[split] Ask a Theist! - Jzyehoshua Q&A
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04-05-2013, 08:10 PM (This post was last modified: 04-05-2013 08:21 PM by Jzyehoshua.)
RE: Ask a Theist!
(04-05-2013 01:52 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(04-05-2013 01:22 PM)Jzyehoshua Wrote:  You do realize that religious freedom in both England and the U.S. only began because William Penn created a Quaker theocratic government called the Province of Pennsylvania (modern United States) in 1682, and while in England argued for religious freedom resulting in trial by jury, right? Look it up, religious freedom today only exists because Christians started it. You might find interesting what Jefferson and Madison wrote in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom and Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments. Point is, religious freedom and tolerance began because of Christians, not in spite of them. The least tolerant countries in the world are atheistic ones like China, Russia, and North Korea.

No, religious freedom is a result of Enlightenment thinking. Secularism is the key, divorcing religion from governance.

The separating of religious institutions from government was done by Jefferson and Madison to stop the persecution of groups like the Danbury Baptists who were being imprisoned, kept from running for public office, and forced to pay taxes to support a church they didn't believe in by state-run churches like the Anglican Church. Rather than done for secularism, it was done by Christians to protect religious freedom. That's why Jefferson starts the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom arguing that the basis for religious freedom is a creator giving rights to man, or as Jefferson says,

"Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free; That all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and therefore are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do, That the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time"

Yes, enlightenment thinking, but enlightenment thinking only occurred because protestant Christians left Europe, like Penn, to create religious freedom away from the persecution of groups like Anglicanism and Catholicism. Jefferson's phrase "wall of separation" never occurs in the Constitution, but in his letters to the Danbury Baptists agreeing to defend their right to religious freedom. That phrase separation of church and state occurs because of his conversation with the Baptists. Jefferson helped found the Bible Society of Virginia and invoked God elsewhere, like the Declaration of Independence, as the basis for inalienable rights like religious freedom. Madison, the main author of the U.S. Constitution, in Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments argued against a bill that created a state church because it contradicted Christianity:

"We remonstrate against the said Bill,

1. Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, 'that religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.' The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considerd as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governour of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign. We maintain therefore that in matters of Religion, no man’s right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance. True it is, that no other rule exists, by which any question which may divide a Society, can be ultimately determined, but the will of the majority; but it is also true that the majority may trespass on the rights of the minority...

12. Because the policy of the Bill is adverse to the diffusion of the light of Christianity. The first wish of those who enjoy this precious gift ought to be that it may be imparted to the whole race of mankind. Compare the number of those who have as yet received it with the number still remaining under the dominion of false Religions; and how small is the former! Does the policy of the Bill tend to lessen the disproportion? No; it at once discourages those who are strangers to the light of revelation from coming into the Region of it; and countenances by example the nations who continue in darkness, in shutting out those who might convey it to them. Instead of Levelling as far as possible, every obstacle to the victorious progress of Truth, the Bill with an ignoble and unchristian timidity would circumscribe it with a wall of defence against the encroachments of error."

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04-05-2013, 08:17 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
This idea that secularism was at all compatible with the founders who created religious freedom is a myth perpetuated by the left to attack Christianity with no basis in fact. Jefferson and Madison authored their legislation on religious freedom invoking God's giving of rights to man as the basis for religious freedom! Both Jefferson and Madison, the primary architects of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights (as well as William Penn who created earlier versions of both a century earlier) were clearly Christians who designed religious freedom and separation of church and state to protect religious expression. That's why the 1st amendment involves freedom of religion, not from religion.

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04-05-2013, 08:26 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(04-05-2013 08:17 PM)Jzyehoshua Wrote:  This idea that secularism was at all compatible with the founders who created religious freedom is a myth perpetuated by the left to attack Christianity with no basis in fact. Jefferson and Madison authored their legislation on religious freedom invoking God's giving of rights to man as the basis for religious freedom! Both Jefferson and Madison, the primary architects of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights (as well as William Penn who created earlier versions of both a century earlier) were clearly Christians who designed religious freedom and separation of church and state to protect religious expression. That's why the 1st amendment involves freedom of religion, not from religion.

Have you ever even read either of those two mens biographies? Jefferson was a deist and believed that Christ was nothing more than a philosopher ever heard of the Jefferson Bible as for this country being a christian nation the founders sure didn't agree. treaty of tripoli

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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04-05-2013, 08:46 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(04-05-2013 08:26 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(04-05-2013 08:17 PM)Jzyehoshua Wrote:  This idea that secularism was at all compatible with the founders who created religious freedom is a myth perpetuated by the left to attack Christianity with no basis in fact. Jefferson and Madison authored their legislation on religious freedom invoking God's giving of rights to man as the basis for religious freedom! Both Jefferson and Madison, the primary architects of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights (as well as William Penn who created earlier versions of both a century earlier) were clearly Christians who designed religious freedom and separation of church and state to protect religious expression. That's why the 1st amendment involves freedom of religion, not from religion.

