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Patriots' Day And Religion In British America


Atheugorei

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Although I don't live in a state that recognizes Patriots' Day, I decided to make it my first blog post. If you don't know what this holiday is, don't worry; it's only celebrated in Massachusetts and Maine on the anniversary of the first battles of the Revolutionary War.

 

Well, then, what does this have to do with religion? So, the other day a commercial came on the radio in my car that 'clarified' that either Thomas Jefferson or George Washinton (I forget which, at the moment) called for a 'day of fasting and prayer' for the troops going into battle. The radio message concluded that the degradation of society stems from the United States' shift away from God and prayer, and, subsequently, needs to return to those things to avoid God's abandonment of our nation.

 

Now, there is many things about this that I would like to cover:

  1. Treating the United States as a new Israel in wrong and extra-biblical
  2. The United States, in fact, is not a Christian nation
  3. Regularly affirming that the U.S. is purely Christian (or should 'go back' to its 'roots' of Christianity) is to purposefully exclude other religions and nationalities.

...
Treating the United States as a new Israel is wrong and extra-biblical
When you look back at the very founding of our nation, you can't help but realize that religion did play a healthy role in it. If we look a bit closer, we notice that many of the settlers that came to the shores of the New World were, largely, in the most part, English Protestants that shunned the Anglican Church at the time. One of the more interesting things I've found about the "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" people, are that they themselves seemed to have shunned people that were different from them.

 

So, in 1630, a Puritan pastor by the name of John Winthrop gave a sermon called A City Upon A Hill. In it, he brought up points that are still referenced to today, such as:

 


...for wee must Consider that wee shall be as a Citty upon a Hill, the eies of all people are uppon us.
.
and

 


...wee shall finde that the God of Israell is among us, when tenn of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies, when hee shall make us a prayse and glory, that men shall say of succeeding plantacions: the lord make it like that of New England...
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Because these settlers where Christians, of course they would be saying things like this. The thinking at the time was that God intended to get to the Millennium (that's a whole other blog post) before the Great Resurrection, not after. That would entail the Golden Age of Christianity (where everyone eventually becomes Christians) happens with-in their lifetimes. Hence, their main goal was to cultivate as many conversions as they possibly could.

 

Postmillennialism has today fallen out of favor with most theological mercenaries. The concept of gaining converts is still prevalent in the Christian doctrine, yet continuing to treat the United States as the "city upon a hill" for sole conversion to Christianity is stretching your religious authority to its limit. Acting like the United States is God's "chosen nation" (news flash: it's classically been Israel) is not only utterly ridiculous, but also wrong.

 

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The United States is not a Christian nation
I've heard this enough from my parents to drive me insane: "The United States is a Christian nation, and the founding fathers were all Bible-believing Christians."

 

Freeze! Sorry to burst you bubble, parents, but that just ain't true:

 


"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. ... But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding..." Thomas Jefferson
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Thomas Jefferson was a somewhat outspoken Diest, and was a direct offspring of the Enlightenment movement, which was what made the 'great experiment' of the United States to be possible in the first place. To say that the founding fathers were all Christians is like saying all Muslims are terrorists. It's just not true.

 

In fact, some pastors at the time were alarmed that the Constituion didn't mention God or Jesus Christ. Hell, in just 1793, a pastor lambasted the Constituion in a sermon that said it would be the downfall of our society. The downfall. Yeah, right.

 

I think I've made my point. If pastors were up in arms then that the Constitution wasn't Christian enough, what right to you have today to say it was all purely Christian thinking?

 

Regularly affirming that the U.S. is purely Christian (or should 'go back' to its 'roots' of Christianity) is to purposefully exclude other religions and nationalities.
When pastor and people like my parents lament about how the United States is becoming a sticky whore-heap, they unwittingly alienate other groups of people.

 

Think about it. If your a foreigner, and all you hear is how so-and-so country need to purge themselves of so-and-so types of people for Christianity, would you want to move there? I'm always told that so much stuff today is just a 'cheap imitation' of what there was 30, 50, 70 years ago. That makes me sad, because it makes me feel that I will have nothing to look forward to. I believe we are living in the best time in history. We learn from our mistakes in the past, but we look hopefully to the future.

 

When would you like to go back? 60 years ago, when segregation was still legal? 150, when slavery was still legal? 20 years ago, when the thought of same-sex marriage was beyond anyone's realm of thought?

 

No. The future is what we make it.

 

So make it a good one.

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Just be thankful you don''t live in Texas, where a governor can say "Freedom of religion doesn't mean freedom from religion" :/

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Just be thankful you don''t live in Texas, where a governor can say "Freedom of religion doesn't mean freedom from religion" :/

 

:/ That's a total shame. And ridiculous

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Well, at least there is a thriving atheist population living in Texas :) Oh, and I recommend you watch this video: The Ten Commandments by Aronra. In it, he explains why US law isn't based on Judeo-Christian principles.

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There is a mindset in a good number of Americans that is still rooted in an outmoded eighteenth century outlook, values and way of life that migrated across the Atlantic with the first wave of settlers, largely from the British Isles, just as the speech patterns in some of the Eastern states have held onto the sound of English as it was spoken in the eighteenth century. Likewise some aspects of the US legal system and elements of the Constitution. You're right, a successful nation needs to look to the future not be hamstrung by a past that no longer exists, if it ever did in the way that some claim, and be able to adapt itself and be receptive to change. Change is a good thing. Who wants to drive a Model T when they can have a 2016 model Mustang :)

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There is a mindset in a good number of Americans that is still rooted in an outmoded eighteenth century outlook, values and way of life that migrated across the Atlantic with the first wave of settlers, largely from the British Isles, just as the speech patterns in some of the Eastern states have held onto the sound of English as it was spoken in the eighteenth century. Likewise some aspects of the US legal system and elements of the Constitution. You're right, a successful nation needs to look to the future not be hamstrung by a past that no longer exists, if it ever did in the way that some claim, and be able to adapt itself and be receptive to change. Change is a good thing. Who wants to drive a Model T when they can have a 2016 model Mustang :)

 

I concur whole-heartedly! I know I certainly would like to drive a 2016 Mustang! :D

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Yahhoooo! What a great posting! I would also point out that George Washington did not talk about 'God.' Never. Ever, no, he did not.

 

Any and all public reference he made to a suppositional providential force in our lives he refereed to as 'Divine Providence.'

 

People who claim he was a God-toter are blissfully unaware of the much-more complex attitude our Founding Fathers had in regard to the 'G-word.' They did not use it.  

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Yahhoooo! What a great posting! I would also point out that George Washington did not talk about 'God.' Never. Ever, no, he did not.

 

Any and all public reference he made to a suppositional providential force in our lives he refereed to as 'Divine Providence.'

 

People who claim he was a God-toter are blissfully unaware of the much-more complex attitude our Founding Fathers had in regard to the 'G-word.' They did not use it.

 

Thanks, friend! Yeah, Deism was very prevalent in Enlightenment America at the time. Secular humanism literally gave birth to the United States.

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