Posted by: the warrioress | December 22, 2011

One Nation Under God

America’s religious heritage cannot be denied…

It should not be denied.

U.S Postage Stamp, 1957

America’s heart is one nation under God. The majority of its citizens still believe that this is so. Yes, America allows all to worship or not worship, as they want. Each is entitled to his or her own spiritual beliefs. No one has the right to curtail group or personal expression of our spirituality. We were always able to express ourselves in this nation’s past and it hurt no one. Why should this change?

Separation of church and state does not mean squelching the group or personal right of freedom of religious expression, wherever or when that may take place. The Constitution never said anything of the kind.  The intentional misinterpretation of it to fulfill an agenda will forever cause a breach between citizens of this country.

For mobile phone viewers, watch the video here

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Responses

  1. Reblogged this on Featured Scribbles and commented:
    Must Read :)

  2. “Separation of church and state does not mean squelching the group or personal right of freedom of religious expression, wherever or when that may take place. The Constitution never said anything of the kind. The intentional misinterpretation of it to fulfill an agenda will forever cause a breach between citizens of this country.”

    Agreed, for the most part. So, do you have actual examples of this “squelching” of group or personal freedom that you are so worried about in the name of the separation of church and state? I mean, other than the expressed opinions of some book authors and the struggles of atheist groups to get equal rights to expression in courthouses at Christmastime? I would be greatly interested to know about them, and would recommend that the victims give a call to the ACLU.

    Or is your assertion that “American is a Christian Nation” really mean that you do think Christians are entitled to certain rights and privileges that are to be denied to everyone else? American was never a homogeneously Christian nation, and the government has always been intended to be secular. In fact the only mentions of religion (this includes Christianity) in the Constitution are that there should be no religious test for public office, that there should be no “establishment of religion” (aka no state endorsed religion), and that the free exercise of religion of the citizens should not be taken away.

  3. BTW, I see a great many Deists in that film, who would have affirmed a belief in “Nature’s God” but not around a modern Evangelical portrayal of Jesus like what has been portrayed here. Examples being Ben Franklin, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln. Those are the ones that pop out at me immediately, and I’ll bet there are others that I am not recognizing immediately. I’m not sure if Thomas Paine was in the picture, but I do know that he was vilified as an atheist when he tried to popularize deism though his book “The Age of Reason.” So then, being a deist (who BTW does not believe in the divinity of Jesus) was clearly not considered the same as being a Christian, and it never has been. That painting is propaganda, not an accurate portrayal of history.

  4. Very powerful! It reminded me of something I was thinking about the other day…it seems frowned upon by others to loudly and proudly say you are a Christian! I don’t get it. I’m not preaching to anyone, I just like to glorify God in all situations. This is an excellent post! That painting is absolutely beautiful! Thank you for posting!

  5. Warrioress

    I’m curious: could you describe exactly what separation of church and state should, in your view, mean?

    Thanks

  6. “Under god” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954, so it might not be the best supporting quote! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance Happy holidays!

  7. God bless you, Joyce, and thank you (hugs)

  8. I have examples, but that would be another blog, wouldn’t it? I’m about to run out of here at the moment, but I’ll be back later tonight and will attempt to make a list with the appropriate source material included ;)

    Thanks for sharing, Mikel. You know I value your opinions. Sincerely.

  9. They believed in a creator.. God. They called Him “God.” I agree that it wasn’t necessarily a belief in the fundamentals, but there was belief in God. And no, I don’t feel that the painting is “propaganda,” but I can see how it would be distressing to someone who doesn’t believe in anything, who is truly atheist or anti-theist.

    Separation of church and state is a mockery of what the founders originally planned.

    We need to return to what was, when freedom of religious expression was a given. We will share the spotlight with the atheist sign, the Muslim demonstration, or anyone else’s beliefs as they go through the necessary channels to display their spirituality as we’ve had to.

    No one has the right to prevent freedom of religious expression, however. The attempt to do so infringes upon the intent of the Founders of this great nation, in my opinion, of course ;)

  10. Thanks! Don’t need a whole blog though. How about 1 or 2 of your very best examples of Christians being denied their rights because of the enforcement of the seperation between church and state? And the more that you can make the case that they are actual rights, and not just priviledge, the better.

