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Should Any One Religion Be Used As A Basis For A Nation Of People?


NORM
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In a thread that shall not be named, the notion of America being a "Christian Nation" was proffered. Not that it IS a Christian nation, but that it SHOULD.

 

While it appears the original post was trolling for a fight, the topic is of interest, I think.

 

First, it has already been established that America was most definitely not founded as a Christian Nation - at least not in the sense of being in allegiance with Christian doctrine and fundamental belief. That some of the founders were Christian is undisputed. This is historic fact.

 

However, SHOULD a religion - and specifically; the Christian religion - be the basis for our American society?

 

Here's my take:

 

I am glad that America is a secular nation. When we examine the world around us, we see those nations who operate as a theocracy as fundamentally opposed to individual freedoms. They certainly aren't happy places for those of divergent religions from the host. And, nine times out of ten; for women.

 

Can we expunge ALL religion from society? I think the experience of Marxist regimes inform us against the wisdom of this undertaking, however good the intentions.

 

Personally, I enjoy the richness some of the faith traditions bring to the table. Literally! Have you ever been to a Purim service!? My Jewish family puts the FEAST into fe(a)stival! And to be honest, the religious ritual of Yom Kippur can be quite healing. The week prior to Yom Kippur, one is supposed to make amends with those they've wronged.

 

On the Christian side of my family, the practice of charity is emphasized along with salvation of the soul. It is called the "fruits of the spirit."

 

Unfortunately, many religious people fail to realize that non-religious people are just as charitable and forgiving as the above examples. They can't imagine how G-d can be glorified in a secular world. They imagine a world on a collision course with perdition if the Ten Commandments aren't plastered on every wall in every public building.

 

But, even their own Bible declares that the rocks and the trees proclaim the wonders of G-d. When I want to be humbled and awed at the same time, I only have to gaze up at the billions of stars in the night sky. I may not know who or what placed those stars in the heavens, but it is enough to inform me that there are things beyond my understanding.

 

I don't think G-d, if he/ she / it exists, would NEED it's own nation.

 

Any thoughts?

 

NORM

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Norm, I agree knowledge of the infinite from Buddhist, Hindues, Jews, Muslims and others does not obliterate Christian knowledge. Knowledge from people who do not believe in God also adds and perfects Christian knowledge so we should welcome all. I hope to comment again later.

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In the OT, it was actually God who was against the idea of the Israelites turning their religion into a monarchy ruled by theocratic kings. God wanted the Israelites to stick to his judge system but allowed the Israelites to set up their kingdom system. In the Hebrew scriptures, all the kings eventually fell into temptation and corruption, even highly respected kings like David and Solomon who God highly favored. In the NT, Jesus says his kingdom is not of this world and when his followers try to set him up as an earthly king, Jesus refuses to accept it and says he came to serve others, not to be served and that those who want to be first must be last. We have seen throughout history that when any religion governed the nation that it always fell into corruption. When Christianity became the official religion of Rome, it turned from a pacifist reformation of Judaism to a violent, anti-Semitic militaristic monarchy that persecuted all non-Christians and other Christians who they deemed to be "heretics." When religion governs the government, it's one step away from turning your enemies into God's enemies and justifying whatever horrid actions you wish to commit against them in the name of God. A religious theocracy may sound appealing at first to those in power but it turns into a nightmare when you dare disagree with the state religion on an issue. The only way anyone can have true religious freedom is for the government to remain neutral to religion, neither promoting a religion or banning religion.

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In the OT, it was actually God who was against the idea of the Israelites turning their religion into a monarchy ruled by theocratic kings. God wanted the Israelites to stick to his judge system but allowed the Israelites to set up their kingdom system. In the Hebrew scriptures, all the kings eventually fell into temptation and corruption, even highly respected kings like David and Solomon who God highly favored. In the NT, Jesus says his kingdom is not of this world and when his followers try to set him up as an earthly king, Jesus refuses to accept it and says he came to serve others, not to be served and that those who want to be first must be last. We have seen throughout history that when any religion governed the nation that it always fell into corruption. When Christianity became the official religion of Rome, it turned from a pacifist reformation of Judaism to a violent, anti-Semitic militaristic monarchy that persecuted all non-Christians and other Christians who they deemed to be "heretics." When religion governs the government, it's one step away from turning your enemies into God's enemies and justifying whatever horrid actions you wish to commit against them in the name of God. A religious theocracy may sound appealing at first to those in power but it turns into a nightmare when you dare disagree with the state religion on an issue. The only way anyone can have true religious freedom is for the government to remain neutral to religion, neither promoting a religion or banning religion.

 

Excellent post.

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No single religion can lay claim to any part of the earth in the name of God, regardless of what is written in some book. Needless to say, I do not support the nation of Israel or agree with Zionist claims to possession of a holy land based on a book that is quoted as being God's approval. How dare anyone speak of such knowledge of God! We are all citizens of the same nation, the nation of Earth...brothers and sisters as Children of God. I have only one political opinion and that is a quote from a founding member of the Religious Society of Friends:

 

"We are not for names nor men, nor titles of Government, nor are we for this party nor against the other... but we are for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness, righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with God, and with one another, that these things may abound."

 

 

Edward Burrough

Quaker, 1659

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In thinking a little more about this proposition, my opposition to the idea would include the loss of diversity. Maybe the thing I like best about the U.S. is its ethnic and cultural diversity.

 

This diversity also includes religion. To prescribe one would entail proscibing all others. I think, even devout Christians, can gain many insights from other religious faiths.

 

George

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In thinking a little more about this proposition, my opposition to the idea would include the loss of diversity. Maybe the thing I like best about the U.S. is its ethnic and cultural diversity.

 

This diversity also includes religion. To prescribe one would entail proscibing all others. I think, even devout Christians, can gain many insights from other religious faiths.

 

George

 

My Rabbi once told me that her father (also a Rabbi) would take them every Sunday to a different religious house of worship, whether it was a Christian Church, a Mosque, a Mandir, Buddhist Temple, Ashram or whatever. From this experience, she really understood where most people were at in various phases of their lives. When I was converting from Christian to Jewish, she was an immense help in working out the transition.

 

NORM

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