Religion – Conversation with a Christian

The following is part of a discussion from the GOP LinkedIn page. Yes, I do correspond with them, and am generally received a warm response, though mostly in disagreement. My discussions concerning religion are no exception.

In this case, the original statement was “Which God Did Our Founding Fathers Follow?” My initial response was “None of the above.

I continued,

Though our Founders were mostly of the Christian faith, with a number of notable exceptions including Jefferson and Franklin, the language found in the Declaration and the Constitution really does not refer to the gods of the great western religions and most of the eastern beliefs do not have a true deity.

We seem to forget the words that follow Jefferson’s statement concerning our rights to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Jefferson continued, “That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.” Not of God or gods.

One respondent stated, 

Thanks for your response David. I am familiar with the arguments both supporting and denying the idea. It is an interesting academic study; though, as I stated in the post, a distraction from the actual meaning and intent of the documents. 

I will agree to the statement that the United States was not founded as a Christian nation though.

One person, however, took to great posturing as it concerned my statement of the Christian, Jewish and Islamic god (or gods). Robert was angered at my statement. His response caused me to question his knowledge of his own religion. Robert wrote,

For you to say “Judaism, Islam, and Christianity believe in the same God, yet the three factions fight bloody battles over their version of the deity.” is a contradiction in itself because ONLY Judaism and Biblical Christianity believe in the only One True God. Islam and Mormons, as you say, have their “versions” but to say they worship the same one God is in essence calling God a liar. Islam worships man-made gods (the black stone) and their “moon” god and view Jesus as only a prophet and the co-Messiah with their Mahdi. And, Mormons identify Jesus not as Almighty God’s ONLY begotten Son, but as the “brother of Lucifer (a created angel – now Satan). I’ll not take this further because it digresses from the subject post “God and the Constitution pt 2”. p.s. “anyone” can get an ordination in your man-made religion, or pay for it.

I believe he himself was confused, because Jesus never called himself “God” but the Son of God, but that is a sidebar story.

My response:

All four pray to the same “Father” but have different prophets and holy books that claim to advance their version of faith. Even within Christianity, there are multiple denominations, all interpreting the Christian Bible in their own direction.

The Jewish community cannot accept the Christian holy books because they do not believe that the Messiah has come. In fact, in Judaism, the Messiah may not be a person at all.

Christians cannot accept the Qur’an not because Mohammed was a more current prophet, but because the Qur’an does not recognize Jesus as the Messiah and Mohammad as a newer and more correct prophet. “The Faith” is yet another “what happened after” story.

The final sequel, or at least the most current, is the Book of Mormon. New prophet, new stories, new miracles, but the same “Father.”

Christianity’s version is only another in this long sequel of faith that began with the recognition of the Jewish mono-theism, which, by the way, was not the first faith of that kind. There are indications that some Babylonian sects also had a mono-theistic faith. 

Evidently, my answer was not within Robert’s belief system.

@ David: This is my final post with you because you are a complex and uber-confused person…having bought into the great lie and deception of Satan. By your own admission “I am an atheist”, so how can you be an “ordained minister”…of what? Just what is your religion other than the religion of the self and spreading lies about religions you profess to know little about and deceiving others by saying they all worship the same “God”…a patented lie. Enough already. Look in a mirror and search your troubled soul.

@ Robert- Please read this entirely before you decide I am spending the rest of my life in your “Hell.” 

First – Anyone can be ordained in the Universal Life church, Go online, sign-up and send them $5. 

My “religion” is that of the Human Spirit, one that believes in original goodness, not original sin. One that says that yes, there are some bad apples, but they are really few and far between. One that says that hatred because of faith, color, creed, nationality, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or any other differences you may choose, is simply wrong. I have been told that that is “very Christian” of me. Can you say the same? 

I take great exception of your declaring that mine is a “religion of the self and spreading lies about religions you profess to know little about.” In fact, most atheists know more about the Christian Bible than most Christians, give more to charity, and volunteer more. There are fewer atheists, by percentage, in prison than Christians. 

As for myself, I was born Jewish and studied to be a Cantor; I attended a Catholic university where I studied the Christian Bible (KJV and St. Joseph’s) and history; I spent a summer in a Buddhist monastery; and studied the Qur’an for two-months with a wonderful Imam. In fact, I taught future ministers the art of public speaking AFTER I declared my atheism. I can say that I know world religions, can you? 

It is also quite evident that you most likely never read a Torah (not the KJV or NIV version of the “Old Testament”), a Qur’an, or the Book of Mormon. If you did, you would quickly realize that Adonoi, Yahweh, and Allah are referring to God the Father.

By the way, there is no such term in Hebrew as “Yahweh,” though, if you want, I can give you its origins of this misconception. 

My “soul” is not troubled. If I had it all to do again, I would not change a thing, expect to exercise more. I have a happy marriage, great kids and grand kids, a job that I love, students who have given me nothing but high praise (even the Evangelical students), and good friends far and wide. I have been honored for my writings and opinions by those who agree and, more important, by those who disagree with my opinions. 

And I would never threaten anyone with eternal damnation because I believe differently. 

David Ben-Gurion said on the eve of the independence of Israel to his Arab neighbors, “Please, open your ears to open your minds.” It is a shame that you ears remain closed. 

I am not angry or upset with the anger you possess. That, my friend, is something you must deal with. In my opinion, it just appears to be very non-Christian (Matthew 5). My opinion, of course. 

As you to look in the mirror, ask yourself where your humanity has gone. 
Shalom, Salam, Peace.

When teaching argument and persuasion, my students learn that one’s deepest convictions, their “faith,” cannot be changed, challenged, or questioned. Once this individual has resorted to one of a number of tactics, avoidance being the one used here, one must turn, walk away, and say to themselves with a smile, “I won.”

Arguing with an “orthodox” Christian is a losing battle from the start. The energy, at the point of discovery, is not “wasted” but simply misused. As atheists, freethinkers, and skeptics, we need to put our energies into something more productive, like preventing religious myths from entering our science classes. To promote critical thinking and mathematics. To make sure that those who wish to believe and those who wish not to can live in harmony.

Amen – and women.

David Rosman’s newest book, A Christian Nation? An examination of Christian nation theories and proofs is now available through in paperback or eBook versions.

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About David Rosman

David is the winner of the Missouri Press Foundation's "Best Columnist" in 2013 (First Place) and 2014 (Second Place), the 2016 Harold Riback Award for excellence in writing, and the winner of the 2007 Interactive Media Award for excellence in editing.
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