  11. Thank you, Out of the Dark. I agree with you.. the painting is a beautiful reminder to all of us exactly what the Founders felt and meant about religious freedom.

  12. I’m not sure what it should mean, Keith, but I feel that I know what it should not mean. As long as everyone has religious freedom of expression, I think there shouldn’t be a problem. No one is forced to believe or worship in this nation, so atheists are respected, and are obviously allowed to have their say. So what’s the problem?

    I simply want a return to what was originally meant by the Founders instead of the mockery that things have now become..

  13. Thanks for this, chelsarrr, and for reading and sharing your thoughts on my blog. Blessings for a lovely Christmas..

  14. Thomas Jefferson made quite clear what was intended by the Seperation of Church and State in his letter to the Danbury Baptists. And, by the way even for some other people who believe in God, this image clearly shows Jesus, who is not God to anyone but Christians (and not even all Christians if you count Unitarians, as they don’t believe in the trinity). Deists, for example, would not stand in rapt adoration of a deified Jesus as portrayed in this image. I think you are making a mistake in assuming that anyone who believes in “God” believes in your God. And those of us Americans who don’t believe in any god are equal citizens too, and we have been here from the founding of the country as well.

    And…what is that document that Jesus is holding in the painting? Is that the Constitution that forbids using religion or even god-belief as a prerequisite for public office? The Constitution that, breaking from European tradition, has no reference to Jesus or God whatsoever?

  15. This is what I would like to know. Warrioress has promised examples of what she means by the squelching of Christian rights in the United States, and maybe when those are provided we will have a better idea of what she means.

  16. Not being able to hog the public square is very different from having no rights to said public square.

    Christians have long hogged the public square and that was never the intention of the founding of America – which was the Individual as the unit of social consequence and the freedom to take liberties with whatever made you happy.

    So, it’s not the rights and freedoms that are being taken away, but that they are being given to everyone – and that means that Christians have to be as accommodating to others as they expect to be accommodated.

    and there is necessarily an adjustment period of rolling back the over accommodation that has happened – for example, “Under God” was not original to the pledge at all – it was added later, much later – and it does not belong there – no matter what any group believes

    because America was not founded on belief – but in ideas for a new social experiment, one that wouldn’t collapse under the old world baggage – but it’s hard to lose certain kinds of luggage

  17. And I won’t necessarily expect the examples tonight, but I’ll be watching for them. I am very curious, and even put a small blurb about our conversation in my own blog.

  18. The only thing about the constitution having to do with religion is the first amendment, making it plain that the government should not be in the business of religion. either establishing a state religion or preventing anyone from practicing their religion.

    As a Christian I thank God the founding fathers had the courage and forethought to do that. The fact that there were Christians among them has no bearing on the facts. There were various forms of Christianity and Deists represented, yet they all knew the danger of setting up a government that honored a specific religion.

    To my knowledge, none of the founding fathers could be mistaken as having any similarity to the “Johnny-come-lately” fundamentalists who seem to dominate Christianity in America today. They were mostly honest men of integrity, who were also religious. Most had ancestors who came to America fleeing religious persecution. The religions doing the persecution were Christian. They were being forced to believe and worship in a specific manner and they rebelled. That is why the first amendment in the Bill of Rights, made it very clear that religion and state were then and were to remain separate.

    They also gave the Supreme Court the job of interpreting the constitution in light of various legislation to make sure that no one made laws that restricted that right or in any way made the government appear to favor one religion above others. That is a fundamental American Constitutional principal.

    The “One Nation Under God” part of the pledge of allegiance, as stated by another commenter was added in the 1950′s. I’m a little puzzled by the fact that Christians would even bring up a “pledge” of allegiance. As a Christian, my allegiance is to Jesus and his teachings, not to a flag or a union. Those Christians, who take the Old Testament as sacred (which does not include me, by the way), should also avoid any kind of “pledge”. Just saying!

  19. [...] my last blog here, I began to communicate through comments with several people on the topic of the erosion of [...]

  20. As promised, Mikel. And I hope this helps a little at deciphering this obviously extensive problem:

    source

  21. I must disagree with you, Random. Christians are not hogging the public square. There has been little to no interest in the distant past until fairly recently, wherein atheists and the anti-religious appear to be demanding equivalent time for freedom of expression. As atheists have no religious beliefs, their only interest is in the protest of religious beliefs and the free expression therein. And this is still the case today. Atheists and those who oppose religion are intent on heckling religious expression out of the public square and all governmental offices, public parks, lands, cemeteries, etc., in order to enable continued protest — nothing more.

