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A Christian nation: the inescapable paradox must be resolved.

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posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 11:47 PM
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originally posted by: Annee

originally posted by: teamcommander
a reply to: InverseLookingGlass

O K .

How 'bout we call this a country with a secular government founded on Christian principles?



And --- what exactly are Christian principles? Pretty damned arrogant that Christians think only they can treat humans with love, humanity, dignity etc. the Christian Right of today certainly doesn't behave that way.


I have spent my last 35 years as a Christian; first as a Protestant, then, as a Roman Catholic, and [finally] now an Orthodox. Out of the countless Christians I have known, met, liked, disliked, etc. - I have never heard a single one make any such claim - not one has ever thought that "only they" could treat humans with love, humanity, dignity, etc.

I think you might have some preconceived ideas about Christians, or at the very least are making some broad assumptions based on a couple of knuckleheaded Christians who are overly-verbal, judgmental, callous, and (quite frankly) disobedient to their Christ, Who taught love and told His followers not to judge others.

As a Christian, my task is not to make a list of God's commands, match them up to your life, find discrepancies, and pass judgment on you. My job is to do my best to understand God's commands, match them up to *my* life, find discrepancies, and alter my course in those areas I'm disobedient.

Not trying to divert the thread, but I had to respond. I thought your comment was too weird to ignore.




posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 01:24 AM
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a reply to: Murgatroid

From the quote you supplied in answer to my post, I think you completely misunderstood me, but OK. thanks for the validation anyway.



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 01:46 AM
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To understand the founders you need to read the Jefferson Bible.
en.wikipedia.org...

Beginning in 1904 and continuing every other year until the 1950s, new members of Congress were given a copy of the Jefferson Bible. Until the practice first stopped, copies were provided by the Government Printing Office. A private organization, the Libertarian Press, revived the practice in 1997.

americanhistory.si.edu...

The Jefferson Bible is still used today by Christian Deist's
en.wikipedia.org...
edit on 26-7-2014 by ANNED because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 02:03 AM
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a reply to: Stuyvesant



1. Thomas Jefferson was indeed a Christian. His particular personal theology as a "Deist" was simply an heretical version of Christianity. His practicing "religion" was Christianity. The church he attended was the Episcopal Church. He studied the Bible. He referenced himself as a Christian. His Unitarian "bent" was as a Christian, not as a Druid or a Muslim or a Pagan or a Hindu.


Deism is NOT an 'heretical version of Christianity'. Christianity is firmly Theist, its fundamental understanding of the nature of G-d is completely opposite of the Deist's understanding.

Mr. Google is your friend. Please consult with him before making assertions about things you only think you understand.

From Wikipedia:



Deism is the belief that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of a Creator, accompanied with the rejection of revelation and authority as a source of religious knowledge. Deism gained prominence in the 17th and 18th centuries during the Age of Enlightenment—especially in Britain, France, Germany, and the United States—among intellectuals raised as Christians who believed in one god, but found fault with organized religion and did not believe in supernatural events such as miracles, the inerrancy of scriptures, or the Trinity
...
Perhaps the first use of the term deist is in Pierre Viret's Instruction Chrétienne en la doctrine de la foi et de l'Évangile (Christian teaching on the doctrine of faith and the Gospel) (1564), reprinted in Bayle's Dictionnaire entry Viret. Viret, a Calvinist, regarded deism as a new form of Italian heresy.[16] Viret wrote, as translated following from the original French:


There are many who confess that while they believe like the Turks and the Jews that there is some sort of God and some sort of deity, yet with regard to Jesus Christ and to all that to which the doctrine of the Evangelists and the Apostles testify, they take all that to be fables and dreams... I have heard that there are of this band those who call themselves Deists, an entirely new word, which they want to oppose to Atheist. For in that atheist signifies a person who is without God, they want to make it understood that they are not at all without God, since they certainly believe there is some sort of God, whom they even recognize as creator of heaven and earth, as do the Turks; but as for Jesus Christ, they only know that he is and hold nothing concerning him nor his doctrine.





2. Hahaha, I laughed when I read your comment about Puritans *practicing* religious intolerance. Okay, I can live with that. I stand corrected. I bet they were indeed!


Why would you think that is funny?

