Ethics Dunce: NBC

You tell 'em, NBC...

NBC cut the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance in its lead-up to its coverage of the U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club in Washington, D.C., an audacious and inexcusable unilateral kowtow to political correctness. Why did the network do it? What gave them the idea that NBC has the right to redact the official Pledge, as passed by Congress? Who are the arrogant idiots who would dare to do such a thing, and think they could get away with it?

Nobody knows, or at least, nobody is saying. The NBC brass, watching Twitter burst into flames with fully justified criticism, issued a classic non-apology apology, saying,

“We began our coverage of this final round just about three hours ago and when we did it was our intent to begin the coverage of this U.S. Open Championship with a feature that captured the patriotism of our national championship being held in our nation’s capital for the third time. Regrettably, a portion of the Pledge of Allegiance that was in that feature was edited out. It was not done to upset anyone and we’d like to apologize to those of you who were offended by it.”

“It was not done to upset anyone?” No, it was done because some deluded producer decided that it was time to change the Pledge to bring it in line with the anti-religious left that dominates the broadcast networks, especially this one. “Apologize to those of you who were offended by it”? If anyone isn’t offended by unauthorized cuts being made in the Pledge of Allegiance by  Broadcast Big Shots, I don’t want to hear from them, frankly.

What’s next, NBC? Removing that upsetting stuff about bombs in “The Star Spangled Banner?” Changing the lyrics of “God Bless America” to “I Like America?” What’s going to rhyme with “From sea to shining sea” in your version of “America the Beautiful,” since “God shed his grace on thee” is politically incorrect…”Let’s have some wine and Brie?”  “Excuse me while I pee?” “Stay tuned to NBC?” Will you be removing that  troublesome Second Amendment from the Bill of Rights?

Just who the hell do you think you are?

Half-apology not accepted, NBC. We all know you shamelessly manipulate the news by unethical editing, selective reporting and raised eyebrows, but keep your meddling, bias-driven, under-educated, self-righteous, politically-correct mitts off the nation’s pledges, anthems, creeds, speeches and founding documents, no matter how much the fact that they have to share space with so many quaint, dumb people who still go to church on Sunday offends the anonymous, cookie-cutter drones you employ.

Rants aside, there needs to be some accountability for this outrageous conduct, and I speak as someone who thinks God has no business in the Pledge of Allegiance, and should never have been inserted into the original, God-less version. The viewing public has a right to know how this happened, what network policies, if any, were violated, and how we can be sure that the network won’t be making more changes in America’s literature and traditions to suit its slanted ideological views. We already know how to avoid being annoyed by future editorial choices “not done to upset anyone”: stop watching this increasingly irresponsible, incompetent, reckless, unprofessional, and arrogant network.

82 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: NBC

  1. You bet your sweet patootie this is offensive. I say we should change all instances of G*d in the pledge, on money and etc. should be replaced with “Gosh.”

    Unrelated, this is my favorite song of the moment:

  2. Great–another phony apology for my list. Maybe NBC figured that if the Congressional Reps. could edit the Constitution (remember, they dropped the three-fifths business), they could edit the pledge,

    • I realized that the fake apology category was yours, and I have to work on my obvious and futile lies…though the faint implication that NBC’s move was accidental almost puts it on my list too.

  3. I’ve done enough editing that I can see how this could have been a mistake. Unlikely, perhaps, but possible.

    Here’s the scenario: someone decides the intro to a golf tournament should be framed by the Pledge of Allegiance. (I think that’s a remarkably stupid idea already, but there it is.) The original plan is to include only the first few words and the last few: “I pledge allegiance to the flag… [other stuff]… with liberty and justice for all.” But then someone says, “hey, I think the part about ‘the republic for which it stands’ is important.” (Or, “we need to fill a little more time…”) So they add back some but not all of what they cut. We end up with a truncated version–“indivisible” was also omitted, by the way, to considerably less fanfare.

    Militating against this reading, of course, is the unapologetic apology in all its weaselly splendor.

    Chances of arrogant and intentional editing of specifically the words “under God”: 70%
    Chances of egregious sloppiness: 30%
    Chances that someone deserves to be fired either way: 100%

  4. You do know that the Pledge originally had no reference to “God,” yes? “Under God” was only added in the 1950’s by a McCarthyite Congress, in a creepy fascistic move to create a shibboleth in order to out Communists.

    If God is Love, why don’t we change it to “with love, liberty, and justice for all?” Who could have a problem with that?

