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Letter: The God of the Declaration is Jesus Christ!

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Posted: Saturday, October 19, 2013 12:00 am

Because sole authorship of the Declaration of Independence is regularly attributed to deist Thomas Jefferson, its four “God” references are considered references to his decidedly ambiguous and non-Christian god. Therefore, many falsely teach that the identity of the God of the Declaration may be subjectively determined, or can be no God at all.

Few know that Jefferson’s draft was heavily edited by the Second Continental Congress — 30 percent deleted, 12 percent added (www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/congress. htm).

Jefferson authored the first two “God” references: to “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” (acknowledging a transcendent, objective moral law); and to the self-evident truth that each American is endowed (blessed) by a providential Creator (providential isn’t Deist — see Strelow’s Sept. 7 letter) with the individual sovereignty from which our government, through the Constitution “... derives its just powers” (see Declaration).

That is Americanism’s “Chain of Delegated Authority” (God — man — government servants) which is the theory upon which our form of government, defined in the Constitution, is unalterably based, unalterable because it’s set in the Declaration’s “historical concrete.” Note: With the term “self-evident,” the Founders are politely saying any disagreement is objectively wrong.

The second two references to God (“the Supreme Judge of the world” and “divine Providence”) were added by Christians in Congress — clarifying that the creator who providentially blesses all Americans (even atheists) in the beginning of the Declaration is Jesus Christ. Our biblically literate Founders, including the few deists among them, knew that Jesus said of himself: “... the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.” John 5:22-23. See also John 5:26-27; Matt. 25:31-46; Revelation 19:11-16; 20:11 through 21:8; 22:12-16.

For Bible-believing Christians, Jesus Christ is unquestionably “the Supreme Judge of the world” who the Founders explicitly honored by acknowledging him in America’s establishing document.

Imagine that, the Declaration and Constitution are linked politically and by the worldview of our predominately Christian Founders!

Michael Nedderman

Sacramento

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Welcome to the discussion.

30 comments:

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:34 am on Sat, Nov 9, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Actually, Mr. Nedderman, I was referring to my comment below that took at least half a day to be posted and was done without having to be edited.

     
  • Michael Nedderman posted at 3:58 pm on Fri, Nov 8, 2013.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Hi Joanne. I'm not certain what you mean, but I'll guess. Did you post a response to my most recent comment and it didn't appear? If so, the editor probably didn't find it suitable for some reason. Call him and find out what the problem was, and I'm sure you can repost with a correction.

     
  • Michael Nedderman posted at 11:39 pm on Thu, Nov 7, 2013.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    I did post a response to you about 10 days ago, but the editor didn't like how I characterized you, a characterization I believe was completely warranted because it was merely descriptive, and entirely accurate. I agreed to delete the characterization, and he agreed to email my comment back to me because I had lost it because my file had become corrupted. He failed to do that, so I wasn't able to post that response to your truly incredible comments.

    Your assertion that my motive for writing here is “only...to start a fight” is a false accusation—a type of lie that is so bad that it warranted inclusion in God's “Top Ten.” Please Joanne, cite the evidence that supports your assertion that my motive for writing is “only...to start a fight.” If you can't provide that support, then yours is a false accusation.

    Oh yea, Joanne, regarding your comments about me not living it Lodi, are you "running me out of town"? While I might not live there now, my "roots" in Lodi go back about 4 generations. How long has your family lived in Lodi?

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 2:35 pm on Thu, Nov 7, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Where's my comment on this religion letter?

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:34 am on Thu, Nov 7, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    FYI, Mr. Nedderman, since you don't live in Lodi and have only come to another city's publication to start a fight - most people who comment here do not return to a letter after four or five days. I only clicked on this because of the little comment snippets on the right side, noting that you were issuing a bully's challenge.

    I suppose you will have to write another letter in order to start the argument over again. I don't think, however, that you are persuading anyone.

    Maybe you should try the Chico Enterprise Record.

     
  • Michael Nedderman posted at 12:10 am on Thu, Nov 7, 2013.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Hi David.

    Clearly enough time has passed so that you have no valid excuse for not having replied to my last post, or for inadequately responding to several of my earlier posts.

    Just like your pattern of of regularly making false accusations (albeit in a clever prophetic form) when you can't answer my valid and tough questions or legitimately debate my reasoning, you also have a habit of "bugging out" on this and earlier debates. And that, David, can only be interpreted as a tacit admission that you cannot answer, that you cannot debate my reasoning.

    Keep assuring yourself that you are right, but don't cite any of these debates to support that assertion because anyone reading this and the comment threads under the other letters where you've "bugged out" will be able to clearly see what happened.

     
  • Michael Nedderman posted at 10:06 am on Mon, Oct 28, 2013.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    David, David, David. I suppose you believe what you write, but to make the following assertion without addressing my thorough and comprehensive refutation of it is an implicit admission that you cannot counter my argument. You asserted in your comment above:

    “And if it had (not exactly sure to what you refer, but assuming it must be my contention that the God of the Declaration is Jesus), then they certainly had a change of heart when it came time to write the Constitution.”

    You are either not reading what I have written above, or you are intentionally not commenting upon the fact that I have, in great detail, refuted what you assert above.

    Please take a moment to understand the following analogy, but I am getting the feeling that I am “casting my pearls before swine" (which Jesus admonished me not to do) due to the nature of the responses I'm getting from you and Joanne. Please note that I'm not calling either of you swine, just comparing your attitude toward my careful and respectful presentation of responses to questions you raised with a swine's appreciation for pearls.

    . . . . . Now, regarding your first comment that raises a valid question as to why didn't the Founders simply use the name “Jesus Christ?”

