OT: Huckabee, Ughh

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Precisely. Though to my knowledge, only the leaders of the communist faith enunciated the philosophy that the end justified the means directly.
Men will fight for food or territory, but they will die for an ideal or glory.
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I forget where this quote came from.
The enduring attraction of war is this: Even with its destruction and carnage it can give us what we long for in life. It can give us purpose, meaning, a reason for living... And war is an enticing elixir. It gives us resolve, a cause. It allows us to be noble. And those who have the least meaning in their lives ... are all susceptible to war's appeal.
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Dave in Houston



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Jeff wrote:

Actually, it's the Declaration of Independence that Tim's referring to specifically, not the Constitution wherein the reference comes from.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. ..."
But, it seems pretty clear, I agree...
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dpb wrote:

It is indeed the Declaration where Jefferson parrots Locke in naming the "Creator" as the author of our natural rights. While the Constitution does not explicitly mention this, it is implicit in its very foundations. Moreover, even a casual reading of the personal lives of the Framers shows them almost all to have some at least nodding investment in Judeo-Christian ideas (Franklin) up to an including people who were deeply invested in their Christian faith (the Adams boys). To sanitize our government entirely of religious expression today is to dishonor our own history and the intent of the Framers. Were they trying to institution a state religion? No. Were they trying to exclude anyone but Christians? No. But their ideas came from *somewhere*. That "somewhere" was the Judeo-Christian notion that we are valuable because we are God's creation. Secularists/atheists hate this, and have been busy for decades trying to paint of this inconvenient part of U.S. history. I have no more respect for them than I do the snakehandler religious rightwingers who want to turn all our Framers in Southern Baptists ... but that's a grump for another day.
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Why are the two documents so unalike in their inclusion/exclusion of the mention of a Creator? Are not many of those who wrote and signed the Constitution the same as those who wrote and signed the Declaration?
This is a real question -- I'd never seen the disparity between the two before this thread.
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Fly-by-Night CC wrote:

It was more-or-less assumed in the writing of the Constitution. There were open expressions of faith during its writing including opening sessions with a prayer.
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Fly-by-Night CC wrote:

In contrast to Tim's answer, I think it has far more to do w/ the actual purpose and content of the two documents themselves -- the Declaration is prose and intended to be persuasive of the righteousness of the cause where as the Constitution is a legal document and therefore staid and much more precise.
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dpb wrote:

You may be right... I wasn't there, and after considerable reading in the matter, I don't know for sure and can only guess. But there is indirect evidence of the Framers being deeply influenced by their faith traditions - even if it was a sort of generic faith for many of them. References to Divine providence litter their letters and writings. Their appointment of chaplains to pray at the beginning of legislative or other deliberative sessions is a big hint.
Certainly some of them (Sam Adams, John Adams) were very up front about their religious faith and how it influenced their law making. If they were alive today, some of the people on this thread would be complaining bitterly about how "John Adams talks to God, what a loon..." or words to that effect.
This thread got to this point because atheists have a couple problems in liberal Western culture and it makes many of them angry:
1) The culture was not founded on pure secularism and this is historically irrefutable.
2) The worst abuses of government has been in places whether those who govern either flatly oppose any sort of religious faith. As I noted elsewhere in this thread, Stalin is a poster child for what happens when you don't believe any moral boundaries exist. He alone makes the next two or three in the Top 10 Evil Hit Parade look like rookies. Mao - another atheist - is not far behind. Any one of these did more harm than all the excessive of every religion before- or since. But that doesn't stop a good number of atheists from blaming faith for the world's problems
3) A good many atheists I've spoken with cannot make the distinction between a *sufficient* form of knowledge and a *complete* form of knowledge. Science is sufficient for a great many things, but it is complete. It simply cannot address a bunch of questions we humans find interesting. I cannot because of the nature of how scientific knowledge is acquired and tested. This claim, too, is mighty irritating to atheists.
For the record, I do not think government is well served by having it become a theocracy. I similarly have no desire to convince atheists that my views are right. I just tire of listening to them blame people like me for all the world's sins, when it has been much moreso people like them that have been the real culprits. Some of the asinine comments seen here as regards to politicians who openly express their faith (politicians, I might add, whose ideas I almost entirely disagree with) are yet another example of these bad manners.
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Tim Daneliuk wrote: <SNIP>

Err, that is, it is "not complete".

