Is Repentance The Stimulus America Needs

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by soleil10, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. soleil10

    soleil10 Well-Known Member

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    I love to be wrong on this one but I am convinced that the cause of this financial crisis and the decline of America are much deeper than most people believe.

    This country has been prepared by God and blessed. Our founding fathers made a convenant with God but we have pushed God away of our institutions, our schools and our country in general

    The earlier we stop being in denial, realize our mistakes and repent as a nation the faster the recovery will come.

    It is beyond politicians programs, bankers' money and businesses

    Does anyone feel the same way?
     
  2. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    Do tell.

    What is the cause of this financial crisis?

    Is it the same as previous financial crises?

    If we recover from this crisis does it negate your theory and we won't need to repent after all?
     
  3. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    I believe that we should simply bend our knee at the end of each day, and simply say "thanks God, it was a good day", as a matter of recourse. But then I am biased...but then so are my sons...and they are science based constabularies....
     
  4. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Hmmm, I suppose you think that Roosevelt and Churchill were simply out to capitalize on the conscience of the people, for their own gain, as well?

    Perhaps, but people understood the issues they were being dealt with, and they repented...

    And a funny thing happened...
     
  5. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    I have no idea what that means or how it relates to the OP or my response.

    Could you please clarify?
     
  6. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    Then start loving....

    Out of all the countries.... Why? Wtf is so special about you? Wtf is so special about your country? :)

    Oh you mean like the jews? Where is the information of this convenant? You're telling me you god popped down off his cloud of judgement and had a meeting and an agreement with the "founding fathers"?

    What's the point? Repentance has nothing to do with this... What -you- did to china, is now happening to you. **** goes round... Spin the bottle where will it land... Oh America. It's just your turn dude... Has nothing to do with repentance...

    What is beyond that? The recovery of =your= country? Lets... Uhm... Let's have a bit of a bigger range of vision? Beyond the recovery of the world? Sure... Money cannot repair the scars of the planet... (Egypt) (North Africa) (Iraq) (Palestine) (and so on) It cannot bring back the dead, it cannot buy us back time.... But the answer isn't saying "sorry massah!!! Oh sorry massah!" To some imaginary god... Or even if there is a god... It still isn't the answer cause clearly.. If there is a god, he couldn't give a **** mate. Or, or... Saying sorry isn't how it works... It want's you to do -more- than just fall to your knees and become some humble useless whining fool....

    So.. Either their isn't a god, and -we- need to resolve our issues and yes money can help... It can help a **** load... But Greed tends to be an obstacle..... But believe me, money can help... Sure there is much it cannot do, but in this bs sick material world... Money has a use, I hope the day comes when it is seen as simply usless... But for now.. Money is needed....

    OR There is a god... And still he doesn't care what happens... Then... -we- need to resolve our issues...

    OR There is a god and he doesn't care for repentance kneeling weaklings... And wants to see standing strong confident people with some freaking conviction and freaking passion and to anti up and freaking do something.... Instead of passing the buck or saying it isn't up to me.. I leave it up to you... If it is there in the skies... It has already given the effort to produce... Time for you to pitch in and get your freaking hands dirty....

    Overall: -WE- have to act and find resolve... A god isn't going to help us... No matter how many times you whine and cry and beg for forgiveness.....


    One love
    17.
     
  7. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Indeed, true repentance is standing up and stating "I will not do this again", and then sticking to that pledge, with God's help...
     
  8. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    Yes, you can phrase it that way.

    But the majority putting stock in a god, expect it to do all the work.. And do not even attempt to meet it halfway...

    So if you do or don't believe in a god... You want the world to change, be the freaking change.
     
  9. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    I think it is easier to change if one has more than the "man in the mirror" as an ally...
     
  10. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    Depends who you ask lol.

    "Enemies make you stronger, allies make you weaker." - Frank Herbert.

    But yeah allies can be good, but there are many around you amongst your peers, and perhaps that is the point? To seek out our peers in unity. A "paradise" isn't one of isolation... And it also isn't one for two types of people.
     
  11. Penguin

    Penguin Well-Known Member

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    People have to reap what they sow.
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Ever read the Jefferson Gospels? You know he rewrote them to take out the miracles and resurection don't you?

    You know they were deists right?

    Please provide this covenant so we can discuss it.

    (oh btw, I don't feel the same way)
     
  13. soleil10

    soleil10 Well-Known Member

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    Ennumerating the Founding Fathers
    The three major foundational documents of the United States of America are the Declaration of Independence (July 1776), the Articles of Confederation (drafted 1777, ratified 1781) and the Constitution of the United States of America (1789). There are a total of 143 signatures on these documents, representing 118 different signers. (Some individuals signed more than one document.)

