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@Niko
>>then we must also accept Christendom as the driving force of Western success.

Yes, absolutely. And the reason I agree is the value Christianity placed on learning. Now, so does Judaism, but historically, with few exceptions, that learning was primarily religious in nature. If Christiandom had not understood the power of the endeavor of the unfettered mind science, technology, agriculture, etc., never would have advanced - Galileo notwithstanding.

>>The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment does not read, "Church and State must be separated." Unhinged had implied that the Founding Fathers (or later revisors) had written such. Not true.<<

OK:
"Madison's original proposal for a bill of rights provision concerning religion read: ''The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretence, infringed."
and:
"The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between church and State."
(both found on findlaw.com)

>>Also, the Richtlinienkompetenz is in the Grundgesetz, so they can't bar the right in the Koalitionsvertrag.<<

It may be there but she won`t use it. She can`t use it - otherwise it`s the end of her.

>>Obviously, you haven't been around here for too long.<<

I think I am quite for too long here.

It was not Chrisianity that was discredited by the Holocaust, but those who failed to act on Christian faith, most notably the Vatican during the Third Reich.

For an excellent analysis of the failures and their origins of the Vatican toward the Holocaust, The Holocaust: What Was Not Said

Written by a priest for First Things, a Catholic journal about religion in public life. He was given access to the Vatican archives for his research.

What is pertinent here is that the same people who are against increasing the birth rate the natural way are also bioconservatives and reject human cloning. Cloning could be the best alternative to-

A: pay incentives for women to breed kids
B: Coerce them to do this by kicking them out of work like the Schicklgrubers did 33-45.
C: keep allowing Turd World immigrants to saturate your country who screw like rabbits and will out breed natives into a minority within 30 years, tops.
D: totally abolish the Welfare State ban all immigrants and kick out the existing ones

It doesn`t matter why State and Church were seperated - fact ist they were. (Even if you further deny it!)

Know this quote?

>Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.<

@ Niko: You have Jefferson all wrong. TJ was always suspicious of organized religion in all forms. Not one , not ONE, of the major Founding Fathers of my Republic had anything in common with these Bible Beaters today of the Southern Baptist type, like Robertson. They were Christians because of their baptism and church attendance, but not one biblical fundamentalist can be gleaned from them. Jefferson, Washington, were deists . Washington was also a 33rd Degree Mason - something that I take that many fundamentalists regard as 'Satanic'.

Drop this Stalinist revisionist history that my Founding Fathers based the USA "on the Bible" , bitte. It's a freakin' lie and a Big One.

Well, look what I found. Leaflets of the White Rose.First Leaflet
If the German people are already so corrupted and spiritually crushed that they do not raise a hand, frivolously trusting in a questionable faith in lawful order of history; if they surrender man’s highest principle, that which raises him above all other God’s creatures, his free will; if they abandon the will to take decisive action and turn the wheel of history and thus subject it to their own rational decision; if they are so devoid of all individuality, have already gone so far along the road toward turning into a spiritless and cowardly mass - then, yes, they deserve their downfall.

The White Rose

And standing somewhere in the crowd was Jakob Schmidt, University handyman and Nazi party member, who saw Hans and Sophie with the leaflets. The police were called, the doors were locked, and Hans and Sophie apprehended and taken into Gestapo custody

They were all executed. They are honored at Yad Vashem as Righteous Gentiles.

Didn`t see the movie? It even was nominated for an Oscar.

@steppendaft
>>Not one , not ONE, of the major Founding Fathers of my Republic had anything in common with these Bible Beaters today of the Southern Baptist type, like Robertson.

As I believe Niko may be enjoying his beauty rest, may I point out that Niko made no such assertion. Nor has anyone else, on this thread at least.

Oh, and hingerl, the next time you think it is a mark of intellectual or moral courage to taunt people as Jew killers for their beliefs, you might want to read what a man who knew true courage had to say about it.
His name was Yitzak Zuckerman. In the Warsaw Ghetto, his underground name was 'Antek'. Before he died in Israel, he dictated his memoirs. Here is what he wrote:

Anyone who fosters total hatred for the Polish people is committing a sin! We must do the opposite. Against the background of anti-Semitism and general apathy, these people are glorious. There was great danger in helping us, mortal danger, not only for them but also for their families, sometimes for the entire courtyard they lived in. In 1945, I was restrained at an international press conference when all kinds of questions were asked. I said honestly and I repeat it today: to cause the death of one hundred Jews, all you needed was one Polish denouncer; to save one Jew it sometimes took the help of ten decent Poles, the help of an entire Polish family; even if they did it for money. Some gave their apartment, and others made identity cards. Even passive help deserves appreciation. The baker who didn’t denounce, for instance. It was a problem for a Polish family of four who suddenly had to start buying double quantities of rolls or meat. And what a bother it was to go far away to buy in order to support the family hiding with them.

