PDA

View Full Version : Was the US founded on Judeo-Christian values? If so, which ones?


Linden Arden
10-25-2011, 10:02 PM
I often hear pundits make this claim yet they never attempt to back it up. Is it true?

I cannot find any uniquely Judeo-Christian values in the Constitution or the Declaration. The values in the latter tend to be hedonistic if anything (Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness).

Can the argument be made for such?

Trinopus
10-25-2011, 10:51 PM
The Constitution is secular -- freedom of religion, no religious test to hold office, etc.

The society embraced Christian values, as nearly all citizens were Christians. Faith, Hope, Charity were pretty much universally held to be the highest moral values.

But one quickly finds sectarian differences... Is "Hard Work" a Christian value, or merely a "Western" value? How universal was the Calvinist view of mankind as intrinsically sinful? Some would have said yes...but many would have said no. The Quakers and the Calvinists, both Christian, would have seen many things very differently.

By and large, the claim "America was founded on Christian Values" is a slogan used by those who do not favor separation of church and state. It's a shibboleth of the conservative Christian Right, designed to return to the days of mandatory school prayer. And so, to that degree, not only no, but hell no.

Trinopus

Der Trihs
10-25-2011, 11:14 PM
"Convert or kill all unbelievers" is a Christian value that America was certainly founded on. Just ask the Native Americans, or the blacks kidnapped from Africa and force-fed Christianity. "Women are less than human" is another Christian value America embraced for a very long time. Another would be "we are the chosen people of God and anyone who opposes us is a servant of Satan".

Qin Shi Huangdi
10-25-2011, 11:50 PM
[QUOTE=Der Trihs;14395531]"Convert or kill all unbelievers" is a Christian value that America was certainly founded on. Just ask the Native Americans, or the blacks kidnapped from Africa and force-fed Christianity.

Bullshit. Missionaries and evangelicals fought against the slave trade and things like the Trail of Tears.

"Women are less than human" is another Christian value America embraced for a very long time.

Again considering other cultures in 1800 were binding women's feet and stuffing them in harems, the US was fairly enlightened to say the least.

Really Not All That Bright
10-25-2011, 11:50 PM
I cannot find any uniquely Judeo-Christian values in the Constitution or the Declaration.
There are no uniquely Judeo-Christian values. More or less every society throughout history considered killing and theft bad, babies good, and so on.

Anyway, your first instinct is correct: the US was founded as a republic, which is pretty much antithetical to Christian thought for most of history.

The Flying Dutchman
10-25-2011, 11:52 PM
"Convert or kill all unbelievers" is a Christian value that America was certainly founded on.


I challenge you to cite the "convert or kill" in the Tanakh or the Christian Bible.

I challenge you to cite the "convert or kill" in the founding documents of the US.

smiling bandit
10-25-2011, 11:54 PM
Anyway, your first instinct is correct: the US was founded as a republic, which is pretty much antithetical to Christian thought for most of history.

There have probably been more explicitly Christian Republics than in any other religion in history, even if you count the pantheistic religions as one big lump. Italy alone had them by the dozen.

Qin Shi Huangdi
10-25-2011, 11:55 PM
There are no uniquely Judeo-Christian values. More or less every society throughout history considered killing and theft bad, babies good, and so on.

Anyway, your first instinct is correct: the US was founded as a republic, which is pretty much antithetical to Christian thought for most of history.

No it is not. The Hebrew state before the establishment of the monarchy was a republic. The Puritans desired a republic and got one, the Dutch Calvinists established a republic, and John Calvin's Geneva was a republic.

Der Trihs
10-26-2011, 12:46 AM
Bullshit. Missionaries and evangelicals fought against the slave trade and things like the Trail of Tears.And supported them as well.

I challenge you to cite the "convert or kill" in the Tanakh or the Christian Bible.

I challenge you to cite the "convert or kill" in the founding documents of the US.First; the Bible just goes with "kill"; "convert" is a later option. And second, what does that have to do with anything? "Christian values" are those values believed in and practiced by Christians, most of which don't have a great deal to do with the Bible, and most of which originate well after it was written.

Linden Arden
10-26-2011, 01:12 AM
There is no doubt Judeo-Christian values existed in the US during that time period. The question was about the founding as that would be forward looking. It appears that the US was intended to be a fully secular nation. As all here no doubt know, there is a movement to create historical falsehoods by certain political factions.

rat avatar
10-26-2011, 06:20 AM
I challenge you to cite the "convert or kill" in the Tanakh or the Christian Bible.

I challenge you to cite the "convert or kill" in the founding documents of the US.

Mostly kill, they are easy to find.

