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#1 philonetwenty

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 02:55 AM

Deists don't believe in the Bible. Am I right?

#2 Evangelion

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 04:45 AM

Not quite.

Deists tend to have a pick-and-choose attitude to the Bible; many of them reject the specifics, whilst accepting the general principles.

The main problem is that deists don't believe that God is a personal being, actively involved in His creation.

Most of the Founding Fathers were deists, and had some rather unpleasant things to say about the Bible. :book:
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#3 philonetwenty

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 09:27 AM

Not quite.

Deists tend to have a pick-and-choose attitude to the Bible; many of them reject the specifics, whilst accepting the general principles.

The main problem is that deists don't believe that God is a personal being, actively involved in His creation.

Most of the Founding Fathers were deists, and had some rather unpleasant things to say about the Bible.  :book:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Untrue. All of our Founding Fathers, save a very few, were devout Christians. Please provide evidence to the contrary.

I give you "The US Constitution."

Deists?

I think not.

Deists don't believe any of the bible.

Ever since God said "it is not good for man to be alone" God has been applying Himself in the affairs of men.

Oh, how about the "DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE?" Oh wait, you're British. Sorry. :D

#4 Matt Smith

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 10:30 AM

Not quite.

Deists tend to have a pick-and-choose attitude to the Bible; many of them reject the specifics, whilst accepting the general principles.

The main problem is that deists don't believe that God is a personal being, actively involved in His creation.

Most of the Founding Fathers were deists, and had some rather unpleasant things to say about the Bible.  :book:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Untrue. All of our Founding Fathers, save a very few, were devout Christians. Please provide evidence to the contrary.

I give you "The US Constitution."

Deists?

I think not.

Deists don't believe any of the bible.

Ever since God said "it is not good for man to be alone" God has been applying Himself in the affairs of men.

Oh, how about the "DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE?" Oh wait, you're British. Sorry. :D

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Maybe you could find some quotes from the American founding fathers that prove your point too Phil120... :tarkus:

#5 Dawn

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 10:33 AM

Where's scitsofreaky when you need him!

#6 Guest_Colter_*

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 10:55 AM

Diest believe that the Bible exists and that the people who wrote it wrote it.

Thomas Jefferson believed the words of Jesus but thought the commentary was from commentators and treated it as such.

#7 Adanac

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 11:04 AM

Ev's an Aussie actually.

#8 Evangelion

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 11:14 AM

Not quite.  Most of the Founding Fathers were deists, and had some rather unpleasant things to say about the Bible.  :book:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Untrue. All of our Founding Fathers, save a very few, were devout Christians.


Then please explain why they wrote things like this...

  • "One day the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in the United States will tear down the artificial scaffolding of Christianity. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.

    Thomas Jefferson; Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823.


  • As I have now given you my reasons for believing that the Bible is not the Word of God, that it is a falsehood, I have a right to ask you your reasons for believing the contrary; but I know you can give me none, except that you were educated to believe the Bible; and as the Turks give the same reason for believing the Koran, it is evident that education makes all the difference, and that reason and truth have nothing to do in the case.

    You believe in the Bible from the accident of birth, and the Turks believe in the Koran from the same accident, and each calls the other infidel. But leaving the prejudice of education out of the case, the unprejudiced truth is, that all are infidels who believe falsely of God, whether they draw their creed from the Bible, or from the Koran, from the Old Testament, or from the New.

    Thomas Paine, Answers to Friends regarding The Age of Reason, Paris, May 12, 1797


  • ...Some books against Deism fell into my hands.... It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quote to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations, in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.

    From Benjamin Franklin's autobiography.


  • The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.

    Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11 (which was written during the Administration of George Washington and signed into law by John Adams.)

And so on, and so forth. :book:

Please provide evidence to the contrary.


See above; click here.

And there's plenty more where that came from. :)

I give you "The US Constitution."