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dpb wrote:

Or "one was written by a fired up revolutionary and the other was written by a committee"?
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J. Clarke wrote:

That, too... :)
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Thank you dpb -- now I've more to consider regarding the two documents.
Given the seemingly clear inclusion/exclusion I'm leaning to my own understanding that the framers of the Constitution wanted no reference to any faith belief in the primary document of the country. While the majority of the citizenry held religious beliefs (as it still does today), the framers purposefully withheld all such references.
Why would they so blatantly do this if they were using, as has been argued, Judeo-Christian beliefs to draw upon?
Was the Declaration merely a play to the faithful to stir the majority to action? In other words, use the argument most likely to appeal to the listener regardless of your own beliefs as long as the end result moves toward your goal?
Would a Deist be considered a conservative or a liberal by today's definition?
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Fly-by-Night CC wrote: ...

I think you're taking it out of context of both time and purpose. To infer the first one would have to ignore all the supporting debate, letters, other writings and prior and post history of the individuals involved.
Overall, considering the scope of the document and the issues, religion was a very small fraction, indeed, so it is not surprising it doesn't contain references thereunto. It is, after all, _not_ a religious document. One cannot, of course, separate the writing of a Constitution for a budding nation having recently succeeded in pulling of a revolution from the Declaration of Independence which was the instigating document of that revolution so I would answer the questions as
1. It is not "blatantly" ignored, the pertinent question was directly addressed in the establishment doctrine.
2. No, the beliefs expressed are completely self-consistent w/ those of the primary author as well as the overwhelming majority of the signers (actually, I'd venture 100%, but I've not researched every individual signer in detail).
3. Religious belief is irrelevant to political belief overall. I strongly suspect would be hard to find any of the original members of the constitutional convention that would be considered anything but conservative (probably radically so) politically these days regardless of how "enlightened" their social views of the time might have been. In those ways as well, they would all undoubtedly be "male chauvinist pigs".
So, overall, I personally disagree quite strongly w/ your interpretation and think if you were to read seriously of the era you'd find great difficulty in substantiating the hypotheses outlined.
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Jeff wrote:

I was contrasting them to now, not within their own time. What was, for the most part, liberal thinking then is now pretty conservative, particularly on the social scene.
For the time, I agree.
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One needs to understand that a King rules by divine right. The feudal notion was that rights flowed own from above. From God to the King, from the King to the nobility, from the nobility to the commoners. By the time of the Revolution, the other nobles had been circumvented so that all Englishmen were directly subjects of the King.
Still, to rebel against the king was to rebel against God, particularly is the King in question was the supreme temporal head of the Christian Church in England. Jefferson was faced with the vexing problem of how to separate rebellion from sacrilege. His solution, drawing upon the work of the early liberals, was to do the same with the King as the King had done with the lesser nobility. He circumvented the King, declaring that each person's rights flowed to him directly from God.
Let's not forget, Jefferson was trying to convince a lot of other colonists to join in, or at least tolerate the revolution. He was not trying to convert others to his personal philosophy. Whatever that was, Jefferson' words were always crafted with deference to his audience.
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Fred the Red Shirt wrote:

That's a stretch -- Jefferson took it almost literally from Locke. Nor, do I think Jefferson had any difficulty whatsoever in thinking freedom of tyranny from the King had anything whatsoever to do w/ sacrilege. I'm not sure he would have thought there _could_ even be such a thing a sacrilege--and surely not against the Church of England.
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I'm not arguing that Jefferson THOUGHT it was so. I am arguing that he wanted to convince otghers who had been TAUGHT that it was so.
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The notion of natural rights appeals directly to a Creator only in the mind of one who believes in a Creator. Belief in a Creator is not needed to believe in natural rights. One may assume the existence of such rights as easily as one may assume the existence of a Creator.

The Framers themselves chose to sanitize the Constitution itself.
That does not show that they were not religious men. It DOES show that they wanted their nation to function independently of religion.
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FF

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It's also pretty straight forward that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." Yet what we've seen - at least on the Republican side - is precisely that. Romney felt compelled to comment on his religious views, to tell the faithful that his Jesus was Jesusy enough. No matter. Iowa Republicans went with the most Christianly candidate they could find.
The Huckster's schtick isn't going to play here in the Northeast. He'll be crushed in New Hampshire. After that South Carolina get its shot. How do you think they'll vote? My guess is more Jesusry.
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Jeff wrote: ...

No such thing. There is no test of any sort as a qualification -- only age, citizenship and such. How else could we possibly have such an unqualified bunch of yahoos (for the most part) elected?
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