Exodus 22:20
Exodus 31:14
Exodus 32:27-29
Lev 25:44-46
Num 14:43-45
Num 33:50-52
Deu 3:6
Deu 13:6-10
Deu 7:2
Deu 12:30
Deu 13:1-5
Deu 17:2-7
Kings 3:19-25
2 chron 28:6

BrassyPhrase
10-26-2011, 06:46 AM
I thought they were Deists?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism

newcomer
10-26-2011, 07:19 AM
and John Calvin's Geneva was a republic. :dubious:

If there was a contest to select the most perfect theocratic dictatorship in history... that would be John Calvin's Geneva.

But, yeah, "republic" sounds real cool and worthy.

SenorBeef
10-26-2011, 07:43 AM
Again considering other cultures in 1800 were binding women's feet and stuffing them in harems, the US was fairly enlightened to say the least.

Wait, are we defining "Christian values" by the stuff in the Bible, which explicitly commands the subjugation of women, or the cultures that tend towards Christianity, which may at different times enforce or forget the subjugation of women stuff as is convenient? Because treating women as second class citizens certainly does seem to be explicit.




As for this topic, I've heard some extremely stupid arguments along the lines of "of course we should keep the ten commandments at every courthouse! Our entire system of laws is based on Christianity! Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, those are right from the ten commandments!"

Because, right, societies couldn't figure out on their own that not making a law against murder and theft would be bad. It took the enlightenment of Christianity to bring us to that point. Our entire system of laws is based on Christianity. I mean, everything from how to zone commercial districts to tax laws for offshore businesses to car airbag regulations come right from the Bible.

monavis
10-26-2011, 08:00 AM
It seems to me that Christian values came from other sorces as well. Buddaha Golden rule came 500 years BC, and that pretty much sums up the last 7 commandments. Too many Christians today give lip service, but ignore a lot of what they were taught that Jesus taught,like:" sell what you have and give it to the poor,then come and follow me" "Be good to your enemies, etc." today it has a pick and choose philosophy for many. If all Christians lived as they were taught how Jesus was said to live, we would have no wars or little need for police men, jails etc..

Thudlow Boink
10-26-2011, 09:09 AM
I cannot find any uniquely Judeo-Christian values in the Constitution or the Declaration. The values in the latter tend to be hedonistic if anything (Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness).Are you sure you don't mean humanistic? Hedonism means pursuit of pleasure as one's main goal in life; and that's not what Jefferson meant by "happiness."

Really Not All That Bright
10-26-2011, 09:12 AM
No it is not. The Hebrew state before the establishment of the monarchy was a republic. The Puritans desired a republic and got one, the Dutch Calvinists established a republic, and John Calvin's Geneva was a republic.
I said "most of history". Don't take it personally; it was pretty much antithetical to all religious thought for most of history.

Geneva wasn't a "republic". It had a democratically elected city government, which existed long before Calvin got there.

smiling bandit
10-26-2011, 09:16 AM
I thought they were Deists?

Some were, though even they were rather heavily Christian Deists. But righ among the Founding Fathers you have ministers and preachers alongside lawyers and soldiers.

Sevastopol
10-26-2011, 09:22 AM
The thing about the Religious Right is they're ignorant. Proudly so in general, but they aren't even competent at theology.

A simple amateur like me ... "Render unto Caesar ..." and they're outclassed.

ITR champion
10-26-2011, 11:51 AM
There are no uniquely Judeo-Christian values. More or less every society throughout history considered killing and theft bad, babies good, and so on.
This is nowhere close to true. In many primitive and ancient societies, killing or theft or both were permitted in some or all cases. Sometimes they were institutionalized. As for babies always being considered good, not even close. To give one example, in Ancient Greece and Rome in Pagan times, it was legal for the male head of household to kill his wife, kids, slaves, or anyone else in the household. Infanticide was also common. If you read Plato, Aristotle, and other leading intellects of those civilizations, you'll seem them advocating killing children who are deemed physically or mentally inferior for the sake of improving the race.

This all ended when Christianity took over western civilization. Infanticide was outlawed and laws were changed to give women and children the right to live and more personal freedoms. So, as those values persisted in western civilization directly through to the United States at its founding, the United States certainly did incorporate values that began with Christianity.

Geneva wasn't a "republic". It had a democratically elected city government, which existed long before Calvin got there.
Isn't a democratically elected government a republic?

Steve MB
10-26-2011, 12:02 PM
This is nowhere close to true. In many primitive and ancient societies, killing or theft or both were permitted in some or all cases. Sometimes they were institutionalized

Cite? (Note: a "cite" for a pagan institution that is paralleled by a Christian institution does not count in this context, for obvious reasons. For instance, "samurai were allowed to kill peasants who dissed them" doesn't cut it, as it is clearly paralleled by "Christian lords were allowed to execute peasants for lese majeste".)

smiling bandit
10-26-2011, 12:02 PM
Isn't a democratically elected government a republic?