(source)

So why were the Puritans in New England? Because they had been forced out of England. They were forced out because they wanted to reform human civilization through religion, to wipe out poverty, and to make a heaven on Earth in which everyone was free to discover God’s will for themselves. But these were not generalized goals; that is, the Puritans did not believe that any or every religion, diligently applied, could result in such a paradise. They believed that only their reformed version of Anglican Christianity could put such goals within reach.
...
The Puritans in New England broadcast their intentions, making it as clear as they possibly could that people of other faiths were not welcome there. They made no secret of their hostility to outside religious presence. When people of other faiths insisted on entering New England, the Puritans boiled over with anger.



source
The Puritans were seeking freedom, but they didn't understand the idea of toleration. They came to America to find religious freedom—but only for themselves.
...
Ministers like the Reverend John Cotton preached that it was wrong to practice any religion other than Puritanism. Those who did would be helping the devil. They believed they followed the only true religion so everyone should be forced to worship as they did. "[Tolerance is] liberty … to tell lies in the name of the Lord," said John Cotton.



source
American mythology teaches that the early United States was founded by men of conscience who came to the "new world" in order to practice their religious convictions in peace and freedom. John Winthrop (1588–1649), the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, in particular has been quoted as a source of inspiration by U.S. presidents from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan.

Yet Winthrop did not represent a tradition of either democracy or religious tolerance. He hated democracy with a passion. The state he created did not hesitate to execute people like the Quakers and even brought to the "new" world the very popular tradition of medieval Europe, the trial and execution of witches.

The quotes from Winthrop below illustrate the troubling nature of Puritan society in Colonial America. John Winthrop's "shining" city had more in common with the various totalitarian utopias in history than with the spirit of the Bill of Rights passed more than 100 years after his death. This a useful fact to keep in mind when considering the various current proposals get "get America back the traditional values of the Puritans".


Hardly a 'religious tolerance' attitude. That first link does indeed describe the Puritan's treatment in England as "persecution". I disagree with that application of the word, but I accept that it can be viewed that way. The Puritans had exasperated officialdom so much and caused so much trouble that they finally outlawed them. They could do that in England because the Church of England is the official State Church. Similar antics in the USA cannot cause the same official 'persecution' because of the Constitution. So "Westboro Baptist" and "Operation Save America" can't be sanctioned for their antisocial behavior, as much as they deserve it.




edit on 26/7/2014 by rnaa because: correct markup



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 02:56 AM
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a reply to: Stuyvesant

(continued from previous post)



3. I provided many quotes from the founding fathers about their faith/belief in Christ, made the assertion that the founding fathers were Christian, to which you replied "Except for the ones who weren't." Who was that, exactly?


Agreed, you said "Christian" but the rest of your post was pretty specific that you meant 'Protestant Christians'. Perhaps I projected more than you meant. If you were referring to 'all' founding fathers, that would include Jefferson who was not a Christian, but a Diest (see my earlier post - Christianity and Deism are antithetical). If you were referring to only those who signed the Constitution, that would not include Jefferson who was in France at the time.


source
...recovering the spiritual convictions of the Founders, in all their messy integrity, is not an easy task. Once again, diversity is the dominant pattern. Franklin and Jefferson were deists, Washington harbored a pantheistic sense of providential destiny, John Adams began a Congregationalist and ended a Unitarian (which of course, do not hold to the Trinity as other 'mainstream' Christian denominations).


Other Deist members of the Revolutionary Generation included Cornelius Harnett (Chairman of the Sons of Liberty, died before the Constitution), Gouverneur Morris (signer of the Articles of Confederation and author of large sections of the Constitution. At the convention he gave more speeches than any other delegate, a total of 173. As a matter of principle, he often vigorously defended the right of anyone to practice his chosen religion without interference, and he argued to include such language in the Constitution), and Hugh Williamson (signatory to the Constitution).


source
Other notable Founding Fathers may have been more directly deist. These include James Madison, possibly Alexander Hamilton, Ethan Allen,[47] and Thomas Paine (who published The Age of Reason, a treatise that helped to popularize deism throughout the United States and Europe).


CORRECTION TO MY PREVIOUS POSTS: Maryland did not have a Roman Catholic Established Church. In fact, the founder was Catholic and passed the FIRST religious tolerance act in the Colonies. Puritans 'escaped' the established church colonies in New England for Maryland precisely because of its reputation for tolerance. It didn't last long however, the founder was overthrown and the Church of England became the state established church - 70 years before the Revolution. Catholics lost the right to vote in Maryland in 1718 and did not get it back until 1776.



If you are referring to those crazy "Deists," I'd just point out the "Creator" they happened to believe in was the Christian God, but their theology was, in the strict sense of the word, heretical. Without exception (to my knowledge), they acknowledged Jesus Christ and Christianity. They weren't worshipping Gaia or anything. I'd like to see your historical sources for them [or quotes from them] that reference their belief in some "Free-Masonic universal God or 'Nature's God.'


