Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ken Anderson on the Mormons/Christians Controversy as it relates to American Public Office

That title speaks for itself.

You can read his post and his links to his thoughtful thesis here.

On a related note, I made a number of comments on that thread (scroll down). See for instance, this comment where I explained the difference between "unitarian" and "Unitarian":


I write with the lower case u for a very important reason. Many "unitarians" from the America's Founding era were NOT members of churches that called themselves "Unitarian" in an official denominational sense.

For instance, Thomas Jefferson, the militant unitarian he, never joined a "Unitarian" Church. John Adams, as well, was a "unitarian" since 1750 and claimed his church had a unitarian minister since that time.

However, his "Congregational Church," at that time (1750), was still formally affiliated with a trinitarian creed (and had many trinitarian church members; back then the unitarian preachers tended to keep the unitarian and trinitarian members together by simply refusing to discuss orthodox trinitarian doctrine).

I'm not sure of the exact date that Adams' Congregational Church officially became "Unitarian," but I think it was sometime in the early 19th Century (around the time when Harvard officially became Unitarian).

One thing that makes this (when "unitarianism" becomes "Unitarianism") hard to determine exactly is that U/unitarians are loath to recognize formalities as a matter of theological doctrine!

It's interesting to note, though, that J. Adams' Congregational Church had had a unitarian preacher since 1750, the date Adams claimed he had converted to unitarianism.


Angie Van De Merwe said...

This is an important distinction where it concerns protecting America's liberty. We acknowledge the concept of separation of Church and State, but disallow discrimination because of Church affilliation.

I did not download the article from Ken Anderson for now, but may at a later date, when i have the time. 6000 pages is an awful lot of reading for today.

I hope that this discussion continues and is resolved, so that religion can have "free expression", but not be allowed to implement dictatorial standards, where it concerns personal convictions.

Jonathan Rowe said...

I think you mean 6000 words. Even I wouldn't touch it were it 6000 pages!

Angie Van De Merwe said...


Another aspect that is complex and important is how to protect family values, family identity and disallow abuse to children and women. These are where the individual and society intersect and have always given problems...

Tom Van Dyke said...

These are where the individual and society intersect and have always given problems...

You highlight a big problem here, perhaps the fundamental problem here, Ms. VDM---one that is missed by almost all philosophers and political philosophers, who are almost without exception, male.

Unfortunately, the government is the only protector of women and children's rights, by enforcing divorce and custody laws, and the et cetera.

If the relationship is Individual>Society>Government, then Government is forced/obliged to intrude to uphold the fundamental social contract, that of marriage and family.

In fact, the "common-law" marriage laws were originally put in to protect the woman and her children who were abandoned by the lover/father who thought he could get a better sexual deal elsewhere.

I've been following your progress and readings, Angie. You've picked up a lot of the information; what is left is to try to make sense of it all.

Not that any one of us can make sense of it all either. Rock on. You have a good heart.


Angie Van De Merwe said...

I may have a "good heart" but it is weary of protecting itself from misguided religion. So much so, that I am tiring of it altogether.

I think religion is dangerous, because those that find themselves "connected" always seem to think their connection should be everyone elses. This is a type of religious authoritarianism that I find repugnant.