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Thread: Rediscovering God in America

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Rediscovering God in America

    What are your thoughts on the ideas in Newt Gingrich’s Book Rediscovering God in America? I watched a bit of a report about the book and some of the stuff behind it. From what I have heard about it, it sounds like the supreme court back in the 70’s took the “Separation of Church and State” way out of context which opened up the floodgates for an all out invasion by the anti-religion liberal population on what appears to have been an important foundational element in the creation of this fine country.
    If you're not growing, you're dying. - Lou Holtz

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    If one hasn't read the book, they can't really make informed commentary on what Mr. Gingrich had to say in it. And since I haven't I won't. I think, however, your comment about the 'anti-religion liberal population' is a gross mischaracterization. Now if you were to say 'anti-state-sponsored-religion' instead, you'd be closer to the mark.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    If one hasn't read the book, they can't really make informed commentary on what Mr. Gingrich had to say in it. And since I haven't I won't. I think, however, your comment about the 'anti-religion liberal population' is a gross mischaracterization. Now if you were to say 'anti-state-sponsored-religion' instead, you'd be closer to the mark.
    Well as an overview, just about all of the monuments in DC have some mention of God in them, (including the Washington Memorial which has a few prayers inside of it) and the Supreme Court even has two places where the 10 commandments are posted.

    Additionally, the capital building and other public governmental buildings have been used for prayer and religious services in the past. Ben Franklin even suggested that each session of Congress be stated with a prayer asking for God to guide them.

    However I think that you might be right... I should have said the far left liberal extremists who want a complete separation of faith/religion and public/government.
    If you're not growing, you're dying. - Lou Holtz

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    it sounds like the supreme court back in the 70’s took the “Separation of Church and State” way out of context which opened up the floodgates for an all out invasion by the anti-religion liberal population on what appears to have been an important foundational element in the creation of this fine country.
    As a Conservative, you probably have touted and are proud of the FREEDOM we Americans enjoy, right Skis?

    Why can't I, as a Liberal, enjoy the FREEDOM to not have "God" (as some see it) shoved down my throat?

    Your statement has soured me. Sorry I'm being so Un-American.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post
    As a Conservative, you probably have touted and are proud of the FREEDOM we Americans enjoy, right Skis?

    Why can't I, as a Liberal, enjoy the FREEDOM to not have "God" (as some see it) shoved down my throat?

    Your statement has soured me. Sorry I'm being so Un-American.
    See that is were the confusion starts... by eliminating “Under God” from the pledge that eliminates the freedom for me to say “Under God” while keeping it in does not demand that you say those two words, or any of the words. Additionally, posting of the 10 commandments in a court house is not limiting your freedom to not read them, but the elimination does prevent me from reviewing these God given laws and regulations on which much of society’s laws are based.

    I see it like this; people have the right to protest these things or to not participate in any of the religious aspects. However by preventing others to make these statements is in fact a violation of my rights.

    For the most part, the founding fathers were very faithful men... of different faiths. They did not feel that one faith should overshadow any other faith nor be officially endorsed by the government. However Christians or Jewish some aspect is still the overwhelmingly majority of the nation. However for the non-christen residents there are still often a deity of choice that they believe is translated to their “GOD” of choice.
    If you're not growing, you're dying. - Lou Holtz

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Mski, if you and Newt are that unhappy with the situation why not pursue an Amendment to the Constitution which would allow the Federal government to adopt Hinduism, Hare Krishna, Islam, Christianity, or whatever as the State Religion and then y'all could freely incorporate as many relgious practices or make any State Religious Decrees ya see fit. Seems fair enough. Oh, and since much of the early history of this country is founded upon the institution of slavery maybe you could at the same time repeal that and undo the evils commited by Lincoln as well?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Mski, if you and Newt are that unhappy with the situation why not pursue an Amendment to the Constitution which would allow the Federal government to adopt Hinduism, Hare Krishna, Islam, Christianity, or whatever as the State Religion and then y'all could freely incorporate as many relgious practices or make any State Religious Decrees ya see fit. Seems fair enough. Oh, and since much of the early history of this country is founded upon the institution of slavery maybe you could at the same time repeal that and undo the evils commited by Lincoln as well?
    I don’t think that they should establish a national religion. (A national language, yes, but that is a different debate). I think that no person should be permitted to prevent another from any religious expression.

    Is your wallet going to be worse off because Money has “In God We Trust” on it? What about the president praying before a decided former president as he lays in repose at the capital building... will the God of a different faith strike him down?

    The allowing of religion in government does not establish a national religion, it just allows for people to be faithful of what ever faith they practice. If it is a different faith, then they should not be required to say or read specific aspects.
    If you're not growing, you're dying. - Lou Holtz

  8. #8
    Everyone knows that this country was founded on Christian principles and due to Christians escape from persecution in England (at least that's what they taught us in school). That's why all our money says "in God we trust".
    There was is no mention of Allah, Muhammad, Confusious or anyone else, at least not on my money..................
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

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    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ssnyderjr View post
    Everyone knows that this country was founded on Christian principles and due to Christians escape from persecution in England (at least that's what they taught us in school). That's why all our money says "in God we trust".
    There was is no mention of Allah, Muhammad, Confusious or anyone else, at least not on my money..................

