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A Secular community; would it be possible?

Would it ever be possible to have a community within a County or State that sets the laws without any reference to God/Jesus/Allah/Abraham? Our marriages would be totally secular and handled like a business contract. Our homes and commercial buildings would be purchased under another contract where both men and women were obligated to pay the mortgages. Our schools would have secular classrooms focused on math and science with an emphasis on academics. Since we would have no churches we would not request or accept government faith-based money. We would have our own charities for the homeless and handicapped residents. We can have tutors on the basic rules of right an wrong without any mention of hell and damnation.

Our local government would demand that the Federal Government stay out of our social choices and absolutely under the 10th Amendment. Our newspapers would reflect the 1st Amendment for freedom of speech. We would be the perfect example of a Separation of Church and State. Our schools under the guidance of the parents would teach right from wrong from the first day of kindergarten. We would not be required to hand the Federal Government any information on our private or personal lives. The 4th Amendment would be restored inside our secular community. We would be under no obligation to follow any Congressional interference in our lives. No wire-tapping, no eavesdropping and no requests for our medical records or job histories to be put in a National ID registration.

All celebrations whether local or religious would be by choice as many Atheists enjoy the time off from work and school to spend with our loved ones.

We would pay our taxes to the County, State and Federal Government but our personal lives will not depend on any religious leader found in the White House or the Capitol. This came to me last night when I had had quite enough of the Candidates running who want full control over our individual lives. I want my America back.

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Since we would have no churches . . .

How does it logically follow that in a society such as you describe (i.e., one in which the government properly stays out of religion), that there would be no churches? Wouldn't people still have the right to worship as they choose?

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I think the world will get there some day, and far beyond. Not that there will be no churches and no religion, but not anywhere like they are today. It's probably not going to be a straight line. Cultures take long detours. Imagine how advanced China would be it had not taken a detour into Communism. Chances are that the detours will come, and might even last for multiple generations. Chances are that each such detour will demonstrate further proof of something that does not work.

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Would it ever be possible to have a community within a County or State that sets the laws without any reference to God/Jesus/Allah/Abraham?
I think I live in such a community -- as far as I know there are no laws that refer to God/Jesus/Allah/Abraham or other specific religions or religious personae. The only references to religion that I imagine might exist would be "without regard to religion".
Our marriages would be totally secular and handled like a business contract.
Not sure what you mean by "totally secular"; for example, do you mean that religious ceremonies would be prohibited? They are allowed, but not required. I don't think treating marriage like a contractual matter is appropriate to the nature of marriage, but there should be some legal understanding about property.
Our homes and commercial buildings would be purchased under another contract where both men and women were obligated to pay the mortgages.
That would be the case even now.
Since we would have no churches we would not request or accept government faith-based money.
Well, now you are asking a totally different question -- it's not just about the law, but whether a society could be created where nobody, in fact, had a religious belief. And I think that should extend not just to old-fashioned named major religions, but also the latter-day cults and New Age mystical beliefs. I see that as a much more remote possibility (recall that 96% of Americans profess religious beliefs), something not likely for hundreds of years. Legal separation of Church and State, on the other hand, is more realistic and is at least currently a semi-reality.
No wire-tapping, no eavesdropping and no requests for our medical records or job histories to be put in a National ID registration.
Well, as for the last item, clearly, since we don't have that now. But the former two would only be possible in a utopic society where there are no criminals. Eliminating wiretapping because it is simply unnecessary (because everybody respects the rights of others) is certainly desirable, but as long as there are gangsters and terrorists, something will have to be done to prevent their actions.
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Our homes and commercial buildings would be purchased under another contract where both men and women were obligated to pay the mortgages.

No, it will depend on the individual contract.

Our schools would have secular classrooms focused on math and science

No, other subjects like English, foreign languages, history, etc would also be focused on.

We would have our own charities for the homeless and handicapped residents.

Our schools under the guidance of the parents would teach right from wrong from the first day of kindergarten.

All celebrations whether local or religious would be by choice as many Atheists enjoy the time off from work and school to spend with our loved ones.

Not necessarily. Secular does not equal laissez faire. The right philosophical attitude is needed for laissez faire.

We can have tutors on the basic rules of right an wrong without any mention of hell and damnation.

True, but that doesn't mean they will get it right. Secular does not equal Objectivism either.

Our local government would demand that the Federal Government stay out of our social choices and absolutely under the 10th Amendment. Our newspapers would reflect the 1st Amendment for freedom of speech.... We would not be required to hand the Federal Government any information on our private or personal lives. The 4th Amendment would be restored inside our secular community. We would be under no obligation to follow any Congressional interference in our lives. No wire-tapping, no eavesdropping and no requests for our medical records or job histories to be put in a National ID registration.

Again these do not follow from secularism, they follow from philosophy.