    • You did actually READ THE POST, yes? Like the part where I wrote “….and should never have been inserted into the original, God-less version”, which I think pretty clearly references the change made in the 50’s.

      Which is beside the point. I don’t really care what the words say—I think a pledge of allegiance itself is a little odd for the United States, frankly, and could do without it. But if it’s going to be changed, Congress gets to change it, not some over-reaching, tin god TV exec.

      Your “love” version? Yuck. Then let’s have the Care Bears take over for the bald eagle…

      • Yes you did say that, I guess there’s egg on my face now…. apologies for overlooking it. So we agree on that, but maybe you’ve really got something there with the Care Bears idea – imagine what that could do for our nation’s image around the world! Genius! I wonder what Drone Bear would look like?

  5. 2 things:

    We already know how to avoid being annoyed by future editorial choices “not done to upset anyone”: stop watching this increasingly irresponsible, incompetent, reckless, unprofessional, and arrogant network.

    I don’t think that’s the solution. I think that’s what has brought us to these polarized sources. Let’s be honest. There are now enough viewers that Fox can serve only conservatives and NBC can serve only progressives. Additionally, the non-news segments (Olympics anybody?) will continue to be the sole source provider of certain unique content. They’ll make their money off the masses there no matter what.

    A boycott on NBC would be pointless and unsuccessful. Rather than be silently absent, the populace needs to be loud and present.

    anti-religious left

    Is there an anti-religious right?

    • Sure there’s an anti-religious right. They just aren’t very well organized.

      I don’t think bias has much to do with it…NPR is biased and almost as left-slanted as NBC, but they are generally competent and professional. We should avoid watching incompetent, unethical news sources, and that has little to do with ideology.

      • Where, Rick? With the exception of S.E. Cupp (who’s an atheist) I’m not aware of any noticeable body of conservatives who are not also devout Christians or Jews. That’s because the values we expouse- like the traditions of America itself- are rooted in Faith. Without that foundation, every question becomes extraneous and superficial opinion.

        • Well, I think Rick was trying to say that if the Right had their way, everyone would have to be Christian. Which, while far-flung, isn’t as laughable as I feel it used to be.

          For the record, I asked because I think that would be a fantastic group to start…that is, the Anti-Religious Right, “ARR!”

          It’s brilliant really, I could be the first in a new generation of Pirates! “ARR!”

            • Actually, there are some secular conservatives with a (relatively) respectable profile: the people who write at http://secularright.org/ , John Derbyshire of the National Review, Razib Khan of http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/ , etc. Hell, I used to be one myself before I moved to the center (not the wishy-washy Golden Mean Fallacy centrist, in case you’re wondering). Also, speaking as a fervent anti-socialist here, I find it harder to maintain anything stronger than mild disagreement with most non-fringe left-leaning political parties, seeing as they’ve become pretty much welfare capitalists anyways).

              Honestly, it’s one thing if an organization decides to recite a version of the pledge that had already been edited before hand (probably fairly presumptuous, but possibly defensible), but editing what was people had already/i> recited for the sole purpose of political correctness is…oh God, news networks should know better!

              • I find myself in “cautious” agreement, Julian. Still, I find it hard to envision the hard-core, gut-bustin’ Centrist! As Limbaugh famously said, “”Who ever heard of a great moderate?”. But a man has to make his choices and follow his values.

                • Well, most historians consider Eisenhower to be relatively moderate, but I’d consider him to be one of our best presidents, and Teddy Roosevelt’s economic polices get flack from both modern day right-wingers and left-wingers. Besides, “moderate” is a relative term; I’m pretty sure die-hard Marxists would still accuse the Scandinavian nations of being too capitalistic.

                  • You might make a case for Eisenhower being a moderate, Julian. At least, by the standards of our present time. Much less so for T.R., as his domestic policies- while considered socialistic by some and anti-union by others- were actually (in my opinion) an activist response to a time when the economic life of America was in a big state of flux and strong leadership was necessary to keep commerce moving and class warfare from erupting. As for die-hard Marxists, they’d consider anything sort of total government control of everything to be too capitalist, so I’d argue that their perspective is too far off the beaten path to matter.

  6. I agree about the pledge being both pointlessly religious and indoctrination that is indeed odd for America. But it would have been much better to take a stand by removing it entirely, then standing by that decision, rather than pointlessly edit it and cravenly hide from what you did.

    Until Congress changes it (a low priority right now), it is simply disingenuous to remove His noodly appendage from the pledge.

