Substitute "Allah" every time "God" is mentioned in this letter,
and I could swear I was reading a letter in the Baghdad Daily or Tehran
Times.America is not a Theocracy.BTW -- Having
"God" is not the issue, it's who's God, and are
you really allowing others the Freedom to worship who, where or what they may?
Why does the religious right feel the need to change history to fit their
narrative? The reality is that the founders of this country are a lot like the
population of this country now. You have Christians, like George Washington,
Deists(similar to modern day agnostics) like Thomas Jefferson, and guys who
didn't really have strong religious views, but love women and wine like Ben
Franklin. The Founding Fathers were a diverse group of people, Americans now are
a diverse group of people. Can we please just stick to the facts?
There is no objective evidence for a God. There are mountains of objective
evidence that support the thesis that "god" is an invention of the human
mind. A popular invention, to be sure, but popularity is not reality.Keep your theocratic urges to yourselves. If you don't want government
intruding into your private religious beliefs, then keep your private religious
beliefs out of the government.“Live a good life. If there are
gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but
will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but
unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you
will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories
of your loved ones.” ― Marcus Aurelius
Christopher Columbus did not "find" this continent...
Wait, if you believe Mormon doctrine doesn't that mean that the nephites
showed up about 1,600+ years before columbus?
The "In God We Trust" Brad likes to go on about wasn't added to
American coins until 1954 and America managed to survive until then.
We do understand that "In God We Trust" was not put onto our money until
nearly 100 years after our country was founded?We also realize that
it wasn't until the 1950s that it was placed on our paper currency? And it
was done to thumb our noses at the communists during the Cold War?Btw, I could pray all I wanted at school. It was teacher and principal led
prayers that we didn't have nor need! Think the majority of utahns would be
ok with a Muslim led school prayer?
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is
wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams. Perhaps
this explains why liberals don't like our constitution or the God who
inspired it! Didn't Democrats actually booo God at their last convention?
Sort of says it all, doesn't it?
LDS Liberal,He didn't say America should be a
"Theocracy". I think if you read again you will see that. But good
putting words in people's mouths. Makes a good strawman for you to fight
against.I think the founding fathers believed there is a God.
Otherwise... why all the references to "God" in their writings and their
opinions? But I think they were talking about God in general (not any specific
religion or belief but the concept in general). So no.. they did not propose a
"Theocracy". But they also didn't propose an "Athiest" or
a "Humanist" nation either. They recognized God has a role in our
lives, and our Nation. They were wise IMO.I disagree with Blue that
"There is no objective evidence for a God". I think EVERYTHING in
humanity, nature, and this universe, is evidence of God. But he has a right to
his opinion as I have a right to mine.I do think that the government
we have today is off-track from what the founding fathers intended. They
didn't want a "State Religion". They also did NOT want government
passing laws to hinder peoples faith or beliefs.
re: isredAgreed. The Vikings beat him to it by a good 400 yrs.re: KJB1Exactly. Our money does not say in God we worship.
When the phrase in question was added in 1954, the US may have been
the utopia that conservatives want to return to.
Sorry to quibble, KJB1, but the US Treasury indicates that "In God We
Trust" first began appearing, sporadically, on US coins in the late
1800's. The phrase didn't begin becoming consistently used on coins
in the early 1900's. Paper money began to be printed with the phrase in
the 1950's.But your central point is correct - "In God We
Trust" was definitely _not_ part of the early history of our nation. That
was added much later. Our nation's original motto was "E
Pluribus Unum." ("Out of many, one.") The wisdom of that appears
to be beyond the comprehension of today's theocratic conservatives.
"When the phrase in question was added in 1954, the US may have been the
utopia that conservatives want to return to."Utopia? It was the
pinnacle of peace time fear. They added In God We Trust to coins and one nation
under God to the Pledge as a sort of "garlic" to ward of those Communist
"vampires".Effecting change through fear? Conservatives
used that 1950's formula throughout the 2000's.