In reply, I'll just point out the error in your understanding of Deism again.


source

The concept of deism covers a wide variety of positions on a wide variety of religious issues. Sir Leslie Stephen's English Thought in the Eighteenth Century describes three features[17] constituting the core of deism:

Rejection of religions based on books that claim to contain the revealed word of God.
Rejection of religious dogma and demagogy.
Skepticism of reports of miracles, prophecies and religious "mysteries".

Constructive elements of deist thought included:

God exists and created the universe.
God gave humans the ability to reason




I will be happy to admit my mistake, I just don't know of any founding fathers that were not Christian, in the basic sense of the word. Quite simply, their Protestant Christianity had been deistically-influenced; that is all.


I think you will agree that the 'Rejection of religions based on books that claim to contain the revealed word of God.' pretty much eliminates the possibility of thinking of Deism as 'heretical Christianity'. How can you be considered a Christian, heretical or not, if you completely reject the Bible? Jefferson went so far as to edit his own version of the New Testament, removing all that 'stuff'.



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 03:02 AM
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a reply to: Stuyvesant

I should have addressed this one directly:



I'd like to see your historical sources for them [or quotes from them] that reference their belief in some "Free-Masonic universal God or 'Nature's God.'


A quote from Thomas Jefferson:


When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, 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 decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.


I'll leave it to the reader to find the source of that quotation.



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 06:29 AM
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originally posted by: windword
a reply to: teamcommander






How 'bout we call this a country with a secular government founded on Christian principles?





What are Christian principles? How do you think Christian principles influence the wording of the Bill Of Rights or the Constitution? Do you see the principles of salvation verses damnation, for example, incorporated in the Constitution and laws?



a reply to: Annee



Like minds think alike!


I guess I ask for that one.
I will say though, in my haste to begin the week end I did not "think" of the ambiguity which my statement left hanging.

I will attempt to expound upon my interpretation of "Christian principles".

When speaking of Christian, I think of the more traditional meaning of the term which has, at least to me, meant "to be Christ-like". I have noticed however that this is not always the case with many people who claim to be Christians. To me, one
should "actually" follow the teachings of Jesus, much of which can be found in the fifth chapter of the Gospel according to Matthew.
This is also know as the "sermon on the mount" in which Jesus teaches us how we should act and interact with our fellow man. As I said there are many who do not seem to have remembered these words, or atleast have forgotten how to apply them to their lives.

Some have told me I want to live in a "utopian world" where everyone gets along and everything is alright. My response to this is usually a look of surprising disgust and a very verbal "NO $H!T! and what would be wrong with that!"

I spent a portion of my earlier years doing things, of which I am not really proud, doing the bidding of TPTB and learned, the hard way,
the how and why the world is in the mess it is now in. Just let me say, these people do not act with our best interests at heart.

These things are what I refer to as "Christian principles" even though it does seem many people who do not claim to be Christian act this way more than those who do.

It may be best if I find a new term to define how I think people should treat one another. Maybe the term "humane" would be a better fit, but then again we are talking about human beings.



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 08:21 AM
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a reply to: teamcommander


It may be best if I find a new term to define how I think people should treat one another. Maybe the term "humane" would be a better fit, but then again we are talking about human beings.

Perhaps the term "The Golden Rule" would do.


Applied across all ethnicities, cultures, religions, and societies. Jesus, of course, was neither the first nor the last to teach it. It's origins are actually unknown -
congratulations, though, for having grown enough to see why the world isn't that way -
for what it's worth, I'm with you. I don't see why we can't have that world where everyone gets along and takes care of one another - except that we can't because there are too many people who don't want that - who actually want to destroy others, and some who think that it's their "Christian duty" to BRING ON THE APOCALYPSE and make the world "Christian." Honestly, I can't abide that sort of thinking.



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 09:22 AM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Actually, to live by the golden rule should be the goal of everyone.

I had thought of using the term "humanism" in my last post, but it is usually seen as devisive by so many who call themselves christian, I thought it might be better to not do so.

Since the original question was about the supposed paradox of having a nation based upon one religion with out having other religions allowed, I think this would neither be a "truly Christian" nation nor a country in which I would care to live. With out a good measure of tolerence imbodied within the laws which govern a nation, living there would not be worth the indignaties which would surely follow. There would just not be enough humane treatment of its populas to stand for very long without becoming intolerable.



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 10:23 AM
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a reply to: teamcommander


I had thought of using the term "humanism" in my last post, but it is usually seen as devisive by so many who call themselves christian, I thought it might be better to not do so.


