Declaration of Independence

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Mountaineer
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Re: Declaration of Independence

Postby Mountaineer » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:05 pm

Thank you Xan for that post. It demonstrates how people can fool themselves, or ignore what is in front of their own eyes, in the pursuit of self-happiness. The comment about using language to disguise reality reminded me of how those in the "greatest generation" that I personally knew commonly referred to the Japanese people as "Japs" and showed me Army posters of the Japanese soldier with thick glasses and buck teeth. I'm sure it was intended to dehumanize those we were fighting. Likewise, the German people were referred to as "Krauts" for likely the same reason but with not as much denigration since the Germans were white and the Japanese were those "others". Making the unwanted "other" appear small, unimportant, unworthy, a threat, and different in the eyes of the self-righteous masses has always been a strategy of ruling class - and I must say has been fairly effective. But back to the founding fathers, it was wise indeed to base our nation on the rule of law and point out where that law came from. At that time in our history it probably would have been far more difficult to drum up support to demonize 'God the Creator and the souce of the rights that were espoused' that a mere 'king and his tyranical proclamations'. When one reads the words of the Declaration, it is disappointing but not surprising to see who is being demonized by today's ruling class of Hollywood, Entertainers, Sports Idols, and most celebrities as well as the normal politicians.
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Re: Declaration of Independence

Postby farjean2 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:33 pm

I find it interesting how when the constitution was drawn up not that many years after, all mention of a "Creator" was dropped. Apparently they needed to include God in the document to rally the troops against the British, but not so much when they wrote the constitution.

Also interesting is the theology of the Creator mentioned in the declaration. I'm hard pressed to find anywhere in the Christian Bible that God had created us equal and endowed us with any unalienable rights. As for Liberty, both the Old and New Testament offered support for slavery (and NT passages were often quoted by those who supported it). And "the pursuit of happiness"? Hard to find that concept in the Bible either which teaches that the purpose of Man is to serve God. And for that matter, the whole purpose of the declaration was to proclaim rebellion against the rule of the King and the Bible teaches that the powers that be are ordained of God and whoever resists is resisting God, including the paying of taxes.

So I really don't see much connection to the Christian religion in that document. As Sophie pointed out, they were mostly deists and I suspect if they were with us today they would probably be atheists. Being an atheist probably didn't go over so well back then.
Last edited by farjean2 on Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Declaration of Independence

Postby dualstow » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:49 pm

They probably fought over it, the wording.
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Re: Declaration of Independence

Postby farjean2 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:14 pm

This article seemed particularly relevant to the discussion at hand, when it comes to dehumanizing the enemy and the War of Independence. It just happened to be a war of Christian against Christian so how was that justified......

Very interesting reading on the subject....

http://www.distant-clansman.com/the-sword-of-the-lord-influence-of-clergy-on-the-american-revolutionary-battlefield/

To reconcile the killing, and therefore defeat, of the enemy with moral and religious doctrine required that soldiers were readied to believe that they were not killing human beings; what is mere extenuating circumstances existed whereby God granted permission to kill.[7] Psychology calls the process of circumventing moral and religious laws on killing the process of dehumanization. It is a trick of the mind employed to a great extent in all recorded wars. The pre-revolutionary and revolutionary decades in America were no different. The pulpit was frequently used as a platform for demonization and dehumanization of the enemy, with such common analogies attributed to Great Britain and her soldiery as Satan, beasts, savages, haughty tyrants, and the whore of Babylon.[8]


If you are looking for exalted language to dehumanize the enemy, the Bible is hard to beat.
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Re: Declaration of Independence

Postby Desert » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:26 pm

Mountaineer wrote:Thank you Xan for that post. It demonstrates how people can fool themselves, or ignore what is in front of their own eyes, in the pursuit of self-happiness. The comment about using language to disguise reality reminded me of how those in the "greatest generation" that I personally knew commonly referred to the Japanese people as "Japs" and showed me Army posters of the Japanese soldier with thick glasses and buck teeth. I'm sure it was intended to dehumanize those we were fighting. Likewise, the German people were referred to as "Krauts" for likely the same reason but with not as much denigration since the Germans were white and the Japanese were those "others". Making the unwanted "other" appear small, unimportant, unworthy, a threat, and different in the eyes of the self-righteous masses has always been a strategy of ruling class - and I must say has been fairly effective. But back to the founding fathers, it was wise indeed to base our nation on the rule of law and point out where that law came from. At that time in our history it probably would have been far more difficult to drum up support to demonize 'God the Creator and the souce of the rights that were espoused' that a mere 'king and his tyranical proclamations'. When one reads the words of the Declaration, it is disappointing but not surprising to see who is being demonized by today's ruling class of Hollywood, Entertainers, Sports Idols, and most celebrities as well as the normal politicians.


