Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012
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Monday, June 16, 2014

Deism

The Rogue Speaks:



This post is sort of a "two-parter."  The first part deals with the Constitution of the United States, and the First Amendment to that historic document by which our country is governed.  Please read very carefully the words of the First Amendment:

"Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Many scholars believe that the First Amendment is the most important part of the Constitution, because it protects several of the basic human rights, and reminds us of some of the dangerous areas on which the government might attempt to tread.  The first part, to me, is the part that this nation needs to become aware of, and to remember in the next few months.  It is MOST important.  There are conservative groups in this country who are trying to force their religious beliefs on the nation.  They would like to see their rules for life, health, and marriage become laws in America.  They want their religion to be THE religion of the United States.  As you can see, the Founding Fathers were firmly against this kind of thinking.  They had had enough of religious intolerance in England, and were determined that that intolerance NOT happen in America.

Forty of America's finest men signed the Constitution.  If they had not firmly believed in what they had written, do you think they would have put their names to it?  If you would like to see those names, let me know, and I will send you the list.

Many of these "conservative" groups have stated that all one has to do is read the Constitution to find that God had a hand in the writing, and that the name of God can be found in the words that were written.  Read it!  Read the Constitution, and see if you can find a reference to the God, or Jesus, or a Creator  that these modern "conservatives" worship.  Let me save you some time.  It isn't there.  The only reference you will find is "in the year of our Lord" which at that time was a common way of stating the date, and had nothing to do with religion.   The people who have told you otherwise either have not read the Constitution, or believe that you will not read it yourself, and will only take their word for it.

During the Republican debates, one of the hopefuls, a woman, stated with certainty that John Adams and his family were devout Christians who fought to abolish slavery.  First, slavery wasn't an issue at that time, and second, John Adams, his wife, Abigail Adams, and their son John Quincy Adams were actually Unitarians.  In fact, many of our founding fathers were either Deists or Unitarians, and were not at all associated with any conservative Christian group.  Thomas Jefferson, one of the signers of the Constitution,  is identified with both Unitarianism and Deism.

So, let's talk about Deism.  Deism is a religious philosophy that deals with reason and observation of the world at large.  The Deists feel that there is no need for organized religion.  They also do not believe  in the supernatural manifestations such as miracles.  They believe that God does not interfere with the decisions, good or bad, that we make in our lives.  Deists believe that human beings see God through the world around us, and through nature.

I took an active part in organized religion for many years, until one day I woke up and realized that that religion just wasn't working for me any more.  I'm not saying that I don't believe in God.  The jury is still out on that one.  But, like the Deists, I don't believe that God intervenes in our lives, to save us in times of need.  If He did, no children would die needlessly, and no people would be made to suffer from painful and debilitating diseases. I don't believe in miracles, and I certainly don't believe that an image of the Virgin Mary appearing on a toasted bagel is a message from God. The Deists believe that God does not interfere with  situations in the natural world.  If He did, He would be on serious overload 24 hours a day! 

Here is an example of that overload:  Rod's brother, an evangelical, came to visit us a few years ago.  He had been in Phoenix for a chiropractic seminar, and came down to play golf with Rod before going back to Atlanta.  The day before, he had lost his "readers."  I happened to have an extra pair that someone had left in my booth at an art fair, so I gave them to him.  He proceeded to tell me that God had provided those readers for him in answer to his prayers!  Really?????  God has enough time on his hands these days to come up with readers for you??? Get over yourself!  Women are being raped in Africa! Children are starving in third word countries!  And God provided you with "readers"?????

Getting back to the Deists, here are some names that you might recognize as contributors to the American way of life over the years:

George Washington
Benjamin Franklin
Ethan Allen
James Madison
Mark Twain
Thomas Jefferson
Albert Einstein
Thomas Paine

 I can go on, but I doubt seriously that the people who really need to get this message are actually reading this post and THINKING.   What I really want is for those sanctimonious people to realize that the rest of us have just as much a right to our beliefs as they do, and to quit trying to undo what our Founding Fathers did when they wrote the Constitution.  Freedom of religion is a basic human right.







22 comments:

Pondside said...

Well said - it goes for us up north of you too!

Bruce Coltin said...

Beautifully written, Judie! I think most Americans believe as you do. They just happen to be much quieter than the much more vocal opposition.

Vicki/Jake said...

WooHoo! What a rousing post to come back to! I think when we die we'll know all about the whatfor.... Oh, and I kicked that ol organized religion bucket down the road many years ago too. And giggle a little at all the ideas of who/how/what God is/does/doesn't...just sayin:)

Mumsy¸.¤ª“˜¨ said...

I am not sure if I can call myself a Deists, but I like what they believe: "Deists believe that human beings see God through the world around us, and through nature."

It is a fascinating post and opinion, Judie. I know some will just scan over for the fear of actual reading :-(

I, myself, enjoy READING your post, as it is very stimulating for my mind to ponder on what you've written!

Magyar said...

__There is some dificulty with the title "Conservative." I am a "Conservative," and in my meaning... that relates to maintaining the thrust of that remarkable document, our Constitution.
__'Tis time to stop "shrugging."
_m

Jo said...

very well said Judie! I have always thought that organized religion was more about power and wealth than spirituality ... breathe in peace and exhale love ... and coexist!!!!

Ames said...

I don't care who worships what, just don't force your religion on me, I believe in my own religion. I don't want our Constitution messed with. I say come into our country legally,abide by the laws, speak English, get a job and pay your own taxes, show respect to everyone,or go back from where you came from is my philosophy.~Ames

Sue McPeak said...

Impressive list of Deists who we all recognize as some of the greatest 'Thinkers' of all time. Interesting and thoughtful post...I'm 'Thinking' I sure agree with your 'Overloaded BIL'..."Get over yourself". I've wanted to say that a time or two!

