Freedom dependent upon Christianity

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What do Rush Limbaugh and Charles Krauthammer have in common?

Limbaugh said during his radio program recently that the United States has achieved more that is positive -- freedom, public education, religious tolerance, public health, etc. -- in a little more than 200 years than Egypt -- or any other nation -- in more than 4,000 years. But he did not know why!

In The Augusta Chronicle on Feb. 13, Krauthammer argued for several "freedom doctrines" -- democracy, free press, the rule of law, etc. But he never mentioned Christianity.

In my 60s, I am again a student, taking courses at Augusta State University. Like all state universities, Christianity -- not "religion" per se -- is taboo, as evidenced by the recent counseling/psychology debate. But there is a fact of history that cannot be ignored: At the time of its founding, not only were the colonies predominately Christian, they were predominantly -- by some estimates more than 90 percent -- Calvinist, the strongest doctrinal Protestant group. Jonathan Edwards and the preachers of the Great Awakening were Calvinist. The first organizing group of all thirteen colonies was a Presbyterian (Calvinist) church.

The government of this church is representative republicanism -- government by men of piety and character -- which Krauthammer and many other "scholars" today bungle as "democracy."

Now, cause and effect is easy to deny -- except that there was no other competing ideology in the hearts and minds of these Americans. In the history of the world, nowhere has freedom, as we know it, ever existed under the thousands of individual rulers and bureaucratic concoctions. To have a free Egypt, we need to send Christian missionaries who understand government from a biblical world-view, as our forefathers did. And, they did a pretty good job, did they not?

Limbaugh and Krauthammer, and millions of other Americans, need to do their homework.

Ed Payne, M.D.

Augusta

(The writer is a retired Georgia Health Sciences University associate professor.)

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Liberty Valance
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Liberty Valance 03/04/11 - 01:30 am
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These so called "Christians"

These so called "Christians" were also rapists and commited genocide did they not?Perhaps you need to do more homework sir.

Fundamental_Arminian
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Fundamental_Arminian 03/04/11 - 06:35 am
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"These so called 'Christians'

"These so called 'Christians' were also rapists and commited genocide did they not?Perhaps you need to do more homework sir" (Liberty Valance).

LV, what's your point? If so-called Christians aren't genuine Christians, how does your complaint counter Dr. Payne's belief that freedom and Christianity go hand in hand?

I agree that Egypt and other Middle Eastern nations won't be free until they convert to belief in the God of the Bible. It's in the Bible that we're all commanded to love our neighbors as we love ourselves and to treat one another the way we want to be treated. Those commands are foundational for good laws and good government.

Beck Tears
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Beck Tears 03/04/11 - 07:31 am
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How about people stop pushing

How about people stop pushing their fairy tales onto other people. People just pick and choose whatever lines they want from scripture, ignoring the rest, or justifying some. All of it is made up anyways. And we don't live in a theocracy. Send christian missionaries to solve problems in the world... come on, you can't be serious. "how does your complaint counter Dr. Payne's belief that freedom and Christianity go hand in hand?" The point was that the religion isn't as great as people make it out to be, and it oppressed and killed people. Still oppresses people- just not on the same level as 200 years ago.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 03/04/11 - 09:39 am
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Of course, we overlook the

Of course, we overlook the millions and millions of innocent people murdered under atheist regimes (e.g., Stalin, Mao, PolPot, etc.) and even under Islamic rule (e.g., Saddam). Can't cite those figures, can we, because they make our "argument" against Christianity look silly. We're not a theocracy, but history reveals that the alternative gov't sure hasn't worked out very well. The U.S. is not a Christian nation. Even the president admits that. So, don't worry about Christianity taking over. Won't happen. But, the way things are headed, Christianity sure couldn't do any worse. We wouldn't want a nation without crime or murder, and where everyone worked for their own living now, would we? No need for any of this "do unto others" crap. Hmmmm..... on second thought, maybe that Christianity thing wouldn't be so bad to try after all?

mable8
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mable8 03/04/11 - 09:53 am
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There were also Gnostics,

There were also Gnostics, also known as Deists, (those who DO believe in an ultimate power, or God to some, and that Christ was the Messenger from God) among the founding fathers of this Great Nation. Christianity does have an important place in the histories over the world, to be sure. However, God nor Jesus ever named a particular group as the keepers of His Word; what was said is that He would find His church upon this rock--the church simply means the congregation of people who acclaimed God as the Supreme, or Ultimate, Being. One will NEVER find a paticular named organized religion as the only one.......God is known by many names, which is something Christians fail to recognize or acknowledge. With respect to so-called religions such as Fundamental Islamics, there is no recognition in the Bible or other ancient documents that this is the only avenue open to Him and God does not support the slaughter of innocents in His name either. What is stated is the commandment in the New Testiment pertaining to Unconditional Love, which is something no religion has ever lived up to. If one were to be honest, all organized religions, including Islamic/Fundamentalists, have failed in the teachings of Christ...a reminder that there are those who want their ears tickled (or hearing what they want to hear).

burninater
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burninater 03/04/11 - 10:38 am
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Mr. Payne, I hope some of

Mr. Payne, I hope some of those classes you are taking include critical thinking ...

