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  • #16
    Re: God bless America

    "One nation under God"... was a phrase that was added in the 50's, IIRC. I do remember taking the pledge when that was not part of it. It is funny how "tempered" some of us feel about that phrase, as if it was part of the foundation of this country... it wasn't! With the exception of Vietnam and the recent wars, thousands of fathers and grandfathers and great grandfathers fought and died defending our nation and it's flag without ever having to cite, "One Nation Under God".

    I don't feel that there is anywhere in our Consitution or the Bill of Rights that states that any of us have to be religious or of any particular religion. I, myself, am a prayerful person... but I am not a "church goer". My feeling is that what goes on between God and me, is personal and I certainly don't need a crowd or permission or some outrageously expensive santuary to practice my faith.

    I think we have tremendous freedom to practice whatever religion that we wish, or to not practice it at all. But, I have grave concerns when a so-called religion preaches against diversity, preaches against other religions, and practices world domination through threat of any kind.

    We are a nation that was founded by God-fearing men and women. We are a nation that has a moral doctrine, that at least has moral guidelines provided by the best religions... including even parts of the Koran. We don't always follow those doctrines, but they are there as guidance and they do serve as a guidepost for when we stray.

    But I have a real tough time with some "religions"... or at least what they are preaching. Tonight I was flipping through the channels and ran across a program that was airing on TBN. Hopefully I missed some explanation at the beginning. But from what I saw, it was some sort of anti-American skit, showing our soldiers breaking in and arresting "people who prayed". It seemed to be making a point that America was against "prayer" and against those who proudly practiced their religion.

    Frankly it was too painful to watch.. I flipped back two or three times, but each time it was worse. Is this what some of our religions believe? Are our faithful supposed to buy into this kind of thing and live in fear? This is not what our country is about, not now, not ever! This is not freedom of religion... it is religion that feels free to monger hatred and fear. It was no better than what we see practiced in Iran.

    Seeing that kind of thing on a TV network makes me wonder if there are those who believe that crap, or if there's some purpose that they are trying to incite. It was obvious that the production had a lot of money behind it... and it left me thinking how the Islam world would view this, for surely even in America, there is NO religous freedom!

    Yet, that is what separation of religion and state is all about. We cannot as a government interfere with such tripe; whether it comes from the local mosque or a national broadcast under the name of Christianity.

    In my almost 66 years, I have come to see organized religion that has great opportunity to provide guidance and a sense of community... but it is too often overshadowed by narrowmindedness, greed and selfserving righteousness that is against everything that "being Christian" means.

    But through all of it, the United States of America provides freedom of religion... even if it's immoral, anti-American, anti-Christian, and anti-any religion that we as individuals might perceive as being alien to our own.

    CWS

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    • #17
      Re: God bless America

      I wonder if the English thought your forefathers were terrorists when they were fighting for their independence being English subjects and I wonder if they were.?

      Tony

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      • #18
        Re: God bless America

        The middle east has the Taliban and Al Qaeda. We have The Family, mega churches and Westboro Baptist Church. Government can not interfere with the practice of ones faith, including tax exempt status. It would be refreshing if the churches would tend to their flock.

        Franki - Obviously it is possible to quote passages from the Koran or the Bible to support a perspective. Just look at all the various Christian denominations. Even they can not agree on the Bibles meaning.

        Our elected official have no business publicly asking for god to bless anything.

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        • #19
          Re: God bless America

          Spiff, it's god, anyone god. any faith any religion. The words do not say christian god, it just says god. Yes, that does leave the atheists hanging but if they really are atheists they shouldn't give a damn
          sigpic

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          • #20
            Re: God bless America

            When a politician asks for a divine blessing, they are merely pandering to a segment of the electorate. In other words, they are simply grand standing and trying to impress or otherwise influence people.

            Just like the flag lapel pin. Wearing one does not make one more of a patriot just like asking for a divine blessing does not make one a member of a faith.

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            • #21
              Re: God bless America

              Originally posted by SpiffPeters View Post
              The middle east has the Taliban and Al Qaeda. We have The Family, mega churches and Westboro Baptist Church. Government can not interfere with the practice of ones faith, including tax exempt status. It would be refreshing if the churches would tend to their flock.

              Franki - Obviously it is possible to quote passages from the Koran or the Bible to support a perspective. Just look at all the various Christian denominations. Even they can not agree on the Bibles meaning.

              Our elected official have no business publicly asking for god to bless anything.
              Are you suggesting they stay in the closet so to speak? I prefer to have them up front so I better understand their perspective.