Have you ever even read either of those two mens biographies? Jefferson was a deist and believed that Christ was nothing more than a philosopher ever heard of the Jefferson Bible as for this country being a christian nation the founders sure didn't agree. treaty of tripoli

I know that's what's commonly (and wrongly) claimed. Do you honestly think Jefferson donated to start the Bible Society of Virginia without being a Christian? Do you think he went to the work of making a Jefferson Bible for evangelizing Native Americans just to support deism? He clearly invoked a Creator both in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom and the Declaration of Independence as the basis for inalienable rights. I can guarantee you he was no secularist like some want to portray him.

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04-05-2013, 08:50 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
Furthermore, when Jefferson began his major piece of legislation on religious freedom, what do you think he meant by starting it with "Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free; That all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and therefore are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do"? Would you call that deism?

Who do you think was the "holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind [with] Almighty power"? Those are Jefferson's own words and he used them to define what religious freedom is. Do you really think he was just a secular enlightened thinker? Who was the "Almighty God," "holy author," and "Lord" with "Almighty power" that he referred to?

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04-05-2013, 08:56 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(04-05-2013 08:50 PM)Jzyehoshua Wrote:  Furthermore, when Jefferson began his major piece of legislation on religious freedom, what do you think he meant by starting it with "Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free; That all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and therefore are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do"? Would you call that deism?

Who do you think was the "holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind [with] Almighty power"? Those are Jefferson's own words and he used them to define what religious freedom is. Do you really think he was just a secular enlightened thinker? Who was the "Almighty God," "holy author," and "Lord" with "Almighty power" that he referred to?

Go do some research on Jefferson's life and then get back to us you clearly know nothing about it. His diest leanings are well known and well documented in his private correspondence.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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04-05-2013, 08:58 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(04-05-2013 08:56 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(04-05-2013 08:50 PM)Jzyehoshua Wrote:  Furthermore, when Jefferson began his major piece of legislation on religious freedom, what do you think he meant by starting it with "Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free; That all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and therefore are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do"? Would you call that deism?

Who do you think was the "holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind [with] Almighty power"? Those are Jefferson's own words and he used them to define what religious freedom is. Do you really think he was just a secular enlightened thinker? Who was the "Almighty God," "holy author," and "Lord" with "Almighty power" that he referred to?

Go do some research on Jefferson's life and then get back to us you clearly know nothing about it. His diest leanings are well known and well documented in his private correspondence.

You just propagate this false uneducated claim that Jefferson was a secular deist which obviously can't stand up to the facts; which is why you're unable to address them and try to distract from your losing argument.

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04-05-2013, 09:20 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(04-05-2013 08:58 PM)Jzyehoshua Wrote:  
(04-05-2013 08:56 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  Go do some research on Jefferson's life and then get back to us you clearly know nothing about it. His diest leanings are well known and well documented in his private correspondence.

You just propagate this false uneducated claim that Jefferson was a secular deist which obviously can't stand up to the facts; which is why you're unable to address them and try to distract from your losing argument.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jeff...d_religion

http://www.monticello.org/site/research-...us-beliefs

http://www.sullivan-county.com/id3/jefferson_deist.htm

http://www.history.org/foundation/journa.../deism.cfm

Now as I said go do some research.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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04-05-2013, 09:35 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(04-05-2013 09:20 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(04-05-2013 08:58 PM)Jzyehoshua Wrote:  You just propagate this false uneducated claim that Jefferson was a secular deist which obviously can't stand up to the facts; which is why you're unable to address them and try to distract from your losing argument.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jeff...d_religion

http://www.monticello.org/site/research-...us-beliefs

http://www.sullivan-county.com/id3/jefferson_deist.htm

http://www.history.org/foundation/journa.../deism.cfm

Now as I said go do some research.

None of which disproves my points that (A) Jefferson personally donated to found the Bible Society of Virginia, (B) created the Jefferson Bible to evangelize Native Americans and said so, and (C ) stated repeatedly in both the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom and Declaration of Independence that inalienable rights are given by a Creator whom he called "Lord," "holy author of our religion," and said had "Almighty power." If that's what deism is, then why do you think deism is different from Christianity?

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04-05-2013, 09:48 PM
RE: Ask a Theist!
(04-05-2013 09:35 PM)Jzyehoshua Wrote:  
(04-05-2013 09:20 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jeff...d_religion

http://www.monticello.org/site/research-...us-beliefs

http://www.sullivan-county.com/id3/jefferson_deist.htm

http://www.history.org/foundation/journa.../deism.cfm

Now as I said go do some research.

None of which disproves my points that (A) Jefferson personally donated to found the Bible Society of Virginia, (B) created the Jefferson Bible to evangelize Native Americans and said so, and (C ) stated repeatedly in both the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom and Declaration of Independence that inalienable rights are given by a Creator whom he called "Lord," "holy author of our religion," and said had "Almighty power." If that's what deism is, then why do you think deism is different from Christianity?

Just to step back a moment here what's your point? I mean we can argue the religion of a man who's been dead 200 years all day but in the end it really doesn't prove anything. Jefferson was kind of all over the place with his beliefs but seemed to settle on a unitarian deism by the end of his life. However even if he was the pope himself the country was founded under secular principals of the enlightenment and firmly rejected an intrusion by an established church into public affairs.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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