"“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It
is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams. Perhaps
this explains why liberals don't like our constitution or the God who
inspired it! Didn't Democrats actually booo God at their last convention?
Sort of says it all, doesn't it?"Ahhhh so it's back to
a "god inspired" constitution again? Funny, a week or so ago repubs were
callig for the abolishment of the 3rd branch of government, the Judiciary
Branch.I guess the constitution being inspired varies for repubs
from week to week.
re: 2 bits"I disagree with Blue that "There is no objective
evidence for a God". I think EVERYTHING in humanity, nature, and this
universe, is evidence of God."Concur. God exists. Its after that
that everything gets fuzzy"I do think that the government we
have today is off-track from what the founding fathers intended. They
didn't want a "State Religion". They also did NOT want government
passing laws to hinder peoples faith or beliefs."Agreed. The
Wall mentioned by T Jefferson in his letter to the Danbury Baptists is meant to
restrict both sides from getting too uppity.
Blue,I was going from memory when I posted before. I double-checked
and sure enough, you were right. Thanks for the correction.
"This nation was built around God. Without God it wouldn't exist. I
even believe that God influenced Christopher Columbus to find this
continent." I'm sorry, Brad, but it's incredibly conceited of you
to make these statements and expect me to accept and even acquiesce to them
because you believe it. I'm not willing to do that. It could well be that
this nation was built around the collective deliberations of a group of well
educated men who took the best of the lessons history had to offer and improved
upon them to craft a new nation. And Columbus 'found' this continent
494 years after the Vikings established a settlement here, let alone how many
thousands of years after people traveled to it across the Bering land bridge. As
for 'In God we Trust', to me in means we'll take a cheque from
god. From you, however, cash only.
Brad Hoffman. If there was even the tiniest proof or validation of
any kind for your belief, we might be able to accept your opinion. Failing that, we must do the best we can with what we see, hear and feel in
the real world.
Mman:I consider myself a moderate. You would consider me a liberal.
I happen to like the Constitution. I understand it differently than you do. I
also think some parts of it are woefully outdated. The Founders, as wise as they
were, could not anticipate the type of society we enjoy or the unique problems
modernity fosters. The document could probably be amended in several ways to
make it more relevant to the twenty-first century, but it will likely never
As long as public school teachers continue to subject their students to tests,
exams and quizzes, its safe to say there will be prayer in our public schools.
John Adams, like every other American, had the right to say whatever he wanted.
And the founders wrote all kinds of things referencing their god. You will
note, however, that the word does not appear in the Constitution. Maybe they
had a reason for that.
Imagine that Mr. Hoffman's letter was found on an 8th century BCE scroll in
Greece, and that he was decrying the way society had abandoned Zeus. After all,
Zeus is the god that made the world and the universe around us and leads the
pantheon of gods. Imagine that Mr. Hoffman's irritation is with
society's failure (as he sees it) to adequately worship Zeus, Poseidon,
Apollo, Hera, etc.What would be your response to such a letter from
the past? When you understand the reasons why you would dismiss this
appeal to worship Zeus, then you will understand why I dismiss your belief in an
equally imaginary god today.To Mr. Hoffman and those of a similar
mind, which "god" do you think we're inadequately worshipping? You
know you've got thousands from which to choose, don't you? And even if you settled on the "God of Abraham," are you aware that
even after you've narrowed your focus that drastically you still don't
stand a chance of achieving consensus on _how_ you're supposed to worship
Puhleeze… let us know when jack-booted thugs start shutting down churches
and burning Bibles. Until then this tempest-in-a-teapot sounds like little more
than temper tantrums from the folks no longer in charge of every aspect of
Some could conclude the Constitution was inspired by alcohol. A party held at a
local tavern prior to the signing of the Constitution included 54 bottles of
maderia, 60 bottles of claret, 8 bottles of whiskey, 22 bottles of porter,8
bottles of hard cider and 7 bowls of alcohic punch.