    The following is excerpted from my forthcoming article on this subject:

    Answering that question is difficult because there is no recorded explanation of the underlying facts, and because we don't even know specifically which Founders are responsible for the insertion of the two prayer into the Declaration. However, we can draw logical inferences from:

    (1) the text itself,

    (2) our knowledge of the high level of biblical literacy in the Founders' day generally, and

    (3) of the Founders' themselves specifically (see the often presented but never commented upon adherents.com/gov/Founding_Fathers_Religion.html),

    (4) the fact that the two prayers in the Declaration were so uncontroversial that no one penned a single word of objection, not even Thomas Payne, and

    (5) the fact that 56 Founders signed the Declaration of Independence and, therefore, explicitly endorsed the two prayers to the Christian God--yes, even Jefferson and Franklin.

    One self-evident conclusion can be readily drawn directly from the Declaration's text: the Founders used the title “Supreme Judge of the world” quite simply because they were appealing (praying) to Jesus Christ in his capacity as “Supreme Judge” to guide and judge “the rectitude of [their] intentions.”

    If you were addressing a king, would you use his proper name or his title?

    And finally, David, thank you so much for your help with this project. Having a person who isn't afraid to admit he's an atheist and discuss his indefensible position (to the limited degree you have) has improved my article.

     
  • David Diskin posted at 12:01 pm on Sun, Oct 27, 2013.

    David Diskin Posts: 184

    Joanne, he clearly has won this debate on the basis of him plugging his ears and saying "nyeah nyeah nyeah, I can't hear you".... then claiming that he's won because we refused to offer counterpoints.

     
  • David Diskin posted at 11:57 am on Sun, Oct 27, 2013.

    David Diskin Posts: 184

    Michael, if "the Christians in the Second Continental Congress wanted to clarify exactly who was being referenced as the Creator" then they would have said "Jesus" or "Yahweh".

    The DOI "was, unquestionably, written by and for Christians who, as a matter of religious faith, believed that all other religions were false, and that their false gods do not exist. Can you disagree with that obvious fact?"

    Disagree? Yes, since we're here discussing this right now.

    And if it had, then they certainly had a change of heart when it came time to write the Constitution.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:20 am on Sat, Oct 26, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Wow - if this comment DOESN'T contain a huge amount of insults, then perhaps the commenter does not know the definition of the word "insult."


    in·sult
    [v. in-suhlt; n. in-suhlt] Show IPA
    verb (used with object)
    1.
    to treat or speak to insolently or with contemptuous rudeness; affront.
    2.
    to affect as an affront; offend or demean.
    3.
    Archaic. to attack; assault.

    TONE is the key quality here with regard to Michael Nedderman's attitude toward David Diskin.

    And if calling another person "paranoid" is NOT an insult, well there is no hope for understanding the other multiple transgressions contained within.

     
  • Michael Nedderman posted at 11:44 pm on Fri, Oct 25, 2013.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Please correct me if I'm mistaken, David, but I think your lead statement (at 9:47 on 10/23) identifies the problem: “I didn't realize we were engaged in a serious debate, Michael.” I have done you the respect of taking you seriously, but you, with your flippancy and prophetic false accusation (discussed below) don't return that respect, and so, it is you who is not being serious. Can you admit the obvious, David?

    . . . . . And, this is really incredible, David—it seems that you are a creature of habit—a bad habit of making false accusations, albeit qualified and prophetic. But why? From the first paragraph of your most recent comment (10/22/13):

    “I'm not being paid to be here, to take time out of my day to address your accusations, listen to your ridicule, or be belittled by your ill-conceived notions of history or atheism.”

    Exactly where have I made “accusations,” or ridiculed or belittled you, David. I have disagreed with you, yes, and believe you are mistaken in your position in this debate and in your atheistic worldview, but how is that ridicule or belittling? Do you believe that anyone who disagrees with you is somehow insulting you, David?

    And from the last paragraph of that comment:

    “You'll call me disrespectful, hateful, a liar, and whatever else...”.

    That sounds paranoid unless you can support your fear with fact.

    Actually David, the explicit conclusion to be drawn from your future tense statement is that I HAVEN'T insulted you! In other words, I’m NOT guilty!

    But let’s analysis what you believe here: Upon what do you base your prediction, your fear, that I will insult you? If you can't provide some justification, then what you have written is a false accusation possibly rooted in either paranoia or in a desire to deflect from the fact that you are WRONG and lack the humility to admit it.

    AND, you've made similar false accusation before. The following quote is from your 9/20/13 comment in response to my comments on Shawnte Figueroa's 8/31/13 letter: “Is the US a Secular nation or a Theocracy?”—a comment I addressed as I’m doing now, but which you failed to reply, clearly conceding the accuracy of my assessment:

    “For no matter what evidence I offer that this country has secular origins, you're just going to...insult me...”

    Again David, what leads you to believe that I'm going to insult you either in that thread or in this one? Have I already done that? Can you explain either of these accusations? If not, please withdraw it because it is a false accusation which is, as I’m sure you must be aware, one of the most offensive, hurtful, and damaging forms of insult? It is the worst kind of lie. It so bad that God included it in his “Top Ten” (“you shall not bear false witness”).

    Additionally, your similar prediction (on the Shawnte Figueroa thread) that I will abuse you by one or another method “...no matter what evidence I offer...,” indicates that you have a defensive and closed mind that, seemingly, manufactures false accusations that…do you believe them, David—are you lying to yourself and believing it?

    Debating a worthy adversary is one thing, but… I sincerely hope you can see the problem your closed mind, seemingly filled with either fear or deception, presents for me. I will really appreciate it if you can do something to mitigate the problem so we can have a serious debate. Either that, or just admit that you aren't capable of having a serious debate.

    . . . . .Quoting your 10/23 comment:

    “You still haven't told me how the DoI specifically refers to Christianity, or why the Constitution is completely void of religious references (except to negate them).”

    That statement of yours proves that you haven't read either my letter above or my comment on 10/20/13, OR you're playing some sort of frivolous game—you might say that you don't believe I've made my case, but you can't say I haven't exhaustively provided evidence and reasoning to support my position (about 2,500 words worth). Disagree with it, but don't tell me I didn't do it!

