OF COURSE AMERICA WAS NEVER A CHRISTIAN NATION

humor.pngOf course America was never a Christian nation.  Here is the real story.

😉

America owes its prosperity and plenty to all the diverse atheistic cultural groups that came together as a providential example of human reasoning and skill. These atheistic collectives combined to produce our uniquely secular Constitution and governing institutions.

Consider where it all began. The first arrivals crossed the Bering Strait, then a cold, dry land bridge because of the Ice Age.  They brought with them their belief in the Great Spirit of Logic which they celebrated at their campfires by devising efficient ways to hunt and farm.  Thus, these Indians became the first environmentalists. To protect the environment, they consciously chose to remain in the Stone Age for thousands of years, forgoing the use of electricity, plastics, and labor saving machines to protect their beautiful land and wildlife.

When barbaric Vikings from Northern Europe arrived in America, the Indians met them and showed them their ways.  Some of the amazed Vikings stayed and joined the Indians. Others returned to Europe and introduced their Scandinavian brothers and sisters to the Great Spirit of Logic. Hence, early in its history Scandinavian became renowned for its peaceful ways and near absence of warriors.

Now we go to the Middle East. Here, a thousand years earlier, long before Lief Erickson trod the shores of North America, a great philosopher named Jesus began popularizing the works of little known Jewish philosophers. These philosophers had done ground breaking work on the rules for rational human behavior, but few knew of or understood their great accomplishments. Unfortunately, generations of ignorant Jewish scribes had obscured their insights with strange notions about an angry God and multitudes of needless rules and laws.  Fortunately, a gentile named Jesus, a star student educated by the best Greek and Roman teachers, discovered well preserved copies of the works of those little known Jewish philosophers. Curious, he delved into them and was amazed by what he had found.  Subsequently, he assembled a team of fellow philosophers, and he taught them what he had learned.

Jesus died shortly thereafter, but the work he had started continued. His disciples taught others and made disciples of those they taught.  Thus, through his first disciples Jesus slowly became famous for teaching what ancient Indians had learned long ago on the other side of the word.  Humans can solve any problem by reasoning together and working together. In time, man can make his collective will the supreme force in the universe. In time, man can be his own god.

Seeing that Jesus had discovered a path for the works of man to make salvation possible, his disciples soon began to call him the Christ (meaning the savior) and themselves Christians. Therefore, Jesus ironically attained to the status of deity from his more gullible disciples.

Fortunately, Jesus’ first disciples preserved his teachings in their class notes, but most of the world was illiterate.  So Christianity spread slowly, and its adherents mixed up Jesus’ teachings with strange beliefs. Then in 15th century, someone invented the printing press.  So most of the educated people of Europe were able to read both the works of the those little known Jewish philosophers and the class notes of Jesus’ disciples.

Unfortunately, the arrival of the printing press resulted in competing interpretations of Christianity and chaos. As various groups strove to practice their own versions of rational and well-reasoned living, the old pagan institutions strained and finally began to slowly crumble. Still, many Christians sought escape from their persecutors in the New World.  Here are some of the better known groups.

  • Disciples of the Church of England, devoted to prosperous living, sought escape in Virginia.
  • Pilgrims for Stoicism and later the Followers of Puritanical Reason settled in New England.
  • The Rational Friends settled in Pennsylvania.
  • The Proponents of the Catholic Mind settled in Maryland.

The Atlantic Ocean was not wide enough.  The adherents to the old pagan gods were still strong enough in England to torment the Christians in the New World.  So the thirteen colonies, all practicing various versions Jesus’ teachings (now intermixed and strengthen by the Indian’s belief in the Great Spirit of Logic) decided to declare their independence. So they wrote up a declaration. They declared that the rights of men depend upon the rational collective will of mankind, not the rantings of those who believe in nonexistent gods.  Then, they listed their grievances and crudely told King George III where to stick it.

The rest is history.

SO DONALD TRUMP WON. NOW WHAT?