Neither Zuckerman nor I need your evocation of the Holocaust in the service of your own disdain. Frankly, it is repugnant.

My apologies, I neglected to cite the source for the Zuckerman quote.

A Surplus of Memories

>>Germany will be glad to offer you advice from the creme de la creme of our social experts, such as Messrs. Gerhard Schroeder, Franz Muentefering or Edmund Stoiber.<<

This ironic lines imply that Mr. Stoiber isn`t a very good politician. He`s the leader of the Christian Social Union and ruling over Germany`s biggest state called Bavaria. He has a Doctoral Degree in Law.

So what`s the point with this irony?

@Imbecilia (well-selected nic, by the way)
>>So what`s the point with this irony?

Gee, I dunno. Maybe that Herr Stoiber isn't a very good politician? Just a guess.

@Niko

Unhinged, one more. "Well, Pepsi drinkers didn't kill 6,000,000 Coke drinkers in the past." You got it backwards again. The Nazis didn't kill 6 million Jews because most of them were Catholic or Protestand, but despite of that. It was not Chrisianity that was discredited by the Holocaust, but those who failed to act on Christian faith, most notably the Vatican during the Third Reich.


Your argument is akin to saying "Stalin didn't kill 30 million people because he was a communist, but despite he was a communist. It was not communism that was discredited by the killing of 30 million people, but those who failed to act according to communist doctrine, most notable the Kremlin during the Stalin era." That's COMPLETE BULLSHIT. Your religious zeal has finally made your brain weak.

Or did you have a beer while you were gone? (That would also explain your spelling of "protestant" and "christianity" in the quote above.)

Admit it! :-)

Ok, he is just the leading conservative politician in Germany...

Imbecilia
>>Ok, he is just the leading conservative politician in Germany...

Oh, you mean he's a successful politician.

hingerl
>>Stalin didn't kill 30 million people because he was a communist, but despite he was a communist.

Nothing in communism enjoins an adherent against murder so the seond clause of your analogy fails. Christianity does forbid murder. Hitler's occasional nods to Christianity and the Vatican in particular were ruses. If Hitler could be said to have a religious point of view, it would be Nordic paganism/mysticism. He was a master manipulator and spoke out of both sides of his mouth as easily as breathing. I think it would be obvious that he did indeed believe in a messiah - by the name of Adolf Hitler.

Shall we start with the "Hitler was a vegetarian" meme?

Apropos the concern that America is being overrun by Mexicans, America is not about a race, it's about an idea: liberty. (FYI, the largest ethic group in America is Germans.)

>>He was a master manipulator<<

I don`t think he was. Many people waited for someone like him, he didn`t need to manipulate much. And there still are people waiting for a new Hitler - not only in Germany but all over the world. And in some eyes Bush is a new Hitler. Wierd world. *lol*

Modern Sweden is Minnesota. The old Sweden is the losers who couldn't afford a boat ticket.
Germany, if you don't have children, someone else will. The prolific will inheret the earth.

@Pamela

Christianity does forbid murder.

Oh please! Murder is forbidden in EVERY religion and in EVERY society, it is not something inherently Christian.

Actually, "Thou shalt not kill" is part of the Old Testament, so it's part of Judaism and Islam as well.

I feel threatened by all religious zealots, and that includes Christians.

If you want everybody to believe in your "God" then you're just like the Islamo-Fascists. So leave me alone with your religious crap.

P.S.: Why is the symbol of the KKK a burning cross?

>>Modern Sweden is Minnesota. The old Sweden is the losers who couldn't afford a boat ticket.<<

Oh man! The first to buy boat tickets were religous fanatics and poor people - both wanted to start a better life in a new world. The "losers" were the winners and decided not to leave Europe - except of some.

@hingerl
>>Oh please! Murder is forbidden in EVERY religion and in EVERY society, it is not something inherently Christian.

I never said it was unique to Christianity. I cited Christianity because you had used it as reference to your (false) logical construct. That you somehow derived that as my meaning speaks more to your reading comprehension, or lack thereof, than anything else.

>> feel threatened by all religious zealots, and that includes Christians.

I think you believe anyone of faith is a zealot. Well, maybe not Buddhists.

