Friday, May 15, 2009

Sticks and Aliens

Today I'm learning to use the stick among other things. A stick is a multi purpose tool. It can be used to lean against, to steady yourself when walking over rough ground; it can be used to poke holes in the ground for seeds to grow and become a garden, it can be pushed out to someone sinking in a river, pulling them out, then up the slippery bank. It can be used on a drum to make a lot of noise, or as weapon to whack an enemy or beat off a dangerous animal. Multi purpose - very useful.

Ever felt just invisible; like an alien looking for even a small friendly "hello"? We all have days when we feel like a stranger in a strange place don't we? And most of the time we are hoping to run into someone who'll say "you are welcome here" wherever you are on your journey. Well, those kind people and those caring places are sprinkled all over this great land of ours. Is that because we are a 'Christian nation'? More importantly, are we a 'Christian nation'?

James Watkins makes an excellent case that historically, no we are not, beginning the argument with this :
"True or False: The Founding Fathers of The United States were Christians who formed a government based on godly principles.
That's a more complex answer. The "revisionist left" would like to make them secular and the "religious right" would like to make them saintly. Let's take a look at some of the more prominent Founding Father's beliefs . . . in their own words."
And ending with this note:
"I am a subscriber to the Apostles' Creed (I've had a "subscription" since second grade). I would love to document that the most prominant Founding Fathers were orthodox Christians.
However, I'm also a journalist who is committed to being an OAF (Objective, Accurate, and Fair), so I have only included quotes where I could find at least two collaborating, reliable sources."

James Madison said "The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity" (Letter to F.L. Schaeffer, Dec 3, 1821).

So yes, while we are a nation of primarily kind caring Christian folks, 62% at last count, as President Obama said, in 2007 and again in April of this year, we are not just a 'Christian nation'.

  • "I think that where -- where there's the most promise of building stronger U.S.-Turkish relations is in the recognition that Turkey and the United States can build a model partnership in which a predominantly Christian nation and a predominantly Muslim nation, a Western nation and a nation that straddles two continents -- that we can create a modern international community that is respectful, that is secure, that is prosperous; that there are not tensions, inevitable tensions, between cultures, which I think is extraordinarily important.
    That's something that's very important to me. And I've said before that one of the great strengths of the United States is -- although as I mentioned, we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation; we consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values."
    from The White House Press Office

Anyone interested in doing more research on their own will find a wealth of information on Beliefnet and The Separation of Church and State

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