These paintings by Gerard David (c. 1460 – 13 August 1523) depict the arrest and flaying by a corrupt judge. Cambyses, a Persian King sentence this judge, Sisamnes, for accepting a bribe.  Then he used the skin to cover the seat Sisamnes' son used when he sat as a judge. (from here)
These paintings by Gerard David (c. 1460 – 13 August 1523) depict the arrest and flaying by a corrupt judge. Cambyses, a Persian King sentenced this judge, Sisamnes, for accepting a bribe. Then he used the skin to cover the seat Sisamnes’ son used when he sat as a judge. (from here)

Donald Trump’s election victory has almost everyone amazed.  When I look over the situation, however, I am relieved, but not sanguine.  Republicans don’t do either victory or defeat well, but that’s why WE THE PEOPLE chose Trump. We want a leader with some fight in him, someone on our side.

So what’s the problem? As WE THE PEOPLE, we must remember the objective, a government that protects everyone’s God-given rights. Revenge of the Deplorables, for example, is all true except for one thing. Vengeance belongs to God. Therefore, writing this paragraph was a bad idea.

What comes around, goes around; the revenge of the pissed off deplorable has come to fruition. Life as a liberal in the USA is about to get very unpleasant, and I’m gleefully looking forward to being one of the reasons why. Last Tuesday’s election was only the beginning; we are going to screw them over every chance we get. Can you hear me now? (from here)

Believe me. I think the author of Revenge of the Deplorables writes thoughtful posts. Believe me. I too have an itch to screw the Democrats over. Using “good intentions” as their excuse, Democrats have dreadfully abused the power of government, and their leaders have deliberately sown dissension and division. Nevertheless, I have plenty of brothers and sisters who voted for H. Clinton. So I know from personal experience that Democrat voters are not devils. So I don’t want revenge. I just want them figure out big government creates many more problems than it ever fixes.

When we use government to make our neighbors do things our way or to just make them miserable, we have just created a monster that makes everyone endlessly angry. Civil war is the worst kind of war. Hence, we must look for Biblical guidance. Consider this timely verse posted at Settled In Heaven on the day after the election.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (from here)

As Christians, we are not supposed to let the world trouble us or make us afraid. We must strive for peace by following Jesus Christ.

Jesus told us and demonstrated for us just how dishonest and conniving the world can be. The Bible shows us just how dishonest and conniving we can be. Nonetheless, the Bible predates American politics. So something more specific to our situation might be helpful. Here in Common Sense Rules for Following Elections the author provides a more rational perspective than what most in the news media want us to have.

I know that’s hard to believe sometimes, but the other candidate and the other party aren’t evil because they see things differently than you do. It sounds silly to even say that, doesn’t it? Yet in the heat of a tough campaign, all of us need to remind ourselves of this obvious fact. When the other side wins, it seems like life is about to end, but it isn’t. Those checks and balances that you might like to do away with at the moment, will keep any president from going too far; even Mr. Obama found that out. Remember four years ago when he went around the country telling us he wouldn’t wait for Congress to legislate and promised a slew of Executive Orders instead… until Courts started throwing them out? Well, maybe you’ve forgotten that, but I haven’t; those checks and balances are pretty awesome. (continued here)

Whether we voted for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, we did not vote for a saint or against the devil. We just voted for another human being like ourselves, someone who needs the saving grace of Jesus Christ, particularly if that candidate won.

So what should we hope for? America Trumped–what comes next? reviews the limited powers of our president. Since the national news media and most of the members of Congress — including Republicans — regard Trump as an outsider, they will be looking for opportunities to take him down. Hence, we must not forget we too have a role.

Donald Trump has a mandate from the voters to try to fix what is wrong with the American government, but not many solutions can come out of the White House. The obligation returns to the voters to send honorable men and women into the government, to advise those elected or appointed to government positions, and to honor and respect the government we have created for ourselves. When we are better citizens, then we can produce a better government. Until then, we can only pray for the government that we have made. (from here)

Never stop praying, not even when you “think” we have the government “we” should want.

POST ELECTION PRAYER

vote for americaYesterday I did something new.  I worked as an election officer at one of the polls in Prince William County, VA.

The process went smoothly. We checked in voters with laptops that contained the county’s voter registration information. We just insisted (as state law requires) that each voter provide a legal form of ID.  So most people pulled out their VA driver’s license, and we scanned it with a bar code reader.

