended to be threatened by the majority in each state who ratified the 14th.

    Congress may have the right to limit what states do, based on the 14th but most of what the Court has done wasn't intended even by those who wanted incorporation. They didn't trust the Court but wanted, instead, an appointed (Senate) and elected (House) to make any needed limits. That way, the States (appointed Senators) and people (elected House) would both have a voice in any changes that were needed.
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/26  at  04:28 PM
  37. If even that intent of incorporation had been kept in Congress and out of the hands of the Court, you wouldn't have had nearly the divisive issues you have today that have been brought about by the Court, but, the states would have never ratified it. The states that won the Civil War had no need to be "regulated" by Congress. They had won. The 14th was to regulate the losers and provide the force by the Federal government, legally, the amendment would provide, to make them obey the things that went with the freeing of slaves.
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/26  at  04:44 PM
  38. Let me end my contribution to this thread, Jan, with an observation: According to the way you understand the Constitution, it was a document ratified to essentially permit white, propertied Protestant males to, at the state level where most issues in life were to be regulated, treat one another, but not those outside the club, as equals.

    There is no way that such an understanding, even if correct, can take the moral highground in these debates. The liberal critics of original intent (those who endorse the notion of the "living Constitution") will beat you every time.

    If you are right on technical grounds, you will be a beautiful loser.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/26  at  09:21 PM
  39. I agree Jon that it is why the liberals have gained so much ground in the last 80 years since Gitlow.

    However, you don't understand that just as the nation changed and amended the U.S. Constitution, the States were doing the same, such a ending the ban on Catholics holding office in 1877 in N.H.

    It was just over 100 years ago we had children in our factories instead of school in many place and children working in coal mines and other dangerous jobs Women couldn't vote, you couldn't get drunk in public even if you didn't drive.

    Much of what we were, none of the nation wants to go back to. That wasn't the point. The point was accurate history and how this nation evolved to become what it has become, good or bad.

    It is like saying slavery is "evil." Yes, it is now. It wasn't for most of the history of the world and was a part of regulated trade for much of it. Slaves were what became of the loser in wars that weren't slain. They were sold and separated so they couldn't "unite" again and revolt in the future against the victor. The losers had two choices in many cases, death or slavery or at least servitude to the nation that won. The rest of their lives they would "pay tribute" either directly in higher taxes or indirectly in some type of labor to the victor.

    Our slave days were at the tail end of that with England only ending their slave days shortly before we did. Slavery was a legal business but rapidly falling out of favor with Christians in this nation's northern states. It was normal and legal for all of the world's history up to that point. Even today, there is still slavery in the world but, now it is done in secrecy for the most part. We have 10's of thousands of slaves brought into this nation each year (mostly for sex trade) but, in other nations it is even more common yet today.

    Someday that will be gone too but it takes centuries for some things to completely die out that were once considered normal by some cultures.

    How we ended slavery caused more problems than it would have, had the Supreme Court not overturned the Missouri Compromise, don't you believe?

    I have no problem in condemning many things this nation has done. But I won't deny history just to change a current view on how things should have been. We evolved in many ways. We advanced womens rights as well as those of the slaves. We went from agriculture to industrial. We went from weak central government to strong central government. We have moved from Republic to more of a democracy (which probably guarantees we will fall as do all pure democracies). We have moved to socialism with centralization of power and wealth redistribution which also means we are getting weaker and weaker in the world markets that have been moving to capitalism to raise millions out of poverty. We have gone from a sound currency to a weak fiat currency. We are not bankrupt since the GAO says we owe more than we own as a nation.

    So while we have certainly improved many things, we have ushered in our own collapse at the same time.
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/26  at  09:42 PM
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