>>P.S.: Why is the symbol of the KKK a burning cross?

Good question. I honestly don't know.

About KKK and the burning cross:

http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a4_196.html

>>The original Ku Klux Klan, which was founded in 1866 and disbanded in the early 1870s, didn't burn crosses, but that didn't stop author Thomas Dixon from saying they did in his pro-KKK novel The Clansman (1905). "The Fiery Cross of old Scotland's hills!" a character in the book announces. "In olden times when the Chieftain of our people summoned the clan on an errand of life and death, the Fiery Cross, extinguished in sacrificial blood, was sent by swift courier from village to village."<<

Well I have to agree with PacJim, this is the model the Germans have chosen of there own free willing. It has served them well. It affords them things their culture make up desires - stability and protection.

As someone pointed out, this might not be the best model for other nations and it does seem it has not be immulated outside of Eueope, but it works for Germans and that is the only thing that is really important.

Any changes must be done both slowly and with great care to insure social unrest is not caused resulting in more fear than currently resides within some segments of the population.

White Rose was mentioned.
If you are near Munich, Franz J. Müller is at the White Rose Museum at Ludwig-Maximilians-University. He may be the last survivor.
I had the great honor of talking with Mr. Müller in 2003 and 2005. If you are in the area, the museum (which is next to the courtyard where the Scholls dropped their last leaflets) is worth a visit and Mr. Müller is worth his weight in gold!

@jlwb
Is this you?

@Pamela
I wish ;-)
I'm just a mom who brought a group of American students to visit the museum in 2003. A very nice, elderly, gentleman asked if the students would like to ask a few questions! Of course, I said YES! As we walked to the back of the museum where there is an area with chairs, Mr. Müller told stories of the pictures we passed. When he said: "That was me at 18 years old"........I KNEW then that we had been granted a rare experience! He talked to our students for about and hour and then answered questions. Then he gave us a private tour. Most touching for me was his telling of his time in jail. He told us about the Americans who came....about the GIs. He does like American soldiers! My son, in 2003 was in the Sunni area, being shot at! We talked about that. When I again saw Mr. Muller in 2005, the 1st thing he asked me was: "how is your son?" What a kind person to remember! I don't know how long he will be with us! I do know that he has much to give to all of us!

The US Constitution says that the US Congress shall make no law that establishes a religion. However, several individual states (including Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Utah) have been theocracies at one point or another. The US was originally settled by dissenting Protestants who wanted to worship without state interference. No one prizes the establishment clause more than truly religious people. They don't want the public schools to be teaching their children what prayers to say. Unfortunately, it seems that many Europeans are so hostile to the very idea of religion that they confuse freedom of worship with the absence of worship. That is not what the Constitution says, nor is it what the Founding Fathers envisioned.
RE: the burning cross of the KKK: the US South has a lot of Scottish and Scotch-Irish ethnics. The burning cross was a sign of defiance against invasion and it was imported from the border regions b/t England and and Scotland. The KKK began as a guerilla resistance group during Reconstruction and evolved into a racist secret society in the early 20th century.

@hingerl

While it is true that Christians have killed and persecuted many, it is no more and no less than say Islam. However, the suggested solution by doing away with religion in general have resulted in worse atrocities as witnessed by the atheist mass murders in the soviet gulags and the killing fields of Cambodia/Kampuchea.

Imbecilia - there are 50 states. Each state is ranked on criteria. I'd be happy to tell you the top 10 of what you want to know, school funding, per capita, population, size, what do you want to know?

And as I posted, it was Swedish

What does Jesus have to do w/liberty?

Isa.61:1, "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound."

The WSJ has reprinted this ed by the late Vermont Royston every year since 1949:

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=65000827

...And so Paul, the apostle of the Son of Man, spoke to his brethren, the Galatians, the words he would have us remember afterward in each of the years of his Lord:

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

--It doesn`t matter why State and Church were seperated - fact ist they were. (Even if you further deny it!)--

It's the reason for our being, of course it does. (And I thought Europeans know our history better than we do.) What you fail to understand is your definition is too broad. Church of England?? Catholic? Protestant, if so, which belief?

You also fail to realize atheism is also a religion, and their fundamentalists are the worst.


--Atheism offers the highest level of personal liberty - (without the corresponding responsiblity). And that explains why Europe's falling off the cliff. You are your religion, it's all about you. No sacrifice for the future.

--Actually, "Thou shalt not kill" is part of the Old Testament, so it's part of Judaism and Islam as well.--

There's an argument to be made that it's "murder" not kill. It was mis-translated.