Of course there were some problems, and I did not see all of them, but what I did see provides examples.  One lady walked to the polls with her two children, one child in a stroller. Unfortunately, she had left her ID at home. So she had to walk back and get it, and she did. Another gentleman wanted to use a driver’s license from Florida. That was not acceptable, particularly since we could not find him registered under that name.  Of course, we also sent a bunch of people who had come to the wrong precinct to the right precinct.

One adult citizen. One vote. One place near home to cast that vote. Not terribly complicated. In fact, we were fairly happy with the system. Over 50 percent of the voters in our precinct voted that day, but we never had a large back up. The morning was rough, but the system permits absentee voting. Therefore, large numbers of commuters make use of it, and we did not experience a heavy surge in the of people returning home in the evening, just steady traffic throughout the rest of the day. The overall result, adding the large numbers who had voted absentee, was a huge turnout in the 75 percent range.

In Virginia, we use paper ballots.  After each voter established his or her credentials, we gave them a ballot in a “privacy folder”. They then went to one of the tables separated into sections by partitions. Those partitions allowed each voter mark his or her ballot in privacy. Then each voter walked up to a scanner, got behind privacy screens, opened their privacy folder again, took out their ballot and fed it into the scanner. The scanner then flashed up the American flag, indicating the vote had been recorded, and it dropped each ballot into a locked box underneath.  That way, if we needed to do a recount, we had hard evidence to work with.

That’s not a perfect system, but it is a fair and credible system. Still, Virginia went for H. Clinton. Why was obvious. We have lots of workers in the area who are dependent upon government spending. We also have lots of immigrants in the area who don’t as yet appreciate the damage unbridled immigration is doing to the cause of freedom.  No country’s cultural traditions can survive both a public education system that denies the special value of that culture and a huge influx of foreigners who don’t even have to learn the local language. Hence, each year our leaders feel less obliged to pay any attention to our Constitution, and our republic is dying almost without a struggle.

So at the end of a long day, when we shut everything down, I looked at the vote in our precinct with considerable disappointment. H. Clinton won. Since I knew the vote had been as fair as Virginia was ever likely to make it — no thanks to the rascals in the top three state offices — I had to accept it. Thus, I went home feeling a bit disgruntled.

When I got home at about 9:30 PM, I got a surprise. My wife watches French TV (That’s another story.). Well, it seems the French had figured out the election was leaning Donald Trump’s way. That lifted my spirits a little bit, but I was still tired. So I went to bed. When I woke up, I enjoyed hearing the good news.

So does the fact Trump won mean America is going to be Great Again? No. Of course not. Making America great again is going to require much prayer, the providence of God, and lots of hard work from all of us.

Let’s start with some of that tradition we need to save, a prayer. Here is an email I got today from Delegate Bob Marshall.

THE MARSHALL MESSAGEDear Friends,

While the presidential election is over, the fundamental public policy divisions, some of which are ethical and spiritual in nature, still remain.

With God’s help, I believe it is possible to bind the wounds of our divided nation so that we can truly be one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.

The Founders of America, in the Declaration of Independence, placed their trust in Divine Providence for the rectitude of their intentions.

With that in mind, I urge you to read and share this prayer taken from the 1928 Anglican Book of Common Prayer.  And thank God for his mercy.

Sincerely,

Delegate Bob Marshall

For Our Country.

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favour and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honourable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogancy, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

“For Our Country,” Book of Common Prayer, 1928

PRESIDENTIAL PROS AND CONS: THE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT

Caption: The committee chosen to draft a declaration of independence for the 13 North American British colonies is shown at work in this 19th century engraving. The five members are, from left, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Philip Livingston and Roger Sherman. On July 1, 1776, the committee submitted their draft to the Continental Congress, which voted on July 2 for final separation, and approved and formally adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4. (© AP Images)
Caption: The committee chosen to draft a declaration of independence for the 13 North American British colonies is shown at work in this 19th century engraving. The five members are, from left, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Philip Livingston and Roger Sherman. On July 1, 1776, the committee submitted their draft to the Continental Congress, which voted on July 2 for final separation, and approved and formally adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4. (© AP Images)

