Hey, go213mph, I'm excited that you are going to post the sources to your questions (this will help some of my neo-con friends who have a benevolent view of government, you know, the kind who are - rightly – against Obama, but who think Romney/Ryan would actually have rescued America. Unbelievable.) However, I have a disagreement with one of your answers in your fantastic article (not bad out of 33 – you did an excellent job), and since you asked for our opinion, I feel free to give you mine.
Question 28: “Why does the use of religion to support a social gospel and preemptive wars, both of which requires authoritarians to use violence, or the threat of violence, go unchallenged? Aggression and forced redistribution of wealth has nothing to do with the teachings of the world great religions.”
I don't think Ron Paul's point in question 28 has to do with Separation of Church and State, but everything to do with the hypocrisy of conservatives to act all moral about habits and foreign “aid” and then suddenly flip, thinking our Soldiers' very lives (and those in other countries) are dispensable. These conservatives through mainstream media can vicariously, painlessly go on some power quest (somehow thinking its free???). Many “conservative” Americans make these blood baths of Nation Building and the preposterous “Peace through Strength” some kind of “righteous” international war without end. Its absolutely immoral, and against the dire warnings of the Founding Fathers and the teachings of God's Word. I disagree that the question was “clearly intended for members of congress.” I think that question was also intended for every American to ask themselves why we are addicted to preemptive wars without end, why do we plunder our own people through taxation to fill the coffers of dictators in poor countries, etc...side note: when new America was based on the Word of God, individual people got private, volunteer charities together to help other people in other countries; they did not steal each others wealth for foreign aid, etc...
I would like to say one thing before continuing on question #28 for clarification so you don't think I'm some sort of morality police:
Law is not reason, it is force – therefore, I do not believe in legislating morality unless it would infringe on the right of someone else's life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. For example, murder infringes on their life; stealing from their home infringes on their property, or pursuit of happiness; the Feds dictating what they can or cannot do personally, infringes on liberty. Although morally I personally wish people would not do drugs (because for some people, something chemical clicks in their body and they become dependent/driven by it for the rest of their lives); but if they're doing it in their own home and hurting no one else, that is their right. If someone plasters themselves with drink in their own home, and damages their liver, that is their right. (NOT abuse to spouses, or children, however, because that infringes on their rights.) If this same plastered person drives and gets in an accident, maiming or killing someone else, this infringes on the right of innocents and is wrong.
On to your Separation of Church and State point:
While it is true that there is a “Separation of Church and State” it is not in the Constitution, nor in the Declaration of Independence. It is in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Church who was afraid of being persecuted or controlled by the state for their faith. (a current example of that is how some children actually get penalized for praying or reading their Bible in the government schools) That is why Thomas Jefferson assured the Danbury Baptist Church that the state could not touch them; to separate the government from interfering with religious practice. He never said God was to be taken out of our public or political life. One of his comments was, “The God Who gave us life, gave us liberty.” Contrary to Revisionist history, most of the Founding Fathers talked interchangeably about freedom, Christianity, and Creation. “For my own part, I sincerely esteem it [the Constitution] a system, which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested or agreed upon by such a diversity of interests.” – Alexander Hamilton. It has also been said, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by “religionists”, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
I agree with the quote of James Madison, but I guess I feel the context wasn't complete.
James Madison is correct in saying that religions establishments are not the answer, in fact some of his reminiscing may even be on world history of the persecution by the Catholic Church on the Anabaptist, or Catholic “Holy Wars”, or his own ancestors fleeing the Church of England's persecution to settle in the New World...
There is a HUGE difference between these two points:
1. an “ecclesiastical establishment”, an “established clergy” (which has been very dangerous according to both history and Madison “to subvert the public liberty”) or
2. a personal relationship with Christ.
MAJOR difference. That was the very reason the Pilgrims (Puritans) came to the new world. They had ecclesiastical establishments where they were running from. It wasn't because there was no religion where they were. They said that whether we live or die trying, we want to be free to worship CHRIST. What were they fleeing from? The persecution towards them by the Church of England establishment entwined with the State.
The reverse flip of what Jefferson meant (not allow the state to interfere in worship) tragically occurred (take the God of the Bible out of public life). In 1963 when the government schools removed the Bible and prayer from classrooms it altered the course of America. From that time on, as a nation we took a rapid dive down in scholastic achievement and skyrocketed in immorality, becoming a leader among nations in violent crime, teen pregnancies, etc... Ron Paul says that the homeschooling movement is crucial to reclaiming our Constitutional protections (versus the government schools, so that homeschool education would probably most assuredly include private Christian schools, or other private schools as long as they do not teach Revisionist History, a still unproved theory of Evolution, and dumbed-down academics, like the Government schools).
“Expect the rapidly expanding homeschooling movement to play a significant role in the revolutionary reforms needed to build a free society with Constitutional protections. We cannot expect a Federal Government controlled school system to provide the intellectual ammunition to combat the dangerous growth of government that threatens our liberties.”
This is why, through the indoctrination of the government school system, we have so many young people under 30 that voted for Obama. Ron Paul will continue traveling to speak at universities trying to enlighten them with the truth that government is not benevolent, that we don't want them taking care of us from cradle to grave (“A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.” Barry Goldwater); that we want the government out of our homes, off our property, and out of our wallets; that we need to be a virtuous and moral people, able to make right decisions and stand on our own two feet in liberty.
In 1835, after his visit to America, the French political thinker Alexis d'Toqueville penned, “America is great because America is good. If America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”
Ron Paul, a little later in his Farewell Address makes quite a case for a moral and virtuous people. And where are those morals and virtue based? In the Word of God. Which is the very reason that public schools in the olden days were ever started, so people could learn to read the Word of God. That's a very contradictory thought today, like many other things, but that's how far our Nation has drifted. Think about it: If someone screams, “Don't you dare steal my car! Stealing is wrong!!!!” The other person yells back in retort as they wheel away, “SAYS WHO?!” Without the basis in the Word of God, everyone's interpretation of morals is relative, grounded in nothing but their own desires. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9 “In questions of power, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” - Thomas Jefferson. George Washington, in his Farewell Address, said, “Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion....reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
This is why both our Nation and the Government have become so corrupt.
“Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled, either by a power within them, or by a power without them; either by the Word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.” Robert C. Winthrop 1852
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