    There were 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. There were 48 signers of the Articles of Confederation. All 55 delegates who participated in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 are regarded as Founding Fathers, in fact, they are often regarded as the Founding Fathers because it is this group that actually debated, drafted and signed the U.S. Constitution, which is the basis for the country's political and legal system. Only 39 delegates actually signed the document, however, meaning there were 16 non-signing delegates - individuals who were Constitutional Convention delegates but were not signers of the Constitution.

    There were 95 Senators and Representatives in the First Federal Congress. If one combines the total number of signatures on the Declaration, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution with the non-signing Constitutional Convention delegates, and then adds to that sum the number of congressmen in the First Federal Congress, one obtains a total of 238 "slots" or "positions" in these groups which one can classify as "Founding Fathers" of the United States. Because 40 individuals had multiple roles (they signed multiple documents and/or also served in the First Federal Congress), there are 204 unique individuals in this group of "Founding Fathers." These are the people who did one or more of the following:

    - signed the Declaration of Independence
    - signed the Articles of Confederation
    - attended the Constitutional Convention of 1787
    - signed the Constitution of the United States of America
    - served as Senators in the First Federal Congress (1789-1791)
    - served as U.S. Representatives in the First Federal Congress

    The religious affiliations of these individuals are summarized below. Obviously this is a very restrictive set of names, and does not include everyone who could be considered an "American Founding Father." But most of the major figures that people generally think of in this context are included using these criteria, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, John Hancock, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and more.

    Religious Affiliation of U.S. Founding Fathers # of FoundingFathers % of
    Founding Fathers

    Episcopalian/Anglican 88 54.7%
    Presbyterian 30 18.6%
    Congregationalist 27 16.8%
    Quaker 7 4.3%
    Dutch Reformed/
    German Reformed 6 3.7%
    Lutheran 5 3.1%
    Catholic 3 1.9%
    Huguenot 3 1.9%
    Unitarian 3 1.9%
    Methodist 2 1.2%
    Calvinist 1 0.6%
     
  14. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    "Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination."


    ~Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

    (bolding mine)
     
  15. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Namaste soleil10,

    Nice history lesson, but, again, which covenant.

    And how many of them masons?
     
  16. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom

    Thomas Jefferson, 1786

    Well aware that Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do; that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time; that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical; that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the ministry those temporal rewards, which proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct, are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labors for the instruction of mankind; that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that, therefore, the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to the offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which in common with his fellow citizens he has a natural right; that it tends also to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing, with a monopoly of worldly honors and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it; that though indeed these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles, on the supposition of their ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency, will make his opinions the rule of judgment, and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own; that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order; and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.

    Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.

    And though we well know this Assembly, elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of legislation only, have no powers equal to our own and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law, yet we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.
     
  17. soleil10

    soleil10 Well-Known Member

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    THE MAYFLOWER COMPACT

    In 1620 the Pilgrims, persecuted for conscience's sake, "braved the tempests of the vast and furious ocean and the terrors lurking in the American wilderness" to plant their State of Freedom. Even before landing they set up their government by a written Compact; the first charter of a government of the people, by the people and for the people known to history. In the cabin of the Mayflower humanity recovered its rights.

    THE COMPACT

    Signed in the Cabin of the "Mayflower" Nov. 11th,

    Old Style, Nov. 21st, New Style, 1620

    "In the name of God, amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyall subjects of our dread soveraigne Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britaine, Franc and Ireland king, defender of the faith haveing undertaken for the glorie of God, and advancemente of the Christian faith, and honour of our king and countrie, a voyage to plant the first colonie in the northerne parts of Virginia, doe by these presents solemnly and mutualy in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves togeather into a civill body politick, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by verture hereof to enacte, constitute and frame such just and equall lawes, ordinances, acts, constitutions and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete and convenient for the general good of the colonie, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cap-Codd the 11 of November, in the year of the raigne of our soveraigne lord, King James of England, Franc and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. ANo Dom 1620."

    John Carver
    Edward Tilly
    Degory Priest
    William Bradford
    John Tilly
    Thomas Williams
    Edward Winslow
    Francis Cooke
    Gilbert Winslow
    William Brewster
    Thomas Rogers
    Edmond Margeson
    Isasc Allerton
    Thomas Tinker
    Peter Brown
    Myles Standish
    John Rigdale
    Richard Britteridge
    John Alden
    Edward Fuller
    George Soule
    Samuel Fuller
    John Turner
    Richard Clarke
    Christopher Martin
    Francis Eaton
    Richard Gardiner
    William Mullins
    James Chilton
    John Allerton
    William White
    John Crackston
    Thomas English
    Richard Warren
    John Billington
    Edward Doty
    John Howland
    Moses Fletcher
    Edward Leister
    Stephen Hopkins
    John Goodman


    This venerable document, the first American State paper.