  7. Jack,
    You said it, the pledge IS silly. Moreover, who says the power to change the pledge rests solely with Congress. They may have the power to decree the “official” US pledge, but we, as citizens, aren’t beholden to their ruling. Choosing to “pledge” to the flag is a personal choice that can’t be forced on anyone any more than it can be prohibited, it’s between the citizen and the flag. As you said, the words shouldn’t have been added in the first place, so NBC was taking the next logical step and taking them out.

    What if I like my version of Yankee Doodle in which the eponymous Mr. Doodle does more than use macaroni against the evil red-coats? My version might not be the “official” one, but I’m not sure it’s unethical for me to sing it in front of people. Television has a great potential to inform and educate, but it’s not the only way to get information. The words of the pledge (all of them) are available on the web, in books, and in the minds of nearly every American over the age of 4.

    Besides, isn’t getting mad at “under God’s” omission just as bad as those who find offense in it being there in the first place (I understand one is the “official” version while the other isn’t, but see above)? If anything, I’d argue more are liable to be upset by it’s inclusion than not since, to religious people, NOT mentioning God isn’t necessarily and affront to your beliefs. As an agnostic, I’m continually surprised how it’s considered acceptable for people to “share” their religious beliefs at work and in the classroom while it’s considered uncouth if I share how my beliefs are that theirs are stupid. I don’t want to bemoan the beliefs of others, mind you, I’d just prefer they not share them with me (as I don’t care).

    Tricky ethics, perhaps .. but no harm done.

    -Neil

    • Arrgh.

      1. If NBC wants to announce that it has created an NBC pledge in the form of a Limerick, or replacing “God” with Obama, all power to them…they may NOT misrepresent THE pledge, any more than they can ethically change the Declaration to guarantee “life, liberty, and Medicare.”
      2. Taking out “God” from where it has been placed by Congress is properly viewed as hostile to religion, just as placing it there is properly viewed as endorsing religion.
      3. When we are dealing with official pledges, we can’t change the words and call it THE Pledge of Allegiance. THE pledge has only one text. You can change the courtroom oath, too, but you won’t be able to testify.
      4. “No harm” is a rationalization…it’s even on my list!. The harm is a network taking liberties with facts and documents that it are not properly within its mission or professional standards, and making ideological statements when it should be neutral. Ethics violations don’t have to cause harm to be unethical—the violation itself is harm enough.

  8. Jack,
    ARGH!
    They didn’t “take liberties with facts,” they simply recited a truncated version of THE pledge.” Moreover, they openly acknowledged that theirs wasn’t the “real one” and fully admitted having omitted the section when called on it.

    Second of all, that still doesn’t counter the point that it’s OK to support religion without stepping on someone’s toes, but NOT okay to bash someone’s religion even if it’s stepping on your toes.

    I say the pledge is unethical.

    “No harm” wasn’t a rationalization it was a request to stop turning mountains into molehills. Who’s looking to NBC to a vanguard of the American way? It’s a trivial matter in which you’ve chosen to read ominous intent (like Tide commercials).

    -Neil

    • 1) How did they acknowledge, as they presented it, that the pledge wasn’t “the real one”? Must have missed that part, when they said, “here is our politically correct redaction” of the Pledge.
      2) Talking the the Congress of 1957. I don’t like loyalty pledges, except for office-holders, but the pledge is a fact, and a news organization has a duty not to misrepresent its contents. To which, may I add, DUH. Give me a break. Are you really arguing this? Why not the Declaration?Because it’s OK with you? OK with them?
      3) If it’s unethical, then refuse to recite it, or criticize it openly. NBC found it so objectionable that they decided to use it as an intro, but didn’t have the integrity to do it fairly.
      4) You think news networks misrepresenting facts to meet their own agendas is a mole hill? Not me. I think the free, ethical media is dying by inches, and the more we object to this crap, the more likely that they’ll start behaving responsibly.
      5. Tide #2–molehill, and I said as much, though it is distasteful. Tide #1, representing it as OK for mothers to lie to their kids? Not a molehill…cultural poison. This stuff matters, because it’s cumulative. Arguing that commercials that are seen by millions both reflect and drive national culture and values seems to me to be denial on your part. And Tide did edit the commercial, so the lies were excised. Gee, I wonder why? Because the culture rejected it, that’s why. Pudding, meet proof.