              Mark
              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

              I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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              • #22
                Re: God bless America

                Originally posted by SpiffPeters View Post
                When a politician asks for a divine blessing, they are merely pandering to a segment of the electorate. In other words, they are simply grand standing and trying to impress or otherwise influence people.

                Just like the flag lapel pin. Wearing one does not make one more of a patriot just like asking for a divine blessing does not make one a member of a faith.
                Precisely, so there is no reason for anyone to complain about it other than to just stir things.

                "This has zero negative effect on me, but I want it changed! It's unconstitutional!"

                J.C.

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                • #23
                  Re: God bless America

                  AFM,

                  That is a good question. The answer, like the label "Terrorist" pretty much depends on whether you are the attacker or the defender... and even that depends on which side you allie with.

                  But basically, a terrorist is one who attacks the population as a means to get at whoever or whatever it is that the attacker perceives as the enemy. An act of terrorism is extremely difficult to defend, as it's perpetrators live and work within the population.

                  Whether you are a uniformed force or an insurgent force, there can and will be "civilians" that will be hit. In modern warfare we often term this as collateral damage. Although it happens, the weapons and strategies are focused on the disruption or destruction of an enemy target and civilian deaths are generally a peripheral, and regrettable side-effect.

                  But with terrorism, it is the civilian on non-combatent personnel that are targeted, for they offer practically no defensive threat to the attacker. Such soft-targets also offer the least logistical challenges and the objectives are terror within a society and a backlash to a government that must reasign it's military and civilian defense forces over a broad area in a effort to defend the population. Terrorism is almost indefendable, as it requires far more resources over a broader area, against an unknown force or point of attack.

                  Simply put, the objectives of conventional warfare is to overcome an enemy by denying him the ability to make war. The objectives of terrorism is to create fear and chaos to a point where the enemy cannot govern. Terrorism is easy to conduct with minimal logistics and little to no command structure and defense against it is almost impossible, as it required almost every citizen within the population to be trained and active.

                  Historically, it's hard to identify many cases of "terrorism" during any of the early wars, including the Revolution or the Civil War. One could of course term the Boston Tea Party as an act of terrorism I suppose, if for no other reason than it probably struck terror into the hearts and minds of loyalist Boston beauracrats. That of course is a real stretch... but so to are many activities that get the "terrorist" and "weapons of mass destruction" in today's defensive environment.

                  CWS

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                  • #24
                    Re: God bless America

                    Originally posted by SpiffPeters View Post
                    Just like the flag lapel pin. Wearing one does not make one more of a patriot just like asking for a divine blessing does not make one a member of a faith.

                    Spiff, I can't say that I agree with you 100% of the time, but here you made a statement that I wholeheartedly agree with.

                    It sort of makes me smile, when I see someone driving down the road with a flag on thier car and I have to ask myself, "Does having two flags make you more patriotic than having only one?" Personally, I think the guy's probably a vet, or maybe just really feeling patriotic... but I also wonder what type he is; does he stop and pick it up when it blows off, does he replace it when it gets dirty or tattered, or is this just his whim today and next month will be just a little stick on a plastic clip?

                    It also makes me wonder too, when I see the good ol' "pink, dirty, and gray" hanging limp and tattered and bug splattered from someone's vehicle or worse from thier home. It makes me think, "Now there's a real patriot, he spent some time picking it out and mounting it to his car, and since that momentous occasion, he has disrespectfully ignored it."

                    I cannot tell you the number of times I have called local businesses, even my own ex-employer, and the local village to ask them to please honor the flag by replacing it. No flag should be left up 24/7, to be ignored to the point where it is faded and torn.

                    I've been told that "flags are too expensive" and that "It's my flag and I'll do what I want with it."

                    All I can say is that it's NOT your flag... it's your nation's flag and it needs to be shown some dignity and respect. But then I wonder, if I have to tell someone that, it's probably just something that they will not be able to comprehend.

                    CWS
                    Last edited by CWSmith; 07-05-2010, 01:22 PM.

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                    • #25
                      Re: God bless America

                      Jesus on the dashboard, prayer beads swinging from the mirror, flag and god bless America on the bumper. Dead guy in the front seat. EMT's see it all the time. somewhere in the bible it says something about not praying to idols but we just can't seem to help ourselves.
                      sigpic

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                      • #26
                        Re: God bless America

                        We've all seen the well intentioned displays of patriotism.

                        If one feels the need to proclaim their patriotism to the general public they need do it respectfully. My neighbor flies his flag 24/7. Even lets it get tangled up for weeks at time. And does not illuminate it.