Yes, many self-styled "Christians" seem to be extraordinarily averse to the idea of "Secular Humanism". Allergic even - almost apoplectic, frothing at the mouth. NOT ALL, of course, not all. But many.





posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 03:01 PM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs


Yes, many self-styled "Christians" seem to be extraordinarily averse to the idea of "Secular Humanism".

Given that secular humanism tends to be anti-religious, why would that be surprising? People generally don't support movements that are contrary to their own beliefs.



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 07:02 PM
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originally posted by: Diderot
a reply to: adjensen

"I'm an orthodox Christian, and if the United States started making moves toward becoming a theocracy, I'd leave. Why? Because it, and I, would be subject to the "interpretation of God's Law" by men who most likely disagree with my interpretation of God's Law."

I call myself a virtual atheist, and having read your post, I feel that you truly understand divine wisdom. I can imagine no God that doesn't rise to the level of rational perfection. Your God I can honor and respect. And that applies to you as well.



Needs to be taken a hell of a lot farther in imagination...

How about this, I can Imagine that NO God as any of the religions, esoterics, Yogis in the Himalayas ANYONE! actually exists, since full CHOICE physical reality was "Created".

Until we actually honor the fact that other beings that APPEAR GODLIKE to everyone here, and even the most advanced of Avatars, have created this entire Universe for reasons you cannot fathom, and that NOONE is observing them, or keeping track of what is going on,, we will remain held in this powerless state that some of these beings, if not ALL OF THEM, are desperately keeping the lid on !!!



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 07:16 PM
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a reply to: Stuyvesant

a reply to: InverseLookingGlass

Our founding fathers didn't define "under god or in god we trust" as they were not added to the pledge of allegiance or our currency till 1954 and 1956 respectively.

So your talk of the founding fathers opinions on these phrases are incorrect.
edit on 26-7-2014 by LDragonFire because: (no reason given)

edit on 26-7-2014 by LDragonFire because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 07:37 PM
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Ahhm .................so what do you classify as biblical law, the OT law for humanity, the law that is created for mankind or are you talking the NT law that was written directly and specifically to Christians.

The two laws are completely different but are both found in the bible,
The "Tooth For a Tooth law" (Abrahamic) or the "Love God, Love others" (Christian) law.

Seriously your question is flawed and based on some false concepts with out any real understanding of what Christianity teaches.
Jesus Himself did not come to earth to set up a Kingdom or government, should give you a clue as to why what you are implying is wrong.

and then remember the Christian "laws" are not written for nonchristians, how would they apply, never mind the fact the church is abundant with tares (nonchristians)

I cant understand your question, I dont understand how you can imply biblical rules where I dont understand what rules you are referring to, or how Christians could apply them, when the US is according to many, secular. Then why Christians should apply those rules that are specific to Christians in to a secular enviroment.



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 07:43 PM
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originally posted by: InverseLookingGlass
The topic here is the idea that the USA was founded "under God" in a literal sense. It seems beyond debate that the predominant language and cultural context of the time was Protestant Christian. I accept that as fact.

What I can't reconcile is the relative precedence of Biblical law and Constitutional law as applied by a "true believer" of the time. According to the Bible, no laws should come before the "law of God" or in this case, laws written by humans that seek to replicate God's thoughts and words. My understanding is imperfect here, but I think I have the "jist".

In any case, what is in the Bible(s) must be held above laws written by men in the course of assembling collective society. I have had a number of Christians state that as fact and argue why now, it's appropriate for true Christians to simply ignore any common law if it conflicts with a Biblical law as interpreted.

So what I can't understand is how the Christian founders, if they were indeed that, didn't explicitly state that the USA constitution is explicitly subordinate to Biblical law? It seems they may have actually codified conflicts with Biblical law or at least formalized a structure which could later subordinate Biblical law.

My question is how all these devout, unified Christian founders let common law supersede Biblical law in the first place? From a philosophical standpoint, how can any true believer pledge allegiance to a sovereign nation and truly commit to following the rules? Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia, I understand. They explicitly subordinate common law to their Koran rule book. But no explicit mention of Biblical law in the Constitution? Why? Did I miss it?

Is it not the duty of a "believer" to always work towards a Theocracy? If it is so, then the Christian Taliban may be the logical next phase of the implosion of the US empire. Taking over towns, demanding sovereignty, land, etc. and going straight to holy violence when they don't get their way. In a sense, "Messianic Zionism". Thoughts?


