Preface: This essay was originally published in late 2005 or early 2006. Because of formatting issues that arose when I switched Blogs, formatting errors rendered the piece almost unreadable; while editing the original, I noted that Wikipedia had been changed, CNN either lost or deleted past articles, and generally speaking, it appears that the Bush administration is still attempting to re-write history.
Interesting as it may sound, the Antichrist is not confined to references in the Bible, but predates the few Biblical references found in the 1st and 2nd Book of John. The Antichrist was first referred to in the Hebrew Book of Daniel – and to this day, some scholars are questioning whether the Antichrist was a man, Antiochus IV, who actually lived and was viewed by many Jews as the actual Antichrist; whether the reference is to a person who already existed or is to come in the future, is still fiercely debated by Biblical scholars.
Nevertheless, the history of the Antichrist deserves to be closely examined; throughout history, there have been several people, governments, and even technologies which have been labeled as the “Antichrist”, and to ignore history, and the consistency of adversaries being labeled as the Antichrist as it affects world politics, and the undeniable harm to innocents who are caught in the crossfire to the detriment of the world population, and now as it concerns the United States must be closely examined. It has been proven that history repeats itself, and a close examination of Antichrist’s history and subsequent results could help to stave off what could turn into a worldwide catastrophe by merely understanding the cyclic nature of the Antichrist myth and in that analysis, lies the key to qualm and perhaps mitigate the growing religiosity that is manifesting itself throughout the world.
Yet another difference that confuses the usual categories of eschatological interpretation is whether the book of Revelation is interpreted in a preterist, historicist, or futurist manner. A preterist is one who believes that most of the prophecies of the Apocalypse have been fulfilled in the past. The historicist (or presentist) considers the events of Revelation now in the process of fulfillment, while the futurist believes that the bulk of the book refers to events to come. Until the nineteenth century most premillennialists used the historicist method of interpretation while today the usual premillennial emphasis is futurist. Despite these qualifications, it is still necessary to refer to premillennial, postmillennial, and amillennial interpretations concerning the second coming of Christ if for no other reason than these categories are so widely used.
The Rise of Amillennialism
Early in his career Augustine had held a millenarian view, but due to the exaggerations and crude materialism of many chiliasts he abandoned the teaching. In support of his new theory he turned to Mark 3:27, “No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.” The strong man was Satan, his goods Christians and he was kept away from Christians by being shut up in the abyss, the heart of the wicked. The first resurrection is figurative and represents the conversion experience while the thousand years are symbolic standing for the Christian era. Thus Augustine propounded the doctrine demanded by the times and, applying an allegorical interpretation he believed that the millennium was realized in the church. This doctrine was so fully accepted that at the Council of Ephesus in 431, belief in the millennium was condemned as superstition.
For the next 1,300 years Augustinian amillennialism remained the official teaching of the church. However, during the medieval period there was always an undercurrent of premillennialism among individuals such as Joachim of Fiora and the Spiritual Franciscans. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries their teaching was revived by various pre-reformation groups including the Hussites. However, the Protestant Reformers of the sixteenth century continued to hold the Augustinian view of the millennium; nevertheless they suggested changes in eschatological interpretation that led to a renewal of premillennialism in the seventeenth century.
A Premillennial Undercurrent
Martin Luther, for example, advocated a more literal approach to the Bible and identified the papacy with the antichrist. The attention that he called to the prophetic portions of the Bible led some Lutheran scholars to adopt a millennialist interpretation. John Calvin, like Luther, was not impressed with millenarian interpretation, possibly because of the activities of certain Anabaptist groups. Despite Calvin’s opposition, a German Calvinist, Johann H. Alsted (1588-1638), revived the teaching of premillennialism, putting it in a more respectable form.>
Alstedâ’s work was adopted by a learned Anglican scholar, Joseph Mede, who popularized the premillennial view in the English speaking world. Mede, called by some the greatest biblical scholar that the Anglican church has ever produced, was educated at Cambridge University and afterwards became professor of Greek at that institution. In his book, Clavis Apocalypticae (The Key of the Revelation) he considered that his great advance in the interpretation of prophecy was his discovery of the “synchronism” of prophecies. By that he meant that much of the prophetic teaching of the book applies to the same period and describes different beings or events during that time span. LINK
To understand the prevalence of the Antichrist myth, it is important to note the historical figures and governments that have been labeled as “Antichrist” and understand the implications to the United States as this cycle of religiosity expands, possibly more of a national security issue than Islamic terrorists themselves; Islamic terrorists represent only a small threat compared to our national security as opposed to a world that is quickly being convinced that the United States may indeed be the Antichrist. I believe that historians would agree that as a nation, it is vital to reverse course in some respects and help to avoid the universal condemnation of Americans as it begins to manifest itself on a worldwide scale. There is still time, in my opinion, to change attitudes and perceptions as it pertains to America, our government, and the citizenry – but it will take a President and Congress to understand and identify the dangers of the present course the Bush Presidency is pursuing.