Point of evidence: "The government of this church is representative republicanism -- government by men of piety and character -- which Krauthammer and many other "scholars" today bungle as "democracy." "

Conclusion: "To have a free Egypt, we need to send Christian missionaries who understand government from a biblical world-view, as our forefathers did."

I presume you are trying to argue that their Christian piety resulted in a representative republic-style organizational structure. Evidence that a biblical world-view predisposes social groups towards this type of social organization would be quite interesting, but without it, your case is nonsensical.

And how do you define free? When these biblically-minded forefathers were done, we had a society that refused basic human rights to minority classes, and refused women the right to vote.

Sounds a bit like Egypt, wouldn't you say? Oh wait, women CAN vote in Egypt. And Egypt DOESN'T have institutionalized slavery.

The historical case for the Biblically-minded establishing a free society in America clearly and unambiguously shows the opposite to be true. Interesting that the level of freedom in American society increased with the rise of secular humanism in the mid-nineteenth century and beyond.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 03/04/11 - 10:47 am
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Uh, Mable, if you look at the

Uh, Mable, if you look at the context of the verse you quote, the "rock" you are referring to is not the "church", per se, but the confession/fact that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God (i.e., God incarnate). That is the foundation of God's people, and precludes any other religions that deny that foundational fact. Jesus (quoted in John 14:6) makes it clear that following Him only is the way to heaven. People don't have to believe that statement, but that's the quote. Jesus also said the way would be narrow, and few would find it. So, your idea that God is known by many names and can be found by many ways is not a Christian belief at all. Not criticizing you, but just correcting some of the facts that you overlooked.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 03/04/11 - 11:15 am
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Hey, it's not a matter of

Hey, it's not a matter of which "religion" is better. It's simply finding the truth of what religions teach and comparing them. It's not a trivial matter, and to pass it off as "na na na" is unworthy of the topic. Religions diverge on very key points, and, logically, you can't just homogenize them.

You don't have to agree with what the Bible quotes Jesus as saying. That is certainly your right. But, neither can you deny the fact that Christianity is different from other religions. Take it or leave it, that's just the facts.

If you are worried about wasting electrons, then why did you post a comment here?

WorkingClassHero
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WorkingClassHero 03/04/11 - 03:47 pm
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Just another reason to keep

Just another reason to keep religion out of government. BTW the Catholic church saved the Western world when the forces of Europe defeated the ottoman empire in Vienna with the help of the Catholic Poles and again at the battle of Sisak with the help of the Catholic Croats.
The Catholic church also stopped the arab invasions from the south.
Thank a Catholic!!!

soldout
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soldout 03/04/11 - 04:08 pm
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The fool has said there is no

The fool has said there is no God. Jesus said I am the way , the truth and the light. It is simple; believe and receive all God has for you or doubt and do without. I will take the side of the creator of the universe and never be disappointed.

david jennings
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david jennings 03/04/11 - 04:59 pm
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The Lord is my shepherd.

The Lord is my shepherd.

faithson
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faithson 03/04/11 - 05:03 pm
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The separation of church and

The separation of church and state, along with our bicameral form of government is why this country has prospered. PERIOD you want to help other countries... GET RELIGION OUT OF POLITICS

faithson
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faithson 03/04/11 - 05:09 pm
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The major problem with the

The major problem with the Catholic church in America is that it has become a 'politcal party'. The Bishops in their institutional wisdom have debased the 'message' of universal spiritual brotherhood by involving themselves in political rhetoric. Those who cannot see the difference only fool themselves by allowing their 'feelings' to drive their intellect.

Jon Lester
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Jon Lester 03/05/11 - 06:55 am
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I would encourage you to

I would encourage you to compare notes with residents of the Czech Republic (at least 35% atheist) and Turkey (greater than 90% Muslim), among other reasonably free nations (Shinto Japan comes to mind, as well). You may find that they enjoy about as much freedom as the average American.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/05/11 - 07:25 am
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Mr. Payne, I'm curious what

Mr. Payne, I'm curious what you are majoring in at ASU at that age?

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