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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 17:52 GMT 
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I've read this whole thread, top to bottom,
and just want to throw this out:
Bob is a Messianic Jew.

Something for everyone!


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 17:54 GMT 
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Folk & Blues Fan wrote:
LJ, you're the voice of reason in a pre-Enlightenment wilderness here. The American constitution, like so many things that make life in Western democracies more pleasant than in most other places in space and time, was born out of the spirit of the Enlightenment, which was fought tooth and nail by the Christian churches, who would have preferred people to stay disinformed, frightened and malleable as in the Middle Ages.
The way Christians have the nerve to claim that Western democracy was their invention is simply unbelievable. The emancipation of the European Jews was an important part in the Enlightenment, and so it is pretty distressing to see how Jews voicing their uneasiness with the cultural dominance of Christianity are ridiculed and attacked in this thread. Their uneasiness is perfectly understandable, because for the last 2000 years Christian hegemony has always been synonymous with anti-semitic societies.
So, for the record: Historically, you bleeding Christians are the ENEMIES OF DEMOCRACY AND HUMANITY, NOT THE INVENTORS!!!


I guess the irony is lost on you that God is referenced all the time in folk and blues music.


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 17:57 GMT 

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F&B Blues Fan: That would be news to the many Christian Emancipators who came to France and Germany in U.S. Army uniforms as well as to those who were liberated and saved from torture and death.


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 18:09 GMT 
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All right, some more precision: Of course the Enlightnement had Judeo-Christian (not the same as Christian, see?) roots. Of course everybody who wanted any kind of influence in the 18th century had to profess his Christian faith (it was VERY hard for the few Jewish intellectuals who managed to be heard.) So in a way you are right.
BUT: All progress towards democracy was always made against the Christian churches. Also, don't forget the influence of Deism, a reason-based religious philosophy that refused many Christian doctrines.
So yes, Enlightenment culture was dominated by Christianity, but all progress was made by limiting the influence of the Christian churches on the state, not by proclaiming Christian states.
So I'll still say that progress has been won against Christianity, even though some of the people who furthered that progress were Christians.

@Eruke: I have no difficulty at all relating to religious sentiments. I ust believe that religion should be a private business.


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 18:11 GMT 
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I respectfully perceive Dylan to be a Messianic Jew.
Look up the definition/history here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messianic_Judaism

One could easily see why this might be the case.


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 18:20 GMT 
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So now your argument is that democracy was created by Christians, but that they were pretending to be Christian?? They must have been awfully good pretenders, considering almost half the Declaration signers held degrees in the Bible or seminary. It is true that deism held sway with a few of them, but to broadly suggest that the very people who fought for our inalienable rights would not exercise such rights themselves and rather put on false pretenses is quite a stretch. Remember, these were folks who specifically rebelled against being told what religion to follow.


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 18:27 GMT 

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I think we should be specific about what we hold up as the better alternative to what has been accomplished as a result of the creation of this country and its founders (I can't take seriously your argument that all of the Founders feigned Christian beliefs). Interestingly, this country (along with Russia and to a lesser extent Britain) carved up what is now Israel. Do you hold that country up as a bastion of religious freedom? I'm sure you'd have a difficult time making that argument even to Jews in Israel.


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 18:39 GMT 
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You seem to forget that it was practically impossible to get an education outside the church. So how much they had been brainwashed into believing, how much they really believed and how much they pretended is hard to tell (if the American populace was comparable to today in their religious mania, a LOT might have been pretence; even Obama knew he had to fake being a devout Christian to have any chance on a political career).
But what they were trying to create was a society where church and state were separated, and again, the Christian churches didn't like that a single bit. So the whole thing is complex, but if official Christianity hadn't been challenged we would still live in the Middle Ages.
And all that progress is threatened the moment people start saying we live in a Christian society. We don't. That's what some brave people fought for, some of whom may have been Christians: We live in a society where you CAN be a Christian, but you can also be an atheist, a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Jedi, a theosophist, a Unitarian, you name it. And believe me, if the organized Christian religion had gotten their way, none of that would have been possible.


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 18:59 GMT 
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Folk & Blues Fan wrote:
You seem to forget that it was practically impossible to get an education outside the church. So how much they had been brainwashed into believing, how much they really believed and how much they pretended is hard to tell...

Yes, because when you think of gullible figures, you automatically think of America's founding fathers. :roll: Research their writings, and I think you'll find they thought through their own beliefs a little more than you give them credit for.

Folk & Blues Fan wrote:
even Obama knew he had to fake being a devout Christian to have any chance on a political career).

Wait, wasn't it the GOP who were continually trying to relate Obama to his reverent and faith?

Folk & Blues Fan wrote:
But what they were trying to create was a society where church and state were separated, and again, the Christian churches didn't like that a single bit.

How many intitutions through history have "liked" being taken out of power?

Folk & Blues Fan wrote:
And all that progress is threatened the moment people start saying we live in a Christian society. We don't. That's what some brave people fought for, some of whom may have been Christians: We live in a society where you CAN be a Christian, but you can also be an atheist, a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Jedi, a theosophist, a Unitarian, you name it. And believe me, if the organized Christian religion had gotten their way, none of that would have been possible.

