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.
This article exemplifies why the agnostics and atheists don't like to talk about religious understandings. It becomes absurdity because there are so many understandings of and about "God". Theology is not absolute science, but neither is history. And this is what drives some historians crazy in regards to the religious understanding in America....
The First Amendment garuntees religious liberty regarding government, therefore, one can believe anything one wants, and remain a citizen of the U.S.A. The difference is NOT about religon then, but about behavior regarding another's right. Laws protect the rights of American citizens, at least that was the Founder's intent!
So, both sides in our culture wars have the right to voice their political opinions.
A couple of us will find this as fascinating as I do. The theological/metaphysical differences between the 3 religions:http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/LH24Ak02.htmlIn passing [we hear so much about the wars of religion]:The petty wars of tribe and clan, as Nicholas Wade informs us in Before the Dawn, killed two-fifths of the males of every generation during 40,000 years of prehistory. When men worship themselves rather than a universal God, they have no qualms about murdering their neighbors - and that includes the Athens of Socrates and Aristotle.I'd never heard that one, and it's worth a deeper look.
The only people that are interested in the differences in religion are those interested in coversions....or some form. Your article suggest intellectual change....or the use of reason. That's timely, when the Iranians are feared to have nuclear weapons, and will use them, altho they deny the Holocost! Do you think that social change can transpire is such a culture? Peace is all the more important now that everyone is accepting Darwinian evolution and "the selfish gene". Therefore, it become imperative to prevent "survival of the fittest" unless one wants to support wholesale genocide (and that would be "immoral"!) Otherwise, we must "TRAIN" the West to defer their liberties to respect such a culture???/!!!!Is the U.N. to re-frame our history, and Constitution to subvert American liberties under religious tolerance???? HOGWASH!!! Such a culture needs destroying! as well as those that propitiate it!
Another blog I follow suggests that Israel is also headed for disaster, as the orthodox are reproducing at a much higer rate than others. And these believe that the government needs to support them while they go to yeshiva school for religious training. Since these do not add any eonomic value to the culture, what will happen in years to come when there are fewer and fewer to support the larger and larger populations of orthodox? Something similar to limited resources and limiting population growth!
A rabbi suggested that the brightest still continue to be allowed the liberty to be trained in religious schools, while others be required to support the military with some form of service. He had to get a bodyguard, there was such out-rage!!! NOW ThIS HAPPENED TO ONE OF THEIR OWN, THAT WAS VIEWED AS A TRAITOR TO THEIR VALUES!!!
Just today 15 or more soldiers in Pakistan were kidnapped and threatened to be "cut into pieces"! These are Pakastani soldiers being persecuted by "their own"....So what is the value of religon, then?????
Re: "When men worship themselves rather than a universal God, they have no qualms about murdering their neighbors."I agree that many (most?) are persuaded by the law of God. However, not all are. I think *all* are (should be?) persuaded by the fear of the law as agreed upon by their neighbors.
Well, Ben, the point being tribalism [clan vs. clan] is the first order of man. In some parts of the world today, it's still the true law-of-the-land.
Tom: "...the point being tribalism [clan vs. clan] is the first order of man. In some parts of the world today, it's still the true law-of-the-land."YES!!! And they do NOT respect their neighbors, NOR anyone else that disagrees with how they see or understand the world. Religion supports such claims to superior/supernatural knowledge that can't be argued against or with. They will deny facts, such as the Holocost...or anything else that serves their desire to affirm their "God" above all else.
Actually, Angie, my view is that many of the problems in the Muslim world can be attributed more to tribalism than Islam itself.The weird thing is, only in combatting the Western world/Christianity, does the Muslim world find unity. They're still back in the days of the Crusades, the good olde days of Islam as a theologico-political unified force.Otherwise, they just kill the shit out of each other, Sunni versus Shia, clan versus clan. All you need to do is look at today's headlines. Or any day's.
.That idea of a Universal God developed in Hegelian thought about Liberal Theology and evolved into Christian Modernity. And, that gave rise to Christian Fundamentalism which has been gaining control of mainstream thinking for the past seventy years or so..This area is a very inhtersting study..
Re: "[...] many of the problems in the Muslim world can be attributed more to tribalism than Islam itself."Excellent point!
.The Islamic scholar, Karen Armstrong, provides good information on the subject.The three strands of Islam have almost always had warlike relationships with each other--especially the Shiia and the Sunni..Check her out:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nU4NjRy6CX0.
Karen Armstrong seeks to solve the religious problem by using religion. Others seek to solving the problem by using reason and undercutting belief altogether, as neither postition knows for sure, which will lead to "peace".Tribalism IS religious culture, BECUASE "self" is based on GROUP (TRIBAL)identifications of one's belief system! In America, one can choose whether one will associate with a particular denomination, or another. Or whether they will associate at all!I believe that autonomy is the goal of any free society. The indvidual is free, in himself to choose his own values and where they will play out. This is NOT is opposition to order, but IS the order itself, because the government does not demand conformity under law! Such is political liberty, not some transcendent "consciousness"!
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