Does the president believe he has a divine mandate

by Ravyn 20 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • L_A_Big_Dawg

    What did jesus say? 'Put away your sword, for those who live by the sword shall die by the sword'? Did he not say to turn the other cheek?

  • L_A_Big_Dawg

    What did jesus say? 'Put away your sword, for those who live by the sword shall die by the sword'? Did he not say to turn the other cheek?

    In the Scripture you quoted Peter had just removed Malchus' servant's ear from his head in an attempt to defend Jesus. But does this Scripture teach that under no circumstances one is to defend himself? Certainly not. In fact, Jesus, as he was sending out His disciples to preach the Gospel said, "And He said to them, 'But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one (Luke 22:36).'" Now, why would Jesus say this to His disciples if He was the all-loving, peace-nik that certain persons want him to be?

    And, DEFINATELY not attacking someone else in case they MIGHT attack you first?

    Really? Based on what Scripture? Based on Luke 22, the implication is clear, that Jesus didn't raise a bunch of idiot disciples. He knew and they knew that they were to go out into a Gentile world where the Jewish hospitality customs did not exist. He wanted them to be prepared. For any situation.

    How can you claim to be CHRISTIAN and follow CHRIST and still believe violence is ever an acceptable means to an end? Jesus certainly commanded over and over that it is not ever acceptable under any circumstances.

    So, one must conclude, if you support war or warfare, you are not really christian

    Please tell me how supporting a just war, that will benefit the people of Iraq and the people of the world in general, disqualifies me from being a Christian? You have mixed up your arguement in attempting to apply a verse that deals with non-Christian/Christian persecution, to fighting a just war.

    Therefore your conclusion is invalid because your premises are incorrect.

  • Ravyn

    bad willie I posted a reply on your thread....


  • Ravyn

    Excuse me Mr LA DAWG,

    But I don't think so.

    Leave it to a fundy to try and hijack the founding fathers.


    All Those Christian Presidents

    [Portions of this were originally published in the American Rationalist.]

    George Washington chopped down a cherry tree and would not tell a lie about it. Abraham Lincoln freed all the slaves. John Kennedy ushered into the White House all the glory of King Arthur's Camelot. And I know how to turn iron into gold.

    We so often believe what we want to believe, ignoring clear-cut evidence as we do so. This is especially true of our country's supposed Christian origins. You can find this topic almost daily in op-ed pages all across the country, as Christian fundamentalists strive mightily to turn America into the Christian nation they claim it once was. The rhetoric flows fast and thick, and after a while some of us begin to believe it. A lie told often enough.

    But we must look at our history objectively and resist the temptation to rewrite it to suit our opinions of what our heritage ought to have been. This admonition applies to freethinkers as well. If our nation indeed has Christian roots, then we'll just have to accept it and move on from there. So-does it?

    The obvious first step in seeking out our nation's origins is to read its founding documents. In doing so, one is struck immediately by the total absence of any mention of Jesus, Christ or Christianity. There is also no reference to any Christian church-Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Episcopal, Calvinist-nothing. Not a word, nor a hint. If our Founding Fathers had intended to make this a Christian nation, they could not have hidden that intention more completely, or done a worse job of it.

    The Declaration of Independence refers only to "Nature's God," "divine Providence" and a "Creator." All of these terms are so vague that they could be used comfortably by any faithful Muslim. Moreover, "Nature's God" was part of a passage that reads, ".the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them." You'll notice "God" got second billing. And not only did the Founders feel that the word "God" required an adjective, but the modifier they chose, "Nature's," couldn't be further removed from Christianity, and is in fact a precise definition of the God of Deism. (Deism: The belief that an unknowable God created everything, and then just walked away from it all, leaving all things to work out their own destinies, from atoms to apples.)

    The U.S. Constitution, with its Bill of Rights, fares even worse in the Christian roots theory. No deity at all is mentioned, let alone a Christian one. The wildest, broadest interpretations imaginable cannot make the Constitution a Christian document. Its only mention of religion at all is where it forbids Congress from making any laws establishing or prohibiting it, and where it forbids religious tests for holding public office. So the Constitution's two brief mentions of religion strictly emphasize the need to keep it out of government.

    So, then, where did all this "Christian nation" stuff come from? Our Founders went out of their way, very wisely, to avoid religion altogether. When freethinkers point to this shrieking silence about religion, Christians often attack that point by calling it an "argument from silence," one of the weakest arguments available. Generally speaking, arguments from silence are weak. In this case, though, it is one of the strongest arguments available. Other than bluntly and specifically repudiating Christianity, which they were also wise enough to avoid, the Founders could not have made more plain their desire to separate their new government from religion. Their silence about Christianity chimes loudly and clearly. If they had wanted to mention it, they would have. But they did not.

    Deathbed and trauma-induced Christian conversions of historical figures are very popular grist for Christian mills. But are they true? The first Life of Washington, for example, from which we received the ridiculous cherry tree story, was written by Mason Weems, a Christian minister and therefore hardly an objective source. He presents Washington as a devout Christian. However, Washington's own diaries record that in 1769 he attended church only ten times, in 1770 nine times, in 1771 and 1772 six times, and in 1773 five times. Devout? Hardly. Such sporadic church attendance reflects, at best, a half-hearted attempt at conforming to social proprieties. It does not reflect a devout Christian.

