Return to the Bible -- and to reason

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How stupid we have become in America! We have thrown our anchor, along with its chain, overboard. They were the Constitution and the Word of God, the Bible. Of course this is something the left does not want to hear, but we should get back to the ability to reason as Joe Fausnight stated in his letter, "Dogma shouldn't override rationality" (Aug. 7).

At the founding of our nation, the Bible was the basis for our reasoning, and the greatest nation in history was formed! Now we have done away with the Bible, so our reasoning is based upon whatever society thinks is right! Therefore, the human nature is not so bad, and we should not really be too hard on the wrongdoings of individuals because they are responding to their natural brute instincts. Let's be more forgiving! That's what Jesus would want!

Baloney!

There is nothing wrong with the Ten Commandments; it's just that our society is too dumb to realize what a wonderful set of rules they are for us to live by. What if we accepted and lived accordingly -- that we should not steal, lie or kill; or want someone else's wife; and that we should honor and respect and care for our parents and grandparents? What's so wrong about that? One might say that we already have laws against stealing, lying and killing, and we support that, but we just don't want it to come from the Bible.

The opposition to the Bible is a natural response because we have a nature that is basically sinful. Of course, we do not like to hear this either, because in our modern society, sin is unthinkable! The cold facts are: The Bible is the Word of God; it is the world's best-seller, and sold 2.5 million copies in 2006. In spite of the assumptions of evolution, the Bible covers thousands of years of Earth's history, and speaks of a loving God who offers forgiveness of our sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

As Mr. Fausnight said: "We have the gift of reason. Use it!"

Gil Ward

Evans

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soldout
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soldout 08/25/10 - 09:31 pm
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Excellent letter Gil. Let's

Excellent letter Gil. Let's hear the other Christians speak out. Let your light shine into the darkness.

xipsi21
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xipsi21 08/25/10 - 10:12 pm
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We needed that. The Word of

We needed that. The Word of God is the complete truth and Augusta, GA along with this United States does not want to abide by it's standards. Awesome article though.

faithson
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faithson 08/25/10 - 11:50 pm
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Wonderful statement of one of

Wonderful statement of one of many Theologies that make up this glorious country we call, AMERICA. I think the founding Fathers would be proud of the diversity we have achieved. Our ability to live in peace is a direct result of the No State Religion clause they so wisley put in our constitution. I hope that Mr. Ward is not suggesting we 'change' our founding document to appease HIS understanding of how things should be run. I respect Mr. Ward's understanding, I am apprecieative that our founders took men like Mr. Ward into consideration when they saw fit to keep religion and politics away from each other.

DanK
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DanK 08/26/10 - 01:50 am
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The continuing effort of the

The continuing effort of the right to link the Constitution with the Bible, and to rewrite history, fabricating some sort of quasi-religious government created by a bunch of Bible-thumping politicians, is just pure hokum. And to continually go around condemning everyone else in the world who does not agree with their particular beliefs as immoral or evil, is condescension of the worst sort -- a blatant hatred of your fellow man.

Chant or sing or dance in honor or whatever superman in the sky you choose, but don't shove it on everyone else. And please stop trying to hijack the constitution as a vehicle for your pet societal reformation program. It belongs to everyone, including all those who disagree with your agenda.

GGpap
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GGpap 08/26/10 - 04:42 am
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Mr. Ward, perhaps you would

Mr. Ward, perhaps you would do well to follow Mr. Fausnight's advice, "We have the gift of reason. Use it!"

You are accepting the bible as though it IS the word of god even though you have no empirical proof of that premise; only your faith...and that is hardly "reason." Therefore, your positing is less than credible.

GGpap

charliemanson
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charliemanson 08/26/10 - 05:03 am
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"Freedom prospers when

"Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged."

Ronald Reagan

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 08/26/10 - 05:30 am
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Our current state is a

Our current state is a wonderful example of denying the guidance of the Bible and it's relation to our constitution.

Does everyone know the current definition of insanity?

soldout
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soldout 08/26/10 - 07:28 am
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The founding documents are

The founding documents are full of Bible concepts and even direct quotes from sermons that were preached before it was written. It has a very strong Christian influence and the writing of it was based on much prayer and Biblical research. That is why it is great. Everything based on the Bible works everytime it is tried. It has stood the test of time while man's ideas change all the time based on the feeling of society. Religion can have all the influence it desires on government; it just can't work the other way.