Historical characters were often labeled as the Antichrist, as were their governments. To save space, I won’t name all of the ancients whom were suspected to be the Antichrist, but will limit it to a few that stand-out and were the most obvious.
This is a short-list, and fails to mention Antiochus IV as well as Nebuchadnezzar, nor were Stalin and Napoleon mentioned; even President Roosevelt was suspected of being the Antichrist for his passage of the Social Security act – that insidious act of assigning a number to all US citizens:
Pope Paul VI
Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands LINK
In the below link to Wikipedia is a section that identifies the suspected individuals as being such – identified in ancient and contemporary times. LINK
As a matter of humor, I should mention that Ronald Reagan was included on that list, as well as JFK, several other Presidents, and most recently, Britney Spears.
But, the time for humor is over, and there are aspects of this “religiosity” that demand close scrutiny; think about it: There are approximately 30 million Evangelical Christians in the United States that welcome the alleged coming of the Apocalypse, as they believe it signals the second coming of Christ. Through ministers that have capitalized on the fear of imminent destruction – it has been easy to quell the fear of millions that believe the world is coming to an end, offer them a pain-free solution if they “have faith”, and it’s noteworthy to add that many of those that preach this “End of Times” scenario are now multi-millionaires. What better way to fill the pews and donation boxes by offering a solution that will nullify the faithful from the wrath of the coming Apocalypse, as their millionaire preachers offer them a safe haven from a world soon to end?
Then, to add insult to injury, false Prophets such as Pat Robertson make statements prophesizing that the West Coast will experience a tsunami – and when it happens, claim that he has a fast-track to God’s words and wisdom, thus enhancing his dwindling image as man of God. Jay Leno quipped that Pat must have gone to sleep while watching the Weather Channel – however I noted that on the History Channel there was a special entitled “Mega Disasters: West Coast Tsunami;” it was a very factual program describing the “Cascadia Seduction Zone” which is located approximately 50 miles off the coast in the Northern United States and Canada and encompasses 700 miles of potential death and destruction.
Because Cascadia is a “seduction zone”, small earthquakes are not witnessed in the numbers that are reflected on the San Andreas Fault, or other active fault-zones, so the strain builds-up, and when it does “move”, which is usually in intervals of 300 to 400 years (although it has on seven (7) occasions caused tsunamis every 150 years.) the results are catastrophic. An event of this type is referred to as a “Megathrust earthquake,” the most violent and destructive of all known earthquakes. It has been approximately three hundred years since the last major event therefore geologists feel a major quake/tsunami is imminent; in fact, they have actively been preparing for it for years. Prophesizing a tsunami on the west coast is akin to prophesizing the sun will go down tonight; we all know it will happen, but in the case of Cascadia, the “when” is the question, which of course Robertson couldn’t provide. This is a seduction zone that could literally shift while I’m typing this article, so a prophesy such as this is scientific fact that Mr. Robertson is so shamefully attempting to capitalize on; it absolutely fascinates me when he uses sound scientific fact to make a “prophecy” – yet he approves of “intelligent design” teachings in our schools. It’s easy to rely on science when it supports a cause or theory, but utter hypocrisy to insinuate the earth is only 6,000 years old when we have fossils that date back approximately sixty-five million years!
Darby is noted in the theological world as the father of dispensationalism, later made popular in the United States by Cyrus Scofield Scofield Reference Bible. He popularised, and is often credited with originating, the “secret rapture” theory wherein Christ will suddenly remove His bride, the Church, from this world before the judgments of the tribulation. Dispensationalist beliefs about the fate of the Jews and the re-establishment of the Kingdom of Israel put dispensationalists at the forefront of Christian Zionism, because “God is able to graft them in again,” and they believe that in His grace he will do so according to their understanding of Old Testament prophecy. They may have influenced the British government to issue the Balfour Declaration 1917, and have certainly had an effect on United States foreign policy under the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.
