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Free and Strong America

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

God and the Left



While Friday's entry was to show that Christianity isn't opposed to science, today's entry makes the case that Christianity isn't opposed to freedom and in fact. it can serve as a catalyst for it. Dennis Prager writes in today's article...

"America's anomalous religiosity is very much worth celebrating -- not because it leads to affluence, but because it is indispensible to liberty....-- for 234 years -- the United States of America, has also been the most God-centered.

Yes, I know that the Islamic world has also been God-based and that it has not been free. But that is because Allah is not regarded as the source of liberty, as the America's Judeo-Christian God has been, but as the object of submission ("Islam" means "submission").

Since the inception of the United States (and, indeed, before it in colonial America), liberty, i.e., personal freedom, has been linked to God.

America was founded on the belief that God is the source of liberty. That is why the inscription on the Liberty Bell is from the Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 25): "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."

The Declaration of Independence also asserts this link: All men "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Because the Creator of the world is the source of our freedom, no state, no human being, no government may take it away. If the state were the source of liberty, then obviously the state could take it away."


I cannot think of another country that has ended tyranny in more places on the face of the earth than the highly religious United States. If this sort of subject is interesting to you, then I recommend this recent youtube video debate between Dr. Jerry Newcombe, (whose website I link to on the right) and Dan Barker over the religious foundation of the this country (US).

20 comments:

GentleSkeptic said...

Since the inception of the United States… liberty, i.e., personal freedom, has been linked to God.

America was founded on the belief that God is the source of liberty.

All men "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."


I maintain that what is truly historically salient about these fairly accurate statements is not the inclusion of God, but the omission of the King.

Froggie said...

There is one document and only one document that guarantees our freedom and that is the totally secular Constitution of the United States of America.

No other document preempts the constitution and, if fact, seven of the Ten Commandments are unconstitutional under the Constitution. That alone is proof that have a secular government.

"We the people" and none other are the gurantors of our freedoms. No god is needed.

Froggie said...

The Mayflower compact, early state constitutions and the Declaration of Independence all carried forward the religo-politcal baggage from the failed systems of Europe.
The different colonies had differing religious/ political laws and a secular government turned out to be the most successful remedy to neutralize religious dominance and civil war.

We are all guaranteed our right to follow our own consciences. Thus I often wonder why certain religious organizations turn political with their visages of religious dominion. They have everything they want- the right to worship as they please.
It just doesn't add up- unless you bring in that pesky control issue that most religions are saddled with.

Adam Nardoli said...

Why is this post titled "God and the Left"?

Coco Rico said...

In my American lit course, right now we are talking about the tension between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson's competing visions. Jefferson deferred to convention to safeguard against bad political turns, while Adams believed moral self-command on the individual level, rooted in religion, was essential to prevent a slide into tyranny.

I think the debate is still raging. Neither religion nor materialist ideology will go away. We need to enjoy the discussion but not expect one side to win.

Ross said...

J.D., as a Christian I don't want to undermine what you're saying, but have you read Donald McCullough's "The Trivialization of God?" He reveals that some of your nation's founders were actually deists and not Christians.

Whateverman said...

I would also point to the currently-aired PBS series "God In America" (viewable online). It only takes a little research to show how laughable the idea is that Christianity fosters religious tolerance. While I wont suggest it does the opposite, it CERTAINLY has been a source of intolerance.

JD Curtis said...

Why is this post titled "God and the Left"?

If I did not convey the sentiment of leftists in the US towards God in the above entry, then I suggest checking out the linked article by Prager who does a much better job at it.

have you read Donald McCullough's "The Trivialization of God?" He reveals that some of your nation's founders were actually deists and not Christians

This is nothing new Ross. I've blogged on this before. It would appear that there were more ministers than deists that signed the US Declaration of Independence.

In an update to an earlier post, I previously blogged that perhaps 3 of the 55 signatories of the Constitutional Convention were possibly deists. Upon further review, that estimate may have been too generous. I specifically point to Hugh Williamson of North Carolina who, it would appear, is increasingly unlikely that he was a deist. Link

JD Curtis said...

Here's a more general link for the beliefs of the Founding Fathers.

I suffer from Low Connection Speed WM and if there's a specific point you would like to raise, then by all means please do.

Whateverman said...

"Historical research" isn't a specific point?