  9. The words to the pledge are set into law, Neil. Sorry if you don’t like the reference to God, but there it is. Likewise the National Anthem, which speaks of “the heaven rescued land”. Or the words “In God We Trust” on that nickle in your pocket. The foundations of this nation where laid by men of faith and so it will remain. I’d suggest that you just accept this. It’s given you the freedom to reject the prevalent faith of your fathers and has been bought for you by the blood of Christian and Jewish soldiers. Give them a little respect, too, while you’re at it. Such a rejection in a Moslem country could bring you death. It’s different here… courtesy of God.

    • It’s different here… courtesy of God.

      Really? Did you really just insinuate that because we have God and muslim countries don’t that’s it’s different here?

      Muslims believe they have God and they have faith in God that God is on their side.
      Christians believe they have God and they have faith in God that God is on their side.
      Jews believe they have God and they have faith in God that God is on their side.
      Hindus believe they have God and they have faith in God that God is on their side.

      What makes America different then? It’s not that we have God and that muslims are godless cretins. Would you like to try again?

      • In answer to your first question: Yes. First off, there’s only one God. Not many, as the Hindus believe. Nor do the ramblings of an incestuous camel herder- who cribbed and edited what he liked off the Torah and the Bible and combined it into something called the Koran- constitute a valid religion. It’s a long running personality cult, in my humble opinion.

        Be that as it may. The question here is one of the worth of social systems engendered by these different faiths. In Jewish and Christian societies, you’re not persecuted for your faith or faithlessness. In Moslem countries you are. Savagely, often enough. That’s because the Moslem faith is, by nature, theocratic and dictatorial. It also can’t handle competition. Neither can atheism. Therefore, the elimination of all forms of Judeo-Christian influence is vital to their agenda. In that, they’ve been traditionally united.

        Now… would YOU like to try again?

        • Sure. It’s not “Courtesy of God” that we don’t eliminate the non-christians. It’s courtesy of our man written founding documents.

          The First Amendment reads “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….”, while Article VI specifies that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

          That’s certainly not courtesy of God. The bible may be courtesy of God, but that’s courtesy of Thomas Jefferson, who is not God….Unless you worship false idols.

          • First off: the primary author of the Constitution was James Madison. He was- inevitably- heavily influenced by his neighbor, Thomas Jefferson. But that’s really beside the point.

            “The God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that those liberties are the gift of God?”- Thomas Jefferson

            “We have staked the whgole of our political institutions upon the capacity for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”- James Madison

            They didn’t worship false idols, Tim, and neither do I. Nor did they consider themselves as little tin gods in the manner of so many leftist politicians. Between them, they wrote the documents that form two of the three principle pillars upon which the Grand Republic stands; the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. And both acknowledged the utter importance of the third pillar which was written by God; the Holy Bible. So, in a very real sense, they were God’s agents in their work. And their work resulted in the greatest, freest and most prosperous Christian nation on Earth: The United States of America.

            In God We Trust.

            • “The god who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin [separate] them.” – Thomas Jefferson

              Note that Jefferson said “The god who…” and not “The God who…” and this implies that Jefferson did not particularly mean the Christian God (which elsewhere he gives with a capital G). Jefferson seems to be a deist (a believer in a god but not the Christian God).

              His writing was related to the freedom of Slaves (and his “Send them Back to Africa” mentality). He was worried that the nation was not secure should the slaves revolt, and based in history, he had a good concern. Slaves will eventually revolt when their numbers are too high. No need for god or God to come into the equation.

              “We have staked the whole of our political institutions upon the capacity for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” – James Madison

              I don’t remember “Freedom of Religion” in the Ten Commandments. I remember something about false idols though….Other than that, I think we can govern ourselves without God governing us. If we really wanted God to govern us, shouldn’t we be in a Theocracy? Or have a God ordained Monarch? I think England has a better case for having God’s Courtesies…

              • With all due respect, Tim, you’re trying the standard tactics of trying to nitpick this to death on the flanks instead of confronting it head on. Okay. I’ll bite!

                As to Jefferson. Firstly, that “god” should have been capitalized. It was a typo on my part! I really think, though, that the Left has really overplayed that “deist” label when trying to undermine Jefferson’s legacy. A deist is one who believes in God, but does not subscribe to any particular organization or creed. In that sense, I was one until my twenties, as I grew up in an agnostic household, while yet believing in God as a matter of logic. Accepting Jesus was a matter of a revelation of personal faith. We can accurately say that men like Jefferson and Franklin weren’t deeply religious in the conventional sense. But only in the framework of their times, when faith was more pronounced in daily life than today. By modern standards, they were faithful indeed, as their full words and works prove.