    John Adams was a Unitarian and flatly denied the doctrine of eternal damnation-obviously not a Christian. John Quincy Adams was likewise a Unitarian. The brilliant Thomas Jefferson was an out and out freethinker, and even urged his nephew to "Question with boldness even the existence of a God." These are not the words of a Christian.

    James Madison early on studied to become a minister, but inexplicably did not. He expressed his indignation that people were being jailed in Virginia merely for criticizing the Episcopal Church, then the established Church of Virginia. The state laws of the time called for the death penalty for the following:

    • Speaking impiously of any articles of Christianity
    • Blaspheming God's name
    • Incorrigible cursing

    (Surely this is a lesson in why not to allow theocracies. But why is it, anyway, that as soon as religions get a foothold, they immediately begin to persecute other religions?! Is oppression a necessary component of religious belief? It certainly rears its ugly head often enough to make you think so.) Madison of course went on to become a fierce advocate of church/state separation, and as an adult he simply refused to discuss religion at all. This fact alone makes his Christianity highly unlikely, living as he did in a society that smiled favorably on it.

    Abraham Lincoln was a Deist in his youth, but was subsequently, and probably wisely, advised against advertising that fact if he wanted to succeed in politics. Legend has him converting to Christianity, though Lincoln himself never bothered to mention it to anyone. No one else mentioned it either until long after Lincoln's death. And no one agrees on where or when this supposed profound life-change took place. Depending on the source, it was either in Illinois or Washington, in 1848, 1858, 1862, or 1863. Such large discrepancies make "never" the most likely.

    Lincoln's closest friend and law partner for over twenty years, William H. Herndon, claimed that Old Abe had no religious beliefs at all. Lincoln's own silence on the subject makes his friend's observation seem probable.

    Benjamin Franklin, Ethan Allen and Thomas Paine were thoroughgoing freethinking Deists. Though not Presidents, they were strongly influential in forming our early republic. Thomas Paine was a champion of reason. Highly praised for The Rights of Man, he was equally vilified for his The Age of Reason. A glittering testimonial to freedom of thought, The Age of Reason excoriated Christianity. Paine bravely put pen to paper in a way that guaranteed censure in the year of 1795. He was praised for glorifying political freedom, but cursed for applauding religious freedom. It is to history's shame that this beacon of reason and rationality suffered so tragically at the end of his life. He was a man ahead of his times.

    What most of us fail to recognize in these discussions, however, is that it wouldn't matter if every single President since Washington had been a Bible-toting, evangelical Christian. They weren't, of course, but even if they had been, it still would not change the secular foundation of our republic. Christians like to quote various Presidents or Supreme Court Justices who (quite incorrectly) have referred to our "Christian nation." But what do those quotes prove? I could quote Richard Nixon, but would that prove that ours was intended to be a nation of crooks?

    Our Founders' clearly created a secular government that was carefully separated from religion. You can peer and probe and dissect to your heart's content, but you will never find Christ or Christianity referred to, even obliquely, in our admirable founding documents. It is because of those documents that Christians are free to worship as they please, a priceless freedom enjoyed in precious few countries throughout history. Christians should be grateful for that freedom and stop trying to force their beliefs, posthumously, on our Founders (and on the rest of us-today!). We the People are truly a diverse group, and this has always been one of our greatest strengths. We never were, were never intended to be, and hopefully never will be, a "Christian" nation.

    1997 Judith Hayes

  • Xander

    But does this Scripture teach that under no circumstances one is to defend himself? Certainly not.

    Quite the contrary - it most certainly does. If the son of god on earth is not to be defended, what right do you think you have to decide you are more important than that?

    And you then proceed to take a scripture out of context to defend your position:

    Based on Luke 22, the implication is clear, that Jesus didn't raise a bunch of idiot disciples

    Wrong, read the verse again:

    36 "But now," he said, "take your money and a traveler's bag. And if you don't have a sword, sell your clothes and buy one! 37 For the time has come for this prophecy about me to be fulfilled: `He was counted among those who were rebels.' [1] Yes, everything written about me by the prophets will come true."
    38 "Lord," they replied, "we have two swords among us."
    "That's enough," he said.

    As you can plainly see, he was instructing the disciples to BRING SWORDS so that he could LATER DEMONSTRATE THEY SHOULD NOT BE USED (re: the cutting off of the ear).

    Unless you REALLY think Jesus meant for 2 swords alone ("that is enough"?) to be able to defend all his apostles and disciples in their travels?

    What is was ENOUGH for was to prove a point - specifically, that swords SHOULD NOT BE USED BY CHRISTIANS TO DEFEND THEMSELVES.

    And, what does John 18:36 say, as clear as day?

    36 Then Jesus answered, "I am not an earthly king. If I were, my followers would have fought when I was arrested by the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world."

