(or, Langston vs. The Apologist) Wanna help me combat an apologist? Come on, you know you wanna....it'll be fun...
I forget which discussion it was in on the Forum, but somehow I came into contact with this website:
It's an apologist website. I looked through it a bit, and, man, the stuff you'll find there is....well, I won't say it, but WOW. I’m over here just shaking my head; shaking it in pity or consternation or awe of disbelief, I know not which.
Anyways, I noticed a little something they had on their front page. It appears as follows:
Is or WAS America a Christian Nation?
June 22, 2009
What do Americans celebrate on the 4th of July?
President Obama says America is NOT a Christian nation. Was it ever? Are there biblical prinicples for America's laws? (Yes, they misspelled “principles”; but don’t tell them, though).
Supreme Court Justice David Josiah Brewer made the following statement in the 1892 Decision of Holy Trinity Church vs. U.S.: "These and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation." [emphasis added]
And listen to Rep. Randy Forbes from Virginia ask the question, "Did America ever consider itself a Judeo-Christian nation?
That's all it has. The whole "America is a Christian Nation" thing is one of three or four things that really pisses me off about the Christian religion; I say this to make the point that, in truth, there really aren't that many things about it that piss me off. Just a small handful.
So I wrote them a short e-mail and handed them Article XI:
A preliminary treaty between the United States and the Bey of Tripoli was signed at the close of the Washington administration in 1796. John Adams sent the document to the Senate during his administration and that Senate, containing many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, ratified it. Adams signed it on June 10, 1797. Article XI of the Treaty states: "As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen [i.e., Muslims]; and as said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan [i.e., Mohammedan] nation; it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries." (brackets added)
I then explained that "though the vast majority of people in this nation *claim* to be Christians, this does not make us a ‘Christian nation‘”. It makes us a nation of mostly Christians.
Here’s the prompt and brief reply from Charles
Hi, Joseph. Thanks for the feedback.
Here is an article by David Barton on this issue:
Of course, we are not a Christian nation in the sense that the Christian church runs the government. But our laws and institutions have a very large Christian influence and so in this sense we are indeed a Christian nation.
More like “Christian hegemony”. And if he has the right of things, then quite literally.
he·gem·o·ny [hə jémmənee, héjjə mnee] n
authority or control: control or dominating influence by one person or group over others
, especially by one political group over society or one nation over others (formal)
Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
I am contemplating on how to respond to this. I am planning something devastating. I have a few options in mind. First I need to read the Barton article (I can’t open it for some reason; can anyone else send that to me?)
(1). IF you are right, then a “Christian Nation” must be willing to except the sins and ills of the U.S. Government and all the sins found through the nation’s history and heritage. After all, you cannot claim such illustrious influence and such a grand role while turning your head and eyes away from all the bad things, pretending that only the successes of your “laws and institutions” that have such a “very large Christian influence” belong to you while their failures are someone else’s, anyone else‘s but that of your “Christian Nation“. If you take the title to heart, you must accept these as yours as well. To shuck them off onto an imaginary demon or evil spirit force, or to blame them on “the ungodly, the unrighteous, the sinners, and secularism”, would be incongruent with your claim.
What have we?
a. Stealing of Native American lands, the murder and sequestering and infecting of a great, once- numerous people. Manifest Destiny, remember, Charles?
b. Raping what was once a bountiful land, filling it with pollution, marring the landscape with development. Essentially your “Christian nation” took what was god-given and spat on it. After all, if god had wanted you to have what you have today, he would have given it to you that way. But you found it as it was (in its original, god-given state), and now look at it.
c. Slave trade and trafficking of Africans. Now why would a “Christian Nation” let this go down on their watch? I also recall that people calling themselves Christians took a book, called the Bible, and used “information” they found therein to justify this most morally vile and inane practice.
d. The ridiculously high divorce rate. It is called a social ill and deplored by members of your “Christian Nation” on a regular basis. Come to think of it, if somewhere around 80 to 90% percent of people say they believe in god (or at least a higher power), and the divorce rate is somewhere around 50% (!) wouldn’t it mean that most of those who are getting these divorces are self-identified Christians?
e. If the Bible commands you to “turn the other cheek” (what’s the verse for that? I don’t have my Bible handy, or the time to look it up), then why did your “Christian Nation” participate in WWI, WW2, The Gulf War, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam, The Cold War (technically not a “real” war, but the hostility and all other brotherly war elements were present), and now our battles in Iraq/Afghanistan. Let me guess: there’s some other Bible verse than can be used to justify this participation. But, in that case, you’ve used another verse to cancel out the other. A contradiction in the Bible (or a means to make two such verses in god‘s book clash against one another)? Surely not.
There are others, but I’ll stop for now. Basically, criticize these arguments. Help me strengthen them, find where they are weak, and, also, add more examples to the list. I’m ready to take it to this guy.