America is making religious diversity work, journalist says

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  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Oct. 31, 2013 10:01 a.m.

    @the truth – “Sorry none of quotes prove they were deists.”

    Perhaps not, (that would take more than a few quotes) but I think it strongly suggests they were not the pious Christians many of today’s folks (mostly on the religious right) think they were.

    @Tators – “Who made each of those specific quotes and when?”

    Constrained by the 200 word limit I left off the names, but dropping any of those quotes into Google should give the name for each one.

    And I think you’re right that many of the leading figures (signers of the Constitution, etc…) were Christians – as was the vast majority of the population. But it’s simply a fact that some of the key founders (e.g., Franklin, Jefferson, Paine, Madison) were highly critical of organized religion and religious belief in general.

    Also, many were deeply influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment which promoted reason (vs. revelation) as the best methods for human progress. The great thinkers of that era were questioning many past assumptions including religious ones.

    Yes, quotes can be misleading and contextual… so research them yourself and see what you find.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    @ Tyler D:

    Who made each of those specific quotes and when? Most I have never seen before. In fact to the contrary, I've seen quite a few quotes confirming many of the founders strong beliefs in God and also in Jesus Christ, and which played a strong part in the foundational principles expounded in the Constitution and some of its amendments.
    I sincerely believe any quotes to the contrary were made by only a small minority of the founders and sometimes quoted out of context.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 6:25 p.m.

    Sorry none of quotes prove they were deists.

    And more over without context they are meaningless.

    And I believe my previous comments clearly answered why they said some the things they said. But that doesn't change their belief in an interceding God.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Oct. 30, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    @the truth – “the founders were not deists.”

    Some quotes below from our founders might help… and by the way, no Paine, no revolution – no revolution, no country. He was a (maybe the) key figure in our founding.

    “… the original states thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretense of miracle or mystery.”

    “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, then that of blindfolded fear.”

    “Religions are all alike—founded upon fables and mythologies.”

    “Lighthouses are more useful than churches.”

    "The United States in is no sense founded upon the Christian religion."

    "Revealed religion has no weight with me."

    "I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature."

    "This could be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it."

    "I disbelieve all holy men and holy books."

    "In no instance have churches been the guardians of the liberties of the people."

    "The Christian god is cruel, vindictive, capricious, and unjust."

    "What has been Christianity's fruits? Superstition, bigotry, and persecution."

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Oct. 29, 2013 5:50 p.m.

    @Tyler D

    By your own definition of 'deist', which is what I said it was, the founders were not deists.

    They believed in a God that does intercede in the affairs of men and answers prayers, and in whom we get our rights.

    Paine, indecently was not a founder of the constitutional republic or the country, but only an instigator of the revolutionary war. So I would not classify him as a founder.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Oct. 28, 2013 9:36 p.m.

    @Pssst – “Deists are not "as near as you can get to atheists" as you say in so many words.”

    You are right to the extent that Deists believe in a creator of the universe, but they typically believe this creator is more like a Force (of nature) or Prime Mover than an actual being.

    Further, Deists do not believe this creator (once the universe was set in motion) interacts in any way with it, does not take any interest in our lives, does not perform miracles, and does not reveal (revelation) itself in any way except as nature itself.

    So from a practical standpoint, that belief is in fact as close as you can get to being an atheist while still being a believer (i.e., it’s a distinction with little if any difference).

    @the truth – “The founders were NOT deists.”

    I suggest you research this yourself (from unbiased sources) – notably, the beliefs of the key founders Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Allen, Paine and Washington.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Oct. 28, 2013 7:38 p.m.

    @Tyler D

    The founders were NOT deists.

    They were very strong believers in Christ and God, especially a God that did intervene in the affairs of men.

    They just didn't believe any of the current sects of the day were Gods Church.

    (deists, by the way, are those that believe in a watchmaker god, a God that starts the watch but does not get involved after that, the founders clearly did not believe in that kind of God, the founder were not deists)

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 28, 2013 5:20 p.m.

    I have been wanting to point out:

    Freedom "from" religion cannot co-exist with freedom "of" religion.
    The first negates the second.

  • Pssst LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 28, 2013 5:15 p.m.

    You want us to speak up for religious freedom in the Deseret News do you not? You then make it virtually impossible by banning any name for deity in the discussions. I do not get this at all. This is almost as bad as being in a public school where such names are never mentioned - except of course in blasphemous exclamations which are probably encouraged, but not in their true context. Just saying.....

  • Pssst LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 28, 2013 5:08 p.m.

    So now you are the only scientist in the world?

    Atheists typically fight in wars for the same reason as believers: they are forced to.

    @ Tyler D

    Deists are not "as near as you can get to atheists" as you say in so many words.

    Deists ARE believers and therefore the OPPOSITE of atheists. Deists fighting for believers, are believers fighting for other believers.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Oct. 28, 2013 8:48 a.m.

    @the truth – “When non believers stand up for the rights of believers.”

    I can think of no greater instance of non-believers not only standing up for believers but actually making their protection the top right in a newly formed nation than when our Deist (as non-believer as you can get without being a full-fledged atheist) Founders created the governing charter of our country.

    Considering the long history of how believers have treated non-believers, this was a singular act of magnanimity for which religious folks have been trying to hijack and take credit for ever since, not to mention their ceaseless effort to recast the Founding in their image (with some churches even going so far as to say it was all “divinely inspired”).

    “For any dogmatism to succeed, first we must insure that citizens remain ignorant of facts and history” – by someone.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 27, 2013 9:49 p.m.

    It is natural that, at this point, that believers would forget their differences and unite in the face of a relentless common enemy, an intolerant and contemptuous pseudo-scientific atheistical attack on all that is sacred and moral to people of faith.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Oct. 27, 2013 7:37 p.m.

    the truth,

    Non believers have been "standing up for" and giving their lives for the rights of believers from the founding of this country.

    But what we will no longer tolerate is the insistence of believers to continue their hegemony and privileged situation dominating this country.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Oct. 27, 2013 5:52 p.m.

    @The Scientist

    You should also add:

    When non believers stand up for the rights of believers.

    It is not a one way street. there will be no diversity of conscience without it, if the believers are not protected.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Oct. 26, 2013 1:08 p.m.

    Only when believers will stand up for the rights of nonbelievers, and only when we start seeing nonbelievers elected to public office without having to pretend to be believers, and only when believers cease condemning and morally judging nonbelievers as inferior, only then will our society be said to have embraced true "religious diversity".

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 26, 2013 12:52 p.m.

    Religious liberty is not at risk in the U.S.

    Pope Francis, speaking at a Mass last week:

    "The faith passes, so to speak, through a distiller and becomes ideology,he said, according to Radio Vatican. And ideology does not beckon [people]. In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid.

    And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought. For this reason Jesus said to them: You have taken away the key of knowledge. The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements.

    The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens, ideology chases away the people, distances, distances the people and distances of the Church of the people, Francis added. But it is a serious illness, this of ideological Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new, eh?