Darby traveled widely in Europe and Britain in the 1830s and 1840s, and established many Brethren assemblies. He gave 11 significant lectures in Geneva in 1840 on the hope of the church (L’attente actuelle de l’église.) These established his reputation as a leading interpreter of biblical prophecy. The beliefs he disseminated then are still being propagated (in various forms) at such places as Dallas Theological Seminary and Bob Jones University and by authors and preachers such as Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye. LINK
NOTE: The sentence that was posted in bold, “They may have influenced the British government to issue the Balfour Declaration 1917, and have certainly had an effect on United States foreign policy under the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush” was part of the original Wikipedia entry when this essay was originally published in late 2005 or early 2006; sometime after that date, the above sentence was edited and no longer appears in the Wikipedia entry as it pertains to John Nelson Darby. Unfortunately, it appears that Bush’s propagandists have been hard at work to purge any negative references to the Bush administration from the public record.
It’s also important to note that when the Puritan’s migrated to the Colonies, they came for two reasons; to escape religious persecution in Europe and to convert those who inhabited this land to their faith, Christianity. The problems arose when the Puritans began running out of food and started raiding the supplies of the natives, which resulted in several conflicts and an eventual “war” on the Indians. The Puritans, to justify their actions labeled the natives as “agents of the Antichrist” – therefore making it “Christian” to murder those who represented the Antichrist and gave them the rationale and moral high-ground to murder countless thousands of innocents under the name of God. (Odd, but you won’t find this fact in history books used in the education of our youth. It seems that the “Christian influence” in government is attempting to re-write history so that Christianity will be viewed in a more favorable light, but as the extermination of Native American Indians have shown, there is much darkness associated with that light!)
Also in the 19th Century, a Preacher by the name of William Miller argued that the entire Book of Revelations was unfulfilled, and predicted the end of the world between 1843 and 1844. When his original date was missed, he stated he had made a miscalculation, and came up with another date in the near future. His followers, known as “Millerites“ actually quit working in the fields and performing their regular duties while waiting for Armageddon in an era that was dubbed to be “The Great Disappointment”.
In the 1920′s and 30′s, Chain Stores were seen as an agent of the Antichrist as they pushed some small businessmen out of business and introduced complicated systems of numbers for inventory control, which were viewed as tools of the Antichrist.
Hal Lindsey was one of the most famous with his novel “The late Great Planet Earth.” The book has sold somewhere in the neighborhood of 35,000,000 copies. Consider all of those sales in spite of the fact that Hal Lindsey forecast that the end days would be within the generation of the establishment of Israel in 1948 and believed that a generation in the Bible was 40 years. Therefore, by 1988 Jesus would have established his kingdom. Virtually none of Lindsey’s verifiable predictions have been confirmed by history.
Now, for the current day reemergence of the “Rapture” culture, we can turn to Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins for their enormous success of the “Left Behind“ series, one that I actually read myself. The storyline was interesting, and each volume was a cliff-hanger, leaving millions of people not-so-patiently awaiting the next release of the series. After it was finished, I sighed and felt good that in the end, evil was vanquished and as was expected, the good guys won the final battle. It was a great fictional series, I enjoyed it, and made a mental note to NEVER allow anyone to tattoo my forehead or hand, just in case there was any possibility that reality turns out to be as strange as fiction!
The problem is, millions of other Americans and Evangelical Christians took this fictional interpretation of the Bible and Book of Revelations literally; the original book, “Left Behind” was released in October of 1995 and since then, religiosity has returned to the United States with a vengeance; conservative right-wing Evangelical Christians are attempting to dominate politics, remove a woman’s right to free-choice, bashing gays, and generally demanding that millions of Americans bow to their views and beliefs rather than minding their own business. A casual reader might assume that I am anti-Christian or on a broader scale, an atheist who respects no religion. Nothing could be further from the truth, however I will admit that I am against any religious influence in government, whether it be our Presidency, Congress, or other countries that tie their national identity with religious concepts. Religion and politics don’t mix and history is the indicator that religion and government, inter-mixed, is a recipe for disaster.
