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Topic: Can America Survive as a Post-Christian Nation?

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billyboy75

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Re: Can America Survive as a Post-Christian Nation?
« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2017, 04:48:16 PM »
And what is it based on Pitch?

P1tchBlack

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Re: Can America Survive as a Post-Christian Nation?
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2017, 05:00:30 PM »
And what is it based on Pitch?
Common Sense, basic human decency, fear of the law, etc.  Are Christians so arrogant that they believe that only they know that stealing, killing, Etc is wrong?  I've been atheist for

DunkingDan

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Diaper Boy aka Pitchy strikes out again
« Reply #30 on: January 01, 2018, 04:53:32 PM »
It Turns Out That a Less-Christian America Might Be a Worse America

Or it might not be worse. Or it might be better. Or it might be the same. As it turns out our system of government does a pretty good job of setting standards of behavior for society.
Yep worked out well for others too
Vox Day, in The Irrational Atheist, lists 22 atheistic regimes that committed 153,368,610 murders in the 20th century alone:

Murders by Atheists (20th Century)




















[th]Country[/th]
[th]Dates[/th]
[th]Murders[/th]

Afghanistan
1978-1992
1,750,000

Albania
1944-1985
100,000

Angola
1975-2002
125,000

Bulgaria
1944-1989
222,000

China/PRC
1923-2007
76,702,000

Cuba
1959-1992
73,000

Czechoslovakia
1948-1968
65,000

Ethiopia
1974-1991
1,343,610

France
1793-1794
40,000

Greece
1946-1949
20,000

Hungary
1948-1989
27,000

Kampuchea/Cambodia
1973-1991
2,627,000

Laos
1975-2007
93,000

Mongolia
1926-2007
100,000

Mozambique
1975-1990
118,000

North Korea
1948-2007
3,163,000

Poland
1945-1948
1,607,000

Romania
1948-1987
438,000

Spain (Republic)
1936-1939
102,000

U.S.S.R.
1917-1987
61,911,000

Vietnam
1945-2007
1,670,000

Yugoslavia
1944-1980
1,072,000


President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

fuzzynavol

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Re: Can America Survive as a Post-Christian Nation?
« Reply #31 on: January 01, 2018, 05:05:14 PM »
Nice of all those atheists to murder in such round numbers.


DunkingDan

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Fuzzkid never learns
« Reply #32 on: January 01, 2018, 05:21:12 PM »
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

billyboy75

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Re: Can America Survive as a Post-Christian Nation?
« Reply #33 on: January 01, 2018, 05:30:35 PM »
Common Sense, basic human decency, fear of the law, etc.  Are Christians so arrogant that they believe that only they know that stealing, killing, Etc is wrong?  I've been atheist for
Western civilization as we know it was founded on the teaching of the Bible.  Plain and simple.  In America even more so.
Before Jesus, it was war after war, survival of the fittest, mass slavery, mass murder.  It was a very rough world.  In twentieth century atheistic governance, it remained the same, there was no basic human decency and very little common sense. 
After Jesus and his message of faith, hope, charity, forgiveness, service to ones fellow man, helping the impoverished, truth, justice, empowerment of the common man changed the world.  We take for granted that our culture is what it is.  Our standards are based on right and wrong as taught by religious institutions.  America was founded by godly men who knew that a strong set of Judeo Christian values was mandatory for self governance.  If it disappeared, we might last for a while but probably not very long.  

P1tchBlack

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Re: Can America Survive as a Post-Christian Nation?
« Reply #34 on: January 01, 2018, 10:30:02 PM »
Western civilization as we know it was founded on the teaching of the Bible.  Plain and simple.  In America even more so.
Before Jesus, it was war after war, survival of the fittest, mass slavery, mass murder.  It was a very rough world.  In twentieth century atheistic governance, it remained the same, there was no basic human decency and very little common sense.
After Jesus and his message of faith, hope, charity, forgiveness, service to ones fellow man, helping the impoverished, truth, justice, empowerment of the common man changed the world.  We take for granted that our culture is what it is.  Our standards are based on right and wrong as taught by religious institutions.  America was founded by GODly men who knew that a strong set of Judeo Christian values was mandatory for self governance.  If it disappeared, we might last for a while but probably not very long.  
We aren't pre Jesus Anymore. We aren't neanderthals we aren't a civilization that does not understand how to treat your fellow man. Again, we do a pretty good job of creating laws to dictate what's right and wrong and we also do a good job of ignoring the Bible,when needed, when it infringes on people's rights.