                There is, as you say, no “freedom of religion” in the Ten Commandments. Indeed, why should there be? The Commandments were not a political document. They were Laws from God. Ten simple rules which, if followed diligently, would eliminate 90% of Mankind’s usual woes. What He did say was simply, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”. He didn’t say to cheat, plunder, murder and rape unoffending unbelievers in the Hebrew creed as a condition for Paradise. That’s Mohammedism. The First Amendment to the Constitution- that other vital pillar of the Republic- upholds this as a matter of civil law.

                And God not being necessary for self-rule and freedom? Madison addressed that simply enough when he pointed out, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” Thus he directly contradicted the later creed of the founder of the modern Left; Karl Marx. Patrick Henry went a little further. “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians. Not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

                Now… as for that part of trying to sneak the slavery issue into this… as is common. It should be pointed out yet again that it’s a capital mistake of the historian to judge the attitudes of a prior age by the conditions of his own. None of the large landowners of that time had founded the bondservant issue of their day, for whites or blacks. Nor were they evil men who would arbitrarily terrorize their indentured workers. They inherited a bad system from an earlier day of colonization when the competing European powers in the Americas turned a blind eye to whatever forms of labor they could find to establish themselves against incroachment on their claimed territories.

                Both Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe ultimately freed their slaves. Monroe, fearing that blacks could never achieve equality in America after the slave experience, went on to found Liberia as a refuge for freedmen and, as he hoped, the kernel of a free and Christian United States of Africa to come. Had his vision been followed up upon as it should, it might have saved much turmoil and bloodshed in the years to come. Just my opinion, here. I consider James Monroe, for a number of reasons, to be one of the most undersung of our Presidents.

                • Just for clarity, it wasn’t you’re typo, it wasn’t even your quote. You’re quote is a false quote made up to inscribe monuments from a mixture of writings. What I quoted was the actual writing by Jefferson, and then someone else’s analysis of it.

        • Stephen,
          By that logic, how is Christianity not a “cult of personality” based around an enigmatic figure who trimmed what he didn’t like off Jewish and Roman religious traditions?

          -Neil

    • Thanks for making my point, Moonguy. Christian societies allow freedom of worship to other faiths. Other faiths do not in their own lands as a rule. But that Christian faith itself, being the basis of a society, is not to be disparaged. The only reason it would be is that other faiths or “faithless” movements realize that, where a Christian society endures to any degree, they cannot prosper. Not because of persecution (as they extend to Christians abroad) but because they inevitably suffer from comparison. Islam, in particular, cannot stand against Christendom without attacking it and banning it where they hold power, or by establishing insulated communities within a Christian host country and use its free institutions to destroy it from within.

      To do that, though, they must likewise destroy our ideals, heritage and institutions; all of which are based on Christian values. So must atheists, perverts and hard socialists. And then, when America is under their heel, they’ll find that their alliance is unsustainable without Jesus as their common enemy. Then the next wave of terror begins as they fight among themselves for dominance. It would be like a terrible replay of the French Revolution… only far worse and bloodier. I’ll stick with our own revolution, thank you.

      • So, you’re saying that if a Muslim nation embraced people of all faiths and agnostics and atheists, the way that Christians have in America, they’d still suck?

        Do you think America was “Extra Christian” and has the grace of God, but Italy and France weren’t quite Christian enough for God so he didn’t extend them the same “Courtesies”?

        • I’m saying, Tim, that if they did, they’d be committing political and social suicide. And that they know it. This is why “apostacy” is a capital crime among Moslems. How many hangings, stonings and “honor killings” (some of the latter having occurred here) to you need to see to get that point? The problems of Italy, France or America- today or in the past- have derived from the same source. They fell away from the creed of their fathers’ God. That’s why the basis of God is so important and the foundations of a Man-based society cannot endure. It’s the difference (as Jesus pointed out) of building a house on a rock or on sand. The house built on the Rock of God endures. The other falls.

      • Christian societies allow freedom of worship to other faiths.

        Really? I think there’s 1700 years where that couldn’t be further from the truth. Even in the last 300 years, it’s only been select nations. You know your history, so I can only assume this was intentional.