Agreed. Subsequent events demonstrated that Geneva was a very good reflection of the charcter of its citizens.

rat avatar
10-26-2011, 12:03 PM
This is nowhere close to true. In many primitive and ancient societies, killing or theft or both were permitted in some or all cases. Sometimes they were institutionalized. As for babies always being considered good, not even close. To give one example, in Ancient Greece and Rome in Pagan times, it was legal for the male head of household to kill his wife, kids, slaves, or anyone else in the household. Infanticide was also common. If you read Plato, Aristotle, and other leading intellects of those civilizations, you'll seem them advocating killing children who are deemed physically or mentally inferior for the sake of improving the race.

This all ended when Christianity took over western civilization. Infanticide was outlawed and laws were changed to give women and children the right to live and more personal freedoms. So, as those values persisted in western civilization directly through to the United States at its founding, the United States certainly did incorporate values that began with Christianity.


Isn't a democratically elected government a republic?

And where in the bible is it wrong to kill babies?


Augustine had little respect for women and I would appreciate any evidence that the early church did not.

"I cannot think of any reason for woman's being made as man's helper, if we dismiss the reason of procreation."

"how much more agreeable it is for two male friends to dwell together than for a man and a woman!"

Steve MB
10-26-2011, 12:05 PM
"how much more agreeable it is for two male friends to dwell together than for a man and a woman!"

History doth not record whether he found women deficient in luggage-lifting capacity.

OttoDaFe
10-26-2011, 12:45 PM
The thing about the Religious Right is they're ignorant. Proudly so in general, but they aren't even competent at theology.

A simple amateur like me ... "Render unto Caesar ..." and they're outclassed.You are aware, are you not, that the whole "Render unto Caesar" story is a liberal corruption of what Jesus actually taught? Fortunately, the Conservative Bible Project (http://conservapedia.com/Conservative_Bible_Project) has finished the New Testament, so the truth is out there. Their noble aims:
Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias. For example, the Living Bible translation has liberal evolutionary bias; the widely used NIV translation has a pro-abortion bias.
Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, "gender inclusive" language, and other feminist distortions; preserve many references to the unborn child (the NIV deletes these).
Not Dumbed Down: not dumbing down the reading level, or diluting the intellectual force and logic of Christianity; the NIV is written at only the 7th grade level.
Utilize Terms which better capture original intent: using powerful new conservative terms to capture better the original intent; Defective translations use the word "comrade" three times as often as "volunteer;" similarly, updating words that have a change in meaning, such as "word", "peace", and "miracle."
Combat Harmful Addiction: combating addiction by using modern terms for it, such as "gamble" rather than "cast lots"; using modern political terms, such as "register" rather than "enroll" for the census.
Accept the Logic of Hell: applying logic with its full force and effect, as in not denying or downplaying the very real existence of Hell or the Devil.
Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning.
Exclude Later-Inserted Inauthentic Passages: excluding the interpolated passages that liberals commonly put their own spin on, such as the adulteress story.
Credit Open-Mindedness of Disciples: crediting open-mindedness, often found in youngsters like the eyewitnesses Mark and John, the authors of two of the Gospels.
Prefer Conciseness over Liberal Wordiness: preferring conciseness to the liberal style of high word-to-substance ratio; avoid compound negatives and unnecessary ambiguities; prefer concise, consistent use of the word "Lord" rather than "Jehovah" or "Yahweh" or "Lord God."

ITR champion
10-26-2011, 01:10 PM
Cite? (Note: a "cite" for a pagan institution that is paralleled by a Christian institution does not count in this context, for obvious reasons. For instance, "samurai were allowed to kill peasants who dissed them" doesn't cut it, as it is clearly paralleled by "Christian lords were allowed to execute peasants for lese majeste".)
I've already given examples. Infanticide in ancient Greece and Rome (http://www.wou.edu/las/socsci/history/thesis%2008/MindyNicholsThesis.pdf). The fact that a Roman male head of household held power of life and death over everyone in the household, under the law known as Patria Potestas (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/secondary/SMIGRA*/Patria_Potestas.html). Of course there are other examples, the best known being that in ancient Rome people were forced to fight to the death with each other and animals for public entertainment. Then there was unit decimation, in which an army unit would draw straws and one tenth were chosen to be killed, while the other nine tenths were required to do the killing.

Farmer Jane
10-26-2011, 01:14 PM
Of course. It's impossible to separate culture from the founding of a new nation. It doesn't mean that our law should be Christian law, but it had influence. *shrug* The only time I have a problem with that notion is when someone asserts that we need to 'stay true' to 17th C Christian values.