BrownCounty

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Re: Can America Survive as a Post-Christian Nation?
« Reply #35 on: January 02, 2018, 11:09:45 AM »
we also do a good job of ignoring the Bible,when needed, when it infringes on people's rights.
This part is more recent.
And we will soon see what it buys us.

P1tchBlack

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Re: Can America Survive as a Post-Christian Nation?
« Reply #36 on: January 02, 2018, 07:27:50 PM »
This part is more recent.
And we will soon see what it buys us.
I suspect it'll buy us nothing.  Granting people the freedom the have a right to have, isn't always pretty, but it's American.  i.e. guns. 

DunkingDan

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Re: Can America Survive as a Post-Christian Nation?
« Reply #37 on: January 04, 2018, 11:47:21 AM »
This part is more recent.
And we will soon see what it buys us.
He has no problem infringing on Christians rights and thinks their views should only be expressed to each other behind closed doors 
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

BrownCounty

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Re: Can America Survive as a Post-Christian Nation?
« Reply #38 on: January 04, 2018, 12:14:05 PM »
I suspect it'll buy us nothing.  Granting people the freedom the have a right to have, isn't always pretty, but it's American.  i.e. guns.
I was thinking more along the lines of a "woman" with a pecker.  You know, something where we ignored the Bible - as you stated.

I'm not sure the Bible has a position on owning a gun, rather just what you do with it.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 12:16:14 PM by BrownCounty »

DunkingDan

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Re: Can America Survive as a Post-Christian Nation?
« Reply #39 on: January 04, 2018, 01:06:02 PM »
I was thinking more along the lines of a "woman" with a pecker.  You know, something where we ignored the Bible - as you stated.

I'm not sure the Bible has a position on owning a gun, rather just what you do with it.
https://www.gunowners.org/fs9902.htm

https://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-gun-control-Bible.html

https://ebible.com/questions/10058-what-did-jesus-mean-in-luke-22-36-about-buying-a-sword?back=1
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

P1tchBlack

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Re: Can America Survive as a Post-Christian Nation?
« Reply #40 on: January 05, 2018, 02:07:32 AM »
He has no problem infringing on Christians rights and thinks their views should only be expressed to each other behind closed doors
I have an issue with Christians  infringing on the rights of others.  I have an issue with Americans infringing on the rights of other Americans.

SLM85VOL

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Re: Can America Survive as a Post-Christian Nation?
« Reply #41 on: January 05, 2018, 06:21:36 AM »
Sorry Billy I never responded to anything about Jefferson
As a note The Jefferson Bible was not about his beliefs. I should have a saved article about it if you like I will try and hunt it up for you in the next couple days, just say the word.
 There is lots of good Historical debate as to if he was a Christian of a deist and that is not for me to judge. However I find these points as giving us some idea
Jefferson was a member of the vestry of his local Anglican church.
As an elected official in Virginia in the mid 1770s he authored "A bill for appointing days for public fasting and thanksgiving." As Governor of Virginia in 1779 Jefferson issued "A day of public and solemn prayer to almighty GOD."
From his "Second Inaugural Address" in 1805:
 "[We are in the hands of] the GOD who ... led our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with His providence and our riper years with His wisdom and power, and to whose goodness I ask you to join in supplications with me that He will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures that whatsoever they do shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship and approbation of all nations."