Here's the response to your OP, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

Very succinct, but also very clear.

STM



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 07:45 PM
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We were formed as a secular nation because Everyone who immigrated here back then did so for religious freedom, to practice worship as they saw fit and not to have to conform to England or France or any other countries that had state sponsored religion.

This lead to a diverse amount of religious beliefs what was practiced in Vermont or Maine wasn't the same religion practiced in New York or Virgina.

Deist doesn't believe in Jesus or God they believe in a unknown force. Ben Franklin believed that beer proved the existence of God. Thomas Pain was a atheist and died penniless and they had a hard time finding a church to bury him.
edit on 26-7-2014 by LDragonFire because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 07:51 PM
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originally posted by: teamcommander
a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Since the original question was about the supposed paradox of having a nation based upon one religion with out having other religions allowed, I think this would neither be a "truly Christian" nation nor a country in which I would care to live. With out a good measure of tolerance embodied within the laws which govern a nation, living there would not be worth the indignaties which would surely follow. There would just not be enough humane treatment of its populas to stand for very long without becoming intolerable.


Thats an interesting statement, was your nation founded on Christianity with the intention of excluding all other faiths, be interesting to see some evidence. Not doubting you, just find it hard to believe that Christians would act this way.

As for tolerance, wasnt that Christs teaching, very much all that He taught in relation to living with others, maybe not, Jesus didnt say tolerate, Jesus said love them unconditionally.

Interesting you live in a country founded by, for the most part Protestants and it had been for a very long time a world leader, world power and supporter of freedom. Seems to have slipped a little lately though, I wonder why.

Its also noteworthy that this horrible Christian foundation of a country (seriously a Christian country, who would want to live there)attracted so many people, you know with all the oppression.



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 07:59 PM
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originally posted by: seentoomuch

Here's the response to your OP, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

Very succinct, but also very clear.

STM


I am sorry but can you give me a little more detail on how you have understood this verse, I dont get your position, or how it relates.



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 08:21 PM
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This is false.

The US was founded by mostly humanistic free thinkers who were products of the Enlightenment, which was very much against religious fundamentalism and literalism. Many of them were deists, which are not Christians. Remember that some of the founding fathers expressly said they didn't believe in the miracles of the Bible and many other Christian concepts.

Further, the Treaty of Tripoli (1796) states that the United States is not founded in any shape or form on Christianity.

The Religious Right has attempted to rewrite American history in their image.


originally posted by: InverseLookingGlass
The topic here is the idea that the USA was founded "under God" in a literal sense. It seems beyond debate that the predominant language and cultural context of the time was Protestant Christian. I accept that as fact.

What I can't reconcile is the relative precedence of Biblical law and Constitutional law as applied by a "true believer" of the time. According to the Bible, no laws should come before the "law of God" or in this case, laws written by humans that seek to replicate God's thoughts and words. My understanding is imperfect here, but I think I have the "jist".

In any case, what is in the Bible(s) must be held above laws written by men in the course of assembling collective society. I have had a number of Christians state that as fact and argue why now, it's appropriate for true Christians to simply ignore any common law if it conflicts with a Biblical law as interpreted.

So what I can't understand is how the Christian founders, if they were indeed that, didn't explicitly state that the USA constitution is explicitly subordinate to Biblical law? It seems they may have actually codified conflicts with Biblical law or at least formalized a structure which could later subordinate Biblical law.

My question is how all these devout, unified Christian founders let common law supersede Biblical law in the first place? From a philosophical standpoint, how can any true believer pledge allegiance to a sovereign nation and truly commit to following the rules? Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia, I understand. They explicitly subordinate common law to their Koran rule book. But no explicit mention of Biblical law in the Constitution? Why? Did I miss it?

Is it not the duty of a "believer" to always work towards a Theocracy? If it is so, then the Christian Taliban may be the logical next phase of the implosion of the US empire. Taking over towns, demanding sovereignty, land, etc. and going straight to holy violence when they don't get their way. In a sense, "Messianic Zionism". Thoughts?

edit on 26-7-2014 by Quetzalcoatl14 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2014 @ 08:22 PM
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a reply to: borntowatch

If you don't get it, wow, it's clear to see. ETA: I was taught the meaning of this verse when I was 9 years old. Put it in context of any govt vs religion disagreement and it answers it. Christians are to follow the law of the land. If we don't agree with it I guess a vote would change it, but until it is changed it is the law and me must follow it.

STM

Note: Sorry for all the edits, it's a concise saying but difficult to explain.
edit on 26-7-2014 by seentoomuch because: (no reason given)



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