Sue said...

I wholeheartedly agree that no religion should be forced upon the people of America. (I certainly wouldn't want one forced upon me). Neither should lack of religion be forced upon anyone.

It's my belief that ALL religious viewpoints (as well as the choice not to observe any religion at all) espoused by the people of America need to be respected...as should the right of each and every American to vote his or her conscience in a democracy without being demonized for it (and that goes for ANY side...from religious conservative to agnostic liberal to atheist, libertarian, or any combination thereof). Green, too. ;)

We all vote based upon what we believe, right? What else can we do? Vote a lie? Of course not. We have to be true to ourselves, and we should allow others to do the same without denigrating them.

Of course, there are extremists on both sides, and the best way to eradicate them is to respect each other's right to support whatever position we believe to be the correct one. We're Americans. We get to do that.

As for the Founding Fathers, surely their statement against forcing a religion or its beliefs on the country doesn't preclude individual citizens from voting based upon their personal religious principles. If those are the principles a person holds, what other way can he or she vote but in accordance with them?

It seems to me that tolerance must go both ways. All parties and persuasions need to remember that every American is entitled to vote his or her conscience...whatever that is...without recrimination. The prevailing (and troubling) ack of civility and respect for each other's opinions only serves to bring us all down.

JMHO, of course. And it's always an interesting discussion.

=)

Gattina said...

I think the USA is the only country of the Western world where politics and religion are mixed together, and it shouldn't. Religion has nothing to do with politics and that's even written in your constitution. Our Prime Minister (the equivalent to your president) is gay. Everybody knows it and he never made a secret out of it. He is an excellent politician and that's what counts ! A guy president of the USA .... unthinkable !

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Hah! I was running down the entries trying to get to as many as possible this morning before I had to go to work and I almost skipped this one because I thought it would be just the opposite of what it is! Then I realized that you had written it, so I stopped to read.

I too had years and years of
organized religion and at some point decided it just didn't work for me anymore. My family, however, doesn't really understand that concept. We really think alike Judie...

xxoo,

RMW

Jim said...

Hi Judie ~~ Nice post and pretty much right on the First Amendment. So many get hung up on one part or another and forget all the good BOTH PARTS (Freedom OF and FROM Religion AND Freedom OF Speech) have done for our country.

There have been soooo many different interpretations of this amendment. Even the Constitution's writers couldn't agree but then because of its importance this COMPROMISE rendition of rights was soon added as the very first amendment.

Religion? I am a Baptist, a fairly liberal one who 'belongs' to a local Baptist church.
I believe in the basic tenants of Christianity but for sure not in all the 'rules' the various denominations have made by their interpretation of the Bible.

But the alternative, if there is one, is permanent and terrible. A life in Hell for unbelievers. I believe that. If I am wrong, what the HEY? If I am right then I will know for sure at that time. Faith means believing something of which you can't necessarily prove every part but there is enough evidence for one to put his or her trust in that something.

Here is one of my old posts on this subject (Hell, not religion).
Jim's "I'm on The Highway to Hell**" post
..

Lola said...

Hi again!

Great post –as always!

Have a lovely weekend and look forward to seeing you again!

Happy Alphabe-Thursday

KDL said...

What Sue said...

I don't think any religion should be forced on anyone. That said, I am beginning to feel that my rights are being infringed on in some ways. Most particularly in the raising of my children. I want to bring them up with my beliefs and morals and here in CA that is being challenged. If I say more, even here, I would be labeled a bigot or worse by people who do not know me, and that is also egregious in my opinion.

What you say about Deism is right on (correct) and I can only say I think the truth lies somewhere in between. (Have I said that here before?) While I doubt God specifically provided readers for your BIL, I do believe He directs more of our lives and circumstances than we give Him credit for.

Andy David said...

Hello,
This is why I'm a humble poet...my message is always about love. Thanks Judie. You're a fountain of knowledge and beauty (smile).

Your Divine Secrets

Splendid Little Stars said...

First Amendment-- very important. Freedom to worship the way each individual chooses is a founding principle of this country.
Long ago I was taught that "religion" means "way of life." Unfortunately, "religion" is most often used to denote a specific set of ideas/principles/rules.
I believe God is an all-inclusive God who loves variety. He created quite a variety of people, landscapes, flowers, etc.

bluegrassnotes said...

Good one!

Jenny said...

Bravo.

You write so well, Judie.

Your thoughts are just so clear and true to how so many of us feel.

Please.

Senator Judie has a nice ring to it!

Hugs and A+

Annesphamily said...

You do your homework Judie! Your writings are always so interesting, I am just sick of the whole political process in our country. Nothing important gets done! Just plain old mud slinging!
It is a sad fact that many of the signers of the Constitution were well to do men who died in poverty because of their beliefs. Our world is so imperfect!
Great job writing!

Karen S. said...

Right on sister! I'm in full agreement! So happy to have caught this post!

Claudia Schlottman said...

Hey, Judie!

Cudos for this one! I believe there are many paths to spiritual fulfillment, and some of them don't even include the concept of "God." As usual, your way with words is so concrete that I felt as though I were sitting across the lunch table listening to you talk. XOXO

Jenny said...

Ah. Judie. I remember this.

Especially this part:


I took an active part in organized religion for many years, until one day I woke up and realized that that religion just wasn't working for me any more. I'm not saying that I don't believe in God. The jury is still out on that one. But, like the Deists, I don't believe that God intervenes in our lives, to save us in times of need.

You wrote how I felt and still feel about organized religion.

I'm glad to see you're poking your head up.

Or perhaps you have been and I've not been doing much blogging.

I'm getting slowly better, though, and I hope you are, too.

Thanks for linking your D.

Hugs and A+++++++++++++++