Addressed to William Canby in 1813:
 "Of all systems of morality, ancient or modern, which have come under my observation, none appear to be so pure as that of Jesus."
"Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of GOD? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? I tremble for my country when I reflect that GOD is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever."
"The GOD who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time."
"I hold the precepts of Jesus as delivered by Himself, to be the most pure, benevolent and sublime which have ever been preached to man..."
"To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in the preference to all others."
From his last will and testament:
 "I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ."
Jefferson's last will and testament as well as his correspondence to William Canby are fairly definitive in his beliefs on Christianity in reference to Jesus.  Many beliefs can be projected on famous people who have written extensively on many topics indicating variances in thought at various times, but who are no longer here to elaborate on those beliefs.  Thus, we can surmise years later what they really believed.  The bigger point I was attempting to clarify was that many of our founding fathers were Christians who desired to build a nation guided by Judeo-Christian principles, but at the same time not dictate a national religion thereby providing freedom to worship as one sees fit or not at all.  What drives me crazy are the people who confuse the concept of the separation of church and state where they are contradicting the intent of the founding fathers to suit them.  Nowhere in the US constitution does it say "separation of church and state," as this is their interpretation of what they desire to see.  It's very clear in their various writings that the founding fathers intended that there be no established national religion infringing on the rights of its citizens, but yet have religious principles be part of the fabric of the nation and the government that runs it.  This to me is the crux of the topic of the thread.  As John Baker, Professor Emeritus Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Catholic University Columbus School of Law stated, "In recent years the Supreme Court has placed the Establishment and the Free Exercise of Religion Clauses in mutual tension, but it was not so for the Framers. None of the Framers believed that a governmental connection to religion was an evil in itself. Rather, many (though not all) opposed an established church because they believed that it was a threat to the free exercise of religion. Their primary goal was to protect free exercise. That was the main thrust of James Madison's famous Memorial and Remonstrance (1785), in which he argued that the state of Virginia ought not to pay the salaries of the Anglican clergy because that practice was an impediment to a person's free connection to whatever religion his conscience directed him.


And he added: "And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion."  There is nothing in the drafting history of the First Amendment that contradicts Washington's understanding of the appropriate relation between government and religion. In the First Congress, the committee proposal in the House read, "no religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed." But some evinced concern that the phrase might put in doubt the legitimacy of some of the states' own religious establishments. Six of the original thirteen states had established churches. James Madison believed modifying the phrasing to prohibit a "national religion" would be sufficient to allay that concern and would make clear that the new government was not to impinge on the rights of conscience by establishing a governmental connection to a church. Representative Samuel Livermore of New Hampshire suggested that "Congress shall make no laws touching religion or the rights of conscience." The House finally settled on this language: "Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, nor shall the rights of Conscience be infringed." The Senate preferred the formula "Congress shall make no law establishing articles of faith, or a mode of worship, or prohibiting the free exercise of religion," which likely would have permitted direct financial support to a sect. In the end, the conference between the House and the Senate agreed on the current version: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The addition of the word "respecting" is significant. It prohibits Congress from legislating either to establish a national religion or to disestablish a state religion. As Laurence Tribe has written, "[a] growing body of evidence suggests that the Framers principally intended the Establishment of Religion Clause to perform two functions: to protect state religious establishments from national displacement, and to prevent the national government from aiding some, but not all, religions."



Leaving the question of establishment to the states does not entail the absence of religious liberty. Even before the incorporation of the religion clauses and without intervention by the federal courts, religious freedom and tolerance had spread throughout the United States. To be sure, religious conflicts occurred at the local level where discrimination, particularly against Catholics and Jews existed. The framework established by the Constitution, however, made it possible for religious minorities to gain protection through political representation.



Contemporaneous history strongly indicates that most Framers supported religion because it increased virtue among the people, a necessary element for the maintenance of a free republic. Nonetheless, when it came time to speak upon the matter, the Supreme Court preferred to base its conception of the original understanding of the clause on its interpretation of a phrase from a letter by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut (1802). Although he had been in France during the Constitutional Convention, Jefferson's metaphor of a "wall of separation" was interpreted by the Court as the authoritative statement of a "high and impregnable" barrier between church and state, even though this was itself an expansion beyond Jefferson's own meaning and practice. Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing (1947); see also Reynolds v. United States (1879).



The modern view of the Establishment of Religion Clause began with Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing in 1947, where the Court initiated the current separationist approach to the Establishment of Religion Clause. On the way to reaching its decision, the Supreme Court held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applied the First Amendment's proscriptions against establishment to the states. Although there is vigorous debate as to whether the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment "incorporate," or replicate, the guarantees of the Bill of Rights and fastens them on the states, most commentators opine that the Establishment of Religion Clause is the least likely candidate for incorporation. The Establishment of Religion Clause was designed as a protection of the states against the federal government. It seems anomalous to many scholars, even to some who support incorporation generally, that the Establishment of Religion Clause could be called an individual right for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment.



Notwithstanding the historians' doubts, the Supreme Court has firmly adhered to the incorporation of the Establishment of Religion Clause against the states. As a result of the incorporation of the Religion Clause into the Fourteenth Amendment, almost all of the federal cases compelling "separation of church and state" have been applied against state laws.