    Thus these men became the First Americans. They believed that God created all men equal; therefore, without other precedent; they made all men equal before the Law. Here was the birth of popular constitutional liberty, foreshadowing our Declaration of Independence and our American Constitution, which guarantees Freedom to all of us today. Tremendous suffering was endured as they grappled with the great unknown. Half their number perished in the struggle of that first terrible Winter. Under cover of darkness, the fast dwindling Company laid their dead; levelling the earth above them lest the Indians should learn how many were the graves.

    "History records no nobler venture for Faith and Freedom than that of this Pilgrim band. In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and cold, they laid the foundation of a State wherein every man, through countless ages, should have liberty to worship God in his own way, in perpetuation and spreading, throughout the World, the lofty ideals of our Republic."

    The "Mayflower" started with ninety-eight passengers; one was born on the voyage, and four joined them from the ship. Forty-one men signed the "Compact." There were twelve other men, twenty-two women, twenty boys, and eight girls in the company. In December, six died; in January, eight; in February, seventeen; in March, thirteen; making forty-four. Forty-four are believed to have left descendants
     
  18. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments

    Parts 1-7

    James Madison [1785]

    We the subscribers , citizens of the said Commonwealth, having taken into serious consideration, a Bill printed by order of the last Session of General Assembly, entitled "A Bill establishing a provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion," and conceiving that the same if finally armed with the sanctions of a law, will be a dangerous abuse of power, are bound as faithful members of a free State to remonstrate against it, and to declare the reasons by which we are determined. We remonstrate against the said Bill,

    1. Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, "that religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence." The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considerd as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governour of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign. We maintain therefore that in matters of Religion, no man's right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance. True it is, that no other rule exists, by which any question which may divide a Society, can be ultimately determined, but the will of the majority; but it is also true that the majority may trespass on the rights of the minority.

    2. Because Religion be exempt from the authority of the Society at large, still less can it be subject to that of the Legislative Body. The latter are but the creatures and vicegerents of the former. Their jurisdiction is both derivative and limited: it is limited with regard to the co-ordinate departments, more necessarily is it limited with regard to the constituents. The preservation of a free Government requires not merely, that the metes and bounds which separate each department of power be invariably maintained; but more especially that neither of them be suffered to overleap the great Barrier which defends the rights of the people. The Rulers who are guilty of such an encroachment, exceed the commission from which they derive their authority, and are Tyrants. The People who submit to it are governed by laws made neither by themselves nor by an authority derived from them, and are slaves.

    3. Because it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entagled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much soon to forget it. Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? that the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?

    4. Because the Bill violates the equality which ought to be the basis of every law, and which is more indispensible, in proportion as the validity or expediency of any law is more liable to be impeached. If "all men are by nature equally free and independent," all men are to be considered as entering into Society on equal conditions; as relinquishing no more, and therefore retaining no less, one than another, of their natural rights. Above all are they to be considered as retaining an "equal title to the free exercise of Religion according to the dictates of Conscience." Whilst we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess and to observe the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us. If this freedom be abused, it is an offence against God, not against man: To God, therefore, not to man, must an account of it be rendered. As the Bill violates equality by subjecting some to peculiar burdens, so it violates the same principle, by granting to others peculiar exemptions. Are the quakers and Menonists the only sects who think a compulsive support of their Religions unnecessary and unwarrantable? can their piety alone be entrusted with the care of public worship? Ought their Religions to be endowed above all others with extraordinary privileges by which proselytes may be enticed from all others? We think too favorably of the justice and good sense of these demoninations to believe that they either covet pre-eminences over their fellow citizens or that they will be seduced by them from the common opposition to the measure.

    5. Because the Bill implies either that the Civil Magistrate is a competent Judge of Religious Truth; or that he may employ Religion as an engine of Civil policy. The first is an arrogant pretension falsified by the contradictory opinions of Rulers in all ages, and throughout the world: the second an unhallowed perversion of the means of salvation.