    In fact, David, that massive, good-faith effort of mine disproves your many false accusations noted above and also, most especially, your absurd statement that you “didn't realize we were engaged in a serious debate.” It demonstrates the frivolous nature of your comments, explains your flippant comments, and that YOU don't take this debate seriously—but why David? Could it be that you know that you cannot counter my arguments and are using your flippancy, frivolity, and false accusations to cover over the fact that you are WRONG? I’ve got news for you, David: it isn’t working.

    Further substantiation that my assessment of the frivolous nature of your debate style is another statement from your 10/23 comment:

    “That (knowing the Bible) doesn't make them Christian, and it certainly doesn't suggest that their references to a "Creator" or a "Supreme Judge" are Christian (references).”

    That quote proves that you didn't look at the reference I linked which showed the religious affiliations of ALL the Founders—that they were, except for Jefferson and Franklin, ALL Christians (even they were affiliated with the Unitarian Church which was much more orthodox in 1776 than it is today—essentially a New Age cult). Please, if you truth matters to you, do yourself the courtesy of studying this web page:

    adherents.com/gov/Founding_Fathers_Religion.html

    . . . . . Once again David, the following quote proves that you are not serious and seem to have not even read what I have written:

    “You might have a point if God were ever referred to as the "Supreme Judge", but in my searches through various versions of The Bible, I have yet to see that terminology used.”

    David, I never claimed that the term, “Supreme Judge of the world,” could be found in the Bible--where did you get that? Are you intentionally mischaracterizing my position so you can convince yourself that you are right? That’s know as a “strawman argument.”

    However, the concept that Jesus is the “Supreme Judge” is unquestionably found in the Bible as evinced by the numerous verses I cited in my letter—did you read them—obviously not! However, “Supreme Judge” IS found in the Declaration of Independence which is the entire point of this debate—a point you seem to have totally missed!

    Tell me David, is the term “homosexual” found in the bible, or the term “trinity”? No, but an unambiguous definition of both words are clearly found there. Do you see the point that Jesus Christ as the “Supreme Judge of the world” is clearly taught in the Bible? And David, that question only has one answer—it’s YES! If you answer “no” you will lose all credibility because you will demonstrate that your mind is closed, and that your allegiance isn’t to the truth.

    In my letter, and in my 10/20/13 comment, I clearly demonstrate, with evidence and reasoning, that the reference to “Supreme Judge of the world” is a biblical reference to Jesus Christ, and that the Constitution’s “We the People” are, in fact, the God-endowed people of the Declaration who were/are created equal by Jesus Christ, the “Supreme Judge of the world.” You not only didn’t address that point, you didn’t even acknowledge that I made it—THEREFORE David, brace yourself, that means you concede my point!

    Also in my previously mentioned comment, I demonstrate that the very premise of the Constitution is the “Founding Fear”—fear of sinful human beings with power—that’s right David, because you not only didn’t address that point, you didn’t even acknowledge that I made it—that means you concede my point AGAIN!

    David, do you believe people are “basically good,” or do you believe that we are innately inclined toward corruption?

    And because you didn’t address any of the points I made, I can only conclude that you didn’t read them or that you cannot counter those facts and that reasoning.

    And yes David, I still think you're angry at God because he exists and you deny that obvious fact. What else could explain it? If there is a God who created all that exists, then all that exists is hard evidence, in fact it is overwhelming evidence that he exists. If there ever was nothing, how can there be anything now?

    And would you expect such a Creator-God to provide overwhelming evidence or difficult to discern evidence? Because you deny the obvious, David, doesn't make God cease to exist--you aren't that powerful.

     
  • Michael Nedderman posted at 11:30 pm on Fri, Oct 25, 2013.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Hi Alexander,

    The only reason I focused upon Jefferson's role in drafting the Declaration is that so many want to assume that he is the documents sole author and, therefore, that the four references to God are references to his absentee deist god. That is clearly not true as I exhaustively demonstrate in my letter above and in my 10/20/13 comment which you seem not to have studied.

    Neither is your position correct that the God of the Declaration can be subjectively determined valid. Please read my comment on 10/20/13 responding to David wherein I make and support those points with facts and reasoning. I am greatly interested in your feedback if you care to understand my reasoning, again, exhaustively presented in that comment to David.

    My point, made in my letter above and exhaustively in my 10/20/13 comment, was that the Christians in the Second Continental Congress wanted to clarify exactly who was being referenced as the Creator who has blessed America and all Americans—that it is Jesus Christ. And what could make more sense since they were, with the exception of Jefferson and Franklin (who clearly acquiesced to the Christian worldview by signing the document), Christians.

    . . . . . And I agree with your statement: “The question isn't what Mr. Jefferson or any other individual believed; it's what can be fairly understood from the text,” and I want to focus on your use of the word “individual.” No one signed the Declaration strictly as an individual—each was an elected representative of his home district as members of the Second Continental Congress who were, as their constituents were, overwhelmingly Christian (they were actually more Christian than their constituents). Did you follow my link that demonstrated that fact on an easy-to-read page? This is it if you missed it: adherents.com/gov/Founding_Fathers_Religion.html

    And, Jefferson and Franklin, as members of the Committee of Five that was charged with the task of drafting the Declaration, were not writing for themselves--and they knew it! They were writing on behalf of the Second Continental Congress that was overwhelmingly made up of devout Christians.

    However, the Declaration has a context: it wasn’t written my atheist, or Budhists, or Muslims, or today's relativeistic, multicultural inclusionists—it was, unquestionably, written by and for Christians who, as a matter of religious faith, believed that all other religions were false, and that their false gods do not exist. Can you disagree with that obvious fact?

    And, are you seriously contending that you can remove from the analysis of the meaning of the document the historical fact of who those 53 signers were, or of the religious makeup of their constituency? The Declaration’s signers were, almost to a man, Christians. And, the two who are generally considered non-Christian deists, Jefferson and Franklin, clearly acquiesced to the Christian worldview because they signed a document that contained a prayer to Jesus Christ (“…appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions…”).

