The Founding Fathers

dassercha
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The Founding Fathers

I'm just sick of the back-and-forth on this subject b/w both camps. Not just here, but talkshows, etc.
It's a moot point. Who cares how xian or not they were? That was then. This is now. Let's move on. It's the 21st century--they provided a framework, now it's our job to expand upon that, NOT get caught up in, "but, but Washington (or whomever) would have NEVER done/said THAT!"
Get over it! 


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In constitutional law, the

In constitutional law, the mindset of the framers is very important.  When dealing with the broad brush strokes that the framers used, understanding how they thought about the world is key to understanding what they thought the country should look like.  So, yeah, it is important how they felt. 

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Here's a brief video about

Here's a brief video about the issue of a US secular government by Edward Tabash:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVm-epMMOMc 

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Seneca


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Randalllord

broken link. 


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Remove the Space ' ' at the

Remove the Space ' ' at the end.

Sounds made up...
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dassercha wrote: I'm just

dassercha wrote:
I'm just sick of the back-and-forth on this subject b/w both camps. Not just here, but talkshows, etc.
It's a moot point. Who cares how xian or not they were? That was then. This is now. Let's move on. It's the 21st century--they provided a framework, now it's our job to expand upon that, NOT get caught up in, "but, but Washington (or whomever) would have NEVER done/said THAT!"
Get over it!

The reason you shouldn't "get over it" is because their idea was for goverment to STAY THE FUCK OUT OF THE ISSUE OF DEITY BELIEF!

That was supposed to be left up to the individual, not them.

It is true that they were a variety of beliefs. But from deist to skeptic to theist ALL OF THEM, agreed on one thing.

1. We wont arrest you for what you believe

2. We wont forbid you from partisipating in politics

3. BUT WE WONT AID YOU EITHER!

Our country has gotten away from that. Our goverment wasnt supposd to favor Christians over everyone else who had token status.

It is important because our Constitution was supposed to be a template no matter who the majority might be in a given future. If our population became a majority Muslim IN THEORY, if everyone followed the Constitution there would be no risk of a Muslim theocracy.

What has happened unfortunatly is that very good marketing on the Chrisitian right with fearmongering and big money, has tried to sell the Constitution as "For Christian use only. Non Christians need not apply".

You should fear this because the right wing is shreding the "freedom of concious" . It was supposed to be up to the individual and politics was not predicated on what deity you believed in.

The First Amendment was clear. It was an antitrust law against monopolies of religion or speech with a very simple solution:

"On your own time with your own dime. We wont come after you but we wont play favorites either by aiding you".

WHO CARES?

I do, because I dont want goverment funded Church steples belting out bible verses like Islamic countries do with mosques belting out Koran verses over city wide bullhorns.

If it makes no sense to teach Creationism in public schools, and "no religious test" in our Constitution means something to you, then it is up to you to care and not let a theocracy manifest itself in this country.

If you dont think the religious right in America doesnt have a goal, then you might as well think Al Quida doesnt either. 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Well said, Brian37. And

Well said, Brian37.

And yes, I'm another person who cares deeply about this.


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Here's an idea. Get a new

Here's an idea. Get a new constitution and fuck the old one. It was written by bourgeois slave-owners.


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Jacob Cordingley

Jacob Cordingley wrote:

Here's an idea. Get a new constitution and fuck the old one. It was written by bourgeois slave-owners.

Screw you and your monarchy!

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Jacob Cordingley

Jacob Cordingley wrote:

Here's an idea. Get a new constitution and fuck the old one. It was written by bourgeois slave-owners.

Nah, our constitution is a-ok.  Anyway, if they tried to change it now, I'd probably be burned at the stake for being an atheist. 

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Here is an idea, how about

Here is an idea, how about we institute a test that requires you to demonstrate a basic understanding of the Constitution before you can vote and require anyone who wants to run for office to memorize the Constitution before they are placed on the ballot. Besides, too many people vote anyway. It pisses me off when someone who isn't even aware that there are three branches of government dilutes my vote.

Furthermore, we should get rid of the whole damn ballot and just hand people a blank sheet of paper to write who they want in which office. If you can't name the candidate and the office you have no business voting.

Finally, we should stop telling everyone it is their civic duty to vote. If you are a dumbass it is your civic duty to NOT vote.

If you think it doesn't matter the please DO NOT VOTE. If you think the Constitution was set up so the majority gets whatever they want DO NOT VOTE. If you think the federal government was designed to help you solve your personal issues DO NOT VOTE. If you think the Constitution doesn't matter, DO NOT VOTE.

Back to the OP, yes it does matter a lot because there is a fundamental misunderstanding of something called the FIRST Amendment. People believe that because many of the founding fathers were Christians that we are a fundamentally Christian nation. Being the dumb asses we are today, everyone assumes that all of the founding fathers agreed on everything which is patently absurd. They disagreed over everything and especially religion. While the case can be made that SOME of the founding fathers supported individual states having official religions, I am not aware of a single one that supported the federal government having an official religion or even being officially Christian. Certain founding fathers argued against states even having an official religion, Thomas Jefferson perhaps being the most vocal. Although what was extremely different back then is that states had more power than the federal government. They were allowed a lot of leeway and were not constrained by the Constitution. The founders believed that the states could regulate themselves (wow what a radical concept). So while one can make the argument that states could encourage religion or aid religion in the view of some founders it is absurd to think the founders would support the federal government doing so. Then the 14th Amendment came along, which is currently interpeted as having applied at least portions of the Bill of Rights to the states including the First Amendment. While I have some fundamental disagreements with how the Supreme Court interprets the 14th Amendment it is clear that in Constitutional law today the First Amendment applies to state and federal governments. Of course, that doesn't prevent dumbass politicians from passing laws that directly conflict with it.