        • In “select nations”, a lot of things have been done, TGT. A lot of cruel things have been done by some in the name of Christianity, too. But it was a false cover. They were done in much the same way as you attack Christianity now… by picking out phrases and presenting them in such a manner as to justify barbarity. Every text- even the Holy one- is vulnerable to such methods. But what the Christian creed says is at odds from what some false prophets and ambitious politicians have claimed… and led the ignorant to believe. And nowhere does it justify robbing, cheating, raping and murdering all non-believers with the reward of a carnal heaven as the result. That’s Mohammedism, not Christianity. But, then again, I’m sure you’re aware of this. Intentional?

          • “Select nations”? Technically, every single Christian society for 1700 years is “select nations,” but it’s extremely misleading.

            • Oh, I get it. You’re ignoring 85% of history because it completely destroys your fantasies.

              Your nitpicks are also completely irrelevant. We aren’t talking about general bad behavior here, simply freedom of worship. Freedom of worship has increased as societies have grown more secular. Look at China and Japan. Freedom of worship in societies that nobody could consider Christian.

              There are also still Christian societies that are still very intolerant of freedom of worship. Look at South America and southern Africa. The more religious a country is, the less freedom of worship applies. The US is essentially an outlier.

              • Well, China’s not really the best example; the Chinese government still stamps down on any religious group that they view as threatening to the hegemony of the Communist Party. Better East Asian examples would be Taiwan, Thailand, and South Korea (though the last-mentioned nation does have a large Christian minority). And give the South Americans some credit; according to the Pew Research Center, they actually have some of the world’s lowest levels of government and social restrictions on religion.

                • I thought twice about China, but they have been extremely open to the abrahamic religions. It’s the local cults that they have issues with.

                  I’ll also take the point on South America until I look into it. I’m not sure where I got that idea from.

                  • Not that open: Chinese Catholics have to renounce the primacy of the Pope (they don’t want the slightest risk of another John Paul II inspiring people to through down the government), and unregistered churches meet underground for fear of arrest. Admittingly, Islam fares much better, in part because China counts several Muslims among its historical national heroes.

                    Link to the study: http://pewforum.org/Government/Global-Restrictions-on-Religion.aspx

  10. What you’re talking about here is spiritualism, animism, paganism and downright witchery, Fattymoon. Christianity is not a “Jesus cult”. We’re talking about the Son of God, who came in fulfillment of an ancient prophecy as foretold, who died on the cross for Man’s salvation and rose from the dead! Others may talk of miracles. Jesus performed them. Others spoke of death and the sword as their ticket to some pagan paradise. Jesus rejected any such notion. Others held women and children in contempt, relegating them to the status of sometimes useful tools. Jesus respected women and preached love for all children. Cult leaders seek fame and fortune as their reward. Jesus sought the salvation of Mankind and openly eschewed worldly gain. The differences are stark and evident.

    • I think I was actually talking about your misuse of the phrase “Courtesy of…”

      The Ten Commandments were courtesy of God as God was actively involved.

      But it’s not like God came down to Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, Washington or anyone else and said: “This is how you do it.”

      Yes, God and Christianity influenced the founders, but to associate the liberation and founding of this country as a direct act of God, an intervention, well now you’re being ridiculous. Did I miss something? Did someone have a Joseph Smith moment that I missed?

      • I never said that God came down from Heaven and spoke to them over coffee & doughnuts, Tim. God rarely operates that way! But I don’t doubt that His Hand was in the proceedings. As with Israel, he raised up a great nation out of a wilderness in record time. The Founders and the Framers all saw His influence at work and proclaimed it.

        • The framers who believed God does not interfere with the physical world also now believe that God interfered with the physical world. Well done.

      • The Ten Commandments are also not courtesy of God. They’re courtesy of a ruler who wanted to keep his people safe, secure, and oppressed.

        • Or they were simply codifications of the religious and social norms that the ancient Israelites had developed back in the days when they were still loosely organized tribes. Either way, there’s no evidence that they have any more divine inspiration than the Book of the Dead, the Oracle of Delphi, the Bhagavad Gita, the Four Noble Truths, the Koran, the Ghost Dance, etc.

            • As for justification. There is no evidence that they came from a magical sky wizard. There is plenty of evidence that rulers use Religion to help control their subjects. You

    • Steven, by “cult” I DO NOT mean ” a group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre.” Rather, this… “A system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.” I believe the death of Jesus was the beginning of a cult which, in time, blossomed into a religious institution. (Additionally, the term “cult” implies a rather small group. The early Christians were certainly in the minority.)

      • Of course, early Christians were a minority, Jeffrey. That’s because they were “early”. It naturally follows. However, within an amazingly brief time- and despite some savage persecutions- Christianity was elevated by Constantine the Great to the official religion of the Roman Empire. Saint Peter, whom Jesus called the rock upon which he would build his church, established the Holy See in Rome itself- the capital of early Christianity’s greatest enemy. And there it remains after 2,000 years.