Which does nothing to prove that the Founding Fathers were devout Christians, and in fact contains statements such as...

  • Article VI, Section 3: ...no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.


  • First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...

Deists?

I think not.

Deists don't believe any of the bible.


True for some, but not for others. (And see my previous post.)

Ever since God said "it is not good for man to be alone" God has been applying Himself in the affairs of men.

Oh, how about the "DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE?" Oh wait, you're British. Sorry.  :D

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I'm actually Australian, and the DoI does nothing to prove your point. :popcorn:
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#9 Guest_Colter_*

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 11:40 AM

Not quite.  Most of the Founding Fathers were deists, and had some rather unpleasant things to say about the Bible.  :book:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Untrue. All of our Founding Fathers, save a very few, were devout Christians.


Then please explain why they wrote things like this...

  • "One day the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in the United States will tear down the artificial scaffolding of Christianity. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.

    Thomas Jefferson; Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823.





  • As I have now given you my reasons for believing that the Bible is not the Word of God, that it is a falsehood, I have a right to ask you your reasons for believing the contrary; but I know you can give me none, except that you were educated to believe the Bible; and as the Turks give the same reason for believing the Koran, it is evident that education makes all the difference, and that reason and truth have nothing to do in the case.

    You believe in the Bible from the accident of birth, and the Turks believe in the Koran from the same accident, and each calls the other infidel. But leaving the prejudice of education out of the case, the unprejudiced truth is, that all are infidels who believe falsely of God, whether they draw their creed from the Bible, or from the Koran, from the Old Testament, or from the New.

    Thomas Paine, Answers to Friends regarding The Age of Reason, Paris, May 12, 1797





  • ...Some books against Deism fell into my hands.... It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quote to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations, in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.

    From Benjamin Franklin's autobiography.





  • The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.

    Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11 (which was written during the Administration of George Washington and signed into law by John Adams.)

And so on, and so forth. :book:

Please provide evidence to the contrary.


See above; click here.

And there's plenty more where that came from. :)

I give you "The US Constitution."


Which does nothing to prove that the Founding Fathers were devout Christians, and in fact contains statements such as...

  • Article VI, Section 3: ...no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.





  • First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...

Deists?

I think not.

Deists don't believe any of the bible.


True for some, but not for others. (And see my previous post.)

Ever since God said "it is not good for man to be alone" God has been applying Himself in the affairs of men.

Oh, how about the "DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE?" Oh wait, you're British. Sorry.  :D

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I'm actually Australian, and the DoI does nothing to prove your point. :popcorn:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


One must bear in mind that America was founded by social progressives who's political heritage was in flight from the domination of the Church. Theocratic Europe gave birth to America, to our spirit of independence and free thinking. But the secularism of the 20th century "boomeranged" and the return was Christian fundamentalism.

Edited by Colter, 10 October 2005 - 12:01 PM.


#10 Stephen

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 01:24 PM

Then please explain why they wrote things like this...

  • As I have now given you my reasons for believing that the Bible is not the Word of God, that it is a falsehood, I have a right to ask you your reasons for believing the contrary; but I know you can give me none, except that you were educated to believe the Bible; and as the Turks give the same reason for believing the Koran, it is evident that education makes all the difference, and that reason and truth have nothing to do in the case. 

    You believe in the Bible from the accident of birth, and the Turks believe in the Koran from the same accident, and each calls the other infidel.  But leaving the prejudice of education out of the case, the unprejudiced truth is, that all are infidels who believe falsely of God, whether they draw their creed from the Bible, or from the Koran, from the Old Testament, or from the New.

    Thomas Paine, Answers to Friends regarding The Age of Reason, Paris, May 12, 1797


Mr. Paine jumped around a bit. He lost his way later in life. You ought to read "Common Sense" and "The Crisis", where he speaks of his Christian devotion.


  • ...Some books against Deism fell into my hands....  It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quote to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations, in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.