I'm completely biased here, but Jewish law is a cornerstone of Western Civilization. Or at least our legal systems. ;)

//half-joking

˝a˝i
10-26-2011, 01:19 PM
Separation of Church and State dates back to the "Two Swords" doctrine, and based on how it came to pass in the US, I'm comfortable with describing it as coming from "Christian values." This also goes more broadly for the liberty of conscience principles. I don't see how we can get to them in their American contexts without noting the debates and evolutions within American Christianity (and European Christianity) from which they emerged. Journeys are important too, not just the final conclusion.

rat avatar
10-26-2011, 02:09 PM
I've already given examples. Infanticide in ancient Greece and Rome (http://www.wou.edu/las/socsci/history/thesis%2008/MindyNicholsThesis.pdf). The fact that a Roman male head of household held power of life and death over everyone in the household, under the law known as Patria Potestas (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/secondary/SMIGRA*/Patria_Potestas.html). Of course there are other examples, the best known being that in ancient Rome people were forced to fight to the death with each other and animals for public entertainment. Then there was unit decimation, in which an army unit would draw straws and one tenth were chosen to be killed, while the other nine tenths were required to do the killing.

Like the decimation Moses committed to the Levites?

Or the murder of Crispus and Fausta By Constantine?

The prohibitory stance on infanticide was a Jewish cultural choice that Jesus actually called the priests out on as not following the scripture.

smiling bandit
10-26-2011, 03:17 PM
Like the decimation...

You know that none of your examples are Christian, right? I mean, I don't care about the argument, but if you're trying to use examples of systematic Christian evil, you kinda missed the point.

ITR champion
10-26-2011, 03:36 PM
The prohibitory stance on infanticide was a Jewish cultural choice that Jesus actually called the priests out on as not following the scripture.
No, actually you just made that up. As for your other two sentence fragmnets, I see zero relevance of them to the topic of this thread.

MEBuckner
10-26-2011, 06:08 PM
In many primitive and ancient societies, killing or theft or both were permitted in some or all cases.
I do not believe there has ever been a society in all of human history where killing and theft were simply permitted. What human beings have greatly struggled with is extending the universal prohibitions against killing and theft to "others", to people outside the society. A long history of Christian crusaders, conquistadors, and colonizers demonstrates that the Christianization of the Roman Empire and post-Roman Europe certainly did not lead to a quick and easy shift to the recognition of universal human rights, even for people who are not members of our own tribe, city, religion, or nation. Many Christians over the centuries had no problem with killing other people, enslaving the survivors, and taking their loot--as long as the victims were "pagans" or "heretics".

The fact that a Roman male head of household held power of life and death over everyone in the household, under the law known as Patria Potestas (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/secondary/SMIGRA*/Patria_Potestas.html). Of course there are other examples, the best known being that in ancient Rome people were forced to fight to the death with each other and animals for public entertainment. Then there was unit decimation, in which an army unit would draw straws and one tenth were chosen to be killed, while the other nine tenths were required to do the killing.
The end of Patria Potestas over members of one's household may be a genuine shift from pagan to Christian values. However, as late as the 18th century, Christians were still asserting a right to kill slaves as a matter of convenience (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zong_Massacre). As for decimation and so on--those were punishments, meted out to people considered criminals (including religious dissidents). Christian societies certainly continued for many centuries to carry out capital punishment, often by extremely gruesome methods, and for all sorts of offenses that we would now consider relatively trivial or not even crimes at all (including the "crime" of dissenting against the established religion--the same as the pagan Roman Empire once did to Christians).

rat avatar
10-26-2011, 06:36 PM
No, actually you just made that up. As for your other two sentence fragmnets, I see zero relevance of them to the topic of this thread.

You may want to look at the sticky before you claim I am lie.

If anyone claims that their religion is the SOURCE of values they need to prove that their religion teaches those values vs the culture at large being responsible for them.

You have ignored the request for a cite in the bible that denounces infanticide, so your claim just as useless.

Tacitus said that Jews "regard it as a crime to kill any late-born children."

Josephus speaking of Jewish custom claimed it "forbids women to cause abortion of what is begotten, or to destroy it afterward."

So we have evidence that:

a) Jews, previous to the arrival of Christ denounced infanticide

b) they did so outside of scripture

As another posted out decimation is was an Abrahamic practice and is well documented in scripture.

Constantine, the organizer of the meeting for the first counsel, the ruler that gave Christianity it's hold on Europe, killed his adult child and wife to appease his mother shortly after doing so. Yet he his still held in high esteem in most church.