@LDS Liberal:"Substitute "Allah" every time "God" is
mentioned in this letter, and I could swear I was reading a letter in the
Baghdad Daily or Tehran Times."Duh! Allah is Arabic it means
"God" just like the god of the Judeo-Christian tradition.I
was talking to an Islamic scholar and she agrees that America is a Christian
naton. What that means to her is that if you construct a Venn diagram of the
role of government and the role of religion, the government and religion
studiously avoid overlap. The problem that someone from a non-Christian and/or
non-Jewish religion encounters is that the overlaps don't fit their
tradition.Being progressive and open-minded means that we will try
to accomodate different traditions as opposed to what the Obama administration
is doing, namely running roughshod over all traditions which they disagree.
The Roman Empire believed that they were uniquely favored by God. (or rather by
the Gods)The Spanish Empire believed that they were uniquely favored by
God.The British Empire believed that they were uniquely favored by God.What do all of these have in common? They don't exist anymore.
It is funny to hear the liberals saying that a return to 1954 social and
political structures is bad. They forget history.In the
1950's, the US was running budget surpluses and paying down the debt.In the 1950's we didn't have the massive banking regulations
that required banks to lower their lending standards. We didn't have the
massive health insurance regulations that made insurance cost so much.We had Republicans fighting for civil rights.We had fewer children
being born to single mothers.Unemployment ranged between 3% and
6.6%Crime rates were about half of what they are now.If
we could return to the same values and government philosophies of that time, I
don't see how that is a bad thing.
" Perhaps this explains why liberals don't like our constitution or the
God who inspired it!"You have to wonder does Mountainman
actually believe this drivel... or is he saying such absurd things to gain shock
value. There are just as many democrats with crosses above their graves as
there are "conservatives" buried in the fields of Normandy and Arlington
National.It makes one wonder if conservatives really have become so
obsessed with their own brand of patriotism that they have completely isolated
themselves from the reality that people all don't have to agree to 1) love
their country, and 2) love their constitution. It is a very sad state of about
our "union"..... that respect for another despite differing views is
becoming a lost virtue.
@RedShirtMIT: "It is funny to hear the liberals saying that a return to 1954
social and political structures is bad. They forget history."Good point. Perhaps the reason many good things were happening in the country
in 1954 is that Democrats had occupied the White House from 1933 until 1953.
Alas, since 1953 the White House has been occupied by Republicans most of the
time. However, with the current brand of Tea Party Republicanism, it may be
many years before a Republican returns to the White House. That will be good for
the country, especially if the U.S. House returns to Democratic control.
The good 'ol '50s - when I was born. We had corporate tax rates of
50%, the Cold War, McCarthyism, racial segregation (despite Republicans heroic
efforts), the suppression of women ... it was great! Too bad life spans were
shorter so we couldn't enjoy it longer.
For a letter talking about religious freedom, it sure is focused on putting one
particular religion in everything (and don't pretend that God is generic
and can refer to whatever one chooses to see it as, you used a capital g for a
Just because teachers can no longer force your children to pray according to the
teacher's beliefs, does not mean there is no prayer in schools."In God We Trust" was added to money when the US switched from gold to
paper and coin tender - it was a way of validating its use. "Under God"
was added to the Pledge as an anti-communism device.It is
interesting that you acknowledge the need for religious freedom and then
immediately want to take away from those who worship differently than you.
@Mountanman"Didn't Democrats actually booo God at their last
convention? "No, they booed the Democratic party leadership for
not getting a tally of the vote when it was not clear at all that a majority
voted for the provision to be added to the party platform. That's the sort
of context responsible news outlets would've added but I assume wherever
you got this from ignored that detail.
You're right, Brad. Everyone needs to return to Zeus. If not, he's
going to start throwing around a few extra lightning bolts and we wouldn't
want to get struck by one, would we.
