Is the US really secular?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Das ka das, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. Das ka das

    Das ka das Tihar Jail Banned

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    Greetings,

    We have all heard about separation of church and state in the States and how its enshrined in the Constitution. However if this is true why does almost every candidate have to do a declaration of faith that he/she is a true Christian. Take for example the case of former Sikh Namrata Randhawa aka Nikki Haley, the Republican governor of South Carolina ( a Bible belt state), not only did she publicly declare her devotion to Christianity...her own website has this to say:

    Question: Is Nikki a Christian?

    Question: Is Nikki a Christian?

    Truth: In Nikki’s words: “My faith in Christ has a profound impact on my daily life and I look to Him for guidance with every decision I make. God has blessed my family in so many ways and my faith in the Lord gives me great strength on a daily basis. Being a Christian is not about words, but about living for Christ every day.”


    The very fact that she has to put up such a question in her website is in itself sickening.
     
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  3. aeroblogger

    aeroblogger Regular Member

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    If Nikki Haley (or Bobby Jindal) weren't Christian, they wouldn't be elected. That's a simple fact.

    However, this is because the constituents wouldn't elect them if they weren't Christian - there is certainly no policies of the government which prevent a Hindu or Sikh from running. Therefore, the Government of USA is secular.

    India has taken the concept of "secularism" too far...
     
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  4. Das ka das

    Das ka das Tihar Jail Banned

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    Sir, what about the fact that every US Presidential candidate has to publicly declare his faith in Chrisitianity even if he wants to get nominated. Remember accusations of Obama being Muslim in 2008. What I don't understand is the lack of mass condemnation from the MSM regarding this. Well so maybe the US is secular but the VAST majority of the population is far from it.
     
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  5. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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  6. aeroblogger

    aeroblogger Regular Member

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    I think my point flew right over your head. Secularism is to give people of any religion an equal opportunity. People of every religion are free to run for office. Therefore, American law is secular.

    People are free to vote based on whichever criteria they wish to vote. Electing Christian representatives is important to a significant amount of the population, so therefore candidates choose to be Christian. There is nothing forbidding Nikki Haley from running as a Sikh - she has chosen not to do this.
     
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  7. Das ka das

    Das ka das Tihar Jail Banned

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    Again though it is secular on paper, the vast majority of its population is not.

    Also if US is secular then why does it fund White Christian missionaries who want to break the cultural essence that binds the Indian civilization. Why are these missionaries often acting as spies?

    What is with the Committee on Religious Freedom which puts India on its watchlist due to a few states enacting anti-conversion laws? In reality this organization is nothing but a front for evangelical Christians and for them any country that limits their ability to harvest souls (no matter how insignificant) is "intolerant".

    Secular my foot.
     
  8. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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  9. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Of course it is not. That's what the words "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." mean. People can practice their religion in the United States!

    What are you talking about? Are you referring to this?

    USCIRF - USCIRF
    The US Government does not fund missionaries, White Christian or otherwise...

    You seem exercised and confused. I can't waste a lot of time getting you straightened out.
     
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  10. Das ka das

    Das ka das Tihar Jail Banned

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    Read "Breaking India" by Rajiv Malhotra (if you don't think White missonaries are supported by US), a very well researched book. The very fact that they put India on their watch list is preposterous.
     
  11. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    The US Government is mostly secular, but vast sections of Americans are not. Americans are among the most non-secular peoples in the developed world.
     
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  12. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    US sees Christianity as a means of exporting soft power abroad.

    Check this out, the source is not some loony propaganda blog, but mainstream.

    -----
    The operation was launched in the early 1990s but really came into its own after George W Bush Jr, an avowed born-again Christian, became president of the United States in 2001. Since then, aggressive evangelists have found pro-active support from the new administration in their efforts to convert some sections of Indian society to Christianity. At the heart of this complex and sophisticated operation is a simple strategy-convert locals and then give them the know-how and money to plant their own churches and multiply.

    Around the time that Bush Jr moved into the Oval office, a worldwide conversion movement, funded and effected by American evangelical groups, was peaking in India. The movement, which began as AD2000 & Beyond and later morphed into Joshua Project I and Joshua Project II, was designed to be a sledgehammer-a breathtaking, decade-long steamroller of a campaign that would set the stage for a systematic, sophisticated and self-sustaining "harvest" of the "unreached people groups" in India in the 21st century. It was just as the operation was taking off that the script changed. Much to the delight of American evangelicals, one of their own, George Bush Jr, became the occupant of the White House.

    In a major policy decision taken very early into his presidency, Bush, on January 29, 2001, unveiled a "faith based" social service initiative that included a new White House office to promote government aid to churches and Christian faith-based organisations. This, in effect, threw the massive weight of the federal government behind religious groups and religious conversions. The Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives was set up in the White House in the first week of February 2002 and a man called Jim Towey was appointed director. (A snap introduction to Towey: he was the legal counsel to Mother Teresa in the late 1980s.)
    Though Bush's initiative to fund "salvation and religious conversion" is stalled in the Congress over constitutional and civil rights concerns, he has pushed for its implementation through executive orders.

    White House-Christian Coalition nexus

    The American press is replete with reports on Bush's largesse to faith-based organisations. They say it's his "return gift" to the Christian Right for having loyally supported his presidential campaign. The Christian Coalition, founded by American TV evangelist and head of the multi-billion Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Pat Robertson, played a crucial role in the 2000 election. Recently, in his TV programme, Club 700, broadcast on CBN, Robertson created a stir by announcing that he is confident Bush will win the 2004 election in a "blowout" because God has told him so.

