Where did this come from?


“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Musselmen [that is, Muslims]; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan [that is, Islamic] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”


Easy question to answer, as long as one is capable of using Google. But I’ll let anyone who is interested do that themselves.

But that was written long before 9/11.

So, let’s see what the other side say.

From the Hadith, and I quote from the Sunnah that is accepted by all Shiites and most Sunnis:


Jews and Christians are assigned a special status as communities possessing scriptures and are called the “people of the Book" (ahl al-kitab) and, therefore, allowed religious autonomy. They are, however, required to pay a per capita tax called jizyah, as opposed to pagans, who are required to either accept Islam or die.

And I believe that pagans includes atheists and wicca.

So, accept or die TomS.

Hmmm… interesting. Another treaty written, signed and largely ignored?


We’re great at treaties here in the US. Native Americans have dozens of them, full of wonderful rhetoric and high flying ideas, and if the weather stays dry, they’re good for patching holes in the tepee too.

Religious fundamentalist fanatics. Seems to be plenty of them everywhere.

Why can’t they just suffer from their own beliefs quietly, and let the rest of us live our own lives the way we think is right?

Maybe it’s just people named George we should worry about.

Given that it was negotiated by Washington and signed by John Adams, it sort of gives the lie to the claim that the US was founded as a Christian nation.

Iblis, you are so right about the weather, but re: that particular selection for the Sunnah, well, I suspect we need to be careful not to underestimate the power of markets to change ideas; a fact about which I am rather ambivalent. Maybe it’s a false dichotomy - it should perhaps be “accept or die or get out there and sell some coca cola and hamburgers.” :)

True TomS. And that shows it’s not only religious fanatics we have to worry about, but self-serving hypocrites too.

And that shows what is truly great about America, and our president. We were able to chose someone to lead us who is a religious nut and a self-serving hypocrite.

Now, if we had a self-serving nut dispenser, that might be both politically useful and useful around the holidays too. I prefer cashews.


religious nut and a self-serving hypocrite.

Even though I’m a Christian myself, I’d like to point out those two are one and the same yes?

D – ain’t got no use for “religion”…

Tom - we’ve been fighting this battle ever since the country was founded. The Tripoli document clears lays out what the Founding Fathers thought - we are not founded as a Christian nation, but as a nation open to any reglion, even the absence of religion.

So…who has read Dawkins’ new book The God Delusion? Quite a nice read. :)

I haven’t read his book. After his interview in Time magazine along with Frances Collins, I probably won’t read his book. He comes across as close-minded.



After his interview in Time magazine along with Frances Collins, I probably won’t read his book.

He comes across as close-minded.


You wanna rethink those two statements Diogenes? :)

Nope. I got enough of him in the interview. Dr. Collins was very open to discussion and talking options. Dawkins was not. EMPHATICALLY NOT. == Close-minded. I don’t want to fund close-mindedness.


Um, was he really close minded, or did he simply think that theistic arguments fail, and his arguments worked? Being open minded doesn’t mean that one can’t stand up for one’s position. I dunno, Diogenes, the book reads like someone who takes arguments for theism seriously, and rejects them for very specific reasons. I have noticed that his book and he himself are being attacked all over the place by people who haven’t read the book, and the main criticism is that he comes across as intolerant of theism and close-minded. That’s sort of the classic ad hominem for books like this - it says absolutely nothing about the arguments he makes. Read the book, Diogenes, check it out from the library so you don’t have to pay for it.

I suspect lots of people are scared of it b/c they think their faith can’t stand up to the criticisms.

I’m not scared of it. I am as open-minded as they come. The TIME interview turned me off big time. Collins brought up several excellent topics and Dawkins wouldn’t even consider discussing them.


I suspect lots of people are scared of it b/c they think their faith can’t stand up to the criticisms.

I suspect that is true also. My point is Dawkins is not helping close the divide any by refusing to consider several salient points brought up by Dr. Collins. Isn’t there enough division floating around already?

By the way, I have not read anything by Collins either.


I wonder what the points were that Collins brought up? Is the interview on the web anywhere? I will go take a look.

Here it is:


Well, I just read the article, and I don’t see what you saw in it, Diogenes. Other than calling young earth creationists “clowns” - which is not entirely inapporpriate - it was a straightforward exchange, a bit shallow, because of time and venue limitations, but otherwise pretty tame. ???

And there is nothing close-minded about this:


DAWKINS: My mind is not closed, as you have occasionally suggested, Francis. My mind is open to the most wonderful range of future possibilities, which I cannot even dream about, nor can you, nor can anybody else. What I am skeptical about is the idea that whatever wonderful revelation does come in the science of the future, it will turn out to be one of the particular historical religions that people happen to have dreamed up. When we started out and we were talking about the origins of the universe and the physical constants, I provided what I thought were cogent arguments against a supernatural intelligent designer. But it does seem to me to be a worthy idea. Refutable–but nevertheless grand and big enough to be worthy of respect. I don’t see the Olympian gods or Jesus coming down and dying on the Cross as worthy of that grandeur. They strike me as parochial. If there is a God, it’s going to be a whole lot bigger and a whole lot more incomprehensible than anything that any theologian of any religion has ever proposed.