One final word on LaHaye and Jenkins; I was researching the original release date of “Left Behind” in an attempt to correlate the rise of Evangelical Christians in the States, and it does correspond almost perfectly, although I did note an oddity, which is without doubt a marketing technique which will further add to the individual wealth of both authors. Their latest book, “The Rapture,” is slated for release on 06-06-06. Take out the zeros and you have the sign of the Beast, an interesting day to release a fictional novel that offers those who “believe” a way to escape the coming Apocalypse. One thing is certain; there is a lot of money to be made on forecasting doom and gloom. Scientists have predicted that earth is in the 6th major extinction cycle, global warming is wrecking havoc on the climate, and other coincidental events heighten the fear of a world about to end. I won’t say that we aren’t in big trouble from the standpoint of nature and an extinction cycle that has occurred five (5) other times; but, I am aghast at those who use science and fear to line their own pockets, all the while affecting international politics with their stories of doom and gloom while they attempt to divide the earth into two distinct groups, good and evil. Unfortunately, it’s never that simple!
I am not the only one to recognize the danger of mixing religion with politics, and Madeleine Albright made the point quite well on CNN:
Albright fears Bush’s faith in God
LONDON, England (Reuters) — U.S. President George W. Bush has alienated Muslims around the world by using absolutist Christian rhetoric to discuss foreign policy issues, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says.
“I worked for two presidents who were men of faith, and they did not make their religious views part of American policy,” she said, referring to Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, both Democrats and Christians.
“President Bush’s certitude about what he believes in, and the division between good and evil, is, I think, different,” said Albright, who has just published a book on religion and world affairs. “The absolute truth is what makes Bush so worrying to some of us.”
Bush, a Republican, has openly acknowledged his Christian faith informs his decisions as president. He says, for example, that he prayed to God for guidance before invading Iraq.
Some Muslims have accused him of waging a crusade against Islam, comparable with those of the Middle Ages. The White House says it has nothing against Islam, but against those who commit terrorist atrocities in its name.
But Albright says Bush’s religious absolutism has made U.S. foreign policy “more rigid and more difficult for other countries to accept.” http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/05/22/albright.bush.reut/index.html – This link no longer works.
NOTE: Again, as I am attempting to edit this article, I found that CNN has lost or destroyed this story; the original may be out there somewhere in cyberspace, however I haven’t been able to find it in the CNN archives. The above post is verbatim from CNN’s original article, and I did find other references that substantiate the above story: Albright: Bush is alienating Muslims
The facts presented in this essay are nothing more than a historical representation of the Antichrist myth, and one thing we all know is that history doesn’t lie, and like it or not, tends to repeat itself on a regular basis. If you look at the truly “evil” people or governments that were labeled as the Antichrist, in almost every case, those governments or people were eventually defeated. Beginning with Antiochus IV, then Nero, Stalin, Benito Mussolini, and Adolph Hitler. There are others, far too numerous to mention, but the point is that when the world identifies a specific individual or government as the Antichrist, history has demonstrated that they were eventually defeated. Americans, and world perception of our country has changed dramatically in the last five years as indicated by the article below:
World opinion of U.S. sinking
Dislike of everything American on the rise
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
By David Wood
Newhouse News Service
WASHINGTON — The United States has often irritated the rest of the world, but lately it’s gotten worse — and more dangerous.
In increasing numbers, people around the globe resent American power and wealth and reject specific actions like the occupation of Iraq and the campaign against democratically elected Palestinian leaders, in-depth international polling shows.
Analysts say America’s image problem is pervasive, deep and perhaps permanent, an inevitable outcome of being the world’s only superpower.
But there is worse news. In the past, while Europeans, Asians and Arabs might have disliked American policies or specific U.S. leaders, they liked and admired Americans themselves.
Polls now show an ominous turn. Majorities around the world think Americans are greedy, violent and rude, and fewer than half in countries like Poland, Spain, Canada, China and Russia think Americans are honest.
“We found a rising antipathy toward Americans,” said Bruce Stokes of the Pew Global Attitudes Project, which interviewed 93,000 people in 50 countries over a four-year span. LINK
One cannot fail to recognize the effect of religiosity on world politics. Pope John Paul II was credited with the fall of The Soviet Union: “His early reign was marked by his opposition to Communism, and he is often credited as one of the forces which brought about its fall. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev once said the collapse of the Iron Curtain would have been impossible without John Paul II. LINK
Now the Papacy is at odds with the Chinese Government, as the Catholic Church continues its onward march to extend its reach to every corner of the earth. Millions of Muslims are convinced there is a “War against Islam” which was first presented by radical elements in the Islamic world, and are now being adopted by many of those who didn’t condone the more radical elements of Islam. Other religious factions are fighting throughout the world as well. Right-wing Christian fanatics in the US claim there is a “War against Christianity.” In simple words, the world has entered another period of heightened religiosity, and we have learned from history that such periods can be catastrophic in its toll on human life, and this time the world has weapons that have the capability of ending all life on earth as we know it.
