Tuesday, September 4, 2007

TheocracyWatch: Bow Down and Obey, or Stand up and Fight

This post is dedicated to the legacy of Thomas Jefferson, without whose voice of reason and pen that crafted a call to freedom none of us would likely be here today.

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And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.

-Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

Thanks Also to YouTube

I am so thankful also for YouTube. Thank you to the creative people who built it. Read about them here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YouTube. They have done their part to enable the rest of us to take back this nation through self-education from the powers of unreason that currently threaten freedom of thought and religion, not just in the United States, but all around the world. This post will focus on the United States and the rise of theocratic aspirations among a group of politically well-connected theologians and pastors.

Quotations that Support the Separation of Church and State

Ed Buckner and his son Michael have compiled a large collection of quotes that defend the separation of church and state at:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/ed_buckner/quotations.html

Both Ed and his son are members of the Atlanta Freethought Society, which you can learn about at: http://www.atlantafreethought.org/

You can get in on the conversation with other Atlanta area people interested in these topics by subscribing to the Atlanta Freethought Society Forum's newsletter at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/afsforum/

First Freedom First

This is a great video that demonstrates why the United States of America is a democratic republic, not a theocracy. We are not Iran. This video features more than a dozen of all kinds of different beliefs discussing why the First Amendment protects all of us and why we must defend it against those who would take it from us. The web site for the organization that created it is:

http://www.FirstFreedomFirst.org

Selected Quotes from the Founding Fathers on the Dangers of Government-Sponsored Religion

Here are a couple of good collection of quotes about the dangers of religion in the hands of governments by such people as Thomas Jefferson, the author our very own Declaration of Independence, and the third President of the United States. It also contains quotes from James Madison, the fourth President.

Thomas Jefferson on Christianity and Jesus

Thomas Jefferson wrote a book about Christianity, the Bible, and Jesus. Read about his writings here:

Here a few other quotes from Thomas Jefferson about Christianity and Jesus:

  • Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. --Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782
  • But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. --Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782
  • Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear. --Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787
  • Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State. --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT., Jan. 1, 1802 (emphasis my own)
  • The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills. --Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814

You can read more quotes from Jefferson about religion here:

http://nobeliefs.com/jefferson.htm

The Bloodshed in Europe Lead to Their Views and To the First Amendment

These guys had seen the blood shed in Europe. They knew first-hand what happens when governments enforce religious belief upon people.

You can read a book about the many wars in Europe that were, at least ostensibly, fueled by religious differences here:

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/European_History/Religious_Wars_in_Europe

These wars are part of the reason that the founding fathers wrote the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights in this way:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The first clause in the first sentence is known as the Establishment Clause, and you can read more about it at these links:

The second clause in that sentence is known as the Free Exercise Clause, and you can read more about it at these links:

This Can't Happen to Us, Right? Wrong!

It's comforting to think that politicians can't enforce their own particular religious viewpoint upon us as citizens. We think that this cannot happen. This is just a comforting illusion. It's not based on reality. It can happen to us, and there are people trying to make sure that it does happen to. They are known as Dominionists, those who believe in Dominionism. You can learn about Dominionism on TheocracyWatch's web page here:

http://www.theocracywatch.org/dominionism.htm

Theocrat: Rousas John Rushdoony

Or, you can read some quotes from one its major champions. I think these quotes should be enough to give anyone the picture loud and clear.

Rousas John Rushdoony is considered one of the pioneers of Dominionism. Here are some quotes from Rushdoony:

  • Democracy is the great love of the failures and cowards of life. [R.J. Rushdoony, _Thy Kingdom Come_,1978]
  • One faith, one law and one standard of justice did not mean democracy. The heresy of democracy has since then worked havoc in church and state . . . Christianity and democracy are inevitably enemies. (p 100) [R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law]
  • Christianity is completely and radically anti-democratic; it is committed to spiritual aristrocracy. [R.J. Rushdoony, Reconstructionist theologian, from _The Religious Right: The Assault on Tolerance and Pluralism In America_, published by ADL]
  • God's covenant with Adam required him to exercise dominion over the earth and to subdue it (Gen. 1:26 ff) under God according to God's law-word.
  • The restoration of that covenant relationship was the work of Christ, His grace to His elect people.
  • The fulfillment of that covenant is their great commission: to subdue all things and all nations to Christ and His law-word. [R.J. Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law (Nutley, NJ:Craig Press, 1973)]

TheocracyWatch: Informing Citizens About the Rise of Dominionism

If you are interested in what these people are trying to do to your government and your own religious freedom, you can visit http://www.TheocracyWatch.org, a watchdog organization at Cornell University.

Here are five videos on YouTube about Dominion Theology. They paint a very scary picture about the history of this movement.

Here is another brief video by someone on YouTube. No, he's not famous or well-known, but the video clips of people he shows and the writings that he presents are from well-known public figures, like Ronald Reagan and Jerry Falwell.

What Can We Do?

We can start by paying attention. Turn off the television. Tune into history. Tune into YouTube and find information that is not being fed to you by corporate media that is often controlled by conglomerates that don't care to tell you anything about history. Speak out against theocracy in America. There are several organizations that help with this cause.  The largest one that I know of is Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

http://www.au.org/site/PageServer?pagename=aboutau

If you are from Georgia, they have a Georgia chapter at:

http://www.au-ga.org/index.html

Also, here is Jeffrey Selman's web site. He is the man who defended the Separation of Church and State against the Cobb County School Board:

http://www.jeffreyselman.com/index.htm

More Resources

Some more interviews with Ed Buckner about Church & State separation:
  • America Is Not A Christian Nation
    Freethought Radio features southern secular activist Ed Buckner, Ph.D., talking about how to combat the myth that America is a Christian nation. Ed has a chapter in the new book, "Everything You Knew About God Is Wrong." The show also features some timely news updates and commentary. (MP3, 51 min, 23.5 MB)
  • The Constitution, Politics, and Church & State (Real Audio), an interview with Ed Buckner (2000)
    T. J. Walker interviews Ed Buckner of the Atlanta Freethought Society about American politics, U.S. constitutional history, and his new co-authored book Quotations That Support the Separation of State and Church.

1 comment:

Babs RN said...

Fine. But there's a difference between freedom OF religion, the basis upon which this great nation was founded; and freedom FROM religion, which goes against those very tenets. If people don't like the religious practices of others, including those of our leaders, they don't have to listen to them and can instead go ahead and practice their own. I find it a most disturbing trend that people seem to try to eliminate any display or reminder of faith by deeming it "offensive" to them. Frankly, as a fellow American, I find that offensive. Separation of church and state only means that public policy will not favor one faith over another and will try to respect each. It does not mean that we are to present an atheistic front.