The Soul of America: Essays on the 4th of July

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The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro

Roger Williams brought his own exceedingly pure version of these to the American colonies in the 17th Century. Eventually, they decided the only way keep any one denomination from becoming the official state church they would all have to be equally free to operate according to their own custom. The second table shows us how to live in Peace so we can pursue our own Happiness.

We are commanded not to disrespect our parents, commit murder, adultery this is about protecting the sacred family bonds which are for stabilizing society so people can grow up to be responsible and happy adults , robbery, theft, perjury, slander and fraud. Read them again and tell me which of the first table causes you any harm if others wish to follow them, and read the second table and tell me which of them you think you want other people to disobey. These are some I recommend:. Barry Penguin.

Morrison Notre Dame Press. Ellis Sandoz Liberty Fund. The thing is to stay away from academic orthodoxy—this is where you find assertions that the Founders were all Deists or Atheists or Hypocrites. One can arrive at this conclusion only by reducing them to a list of five to ten and largely ignoring the historical record. They also tended to be more inquisitive and broad-minded. So that it was possible for a communicating member of the Episcopal Church to join the Freemasons without violating their conscience.

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And for orthodox Protestants, Jews, Unitarians a kind of American Deism , and Freemasons to speak of God using the same terms God, Creator, Supreme Judge of the World, and Divine Providence even if they did not define these terms in exactly the same way. They were all referring to the Power that created the Universe and the laws which govern it.

If we believe in Liberty, and that it comes from a power higher than ourselves, then American Liberty has a future yet. You so echo the Lost Cause rationale circa simply filtering the words of the Constitution through the prism of the desired outcome, and the outcome appears fully clothed.

Jefferson was, but not like we think. Adams saw the Constitution as inspired by the Ten Commandments. Religion is addressed in the Constitution, once, and it is a negative citation. Can you rationalize the no-religious-litmus-test clause to mean that, since everyone was settled on a nation ruled by the Ten Commandments, no need to demand what was already a foregone conclusion? Of course, you can. We have laws based on Natural Law that protect children from their parents, and that jail parents who force their children to do what is contrary to the social compact.

Breaking the Ten Commandments is as easy as being a decent, God-fearing human being. Then there were Nine. Natural Law exists with or without a god, and certainly without the Ten Commandments. Locke made his case for free and independent citizens without referring to the Bible or the Commandments at all. Adams, Madison, and Jefferson had this in common: they were devotees of the Roman, Cicero, who you barely mentioned in passing.

They all cite Cicero as being perhaps the most sublime philosopher who ever lived. Adams gushed over his ideals. Cicero is part of the Greco-Roman tradition that I referred to. If I mentioned every important contributor, my comments would fill a book. The two are not related at all. The one you refer to is based on some kind of newfangled, idiotic progressivist nonsense. The one I refer to can be traced back to ancient Sumer, and it has two branches. One branch came out of Ur with Abraham and the other came down from Sumer through Hammurabi to the pagan world.

The two branches reunited in the Early Christian Church. There is a difference between a political philosophy and religion, and both can be based on the same principles without being an excuse for Anarchy or Tyranny. The Golden Rule is for everybody. For the record, J. Adams clearly believed in the Golden Rule. Such is not the same thing as the 10 commandments. In at least one letter, Adams doubts that we have the right version of the 10 commandments.

This is the whole of the Law. All the rest is commentary. No, go!

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This is the basis of the long tradition about the Golden Rule being tied to the Ten Commandments. It is the basis of the Judeo-Christian Natural Law tradition which also incorporates Greco-Roman moral and political philosophy where they are in agreement. And this is where people like John Locke got most of their ideas. The difference in meaning is enormous, but the confusion exists in the Hebrew, which can easily be resolved by a study of the Torah.

In the Torah, killing is defined in two ways: Lawful killing and unlawful killing. Both are further defined to allow a judge to determine what kind of lawful killing or murder it was. A lawful killing is one that is ordered by a duly-authorized official after a trial in which at least two witnesses give credible testimony that the defendant committed some type of murder, or when a nation goes to war in self-defense, or an officer of the law is required to prevent an unlawful killing.

Self-defense is considered a lawful killing in principle, but each case must be evaluated on its own merits. Over the years, he has adjusted a few of his conclusions based on further study. Before he wrote this book, I had occasion to contact his research library to ask a question about a supposed quotation from James Madison. I had several conversations with his assistants and actually brought to their attention something they did not know about the Separation of Church and State principle—that it came from the Protestant Reformation to America by way of Roger Williams, and it was intended to protect Liberty of Conscience the church from the power of the sword the state.

Some years later, I saw Barton elaborate on the subject, and he had obviously followed up on this and expanded his commentary accordingly. Barton is certainly more reliable than a number of popular historians who think the ideas in the Declaration of Independence came from the French. Anyway, I like to read from a variety of scholars, but I prefer to read primary sources for myself. When it comes to the Founding Fathers, you have to get past the notion that we are talking about a handful of men, or a dozen men, or a score of men, or even several hundred.

You have to define correctly who they were to be able to say with any certainty what they believed. No need to dance around it.

My sources are not one-dimensional. I do not assume anything when I begin an inquiry into a matter. Nor do I subscribe to any academic theory about history. I think the way you study history is to assume nothing and let the historical record speak for itself. If you want to understand the Founders, you have to go beyond the opinions of orthodox academia.

They spend very little time in primary sources and do not exert themselves much if they do. Thus, the eminent David Hackett Fischer was able to amass a monumental body of knowledge about Paul Revere and his times based on entirely original research. Many of the records had not been seen since they were packed away after the Founding.

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I go right to the primary sources and have been doing this for well over a decade. See my linked website.

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  • Your quotation on this site is the only place it occurs on the Internet. They were always among the top ten best-selling books in the thirteen colonies. This is not to say that American was founded as a Christian nation. It was not.

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    But it was founded on Judeo-Christian Natural Law principles. Okay Karen. BTW, the vast majority of work I do is self published; but I have a done a little non-self published stuff and Hamowy, who was an online friend of mine, edited one of my pieces for Cato, named after Cato.

    is for Students.

    He was a treasure. The preeminent scholar of the Scottish Enlightenment. And those words ought to figure into your analysis. Not revolution. You might be able to find the book in the University of Alberta library. Regarding your comments about John Calvin. I believe the edition, translated by Beveridge, is definitive.

    Jon Meacham, "The Soul of America" (w/ Chris Matthews)
    The Soul of America: Essays on the 4th of July The Soul of America: Essays on the 4th of July
    The Soul of America: Essays on the 4th of July The Soul of America: Essays on the 4th of July
    The Soul of America: Essays on the 4th of July The Soul of America: Essays on the 4th of July
    The Soul of America: Essays on the 4th of July The Soul of America: Essays on the 4th of July
    The Soul of America: Essays on the 4th of July The Soul of America: Essays on the 4th of July
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