The contradictory decisions of the Supreme Court on the Establishment of Religion Clause render the area inchoate if not incoherent. A "moment of silence for meditation and prayer" in school is contrary to the Constitution (only if the motive is religious), Wallace v. Jaffree (1985), but a paid chaplain in Congress or state legislatures is not, Marsh v. Chambers (1983). Religious schools may not receive funds for maintenance expenses, Committee for Public Education & Religious Liberty v. Nyquist (1973), but places of worship can enjoy a tax exemption, Walz v. Tax Commision of City of New York (1970). Prayers at high school football games are invalid, Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe (2000), but the bailiff's call, "God Save this Honorable Court," may be heard within the chambers of the Supreme Court.

Since Everson, the Supreme Court has developed three different and conflicting views regarding the Establishment of Religion Clause: (1) separationism, (2) coercion, and (3) endorsement.



The separationist view of Everson led to the banning of prayer and Bible reading from public schools. Engel v. Vitale (1962); School District of Abington Township v. Schempp (1963). To enforce separationism, the Court settled on a three-part test in Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971). The Lemon test requires courts to consider whether the law in question has (1) a secular purpose, (2) a primary effect that neither advances nor inhibits religion, and (3) does not create excessive entanglement with religion. Subsequently, the entanglement element was subsumed into the primary effect inquiry. Agostini v. Felton (1997). The strict separationists on the Court did allow for a few exceptions to the Lemon test under the rubric of "ceremonial deism," whereby particular customary practices may be protected from Establishment Clause scrutiny if "they have lost through rote repetition any significant religious content." Lynch v. Donnelly (1984).

A major historical challenge to the separationist position emerged in the dissent written by (then) Justice William H. Rehnquist in Wallace v. Jaffree in 1985. Rehnquist argued that the original meaning of the Establishment of Religion Clause only "forbade establishment of a national religion, and forbade preference among religious sects or denominations." In defending this "no denominational preference" position and criticizing strict separationism, Rehnquist observed that Thomas Jefferson is "a less than ideal source of contemporary history as to the meaning of the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment." Absent from the country when the Bill of Rights was written, Jefferson was not involved in the legislative drafting of the First Amendment. Earlier, Jefferson had figured prominently, along with Madison, in the struggle over religious liberty in Virginia; they shared similar views on these matters and had cooperated during this debate. Nevertheless, in considering Madison's actions in the Congress, as the Rehnquist opinion states, it "is totally incorrect [to] suggest that Madison carried these views onto the floor of the United States House of Representatives when he proposed the language which would ultimately become the Bill of Rights."

Rehnquist offered several other pieces of evidence to contradict the "wall of separation" metaphor, including numerous Thanksgiving proclamations and other actions by Presidents and the Congress, as well as the Northwest Ordinance, which Congress took up on the same day the Bill of Rights was introduced. The Northwest Ordinance is generally known for providing land grants for public schools in the new states and territories, but it also allowed grants for religious schools until Congress limited grants to nonsectarian institutions in 1845.



Although these various pieces of historical evidence support the proposition that the Establishment of Religion Clause merely requires "no preference between denominations," others criticize that view on originalist grounds. For instance, Douglas Laycock has noted that the Congress that drafted the First Amendment rejected several preliminary drafts that would have clearly stated the "no preference" principle—for example, one draft stated that "Congress shall make no law establishing One Religious Sect or Society in preference to others." Instead, the Congress adopted the arguably broader language forbidding any law "respecting an establishment of religion." The "no preference" position, whatever its originalist merits, has not figured in Supreme Court opinions since the 1985 Rehnquist dissent in Wallace v. Jaffree.



As another alternative to separationism, some Justices assert that the Establishment of Religion Clause was originally meant only to prohibit the government from coercing individuals to practice religion or support it. It is often associated with Justices who believe the government has the power to "accommodate" the diverse religious practices of the people. This principle, to which the Court has given attention in decisions such as Lee v. Weisman (1992), would allow government to support religion in ways that do not coerce individuals. For example, states could permit the erection of religious symbols in public places or issue proclamations of thanksgiving to God. This position likewise finds some support in Founding-era statements, such as James Madison's 1789 explanation to the House that the goal was to prevent a sect or combination of sects from "establish[ing] a religion to which they would compel others to conform," or from "enforc[ing] the legal observation of it by law." The "no coercion" principle likewise is consistent with the long line of religious expressions by government, running from the Founding period to the present; government may express religious sentiments as long as it does not force anyone to agree with such expressions or participate in such ceremonies. As applied by the Court, however, particularly in the opinions of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the "no coercion principle" is broad enough to prohibit even student-led nonsectarian prayers at school assemblies such as graduations or sporting events if the state, in some way, is selecting the student for that purpose.