    6. Because the establishment proposed by the Bill is not requisite for the support of the Christian Religion. To say that it is, is a contradiction to the Christian Religion itself, for every page of it disavows a dependence on the powers of this world: it is a contradiction to fact; for it is known that this Religion both existed and flourished, not only without the support of human laws, but in spite of every opposition from them, and not only during the period of miraculous aid, but long after it had been left to its own evidence and the ordinary care of Providence. Nay, it is a contradiction in terms; for a Religion not invented by human policy, must have pre-existed and been supported, before it was established by human policy. It is moreover to weaken in those who profess this Religion a pious confidence in its innate excellence and the patronage of its Author; and to foster in those who still reject it, a suspicion that its friends are too conscious of its fallacies to trust it to its own merits.

    7. Because experience witnesseth that eccelsiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of Religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution. Enquire of the Teachers of Christianity for the ages in which it appeared in its greatest lustre; those of every sect, point to the ages prior to its incorporation with Civil policy. Propose a restoration of this primitive State in which its Teachers depended on the voluntary rewards of their flocks, many of them predict its downfall. On which Side ought their testimony to have greatest weight, when for or when against their interest?
     
  19. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments

    Parts 8-15

    James Madison [1785]


    8. Because the establishment in question is not necessary for the support of Civil Government. If it be urged as necessary for the support of Civil Government only as it is a means of supporting Religion, and it be not necessary for the latter purpose, it cannot be necessary for the former. If Religion be not within the cognizance of Civil Government how can its legal establishment be necessary to Civil Government? What influence in fact have ecclesiastical establishments had on Civil Society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the Civil authority; in many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny: in no instance have they been seen the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty, may have found an established Clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just Government instituted to secure & perpetuate it needs them not. Such a Government will be best supported by protecting every Citizen in the enjoyment of his Religion with the same equal hand which protects his person and his property; by neither invading the equal rights of any Sect, nor suffering any Sect to invade those of another.

    9. Because the proposed establishment is a departure from the generous policy, which, offering an Asylum to the persecuted and oppressed of every Nation and Religion, promised a lustre to our country, and an accession to the number of its citizens. What a melancholy mark is the Bill of sudden degeneracy? Instead of holding forth an Asylum to the persecuted, it is itself a signal of persecution. It degrades from the equal rank of Citizens all those whose opinions in Religion do not bend to those of the Legislative authority. Distant as it may be in its present form from the Inquisition, it differs from it only in degree. The one is the first step, the other the last in the career of intolerance. The maganimous sufferer under this cruel scourge in foreign Regions, must view the Bill as a Beacon on our Coast, warning him to seek some other haven, where liberty and philanthrophy in their due extent, may offer a more certain respose from his Troubles.

    10. Because it will have a like tendency to banish our Citizens. The allurements presented by other situations are every day thinning their number. To superadd a fresh motive to emigration by revoking the liberty which they now enjoy, would be the same species of folly which has dishonoured and depopulated flourishing kingdoms

    11. Because it will destroy that moderation and harmony which the forbearance of our laws to intermeddle with Religion has produced among its several sects. Torrents of blood have been split in the old world, by vain attempts of the secular arm, to extinguish Religious disscord, by proscribing all difference in Religious opinion. Time has at length revealed the true remedy. Every relaxation of narrow and rigorous policy, wherever it has been tried, has been found to assauge the disease. The American Theatre has exhibited proofs that equal and compleat liberty, if it does not wholly eradicate it, sufficiently destroys its malignant influence on the health and prosperity of the State. If with the salutary effects of this system under our own eyes, we begin to contract the bounds of Religious freedom, we know no name that will too severely reproach our folly. At least let warning be taken at the first fruits of the threatened innovation. The very appearance of the Bill has transformed "that Christian forbearance, love and chairty," which of late mutually prevailed, into animosities and jeolousies, which may not soon be appeased. What mischiefs may not be dreaded, should this enemy to the public quiet be armed with the force of a law?

    12. Because the policy of the Bill is adverse to the diffusion of the light of Christianity. The first wish of those who enjoy this precious gift ought to be that it may be imparted to the whole race of mankind. Compare the number of those who have as yet received it with the number still remaining under the dominion of false Religions; and how small is the former! Does the policy of the Bill tend to lessen the disproportion? No; it at once discourages those who are strangers to the light of revelation from coming into the Region of it; and countenances by example the nations who continue in darkness, in shutting out those who might convey it to them. Instead of Levelling as far as possible, every obstacle to the victorious progress of Truth, the Bill with an ignoble and unchristian timidity would circumscribe it with a wall of defence against the encroachments of error.

    13. Because attempts to enforce by legal sanctions, acts obnoxious to go great a proportion of Citizens, tend to enervate the laws in general, and to slacken the bands of Society. If it be difficult to execute any law which is not generally deemed necessary or salutary, what must be the case, where it is deemed invalid and dangerous? And what may be the effect of so striking an example of impotency in the Government, on its general authority?