Why do you refuse to let the founders speak for themselves? Revisit the Patrick Henry quotation: Yes, those of all religions and no religion are welcome, but the culture and history (and progress!) were developed by Christians.


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 19:02 GMT 

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For better or worse, I think you have that wrong.

First, your characterization of the Founders' education can be easily applied to any society. However, the Founders were among the most enlightened people of their time and place and to the extent that any group could overcome the intellectual assumptions and limits of their society, this was the best chance the country had.

Additionally, while undoubtedly many politicians feign being devout Christians, this doesn't change the fact that most people in this country are raised as Christians and accept the broader moral tenets of the faith (without perhaps accepting organized religion and its core beliefs about creation, etc.).

As such, whether the Founders were all devout Christians or not is immaterial. This is a country formed by Christians or people who were raised Christian that is premised on the ideals taught by Christ, rightly or wrongly. It is not a tabula rasa designed to give voice to all religious practices and beliefs in the world. We are a country that strives to tolerate but not necessarily celebrate other faiths.

Which brings us back to the fact that Christmas (both the secular and religious celebration) will always be an essential part of our culture.

By the way, I abhhor many organized religious practices of all kinds and could lay blame for many of the ills of the world at their feet. But many churches have also been morally courageous in times of need (take for example the Methodist church (Christian sect) or the Quakers against slavery in the 19th century.

Again, if we are going to talk about the ills of organized religion, you should address the issue of Israel and explain its superiority in these areas.


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 19:12 GMT 

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Let's just be reasonable for once and agree that this debate is ridiculous. Not every song can cater to every religion.


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 19:20 GMT 
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bottle of bread wrote:
I respectfully perceive Dylan to be a Messianic Jew.
Look up the definition/history here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messianic_Judaism

One could easily see why this might be the case.

Welcome to ER, BoB. You make quite a strong case in your first two posts - makes sense to me anyway. You wouldn't happen to be in LA would you?


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 19:23 GMT 

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I agree that the Messianic Jew description might apply although I doubt Bob would ever allow himself to be pigeonholed. At any rate, he seems to take a much broader, humanistic view of God and faith than that contained in any one religion.


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 19:47 GMT 
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Woody: thanks for the welcome; alas, I'm an East Coast guy.

motel00: I agree with you. I would say he's a Messianic Jew at heart but reluctant to pin himself down. And for what it's worth, I understand how he feels -- as a famous, loved public figure, various sects want him to be a member of their club, and so he has to use his language carefully. Or rather, I think he just lets the Art speak for itself. The problem with saying anything publicly, and then having every word documented for all-time, is that one is not easily able to modify their viewpoint(s) without being scrutinized or labeled.


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 20:49 GMT 
motel00 wrote:
There are a number of issues here but let's get to the heart of the matter. It's almost unbelievable to me how some Jews react to Christmas in the United States, a holiday which is both secular and religious and which has become an essential part of the fabric of the country. I say some Jews because there are Jews who are astounded by the reactions of their brothers and sisters. The U.S. was founded by Christians (whether practicing or fallen). Religious freedom means toleration of other views (Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, etc.) but the ideals of the U.S. are based in large part in the morality taught by the Chrisitan Bible and Christmas is the most important holiday in this faith. As such, it is not surprising that it is celebrated with vim and vigor.

As Stephen Sondheim wrote, "It's intolerable, being tolerated." Freedom of religon implies respecting the religous beliefs of others, not merely tolerating them. The ideals and morality you talk about are not specific to a particular religon. Even atheists and deists subcribe to them.

"Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society."

"No religious reading, instruction or exercise, shall be prescribed or practiced [in the elementary schools] inconsistent with the tenets of any religious sect or denomination."

"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own."

"I have ever thought religion a concern purely between our God and our consciences, for which we were accountable to Him, and not to the priests."

-Thomas Jefferson.


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 21:01 GMT 
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There's a reason why TJ is my favorite president.
DEISM - it's what's for breakfast; but the sun will rise, regardless :D


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 21:03 GMT 
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Jewish is the new black.


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 21:04 GMT 
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PS - Transcendentalism - it's what's for afternoon tea...or after dinner cognac :D :D


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 21:09 GMT 
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motel00 wrote:
F&B Blues Fan: That would be news to the many Christian Emancipators who came to France and Germany in U.S. Army uniforms as well as to those who were liberated and saved from torture and death.

You edited that long after my reply. It said something completely different.
What you say is ridiculous, however. WWII wasn't a religious war. The vast majority of German Christians were Nazis. And the historical period I was talking about was long before that.
More pertinent to the thread topic: You are propagating a very vile brand of anti-semitism. Nobody here is talking about Israel. What does religious freedom in Israel have to do with the topic? Nothing. But it's a standard anti-semitic reflex to point to Israel every time Jews dare criticize something in their country. The Jews who expressed their unease at Bob's Christmas album are obviously Americans. So why do you mention Israel?