    In fact, Alexander, one year prior to the Declaration of Independence, almost to the day (July 6, 1775), the same Second Continental Congresses issued a Declaration Setting Forth the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms which concluded with an obvious prayer that is quite similar to the two contained in the final paragraph of the Declaration of Independence:

    “With an humble confidence in the mercies of the supreme and impartial Judge and Ruler of the Universe, we most devoutly implore his divine goodness to protect us happily through this great conflict, to dispose our adversaries to reconciliation terms, and thereby to relieve the empire from the calamities of civil war.”

    You can find that document at: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/arms.asp

    Unquestionably, that is a prayer to Jesus Christ who the Founders believed was “... the supreme and impartial Judge and Ruler of the Universe.” See the overwhelming scriptural references cited in my letter above.

    Primary authorship (meaning they drafted it) of this 1775 Declaration is attributed to Thomas Jefferson and John Dickerson, but it was approved (not sure if it was signed by anyone) by the Second Continental Congress.

    What do you think of the prayer to Jesus in the 1775 Declaration, and especially what do you think of how similar it is to the prayer text in the Declaration of Independence? Please, compare the prayers in each document and let me know what you think:

    “We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, APPEALING TO THE SUPREME JUDGE OF THE WORLD FOR THE RECTITUDE OF OUR INTENTIONS, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, WITH A FIRM RELIANCE ON THE PROTECTION OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” (Caps added to emphasis the prayers).

     
  • David Diskin posted at 9:47 pm on Wed, Oct 23, 2013.

    David Diskin Posts: 184

    I didn't realize we were engaged in a serious debate, Michael. I'm not being paid to be here, to take time out of my day to address your accusations, listen to your ridicule, or be belittled by your ill-conceived notions of history or atheism.

    It may surprise you that I do have other things to do, and rarely is a game of back-and-forth with you on that list.

    My team is currently in the #8 position in all of the Sacramento greater area for donating to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Perhaps you would like to donate as well?

    http://pages.lightthenight.org/sac/Sacra13/DavidDiskin

    You still haven't told me how the DoI specifically refers to Christianity, or why the Constitution is completely void of religious references (except to negate them).

    Instead, you toss in some random facts and draw correlations that simply aren't justified. Yes, TJ knew his bibl. So did the others. That doesn't make them Christian, and it certainly doesn't suggest that their references to a "Creator" or a "Supreme Judge" are Christian.

    You might have a point if God were ever referred to as the "Supreme Judge", but in my searches through various versions of The Bible, I have yet to see that terminology used.

    You might have a point if the DoI were not in direct conflict with Romans 13.

    You might have a point if our system of law were based off the Ten Commandments, and didn't directly contradict several of them.

    I could go on, but all it's going to do is cause you to waste more of your time trying to show me that I'm all wrong, and you have all the answers, and that everything is black-and-white simple.

    You'll call me disrespectful, hateful, a liar, and whatever else because you think I'm so blinded by atheism that I have no conscience for the truth. Frankly, I'm not even sure how that works.

    And you still think I'm angry at God.

     
  • David Diskin posted at 9:21 pm on Wed, Oct 23, 2013.

    David Diskin Posts: 184

    Jerome, I'm not sure what any of your points have to do with this article.

    Alas, I'll just address your question regarding biblical knowledge. Please reference a PEW study from 2010 that showed clearly that atheists have more knowledge about world religions than any other worldview. It also showed that the only denomination that knew more about Christianity than atheist were White Evangelicals.

    http://www.pewforum.org/2010/09/28/u-s-religious-knowledge-survey/

    Consider also that a good 75% of today's young atheists were raised in a Christian household, and were often very involved with their church.

     
  • David Diskin posted at 9:15 pm on Wed, Oct 23, 2013.

    David Diskin Posts: 184

    Ominous, indeed, considering the follow-up letter that he refers to. One might think he is planning the next best-selling series to top Harry Potter.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 1:49 pm on Wed, Oct 23, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Mr. Nedderman stated: "I hope you understand what I'm doing, Jerome, and will let me engage our patriotic atheistic friends according to my plan."

    Is it just me, or does this sound like Mr. Nedderman has a clear agenda to discredit atheists with what he has conceived as "his plan?"

    Fortunately, Mr. Nedderman's credibility and tenuous reasoning so far is as thin as a dollar store tissue. But let's see where he goes from here with his "plan."

    Sounds quite ominous!!

     
  • Alexander Cohen posted at 11:36 am on Wed, Oct 23, 2013.

    ARC Posts: 4

    Jerome, that's an interesting argument as to why Christians wouldn't study their own religion.

    But whatever the reasons behind the statistical facts, I mentioned the statistical fact because it seemed to me at the time (though on reconsidering the question, I think I may have been wrong on that point) that Michael's letter conflated the question whether the Founders knew the Bible with the question whether they regarded it as true. I didn't mean to comment as to whether ignorance of the Bible was blameworthy in either a Christian or an atheist, but merely to show that whether one knows the Bible and whether one believes it are two separate questions.

     
  • Alexander Cohen posted at 11:31 am on Wed, Oct 23, 2013.

    ARC Posts: 4

    The reader may judge which of us has better understood and engaged with the other's arguments.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:02 am on Wed, Oct 23, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    This is highly amusing, to say the least.

    Mr. Nedderman stated: "And David, anyone reading this exchange between us can see who is being serious and respectful and who is not...." and refers to Mr. Diskin's responses as "flippant."

    However, Mr. Nedderman's response is clearly condescending and quite illustrative of his apparent belief that Mr. Diskin is less worthy a citizen of the United States due to his atheism:

    MN stated: "and that such a belief, while permissible under the First Amendment, is in irreconcilable conflict with the principles upon which America was founded (that it is “self-evident” that there is a Creator-God, specifically, Jesus Christ)."

    "Permissible?" Definition: "allowable."