    Indeed, Bush is keen to retain what we call the votebank and Americans 'the base'. After all, the Far Right Christian evangelists have also been the most loyal backers of his hardline militarism in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

    But there is another, perhaps more important, reason why Bush is keen on supporting his evangelist friends who run huge transnational missionary organisations (TMOs). In the decade 1990-2000 they ran a global intelligence operation so complex and sophisticated that its scale and implications are no less than staggering. This operation has put in place a system which enables the US government to access any ethnographic information on any location virtually at the click of the mouse. This network in India, established with funding and strategic assistance from US-based TMOs, gives US intelligence agencies virtually real time access to every nook and corner of the country. (See 'List of TMOs Active in India')

    Since Bush's ascendancy to the presidency this network of networks has multiplied rapidly in India. Bush supports conversion in India because he supports those American TMOs who fund and strategise conversion activities in this country. Organisations like the International Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention, Christian Aid, World Vision, Seventh Day Adventist Church and multi-billion enterprises run by evangelists like Pat Robertson, Billy Graham and Roger Houtsma, amongst many others, were instrumental in running a coordinated conversion campaign in India under the banner of AD2000. These later became the Joshua Project and when the decade-long movement officially closed down in March 2001, Joshua Project II was launched to sustain conversions and intelligence-gathering. Graham's TMO, Billy Graham Evangelist Association, supports conversion activities in Gurgaon, Haryana, and Kolkata.

    When AD2000 was conceived for India, the plan was based on a military model with the intent to invade, occupy, control, or subjugate its population. It was based on solid intelligence emanating from the ground and well-researched information on various facets of selected people groups. The idea was to send out spying missions to source micro details on religion and culture. The social and economic divisions in the various Indian communities were closely examined. Given the oppressive and institutionalised caste system in the Hindu society, American evangelical strategists chalked out plans for reaching these various "unmixable" caste groups. The many faultlines running through the country-divisions in terms of ethnicity, caste, creed, language and class-were all factored in during the generation of ethnographic data.

    North India was designated the core target of American evangelists. It was described as the "core of the core of the core" of a worldwide evangelical movement conceived by fundamentalist American missionaries. This movement that took shape over the 1990s, has now taken off because of a unique collaboration between the American government and US-based evangelical mission agencies. In the 1990s this movement was shaped by the World Evangelical Fellowship (an international alliance of national evangelical alliances), working with the AD2000 movement. It brought together a wide variety of individuals and organisations, under the single goal of achieving "a church for every people and the gospel for every person by the year 2000." Its focus was missionary mobilisation and church planting in India and other regions of the world where the Christian population was negligible. This movement was also a massive intelligence gathering exercise funded and supported by American missionary organisations that were responsible for the election of George W Bush.

    Global evangelism plans

    AD2000 first attracted attention at a convention of international evangelical missions called Lausanne II in Manila in 1989. The movement then spread rapidly around the globe to help catalyse evangelism. The strategy behind the movement was to establish pioneering global partnerships to eventually provide a church within every "unreached people group". Ralph Winter, founder of the US Center for World Mission, characterised the movement as "the largest, most pervasive global evangelical network ever to exist."

    This movement, spearheaded by Luis Bush from the movement's headquarters in Colorado Springs, US, was planned for large conversion of people living within the "10/40 Window". Incidentally, Billy Graham, a Christian fundamentalist and rabid evangelist, who was responsible for George W's "born again" Christian status and whom the president considers as his godfather was the honorary co-chairman of the AD 2000 movement.

    --

    Extract Tehelka - The People's Paper
     
  13. Das ka das

    Das ka das Tihar Jail Banned

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    They really are...I'm in the southern Bible belt, and when I sometimes go drinking with my US friends, their true colors come out.
     
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  14. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    [​IMG]
     
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  15. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    If a government is non-secular, must the the people not practice religion? I repeat, what the words "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." mean is "People can practice their religion in the United States!"


    If the "US Government" is meant, you are wrong.

    And that soft power crap is so stupid. Soft power is like having a flaccid erection.
     
  16. Das ka das

    Das ka das Tihar Jail Banned

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    WG Ewald,

    I am not saying people become unsecular if they practice religion, that is not my point at all. India is a very religious country for the most part but I can say without the doubt that even the illiterate villager from UP is a hell of a lot more secular than an average American. It appears you don't have a great understanding of what it means to be secular.

    Again you did not address the very detailed post of LurkerBaba...we could care less about your erectile dysfunction. :thumb:
     
  17. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I have many friends who are religious church going people. One of them is a reverend. None of them - I repeat, N-O-N-E of them drink.

    Choose your company wisely.
     
  18. Das ka das

    Das ka das Tihar Jail Banned

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    Every single person I know in the States drinks...and that too heavily. May I ask which sect of Christianity your friends belong to?
     
  19. arkem8

    arkem8 Regular Member

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    USA --- Xtian nation w/ secular constitution
    Western European Nations --- mostly secular w/ Xtian constitution
     
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  20. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Not possible. In all churches wine and a piece of bread is given as sacrament.
     
  21. Defenceindia2010

    Defenceindia2010 Regular Member

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    Like a great magician who uses illusion in his magic tricks, the US is like similar stage where the majority and the individuals who have power profess secular values but are staunch Christians themselves. US is not what it seems to be to an outsider, a disproportionate part of the fundamentalist missionary movements have there origins in the US and they wield lot of influence on the home ground and in countries which are client states to US. They also have a media which portrays US as the savior of the world and the next big thing to heaven, but all those who can distinguish the 'REAL' world from the fantasy know that that world does not work the way to seems to but is totally opposite, but unfortunately those who know that 'REAL' world are in short supply. :dharma:
     
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