NewHere
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NewHere 08/26/10 - 07:37 am
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Junk!

Junk!

dani
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dani 08/26/10 - 08:18 am
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Three LTEs this morning and

Three LTEs this morning and This is my favorite by far.. Thank you Mr Ward .
Another great day that the Lord has given us, folks. Enjoy!.

annw
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annw 08/26/10 - 08:18 am
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Our founding documents were

Our founding documents were also based on English Common Law, the Iroquois Compact and the ancient Greek philosophers. Our government is a secular Constitutional republic, not a theocracy, as it should be.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/26/10 - 08:21 am
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Judging from the level of

Judging from the level of analysis in general in Gil Ward's letter,
I rather doubt he was being ironic in quoting Joe Fausnight's 8/7 letter.
Fausnight correctly urged that we use our human "reason" against "dogma." But guess what "dogma" he was talking about. If you guess "The Bible," you're absolutely right! So let's see; Ward approves Fausnight's championing of "reason," but completely misses Fausnight's point that for Fausnight The Bible is the antithesis of reason! Ward sees The Bible as the final authority on virtually everything, and man's role merely to obey that authority unquestioningly. Human reason throughout history has been most valuable when it rejects blind submission to authority and allows man to think for himself. Nice job, Gil!!!

Dixieman
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Dixieman 08/26/10 - 08:53 am
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annw - the Iroquois Compact

annw - the Iroquois Compact had NOTHING to do with our Constitution. You have been brainwashed by government schools. Do some research!

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/26/10 - 08:55 am
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And oh, by the way, did you

And oh, by the way, did you catch that our "logic" guru Gil Ward is also
a Young Earther? Earth is 6000+ a few years old? You betcha! I'd follow Mr. Ward to the end of the earth, but I'm afraid we'd both drop off....

Dixieman
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Dixieman 08/26/10 - 08:58 am
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From Lingua Franca: TRIBAL

From Lingua Franca:

TRIBAL LORE

Perhaps Shakespeare's plays were written by Francis Bacon after all. Maybe Homer didn't actually compose the Iliad. It's even possible that the Salem witch possessions arose from hallucinations brought on by indigestion. Then again, maybe not. That's why we rely on academics to separate fact from fancy.

Fancy is a wily seductress, however. For nearly twenty years, the University of Vermont's Donald A. Grinde Jr. and Nebraska's Bruce E. Johansen have written separately and together in defense of the "Iroquois influence thesis." Their claim is that the Iroquois Confederacy and Great Law of Peace - which united six Native American nations while the colonists were still parading the Union Jack - had a formative effect on the design of the United States government. According to Grinde and Johansen's book Exemplar of Liberty: Native America and the Evolution of Democracy (California, 1991), Founding Fathers James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams enjoyed repeated contact with Iroquois Indians, from whom they derived inspiration for the Constitution's ideas about the separation of powers, representative democracy, and federalism.
IROQUOIS INDIAN

Grinde and Johansen do not claim to have introduced the notion. That honor belongs to William E. Griffis's 1891 book, Sir William Johnson and the Six Nations; earlier in this century, J.N.B. Hewitt, an ethnologist at the Smithsonian Institution, was a noted proponent of the idea. But Griffis's work received little attention from historians until Grinde and Johansen resurrected his arguments two decades ago. Since then, they've been joined in their advocacy by Oren Lyons, who teaches American studies at SUNY Buffalo.

In 1987 their efforts paid off: New York State incorporated the thesis into its eleventh-grade history curriculum. The following year, Lyons, a member of the Onondaga Nation, won over Colorado Democratic representative Ben Nighthorse Campbell, himself a Native American (and now a Republican senator), and successfully lobbied Congress to pass a joint resolution acknowledging "the contributions of the Iroquois Confederacy of Nations to the development of the United States Constitution." More recently, James Loewen included the assertion as fact in his 1995 best-seller, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong (New Press).