The United States and the world stand on a precipice – one that has been foretold by past historic events, only this time, the wise can look back upon history and see where the world is heading and possibly take measures to thwart a catastrophe that is being brought-on by religious beliefs rather than valid world issues. I doubt that even we could change the tide of history, but with some careful thought and examination of historical records, a wise and thoughtful President and Congress would immediately discontinue using religion to tout their beliefs and back-off policies and statements that could ultimately add to the perception that the United States is the rising Antichrist. Once the world perceives us to be the Antichrist, history is rife of instances where even the most powerful have been brought-down by the myth of the Antichrist.
William J. Cormier
* Dispensationalism is a conceptual overview and interpretive framework for understanding the overall flow of the Bible. As a branch of Christian theology, it teaches biblical history as a number of successive economies or administrations under God known as “dispensations” and emphasizes the continuity of the Old Testament covenants God made with His chosen people through Abraham, Moses and King David. Dispensationalist Christian eschatology emphasizes a premillennial futurist view of prophecy of the “end times” and a pretribulation view of the rapture (although recently this pretribulation rapture has been questioned by some and there is no “official” dispensational view).
Dispensationalism stands in contrast to Covenant Theology in understanding the Bible. Regarding the theological status of modern Jewish people, dispensationalism rejects supersessionism (also referred to as Replacement Theology); hence many dispensationalists believe in restorationism.
Other articles of interest that demonstrate radical evangelical Christianity is a danger to all in the United States and the world!
Evangelical Christians make a mockery out of Religion!
Rick Warren – One of America’s most Dangerous Preachers – Updated
Left Behind & End of Days
Further, the United States was never meant to be a “Christian Nation” as radical Evangelical’s would have you believe. There is a distinct separation of church and state that the courts have recognized – and even so by the United States government. This was a post by a member of the Blue Lemur Political forum:
Well that was easy thanks to Wikipedia
The Treaty is notable for Article 11, from Joel Barlow’s English translation, which reads:
“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 tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States 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.”
Article 11 has been a point of contention regarding the proper interpretation of the doctrine of separation of church and state. It is generally considered as confirmation that the government of the United States was specifically intended to be religiously neutral. The United States Constitution specifically states that treaties with foreign powers have the force of law.
In 1930, there was contention that the existent original Arabic version of Article was gibberish and that the original Article 11 was not an article at all, but a letter from the Dey of Algiers to the Pasha of Tripoli. This contention arises from the declaration within this article that the United States was never founded as a Christian nation. Nevertheless it is established that Joel Barlow’s English translation of Article 11, as recorded in the certified copy of January 4, 1797, is contained in the version of the treaty that was approved by President John Adams and Secretary of State Timothy Pickering and ratified by the Senate.
There exists an additional certified copy of the original Arabic Treaty made by James Cathcart. This copy confirms that Article 11 was not a part of the Arabic original, but was for some reason revised in the English translation that was ultimately ratified.
The Treaty was broken in 1801 by the Pasha of Tripoli and renegotiated in 1805 after the First Barbary War, at which time Article 11 was removed.
The significance of this article that is often overlooked or ignored is that it stated categorically that the United States of America is not founded upon the Christian religion, and that this treaty, with that statement intact, was read before and passed unanimously by the United States Senate, and was signed by the President of the United States without a hint of controversy or discord, and remains the earliest and most definitive statement from the United States Senate and the President of the United States, on the secular nature of American government.
Another quality post by Surreal… Original post with links: LINK
FOOTNOTE: While editing this article because of format changes when it was originally written, I have found numerous instances where Wikipedia has been changed and/or edited. CNN has deleted or lost articles from their archives; this is one article written almost three years ago, however, when you add-up the differences, albeit subtle, it indicates that our history is still being re-written, and whether it’s being accomplished by government propagandists or simply people loyal to the Bush administration, the disservice to the public is monumental, and the historical record(s) must be recognized and preserved at all costs. I quoted Wikipedia on numerous occasions in writing the original essay, however, future works will not include these same references. To me, it appears that Wikipedia is being used as a propaganda tool; anyone that researches any given subject, especially as it pertains to the Bush Presidency, must be careful they aren’t quoting propaganda rather then the facts – and every days it’s becoming harder and harder to discern truth from fiction.
