Saturday, February 11, 2006

Presidents Month/Coffee Poem/Cartoons

(P1) Philosophical

The "Religion" of Our First 6 Presidents

Regular readers of this blog may recognize William Edelen who I consider to be a spiritual mentor. Interestingly, Bill was a WWII Marine Corps fighter pilot and is also an ordained minister. His mission over the years has transformed into a sort of "shaman" who demythologizes religion and examines the present in the true light of history. Incidentally, Bill married Joyce and I.

Here are a few blurbs from Bill Edelen's February 5th online column "Stars and Treaties." After describing a very much deserved personal honor, Bill goes on to discuss the "non-Christian" heritage of our first 6 presidents. I will follow the excerpts with a link to the complete article and the "Edelen" website:

"February is called 'Presidents' Month."...I call ...your attention to the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli. A Treaty that drives the religious and political right wing historically illiterate fanatics out of their minds...Article 11 reads 'THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS NOT IN ANY SENSE FOUNDED ON THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION.' This treaty was ratified by the Senate in 1797 without a single objection and signed by president John Adams...The Treaty was written under George Washington and signed by John Adams.

Our first six presidents were Deists and Humanists...the Encyclopedia Britannica...quote: 'One of the embarrassing problems for the nineteenth-century champions of the Christian faith was the fact that NOT ONE of the first six presidents of the United States was a Christian. They were Deists.' In Deism there is no personal God, only an impersonal 'force' or 'energy' or 'natures God' or 'providence' or 'creator'...words that Jefferson often used.

In Deism the bible is nothing but literature...In Deism Jesus was nothing more than a nomadic teacher. President John Adams wrote that: the doctrine of the divinity of Jesus has made a convenient cover for absurdity. Creeds, Confessions, Doctrines and Oaths are all trumpery.'

Thomas Jefferson put in one succinct sentence what they all believed: "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by a supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." (letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823).

Please...let us try to bring a little integrity and historical facts into Presidents Month. Please...all of you religious and political right wringers raving about our 'Christian' heritage...please do something different, for a change in Presidents Month...try to be honest."

Here is the link to the full column and Edelen's website

(P2) Poetical


At times like this

when I am literally nothing

more than the coffee I drink,

at times like this

when I am precisely nothing,

I am the poet.

(Ed Coletti - 1994)

(P3) Political

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irreverant Ed Hagan said...

I remember visiting Valley Forge, PA with a local I knew in the Navy. He showed me where George Washington was to have kneeled and prayed. Looking out at that scene un winter I wondered about the truth in this old story. I knew George Washington didn't think God would help given his beliefs. But, he knew that wasn't what mattered. He was hoping Congress would hear and answer his prayers. Isn't that what every president since has prayed for?

Duncan said...

I've been a fan of Tom Jefferson for many years, now Bill has made it more clear to me why.

Sara B. said...

Hi Eddie,
Thanks for reminding me of Bill. I haven't read anything of his for years, but he is "Great" as always. The whole idea of fundamentalism is beyond my understanding. David and I just recently visited the Egyptian show at the
de Young. It was interesting to read that Hatshepsut, the queen that became a pharaoh "spread as propaganda" the story that her mother had been impregnated by the god Amun and therefore she was a "Son of God". It's amazing that the Christians just don't know the idea of the virgin birth is not even an original one, and in fact is ancient. Of course the scary part of that ignorance is that they believe their myth is the truth. I am enjoying your to see where your exploring is leading you.
Best Regards,

Duncan said...

I light of recent administration attempts at finger pointing, most recently the VP's hunting accident, here is my thought for the week:
By amending our mistakes, we get wisdom.

"By amending our mistakes, we get wisdom.
By defending our faults, we betray an unsound mind."
-The Sutra of Hui Neng

This is posted the Philosophy section, not the political. Sometimes it's hard to quit.