Sunday, January 15, 2006


In Part the Third of Original Intent, I will discuss Biblical Premises.

It was many, MANY years ago (operative word here is many, if you hadn’t guessed), I used to toss off this little chestnut:”Well, America was built on biblical premises.” Or somesuch thing. I actually believed this. Till one day, I thought to myself, “Well, maybe I should check that.”

I try very hard to live by this motto: Look it up.

Or, as my literary idol, Harlan Ellison says: “No one is entitled to an opinion. Everyone’s entitled to an INFORMED opinion.” (Mr. Ellison’s other motto is not to suffer fools gladly).

So I did.

Something of a shock it was, too. Mind you, not an atheist. Not yet.

Outside of a few nebulous mentions of a Creator in the DOI, de nada.

Let’s extrapolate here: there are 3 (that I know of) lynchpins in the mechanism of Xtianity.

  1. The resurrection

  2. YHVH

  3. JC as the son of #2.
If there are others I’ve missed, I will gladly cop to it.

I defy ANYONE to point out these 3 cornerstones to me. Hell, there’s not even a mention of the Trinity, fer cryin’ out loud.

And before any knobs out there start pointing out that the SOCAS isn’t explicitly spelled out in the Constitution, that’s implied.

There’s not even an inference of the 3 points stated above. Outside the ‘catch-as-catch can’ reference to a Creator. And that could easily be applied to Allah/Buddha/[insert choice of deity here].

Then we go to the infamous/famous Treaty of Tripoli, wherein it states specifically, w/o any question: "As the government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian Religion..."

I have heard the argument that it was a suzerainty treaty, ergo that doesn’t count. According to Holding, so is Deuteronomy: does that free the Xtian/Jew from having to follow any of the rules inherent?

Utter crap.

First off, it passed in the Senate of 1789 unanimously. For those who want to quibble, that means without a murmur of protest. Second off, (and I find this telling), the Arabian version, when unearthed, was missing this statement.

And now begins the squabble: yes, the Founders were primarily of Xtian faith (no, not all, but a huge percentile of them), yes they did use biblical quotes (Paine did on occasion, and most literate folk know how he felt about Xtianity!), yadayadayada. I’ve even heard some specious nonsense about how this nation was founded based on a few choice quotes from the bible.

Let’s skip the parts we don’t like. How, for instance, Native Americans had a huge impact on the development of this nation, both agriculturally as well as philosophically, institutionally, etc. Or that John Locke had a major impact on 18th century rationalism – here, from my favorite (yes, you guessed it!) objective source, answers.com – John Locke:

“John Locke was a 17th-century English philosopher whose ideas formed the foundation of liberal democracy and greatly influenced both the American and French revolutions. His contributions to philosophy include the theory of knowledge known as empiricism, which addressed the limits of what we can understand about the nature of reality. Locke held that our understanding of reality ultimately derives from what we have experienced through the senses. The political implications of his theories included the notions that all people are born equal and that education can free people from the subjugation of tyranny. Locke also believed that government had a moral obligation to guarantee that individuals always retained sovereignty over their own rights, including ownership of property that resulted from their own labor.”

It’s this casuistic nonsense about the Founders’ being of xtian faith that irks me to no end. Sure, most of them were (Franklin, Paine, Jefferson: Deists all. The rest were, although some of Madison’s and Adams’ private letters showed them to be rather, unfriendly, but I think that was more towards the R Catholic Church, myself).

It’s the equivalent of saying, hey; Newton was very religious, look what he did. No one remembers that he wrote a number of theological papers, now lost to time and memory. Einstein was a Spinozan: distant, detached creator, if said creator existed. Edison, an atheist.

Sure, one’s denomination has some impact on one’s actions, to a certain degree. Look at the Shrub: or Delay.

I’d say the Founders were way too smart to get caught in that trap.

We also hear these things: God is on our money, in our pledge, etc.

Well, first off, the coinage didn’t bear the motto until 1863: the paper money, 1957. ‘Under God’ was inserted in the pledge of allegiance during the McCarthy years (the 50’s). These are the items that led me to talk out of my ass in the first place.

“But the majority of people in this nation are Xtian!”

Nobody, unconditionally, gets more rights than anyone else. An argument from majority belongs in the venue of those most loathsome of arenas: the talk show. Or an election. Or even in the Senate, Congress, SC, etc. No one is above the law, or beneath it. Unless it harms
  1. Our wallet or

  2. Someone else
You can bitch about it to your heart’s content. 1st amendment and all that. But there’s jackshit y’all can do about it.

In summation: we’re a secular nation. Always have been. Better stay that way. Theocracies never seem to work out too well.

Get used to it.

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1 comment:

Krystalline Apostate said...
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