                        I use to have a flag pole, but it was in a sad state of rust. Rather than incurring the expense of replacing or rehabing it, I decommissioned it. There was no lighting available and during the winter/spring months I was not able to get home and take it down.

                        Displaying our flag is a responsibility dictated by proper flag etiquette.

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                        • #27
                          Re: God bless America

                          Our flag does fly 24/7, it is well lit and replaced every 6-months. We use the nylon flag over polyester because we have mild weather and it flies better.

                          Mark
                          "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                          I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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                          • #28
                            Re: God bless America

                            Flying the flag is a personal thing, these days I'm more concerned with religious extremeists bent on destroying our way of life. When it is the mission of a religious group to force everyone to their will, it's time to have them leave the USA! We are open to all, but not to those who wish to control all. My only problem with atheists, are those who want to rewrite history. Our nation was founded by christians who carried and displayed religious symbols. Removing pictures of the cross or references to religious influence from our history would be like removing the swastika from nazi historical accounts. The truth no matter how unpleasant to some must remain accurate. In my opinion separation of church and state does not mean separation of "God" from country. Unless there is a new beginning to America, "In God We Trust" will remain intact. I wonder how many atheists live in corpus christi? What are the chances all those city names with religious roots will change? I'm all for keeping church out of politics, but religion and our country is here to stay like it or not.

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                            • #29
                              Re: God bless America

                              during the school year I say the pledge every morning. Something that since I left school 37 years ago I hardly ever did unless I was at a ball game. I make the kids all stand and recite it. Those that don't get booted for the day. I don't consider myself an over the top love it or leave it guy but I do believe that every American citizen has a duty and an obligation to pledge their allegiance to this great nation, for better or for worse it is ours.
                              sigpic

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                              • #30
                                Re: God bless America

                                Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                                ..these days I'm more concerned with religious extremeists bent on destroying our way of life.
                                I agree. We have Christian fundamentalists committing acts of terrorism in the name of abortion. Don't like abortions, don't get one. They don't have a right to force their world view on others.

                                Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                                Our nation was founded by christians who carried and displayed religious symbols.
                                Article 6, section 3 of the constitution states : "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." The idea of giving equal citizenship to believers and non-believers alike was quiet extreme at that time. Unlike England, the founders made sure that no single religion could make the claim of being the official, national religion. Nowhere in the Constitution does it mention religion, except in exclusionary terms. The words "Jesus Christ, Christianity, Bible, and God" are never mentioned in the Constitution.

                                It had long been established up to then that kings ruled nations by the authority of God. Thomas Jefferson wrote that the power of the government is derived from the governed. This thought was a radical departure from the idea of divine authority.

                                It is not entirely possible to pigeon hole the founders into various religious categories. These men were likely influenced one way or another by the Age of Enlightenment. And today's definitions are severely out of sync with the definitions used two hundred and thirty plus years ago.

                                George Washington - Likely a deist. Attended church but did not take communion - a common trait among church going deists of the time.

                                John Adams – Unitarian, pure and simple. Unitarianism at that time did not believe in the Holy Trinity and was opposed to the priests and bishops of Anglican and Roman Catholic churches. Unitarianism is a religion built on tolerance and reason. Human reason and experience are the final authority in determining spiritual truth, not the Bible. Very closely related to Deism.

                                Thomas Jefferson – By most accounts, a Deist. He attended the Episcopalian churches and donated large sums of his estate to the church. He believed in the moral leadership of Christ but was highly critical of Christianity in general. Jefferson did not believe in the miracles of the Bible, the virgin birth, the resurrection, or the divinity of Christ.

                                James Madison - Deist. Considered the holy trinity 'mindless jargon'.

                                Benjamin Franklin - 100% Deist. Though he was pro-Christian, he was skeptical about the holy trinity, resurrection and the miracles of Jesus. But he felt religion played a positive role in society and financially supported the church.

                                The definitions of religion have evolved over the centuries. And context of the era is required to fully understand and appreciate how the times and attitudes shaped their thoughts.

                                But we also know that the pilgrims that immigrated to north America did not leave England because of persecution for it was they that performed the persecutions. They lacked tolerance for the casual practitioners of their faith. So after not being able to satisfactorily isolate themselves in England, they set out for north America were they would be free to be as fundamentalist as their hearts desired.

                                So if one wants to says this country was founded on Christianity, then you better recognize myriad forms practiced by the founders as they are all over the place. And the definition that Christianity will evolve to over the next two hundred years will likely be as foreign to us today as that which existed two hundred years ago.

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