This started out as a response to an article about a school teacher whom the court found could not be sued over telling his students that “creationism” is superstitious nonsense. Remarkably the courts actually found, properly, in favor of his freedom, although the fact that Christianity is “sinful” in today’s commilib America, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised in this case…
The only “mandate” our government actually has on religion is “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” (First Amendment, U.S. Constitution) which has nothing to do with remaining neutral on religion, which would make the 1st Amendment unConstitutional since it gives clear direction on how to treat “religion”. The same “mandate” requires exactly the same protection for a teacher who calls “creationism” the holy truth, amen. “Religion” being the key word. The court didn’t judge the teacher “correct” it only declared him, in this case, to be untouchable. Personally, I think the schools have an obligation to teach what is out there and allow the students to make up their own minds about any “religious” truth. The idea of creationism exists, is believed by a HUGE number of people and whether Mr. Cotter thinks it’s nonsense or not makes no difference. He can legally not be required to teach it one way or the other which is what he did, perfectly within his rights.. Not a critique of your opinion here Shane, I agree it’s nice to see ANYTHING being taught in the classroom. I do think would be nice if he’d said his “opinion is that it’s superstitious nonsense, and here’s why”, but that would be outside the natural human aspect of proselytizing our beliefs. Kind of like someone standing up in church and saying “I believe” or “I think” instead of “I KNOW”.. he hee somehow it loses it’s power! I think Benjamin & Co were correct.. NO. I fuckin’ KNOW they were! and if you disagree shut the fuck up and go find someone who cares.. ‘er somethin’. Of course I’m one of those who realize (like you, whether you’ll admit it or not) that the Founders were deities. Whatever their actual religious beliefs were, they did believe we were “created” and “endowed by our creator” that there is a “nature’s God” and that they considered their “honor” to be “sacred”.. I don’t know. I like that stuff.
Nevertheless, if there is a “creator” which the Founders, Christian or not, did indeed believe there was, as evidenced by their personal writings, in spite of what members of the Atheist boglvidion would like to (do) believe of them you’ll find nowhere any statement from a single one of them that there is no God. The term “Nature’s God” (note the capitalization.. ) has deep roots indeed.. but in the time of the founding fathers it indeed referred to a supernatural deity, the only debate was who this deity is and how and why HE functions. Interestingly Jefferson wrote, “He who made us would have been a pitiful bungler, if He had made the rules of our moral conduct a matter of science.” Also that he believed in God because of the argument from design: “I hold (without appeal to revelation) that when we take a view of the Universe, in it’s [sic] parts general or particular, it is impossible for the human mind not to perceive and feel a conviction of design, consummate skill, and indefinite power in every atom of it’s [sic] composition. it is impossible, I say, for the human mind not to believe that there is a fabricator of all things.” Also of magnificent note: “I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion…or in anything else.”
“Nature’s God” was clearly the God of deism in all important ways. That Jefferson included God in the “Declaration of Independence” is very significant because it helped lay the foundation for a civil religion in America. Paul Johnson addressed the civil religion begun by the founders in his article, “The Almost-Chosen People,” saying that the United States was unique because all religious beliefs were respected. People were more concerned with “moral conduct rather than dogma.” So Jefferson helped create a society in which different religions could coexist peacefully because of the emphasis on morality over specific belief. (David J. Voelker)
And lastly an aside, it is interesting how closely Islam fits the Biblical teachings referring to the anti-Christ.. In fact, somewhat startling to skeptics such as myself yet hard to cast aside in view of the current unfolding of events. Also interesting and irritating that Islam is utilizing the very religious acceptance of our founders to forward their absolutely unacceptable foundation: convert or be destroyed.
The religion isn’t the anti-Christ, it is (according to those who buy into this) the anti-Christ’s church just as it’s antithesis Christianity is Christ’s church. Islam points to Judaism as being far closer to “the truth” than Christianity, although Jews must also be converted or destroyed as any non-Muslim must be. He heee, it is also interesting how much Judaism/Islam are like Christianity/Mormonism. No end to the fascinating aspects of religion and I, for one, see it as a science. Complex, evolved and evolving, interconnected with everything and ultimately unknowable.