    From Benjamin Franklin's autobiography.


In Franklins famous appeal for harmony at the Constitutional convention---

"The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth - that God governs in the affairs of man… We have been assured in the sacred writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. Therefore, I move that prayers employing the assistance of heaven and its blessings on our deliberation be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business.”

Franklin's epitaph, written by himself (which sounds alot like the one on John Thomas tombstone)---

“The body of Benjamin Franklin, printer, like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out, stripped of its lettering, and guilding, lies here, food for worms. But the work shall not be lost; for it will, as he believed, appear once more in a new and more elegant edition, revised and corrected by the Author.”


Also written by Benjamin Franklin --- "As for Jesus, I have doubts as to his divinity."

He actually sounds alot like a Christadelphian.


  • The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.

    Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11 (which was written during the Administration of George Washington and signed into law by John Adams.)


Let's get the full article of the Treaty to Tripoli

"As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen and as the said States [America] have never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

Looks like another rejection of a National Church, and as such, would not go to war with the muslism as the Catholic state churches of old.

Our revisionist historians have been at play again.

  • First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...


The first ammendment is not an endoresement of Diesm, but a rejection of the National Church (and if you read carefully does not limit the states to having their own state church until the supreme court messed it up in 1949).

Curiously the author of the First Amendment, James Madison,
  • lead the morning prayer in the congress
  • Encouraged William Branford (Attorney General under Washington) to make his salvation sure (Letter of Madison to William Bradford November 9, 1772)
  • Desired that all public officials would declare openly and publicly their Christian beliefs and testimony (Letter of Madison to William Bradford September 25, 1773)
  • In 1789, served on the Congressional committee which authorized, approved, and selected paid Congressional chaplains.
  • In 1812, President Madison signed a federal bill which economically aided a Bible Society in its goal of the mass distribution of the Bible.
We have had 100 years of revisioninst history being taught in our schools and it is only recently that the Christians have been sincerely entering the fray.
... have mercy on those who waver; save others by snatching them out of the fire; have mercy on others, coupled with a fear of God, hating even the clothes stained by the flesh.

#11 Evangelion

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 01:35 PM

Mr. Paine jumped around a bit. He lost his way later in life. You ought to read "Common Sense" and "The Crisis", where he speaks of his Christian devotion.


He was, however, not a "devout Christian" in any sense.

  • ...Some books against Deism fell into my hands....  It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quote to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations, in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.

    From Benjamin Franklin's autobiography.


In Franklins famous appeal for harmony at the Constitutional convention---

"The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth - that God governs in the affairs of man… We have been assured in the sacred writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. Therefore, I move that prayers employing the assistance of heaven and its blessings on our deliberation be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business.”

Franklin's epitaph, written by himself (which sounds alot like the one on John Thomas tombstone)---

“The body of Benjamin Franklin, printer, like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out, stripped of its lettering, and guilding, lies here, food for worms. But the work shall not be lost; for it will, as he believed, appear once more in a new and more elegant edition, revised and corrected by the Author.”


Also written by Benjamin Franklin --- "As for Jesus, I have doubts as to his divinity."

He actually sounds alot like a Christadelphian.


He still sounds like a typical Deist to me.

  • The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.

    Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11 (which was written during the Administration of George Washington and signed into law by John Adams.)


Let's get the full article of the Treaty to Tripoli

"As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen and as the said States [America] have never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

Looks like another rejection of a National Church, and as such, would not go to war with the muslism as the Catholic state churches of old.


Absolutely. But nothing which proves that the authors weren't deists.

Our revisionist historians have been at play again.


How so?


  • First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...


The first ammendment is not an endoresement of Diesm, but a rejection of the National Church (and if you read carefully does not limit the states to having their own state church until the supreme court messed it up in 1949).


Nobody was claiming that it's an endorsement of Deism.