To "Steve C. Warren" and Republicans ran Congress, which set the budget
during that time.The Democrats were not fully taken over by the
Progressives/communists like they are now. The Democrats of the 1950s are like
the Republicans of the 1990's.Actually the worst thing for the
US would be for the Democrats to regain full control of the Federal Government.
In the past 30 years Democrat controll of congress has been responsible for the
largest increases in the Federal Debt. In addition to debt, when Democrats
controlled Congress and the Presidency we have had some of the biggest time-bomb
legislation enacted.The other problem is where the current Democrats
are taking the US. They are taking us closer and closer to socialism or
fascism. Do you really think that socialism or fascism is better than
capitalism and freedom?Unless you can get rid of all of the current
Democrats and get Democrats with the same attitudes and philosophies as the
1950s Democrats, it would only hasten the demise of the US.
@RedshirtMIT"The Democrats were not fully taken over by the
Progressives/communists like they are now. "You do realize that
FDR is considered the Progressive hero right? "In the past 30
years Democrat controll of congress has been responsible for the largest
increases in the Federal Debt."Oh sure, blame the Democrats when
the deficit increases in 2009 were primarily due to the recession which was
caused by big banks and their Republican friends.
Anyone who thinks today's liberals are more progressive/communistic than
the democrats of the 1940s and 50's needs to google FDR's "2nd
Bill of Rights."
From the letter: "No prayers are allowed at school."You can
pray in school all you want by using silent prayer. To pray this way you
don't even need to move your lips. Or is a prayer only a prayer if others
know that you're praying? Is a prayer only a prayer if it's said aloud
for others to hear? Is a prayer any less of a prayer because it's said
silently?According to Jesus, prayer is a private thing:
"Whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray
while standing in synagogues and on street corners so that people can see them.
Truly I say to you, they have their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your
room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father, who
sees in secret, will reward you."
GZE,Good point. About FDRs "2nd Bill of Rights" (AKA
"Economic Bill of Rights" or "Socialist Bill of Rights").If you look at today's politics... since FDR Progressives have
proposed pretty much everything in the 2nd Bill of Rights... and won.1. Guaranteed Employment (and a living wage)2. The right to adequate
food and clothing and recreation (SNAP)3. The right of every family to a
decent home (not yet)4. Guaranteed medical care (ObamaCare)5.
Guaranteed Education (public school system)6. The right to adequate
protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and
unemployment (Social Security)We either have all of these now, or
they have at least been proposed.So whether you realize it or not...
The 2nd Bill of Rights WAS adopted (gradually)Obviously there's
nothing "BAD" in FDR's "2nd Bill of Rights". It's
just... HOW do you pay for it? Obviously we are still struggling with THAT
part of the equation.
@ Redshirt: "In the 1950's, the US was running budget surpluses and
paying down the debt." And the highest tax rate was over 84%."In the 1950's we didn't have the massive banking regulations
that required banks to lower their lending standards. We didn't have the
massive health insurance regulations that made insurance cost so much." A
study of the history of banking regulations will show crises occur much more
often when regulations are lower. In 1950, healthcare expenditures were 4.5% of
GNP. By 1960, it had doubled. Additionally, the aged, ill, and self-employed
had difficulty acquiring insurance and getting medical care. The death rate was
higher and people were dying younger."We had Republicans
fighting for civil rights." Yeah - what happened to that?"We had fewer children being born to single mothers." The rate,
however, is currently declining."Unemployment ranged between 3%
and 6.6%" In 1958 the rate was 6.8%. The current rate is 7.6%. It is
moderately higher, but business regulations are down and outsourcing is up."Crime rates were about half of what they are now." Even by
best estimates that is not true - and some types of crime are actually lower.
The Founding Fathers and our founding documents refer to a "Creator",
not God.A "Creator" can therefore mean: God, Allah,
The Force, and even pure chance or natural probability via comets or lightning
and amino acids.What YOU decide to believe is 100% irrelevant.and THAT is the beauty and the miracle unique to America.
