He That Has Ears To Hear, Let Him Hear (Matthew 11:15-30)
Challenging both secular wisdom and religious doctrines. - Will our descendants know moral virtue?
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The False Claim Concerning a Right-wing Theocracy
"Among the features peculiar to the political system of the United States, is the perfect equality of rights which it secures to every religious sect. " James Madison (letter to Jacob de la Motta, August 1820) Reference: Our Sacred Honor, Bennett, pg. 333
"[T]he policy or advantage of [immigration] taking place in a body (I mean the settling of them in a body) may be much questioned; for, by so doing, they retain the Language, habits and principles (good or bad) which they bring with them. Whereas by an intermixture with our people, they, or their descendants, get assimilated to our customs, measures and laws: in a word, soon become one people." ..."You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ." George Washington (letter to John Adams, 15 November 1794) Reference: The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799, Fitzpatrick, Ed., vol. 34 - The Patriot Post Founders' Quote Daily
Because of Christians, America Isn’t a Theocracy - By Bethany Blankley - The beginning of American law, the concepts of independence and freedom, is rooted in the belief that moral absolutes exist within a universal standard of justice independent from political rulers. The Judeo-Christian faith is not separate from but foundational to just and fair public policies that encourage human flourishing. ...The founding fathers knew this, recalling Exodus 18 and 21, Leviticus 18, Ezekiel 3, and Isaiah 33:22, among others, understanding the Judeo-Christian God, the Lord, as lawgiver, judge, and king. Following this model, they devised three branches of government. Congress, the legislative branch—represents the lawgiver; the judicial branch—the judge, and the executive branch—the king, primary ruler, head of government.
But the founding fathers also knew the danger of authoritarian rule that some Puritans had tried to implement in 17th century American colonies. ...The founders ensured the validity of freedom originating from God, not man. Their assurance rested in “In God We Trust,” printed on American money, and in “One Nation Under God,” in the Pledge of Allegiance. ...The founders did not seek to create a theocracy understanding Biblical Christianity to be non-coercive. They understood that only through Biblical principles freedom and liberty exist (Gal. 5:1). As Dostoevsky and others from atheist countries assert, “if there is no God, everything is permitted.”
Judge Samuel Chase, Runkel v.
Winemiller (1799) - “Religion is of general and public concern, and on its
support depend, in great measure, the peace and good order of government, the
safety and happiness of the people. By our form of government, the christian
religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of
christians are placed upon the same equal footing, and are equally entitled to
protection in their religious liberty.
The principles of the christian religion cannot be diffused, and its doctrines generally propagated, without places of public worship, and teachers and ministers, to explain the scriptures to the people, and to enforce an observance of the precepts of religion by their preaching and living. And the pastors, teachers and ministers, of every denomination of christians, are equally entitled to the protection of the law, and to the enjoyment of their religious and temporal rights.” [Harris, Thomas and McHenry, John, Maryland Reports, vol. 4, Jonas Green, Annapolis, 1818, pg 450]
On APRIL 16, 1859, French historian Alexis de Tocqueville died. After nine months of traveling the United States, he wrote Democracy in America in 1835, which has been described as "the most comprehensive...analysis of character and society in America ever written." Alexis de Tocqueville wrote: "Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention...In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united." De Tocqueville continued: "The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other...They brought with them into the New World a form of Christianity which I cannot better describe than by styling it a democratic and republican religion." In Book Two of Democracy in America, de Tocqueville wrote: "Christianity has therefore retained a strong hold on the public mind in America...In the United States...Christianity itself is a fact so irresistibly established, that no one undertakes either to attack or to defend it."
Note and challenge to secular humanist: Before inadequately and falsely dismissing these pages as promoting theocracy, as numerous blog discussions and commentaries have and weakly dismissed the HISTORY presented here by simply claiming EarsToHear.net is promoting a theocracy, which is simply a diversion and lame excuse used to escape and avoid answering this challenge: What new and improved wisdom do secular liberal humanists use to justify violating "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God," which was the foundation of America's Founders?
Confusing theocracy with church/state separation- By Robert Meyer - Liberals and secularists frequently and haphazardly shoot from the hip, when they claim ad nauseam, that certain activities violate the "separation between church and state," as purportedly mandated by the First Amendment. Unfortunately, many conservatives and Christians aren't much more astute when their response is little more than that the words "separation of church and state" never appear in the Constitution. If that's your tactic, then be prepared for a response, for example, which asserts that though the phrase "fair trial" never appears in the Bill of Rights, the concept is certainly enshrined in American jurisprudence.
While the claim that such words never appear in the Constitution is technically correct, such a response avoids confronting and articulating what the argument is really about. The real problem is that the historical meaning the of church/state separation concept has at best been misconstrued and, at worst it's meaning has been deliberately revised. The First Amendment creates a jurisdictional and function division between the institutions of church and state. It does not sequester religious belief from influencing public policy. Yet, the latter is the meaning assigned to the First amendment by contemporary militant secularists.
...Post World War II jurisprudence, heavily influenced by militant secularists, has morphed the historical understanding of the religious clauses in the First Amendment, so that they have become antagonistic to public religious expression, rather than the vanguards of free exercise. One way this is done is by pulling the Establishment Clause out of balance with the Free Exercise clause. It should also be noted that the meaning has also been revised by emphasizing "Legal positivist" theory rather than "Natural Law" theory as primary grounding for constitutional interpretations. Anti-theists have been successful in selling the idea that their philosophies are non-religious and therefore acceptable for the public square, but biblical precepts are "religious," thus having no rightful warrant to influence public policy. George Washington obviously disagreed. (See his Farewell Address.)
Don Feder, a Boston Herald writer and syndicated columnist for 19 years, is president of Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation, or JAACD. He ridiculed the notion that religious Americans want the nation ruled by a theocracy. "It's just absurd," Feder said. "If what the left is talking about constitutes a theocracy, then America was a theocracy in 1961. "American had school prayer, in many states there was Bible reading in the schools, public display of religious symbols, abortion was outlawed except in rare instances, if anyone talked about same-sex marriage they would have been met with derisive laughter," he noted. "I was alive in 1961; if we were a theocracy then, somehow I missed it."
If liberals are afraid of a Judeo-Christian "theocracy," then why didn't our Christian Founders establish a theocracy? The theocracy they should fear, is that of Islam. However, the "theocracy" fear, is just a front, a deception. What they really fear is liberty defined within the boundaries of morality as "endowed by the Creator," and not by Big Government.
The Declaration of Independence was considerably based on John Locke's book, Two Treatises of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration which referenced the Scripture 1700 times. John Locke also authored The Commonplace Bible, The Reasonableness of Christianity, and Defense for The Reasonableness of Christianity.
Whilst we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess, and to observe the religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us. If this freedom be abused, it is an offence against God, not against man: To God therefore, not to men, must an account of it be rendered. James Madison, Memorial and Remonstrance
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