Curiously the author of the First Amendment, James Madison,

  • lead the morning prayer in the congress
  • Encouraged William Branford (Attorney General under Washington) to make his salvation sure (Letter of Madison to William Bradford November 9, 1772)
  • Desired that all public officials would declare openly and publicly their Christian beliefs and testimony (Letter of Madison to William Bradford September 25, 1773)
  • In 1789, served on the Congressional committee which authorized, approved, and selected paid Congressional chaplains.
  • In 1812, President Madison signed a federal bill which economically aided a Bible Society in its goal of the mass distribution of the Bible.


So...? There's still nothing here which proves that most of the Founding Fathers weren't Deists.

We have had 100 years of revisioninst history being taught in our schools and it is only recently that the Christians have been sincerely entering the fray.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


LOL, what "revisionist history"?

These men weren't devout Christians; they were deists - by their own admission. :popcorn:
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#12 Dianne

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 11:28 PM

Ev, could you explain what it is you are trying to prove? You have claimed that most of the Founding Fathers were diest, but yet you only name a few here.

Would you care to define what you claim to be 'most'? 'how many out of how many'? From what I know there were 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, how many of these signers were Deists?

On a side-note about 38-39? people signed the U.S. Constitution, how many of them were deists?

For the record, I honestly don't know the percentage of people who were Christian as opposed to Deists but you claim that most were so I was wondering, how many is 'most' to you?

Edited by Dianne, 10 October 2005 - 11:42 PM.


#13 Dianne

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 11:32 PM


  • First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...


The first ammendment is not an endoresement of Diesm, but a rejection of the National Church (and if you read carefully does not limit the states to having their own state church until the supreme court messed it up in 1949).


Nobody was claiming that it's an endorsement of Deism.


What was the purpose of quoting the First Amendment? Just my curiousity.

Edited by Dianne, 10 October 2005 - 11:33 PM.


#14 Fortigurn

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 12:06 AM

Ev, could you explain what it is you are trying to prove?  You have claimed that most of
the Founding Fathers were diest, but yet you only name a few here.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I'm not sure how many were Deists, but undoubtedly a significant number of the 'Big Names' certainly were.

There is revisionism on both sides of this story, of course. The Christian Right often quotes these FFs selectively, in an attempt to prove that they were Christians. But the quotes they select are rarely presented in context, and even read as presented rarely show anything more than the same beliefs the average Deist would profess.

On the other hand, those in the opposite camp attempt to make much more of the Deistic statements of these FF's than is legitimate, attempting to make them agnostics or even atheists (when they were not).

Both sides, incidentally, quietly gloss over the rampant anti-Semitism which was present among certain of the FFs.

#15 Dianne

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 12:14 AM

Thanks Fort, I agree.

#16 Dawn

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 02:49 AM

I've been trying to follow this thread and confess to not really knowing what the problem is? It must be me being dim, but I can't get the drift.

Is someone trying to say Christadelphians are like deists or something? :eek:

If so, you only have to look at the Deist websites to see there is a lot wrong with Deist PHILOSOPHY.

#17 Evangelion

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 04:06 AM

Ev, could you explain what it is you are trying to prove?


That most of the FF were deists.

You have claimed that most of the Founding Fathers were diest, but yet you only name a few here.


But I provided a link with quotes from many others. (I saw no reason to clutter up the thread with a quote from every single one of them.)

Would you care to define what you claim to be 'most'? 'how many out of how many'?


"The majority." I would call this 51% plus.

From what I know there were 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, how many of these signers were Deists?

On a side-note about 38-39? people signed the U.S. Constitution, how many of them were deists?


I don't have a detailed analysis for every single one of them; I draw my conclusion from the various essays I have read on the subject. It might well be that when people say "majority of the FF", they actually mean the "Big Names" (to use Fortigurn's phrase), since this tends to be what most people mean when they speak of the FF.