    That sounds backwards to me. Last time I checked, most of our founding father's were not christian and the reason we have the whole "separation of church and state" thing is due to the religious persecution which people came here to escape.

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I guess the bottom line for me is that I fail to see how public professions of one's personal religious beliefs (or even devout lack thereof) in the course of the performance of governmental activities benefits anyone. How is that starting a Planning Commission meeting with an invocation like "In the name of Allah/Jehova/God/Vishnu/Angramanyu-Uhura Mazda/Loki, etc. we beg your divine guidance and wisdom blah blah blah...." or even if an atheist starts out the meeting with some similar profession of personal religious beliefs like "Since there is no irrefutable proof that can be presented to demonstrate the existance of any diety, we begin this meeting blah blah blah..."

    I'm sorry it seems a bit pointless and probably to most people even mildly offensive if the speaker happens to be professing religious beliefs the listener does not hold themselves. Unless someone can demonstrate to me how exactly such professions of beliefs benefit the general public I'd just as soon never have to hear 'em.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    All or nothing.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  12. #12

    OFF TOPIC, but not really

    Is it a coincidence that (in the 90's) when prayer, the pledge of allegiance and spanking were taken out of schools, the school shootings started occuring?????
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    The 90s?

    ^^ I don't remember prayer in school during the 1980s when I went. Nor spanking. And we said the pledge of allegience as well.

    Plus the rash of school violence and the otherwise degradation of modern youth and society could be attributed to a myriad of other factors as well. I don't think it is limited to not being forced to say something to God everyday, or getting hit (yes, it is HITTING) when you viloate a rule.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    I thought the pledge was still recited in school. As far as spanking, that was taken out of schools long before the 90's. I never once had prayers in school - and that dates back to before the 90's.

    This whole thing is ridiculous - from both sides. I could care less whether our money says in God we Trust or whether the pledge includes the words under God. But I also am highly offended by the suggestions and statements that this country is a christian nation. Bush 41 once famously said that non-Christians shouldn't have the same rights as citizens, yet it was Jefferson who stated multiple times that this country was not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.

    Newt is a self-important arrogant piece of poop.

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ssnyderjr View post
    Is it a coincidence that (in the 90's) when prayer, the pledge of allegiance and spanking were taken out of schools, the school shootings started occuring?????
    There IS some positive correlation between those two phenomenon. There's also a positive correlation between the divorce rate doubling and the adoption/inclusion of the phrase 'one nation under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance since 1954. I suppose in either instance, though, one would have to do alot of explaining to the folks on this forum to convince them that a positive correlation is the same thing as a causal relationship in these or any other instances.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    yet it was Jefferson who stated multiple times that this country was not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.
    I have been searching for information on that all day and only found one letter saying something about a wall between church and government... written as he was on his way to a church service at the capital building.

    Where is this information?
    If you're not growing, you're dying. - Lou Holtz

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Where is this information?
    Numerous sources available. Here's the first one I found. http://monotheism.us/
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    I always wondered how this state could have a licence plate that says "Choose Life" and not have one that says "Pro-Choice". I figured somebody would have gotten pissed off and sued the state.


    I am amazed at how some of these municipalities here haven't been sued for having prayer said before meetings. But then I remembered I live in Little Baby Jeebus Kuntry.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  20. #20
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Rumpy Tunanator View post
    But then I remembered I live in Little Baby Jeebus Kuntry.
    Don't you mean 8 pound, 6 ounce baby jeebus?\

    Seriously, I do not see how or why people think that we need to put god into everything. I don't think that it is anyone else's business on whether I need to be saved, or blessed before a planning commission, etc. I also hate the fact that some places require citing the pledge (like all public schools in Utah, it is a state law) I doubt that our country is better off because of it. In fact, I think you can argue that we are worse off today than we were in the 1950's when god was put into the pledge. Why can't we just accept that people have different believes and let them have their believes?

    I haven't read his book, and probably won't. I also think it is rediculous to lump people who don't want to pray in school, say under god in the pledge, go to church, etc. into an "anti religion category" I am all for religion if it gives people something to believe in and makes them better people, I just want those to recognize that my beliefs are different than theirs.

    Seriously, our country needs to reevaluate what are core values are. I am willing to bet that conservatives and liberals have the same basic core values and that we often mirepresent issues so that they focus on something that is not the core of the problem.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    I think that no person should be permitted to prevent another from any religious expression.

    Is your wallet going to be worse off because Money has “In God We Trust” on it? What about the president praying before a decided former president as he lays in repose at the capital building... will the God of a different faith strike him down?

    The allowing of religion in government does not establish a national religion, it just allows for people to be faithful of what ever faith they practice. If it is a different faith, then they should not be required to say or read specific aspects.
    All of your reasonings are related to personal decisions and personal acts of faith. All are not mandated (as it is in the pledge) to be done. I can worship in any way I like. I can worship to any god.