We actually have as part of our heritage a document that clearly states the purpose of government, the Declaration of Independence.  Here are the key words.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

Unfortunately, when we take the passage above out of context, we forget why men came from all over the 13 original colonies to draft and sign the Declaration of Independence. We forget that at the risk of their lives and their fortunes they were preparing to battle to strongest military power of their age. We forget they were about to embark upon a long and miserable war, and we forget why. Instead of protecting his subjects, the government of King George III just saw the wealth of the colonies and wanted to exploit it. Hence the colonists responded forcefully: “no taxation without representation”.

Do most of us (Americans) still believe that God gives us our rights, or do we believe that government gives us our rights? Given how our government spends our money, it does not seem likely. Most of the Federal budget goes to cover “pension” expenses like Social Security and “health” expenses like Medicare (see here). Since everyone likes being taken care of for “free”, there is a huge constituency such “entitlements”.

Because nothing is free, our national debt is out of control (see here).  Yet, ironically, many of the same people who want the free “entitlements” blame the deficit on defense spending, something the Constitution actually authorizes Congress to do. Those foolish people are wrong. Defense is only 21 percent of the Federal budget (see here again).

So what is the problem? Few of us spend much time studying what the Framers of our Constitution studied.  Few of us bother to read what they wrote.

Consider this webpage, The Purposes of Government. That webpage never mentions the Declaration of Independence. Instead, the author focuses upon the evolution of government. Then he describes our present state.

In more recent years, government responsibilities have extended to the economy and public service. An early principle of capitalism dictates that markets should be free from government control. But when economies spun out of control during the 1930s, and countries sank into great depressions, governments acted. The United States Congress created the Federal Reserve System in the early twentieth century to ward off inflation and monitor the value of the dollar. Franklin Roosevelt and his “Brain Trust” devised New Deal programs to shock the country into prosperity. (from here)

The economies just spun out of control?  Don’t economies spin out of control when people are encouraged to borrow recklessly, nations put up trade barriers, and government taxing and spending saps the strength of the economy? That is the fault of capitalism spun out of control?

Similarly, http://www.cliffsnotes.com provide a lame answer, What is the purpose of government, and how does a bill become law?

When you try to figure out the purpose of government, you can easily get bogged down in all of the many things a government does or should do — from defending the people to managing the federal budget. And if you ask a dozen people what the purpose of government is, you’d probably get a dozen different answers, depending on individual point of view.

That’s because everyone — and I mean everyone — has a different view of what a government should and shouldn’t do. Some think the government should control everything, while others think government should have a limited role in people’s lives. Some think that the government should be run by one person, as in a dictatorship, while others think the people should have the right to elect their representatives and leaders, as in a democracy. In fact, the purpose of government has been at the root of philosophical and political debates for many hundreds of years. Just think of any presidential debate you’ve seen: If you boil down what the candidates say, you basically end up with their views on the purpose of government. And, of course, their views usually differ quite a bit! (continued here)

What about the perspective of a journalist of renown?

Call me old-fashioned, but I still hold with the ancient Greeks who said government has only one purpose, to improve the lives of citizens. If it doesn’t, there is no reason for it, no reason at all, which is why I was a little surprised that with the nation at war, our intelligence services in a complete mess, as we just heard, the deficit soaring and jobs going overseas, the Senate decided the most important thing it needed to do was debate a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The House will soon follow.  (from here)

Bob Schieffer provided that back in 2004. That was back when the mass media had just begun to work up to a full-throated roar for “same-sex marriage”.

Still, we began as a nation with an answer. We knew the purpose of government. At least, we once did. So with some effort we can still find websites that speak to that purpose.

So what about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump?  What I suggest is clicking on the links in their names and visiting their websites. Then read the quote below.

But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. — James Madison from The Federalist No. 51

Which candidate do you think would most concern James Madison? Which candidate is more concerned with the acquisition of power? Which candidate is most interested in protecting our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Which candidate causes you to fear more for the sake of your children?

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