I went back and reviewed the posting, now I get it, Imbecilia.

Bottom 50 either means 40-50 or 45-50, usually 45-50 in rank.

It's an American nuance.

---

After being in the blogosphere for the past 5 years, I have come to the conclusion that the current forms of European democracy are nothing more than mutated monarchy, unelected 1- unelected many, still like the king. That's what you're comfortable with and have been for 1000 years. Wasn't Germany's very important vote to join or not the EU made by our congressional equivalent? 1 would think that with such an important vote, the people could choose.

The Brusselsprouts are unelected, the UN is unelected and you want to turn it all over to them......

What amuses me is the inherent assumption that seems pervasive here and in other places that there is some Chinese menu list of "social systems" and that you have to choose one from Column A or one from Column B.

This quote is an illustration of such - "Besides, the US subscribed to the english capitalistic model. Come down from your high horse, brother and realize the truth."

I don't remember personally, or as a country, having an election where that was a choice on the ballot. We in the US developed a complex system with many different elements suited to our needs, based on thousands of decisions (governmental and individual) over the course of generations. We no more "subscribed" to the (virtually meaningless phrase) "english capitalistic model" than we subscribed to the Soviet communist model. We made invdividual decisions based on specific events and conditions. I daresay throughout the history of our country anyone who couldn't distinguish our country from England wasn't looking very hard.

That's why I find laughable the concept of the German social model, like it's a single, perfectly defined entity and, by extension, has nothing to do with that dirty capitalism. What do you think the great post-World War II "economic miracle" was? Do you honestly think that what hauled Germany out of the morass of destruction following the war was political correctness, Green Party activism, and touching concern for the absolutely undefinable term "social justice"? No, my friend, it was good old fashioned capitalism that did that. Germany sold VWs, and chemicals, and machine parts, and thousands of other goods to the rest of the world for a profit, which it used to rebuild its economy and infrastructure. Did the West German mark become a much admired hard currency because its citizens took six weeks a year off and let the nanny state take care of them the rest of the time? No, I don't think so. It became a hard currency because the West German state had the economy (based on capitalism) to back its currency. (East Germany, land of socialist justice, could never make that claim.) And to the extent that you have moved away from that concept (or at least the acknowledgment and admiration of that concept), the one that actually made West Germany strong, it seems to me you have suffered increasing economic and social ills.

In truth, as others have said here before, a 10% unemployment rate in the US would be considered an unmitigated disaster and would get someone unelected forthwith. Yet for you, the land of people caring about people, having 10% of your working population sitting around feeling worthless is just part of the status quo. One thing we haven't lost here is the concept that working and providing for one's own needs and the needs of one's own family brings dignity to human existence. You seem to push the nobility of being a parasite on society as something to be admired.

Summing up, I'll return to my main point - which is the laughable contention that Germany and the US are run by mutually exclusive, unchangeable "social models" that govern every aspect of society. I know we never chose one and I doubt Germany has either (although maybe the Soviet Union did). Both societies are a mix of social, political, and economic elements - all of which have advantages and disadvantages and can be modified as needs and experience permit. At least, that's how our system works. If yours doesn't work that way (i.e. it can't be modified no matter the circumstances), that might explain some of your problems.

One thing the "social model" view of life does explain, though, is the over-reliance on stereotyping and generalizing regarding "capitalist" America. The lack of nuance in that sort of observation follows quite naturally from the "social model" view of society, I guess.

@Sandy P
>>There's an argument to be made that it's "murder" not kill. It was mis-translated.

"mis-translated" is not the problem. Ambiguity is the problem. The Hebrew word is ratsach. It doesn't have the clear specific connotation of "kill" vs. "murder", but in scriptural usage it evokes a predatory act, if not a premeditated one.

nakah is used more in the sense of passing judgement. But one would have to be a Hebrew scholar which I certainly am not to tease it all out.

@kcom
>>touching concern for the absolutely undefinable term "social justice"?

Boy, you got that right. Someone please tell me what justice is not social? Does social justice mean 'equality' and if so equality of what? If you look at the systems that claim to measure social justice by the measures of equality, what you see is the entire state apparatus devoted to the equal distribution of wealth, which ultimately ends up in the equal distribution of poverty. Somehow, I think it's the institutionalization of envy.


