The passage that the title to this blog post describes:
And as Hart shows, their tendency to replace the Church with America led many evangelicals, like best-selling writer Peter Marshall Jr., to embark on a quixotic historical quest for America’s origins as a “Christian nation.” Evangelicals began to churn out an endless stream of books purporting to set forth “God’s plan for America” and a blueprint for “biblical” politics, with precious little attention to the finer points of the American experience or to political theory in general. Their historic optimism and impatience led them to embrace various ill-considered political ventures, like the Moral Majority, that tended to function better as target practice for liberals than as viable political movements.
That all goes to show us just how stupid the Christian Nation people are for wanting the wall of separation between church and state to be torn down.
I've done enough study on the intellectual history that brought the Founders to the place where they were able to form the framework of the United States of America with our Constitution to know that their dreams could have never been realized had there been no separation.
The only way you or anyone else has ever been able to make a considered choice of beliefs is as a result of secular rules of government.
Once the government and church lose the separation, laws would be created regarding church doctrine and the state would be able to punish its citizens for heresy.
America was Founded to create an environment of freedom to worship. It's in the Constitution. If you cannot see that, you are blind.
The freedom to worship does not mean the freedom to choose which Christian denomination you like best.
The First Amendment grants the right to worship as one chooses with no government interference. But, the government does not demand worship. Only a particular religious sect can "demand" based on their interpretive frame a particular form of worship. This is what makes for the denominatonal differences...and we are free to choose where we will associate....or whether we will...
Pretty good, Angie.
Except, it seems more accurate to say, "In the First Amerndment, We the People ASSERT our right to worship or not as we please."
Hylden and Hart (the other Hart, not me) seem a bit confused. To insinuate that the "Christian Nation" is a new concept is nonsense. These clowns are every bit disingenuous as many in the "Christian Nation" pack.
Oh, and I don't think I would call the Moral Majority an "ill-considered" political venture, especially considering all the success and support they had/have.
I agree with Brad. The idea of bringing Christian values to bear in the public square did not start with Billy Graham (as the book title suggests). There were FOUNDING FATHERS who believed that Christian values should predominate in the public square.
It also never ceases to amaze me how some folks can't see a distinction between the INSTITUTIONAL separation of "Church" and "State" (which the Founders universally supported - as do I) versus the MORAL / CULTURAL separation of Judeo-Christian values and the public square (something the Founders of this country NEVER countenanced!).
It is fully within the AMERICAN tradition for citizens of all faiths to bring moral values, including moral values INFORMED BY THEIR FAITH, to bear in the public square. To say otherwise is what is un-American!
To back up my latest point, I turn to the President of the United States (who, in 2006, while a U.S. senator) gave a famous speech on religion and morality in the public square. Read carefully what he says here....
"[S]ecularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, Williams Jennings Bryan, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King - indeed, the majority of great reformers in American history - were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause.
"So to say that men and women should not inject their 'personal morality' into public policy debates is a practical absurdity. Our law is by definition a codification of morality, much of it grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition."
Well said, Mr. President.
I don't think those here at American Creation are questioning the "cultural values" issue, but questioning whether they should be defined in one way. There are those that seek to base their moral values on a religious base (Judeo-Christian) and those that think the moral base should be inclusive of any denominational value.
The social gospelers will value the social sphere as the arena for the moral. The supernaturalist base their understanding on the Scriptures or Tradition to define their morality. While the atheist might find civil government the best to arbitrate between/among the claims of the different sects, as to the definitions of the moral.
Re: "It is fully within the AMERICAN tradition for citizens of all faiths to bring moral values, including moral values INFORMED BY THEIR FAITH, to bear in the public square. To say otherwise is what is un-American!"
Very well said!
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