But the ascendance of the Iroquois influence thesis may be short-lived. In the July 1996 issue of the William and Mary Quarterly, the journal of record for students of eighteenth-century America, two colonialist scholars tried to definitively discredit the theory, which, according to one of them, depends on words "misquoted, misattributed, decontextualized, inaccurately paraphrased, liberally edited, and misinterpreted." Among the statements that Philip Levy, a doctoral candidate at William and Mary, and Samuel Payne Jr., a professor of political science at Ferrum College, object to are the following: Thomas Jefferson had deep respect for the Iroquois, and even promoted intermarriage with them; James Madison was inspired by the Iroquois's notion of freedom; John Adams conducted an interview in Boston with Joseph Brant, a Mohawk chief, about the details of the Iroquois compact; and Benjamin Franklin, in the course of his Indian diplomacy, looked to the Iroquois Confederacy as a model for the impending confederation.

In fact, Levy counters, Jefferson predicted, but did not promote, intermarriage - and it was because the Indians had inferior laws, not better ones, that Jefferson foresaw such unions as inevitable. As for Madison, writes Payne, he was exposed to the Iroquois but never spoke of any influence; the mistake originates in a 1948 biography of Madison. Payne points out that Madison cites numerous influences for the Constitution in The Federalist Papers, including the Amphictyonic council, the Achaean league, and the Swiss Confederacy - but never mentions the Iroquois Confederacy. And while Franklin certainly had respect for the Iroquois, says Payne, he never connected them directly with the 1754 Albany Plan of Union (the colonies' early confederation plan), as Grinde and Johansen aver. What Franklin actually wrote was: "It would be a strange Thing, if Six Nations of ignorant Savages should be capable of forming a Scheme for such an Union, and be able to execute it in such a Manner, as that it has subsisted Ages, and appears indissoluble; and yet that a like Union should be impracticable for ten or a Dozen English Colonies" - in context, hardly a ringing endorsement.

In a fifteen-page reply, Grinde and Johansen do not challenge Levy's assertion about Jefferson, or Payne's about Madison. They concede another of Levy's points - that John Adams could not have met with Joseph Brant in Boston because Adams was in London at the time - and promise that "the error will be remedied" in future editions of their book. But they continue to maintain that Franklin encouraged the colonists to emulate the Iroquois model. Their strongest remonstration: that Levy and Payne "suffer from imprecision in the delineation of our case"; and that, "having demanded proof," Levy "fails to define his term."

Be that as it may, the scholarly community is unswayed by the reply. Wilcomb Washburn, former director of American studies at the Smithsonian Institution, emphasizes that Indian influence, while real, was limited. "Grinde and Johansen built this incredible superstructure on inferences, suggestions, and leaping to conclusions. I'm more sympathetic to Indian influence than a lot of scholars, but I simply can't go along with it." According to William and Mary's James Axtell, a leading advocate of interpreting eighteenth-century American history as a cultural contest between natives and colonists, the 1988 Congressional resolution owes its existence to "a public-relations effort by one small faction of the Iroquois folk," led by SUNY Buffalo's Lyons. And when David Hackett Fischer, the noted Brandeis scholar of the early-modern era, is asked how much credence the Iroquois influence thesis is given, he is terse: "With me, zero."

One wonders why the Iroquois influence camp wishes to establish the native roots of a Constitution under which Native Americans suffered more than a century of brutal subjugation. Surely the Iroquois's Great Law of Peace is worth studying for its own merits. Dickinson College's Daniel K. Richter, a prominent historian of Native America, understands the appeal of the thesis but thinks that Grinde, Johansen, and Lyons's efforts are misplaced. "It would be better to look at the real ways that the state and federal governments have been shaped by interactions with Indians," he says. The most usable past, in other words, may be the real one.