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 21:15 GMT 
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Woody wrote:
What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.
- George Washington

We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus!
- John Adams and John Hancock

[July 4th] ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.
- John Adams

Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]? Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?
- John Quincy Adams

It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.
- Patrick Henry


What a few of the individuals who helped found the country believed or didn't believe makes no difference.

What does make a difference is that, if they felt that these values should be part of the fabric of the new nation, surely they would have said so in the documents that they drafted and upon which the republic was founded.

But they didn't.

Nowhere in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution or Bill of Rights is there any mention of Jesus Christ. Do you honestly believe he was excluded by accident??????

No. The exclusion of GOD from those documents was done on purpose. And after a lot of debate. There's no confusion whatsoever that the founders wanted a secular democracy and not a theocracy. NONE.

Were some of those people who agreed that they wanted a secular democracy and not a theocracy Christians? I suppose some of them were. But once again, let me point out...

If the framers wanted Presidents to invoke God when taking the oath of office they could have worded the oath to accomplish that objective. Instead, the constitutional oath of office contains no reference to God, need not be administered on the Bible, and need not even be considered an oath. Contrary to the accommodationist argument, Article II, section 1 is evidence that the framers intended the federal government to be secular in its operation.

Only an idiot would argue otherwise.

[and thankfully, there's a butt-load of 'em waiting in line here....]


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 21:17 GMT 
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motel00 wrote:
We are a country that strives to tolerate but not necessarily celebrate other faiths.


Right... which is why the first Muslim sworn in to the US Congress took the oath of office with his hand on Thomas Jefferson's personal copy of the Koran. :roll:


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 21:21 GMT 
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Woody wrote:
What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.
- George Washington

We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus!
- John Adams and John Hancock

[July 4th] ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.
- John Adams

Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]? Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?
- John Quincy Adams

It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.
- Patrick Henry

So some of your founding fathers were Christians - but definitely not all. The important part, however, is that, whether Patrick henry liked it or not, the American constitution is very emphatically the founding document NOT of a Christian state, but of one that is religiously neutral. That happened thanks to the influence of non-Christians (for whom God be praised :lol: ). And it is one of the most worrying tendencies today how Christians are trying to give that clear separation between state and religion that subtle twist by which suddenly it is supposed to be a Christian state anyway. It isn't. (Lucky Americans. Here in Germany the Churches are still granted undue influence in state affairs, and it's not a good thing).


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 21:37 GMT 
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If there were even one original Dylan song on this album, it might be worth downloading or copying from the library. Dylan I love for his own compositions, not his covers, his iconoclasm, not his traditionalism.
If I want to give charity, I hand it to poor people on the street, not to Sony Music or millionaire rock stars who are soliciting their public with the convention of Victorian English-American Christmas as the rationale. If Bob Dylan wants to give charity, why not his own excessive millions, instead of reaching for the public's cash?
A rehash of these tired, boring traditional songs is about as inspiring as the post christmas sidewalks with dried pine trees lying on their sides, and the mess of tinsel and torn gift wrap in the overflowing trash cans. The album belongs in those cans.
On the other hand, I love Odetta's "Christmas Spirituals" LP, Joan Baez' "Noel,' Loreena McKennitt's "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen", Christmas at the Met, and am not categorically opposed to all Christmas Music, though ethnically Jewish and spiritually eclectic.


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 21:46 GMT 
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Long Johnny wrote:
Woody wrote:
What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.
- George Washington

We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus!
- John Adams and John Hancock

[July 4th] ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.
- John Adams

Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]? Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?
- John Quincy Adams

It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.
- Patrick Henry


What a few of the individuals who helped found the country believed or didn't believe makes no difference.

What does make a difference is that, if they felt that these values should be part of the fabric of the new nation, surely they would have said so in the documents that they drafted and upon which the republic was founded.

But they didn't.

Nowhere in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution or Bill of Rights is there any mention of Jesus Christ. Do you honestly believe he was excluded by accident??????

No. The exclusion of GOD from those documents was done on purpose. And after a lot of debate. There's no confusion whatsoever that the founders wanted a secular democracy and not a theocracy. NONE.

Were some of those people who agreed that they wanted a secular democracy and not a theocracy Christians? I suppose some of them were. But once again, let me point out...

If the framers wanted Presidents to invoke God when taking the oath of office they could have worded the oath to accomplish that objective. Instead, the constitutional oath of office contains no reference to God, need not be administered on the Bible, and need not even be considered an oath. Contrary to the accommodationist argument, Article II, section 1 is evidence that the framers intended the federal government to be secular in its operation.

Only an idiot would argue otherwise.

[and thankfully, there's a butt-load of 'em waiting in line here....]


"(...) Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust":
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.


from America National Anthem Lyrics United States of America, The Star Spangled Banner


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PostPosted: Tue October 13th, 2009, 21:54 GMT 

Joined: Wed February 7th, 2007, 14:01 GMT
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Shakespeare - You've got to see 'A Serious Man' by the Cohen Brothers.
It's about life in a Jewish suburb in the 1960s. It's hilarious :)


Oh, back on topic. Bob loves Christmas.


Last edited by A Girl of North Country on Tue October 13th, 2009, 21:55 GMT, edited 1 time in total.

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