    Perhaps Mr. Nedderman "mistakes" the meaning of the Bill of Rights. A "right" is a LEGAL principle, not a whim as Mr. Nedderman implies with his use of the word "permissible."

    "Creator-God?" This term is clearly made-up in the mind of MN, and is not stated in the D of I. Mr. Nedderman "interprets" that "creator" is indicative of HIS God of the Bible. Just about EVERY culture on the face of the Earth since time began has a creation "story" (myth). All or at least most involve a "creator." Not the God of the Bible.

    History tells us that Judaism has only existed as a monotheistic religion for about 4000 years. Before that, most Jews were polytheistic, finally deciding on the "god" (small "g") that suited them best.

    History also tells us that NO HISTORY of the Jews as monotheists exists outside of the Bible.

    Back to the D of I:

    The founding fathers were generous in not pin pointing a particular belief, thus not EXCLUDING those of varying beliefs. If this was not true, then the First Amendment to the Constitution certainly would not have prohibited the establishment of a state religion.

    Mr. Nedderman stated condescendingly:

    "I also understand that you must despise those self-evident truths and principles which have, whether or not you agree, resulted in the blessings you receive as a result of being an atheist in our God-blessed America."

    This is stated as fact and arrogantly presumes that Mr. Nedderman is a being of a higher order since he takes partial credit for this so-called "God-blessed America." How would Mr. Nedderman presume that Mr. Diskin "despises those self-evident truths and principles" which include "all men are created equal?"

    Now, we can explore the FACT that only MEN are mentioned here. Not women, not children, and especially not BLACK men and women who were held in slavery. That alone tells us much about the disingenuous attitude of the founding fathers. The VERY FIRST SENTENCE of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence is a LIE. A lie that was not corrected legally until 1863 (Emancipation Proclamation) and 1920 (19th Amendment). And we won't even discuss all of those who STILL are NOT EQUAL.

    Mr. Nedderman stated: "I sympathize with the conflict you must feel,"

    Does Mr. Nedderman ACTUALLY have the right to presume that Mr. Diskin is conflicted? Certainly not. Mr. Diskin certainly seems to know exactly where he stands on this issue.

    So as to "who is being serious and respectful and who is not," sorry, Mr. Nedderman. You have shot yourself in the foot. You have been neither respectful, nor serious as your WORDS have clearly shown your arrogance, presumption, and condescension.

    And, BTW, I am not an atheist, but I would never presume to declare that this nation was founded on Christian beliefs, and certainly NOT Christian morals, as the first one hundred - one hundred fifty years have shown this to be untrue, unless we are going to amend "Christian morals" to include the denial of freedom for certain races and genders.

     
  • Alexander Cohen posted at 7:23 am on Wed, Oct 23, 2013.

    ARC Posts: 4

    My argument in my first comment isn't based on the premise that Mr. Jefferson is the sole author of the Declaration. He is not. The Declaration in fact developed in three stages: Mr. Jefferson drafted it; the committee to which the Second Continental Congress had assigned drafting it then revised it; and the Congress as a whole then made further revisions. And the document did, as I recall, take on a more theistic flavor in each stage: Mr. Jefferson's draft didn't even use the word "Creator," but only "created" and "creation"; it was the committee that put in "Creator." The question isn't what Mr. Jefferson or any other individual believed; it's what can be fairly understood from the text.

    That said, if you want to continue to focus on the intent of the people who created the Declaration, you should bear in mind that the final text was assented to by all the signers, and that while some of them were orthodox Christians, some of them were deists -- and at least some of them, whatever their own religious views, believed that the government ought not to be partial to any one religion. So appealing to the views of the document's creators in fact weighs in favor of the view that their intent was that everyone could see the references to god as meaning whatever god he or she thought created us. Then it's right that you, as a Christian, should think of Jesus when you read the Declaration, but equally right that I, as an atheist, should think of "god" as a poetic way to refer to nature.

    But put the authors' views aside and go back to the text. "Supreme Judge of all the world" is not an unambiguous reference to Jesus except in the context of Scriptural Christianity. Your biblical citations only prove that that is what the phrase means *in that context.* But the whole question here is whether that is the context in which the Declaration ought to be understood. So your argument begs the question.

    To make my point clearer by analogy: Suppose you come across a document that says "the president thinks X." If you know that the document was written in the United States in 2013 and is talking about national politics, "the president" is an unambiguous reference to Barack Obama. But without that context, it could mean an earlier president, a fictional president, the president of another country, or the president of some institution such as a club or a university. Your argument is like giving me proof that Obama is president of the United States and then claiming you've eliminated the ambiguity in the document.

    I did read your letter and at least some of your comments below it. But you may want to reread mine and notice, as you apparently haven't yet, that I acknowledge that the natural law tradition of the Declaration has Christian roots: no one can deny that SAINT Thomas Aquinas is a Christian, nor that John Locke is. Nevertheless, to take the Declaration literally doesn't require Jesus, and the moral core doesn't even require so much as a deist god, as I explain in my webinar. http://www.atlassociety.org/human-nature-atheism-and-declaration-independence

    Here's the study I was referring to as to knowledge of religion: http://www.pewforum.org/2010/09/28/u-s-religious-knowledge-survey-who-knows-what-about-religion/

     
  • Michael Nedderman posted at 7:04 am on Wed, Oct 23, 2013.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Hi Jerome. I fully appreciate your comments. And, the Lord know that our dear atheistic friends really need to hear the message you have given (and you have given it). However, they are really skittish, and will rabbit away if you change the subject from the one at issue: Who is the God of the Declaration of Independence.

    My experience with atheists is that they are quite dishonest in their arguments because they have committed themselves to a lie. That is why David Diskin refuses to debate the question at hand: is Jesus Christ the God of the Declaration? Sadly, he would rather make false accusations as a distraction. I suspect that Alexander Cohen also will not engage me on the question at hand because he (and Diskin) cannot address the facts I have presented.

