Friday, June 21, 2013

A Founding Father's Take on Religion - And Today's Christian Right

David Barton and other crackpots within the Christofascist circles continue to disseminate the myth that the United States was founded as a "Christian nation."  Like most of what comes out of the mouths of these folks it is a blatant lie that seeks to take advantage of the ignorance of accurate history which is so pervasive within the American public.  This bog has noted before the Founding Fathers' pointed suspicion of religion and the fact that most could best be described as deists - e.g., Thomas Jefferson.  Civil Commotion makes note of James Madison’s Memorial And Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments.  Here is a pertinent quote:

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.

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?
These views sound like Madison could be talking about the state of religion in America today where the Christofascists and their puppets and political whores in the GOP seek to inflict their poisonous beliefs on all citizens.  The Christianist agenda is the direct opposite of what Madison espoused.  

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