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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Imagine.....This......

Let us just say hypothetically, for the sake of the exercise, that The United States would have been set up by the Puratins from NE, or the Quakers of PA, - Virginia was of it's own brand-or the whatever the hell they were in those original thirteen mini theocracies.

If there was ever a miracle it was that men of reason (think Thomas Paine) could transcend all of that and come up with a founding document guaranteeing all of our personal beliefs.

And, after creating that document they had the foresight to make an ammendment. The first one. It wasn't the first one by accident.

Having said that, consider this. What would it be like if one religion had gained control and the Bible, and their interpretaion of that Bible would have become our founding document?

25 comments:

  1. I mean seeing as the Puritans had fled England for freedom of religion I doubt they would make another theocracy .
    That being said Puritanical America wouldn't be such a bad place. We probaly wouldn't have anything like gambling or abortion or alcohol or any of America's other vices.I hope fundamentalists aren't in charge though. I'd like someone with a bit more depth behind their interpretation of the bible. I wonder if there are any real countries like that?

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  2. I dunno, Froggie. Although the idea is repugnant to me now, I have to admit it's in the context of a society which values (apparently) secular government.

    What would the US be like? I'd hazard a guess that it could be similar to some Muslim countries - with the exception that we've got tons of natural resources. AND, our geography has significant strategic value - invading/attacking us is going to be difficult, regardless of our theology.

    However, I generally think it's difficult to hypothesize beyond this.

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  3. MF'er,

    "That being said Puritanical America wouldn't be such a bad place."

    You are out of your fucking mind. Don't be talking that kind of shit with me.

    All of what you call "sins" were much more well hidden back then. The "revisionist" history you are talking about is the Good-Old-Day syndrome.

    You paint it as an idyllic place in history of which it was not. I can tell you many reasons why, not the least of which women, young girls, and some young boys were treated back in the good-old-days. It is far more hideous than you know.

    So, I suppose that if you think a person should be clamped in "Stocks" for not going to church on Sunday or being burnt as a witch because of your pious nature, then you need to set up your own little version of Jonestown, and make the bible your governing document-
    Good luck with that.

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  4. WEM,

    "However, I generally think it's difficult to hypothesize beyond this."

    Yes. I know, I'm not trying to solve the mystery. I just like to elicit others feelings about these matters.
    Hope that makes some sense to you.

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  5. Froggie-

    There were Puritans from Nebraska?

    Actually, the First Amendment was not originally the First Amendment.

    The first amendment that was proposed was more of a procedural thing that was eventually dropped.

    /pedantic asshole

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  6. "Puritanical America wouldn't be such a bad place. We probaly wouldn't have anything like gambling or abortion or alcohol or any of America's other vices.

    More childish nonsense. Gambling, abortion, alchohol and other vices existed long before Christ, and they will continue to exist long after Christianity is abandoned, despite prolonged and pervasive attempts by prurient pud-pullers to eradicate them through fiat and fundamentalism.

    Your naivete has degenerated into Veggie Tale Fantasyland.

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  7. If it's historical determinism we're going for, how about this:

    The vast majority of immigration that happened in the United States happened from the latter half of the 19th Century through to the early part of the 20th. That means that most Americans will be able to trace their lineages back through immigrants from this era, not through those of earlier epochs. Later immigrants came looking for better lives, afforded through jobs and the unique opportunity to climb the social ladder.

    Had the States been ruled as a Puritanical theocracy, I daresay the chance for economic betterment would have been severely restricted. Protestant work ethic aside, productivity would have been curtailed through the inability to work on a Sunday; innovation would not have become a cherished value; the puritan's spartan values themselves would not provide a landscape for economic opportunity; and the immigrants seeking religious freedom would not have emigrated in the first place, thus denying entrepreneurs their vast customer base.

    So, chances are none of you would have ended up American anyway.

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  8. [I can tell you many reasons why, not the least of which women, young girls, and some young boys were treated back in the good-old-days. It is far more hideous than you know.]
    How were they treated?
    When I think of old puritans I always think of Amish.

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  9. [More childish nonsense. Gambling, abortion, alchohol and other vices existed long before Christ, and they will continue to exist long after Christianity is abandoned, despite prolonged and pervasive attempts by prurient pud-pullers to eradicate them through fiat and fundamentalism.]
    But if we had banned them we would be much better off.Puritans would be more likely to ban it than secular people.

    [Your naivete has degenerated into Veggie Tale Fantasyland. ]
    Did you watch that show when you were little? I used to love it.

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  10. Did you watch that show when you were little? I used to love it.


    Figures.

    And no, when I was little, Walt Disney was the host of "Wonderful World of Disney", and that was virtually the only show in color, although we didn't have a color TV.

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  11. The Puritans didn't just ban drinking, gambling and card games - they also forbade dancing, theaters, any kind of entertaining music, free speech and expression, non-attendance of church services, public kissing even of married couples, novels, poetry, displays of humor etc.

    But all that repression didn't leave to a peaceful society - unless we're speaking of the sort of peace that the Taliban in Afghanistan enforced. It is no coincidence that strict Islam stands for the same rules and laws the Puritans enforced straight out of Leviticus. In Europe under Puritan rule (Geneva and England) and in the Colonies, adulterers were punished by execution to whipping, dissenters were burned alive, people of differing faith were hanged or slaughtered. Ears were cut off and tongues bored through. Massachusetts and Geneva under Calvin both had a law sentencing unruly children to death, directly taken from Lev 20:9. A small boy was beheaded in Geneva for striking at his father in anger.

