A Look Back: Faith in America


I’ll have more developed thoughts and analysis on John McCain and the Democrats in the days and weeks to come, but for now, I’d like simply to honor Mitt Romney’s bid for the presidency by reflecting on one of his campaign’s finest moments: his Reaganesque “Faith in America” speech.


8 thoughts on “A Look Back: Faith in America

  1. What worthless tripe! Freedom requires religion like a fish requires a bicycle — freedom requires a mutual respect for the rights of your fellow man, a concept not tied to religion in any exclusive way.Religion requires freedom is an even more absurd statement. Look at the fastest growing religion in the world, Islam. The Christian church seemed to do just fine before any democratic nations were founded — in fact, it dominated social and political thought for centuries.


  2. Sorry, you’re wrong. The entire premise of the Declaration of Independence is that citizens rights are derived from the consent of the people governed and not to any particular religious belief.Besides, the Declaration of Independence is not a legally binding document. It cannot be cited as law or as precedent.


  3. Have you read the Declaration lately? “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…”And how is whether or not the Declaration is legally binding even remotely relevant to the question at hand?C’mon, the Framers’ writings (public and private alike) are teeming with their arguments for the link between God and liberty. Look up Washington’s Farewell Address sometime.


  4. Just to clarify, the question at hand is whether freedom requires religion. That was my original statement you rebutted.It matters whether the Declaration is legally binding because if it was, then our rights would legally derive from God. Some of the founders may have in fact thought it true. They may have written or spoken about it in public. However, their personal opinions do not dictate our freedoms; the law does.When the Founders drafted the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the documents that DO define our legal rights, they left all mention of God out. They understood that true freedom cannot require religion. If this were the case they would have made it explicit.


  5. Our rights don’t “legally derive” from God – “legally” speaking, the law is simply a list of things either the government or the people can & cannot do.This doesn’t change the fact that our rights are derived (meaning the rationale for protecting them) from the Framers’ conception of God. This is simply a matter of historical record.They absolutely, and explicitly, believed that freedom requires religion. That doesn’t mean you enforce it through the mechanics of law, but it does mean society should cultivate a respect for faith, and that it is not only legitmate, but necessary, for our political leaders to pay homage to the same link the Framers saw between God and liberty.


  6. Alright, we finally agree on something: our rights are not legally derived from religion. I’m holding you to that.A major point that should be noted is references to God in the writings of the Founders do not necessarily entail advocacy of religion. Many of the founders were Deists. Arguably the single most influential person in the American Revolution was Thomas Paine, a man who wrote an entire book critical of religion.Additionally, if you want to make historical arguments, you must consider the entire history of religion and freedom. Throughout the whole of human history has religion been a force that promotes freedom?Keep in mind the world ‘Islam’ means surrender. Servitude and surrender to God’s will are major themes in Christianity. There is no mention of Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religious choice, nor the Freedoms of democracy in the Bible either.


  7. “I’m holding you to that.” – I don’t see what you think you’ve achieved here. Perhaps you should explain what you mean by “legally” derived, as opposed to simply “derived” as a matter of tracing the origins of ideas – which, as I’ve said, is clear.True, some Framers were Christians, some were Deists (though Paine’s history wasn’t quite that simple). Whatever their differences, though, they were united on the idea of God’s endowment of inalienable rights to us.You’re correct that “religion” in the abstract is not universally good. Not all interpretations of faith are equally beneficial. But the way the Framers interpreted it, which has been largely passed down to us through the years, has been a vital part of America’s fabric. And it is this which we’re referring to when we speak of faith.


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