    If you will read my letter above, and my comments to both David and Alexander, you will see that my strategy is to confront our patriotic atheistic friends solely on the question raised in my letter. I am fully willing and able to engage them on the BIG QUESTION if they desire, but am happy to stick to this question because it is related AND because they are staking their veracity on an argument they can't win. My hope is that they will see the error of their position on this historical question and possibly rethink their commitment to their atheistic lie.

    If our friends are so dishonest and devoid of humility that they can't admit error on this question of historical fact that does not strike at the heart of their ultimate dishonesty about the Ultimate Reality (it does so only obliquely as to what the Founders believed), then there is no hope to engage them on the BIG QUESTION.

    I hope you understand what I'm doing, Jerome, and will let me engage our patriotic atheistic friends according to my plan.

     
  • Michael Nedderman posted at 11:59 am on Tue, Oct 22, 2013.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Hi Alexander. Thank you for your comment. I'd be interested in reading the research you referenced in your last paragraph if you could provide it when you respond to my comments below.

    The point of my letter above, and of my exchange with David Diskin, is with regard to the last two references to God in the Declaration (it doesn't appear that you even read my letter or that post). Those two references are to “the Supreme Judge of the world,” and to “divine Providence.” They were placed there by the Christians in the Second Continental Congress NOT by Jefferson. Those references are not to the deist god—AND I contend that even Jefferson's two references to “nature's God” and to “their Creator” are to the Christian God because the God being referenced is being providential, a quality not possessed by the god of Thomas Jefferson.

    To clarify, and to explicitly specify exactly who is the deity mentioned in the beginning of our great Declaration of Independence as being the author of each and every American's life, liberty, unalienable rights, and of our free will based political autonomy/sovereignty, the Christians in Congress added the two references to the Christian God in the Declaration's final paragraph. AND, Alexander, the reference to “the Supreme Judge of the world” is an unambiguous reference to Jesus Christ (please, read my letter above before responding because the logic and citations are there). What do you think of that?

    As I stated in my letter above and in my comprehensive post in response to David's good questions, deists didn't believe in a god who would ever judge or bless anyone as the God of the Declaration is described as doing. Deists in 1776 believed in a god who created the world but...did you know, they actually believe their god disappeared! Now that's a god even an atheist could tolerate!


     
  • Michael Nedderman posted at 11:58 am on Tue, Oct 22, 2013.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    As you must know, a flippant response indicates a lack of both respect and seriousness. And since this is your second reply in that vein, it must be who you are. But why David? Not that it would be justification, but was I disrespectful toward you?

    In my previous post, I asked you to point out whatever I may have written that offended you, but you haven't done that...leaving me to conclude that there is no offense on my part that triggered this frivolous, shallow, disrespectful response. Please David, correct me if I am somehow mistaken because I would like to have a serious, respectful discourse with you.

    And David, anyone reading this exchange between us can see who is being serious and respectful and who is not.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 10:49 am on Tue, Oct 22, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2358

    To atheists: if there is no God; if once we close our eyes for the last time there is nothing but a dark void - what is the purpose of life?

    Mr. Cohen suggests that “. . .American atheists, statistically speaking, know more about religion than American Christians.” Unless I’m off-base, he makes this claim (without revealing its foundation) more or less as an insult to American Christians. Well, it’s not insulting at all.

    When people choose to claim Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, they do so by agreeing to the following: that Jesus Christ was born to a virgin; that Jesus Christ is the Son of God; that Jesus Christ died on the Cross and three days hence rose from the dead in order to bear the weight of our sins so that we can exist in Heaven with Him and God once our lives here are over. I agree that most Christians stop at that point in their understanding of their faith; relatively very few have the desire to learn more about why God would want to have a personal relationship with us. In short, once the deal is made (their Salvation), most Christians are content to muddle through life on that one gift alone. Sadly, they also miss all that such a relationship with Christ has to offer while we’re here. But considering we all have free-will, that’s up to them individually.

    Even if I didn’t have my Bible, it would be impossible for me to believe that all of who and what we are is one gigantic happenstance - a miracle without purpose. That’s simply not possible. I not only look to nature to find such utter perfection and purpose, but also to human beings as well. Decidedly imperfect, why do most of us strive to be good and do good to one another? If our very short lives here are a mistake, why the concern about what we do while we’re here? Yet, built into each one of us is a conscience that not only allows us to know right from wrong, but forces us to alter our behavior if we find ourselves straying too far toward wrong.

    Atheists - how can you explain all that you see, hear, smell, taste and experience? Is it some sort of cosmic joke? But if it is, who’s the jokester?

     
  • David Diskin posted at 3:51 am on Tue, Oct 22, 2013.

    David Diskin Posts: 184

    You've caught me, Michael. I'm just so very angry at God.

    I'm not sure which God I'm angry at. Maybe Thor. I never liked the way he led his followers into battle.

    Then again, Zeus had a bit of a ego. Do you know what he did to poor Hercules? Grrrrr.

     
  • Alexander Cohen posted at 5:35 pm on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    ARC Posts: 4

    There is indeed a specific idea of God evident in the Declaration, and it does emerge from the Christian tradition, but it has more in common with deism than with Scripture-focused Christianity. It's the idea of a god whose will can be discerned by studying nature. Observe that the principles for which the Declaration invokes its god are not found in the Bible; they are found -- along with the Declaration's core argument -- in John Locke's Second Treatise of Government, which in turn draws on St. Thomas Aquinas's importation of Aristotelian ideas into Christianity. Locke does not build these principles on the Bible; he builds them on an understanding of human nature. (And he does this even though, or perhaps because, he is a Christian!)

    If you want to know more about the philosophical roots of the Declaration, whether as a Christian or as an atheist who seeks a way to embrace the Declaration without embracing anything supernatural, I've recorded a webinar you might find interesting: "Atheism, Human Nature, and the Philosophy of the Declaration of Independence." You can view it here: http://www.atlassociety.org/human-nature-atheism-and-declaration-independence

    By the way, don't confuse knowledge of the Bible with belief in it. Research shows that American atheists, statistically speaking, know more about religion than American Christians.