I would say this hurts your claim that that morality came from the church

Without the scripture I would say it was the people who became less brutal, and IMHO it was probably due in part to the rise of Epicureanism around the same time.

rat avatar
10-26-2011, 08:19 PM
snip

Sorry people, I pulled an all nighter at work last night and my dyslexia won over on my repeated spelling/grammar check.


But to answer the OP,

It would depend on what you think of as "values"

As for the form of government I would say no it has its grounds in the theory of "social contract"

This IMHO is an outgrowth of humanism, and mostly not the secular kind.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau's "The Social Contract" was probably a large influence, as it was released about 10 years before the revolution.

Although its contents probably did not reach the average person until after the war had started and Thomas Pain released "Common Sense"

He is probably the best person to be credited for non-landowners being granted suffrage and it was a highly radical idea at the time.

Many of these individuals were deists, no self asserted atheists that I know of although even being a deist cost Thomas Pain a lot so they may have been "closeted"

We for the most part adopted British common law, and that may be an indicator of morality but that was most likely just more practical.

Obviously most immigrants were Christian, but that label is so broad it is hard to ascribe any morality to a person based on that label, but I do not think our system of government and basic concept of justice (if you were white) was based on any biblical pretext, but I am open to being convinced otherwise.

I would argue that our work ethic probably does derive from the puritans who in an attempt to avoid the reformation suffered greatly to displace the native populations and establish agriculture etc...

Obviously I am touching on a broad bunch of subjects here, but do you have a clarification on what form of morality you are asking about?

Or are you talking about the US being mostly Christian? if so the Great Awakenings may be what you are looking for?

Qin Shi Huangdi
10-26-2011, 09:13 PM
:dubious:

If there was a contest to select the most perfect theocratic dictatorship in history... that would be John Calvin's Geneva.

But, yeah, "republic" sounds real cool and worthy.

A republic is a mere absence of a monarchy.

[QUOTE=SenorBeef;14396179]Wait, are we defining "Christian values" by the stuff in the Bible, which explicitly commands the subjugation of women, or the cultures that tend towards Christianity, which may at different times enforce or forget the subjugation of women stuff as is convenient? Because treating women as second class citizens certainly does seem to be explicit.

No it merely argues that men is the head of the family, not its absolute dictator who can beat his wife or whatnot.




I said "most of history". Don't take it personally; it was pretty much antithetical to all religious thought for most of history.

Geneva wasn't a "republic". It had a democratically elected city government, which existed long before Calvin got there.

A republic is merely an absence of a monarchy.

tomndebb
10-26-2011, 10:09 PM
A republic is a mere absence of a monarchy.

A republic is merely an absence of a monarchy.Repeating nonsense does not make it more true with repetition.

There are many forms of government that are not monarchic yet are not republican.
A short list would inlcude tribal, plutocratic, oligarchic, full democracy, or anarchic, (although that last one will never survive long). For that matter, depending on the definition one uses to identify monarchy, even despotism is different than monarchy.

So, your repeated sentence has no validity.

Qin Shi Huangdi
10-26-2011, 10:16 PM
Repeating nonsense does not make it more true with repetition.

There are many forms of government that are not monarchic yet are not republican.
A short list would inlcude tribal, plutocratic, oligarchic, full democracy, or anarchic, (although that last one will never survive long). For that matter, depending on the definition one uses to identify monarchy, even despotism is different than monarchy.

So, your repeated sentence has no validity.

No, republic in its literal sense means there is no monarch. So yes Stalin's USSR was a republic.

SenorBeef
10-26-2011, 10:26 PM
This has been another episode in thread-wrecking pedanticism by Qin Shi Huangdi[. If you've enjoyed the preceeding episode, please punch a baby.

John Mace
10-27-2011, 10:20 AM
It's pretty clear that the federal government was founded to be explicitly secular. Not so much for the states, though, until later in the 19th century. Massachusetts, for example, had wording such as this in its constitution, that you certainly wouldn't find in the federal version:

Article III. As the happiness of a people and the good order and preservation of civil government essentially depend upon piety, religion, and morality, and as these cannot be generally diffused through a community but by the institution of the public worship of God and of the public instructions in piety, religion, and morality: Therefore, To promote their happiness and to secure the good order and preservation of their government, the people of this commonwealth have a right to invest their legislature with power to authorize and require, and the legislature shall, from time to time, authorize and require, the several towns, parishes, precincts, and other bodies-politic or religious societies to make suitable provision, at their own expense, for the institution of the public worship of God and for the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion, and morality in all cases where such provision shall not be made voluntarily.