    Such suppression of anything pleasurable, even a loving touch, may enhance concentration on diligence and hard work, but it also causes physical and mental health problems, not least causing symptoms of violent outbursts and depression.
    I find it abominable that a family, a group, even a whole society would enforce misery as the groundwork of law and ethics, all because of an imaginary concept of sinfulness and deserved punishment. I wouldn't stop laughing if it wasn't so sad, wasteful and antihuman.

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  12. MrFree said...

    But if we had banned them we would be much better off.Puritans would be more likely to ban it than secular people.

    Gambling is still banned in most places. At least it was until lotteries became a gov. revenue raiser.
    Abortion was banned and it did very little to curb abortion. It just made it incredibly unsafe.
    Alchohol was banned and it was a boon to organized crime. Didn't work so well.

    The notion that the Puritans came here for religious freedom doesn't mean they wanted it for anyone else. They wanted their own theocracy untainted by any outside influences. To be Pure. Jeffereson's establishment clause in the Virginia Constitution was the model for the First Amendment. It was in reaction to the Puritans and clergy of other sects.

    Had the Puritans prevailed, you can forget about ever having zippers. It would be buckles everywhere.

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  13. Froggie wrote Hope that makes some sense to you.

    It does, Froggie.

    I tend to shy away from stuff like this, mostly because I have no way of asserting that my ideas are better (more accurate or more probable) than anyone else's.

    Still, it's probably a useful exercise. So...

    With the combination of our natural resources and our strategic position, I think we'd be a very powerful theocracy. I can't tell whether this would result in more stability or conflict; I can envision arguments for both.

    Perhaps a Bible-based America would bring more cohesiveness to Christianity in general.

    It certainly would increase the tension between the east and the west dramatically. If Osama bin Laden hates us now, I imagine him going completely bonkers if we claimed to be bringing Christian values to the rest of the world.

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  14. [If Osama bin Laden hates us now, I imagine him going completely bonkers if we claimed to be bringing Christian values to the rest of the world.]
    I think he'd like us a bit more. One of the reasons he does hate America is the immorality here.(He also thinks were in bed with Zionists too)
    Christianity has a lot of values in common with Islam. Maybe if he saw those he would hate us less

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  15. I usually wouldn't care what OBL liked or disliked, but to think he would like us MORE... that might worry me.

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  16. Even the conjecture here is pretty lame...

    If we grew up in a 'Puritanical' United States (please remember our Canadian friends are 'Americans' too), we would have been raised with differen morals and our thought and behaviour processes may have widely differed from what they do now.

    But I understand what people like Froggie say... food for thought.

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  17. I always laugh when I think of the nice, uplifting, sanitized, Suzie Creamcheese portrayal of "Josh and the Big Wall" interpretation by Veggie Tales. The message is to be obedient to God.

    How many parents would let their kids watch a version that showed explicitly what Joshua and his men actually perpetrated in their obedience to God?

    Joshua 6:21

    They utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.


    Nice!

    Killing innocent civilians, women and children. These days we call that kind of thing War Crimes.

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  18. If Osama bin Laden hates us now, I imagine him going completely bonkers if we claimed to be bringing Christian values to the rest of the world.

    As LAOF pointed out, if the US was a theocracy along Puritanical lines, OBL would probably have no problem at all. The single biggest insult to him was the dissolution of the Caliphate in Turkey, and consequent introduction of secular rule. While Christianity is a slight misunderstanding to him, atheism and secularism are unforgivable crimes of the highest order. No joke.

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  19. I'll confess a lack of historical understanding in regards to this particular branch of radical Islam.

    Even if I concede that I was off-base with the OBL idea, I submit that the general Christianity Vs Islam conflict would be heightened by a Biblically-based US.

    But yes, this is all conjecture.

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  20. BF,

    Joshua 6:21

    They utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.

    Nice!

    Killing innocent civilians, women and children. These days we call that kind of thing War Crimes.


    No, only if you use the tip of the sword - otherwise it's just collateral damage!

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  21. FS said:

    "As LAOF pointed out, if the US was a theocracy along Puritanical lines, OBL would probably have no problem at all."

    Please, people.. that was MFT not LAOF.

    As much as I'd love to be a freshman in college again, he and I are not the same person.

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  22. LAOF said:

    Please, people.. that was MFT not LAOF.

    As much as I'd love to be a freshman in college again, he and I are not the same person.


    My mistake. All these acronyms get a bit much after a while. Won't happen again!

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  23. From the Quran

    5:51 O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends: They are but friends to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.

    Make no mistake about this. Those pursuing a radical Islamic agenda (including OBL and Al Queda) hate all infidels. That certainly includes atheists and non-believers, but it also includes "People of the Book" which is how the Quran refers to Jews and Christians.

    They feel compelled to convert all Kafir, or to destroy them.

    This is just another case of a group of people blindly following their "Holy Book" into what I, and other rational thinkers consider insanity.

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  24. MFT said:

    I mean seeing as the Puritans had fled England for freedom of religion I doubt they would make another theocracy

    Well you're wrong. In Puritan times a hot awl was pierced through the tongue of a person who spoke against the religion.

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