     
  • Michael Nedderman posted at 2:30 pm on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    You're offended? Why?

    Please don't take my comprehensive response wrong, David. It indicates that I take you seriously. Your challenge was a fair, and I endeavored to respond—I had hoped that you would appreciate that. Your questions were good ones that required a considered response, especially in light of your doubting mind. Do you disagree?

    Clearly, I've offended you, or... Can you point to which comments caused that offense? If you can't, then I must consider your response a false accusation intended to distract from the truth that you don't want to face the fact that you are wrong.

    And if that is true about you, it comports with my experience with atheists: they are dishonest because their position cannot be defended upon any evidential or logical basis--only upon emotion, the primary one being anger against, first and foremost, God, but also against all those who bear witness to his truth.

     
  • David Diskin posted at 7:24 pm on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    David Diskin Posts: 184

    Keep reading between the lines, buddy, and injecting your own interpretations. It seems to work for you.

    I look forward to your next letter.

     
  • Michael Nedderman posted at 11:11 am on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    Mike Nedderman Posts: 63

    Hi David.

    Does the truth matter to you? I know you are committed to atheism, and that such a belief, while permissible under the First Amendment, is in irreconcilable conflict with the principles upon which America was founded (that it is “self-evident” that there is a Creator-God, specifically, Jesus Christ).

    I also understand that you must despise those self-evident truths and principles which have, whether or not you agree, resulted in the blessings you receive as a result of being an atheist in our God-blessed America. I sympathize with the conflict you must feel, and I sincerely hope that my dissertation below will help resolve that conflict one way or the other.

    Even if you deny the self-evident truth that there is a Creator-God, the historical fact of who the Founders were (“extra religious”), and that they overtly intended to create “one nation under God,” can only be denied if you revise history to delude yourself and those who look to you for instruction. I hope you will reevaluate your dedication to denying America’s Christian foundation.

    The following is excerpted, with modifications, from Part 1 of my forthcoming article on the exact subject you have challenged me to prove: “…how the terms "the Supreme Judge of the world” and “divine Providence” refer solely to the Christian god.” Between my letter above and this comment, I believe I have done exactly that. However, if you have any questions, please feel free to raise them because this is just an excerpt from my article which has much more information and support for my contention than I’m providing here (you should contact me so I can let you know when it is published—I’m easy to find in the net).

    . . . . . First: the Founders were biblically literate, and the Bible is clear that Jesus Christ is “the Supreme Judge of the world.”

    I’m sure you are aware, David, that all the Founders, even the very few deists among them, were biblically literate. The Bible was actually used as a textbook in the schools of the Revolutionary era, and it was featured prominently in many of the lessons in the first textbook printed in the colonies, the New England Primer.

    To support my contention that that no one familiar with the Bible could understand that the “Supreme Judge of the world” was anyone other than Jesus Christ, I provided 6 biblical references in my letter (there are more but, alas, the word limit…). I don’t know if you’ve ever studied the Bible, David, or if you’ve read the verses I cited, but do you see my point that the Bible is clear on this subject? If you disagree, please provide your reasoning.

    . . . . . Second: Your proposed assumption is false.

    David, in your comment, you proposed to make an assumption that the Founders were appeasing “a few extra religious constituents” (clearly implying that they were not in that group) if I am unable to prove that the references to “Supreme Judge of the world” and to “divine Providence” are references “solely to the Christian god.” Your proposed assumption is not only totally unwarranted because history is clear (the proof is in my letter above and in this comment), it is revisionist history that attacks the very essence of “Americanism” (that which makes America what it is—a grateful recognition that God is the source of our individual political autonomy/sovereignty and unalienable rights).

    Please look at the following link which provides the religious affiliations of, and some important discussion about, the 204 men considered to be America’s Founders. Listed separately, they are the signers of the Declaration, Constitution, Articles of Confederation, and those who served in the First Federal Congress (1789-1791). Please, David, study this link: adherents.com/gov/Founding_Fathers_Religion.html which demonstrates that those 204 Founders, including the 56 who signed the Declaration, ARE, themselves, the “extra religious constituents” to whom you believe the Declaration’s signers were disingenuously deferring.

    In other words, David, you are mistaken in your assumption that most of the Founders generally, and the Declaration’s signers specifically, were not, themselves, “extra religious.” If you have an open mind, and will study it, the reference cited above states that fact explicitly:

    “The signers were members of religious denominations at a rate that was significantly higher than average for the American Colonies during the late 1700s.”

    . . . . . Third: Do the Declaration’s “God” references manifest in the Constitution?

    Many people, especially atheists, believe and teach that the four references to God in the Declaration are irrelevant to the historically unique “American Theory of Government,” or “Americanism” (defined by the Declaration, Constitution, the subsequent history, and to the blessings of God that have created the greatest nation in history).

    Such people assert, as you have, (1) that there is no connection between the Declaration and the Constitution; (2) that the Founders “left all that God stuff out of the Constitution;” and (3) that our government was founded, as you stated in your 8/2 letter, strictly upon “We the People”—not on “We the God-endowed people”—and certainly not upon “We the Christ-endowed people.”

    That reasoning is obviously wrong because the Founders were not frivolous men who used words carelessly, or who intended the words of history's most politically significant document (the Declaration because it defines the unique “American Theory of Government” as “one nation under God” who created everyone politically equal), and its practical application (the Constitution) to be subjectively interpreted to mean anything, or nothing, contrary to the plain meaning, significance, and the subsequent result (now obvious), of the words they so deliberately chose.

    That subsequent result (now obvious) is the unarguable blessing on America—truly history’s most significant country. David, I hope you can see that we each share in that bountiful blessing. After all, gratitude is a virtue (question David: who do you thank for your blessings?).