Mountaineer, the people groups being demonized today are immigrants. Red, Brown, Yellow, Black and ... ok, not white. The U.S. just elected a president who ran on demonizing the great "other." Bannon and his ilk built their media empire on blaming immigrants for our problems. I do admit that immigration is a problem. But the demonization we're seeing now is ridiculous and very non-Christian. This administration would be too busy deporting the Good Samaritan to stop and listen to the parable. Christians feeling bad for Trump need to sit and read ... and re-read Matthew 25:31-46. I can understand secular folks backing this guy, but Christians who actually believe the Bible are without excuse.
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Re: Declaration of Independence

Postby drumminj » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:46 pm

soldiers were readied to believe that they were not killing human beings;


Makes me think of the BlackMirror episode, for those who have watched the series on Netflix ("Men Against Fire"). Very relevant to this comment...
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Re: Declaration of Independence

Postby Mountaineer » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:02 am

Desert wrote:
Mountaineer wrote:Thank you Xan for that post. It demonstrates how people can fool themselves, or ignore what is in front of their own eyes, in the pursuit of self-happiness. The comment about using language to disguise reality reminded me of how those in the "greatest generation" that I personally knew commonly referred to the Japanese people as "Japs" and showed me Army posters of the Japanese soldier with thick glasses and buck teeth. I'm sure it was intended to dehumanize those we were fighting. Likewise, the German people were referred to as "Krauts" for likely the same reason but with not as much denigration since the Germans were white and the Japanese were those "others". Making the unwanted "other" appear small, unimportant, unworthy, a threat, and different in the eyes of the self-righteous masses has always been a strategy of ruling class - and I must say has been fairly effective. But back to the founding fathers, it was wise indeed to base our nation on the rule of law and point out where that law came from. At that time in our history it probably would have been far more difficult to drum up support to demonize 'God the Creator and the souce of the rights that were espoused' that a mere 'king and his tyranical proclamations'. When one reads the words of the Declaration, it is disappointing but not surprising to see who is being demonized by today's ruling class of Hollywood, Entertainers, Sports Idols, and most celebrities as well as the normal politicians.


Mountaineer, the people groups being demonized today are immigrants. Red, Brown, Yellow, Black and ... ok, not white. The U.S. just elected a president who ran on demonizing the great "other." Bannon and his ilk built their media empire on blaming immigrants for our problems. I do admit that immigration is a problem. But the demonization we're seeing now is ridiculous and very non-Christian. This administration would be too busy deporting the Good Samaritan to stop and listen to the parable. Christians feeling bad for Trump need to sit and read ... and re-read Matthew 25:31-46. I can understand secular folks backing this guy, but Christians who actually believe the Bible are without excuse.


Desert, I agree with your view (it fits with number 3. below); I just think the problem is much bigger than immigration or Trump - the problem is us - immigration or Trump's tweets are just handy targets to take the focus off the root problem. I would also add to the current list of the demonized 1. the law, 2. Christians, 3. those who have a different worldview than the demonizer. I think 1. is the most significant for the United States because if we continue down that path (e.g. making law from the judicial bench or ignoring the law rather than upholding the law) we are headed for the demise of our country. Re. 2., Christians have pretty much been demonized since the beginning - not really much new there and Christianity will survive. Re. 3., I also think this has been the case for most of human history - it seems there is a brief respite every once in a while, but ultimately the tribal nature takes front seat once more. For me, one solution is to have an external source of truth that a majority of people are willing to uphold; for most of our US history that is God of the Bible (even the Diest Jefferson subscribed to Biblical principles), for the secular that is the law, for much of our history it was both. Now we are throwing both God and law under the bus at a fairly rapid rate. When sinful man (as evidenced by number 3.) throws out external truth for his own corrupted view of truth, basically there is no longer a truth that holds the nation together. I think we can have our best days ahead of us, but only if God OR law OR both are once again valued highly. I think that is what our founding fathers thought too, and those thoughts resulted in the beauty, wisdom, and logic of the Declaration. It's been a mostly good ride (even with all the warts, better than most realistic alternatives I can think of from history).