Finally, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has offered an alternative to both the strict separationist view (usually articulated in the Lemon test) and the "no coercion" principle. According to Justice O'Connor, the Establishment of Religion Clause prohibits a state from "endorsing" a religion. She defines the test for "endorsement" as whether an objective, reasonable observer would see the state action as sending "a message to nonadherents that they are not full members of the political community." Lynch v. Donnelly (1984). Justice Antonin Scalia has criticized the test, though some of the strict separationists have adopted Justice O'Connor's wording as supporting their interpretation of the Establishment of Religion Clause. See County of Allegheny v. American Civil Liberties Union, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter (1989).

Establishment of Religion Clause jurisprudence remains unsettled as Justices form shifting majorities around one or the other of the three tests. Recently the coercion test has been the basis of invalidating prayers in public school settings, Lee v. Weisman; Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe (2000). Concerning the question whether the phrase "under God" can be part of the Pledge of Allegiance public-school children are allowed (but not required) to recite, the Supreme Court refused to rule in a recent case because the plaintiff lacked standing (and was not directly injured by the practice). Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow (2004).



The Lemon test, or a form of it, was invoked to invalidate the teaching of creationism, Edwards v. Aquillard (1987), and state-sponsored posting of the Ten Commandments, Stone v. Graham (1980). (The Supreme Court has recently granted a writ of certiorari in two Ten Commandments cases, Van Orden v. Perry and McCreary County, Kentucky v. ACLU of Kentucky.) The endorsement test has provided the formula that a number of Justices have used to decide the constitutionality of religious displays on public property, such as a Nativity scene, County of Allegheny v. American Civil Liberties Union, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter and a cross, Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board v. Pinette (1995). More frequently, the Court has approved religious practice or symbols on public property as protected by the Freedom of Speech Clause of the First Amendment, Good News Club v. Milford Central School (2001).



After a long series of cases dealing with aid to religious schools, a majority of the Court has embraced the principle that there is no Establishment of Religion Clause violation if the state gives tuition aid (e.g., tuition vouchers) directly to the parents who can decide which schools their children will attend, whether religiously affiliated or not, rather than giving the aid directly to the religious school. Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002). Finally, the Court has approved "exceptions" based on tradition, such as tax exemptions, Walz v. Tax Commission of City of New York (1970), and legislative chaplains, Marsh v. Chambers (1983), even though the Framers of the Establishment of Religion Clause did not find a provision of a chaplain to be an "exception" but in harmony with a governmental policy of encouraging religious expression and exercise.



As Bill Flax correctly stated, "Our forefathers never sought to evict the church from society. They recognized that the several states did not share uniform values. We lived and worshipped differently. The framers were a diverse bunch with wildly divergent opinions on many issues, but eliminating the very foundations of America’s heritage would have horrified them. On few issues was there more unanimity.



Where the French Revolution and its official policy of “De-Christianization” quickly devolved into bloodshed and oppression, here freedom flourished. Our independence was seen as the culmination of a march toward liberty, not a rejection of America’s historical cultural moorings. Our forbears embraced tradition and left local autonomy largely intact.



Schools, courts and the public square were often overtly Christian and had been since their colonial beginnings. Few Americans would have tolerated a coercive central government infringing on their rights to post religious symbols on local schools, courts or anywhere else.



Americans built society from the ground up. Many had fled oppression. The colonies instituted local self-government indigenously to confirm the rights resident in their persons and property. Few would have willingly been dispossessed by Washington of the very freedoms which they had just secured from London.

Here men could and did rise as their efforts merited. Commoners were unshackled from feudal paralysis and freed to find God individually. Both the economy and church thrived. Alexis de Tocqueville observed that Americans intertwined individual liberty with vibrant faith. “It is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.”



Even non-Christian founders thought religion essential. None would have wished to upend the very basis for education, law or culture. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 states: “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 06:47:13 AM by SLM85VOL »
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