How about the fact that Anglican theology (insofar as it was used to govern the colonies) resulted in the Protestant uprising. How about the Christian government then making it illegal for Protestants to preach? How about the fact that the southern baptist movement had to gather in secret, for fear of persecution by Protestants & Anglicans?

Please, JD. Christianity in the US has a well-established track record of NOT being tolerant of religious disagreement.

Froggie said...

All your blather about the DOI, etc. is meaningless.
The constitution is the founding document.

For the sake of arguendo, Let's say every founder was a christian.
Now, answer the question why they would want a secular document guaranteeing them religious freedom.
In that you find the answer.

JD Curtis said...

why they would want a secular document guaranteeing them religious freedom.
In that you find the answer.


How about the fact that the southern baptist movement had to gather in secret, for fear of persecution by Protestants & Anglicans?


I've blogged aboiut the Parsons Cause before. Link

Whateverman said...

So...

You asked for specific points, I gave three. Two you did not respond to, and they clearly contradict your opinion that Christianity "can serve as a catalyst for freedom {sic}".

IRT the third point I posted, you responded that you'd blogged about it before. Nowhere in that entry did you show how Christianity fosters freedom of thought or religion. Your mention of it here is a non sequitur.

Objective evidence shows that the religion in question is NOT a source of tolerance. Do you have anything to offer which might contradict this?

JD Curtis said...

You asked for specific points, I gave three. Two you did not respond to, and they clearly contradict your opinion that Christianity "can serve as a catalyst for freedom {sic}"

Because I have the sinking feeling that you have no clue concerning what you are talking about, but I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

How about the fact that Anglican theology (insofar as it was used to govern the colonies) resulted in the Protestant uprising

To what uprising are you referring to? I am vaguely familiar with one in 1689, but if that's not what you are referring to then please indicate the specific instance you are citing.

How about the Christian government then making it illegal for Protestants to preach?

The Christian government? A Catholic government prohibiting Protestants to preach? What are you referring to here?

How about the fact that the southern baptist movement had to gather in secret, for fear of persecution by Protestants & Anglicans?

I am preplexed here. I was under the impression that Baptists, by definition, are Protestants.

Objective evidence shows that the religion in question is NOT a source of tolerance

I see. And by what metric shall we compare the "religion in question"? Let's start with this. What areas of the world enjoy greater individual liberties than the Christianized West?

Whateverman said...

Nope. You're shifting the goalposts.

I think the challenge has been met: Christianity is no more a "catalyst for (religious) freedom" than any other ideology.

JD Curtis said...

From the above entry, "Christianity isn't opposed to freedom and in fact. it can serve as a catalyst for it".

WM @ 5:12, "Christianity is no more a "catalyst for (religious) freedom" than any other ideology"

It was your inclusion of the word "religious" that changed the meaning, not something that I wrote.

Now answer the three questions that I asked you in my post from 7:53 please.

Whateverman said...

Well, I thought "religious" was implied, but if I'm wrong about that I apologize. I was simply trying to accurately summarize your argument.

a) There's no need for "specific uprisings", because the point being made is general, not specific. Protestant uprisings in general contradict the notion of Christianity being a catalyst for tolerance.

b) Catholicism is a Christian sect. Yes, the Catholic government.

c) IRT definitions, Baptists might refer to themselves as Protestants, but Protestants definitely wont refer to themselves as Baptists. While the definitions do (correctly) imply a link between the two, in practice they are separate groups/entities. Southern Baptists were not necessarily welcomed by the Protestant majority at the time in question.

d) IRT metrics by which religions are compared, tolerance and the catalysis of freedom are applicable - according to you. Again, this is not a discussion of comparative tolerance; it's a discussion of whether Christianity fosters it. Clearly, the answer is not necessarily

JD Curtis said...

Christianity fosters it (liberty)

More specifically, people in the Christianized West are generally freer than people in societies in which Christianity is unknown or insignificant. Fair enough?

Whateverman said...

Better, but not entirely fair. The secular Swedes would take issue with that analysis; although they're not 'western', they certainly can be included in a list of 'free' societies.

Would you include Israel or not?

---

I think you're dancing around the notion that (you think) Muslim societies are less free than non-Muslim societies. If so, this is an entirely different subject, having nothing to do with Christianity.

veggiedude said...

If there is any truth to this, then why was 'God' or 'Creator' left out of the Constitution, the most important document of the United States on which all law is interpreted and established?