And the people of this commonwealth have also a right to, and do, invest their legislature with authority to enjoin upon all the subject an attendance upon the instructions of the public teachers aforesaid, at stated times and seasons, if there be any on whose instructions they can conscientiously and conveniently attend.

Provided, notwithstanding, That the several towns, parishes, precincts, and other bodies-politic, or religious societies, shall at all times have the exclusive right and electing their public teachers and of contracting with them for their support and maintenance.

And all moneys paid by the subject to the support of public worship and of public teachers aforesaid shall, if he require it, be uniformly applied to the support of the public teacher or teachers of his own religious sect or denomination, provided there be any on whose instructions he attends; otherwise it may be paid toward the support of the teacher or teachers of the parish or precinct in which the said moneys are raised.

And every denomination of Christians, demeaning themselves peaceably and as good subjects of the commonwealth, shall be equally under the protection of the law; and no subordination of any sect or denomination to another shall ever be established by law.

ITR champion
10-27-2011, 10:52 AM
You may want to look at the sticky before you claim I am lie.
I'm not claiming that you're lying, but rather that the statement you posted was untrue, which I'm very much allowed to do. You said: "The prohibitory stance on infanticide was a Jewish cultural choice that Jesus actually called the priests out on as not following the scripture." This is untrue. The fact that the Jews denounced infanticide is true, the claim that Jesus disagreed with this is flatly false. It's easy to read the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and verify that Jesus never did any such thing. Therefore your claim is wrong.

You have ignored the request for a cite in the bible that denounces infanticide, so your claim just as useless.
Well, I never said in this thread that the Bible denounces infanticide so there's no reason why I should provide a cite for it. (Though if I wanted to provide such a cite it would be easy. Luke 18:19 would be one of a great many possibilities.)

jayjay
10-27-2011, 10:54 AM
No, republic in its literal sense means there is no monarch.

Can you give any evidence of this? Or that this is the way the word has been used...ever? Actual evidence, please. "I read it somewhere" doesn't count.

Lobohan
10-27-2011, 10:59 AM
Well, I never said in this thread that the Bible denounces infanticide so there's no reason why I should provide a cite for it. (Though if I wanted to provide such a cite it would be easy. Luke 18:19 would be one of a great many possibilities.)I don't know which translation your sect favors, but I don't see anything about infanticide in this one:

Luke 18:19
19And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

ITR champion
10-27-2011, 11:34 AM
I do not believe there has ever been a society in all of human history where killing and theft were simply permitted. What human beings have greatly struggled with is extending the universal prohibitions against killing and theft to "others", to people outside the society. A long history of Christian crusaders, conquistadors, and colonizers demonstrates that the Christianization of the Roman Empire and post-Roman Europe certainly did not lead to a quick and easy shift to the recognition of universal human rights, even for people who are not members of our own tribe, city, religion, or nation. Many Christians over the centuries had no problem with killing other people, enslaving the survivors, and taking their loot--as long as the victims were "pagans" or "heretics".

The end of Patria Potestas over members of one's household may be a genuine shift from pagan to Christian values. However, as late as the 18th century, Christians were still asserting a right to kill slaves as a matter of convenience (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zong_Massacre). As for decimation and so on--those were punishments, meted out to people considered criminals (including religious dissidents). Christian societies certainly continued for many centuries to carry out capital punishment, often by extremely gruesome methods, and for all sorts of offenses that we would now consider relatively trivial or not even crimes at all (including the "crime" of dissenting against the established religion--the same as the pagan Roman Empire once did to Christians).
The topic under discussion here is whether the founders of the United States made the decisions that they made on Christian values. Regrading that discussion, your ability to list off a bunch of bad stuff that some Christians did sometime doesn't prove they didn't, and isn't really relevant here, though I'd be happy to debate the topic elsewhere. Furthermore, considering your claim that Christian societies had capital punishment for minor offenses, the same is true for the United States in its early years. Most law on this topic and countless others came from colonial times and its origins were in English law, either explicitly or implicitly. (If I recall correctly, Pennsylvania was the only state in which the death penalty was limited to murderers, and this decision was directly linked to the state's Quaker heritage.)

The question to ask, rather, is whether the founders, when making their decisions, used ideas and principles and values that came from Christianity and knew that they were doing so. The answer that most historians would give on the topic is a definite yes. For instance, the book A Brief History of the Presbyterians (http://www.amazon.com/History-Presbyterians-Lefferts-Augustine-Loetscher/dp/0664246222/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1319728602&sr=1-1) documents that early Calvinist and Presbyterian communities in different western European countries applied concepts including democracy and separation of powers and then traces how these ideas influenced the government of the colonies and then creation of the United States. Other concepts in American government come from elsewhere in Christian history. The founders did not invent the idea that an accused person would have the right to a defense lawyer, to call witnesses, to know the charges, and to face the accuser, and so forth. Some of these ideas existed in early form in ancient Judaism; all were developed in definite form in the courts of medieval Europe.