    The president praying over another president is a CITIZEN praying over a CITIZEN. Bush does not represent the country, to me, in that instance. However, invoking the word of God or gods name when declaring public policy or during an address is representing the country
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    See that is were the confusion starts... by eliminating “Under God” from the pledge that eliminates the freedom for me to say “Under God” while keeping it in does not demand that you say those two words, or any of the words. Additionally, posting of the 10 commandments in a court house is not limiting your freedom to not read them, but the elimination does prevent me from reviewing these God given laws and regulations on which much of society’s laws are based.
    The "under God" phrase in the plege of allegiance was added in the 1950's whereas the original was drafted by a Baptist Minister (and Christian Socialist, interestingly) in the late 19th century. Francis Bellamy labored extensively over the text and, being a minister himself, came to the decision NOT to explicitly mention God. This, to me, says something very significant since this was a man whose chosen profession was religious.

    Personally, I think the suggestion that you just close your eyes or not recite certain portions that appeal to a select part of the population should be the other way around. This information should not be presented in these contexts to begin with, but if you want to use prayer for inspiration in your political decision making or as the basis for making moral and ethical decisions - more power to you. We all use different methods to determine the "right thing to do" but I do believe that providing it with a state-sanctioned (and tax-payer funded) formality is just not cool. Otherwise, the messge to me is: "You can believe what you want - but this is the official way."

    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    I see it like this; people have the right to protest these things or to not participate in any of the religious aspects. However by preventing others to make these statements is in fact a violation of my rights.
    I disagree. No one is preventing anyone from worshipping in this country or pulicly professing their faith. Many politicians have run on platforms that exclaim just that - from Lieberman and Bush to Jimmy Carter, to name just a few. Religious non-profits also enjoy more benefits and tax-breaks than many non-religious non-profits (as a recent NYT study showed) and so are already given quite a lot of support to do the work they do in a conducive and encouraging atmosphere. I see no evidence that freedom of religion is under attack in the US. Also, no one is saying that to be a politician one must recant religious beliefs. Again, wherever people need to go to find the guidance they need to make important decisions is great with me, be it church, synagogue, mosque, or the back porch for a smoke.

    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    For the most part, the founding fathers were very faithful men... of different faiths. They did not feel that one faith should overshadow any other faith nor be officially endorsed by the government. However Christians or Jewish some aspect is still the overwhelmingly majority of the nation. However for the non-christen residents there are still often a deity of choice that they believe is translated to their “GOD” of choice.
    Given that, is it necessary to use these terms or house moral and ethical discussions in religious clothing? Isn't the law an attempt to do just this, even though it is based largely on universal ideas of morality expressed in most every religion? To me "we hold these truths to be self-evident" does not suffer from not including God in the discussion, even though many at the time would have said that religion was the basis for articulating what they saw as just and fair.

    I think the biggest danger we experience with religion and politics is when faith (especially the specific take on a contemporary issue) is used to impose harmful actions on others. A good example is the removal of the use of condoms as a viable and effective way to protect unwanted pregnancies and STDs (especially HIV and AIDS) from any federaly-funded materials. This language has been removed from all CDC materials (including that which is distributed in our public school cystems) and US aid abroad prevents practitioners from discussing these issues as part of the services they deliver. The literature does not say "this is the most effectve way to prevent disease or unwanted preganancy, but if it is against your religion, you may consider these other options." It simply omits the information, leading people to figure it out from other sources. This is insanity in my mind and a terribly abusive use of "religion" in a political context. The president may believe it is so, but is it fair to impact the rest of us because his religion compels him to? Does he not have a larger obligation to serve the needs of ALL Americans, regardless of their faith?

    BTW, I am a Quaker, married to a Jew. We go to synagogue and meeting, but not every week and I would not call us "devout." Despite this, I feel religion has enough room to grow and flourish without being tied up with politics. In fact, I would say it is better that way.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rumpy Tunanator View post
    I am amazed at how some of these municipalities here haven't been sued for having prayer said before meetings. But then I remembered I live in Little Baby Jeebus Kuntry.
    It happened in Great Falls, South Carolina....http://www.religioustolerance.org/wicgf.htm

    I was a student of a neighboring county's administrator at the time and he had a difficult time explaining to his assistant administrator who is also an ordained minister why she couldn't mention Jeebus in her invocation any more.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I have a very simplistic view. If the Founding Fathers had wanted our nation to be Christian only, we would have restrictions on the establishment of any other religion and a ban on immigrants of other faiths. "Under God" does not mean the Catholic God. And we'd be ruled like the Ayatollah Khomeini.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian gicarto's avatar
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    I am interested in seeing what Newt Gingrich has to say. I have listened to many of his US History lectures in the past and I even met him once. Gingrich does not strike me as a Christian. He strikes me as an agnostic who believes in a higher power and I don't think that radical Christianity effects much of his political opinions. I think I will give it a shot.

    Here is what I think. I am an agnostic and I believe that I have a minority opinion (compared to other Americans) about religion. I do believe that America was founded on religious freedom and the belief that the human spirit comes from a higher power. Even I can't thwart that!

    I don't think there is a problem with having "Under God" in the pledge. I just don't say it.
    Trying to get my grubby hands on as much stimulus money as I can.:D

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