I doubt, for example, that when the average American says "the Founding Fathers", the names of fifty-six different men spring immediately to the minds of his audience. :tarkus:

For the record, I honestly don't know the percentage of people who were Christian as opposed to Deists but you claim that most were so I was wondering, how many is 'most' to you?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


As above. :popcorn:
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#18 Evangelion

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 04:12 AM

What was the purpose of quoting the First Amendment?  Just my curiousity.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


It was party of my body of evidence to prove that America was not founded as a Christian nation. :book:

Farrell Till has an excellent essay on the subject, from which I now provide a pertinent excerpt:
As for the religious beliefs of the general population in pre and post revolutionary times, it wasn't nearly as Christian as most people think.

Lynn R. Buzzard, executive director of the Christian Legal Society (a national organization of Christian lawyers) has admitted that there is little proof to support the claim that the colonial population was overwhelmingly Christian.

"Not only were a good many of the revolutionary leaders more deist than Christian," Buzzard wrote, "but the actual number of church members was rather small. Perhaps as few as five percent of the populace were church members in 1776" (Schools; They Haven't Got a Prayer, Elgin, Illinois David C. Cook Publishing, 1982, p. 81).

Historian Richard Hofstadter says that "perhaps as many as ninety percent of the Americans were unchurched in 1790" (Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, New York Alfred A. Knopf, 1974, p. 82) and goes on to say that "mid-eighteenth century America had a smaller proportion of church members than any other nation in Christendom," noting that "in 1800 [only] about one of every fifteen Americans was a church member" (p. 89).

Historian James MacGregor Burns agrees with these figures, noting that "(t)here had been a `very wintry season' for religion every where in America after the Revolution" (The American Experiment Vineyard of Liberty, New York Vintage Books, 1983, p. 493).

He adds that "ninety percent of the people lay outside the churches."
:popcorn:
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#19 Dianne

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 05:09 AM

Ev, could you explain what it is you are trying to prove?


That most of the FF were deists.

You have claimed that most of the Founding Fathers were diest, but yet you only name a few here.


But I provided a link with quotes from many others. (I saw no reason to clutter up the thread with a quote from every single one of them.)


That link only provided 8 people.

Would you care to define what you claim to be 'most'? 'how many out of how many'?


"The majority." I would call this 51% plus.


Unless I missed something you only listed 8 people.

From what I know there were 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, how many of these signers were Deists?

On a side-note about 38-39? people signed the U.S. Constitution, how many of them were deists?


I don't have a detailed analysis for every single one of them; I draw my conclusion from the various essays I have read on the subject. It might well be that when people say "majority of the FF", they actually mean the "Big Names" (to use Fortigurn's phrase), since this tends to be what most people mean when they speak of the FF.


If you mean the big names then yes but your claim of the majority is not accurate.

I doubt, for example, that when the average American says "the Founding Fathers", the names of fifty-six different men spring immediately to the minds of his audience.  :tarkus:


That's how the Founding Fathers are defined. They are those who are responsible for both originating and establishing the political government, not just the big-named ones. You've only named a handful of the founding fathers who just happened to be more famous than the rest. But everyone knows that the term refers to all who were responsible. Whether people can recite the names of all 56 men is irrelevant. :popcorn:

For the record, I honestly don't know the percentage of people who were Christian as opposed to Deists but you claim that most were so I was wondering, how many is 'most' to you?


see above. :popcorn:


Okay, well I think we can safely say that it's a bit of an exageration to say most. I've read that most were Protestant, a couple were Catholic and some deists who didn't believe in organized religion.

#20 Dianne

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 05:15 AM

What was the purpose of quoting the First Amendment?  Just my curiousity.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


It was party of my body of evidence to prove that America was not founded as a Christian nation. :book:


No one made this claim. Well I know I didn't. :popcorn:

Well Stephen already exlained the significance of the 1st. Amendment.

Edited by Dianne, 11 October 2005 - 05:30 AM.





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