    Christians have no issue with being accommodating to the other beliefs or non beliefs, or at least *this Christian* does not. Regardless of your denial, America’s history is one that is rich in faith as the faith of many of our founding fathers prove.

    Thank you for visiting here and sharing your opinions with me and everyone reading. I do appreciate your thoughts, despite the fact that we disagree.

  22. Despite the fact that we very much disagree, I am grateful that you were able to express yourself here and that you wanted to. No, the founding fathers were certainly not all into the fundamentals of Christianity, but they did hold a firm belief in a Creator, whom they chose to refer to as “God.”

    What is now referred to as the “separation of church and state” is an infringement upon religious freedom of expression, in my opinion, and the opinion of many. Anti-theists, some progressive Christians, various atheists and new atheists, and those with no religious inclination are preaching a secularist “religion” that I disagree with very, very strongly.

    As a Christian, my allegiance is also to Christ and His teachings, but I love my country as well, and find that I am in favor of what the founders intended, that I knew well as a child growing up in this nation. The nonsense that is occurring now, did not go on then. Religious expression was the norm and there was no problem with it, nor complaint.

    Thank you so much for your thoughts and comment, despite the points that we may disagree upon. I do appreciate your participation here.

  23. Here you go, Mikel:

    http://lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/erosion-of-religious-rights-in-america/

    source

  24. In fact those founding fathers who were Christians did follow the fundamentals of Christianity. The “Johnna-com-lately” fundamentalists have no clue what the fundamentals are. They have turned Christianity into a political party. They presume to define our religion as something you can obtain simply by claiming it. In one breath they claim to follow Jesus and in the next they justify war and violence against their fellow humans. How absurd is that? Do they not understand the message Jesus brought to the world? They claim to follow Jesus and then they glorify the killing and maiming of innocents by naming their murder with macho names like “Shock and Awe”. Give us all a break. Be a true Christian and “Learn to Practice War No More”. Be a true American and try to believe that “All men are created equal”, then you will have to stop persecuting someone because of their race, religion, sexual preference or any other thing which makes them different from you.

  25. “As atheists have no religious beliefs, their only interest is in the protest of religious beliefs and the free expression therein.”

    Do you really think that religous freedom only covers those with supernatural beliefs? I’m afraid you have a very skewed view of the motives and desires of atheist activists if you really think our “only interest” is in protesting the rights of other people! More constructive dialogue in in order, I think…

  26. actually, the more aggressively that one religion seeks to dominate the square the more important that it is to ensure counterpoint and other views

    isn’t that what you say when Christians want to teach creationism in science class?

    teach the controversy?

    so now we’re damned for doing what you feel entitled to do and undermine science education – when we’re just trying to remind people that there’s more to the season than consumerism or religion – and perhaps, if we didn’t put all the concern and kindness into this one day – three would be more all year round.

  27. “As long as everyone has religious freedom of expression, I think there shouldn’t be a problem.”

    But everyone *does* have religious freedom of expression, so by your definition, there isn’t a problem.

    “I simply want a return to what was originally meant by the Founders instead of the mockery that things have now become.”

    What was meant by the Founders?

  28. “Christians are not hogging the public square.”

    Nativity scenes and the Ten Commandments displayed at courthouses, with no other religion’s symbols allowed. That’s hogging the public square.

  29. I agree with you that war, killing, and maiming of innocents isn’t Christ-like. It saddens me to see Christians who are not interested in pursuing an agenda that is against war.

    I don’t believe that people should be “persecuted” for anything, but I also don’t think that we agree to simply say nothing and act approvingly when it comes to sin, either.