I have a ton more to say but am too lazy to go get dig up quotes and Supreme Court rulings to back up my arguments this early in the morning so I will stop my rant for now.

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Thanks for the responses so

Thanks for the responses so far. I see where each of you are coming from.

I guess I see us at a point in history where we need to move forward--things are WAY different than in the 1700s so we need to think for ourselves on how to best govern, not rely so heavily on who thought/said what "way back then".

It's up to us, the people, NOW, to shape the future. The founders are not here to help us out on that. Let's stick to the here & now with our present problems and move FORWARD... 

 

 

EDUCATION! EDUCATION! EDUCATION!


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dassercha wrote: Thanks

dassercha wrote:

Thanks for the responses so far. I see where each of you are coming from.

I guess I see us at a point in history where we need to move forward--things are WAY different than in the 1700s so we need to think for ourselves on how to best govern, not rely so heavily on who thought/said what "way back then".

It's up to us, the people, NOW, to shape the future. The founders are not here to help us out on that. Let's stick to the here & now with our present problems and move FORWARD... 

 

 

 

If you ignore what the founders set up and ignore their intentions you might as well tear up the Constitution. It would be like playing a board game and changing the rules as you went along to suit your needs. The result would be tyranny through democracy. The purpose of the Constitution was to RESTRICT the power of the federal government. They had fought a war against a government they perceived as too tyranical and wanted to prevent it from happening again. That is why they set up a democratic republic NOT a pure democracy.

Pure democracy is not a good or desirable thing. Basically, a pure democracy is a system where the majority gets whatever it wants and if you are in the minority it sucks to be you. In a pure democracy if the majority decides to say burn all atheists they can.

The Constitution was written to allow the majority a lot of power in controlling the direction of government but attempted to temper that power by guaranteeing the minority specific rights so the majority couldn't oppress them.

Many things are "WAY" different than the 1700's but many things are also WAY the same. Those who refuse to learn from history are destined to repeat it. The Constitution is the groundwork of our government and ought to be followed as it was intended. To do otherwise is to grant the politicians in government the power to do whatever they want because they feel like it.

     It is up to us to shape the future, and you can be assured that if we treat the Constitution like a rag and continue to fail to teach kids about it future generations will as well. The liberty and freedom that makes America a great place to live will be chipped away until majority (mob) rule has taken over. If we start treating it with some respect and at least attempt to follow it future generations might as well. The Constitution wasn't designed to deal with specific political problems, it was designed to give us a framework for solving our problems while protecting the rights of the minority. Every time a new law is passed that ignores the Constitution a minority is losing their rights and freedom.

The Constitution isn't perfect and that is why the founders created a system by which we could amend it. It is extremely difficult to amend the Constitution for a reason. Unfortunately, many politicians and judges (on all sides) have seen fit to amend the Constitution through word play and deliberately misinterpreting it or simply ignoring it because they know they could not get the support to actually amend it.

If our schools weren't so god damned incompetent when it came to teaching the Constitution and the difference between a democratic republic and a democracy our country wouldn't be as fucked up as it is today.

I don't want to live in a pure democracy. I want to have the freedom and liberty to be an atheist and oppose the majority when I disagree. I don't want the government to have the power to make retribution on me because of my beliefs. I want to be able to live my life the way I want and not have a government telling me how to live my life. Before passing any laws I want my leaders to consider whether it is infringing on the rights of the minority. If you don't want to live in that kind of country move to Cuba.

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Thats not all. It matters,

Thats not all. It matters, ALOT, when arguing with a christian american. I mean, dont you ever get pissed off when the opponent is lying? Well, the "this country was founded on Christian beliefs, and if you dont believe in christianity, you are unamerican" is probably the worst lie AND insult wrapped into one.

 

So, to tell those christians to "Fuck off, the founding fathers are on my side", we need to make this point clear. Sad 

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Its important when your

Its important when your opposition claims that the founders of this nation were all Christians and that this nation was found on christian principles. Which anybody who knows anything about the Founding Fathers knows that those claims are bullshit.

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dassercha wrote: I'm just

dassercha wrote:
I'm just sick of the back-and-forth on this subject b/w both camps. Not just here, but talkshows, etc.
It's a moot point. Who cares how xian or not they were? That was then. This is now. Let's move on. It's the 21st century--they provided a framework, now it's our job to expand upon that, NOT get caught up in, "but, but Washington (or whomever) would have NEVER done/said THAT!"
Get over it!

This reminds me of a few things heard before,

1. Who cares if there was a holocaust?

2. The holocaust didn't happen. 

I think we should be as accurate as we can with history.

Sounds made up...
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dassercha
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Look, maybe I haven't been

Look, maybe I haven't been clear.

I've found that most fundies try to find certain private writings to make their case. Yes, we've established that what they WROTE to found this country is imperative (Constitution, etc)--you get no argument from me there.

I'm saying: stop giving the fundies ammo. You quote one founder's private writings or speech, they quote another--it becomes a battle & no one wins in the end. Sure, you can damn well try to convince them, but we all know how that goes.

This country looks a lot different than back then. Should we not rely on CURRENT trends of thought rather than relying on what these well-intentioned quasi-deist/xian/atheist blah blah founders thought and wrote in their private time?

(edited for attempted clarity) 

EDUCATION! EDUCATION! EDUCATION!