UtahBlueDevilDurham, NC"Perhaps this explains why liberals
don't like our constitution or the God who inspired it!"You
have to wonder does Mountainman actually believe this drivel... or is he saying
such absurd things to gain shock value========= I am a
Liberal.I believe in God, and active LDS.I am also a veteran and
dearly love and have served our Country.Mountanman is a
Conservative.He believes only Conservatives can believe in God.and
as far as I know, he is NOT a veteran.So, By his own example
and using his logic:Only Conservatives who NEVER have served their Country
can believe in God or love their country.
So many good comments thus far. The US of A wasn't created by God or
for God. Natives lived on the land for roughly 15,000 years before 1776, they
had their own ideas of god and they were doing just fine before Europeans
brought guns and germs to the mix.Why can't we just let people live
by the dictates of their own conscience and the laws of the land and leave the
various gods out of it?
@ Redshirt: While you are idealizing the 1950's and the higher tax rate
and lower unemployment, let us also not forget that in the 1950's, minimum
wage was enough to pay your rent with 60 hours (a week and a half) of work, buy
your groceries, and go to the movies (the movies cost about 1/2 hour of
work).Current minimum wage requires 109 hours (almost 3 weeks) of
work to pay the rent, over an hour for a movie, and, as long as you spend less
than $290 on food every month, a week of labor will feed you.It is
interesting though - because you, and your fellow conservatives, keep telling us
that a higher tax rate and higher minimum wage will cause exactly the opposite
of what we had in the 1950's when both those things were in existence.So, is history wrong? Or are you?
"What YOU decide to believe is 100% irrelevant.and THAT is the beauty and
the miracle unique to America." Those statements are indirect opposites of
what America is about. What a man believes is 100% relevant it is the basis of
his faith. "they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
Rights", Who say you is this creator? Allah is the god of Abraham, the god
of the old testament the same god Christians believe in.What you
believe is 100% relevant. Why do you chastise those who stand on the wall and
openly tell their beliefs. You often use the moniker of Samuel, but you deride
others their spoken faith. Time to emulate Samuel, stand on the wall and shout
the truth. Time to get out from under the liberal p c basket and share your
faith. Do not be ashamed of your beliefs.It is ok to say you
believe the founding documents were divinely inspired. Lest the cocks crow
thrice and you deny Gods hand. A causal effect is not the same as a creator.
@jsf – Nice speech… but the point of the article is can
you force me to stand on that wall beside you (e.g., school prayer) while you
carry on?And LDS Liberal is right… Jefferson never elaborated
on what he meant by “Creator” and as a Deist who literally re-wrote
the Bible (see Jefferson Bible) stripping out the supernatural stuff, it is
highly doubtful he had in mind the same concept of God that you do. You can stand on the wall or a street corner and shout your beliefs to the
heavens all you want… it’s a free country. But what you cannot do is
dominate the public sphere backed up by government sanction.The
genius of Jefferson is he presciently recognized that to allow one religion the
ability to dominate the public arena would be to codify the ability of ANY
religion (as long as they had a majority in their community) to do the same.
BlueSalt Lake City, UT"There is no objective evidence for a God.
There are mountains of objective evidence that support the thesis that
"god" is an invention of the human mind. A popular invention, to be
sure, but popularity is not reality."There is grand scientific
evidence for God, see: The "Wow! Signal" of the terrestrial genetic
code in the journal Icarus (Volume 224, Issue 1, May 2013, Pages 228–242).
Essentially, the pattern of our DNA indicates intelligent design when using
SETI (Search for extra terrestrial intelligence) criteria. If you consider this
in parallel with the number of potential habitable planets that keep showing up-
the implications are,well, pretty big.