MARK OPPENHEIMER

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/26/10 - 08:59 am
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Dixieman: oh yeh, send your

Dixieman: oh yeh, send your kids to, say, Augusta Christian where they will be taught that the principal authors of the Constitution were all Good Little Christians who were simply paraphrasing the Bible. One more thing...they can be counseled by Jennifer Keeton who has NO degree, NO experience, NO certification. She does have her Bible and a school moronic enough to give her a job.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/26/10 - 09:03 am
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Dixieman: you produce an

Dixieman: you produce an article in which scholars use actual REASON in their analysis. Perhaps Gil Ward will read it and learn how reason actually works--challenging apparently authoritative views and disproving them.

follower
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follower 08/26/10 - 09:39 am
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EEL, I truly enjoy your post

EEL, I truly enjoy your post [though most times I disagree] because of the intellect used in opposition to the Christian view. You help me understand the reasons many are opposed. However, you leave intellect at the door by postulating what students are taught at Augusta Christian, as you don't know personally what's being taught. Does your intellect also include clairvoyance? Or, are you satisfied with the revisionist history being taught in public schools?

Jennifer Keeton is not an employee of Augusta Christian. As many have suggested, she is participating in a venue where her views are not contrary to those that oppose the Bible. Every Augusta Christian teacher and counselor must be accredited to be on staff. However, from time to time, laypeople are invited to shadow a staff member on a particular area of interest. Ms. Keeton was doing this as part of the requirement of ASU's curiculum.

Isn't that what all of those opposed to her stance suggested she do?

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/26/10 - 09:59 am
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follower: thank you for your

follower: thank you for your very civil and informative response to my post. You are right that I do not know exactly what students at Augusta Christian School are taught. However, I have had contact with a number of parents of ACS students and I do know what those parents WANT their children taught. And thank you for clarification on the status of Jennifer Keeton at the school. I will say this: if she insists on her "right" to pick and choose which Augusta State University curricular requirements, and which ACA professional standards, she will follow, she will never be certified (by any non-Christian certification group) and she will never find a counseling job at schools or clinics other than ones that are Christian run. Your reference to the "revisionism" taught in public schools is
one of those instant labels so beloved of Christian conservatives, and
I am always up for a good discussion about that subject--but not today!

follower
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follower 08/26/10 - 10:17 am
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EEL, and I will agree with

EEL, and I will agree with you, that if she is not able to effectively listen to those with opposing views, she shouldn't be hired by a non-Christian school.

As you and I display, you can have opposing views, get along, and still hold strong to core values and beliefs.

We also must remember her age. 25 years ago, I displayed many intolerant views regarding Christianity. I thought I was standing strong, but in reality was demonstrating an elitist attitude [totally contrary to Christianity]. Many years and life experiences along with a much better understanding of scripture [I know you'll refute that one] has brought about much humility. [have to be careful, lest I become proud of my humility. lol :) ]

So crates
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So crates 08/26/10 - 10:20 am
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In the era our constitution

In the era our constitution was written, it was intellectual rebellion to the bible and other institutions that informed the thinking of the leaders of that day. Our nation is only founded on religion in the sense that religious doctrines of the era are what the thinkers were arguing against.

You could fairly say that men raised in a christian society were morally influenced by the bible, but it was their use of reason against prescribing strictly from that source which created our nation.

What is good in the bible is a part of our national heritage not because it can be referenced to some scripture, but because it is what is generally good in all mankind and can be found in all philosophies. To pretend that the bible is the source of our reasoning is simply mistaken at best, but seemingly misleading whatever the case.

Amusingly, and with a nod to all of the muslim hoopla, we a more accurately a nation of rebellion than obedience; a great satan if you will. But that's just a jab at the thumpers for a laugh. I think our rational, philosophic leaders from that long gone age had it right: religion can sit to the left of our government.

follower
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follower 08/26/10 - 10:57 am
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So crates, a nod to the last

So crates, a nod to the last paragraph. We are indeed a nation in/of rebellion, and in many ways, a great satan.

The rebellion you mention in the first paragraph was not to the Bible, but to the religious oppression from a state sponsored entity. The Biblical doctrines are sound, but misinterpreted by many for selfish reasons and political power.

I would also disagree with the intrinsic good you claim is in mankind. Society is replete with behavior to the contrary. Even babies are inherently selfish, and are taught to not be so.

If only people would use the Bible as it was intended, and not as justification for oppression and falsely pious judgement, it would/could be seen for what it truly is.

I do not defend the self righteous, but forever defend the content of scripture. And I will stand forever for your right to disagree.