    14. Because a measure of such singular magnitude and delicacy ought not to be imposed, without the clearest evidence that it is called for by a majority of citizens, and no satisfactory method is yet proposed by which the voice of the majority in this case may be determined, or its influence secured. The people of the respective counties are indeed requested to signify their opinion respecting the adoption of the Bill to the next Session of Assembly." But the representatives or of the Counties will be that of the people. Our hope is that neither of the former will, after due consideration, espouse the dangerous principle of the Bill. Should the event disappoint us, it will still leave us in full confidence, that a fair appeal to the latter will reverse the sentence against our liberties.

    15. Because finally, "the equal right of every citizen to the free exercise of his Religion according to the dictates of conscience" is held by the same tenure with all our other rights. If we recur to its origin, it is equally the gift of nature; if we weigh its importance, it cannot be less dear to us; if we consult the "Declaration of those rights which pertain to the good people of Vriginia, as the basis and foundation of Government," it is enumerated with equal solemnity, or rather studied emphasis. Either the, we must say, that the Will of the Legislature is the only measure of their authority; and that in the plenitude of this authority, they may sweep away all our fundamental rights; or, that they are bound to leave this particular right untouched and sacred: Either we must say, that they may controul the freedom of the press, may abolish the Trial by Jury, may swallow up the Executive and Judiciary Powers of the State; nay that they may despoil us of our very right of suffrage, and erect themselves into an independent and hereditary Assembly or, we must say, that they have no authority to enact into the law the Bill under consideration.

    We the Subscribers say, that the General Assembly of this Commonwealth have no such authority: And that no effort may be omitted on our part against so dangerous an usurpation, we oppose to it, this remonstrance; earnestly praying, as we are in duty bound, that the Supreme Lawgiver of the Universe, by illuminating those to whom it is addressed, may on the one hand, turn their Councils from every act which would affront his holy prerogative, or violate the trust committed to them: and on the other, guide them into every measure which may be worthy of his [blessing, may re]dound to their own praise, and may establish more firmly the liberties, the prosperity and the happiness of the Commonwealth.
     
  20. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    The Rights of Man

    Thomas Paine (1792)

    (full text here)

    With respect to what are called denominations of religion, if every one is left to judge of its own religion, there is no such thing as a religion that is wrong; but if they are to judge of each other's religion, there is no such thing as a religion that is right; and therefore all the world is right, or all the world is wrong. But with respect to religion itself, without regard to names, and as directing itself from the universal family of mankind to the Divine object of all adoration, it is man bringing to his Maker the fruits of his heart; and though those fruits may differ from each other like the fruits of the earth, the grateful tribute of every one is accepted.

    All religions are in their nature kind and benign, and united with principles of morality. They could not have made proselytes at first by professing anything that was vicious, cruel, persecuting, or immoral. Like everything else, they had their beginning; and they proceeded by persuasion, exhortation, and example. How then is it that they lose their native mildness, and become morose and intolerant?

    It proceeds from the connection which Mr. Burke recommends. By engendering the church with the state, a sort of mule-animal, capable only of destroying, and not of breeding up, is produced, called the Church established by Law. It is a stranger, even from its birth, to any parent mother, on whom it is begotten, and whom in time it kicks out and destroys.

    The inquisition in Spain does not proceed from the religion originally professed, but from this mule-animal, engendered between the church and the state. The burnings in Smithfield proceeded from the same heterogeneous production; and it was the regeneration of this strange animal in England afterwards, that renewed rancour and irreligion among the inhabitants, and that drove the people called Quakers and Dissenters to America. Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is alway the strongly-marked feature of all law-religions, or religions established by law. Take away the law-establishment, and every religion re-assumes its original benignity. In America, a catholic priest is a good citizen, a good character, and a good neighbour; an episcopalian minister is of the same description: and this proceeds independently of the men, from there being no law-establishment in America.

    If also we view this matter in a temporal sense, we shall see the ill effects it has had on the prosperity of nations. The union of church and state has impoverished Spain. The revoking the edict of Nantes drove the silk manufacture from that country into England; and church and state are now driving the cotton manufacture from England to America and France. Let then Mr. Burke continue to preach his antipolitical doctrine of Church and State. It will do some good. The National Assembly will not follow his advice, but will benefit by his folly. It was by observing the ill effects of it in England, that America has been warned against it; and it is by experiencing them in France, that the National Assembly have abolished it, and, like America, have established Universal Right of Conscience, and Universal Right of Citizenship.
     

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