founding fathers on religion

In the year 1785 a Bill was introduced under the auspices of Mr Henry, imposing a General tax for the support of “Teachers of the Christian Religion.” It made a progress threatening a Majority of votes in its favor. As an expedient to defeat it, we proposed that it should be postponed to another Session, and printed in the mean time for public consideration. Such an appeal, in a case so important and so unforeseen, could not be resisted. With a view to arouse the people, it was thought proper, that a Memorial should be drawn up, the task being assigned to me, to be printed & circulated through the State for a general signature. The experiment succeeded. The Memorial was so extensively signed by the various Religious sects, including a considerable portion of the Old Hierarchy, that the projected innovation was crushed; and under the influence of the popular sentiment, thus called forth, the well known Bill prepared by Mr Jefferson for “Establishing Religious freedom,” passed into a law, as it now stands, in our Code of Statutes.

James Madison, letter to Lafayette, November, 1826

‘It’s 3.23 in the morning and I’m awake, because my great-great-grandchildren won’t let me sleep.
My great-great-grandchildren ask me in dreams
“What did you do while the Planet was plundered?
What did you do when the Earth was unravelling?
Surely you did *something* when the Seasons started failing?
As the mammals, reptiles, birds were all dying?
Did you fill the streets with protest when Democracy was stolen?
What did you *do* once you knew?”
—  ‘What Did You Do Once You Knew’ by Drew Dellinger
Random Musings: The Constitution

It’s against the Constitution to show favor to any religion, and this includes the Christian religion. Secular government is the only way to be fair to the religious AND nonreligious. ecular government keeps government out of your religion, but it also keeps your religion out of government. This isn’t a theocracy. It amuses me to no end, how so many people who have harsh words for Muslim countries with theocratic governments, yet see nothing wrong with trying to pass laws on the basis of their religion. The law and government is not suppose to favor any religion. NONE. Religion in government leads to abuse and persecution of those outside of the (state) religion. James Madison, one of the Constitution’s authors, said that “Religion itself may become a motive to persecution and oppression.” The ‘founding fathers’ didn’t believe religion should be involved in government. The problem is that most Americans haven’t truly read the Constitution, if they’ve read it all. Nor have they educated themselves on how it came to be. America isn’t a 'Christian nation,’ it’s a nation of Christians.

As an aside, I don’t think religious institutions should receive tax-exempt status; and I don’t think chaplains should be employed by the military, as I believe that is unconstitutional.

The War on Christmas.

Originally posted by a-night-in-wonderland

It’s begun again, the discussion about the war on Christmas, which essentially becomes the war on Christianity.

Here’s my position. America wasn’t founded on Christianity. People like to say that because most Europeans were Christian or Catholic and then came here. But the founding fathers were very clear about separation of church and state. Nothing in our founding was meant to be one religion. In fact, many of the founding fathers were deists instead of Christians, which is something people like to ignore too. Presidents that weren’t Christian had to pretend to be Christian in order to satisfy the noisy majority. Lincoln comes to mind. I’d describe him as agnostic.

On my side, I have trouble with my government for not even recognizing my religion until the 20th century. Serving pagan soldiers weren’t allowed pagan symbols on grave markers until the last twenty or thirty years or so. I have no problem with the Merry Christmas stuff out there - I like secular Christmas - but hardly any merchandise is sold for other holidays. There aren’t lovely movies for Yule. I can only think of one Hanukkah movie. So while I have no trouble with Merry Christmas stuff being every-damn-where, I do feel like my religion and other religions are less than important because things in North America aren’t very inclusive. It’s not so much the oppression of Christianity but the need for making room for other faiths that have equally important holidays at this time of year too.

People might see a war on Christianity or Christianity under oppression in North America but on the other hand, oppression is hard to do under that definition when it’s the majority. The privileged majority are not oppressed. Saying Happy Holidays and the like is a somewhat misguided attempt at being inclusive of varied important holidays at this time of year. It’s not a great solution. I’m more in favor of leaving Christmas alone while offering alternative merchandise, cards, media, etc., for other comparative holidays. Me? I’d die of happiness if I had someplace to go on TV or in stores to recognize my own people and the festivals we celebrate. There are none. At least, there are none that I can claim because the symbols of my people were largely steamrolled by the integration with the church centuries ago.

I’m never offended by Merry Christmas even if I’m not Christian. I am, however, offended that asking for my festivals to be included in our culture is seen as oppressing Christmas. It’s simply not true.