  30. Sin is none of our business. To one degree or another we all commit sin. I suspect we might agree on that point, but the only sins we have any business talking about is our own. I’ll wager that we will disagree on the definition of sin, but since it’s only between God and each person, it does not matter. I believe that sin can be decided into two categories, those that hurt only ourselves, and those that hurt others. We can and should ignore the sins that harm only the individual because it is none of our business. For one thing we can’t even agree on what constitutes that kind of sin. And for another thing, God will deal with it as She sees fit, God’s job, not ours. Those that harm others are much more greivious and are very obvious in most cases. Easy to define. War, abuse of others especially children and defenseless animals. I’m sure you can name a few of these. these are the kinds of sin we need to speak and act against.
    Back to the original topic, though, Christians often bring persecution onto themselves for some of these very things. They stick their noses into the affairs of others and try to live what they define as moral lives. In other words they attempt to usurp God’s power to judge. They want to do His job, presumably because they think She is not capable of doing it for Herself. As Jesus says, “get that damn log out of your own eye, and then you may try, lovingly, to help me remove the speck from mine”. (that was a paraphrase).

  31. Hmm. Well, Harvey, I’m glad to see that we agree on some things but I’m not sure we agree on most things (lol).

    Anyway, I agree that we all sin and it’s probably best to deal with our own beam.

    I don’t agree, however, that we should not fight politically to halt that which is not good for our nation’s people, regardless of the sin thing.

    For example, I’m against gay marriage because I don’t want the concept of marriage changed or altered. It’s not about the “sin” aspect of gays marrying that I oppose it, however. I wouldn’t comment on the relationships gays share with one another unless a gay individual attempted to state that God was “all right” with homosexuality. God was obviously not all right with it.

    I keep my nose to myself in regard to other people’s sins except when it comes to politically voting or offering opinion and taking a stand on something. When someone is obviously out of line, biblically-speaking, but claims that they are not, I will speak up.

    Thanks again, for continuing the dialogue here. It’s been most interesting thus far.

  32. Not that I really have a dog in this fight…but I have studied the Bible, especially the New Testament. I used to be a believer myself and had quite a fascination with it, and enjoyed a few seasons of Bible quizzing. I’m quite sure Jesus is not reported to have had anything to say about marriage or the definition of marriage. The only places in the Bible it is mentioned is in the Old Testament Law (which I have heard does not apply to us any more than the prohibitions against wearing mixed cloth), and in the writings of Paul.

  33. I’m going to do a blog on this topic. I think it will be interesting to discuss further.

  34. Mikel, you are right, and in fact the new testament says almost nothing about homosexuality. Paul mentions it in rather vague terms in Romans where it could be easily misinterpreted. I think it is mentioned in one other place but I can’t put my finger on it right now. It is, of course, mentioned in the OT Law, but consider this. The same author(some say Moses) who condemns homosexual conduct, also indicates that it is okay to offer up your two virgin daughters to appease the thugs on the street. In the same story Lot gets drunk and has sex with both daughters. He is justified by the fact that he was drunk and didn’t know they were his daughters. Well I have been drunk on rare occasion and I can tell you this. If I am drunk enough not to know I am screwing my daughter, I am too drunk to get an erection. I think I won’t trust the accuracy or even the integrity of this particular author.

  35. [...] One Nation Under God [...]

  36. Now perhaps you can appreciate why an atheist like myself finds the whole notion of Christianity nonsense and destructive: you cannot even agree among yourselves as to what Christianity IS/ to be a Christian.

    And this is why religion has to be completely separate from any form of state; simply because there is no consensus among believers.

    How on earth can you expect a state to acknowledge (in this case) a Christian based viewpoint when Christians don’t even understand what this is?

    Fundamentalists want Creationism, taught in schools, for example.
    Liberal (ordinary) Christians do not as they think (rightly so) it is ridiculous.

    So what message do you pass on to your children when they ask about ‘Little Johnny’ next door who says his mom is a Creationist?

    And what if he comes with other doctrinal questions?
    There are so many different answers? And yet, we are only talking about one religion!

    One can be of high moral virtue, be kind, show empathy, be sensible, loving, compassionate,fair-minded, loyal, patriotic an upstanding citizen, good parent, supportive loving spouse and valuable member of the community. In fact, one can have all the positive traits and not be religious at all.

    And what can belief in the Christian god offer? What can you promise me that I cannot achieve/have as an atheist?
    Are you a better individual merely because you claim to be Christian?
    Can you guarantee that your country – ANY country will be better off “Under God”

    Can you tell me. Honestly?

    The Ark

  37. Could you please tell me how the artist knows what Jesus looks like?


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