        There were the misguided zealots who sought- as did Charlemagne- to spead His Word through the sword (Moslem style!) rather than by witness. Saint Patrick did otherwise, following Jesus’ guideline of going as a lamb among wolves. So did the other saints and countless missionaries; then and now. Christianity remains the premier faith in the world today. Many detractors and pagans through the centuries tried to deride the new faith as you put it- as a personality cult. But, as I mentioned, Jesus never sought earthly fame and treasure as did the “prophets” of other religions. He presented His Father’s message, knowing and predicting to others that poverty and death would shortly follow. Thus, in that respect alone, he broke the mold.

        One of his greatest witnesses to this truth may be (as is often enough) from the unlikeliest of sources. Here I speak of a man who, having pursued a bloody and agnostic career, came to review his works (and His) in the twilight of his life while in exile.

        “I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and I have founded empires. But on what did we base the creation of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.”- Napoleon Bonaparte

        • And nowhere here do you contradict the idea that Christianity was a cult that used idols.

          You were called on an issue in your post. You questioned the responder. They explained and slapped you down. Instead of admitting the point, you rant on a completely different topic.

          This is arguing in bad faith.

          • TGT: If you want to dismiss (in your own mind) Christianity as a “sky-god cult”, go right ahead. It’s your right to do so. Nobody’s arguing that. But you’re arguing (in bad faith) based on political philosophies that cannot co-exist with the Christian tenets upon which American society is founded. Nobody “slapped me down” except in (again) your own mind. I’ve made my case. Deal with it.

  11. How silly it looks to argue about religion; an argument over nothing. Absolutely no thing. Jefferson wasn’t just a Deist, he was anti-christiani and abhorred the christian God and all the implications of its worshiping practitioners. No amount of lies can make him a christian, as with any of the other Founders. This was never, and never will be a Christian Nation. That attempt failed in a little christian experiment called the Massachusetts Bay Colony. A complete failure to establish a christian state and nation. You can’t argue about the facts with religious rhetoric. Keep to the facts, not the “nothing” proposed by most on this blog.

    • You go waaaay too far, Dan. Saying the US didn’t begin as a Christian nation is sophistry…it was founded on Judeo-Christian traditions and culture, and certainly is more Christian than anything else. It is not a Christian nation in the sense that that the government requires or favors Christianity. Second, “most’ on this blog do not propose a Christian or pro-religious government. Don’t mischaracterize me, the blog, its posts, or its readers in pursuit of your own obsessions.

  12. By the way; the 10 commandments (of the other 400 in the bible) are not in the Constitution. A pledge of allegiance is forbidden by the Constitution. One nation “under god” is not in the Constitution.

    • Point? The Ten Commandments and many other aspects of Judeo-Christian culture are a significant part of America’s culture. The pledge was ruled Constitutional by the U.s. Supreme Court—your opinion on that is neither dispositive nor accurate, though you are welcome to it.

  13. “part of culture” does not a theocracy, christian nation make. No matter how hard you pray about it, the Reality is; didn’t happen, won’t happen. Warrant-less wiretapping is forbidden by the Constitution, as well, but certainly their are jackasses that did that too, and will probably be upheld by the Supreme court. Doesn’t make it right, or just, or Constitutional. This country has warped the Framer’s intent over the past 200yrs, most through the help of good christians, like yourself.

    • Dan, you’re babbling. I was clear that it’s not a theocracy; Christian nation doesn’t mean “only Christian.” Warentless wiretapping IS forbidden, and SCOTUS says so—the pledge isn’t forbidden, and SCOTUS says that too.

      None of which has a damn thing to do with NBC unilaterally editing an official pledge for its own politically correct agenda. And I am not any kind of a Christian at all—some people, see, can really be objective about things without belonging to someone’s “side” or “team.” Imagine that!

      You really think that in order to see what’s wrong with what NBC did, I have to want “under God” in the pledge. Why don’t you read the comment thread before making assumptions of bias that don’t exist? I think having God in the pledge is dead wrong, and have so written. But it’s not NBC’s job to change the text—it NBC’s job to stick to facts. Clear????