    It is the height of self-deception to believe, and a lie to teach, that the Declaration’s 4 “God” references are irrelevant because the 56 signers were not serious Christians and were somehow being disingenuous because they were either trying:

    (1) “to appease a few extra religious constituents” (your position), or

    (2) to promote a similar lie that all 56 signers of the Declaration were being vague rather than explicit with those references because they subscribed to today’s inane politically correct doctrines of “relativism,” “multiculturalism,” and “inclusion,”—that they were somehow deferring to the non-existent Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, or to the minuscule Jewish and atheist populations of 1776 America.

    Also, many of the people who promote the above described deception hypocritically judge and disparage the Founders as bigoted, sexist, racist, elitist, homophobic, Christian fundamentalists. Do you do that David? Because if you do, you contradict yourself?

    Only the first two references to God in the declaration were in fact penned by the Committee of Five’s designated writer, Thomas Jefferson who clearly understood that he was NOT writing for himself (see Strelow’s 9/7/13 letter, and mine above).

    The “God” references written by Jefferson are found in that document’s first two sentences: the first reference is to the objective morality explicitly acknowledged by the citation to the authority of “nature’s God” (“…and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them…”—a decidedly undeist assertion), and the second reference states as self-evidently true that God is providentially interested in his mankind (something no deist asserts):

    “…that all men are created [politically] equal [with free will], that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights … that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” [Bracketed comments added].

    That excerpt defines THE “American Theory of Government” (Americanism) which, in application, manifests as the Constitution’s “We the People” who are the God-endowed, lawful sovereigns who delegate enumerated powers (“just powers”) to our servants in government. It is simply false to assert that our “extra religious” Founders were not referring to the God-endowed people of the Declaration with the phrase “We the People.”

    And of course, that is one of the major aspects of the “God Connection” between the Declaration and the Constitution.

    . . . . . Fourth: The Constitution’s “Founding Fear” is the Christian concept of mankind’s innate sinfulness (the effects of original sin).

    Please note, David, that another aspect of the Christian connection between the two documents is the very “fabric” from which the Constitution is “woven”—it is the Constitution’s “Founding Fear” of power in the hands of sinful men. And yes, David, that is a uniquely Christian doctrine that even the arch-deist Thomas Jefferson implicitly, but clearly, acknowledged in his draft of the 1798 Kentucky Resolutions:

    "… free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence; it is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power; * * * In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

    From Jefferson's draft of the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798. It is about ¾ into the 8th paragraph, after an extensive discussion of the subject that begins about half way into that paragraph.


    If you’d like to learn more about the Constitution’s Founding Fear, it is extensively discussed in Part 2 of my forthcoming article.

    . . . . . Fifth: by using the term “self-evident,” the Founding Generation was saying that ANY disagreement is objectively wrong!

    As proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, the American Theory of Government gratefully acknowledges God as its sina qua non (without which, not). God is the essential element of our form of government because God is at the head of America’s inviolable “Chain of Delegated Authority” (God  Man  government). Our rights and individual sovereignty would not be unalienable if they did not come from a power higher than government—from the ONLY Creator-God who is acknowledged by the Founders in the Declaration of Independence.

    God is self-evidently the head of Americanism’s Chain of Delegated Authority because he is the source, the author, of each and every American’s innate political autonomy (free will) and lawful authority (individual sovereignty).

    You certainly have a right to reject the premise of Americanism, David, but please consider the consequences. Because God is Americanism’s sina qua non, our form of government only has the “just powers” delegated to it by “We the [God-endowed] People” for the sole purpose of protecting our God-given rights, liberties, and individual sovereignty from that same government, a government that is, necessarily, populated with sinful human beings. Change Americanism’s essential element (God), and you move government into that primary position.

    . . . . . Sixth: The significance of the use in the Declaration of the term “self-evident.”

    It is critically important to note, David, that by using the term “self-evident,” the Founding Generation, on whose behalf Jefferson was writing, were politely saying that ANYONE who disagreed was, and is, objectively wrong.

    Also, by using the term “self-evident,” the Founders were removing the divine nature of the truths that followed (that there is a providential Creator-God who is the indispensable source of our unalienable rights, liberties, and individual political authority/sovereignty) from any further political (not theological) debate.

    . . . . . Seventh: The cornerstone of Americanism is the Declaration’s “Chain of Delegated Authority.”

    The Declaration’s Chain of Delegated Authority, with the Christian God in the primary position, is the cornerstone of the American Theory of Government which cannot be changed or amended in any way because it is set in the “historical concrete” of the Declaration of Independence and politely sealed with the term, “self-evident.”

    The phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance, “one nation under God,” is a direct reference to the historical FACT of Americanism’s Chain of Delegated Authority which is indispensible to the American understanding of the nature of individual sovereignty, liberty, and our cherished unalienable rights that are protected by the form of government authorized by every individually sovereign American (“We the God-endowed People”) in a Constitution that is limited (1) by dividing power between the three branches of government, and (2) by adding a myriad of “checks and balances”—all done because of the “Founding Fear” of sinful humans with power.

    Americanism’s Chain of Delegated Authority is in clear contradistinction to both the “chain of command” of a theocracy (which has God ruling directly or through his religious emissaries) and to the antithetical (to Americanism) secular socialist “collective” that despises the God-endowed, self-reliant, sovereign individual American.

    And David, atheists who want to depose God from the American Chain of Delegated Authority, thus massively empowering government, must offer a credible theory of government that protects the political autonomy, individual sovereignty, and our cherished unalienable rights as well as the current theory.

     
  • David Diskin posted at 11:57 am on Sat, Oct 19, 2013.

    David Diskin Posts: 184

    Michael, perhaps in your next letter (or a comment here) you can help me understand how the terms "the Supreme Judge of the world” and “divine Providence” refer solely to the Christian god.

    Because unless you can do that, I'm going to assume that those who added those phrases into the Declaration of Independence were simply adding non-denominational, non-sectarian words to appease a few extra religious constituents.

    But what I'd really love to hear is your reasoning on why this religious verbiage was wholly dropped when it became time to draft the Constitution.

     

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