Christianity, US government, democracy (was: NYTimes email)

Russell Turpin
Mon, 1 Oct 2001 22:36:55 -0500

Mike Masnick writes:
> Besides, it's amazing that you picked out that one 
> paragraph that when put alone takes it all out of 
> context and blames it on the Jews. You leave out
> the next paragraph where the other guy responds 
> by saying that all of the Middle East must be a 
> Muslim state ..

I am *much* more sympathetic to Israel than I 
am to *any* of the officially Islamic states, none 
of which even resembles a democracy. You're 
right, though. I should have included the next 
paragraph. It makes for interesting repetition.

> The US is a democracy that is based on it's own 
> "religion" which could easily be defined as a mix 
> of christianity and consumerism. ..

US government is NOT based on Christianity, 
and that has been very important in US history. 
This came up some time ago. I will pose the same
challenge now that I posed then: Can you provide 
specific examples of how US government or 
law is based on Christianity? (There are a few,
but most people can't spot them.) 'Tis true, of 
course, that most Americans are Christian. And 
that has a tremendous impact culturally. But it is 
not the basis for US government.

> It's the democracy that's important. ..

There's more to democracy than having elections.
In my view, ethnic and religious neutrality are
critical components of democratic government.
America became significantly more democratic
with the 14th Amendment.