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Re: Intolerance: its modern embodiment

Since this thread seems incapable of moving away from the tired
pledge topic, this will be my last post about it, and I recommend
the same to everyone else.

>John's comments:
>     >>Joe: Actually, the Pledge of Allegiance (and our money) mention
>     God,
>     >> not a Christian God.
>     >John: In your opinion.  Not in the opinion of all hearers.
>No John, the word "God" was used.  Not "Jesus", not "a Christian God", but
>simply "God".  Alternatively they used "the Creator".  They knew the
>difference, and were far better educated than most of us today.

The "they" who inserted "under God" were the Knights of Columbus in 1955
via the U.S. Congress.  I don't know why you would think they are better
educated, and I see no reason to believe they knew any better than we do.

Did they say Krishna?  Ama-Terasu?  Zeus?  Demeter?  Cernunos?  Cybele?
Mawu-Lisa?  Pele?  Avalokiteshvara?  Ahura-Mazda?

Adherents of those and other deities have no particular reason to
accept the word "God" as referring to their deity.  Some of them
aren't monotheists, so a singular noun is problematical in itself.

And there are quite a few of us who, regardless of religious beliefs,
don't think the state has any business enforcing religion.  Maybe you do.
OK, we can agree to disagree.  Can we move on to some other subject.

>     >>Joe: I presume that the founders chose their words carefully and
>     >>judiciously.
>     >John: The founders were all dead when the Pledge of Allegiance was
>     invented.
>Right...  the insertion of "under God" is relatively recent. But.... the phras
>certainly respects the thinking of the Founders, who did not share the
>anti-religious attitude currently fashionable.

It is interesting how many people think they can channel the founders.
Even more interestingly, Jefferson actually addressed this issue of
a creed for civic instruction directly in his first inaugural address:

``About to enter, fellow-citizens, on the exercise of duties which
comprehend everything dear and valuable to you, it is proper you should
understand what I deem the essential principles of our Government,
and consequently those which ought to shape its Administration. I will
compress them within the narrowest compass they will bear, stating the
general principle, but not all its limitations. Equal and exact justice to
all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace,
commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances
with none; the support of the State governments in all their rights,
as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns and the
surest bulwarks against antirepublican tendencies; the preservation of
the General Government in its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet
anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad; a jealous care of the
right of election by the people--a mild and safe corrective of abuses
which are lopped by the sword of revolution where peaceable remedies
are unprovided; absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority,
the vital principle of republics, from which is no appeal but to force,
the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism; a well disciplined
militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war, till
regulars may relieve them; the supremacy of the civil over the military
authority; economy in the public expense, that labor may be lightly
burthened; the honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of
the public faith; encouragement of agriculture, and of commerce as its
handmaid; the diffusion of information and arraignment of all abuses at
the bar of the public reason; freedom of religion; freedom of the press,
and freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus, and
trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright
constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an
age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of
our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed
of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by
which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from
them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps
and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety.''

>     >>Joe: I was suggesting that the Atheists "put a sock in it".
>     >John: If lumping everyone who disagrees with a certain opinion under
>     a
>     >single label and then telling them to stop stating their opinion
>     >is tolerance, apparently the word means something other than what
>     >I thought it did.
>Ya got me...  guilty of the dreaded "inconsistency"....  actually, I made that
>intemperate remark out of frustration that a militant minority has successfull
>generated an intolerance for religion, (specifically Christianity) in our

[ Excess quotations omitted. ]

It appears everyone has expressed their opinions on these subjects.
It also appears that no-one has changed anyone else's opinion.
That's normal for this sort of religious discussion.

Been there; done that.

Now perhaps we can get back to discussing Sinclair matters.

>best regards,

John S. Quarterman <jsq@quarterman.org>
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