    I don't know, but it seems pretty clear what he is saying.

  • ThiChi

    Thank god there are not a lot of people like figureheaduk.

    Appeasers have no concept of what Evil persons would do to them if they had a chance.

    If Hitler would have won WWII, figureheaduk would have been a lamp shade or now speaking German in some slave camp. Thank God there are more people like, Bush, Blair, Powell who will stand up to these people.

  • ThiChi


    Why leave out other words of Jesus? Jesus instructed his disciples to "take the sword" and "food pouches" on their second missionary tour. Why?

    When Jesus saw that he had to clean up his Fathers house, what did he do? He made wips and beat out all the merchants. If you truly value life, or there is a moral issue at stake, you will act protect it!

    In context, Pete was interfering with Gods will for Jesus.

    Edited by - thichi on 13 February 2003 11:58:19

    Edited by - thichi on 13 February 2003 11:59:15

  • Xander

    Jesus instructed his disciples to "take the sword" and "food pouches" on their second missionary tour.

    Those instructions were given at the last supper, before his capture. They were not related to any 'missionary tour' but to the evening to follow.

    In any case, I can't understand how you misunderstand his words.

    Pete was interfering with Gods will for Jesus

    But did Jesus say "Put away your sword for now, for those who interfere with gods word are not helping?" No! He said "Put away your sword" Period. Followed by "For those who live by the sword WILL DIE BY THE SWORD.". Not much room for interpretation there.

    He is saying christians should be pacifists. That is what he is saying there.

    He made wips and beat out all the merchants

    And, if scripture is to be believed, the same man will return to earth and wipe out all human governments and false religions. Or, alternatively, allow people who don't follow him to burn in hellfire forever. Whatever. The point is, what the 'son of god' does should not be taken as a literal example of what christians do when he commands otherwise.

    According to the bible, the fight against evil is HIS fight, not man's.

    I mean, how many times can you be commanded to "Put away your sword" and "Return evil for evil to no one" and "turn the other cheek" and his "kingdom is not of this world" etc, etc, etc and you still DO all those things and think you are christian?

  • figureheaduk

    Thi Chi

    I wouldn't class myself as an appeaser. I firmly think that Saddam Hussein is an evil, tyrranical despot and he and his cronies need to be removed from power, even if by lethal means if necessary. However, the idea of blasting Baghdad with more cruise missiles in the first two days than during the entire gulf war makes me feel uneasy about the prospect of war in Iraq. If more evidence can be unearthed by the weapons inspectors, and the UN/ international community give their backing then i would definitely back the idea of action in Iraq. But until that happens, i'll still prefer to keep my (fairly)peaceful viewpoint on things. How about trying to weaken his forces by striking at military targets first? How about helping the iraqi people hold an uprising against saddam? How about enlisting more weapons inspection teams and trying to step up military intelligence in iraq?

    As for your comments on world war 2, the difference is that Hitler was a genocidal maniac who was trying to take over europe, and the world if possible. In that war (same as today) I would have taken up arms against him and any invading forces. I also feel that the first gulf war was justified, as the allies had the full backing of the UN since Saddam didn't withdraw from kuwait within the 15 days given. In fact, if Britain were to be invaded right now, I'd be doing my damnedest to fight (and die if need be) for my freedom. So to say i'd be a lampshade or in a prison camp speaking german is a bit over the top to say the least.

    I know I can be a bit of a firebrand while talking about Bush and Blair, but the simple honest truth is that I don't like either of them. When Bush first got into power (remember that? If I remember rightly didn't Al Gore get more votes?) I can remember reading about him and thinking "this guy looks like he wants to start ww3". Then there was the ditching of the Kyoto treaty, the high import taxes on british steel imports (considering he's supposed Tony's freind) and so on.He talks tough on his so called worldwide war on terrorism.So how come there's no camp x-ray for the terrorist groups in northern ireand for starters?

    As for Blair, my list against him is almost endless. There's so much sleaze, lies and corruption going on in his government. Public spending on hospitals, schools, police etc seems to be at an all time low, millions of british children are on the poverty line, and our military equipment seems sub-standard for desert conditions but somehow he can produce 3 billion or so for this war. I could rattle on all night about how so many of the british population seem to have lost faith in the Labour government, but this isn't the place for it.

  • heathen

    Ravyn-- That was a great link tho I'm not familiar with the belief net origins . I especially like this-----Theodore Roosevelt, in his 1912 speech to the Progressive Party, closed with these words: "We stand at Armageddon, and we battle for the Lord." It is no secret to me that these wanna be messiahs seem to have this same agenda . Like they are battling for the lord . GAG . Last I checked he can take care of himself.

    Xander-- I agree with you that the christian religion is supposed to be based on love and not hatred or intollerance. In fact I have stated in previous threads that the organized religions have done nothing to promote the virtues of christianity while they eagerly use deadly force to force their beliefs on others.

    To those that claim the government does not claim this to be a christian nation all I can say is , why is christmas a national holiday and why do all our politicians swear in on a bible to obtain office when the act of doing so is unconstitutional?

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