Now the founding fathers surely were knowledgeable about law, history, religion, and politics. They surely knew that the ideas they were putting at the basis of the American government did originate from Christianity, did not exist in ancient civilizations, and for the most part didn't exist in other contemporary civilizations. Thus it makes sense to say that they did, in fact, found the country on Judeo-Christian values.

ITR champion
10-27-2011, 11:37 AM
Lobohan: I made a mistake; I mean to post Luke 18:18-20.

A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’

gumpy3885
10-27-2011, 12:08 PM
It seems to me that the phrase used in the OP is usually meant to imply that the founders had no other values they used in forming their opinions and decisions. Of course their religious views factored into their opinions. But ALL of the delegates to the constitutional convention were extremely educated and well read. They were all familiar with different types of governments and philosophies. They were not trying to establish a "Christian" nation. They were trying to establish a common framework that would allow the nation to succeed and most of their arguments (if not all of them) didn't take religion into account at all.

rat avatar
10-27-2011, 01:30 PM
I'm not claiming that you're lying, but rather that the statement you posted was untrue, which I'm very much allowed to do. You said: "The prohibitory stance on infanticide was a Jewish cultural choice that Jesus actually called the priests out on as not following the scripture." This is untrue. The fact that the Jews denounced infanticide is true, the claim that Jesus disagreed with this is flatly false. It's easy to read the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and verify that Jesus never did any such thing. Therefore your claim is wrong.


Well, I never said in this thread that the Bible denounces infanticide so there's no reason why I should provide a cite for it. (Though if I wanted to provide such a cite it would be easy. Luke 18:19 would be one of a great many possibilities.)

Mark 7:9-13 and Matthew 15:3-4


He was aware of the rule, but I think he was mocking it.

Shodan
10-27-2011, 01:34 PM
Lobohan: I made a mistake; I mean to post Luke 18:18-20.
Perhaps you meant to post
Leviticus 18:21 ESV

You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.


Leviticus 20:1-5 ESV

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ôSay to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. I myself will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given one of his children to Molech, to make my sanctuary unclean and to profane my holy name. And if the people of the land do at all close their eyes to that man when he gives one of his children to Molech, and do not put him to death, then I will set my face against that man and against his clan and will cut them off from among their people, him and all who follow him in whoring after Molech.

2 Kings 21:2-6 ESV
And he burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.


Deuteronomy 12:31 ESV

You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.

Ezekiel 16:20-21 ESV

And you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your whorings so small a matter that you slaughtered my children and delivered them up as an offering by fire to them?



Ezekiel 20:31 ESV

When you present your gifts and offer up your children in fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, declares the Lord God, I will not be inquired of by you.

Jeremiah 7:31 ESV

And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind.

2 Kings 17:17-18 ESV

And they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings and used divination and omens and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.

Regards,
Shodan

MEBuckner
10-27-2011, 05:08 PM
The topic under discussion here is whether the founders of the United States made the decisions that they made on Christian values. Regrading that discussion, your ability to list off a bunch of bad stuff that some Christians did sometime doesn't prove they didn't, and isn't really relevant here, though I'd be happy to debate the topic elsewhere.
I wasn't actually directly addressing the topic in the OP, I was responding to your assertion:
In many primitive and ancient societies, killing or theft or both were permitted in some or all cases.
As I was pointing out, this is a fairly ridiculous assertion. There is no great black-and-white divide between the wicked pagan world, where theft and murder are acceptable, and the world of enlightened Christian virtue. To reiterate, all human societies ban killing people or taking their stuff; all human societies have exceptions to these rules (self-defense, capital punishment, or war; taxes or tribute); and in a great many human societies--including many Christian ones--unfortunately one set of exceptions to the rules of moral behavior has been that they don't apply to "others"--foreigners, strangers, barbarians, pagans, infidels--all too often it's been held to be perfectly OK to kill them and take their stuff. The rise of Christianity certainly didn't end that kind of thinking.
Furthermore, considering your claim that Christian societies had capital punishment for minor offenses, the same is true for the United States in its early years. Most law on this topic and countless others came from colonial times and its origins were in English law, either explicitly or implicitly. (If I recall correctly, Pennsylvania was the only state in which the death penalty was limited to murderers, and this decision was directly linked to the state's Quaker heritage.)
Yes, of course, Christianity influenced American legal thought. All too often, though, it was the bad stuff that could be and was defended on Christian or Biblical grounds: slavery, sodomy laws, inferior status for women. (Women in 19th-century America may have been better off than they were in some times and places, but they certainly could have had it better, and nowadays, as our society has become more secular, they do.)
The question to ask, rather, is whether the founders, when making their decisions, used ideas and principles and values that came from Christianity and knew that they were doing so. The answer that most historians would give on the topic is a definite yes. For instance, the book A Brief History of the Presbyterians (http://www.amazon.com/History-Presbyterians-Lefferts-Augustine-Loetscher/dp/0664246222/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1319728602&sr=1-1) documents that early Calvinist and Presbyterian communities in different western European countries applied concepts including democracy and separation of powers and then traces how these ideas influenced the government of the colonies and then creation of the United States. Other concepts in American government come from elsewhere in Christian history. The founders did not invent the idea that an accused person would have the right to a defense lawyer, to call witnesses, to know the charges, and to face the accuser, and so forth. Some of these ideas existed in early form in ancient Judaism; all were developed in definite form in the courts of medieval Europe.