@RedShirtMIT - while your in the dream world of the 1950s, you forgot to mention
that we also were engaged in a war we would not win - and are still dealing with
the implications of that loss, we had little black girls being attacked by
police dogs in the south, churches being burned and bombed, lynchings, the
political scandals of the time, including;"Parnell Thomas
(R-NJ): a member of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), was
convicted of salary fraud and given an 18-month sentence and a fine, resigning
from Congress in 1950. He was imprisoned in Danbury Prison with two of the
Hollywood Ten he had helped put there. After serving his 18 months he was
pardoned by Truman (D) in 1952"....Sure, its easy to reconstruct
the economics of the 1950s... lets just have the majority of Europe, Asia and
good parts of the Soviet Union in post war reconstruction after 7 years of world
war.... and the economy will be great. We could get back to very low
unemployment sure..... just wipe out a few million europeans.... and start a
new war in asia...... back to the 50s we go.
As long as we teach trigonometry, there will always be prayer in schools. It
might not be publicly sponsored prayer however.
genetics: "There is grand scientific evidence for God, see: The 'Wow!
Signal'..."Even taking your interpretation of the paper at
face value, that is not evidence of "God" as commonly understood
(omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, supernatural divine being), only evidence
that a nonzero probability of extraterrestrial intelligence exists. It could
be little green men, spaceships above Devil's Tower, or HAL-- intelligent,
but corporeal, material, mortal. It is certainly not evidence of a particular
deity, e.g. Yahweh/Jehovah. To the extent that any sufficiently advanced
technology (context dependent) is indistinguishable from magic, maybe a being of
sufficient intelligence to seed the planet with DNA is a god to us now, but the
paper cited is not compelling proof. It doesn't validate the original
letter writer's call to get back to "In God We Trust."
LagomorphSalt Lake City, UTWow, that's quite a few
possibilities, none of which were mentioned in the publiccation! Just what hard
evidence would convince you that there is a God, let's say after the
Judeo-Christian tradition, worthy of the statement, "In God We Trust"?
@ GZEFrom the Declaration of Independence we hear that all men were
endowed by their creator with individual rights. The Constitution
codifies that endowment.FYI Creator = God.
So isn't God thee most important thing? How important is having some
manners? Is being rude the thought of as being Cool or Righteous?
AN INCIDENT AT ST. GEORGE TEMPLE. I will here say that two weeks before I left
St. George, the spirits of the dead gathered around me, wanting to know why we
did not redeem them. Said they, "You have had the use of the Endowment House
for a number of years, and yet nothing has ever been done for us. We laid the
foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it,
but we remained true to it and were faithful to God." These
were the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and they waited on me for
two days and two nights. (Wilford Woodruff, The Discourses of
Wilford Woodruff, edited by G. Homer Durham, p.160-)
zoar63: I've read that quote before. The funny thing is that the founding
father's temple work had already been done by that time.
@ Zoar63: Your religious beliefs mean something to you - but they do not mean
anything to those who do not share them.That is a great story - but
it proves nothing.
@zoar63;If WW was lying, who was to say? The superstitious will
zoar63Mesa, AZ======= Look, I'm active LDS,
but as far as America is concerned....if the Founding Fathers
happened to appear in a Synagogue or Mosque -- Would you still feel the
@iron&clay – “FYI Creator = God.”Could you be
more specific?If that’s all we have to go on, creator could
mean some kid in a highly advanced civilization who programmed a really awesome
“life on planet” computer simulation game.
To "atl134" yes, I know that FDR was a huge Progressive. I also know
that Congress didn't have to do anything in 2009, and that the nation would
have probably been better off had congress let the failing banks fail.To "Kalindra" do you just like to argue. The simple fact remains that
there were fewer bad loans being made when banks could determine their own
lending standards. I don't know where you get your information from, but
everything I could find shows that there were fewer banking problems during the
1950's than there currently are today.The Republicans have
turned the fight for civil rights over to the Tea Party.So, you
agree that the values of the 1950's were such that you had fewer single
mothers.You forget that those peaks of unemployment in the late
1950's were gone by 1960. During that time we also INCREASED our labor
participation rate by over 1%. Since 2003 we have DECREASED our labor
paricipation rate by 3%.According to the Bureau of Justice
Statistics we do have less crime in the 1950s than we do now.