The original Timestamp on this essay was May 25, 2006 @ 22:35.
Footnote: This essay was published again on Op-Ed News January 17, 2008 at 09:33:04.
The comments on Op-Ed News were diverse, as they were with this publication, and can be found at this LINK.
I’ll finish off my thoughts on this subject by reprinting a comment I made on Op-Ed News, and a follow-up comment from one of the members. This has been one of the most popular Op-Eds I’ve ever written. I noted that it was voted down on “Reddit”, when just three years ago it was a hit. I believe that some of the negativity is because of the increased religiosity that still is growing in our country and on a global basis. These periods of increased religiosity have threatened mankind before, and at times, millions of innocents died in the name of God. They didn’t possess the weapons of mass destruction we routinely use to intimidate our neighbors, but like a property that is losing its value, the United States is becoming aware that many now possess the knowledge to make nuclear weapons, several of our “CLOSELY GUARDED” secrets were sold by members of the government itself. What they couldn’t steal was sold by the enemies of America, and they work within our own government.
For over two years, this subject usually received several reads per day, especially by colleges and religious organizations. I have enjoyed the diversity of people that have read this piece and hope that my final thoughts will make sense and illustrate the necessity for writing an essay of this type. My intention was never to insult true believers of any religion, but instead choose to concentrate on those that make a mockery of every doctrine they touch, perverting its teachings to suit their own greedy and twisted goals. To those I have no respect or forgiveness.
January 18, 2008
This has been a controversial piece since its publication
This essay was first published almost three years ago, and since then, it has received constant reads, almost on a daily basis. There are 22 or more comments on my site, and some of them are extremely well-written and display the diversity of opinion as people with a wide variance of religious beliefs add their interpretation to the subject matter.
What it indicates to me is that nothing is set in stone on this issue, it never has been, and even today, the diversity of opinion is almost beyond comprehension. It seems that to most people who read it, in almost every case, it elicits a different opinion or philosophy. One reason I chose to re-post an older article was to demonstrate that even after three years, there still isn’t a consensus of opinion that sways in any particular direction – and it’s still as controversial today as when it was initially written.
I believe that this article is a good indicator that religion and politics don’t mix, they never have, and the variances of opinion of several religious beliefs show quite definitively that religious beliefs are so varied, that even if we didn’t have a constitutionally mandated separation of church and state (Which the Bush administration ignores) clause – no matter which “faith” was chosen, there would be countless millions of people with diverse and opposing beliefs, therefore it is never “OK” to allow religion to enter politics no matter how well-intentioned the motive is, as there will always be a huge amount of people that don’t agree with whatever belief is stated simply because of the diversity of religion in America. To hold one belief over another will always result in mass discrimination and adversity throughout the population and I believe that the founding father’s of this country were well ware of that fact and tried to protect us from evolving our society in a manner that would eventually result in internal conflict and strife.
by Justanother (62 articles, 3 quicklinks, 141 comments) on Friday, January 18, 2008 at 9:44:07 AM
And the problem is exacerbated when religious zealots are motivated by the erroneous doctrines of men, which, by the way, the Christ Jesus warned us about. But Bush and the “Christian Right” cannot see the truth, and they cling to and push false doctrine and dogma to gain wealth, power and domain.
Thomas Jefferson was right, not only when he called for a “wall of separation between church and state,” but also when he said things like this:
“Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law,” and “religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions.” – Thomas Jefferson
“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
“Among the sayings and discourses imputed to Jesus by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.” — Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson was not alone, either. Many other founding fathers felt the same way.
“Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?” — James Madison
“During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.” — James Madison
“The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history.” — John Adams
“If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Romish church, but practiced it upon the Puritans. (The Puritans) found it wrong in the Bishops (of the Church of England), but fell into the same practice themselves in New England (in America).” — Benjamin Franklin
I found those quotes on this web site:
by IsaiahTruman (0 articles, 0 quicklinks, 107 comments) on Friday, January 18, 2008 at 1:25:46 PM LINK