Dixieman
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Dixieman 08/26/10 - 11:21 am
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eel - Thanks, but I send my

eel - Thanks, but I send my kids to Westminster. They are receiving wonderful educations and are becoming good Christians as well. They are taught by great well-adjusted, bright first-rate teachers. I would take a second job at Mickey D's to keep them enrolled there if I had to. You clearly know nothing at all about the actual curriculum and what is taught at Christian schools (go find out how they handle evolution and you will be surprised).
Jennifer Keeton does not have a degree because ASU is trying to kick her out. And she has nothing to do with this post.
What is your problem?

So crates
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So crates 08/26/10 - 11:25 am
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We do disagree, follower.

We do disagree, follower. The state was part of it, but there was more. I am referring to all of the thinkers who would have informed a man of this era. In taking on the authority of the institutions, the thinkers of this era began what has continued to this day: they took on the bible itself and its authority. They began to acknowledge that it was never the bible saying anything, just a collection of decisions of powerful men across centuries.

These men shaped and selected whatever it is that you think the bible says today. I would suspect of you and those like you that you have general familiarity with the bible and probably very strong feelings associated with what you think the bible says. You take a leap from those feelings, which are generally well meaning feelings, and attempt to presume that it is the bible which is producing those feelings. Because your faith training has proposed principles of behavior and designations for what is morally appropriate, you further misattribute your sense of right and wrong as having origins, again, in the bible.

Reality, however, is different. The bible's influence is considerable, but limited. Your true sense of right and wrong may constantly reference the book in all of your decisions. Nonetheless, every decision you make has been yours. If you are good it is because you chose to be. You would choose to be so whatever your frame of reference, even if it was the Koran or the book of mormon or dr. Seuss. We all grow to face the same basic circumstances and our interactions with our fellow man take us from selfish babies to altruistic adults.

Barbara Gross
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Barbara Gross 08/26/10 - 11:41 am
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I have NEVER heard such

I have NEVER heard such disrespect for my Jesus in my life! It's an outrage!! It's no wonder our kids are on mind altering drugs, their parents have no brain cells to pass down to them. Here's my sugestion: If you try believing whole heartly in Jesus, (His death, burial and resurection) and all us "Bible thumper" are wrong, when your life, or this world ends, what do you have to loose? On the other hand, if you choose to continue in your non-believing state and we are right, then you have lost everything and your life, however short or long, on this earth was a complete failure and you have no hope. Unless you consider spending eturnity in hell something worthy of hoping for. I ask you to just give Christianity and honest try. I can tell you I couldn't face life without My Jesus. He means more than anything this world has to offer. Without his Love and support I could not stand to go on another day.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 08/26/10 - 11:44 am
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"Reality, however, is

"Reality, however, is different. The bible's influence is considerable, but limited. Your true sense of right and wrong may constantly reference the book in all of your decisions. Nonetheless, every decision you make has been yours. If you are good it is because you chose to be. You would choose to be so whatever your frame of reference, even if it was the Koran or the book of mormon or dr. Seuss. We all grow to face the same basic circumstances and our interactions with our fellow man take us from selfish babies to altruistic adults.

spoken by a man/woman who evidently has never met God.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 08/26/10 - 11:52 am
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So crates, I am not good

So crates, I am not good because I choose to be. If I am good (which is not very often) it is only because I listen and obey when God leads me in the right direction. No one is good on their own. From the beginning we have a selfish nature and if you think interactions with other people, takes us from our selfish nature to giving and unselfish adults you are sadly mistaken. Where do our moral guidance come from....surely not out of thin air.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 08/26/10 - 11:59 am
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Gil Ward of Evans, Thank you

Gil Ward of Evans, Thank you for your letter.

The Lord says it best:
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

We cannot save ourselves and government cannot save our country.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 08/26/10 - 12:06 pm
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ICL, He is that still quite

ICL, He is that still quite voice that speaks to us...anything that is good about me, is because He has put it in me. My prayer is for more of it.

If we could just grasp a very small vision of what God has done for us, we would be on our faces in hysterical worship.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 08/26/10 - 07:08 pm
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follower in the previous

follower in the previous posts (not yours).. "I think our rational, philosophic leaders from that long gone age had it right: religion can sit to the left of our government."

I am sure you and the other posting Christians join with me today in saying... I don't care where religion sets with the government, as long as "Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of God".

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