Now the founding fathers surely were knowledgeable about law, history, religion, and politics. They surely knew that the ideas they were putting at the basis of the American government did originate from Christianity, did not exist in ancient civilizations, and for the most part didn't exist in other contemporary civilizations. Thus it makes sense to say that they did, in fact, found the country on Judeo-Christian values.
Was there no Judeo-Christian influence on American constitutional and political thought? That would be hard to defend. However, the American Revolution and the U.S. Constitution were very much a product of the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment was in large part a reaction against Christian Europe--of course, that in itself in a way means Christian values were an influence on Enlightenment and therefore American thought; if the Enlightenment has been reacting against, say, Hinduism, it would have had a different shape to it.

The idea of separation of powers, for example, can be traced to the writings of men like Baron de Montesquieu, who was very much an Enlightenment figure. There was much self-conscious looking back to classical (Greek and Roman) precedents in Enlightenment (and therefore American) political thought. (There's a reason why American government buildings have long looked like Greek and Roman edifices rather than Gothic cathedrals.)

Such principles as "that an accused person would have the right to a defense lawyer, to call witnesses, to know the charges, and to face the accuser, and so forth" are rooted in the Common Law of England. Thomas Jefferson for one actually argued (http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=JefLett.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=225&division=div1) that the Common Law had pagan, Saxon roots, pre-dating Christianity. Perhaps he was wrong in that view, but clearly Jefferson at least was not just a self-consciously Christian political theorist.

And amusingly enough, the Bible actually provides evidence that the right to face one's accuser has pre-Christian, pagan roots:
I told them that it is not the Roman custom to hand over anyone before they have faced their accusers and have had an opportunity to defend themselves against the charges. -- Acts 25:16 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2025:16&version=NIV)

monavis
10-30-2011, 08:47 AM
You are aware, are you not, that the whole "Render unto Caesar" story is a liberal corruption of what Jesus actually taught? Fortunately, the Conservative Bible Project (http://conservapedia.com/Conservative_Bible_Project) has finished the New Testament, so the truth is out there. Their noble aims:
Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias. For example, the Living Bible translation has liberal evolutionary bias; the widely used NIV translation has a pro-abortion bias.
Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, "gender inclusive" language, and other feminist distortions; preserve many references to the unborn child (the NIV deletes these).
Not Dumbed Down: not dumbing down the reading level, or diluting the intellectual force and logic of Christianity; the NIV is written at only the 7th grade level.
Utilize Terms which better capture original intent: using powerful new conservative terms to capture better the original intent; Defective translations use the word "comrade" three times as often as "volunteer;" similarly, updating words that have a change in meaning, such as "word", "peace", and "miracle."
Combat Harmful Addiction: combating addiction by using modern terms for it, such as "gamble" rather than "cast lots"; using modern political terms, such as "register" rather than "enroll" for the census.
Accept the Logic of Hell: applying logic with its full force and effect, as in not denying or downplaying the very real existence of Hell or the Devil.
Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning.
Exclude Later-Inserted Inauthentic Passages: excluding the interpolated passages that liberals commonly put their own spin on, such as the adulteress story.
Credit Open-Mindedness of Disciples: crediting open-mindedness, often found in youngsters like the eyewitnesses Mark and John, the authors of two of the Gospels.
Prefer Conciseness over Liberal Wordiness: preferring conciseness to the liberal style of high word-to-substance ratio; avoid compound negatives and unnecessary ambiguities; prefer concise, consistent use of the word "Lord" rather than "Jehovah" or "Yahweh" or "Lord God."


If one studies the writers life of Jesus, and 'if' he said and acted as written, he would be called a bleeding heart Liberal in today's society. Look at the Conservatives and compare them to the Pharisee's, their judgment of others, there public display of their religion etc..