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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Debate Discussion

I thought I'd open up a thread for those who care to comment on the debate last night. The resolution "We were a religious nation" passed by I believe 10-7. I voted on the losing side.

My favorite moment? Late in the evening right before the vote was called, after many fine speeches parsing the nature and meaning of "were", "religious" and "nation", someone piped up from the back of the room "But we haven't debated the meaning of the word 'we'". A classic, and perfectly timed.

A new tradition was also begun by the Chairman. He asked those voting in favor of the resolution to move to his right, and those voting against to move to their right. A brilliant move in my opinion, as in a conservative debating society, none of us should be asked to move to the left.

Many thanks to Chuck Shreffler for his very fine lecture prior to the debate.

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

I recall a question was asked to someone on whether a community should be considered a religious community or not a religious community if it voted to prevent the building of madrassas in the community.

The Speaker was puzzled and sat down.

I think the answer should have been a "non-religious" community because while a community may be made up of religious people, the community itself is not religious.

12:59 PM, May 10, 2007  
Blogger festivus said...

I'm puzzled by your answer.

1:14 PM, May 10, 2007  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Although I did not speak at the debate last night, I would have argued that we are not a religious nation. I agree with Festivus that we are a religious people who reside in a religious nation.

Religious nations are those who have as a founding authority, the laws of a particular religion. The problem with this is that while the religion itself may be infallible when interpreted properly, the men interpreting the religion are fallible. In a religious nation the only check and balance against error made by these fallible men occurs in the after-life. Thus, a religious nation will not prosper and will remain corrupt such as with the Moslem nations or the Byzantine Empire.

However, if the religious men are checked by secular institutions for their corruption and crimes in this life, the nation and the people in it will prosper in this life. The only way to have this check is to have a secular nation that rules over this life along side a religious nation that rules the world after. In otherwords, religion can co-exist within a secular nation, but secularism cannot co-exist within a religious nation.

Along these lines, The Unites States is not a religious nation because our religious people are accountable to secular laws.

1:17 PM, May 10, 2007  
Blogger festivus said...

Did you mean to say that "we are a religious people who reside in a NON-religious nation"? If so, I agree. Well stated.

1:23 PM, May 10, 2007  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Ron Paul on a religous nation:

The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian yet religiously tolerant America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance. Throughout our nation’s history, churches have done what no government can ever do, namely teach morality and civility. Moral and civil individuals are largely governed by their own sense of right and wrong, and hence have little need for external government. This is the real reason the collectivist Left hates religion: Churches as institutions compete with the state for the people’s allegiance, and many devout people put their faith in God before their faith in the state. Knowing this, the secularists wage an ongoing war against religion, chipping away bit by bit at our nation’s Christian heritage.

The entire article may be found here.

10:44 AM, May 12, 2007  

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