@kcom
"having 10% of your working population sitting around feeling worthless"
It is worse than that! I have a dozen German host kids. When I'm in Germany, I visit with their parents. The parents are worried! A couple of my "kids" have scored the top of their classes at Gynasium and University. They will have no problems. Some, however, are "just" A and B students.....will they find work? The parents don't have a feeling of hope! I can't think of anything worse than to feel that my children have no chance!
On the flip side, these are wonderful young people who work hard and have common sense. Many are looking into work visa's for the USA. That says a lot for them! They look at my own sons. They see the work required! My eldest is in the Army. My 20 year old works full time and goes to college (and the "little" guy found a job that pays for his college!) and my 17 year old works and started college 2 years early! (the high school pays for the college as long as the classes meet college and high school requirements) We told all of them we would pay 100% if they got "A", 50% if they got "B" and 25% if they got "C".....but....they are finding ways to pay their own way.....and are all 3 on the honor roll! Welcome to the USA! We have a different mind set.

@jlwb
>>I have a dozen German host kids.

One of two things is true.

1) You are a very brave woman.
2) You are absolutely out of your mind

Please thank your son for his service for me. And when you have a chance, write up your encounters with Herr Muller.

Now I am off to bed.

"Oh please! Murder is forbidden in EVERY religion and in EVERY society, it is not something inherently Christian"

I don't think it gets any more unhinged than this - do yourself a favor hingirl and read a little comparitive religion literature.

Murder, by which I mean the killing of those innocent of any actual crime ( I am against the death penalty personally but don't feel the need to drag this in here ) outside of self defence or military service is by no means forbidden in ALL religions and ALL societies

I won't bore you with the whole catalogue but consider the case of Salman Rusdie and puzzle me this - since his murder was being called for by the highest religious authorities in Shia Islam, and not countered by any meanigful opposition within the entire realm of Islam, how can you assert that muder is forbidden by ALL religions?

It certainlyu is not forbidden by Islam - it is in fact called for in a variety of circumstances


Another thought occurred to me while considering the way native germans sometimes react to this blog - they are experiencing the condemnation of their very society on multiple levels and it offends them and causes them pain and anger

Do they realize this is exactly how Americans are treated in Europe today - constantly and every day

I know - I lived it and some here live it still

No matter how irrational the animosity - or how ignorant the source - it still bothers a person

Maybe our german visitors can contemplate that and consider how the drumbeat of hatred directed toward the United States, and not just President Bush as Mediakritik has documented so often, is recieved

Wow. I am sensing a lot of hatred in this thread. Be that as it may, it doesn't change the fact that raw statistics cannot be denied. Europe, as we know it, is dying.

Here's my humble solution: Limit social welfare programs, including state-paid retirement plans, to those who procreate.

@Pamela

>>Oh please! Murder is forbidden in EVERY religion and in EVERY society, it is not something inherently Christian.

I never said it was unique to Christianity. I cited Christianity because you had used it as reference to your (false) logical construct. That you somehow derived that as my meaning speaks more to your reading comprehension, or lack thereof, than anything else.

Honey, you failed to grasp my point: Murder was also forbidden in the Soviet Union, but Stalin and his fellow-commies murdered nonetheless, just like the Christians who were killing Jews. So much about your reading comprehension skills.

@Niko

What are Christian values. Please list 10 of them and I'll show you that they are not Christian values but universal values.

@Pogue Mahone

I won't bore you with the whole catalogue but consider the case of Salman Rusdie and puzzle me this - since his murder was being called for by the highest religious authorities in Shia Islam, and not countered by any meanigful opposition within the entire realm of Islam, how can you assert that muder is forbidden by ALL religions?

Murder is forbidden in all societies and by all religions. If it were not then people could just arbitrarily kill other people without having to fear any sort of revenge, which would eventually lead to the self-extermination of the entire society, you dummy!

About Salman Rushdie: In the warped sense of Shia justice he was legally sentenced to death. So for those whackos it's not murder, it's legal. You see, it's their judicial system that's screwed up.

@Niko

Yeah, all those people who converted to Christianity the last, uhm, 2000 years are fools for they could have gotten the same product for free, right?

Many of them didn't convert voluntarily. If they hadn't converted they would have been killed by the loving Christians.

Christians are baptized when they're still babies. That's at a time when they can't think for themselves yet, so they essentially never have a choice of becoming Christians or not. Later on, they have become so brainwashed by Christian propaganda everywhere around them (Narnia!) that they never leave the Church.

If people had to voluntarily decide whether to become Christians or not, at an age of 21 or above, there wouldn't be many Christians left.

@Niko

I'm still waiting on that list of "Christian values". I'm expecting at least 10 of them. And please don't list the 10 Commandments. They're not Christian, they're Jewish.

