A group blog to promote discussion, debate and insight into the history, particularly religious, of America's founding. Any observations, questions, or comments relating to the blog's theme are welcomed.
WHY worry about the 'Universal meaning"? Families set their own traditions about how they want to celebrate (or not) the Christmas season!!! I really have an adversion to a "one size fits all" equation about what is appropriate!!! Families in America, in this sense are cultures of their own.
Oh great. Now we're going to have to keep an eye on the raucous Pagan Nationist revisionists once they get ahold of that article. Let me be the first to say that the founding fathers did not intend this to be a raucous Pagan Nation. I don't care how much planning for the revolution took place in or how many tankards of beer GW downed with his officers till the wee hours in the "temples dedicated to the service of merriment, dissipation and folly," the taverns. There's no evidence that any of them every raised a toast to Bacchus...maybe the Goddess of Liberty, but certainly not Bacchus. Merry Christmas to AC.
Well, Jefferson might have slipped in a toast to Bacchus once or twice, but that's all.
Isn't our familial diversity also the basis of individuality, as we don't "conform (hopefully) our children, but allow them the ability to come to a point of choosing for themselves what life is about and what and where they will fit!!!??? But, all parents hope that their children will succeed and do so without hinderances, whether self-inflicted or otherwise!
jimmyraybob,I'll toast to Liberty! But, we can we allow Islam liberty to persuade the U.N. to affirm "blasphemy laws"??????????
can we allow....we aren't for their liberty....otherwise none of us will have liberty to speech or religious freedom!!!
Re: "[...] can we allow Islam liberty to persuade the U.N. to affirm "blasphemy laws"?"If we are to have liberty, it must be protected. Which means that the speech of the individuals you mention, as well as those who are seen as committing blasphemy, must be protected.Caveat: "Islam" isn't doing anything, people are.
bpabbott,I understand your point....but such actions are taken in the name and for the cause of Islam as a religion, as to their understanding of "Allah" and his commands. Is it any different here in the U.S.A. regarding homosexual marriage, abortion or other social issues that concern conservative Christians?
If we examine the blasphemy cases of the early republic [all at the state level], we see that it's seen as disturbing the peace, and not necessarily protected by the First Amendment.But what this has to do with getting drunk at Christmas, I have no frigging idea.
Tom,The first point I made was familial diversity in how they chose to celebrate or not and the child's individuality.jimmyraybob suggested that we would allow another interpretation of history, which perverted history with Greek gods. (in jest, I guess?!) and he suggested that Jefferson would salute Liberty.I picked up on Liberty being of ultimate value n our country (as to how one chose to imbibe or not), which led to my questioning the right of religious liberty when it would infringe upon the Bill of Rights in our Constitution under U.N. agreements. And I correlated these breaches of civil liberties to conservative Christians in our own society
correction; Bacchus was a Roman god..
Diplomatic efforts are important to the U.S. for obvious reasons, regarding radical Islamists. Therefore, we can't offend, and yet, can we acquiese to a tradition that understands itself as a progressive revelation of "God"?On the other hand, science regards itself as a "progressive revelation" of man.....
Maybe the problem is with the progressive....
AND the problem of revelation...
Muslims don't even drink alcohol, Angie, let alone get wasted on Christmas.Focus, girl, focus.
jimmyraybob suggested that we would allow another interpretation of history, which perverted history with Greek gods. (in jest, I guess?!)Yes, that was a bit of the jest - I was riffing on the article that was linked and that mentioned Bacchus.
...science regards itself as a "progressive revelation" of man.....Science doesn't regard itself as anything - it's a methodology for understanding the physical world. That being said, the modern scientific method has revealed quite a bit about the world and the universe that we occupy and it's progressive in that when an answer or answers are forthcoming it usually brings with it more questions that lead to more investigation which leads to more insight and more questions and so on. The scientific method builds on itself: insight - hypotheses - testing - results, insight - hypotheses - testing - results, insight - hypotheses - testing - results.....
An interesting window into the state of the scientific method during the founding is The Invention of Air; A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America, by Steven Johnson. At that point it was generally called the natural philosophy and those specifically involved in trying to understand a certain phenomenon in the stormy sky were called electricians (here's a snippet):"Priestley arrived in London armed with a letter of introduction from John Seddon, the rector at Warrington Academy, addressed to John Canton, a member of the Royal Society and an electrician himself. 'You will find [Priestley] an benevolent, sensible man, with a considerable share of Learning,' Seddon wrote. He added a postscript: 'If Dr. Franklin be in Town, I believe Dr. Priestley would be glad to be made known to him.'"Dr. Franklin did, in fact, prove to be in town, and so when Canton brought Priestley to the London Coffee House, the young, stammering schoolteacher from Warrington found himself seated across the table from the world's most celebrated electrician."Now, when you referenced "progressive science" and I mentioned the progressive nature of the scientific method itself, it is people that attach a different sense of progress to the results - the progress of humanity. And many of the the founding fathers did express a belief that science would be of great benefit to America - even included in Washington's inaugural addresses. In Johnston's view, "The faith in science and progress necessitated one other core value that Priestley shared with Jefferson and Franklin, and that is the radical's belief that progress inevitably undermines the institutions and belief systems of the past. (Whether Adams truly shared this perspective is a more complicated question, one that was central to the initial flare-up in the correspondence with Jefferson.) To embrace the sublime vista of reason was, inevitably, to shake off a thousand old conventions and pieties. It forced you to rewrite the Bible, and contest the divinity of Jesus Christ; it forced you to throw out all the august, Latinate traditions of the educational establishment; it forced you to invent whole new modes of goverment; it forced you to think of the air we breathe as part of a natural system that could be disturbed by human intervention; it forced you to dream up entirely new structures for the transmission and cultivation of ideas. You could no longer put stock in 'the education of the ancestors,' as Jefferson derisively called it. Embracing change meant embracing the possibility that everything would have to be reinvented."
I've always found that argument BS, JRB. Copernicus was some sort of clergy. In contradistinction to Priestley see the very devouthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Boylethe "Boyle's Law" guy, the "first modern chemist.As a bit of irony, Wiki sezBoyle was a believer in monogenism that all races no matter how diverse came from the same source, Adam and Eve. His racial origin views were described as both "disturbing" and "amusing" and were rejected by the scientific community.
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