Edit: After reading l8's post below, I should have clarified that I think the "immigrant" problem is an "illegal immigrant" problem and I took Desert to mean the same thing (pardon me if I misread your intent, Desert) - thus my view that number 1. in my post above about law being the most significant. Being a good Samaritan is being respectful of all humans and kind to them just because they are human; being a good Samaritan means helping people hear the Gospel as well as tending to their physical needs, it is not discounting their misdeeds. One who breaks the law is accountable for the consequences. Illegal acts should not be tolerated whether committed by a legal or illegal immigrant or a citizen, even though on an individual by individual case a judge might choose to show mercy.
Last edited by Mountaineer on Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Declaration of Independence

Postby l82start » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:27 am

Desert wrote:
Mountaineer, the people groups being demonized today are immigrants. Red, Brown, Yellow, Black and ... ok, not white. The U.S. just elected a president who ran on demonizing the great "other." Bannon and his ilk built their media empire on blaming immigrants for our problems. I do admit that immigration is a problem. But the demonization we're seeing now is ridiculous and very non-Christian. This administration would be too busy deporting the Good Samaritan to stop and listen to the parable. Christians feeling bad for Trump need to sit and read ... and re-read Matthew 25:31-46. I can understand secular folks backing this guy, but Christians who actually believe the Bible are without excuse.


i haven't heard anyone demonizing immigrants ...illegal immigrants ...sure and rightly so.. the only consistant demonizing i see is by the open border crowd demonizing the anti "ILLEGAL immigrant" crowd as being racist by confusing and conflating immigrant and illegal immigrant as the same thing..

i also have a hard time seeing the illegal immigrants who are committing additional crimes after entering the country illegally, the ones who are getting priority deportation because of their criminal activity, as being good Samaritans..
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Re: Declaration of Independence

Postby dualstow » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:46 am

drumminj wrote:
soldiers were readied to believe that they were not killing human beings;


Makes me think of the BlackMirror episode, for those who have watched the series on Netflix ("Men Against Fire"). Very relevant to this comment...


Totally.
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Re: Declaration of Independence

Postby dualstow » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:09 am

l82start wrote:i haven't heard anyone demonizing immigrants ...illegal immigrants ...sure and rightly so.. the only consistant demonizing i see is by the open border crowd demonizing the anti "ILLEGAL immigrant" crowd as being racist by confusing and conflating immigrant and illegal immigrant as the same thing..


You really haven't heard anyone demonizing immigrants?
Even in the administration itself, the language Trump used to equate Mexicans and rapists- it could scarcely have been any stronger. A few of us can go back and say, well, technically he was only referring to illegals and criminals when he made this comment and that comment. But, the reality is that there is an uptick in hate that is impossible not to see or hear.

I want criminal illegals deported as quickly as anyone does. While acknowledging that hard-working non-criminal but illegal aliens serve a purpose in our economy, it's unfair to all those who go through the system properly. (And I argue about this with friends whose stance is that some have no choice but the illegal route).

I'll go one step further: if a small country in eastern Europe wants no immigrants, illegal or otherwise, that's their right. Maybe their fears of having their culture overwhelmed has some basis in reality and are not unfounded. If they want to keep out only certain groups and not white Christians, well...not every country is built on the British model or the U.S. model or the Canadian model. If they want a certain group out, and I'm in that group, I don't know that I'd want to be one of the ten people in that group living there anyway.

In the U.S, though, all kinds of people are being demonized. Kids were telling their darker-skinned classmates "You'll be gone when Trump is elected." Headstones are being desecrated in Jewish cemeteries that date back to the 1800s. There is even a huge surge in the black separatist movement (Blacks who hate non-blacks). Not to mention the alt-Right's growth around the world. It's all documented at the Souther Law Poverty Center. Mexicans, Muslims, all kinds of immigrants are being demonized on a daily basis.

I'm not sure how you can not see that, or see it and believe it has nothing to do with the new administration.
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Re: Declaration of Independence

Postby Xan » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:14 am

I think it depends where you get your news. If you get it from the Southern Poverty Law Center, then anybody who doesn't toe the PC line is a "white nationalist" and gets on the blacklist. All the stories will advance that narrative.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of stories of unprovoked violence against peaceful Trump supporters, which you'll hear about if you get your news in some places and not others.
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Re: Declaration of Independence

Postby dualstow » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:23 am

I think that's true that it depends on where you get your news, but the SLPC is really fact-based. It's not the ACLU, whose mail goes right in the trash after entering my home.

I haven't looked at each and every group in the SLPC's hate map -- there are hundreds -- but I don't think they casually put someone on that list. https://www.splcenter.org/hate-map
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