I want Christian values that are unique to Christianity and that e.g. atheists don't consider to be values.

@Niko

"I'm still waiting on that list of "Christian values"."

You already got the answer to that one.

You're right. There is no such list, and that's exactly my point.

I'm glad you admitted defeat, and in public, too!

@Niko

I'vw gotta go now. I'll give you until tomorrow to think about the list again and post it.

If you don't, I assume that you finally realized that your "Christian values" crap is just an empty shell.

There are no "Christian values" that are unique to Christianity and that are not considered to be valued by atheists as well.

@Niko - If the FF's of my secular Republic based the Constitution on the Bible how come they did not mention it? What three lettered word is not found anywhere within? A hint, Niko: it starts with a 'G'.
Need I mention also the later Treaty of Tripoli, scribed by Unitarian church going John Adams, signed by Freemason and Anglican(who never took Communion) Geo. Washington that the USA was not in foundation a "Christian nation"? If that is not the smoking gun rebutting your theocratic fantasy about the motivations of the Founding Fathers, I don't know what is.
The Constitution was based on seperation in powers, checks and balances and where in the Bible do you see this map for governing and rule? I don't recall the architects of this document having their Bibles out when the Constitution was crafted.
The FF's wanted to avoid the religious strife and holy wars that plaqued *good Christians* in England and in the rest of Europe with their theocratic monarchies, and said Founding Fathers did a good job by making the federal government of the USA a secular nation. It is people like you today who are making my FFs roll their eyes as they roll in their graves.
You are pointing at trivial displays of religious motivs in public buildings that until fundy Christians and fundy atheists began making it an issue, nobody else paid attention to them. A symbolism of stone doesn't signify that this is the an organic form of governing, neither does it nullify that my Republic is secular and formed by great men who were culturally and /or privately practitioners of the Christian faith. The key word is 'private'.
Your reconstructionist legend belongs to the Puritans in colonial New England before the USA existed, and the former Anglican state church of Virginia . And hey Niko? They did away with it. Why is that? I don't recall any secular humanist/atheists/ running around in those days.

The situation is that secular Europe doesn't have a pair largely because of the baggage with it - multiculturalism - or what I prefer to dub as Cultural Bolshevism. Fundy Xians erroneously see secularism as the root of the problem and think a return to this *Christian Values* will solve the situation with the minions of the *Religion of Peace*. Europe has had quite enough of these Christian Values via their numerous holy wars and inquistions that plaqued them for aeons and it is ridiculous when American fundys suggest a return to them as the tail that wags the dog.

The real problem is, again, is the baggage not the carrier, as the late Pim Fortuyn pointed out. Like the great agnostic, Bertrand Russell, if someone held a gun to my head I'd choose a Christian theocracy over a total secular Marxist one any old day. I'd select a Xian theocracy over a 'moderate' Muslim one, but this is irrevelent. The West's survival depends on secular minded folks who are not lock-steppers with the prevelent norms of said Cultural Bolshevism, not returning the Vatican to it's former medieval power, or having Calvinistic theocracy in other parts, which is what I believe many politically minded orthodox Xians are aspiring to.

No, it`s just the bravery of being out of range.

There's nothing wrong with the German social model. The beer is not bad either. As for religious values: history shows us that WHEREVER you put the clergy in charge of a country - they immediately start killing and maiming. Christians, Muslims - whatever, makes no difference. Give them the power, they open up the torture chambers and start burning people at the stake... It's nothing to worry about though... Its God's will!

>>There's nothing wrong with the German social model.<<

Where are you living? Of course this sytem has to be reformed for the future. But that`s nothing to laugh about. Every country is in constant changing progresses and Germany maybe waited a little bit too long.

>>The beer is not bad either.<<
Depends on the beer. Ever tried Oettinger or Werner?

>>As for religious values: history shows us that WHEREVER you put the clergy in charge of a country - they immediately start killing and maiming. Christians, Muslims - whatever, makes no difference. Give them the power, they open up the torture chambers and start burning people at the stake...<<

Yes, that might be true. A wise man once said "Give anyone too much rope and they`ll fuck it up."

>>It's nothing to worry about though... Its God's will!<<

No, it`s people`s free will. They just think it`s God`s will.

Good morning. Please correct me if I misunderstand, but there seems to be a premise underlying some of the comments that the opposite of a secular society is a theocracy. If I am not mistaken in my reading, how does that square with U.S. society, which is a fairly religious country, yet not a theocracy?

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