      • I think some of the problem is the term “Christian nation.” While it is true that some of the founders were Christian and that many of their ideals came out of the Judeo-Christian tradition, the term Christian nation is used to justify bringing Christianity into the forefront of public life, or simply to justify Christianity’s supremacy over other religious thought (and nonreligious thought). It’s an intentional equivocation meant to give off one meaning while hiding behind a second. No one can challenge the U.S. is a Christian nation, so it can be used as cover to further Christian idealogy.

        For clarity, the phrase simply should not be used.

        • Not “some”, TGT. Virtually all. And the “equivocations” are your own. In denying the foundation of American society, you now seek to prevent anyone from even mentioning their faith in public. “For clarity’s sake”? Rather the opposite, I’d say. Until Christian thought and influence is expunged, no humanist anthill society can long endure… as the Soviets discovered. The American variety now seeks to correct that mistake.

          • He didn’t say “For clarity’s sake”. He said “For clarity” which my interpretation tells me that what follows is a clarification of his previous paragraph.

            So, in summation, he made a point (a really good point I might add) and then he simplified and summed it up into a concise thought, which was:

            “The phrase ‘Christian Nation’ should not be used in reference to the US.”

          • The equivocations tend to come from the religious and the accomodationists. Example:

            A: The U.S. is a Christian Nation
            B: No it isn’t
            A: Look at the founding!

            vs.

            A: The U.S. is a Christian nation
            B: Sure.
            A: That’s why we can teach God in school! (Or… your atheism is hurting the cause of science!)

            I can use whichever definition is desired, but it’s unlikely that it will stick through the conversation, and extremely unlikely that everyone reading it will understand.

            The rest of the post is worse:
            – I have never sought to prevent everyone from mentioning their faith in public.
            – The belief that humanism cannot endure if Christianity does is pure hubris.
            – Calling the USSR an anthill society is highly entertaining to me.
            – Calling the USSR a humanist society is flat out ridiculous

            • I will use the phrase “Christian Nation”, TGT. Name one Founder or Framer who either did not or who in any way objected to its use. It’s only in the recent era- with the aggressiveness of the Marxist Left- that attempts have been made to purge Christians from the body politic. Not surprisingly, of course, because it’s the Church that they fear. Again, the have the fearsome example of the Soviet Union which, as I pointed out, was the inspiration for their goals in America. Godlessness equates humanism and an all-powerful bureaucratic state run on such non-principles breeds the Marxist concept of people as “the masses”. The herd. The “anthill”. There is little that is less human than humanism.

              • I will use the phrase “Christian Nation”, TGT. Name one Founder or Framer who either did not or who in any way objected to its use.

                That doesn’t matter at all. What matters is what is clear NOW. I don’t walk around saying “dost thou” when I mean “do you.” Now that you have been openly informed of the problems with using “Christian nation,” you can’t hide behind any excuses. All your uses of “Christian nation” will be taken as more attempts to dissemble. Well…I already took them that way, but now it should be obvious to all.

                It’s only in the recent era- with the aggressiveness of the Marxist Left- that attempts have been made to purge Christians from the body politic.

                Marxist Left? No one is attempting to purge Christians from anything. Purging unreason from people is not the same as purging people from the public sphere.

                Not surprisingly, of course, because it’s the Church that they fear.

                So, you’re down with the Catholic Church now? Your positions don’t really line up well with them at all. I only fear the Church in that I fear the spread of irrationality.

                Again, the have the fearsome example of the Soviet Union which, as I pointed out, was the inspiration for their goals in America.

                Since the movement you’re attacking doesn’t exist, I’m fine with you giving it random goals and inspirations.

                Godlessness equates humanism and an all-powerful bureaucratic state run on such non-principles breeds the Marxist concept of people as “the masses”.

                This statement is not grammatically correct. I only complain because I’m unclear on what you’re trying to say.
                – Are you saying that Godlessnesses equates humanism with all-powerful bureaucratic state? That’d be gibberish.
                – Are you saying that Godlessness leads to humanism? That is often true, but not always.
                – Are you saying that humanism lacks principles? That’d be flat out false.
                – Are you saying an all-powerful bureaucratic state run on humanism leads to Marxism? Aside from all-powerful bureaucratic state being impossible, the USSR was not even built on humanism. Either you put forth a counterfactual and then made up what would result from it, or you have no concept about what humanism is.

                The herd. The “anthill”.

                So you answered one question. You use anthill inappropriately.

                There is little that is less human than humanism.

                I would agree that humanism is a departure from human history. Humanism is about respecting humans and thinking for yourself, instead of blindly following the most powerful or attempting to be the most powerful so you can subjugate the rest of the populace.

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