We would pay our taxes to the County, State and Federal Government

Unless we had laissez faire. Then we would pay no taxes. Instead we would be able to choose whether or not to donate money to the government so it can pay for police, courts, and the military.

I think the world will get there some day, and far beyond.

I hope you are right.

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Eliminating wiretapping because it is simply unnecessary (because everybody respects the rights of others) is certainly desirable, but as long as there are gangsters and terrorists, something will have to be done to prevent their actions.

Yes, but requests for our medical records or job histories to be put in a National ID registration is not something that should be done for such. In fact National ID registration shouldn't exist at all. It doesn't fit into the legitimate purpose of government; it isn't the government's job to provide us with ID.

Edited by DragonMaci
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A Secular community; would it be possible?

Would it ever be possible to have a community within a County or State that sets the laws without any reference to God/Jesus/Allah/Abraham? Our marriages would be totally secular and handled like a business contract. Our homes and commercial buildings would be purchased under another contract where both men and women were obligated to pay the mortgages. Our schools would have secular classrooms focused on math and science with an emphasis on academics. Since we would have no churches we would not request or accept government faith-based money. We would have our own charities for the homeless and handicapped residents. We can have tutors on the basic rules of right an wrong without any mention of hell and damnation.

Our local government would demand that the Federal Government stay out of our social choices and absolutely under the 10th Amendment. Our newspapers would reflect the 1st Amendment for freedom of speech. We would be the perfect example of a Separation of Church and State. Our schools under the guidance of the parents would teach right from wrong from the first day of kindergarten. We would not be required to hand the Federal Government any information on our private or personal lives. The 4th Amendment would be restored inside our secular community. We would be under no obligation to follow any Congressional interference in our lives. No wire-tapping, no eavesdropping and no requests for our medical records or job histories to be put in a National ID registration.

All celebrations whether local or religious would be by choice as many Atheists enjoy the time off from work and school to spend with our loved ones.

We would pay our taxes to the County, State and Federal Government but our personal lives will not depend on any religious leader found in the White House or the Capitol. This came to me last night when I had had quite enough of the Candidates running who want full control over our individual lives. I want my America back.

Comments?

What is your America?

You seem to focuss a lot on -traditional- religious issues as if they were the only evil; I believe if you could just move to California you'd have something like you described, along with a totally non abrahamanic religon: environmentalism .

Your description -sort of- sounds like a Socialist country! Atheism for the sake of atheism (you wish!)

Anyway, I've flirted with secluded communities, and I think they are attainable, but not through political force, but by productive force: like Walt Disney World florida! or the hundreads of profitable gated communities and designer towns. Just buy a large tract of land and build your atheist society where no religious meetings would be allowed.

Cheers

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A Secular community; would it be possible?

Your question is based on the false choice of religious v. atheist collectivism. Any consideration of life under 20th century Communism should put this confusion to rest.

Your America was founded by religious men who recognized that religion is a personal choice, and that government should be blind to religious considerations (not anti-religion, as Jefferson and other believers in the [non-existent] "separation clause" would have us believe).

Your problem with the men in Washington should not be their religious tendencies, but their collectivist tendencies, whether those stem from religious zealotry or socialist zealotry.

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Your America was founded by religious men who recognized that religion is a personal choice, and that government should be blind to religious considerations (not anti-religion, as Jefferson and other believers in the [non-existent] "separation clause" would have us believe).

Are you saying all of the founders were religious men or just some of them. If so, which ones?

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Are you saying all of the founders were religious men or just some of them. If so, which ones?

It depends what you mean by -religious-. The majority of the Founders were Deists (non-Trinitarians). Most believed in some kind of g/God. Jefferson (for example) was a believer but rather unorthodox in his faith. He also felt that the established churches were corrupt. Most of the leading intellectuals of the Enlightenment were believers.

ruveyn

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Are you saying all of the founders were religious men or just some of them. If so, which ones?

Signers of the Declaration of Independence:

Name of Signer State Religious Affiliation

Charles Carroll Maryland Catholic

Samuel Huntington Connecticut Congregationalist

Roger Sherman Connecticut Congregationalist

William Williams Connecticut Congregationalist

Oliver Wolcott Connecticut Congregationalist

Lyman Hall Georgia Congregationalist

Samuel Adams Massachusetts Congregationalist

John Hancock Massachusetts Congregationalist

Josiah Bartlett New Hampshire Congregationalist

William Whipple New Hampshire Congregationalist

William Ellery Rhode Island Congregationalist

John Adams Massachusetts Congregationalist; Unitarian

Robert Treat Paine Massachusetts Congregationalist; Unitarian

George Walton Georgia Episcopalian

John Penn North Carolina Episcopalian

George Ross Pennsylvania Episcopalian

Thomas Heyward Jr. South Carolina Episcopalian

Thomas Lynch Jr. South Carolina Episcopalian

Arthur Middleton South Carolina Episcopalian

Edward Rutledge South Carolina Episcopalian

Francis Lightfoot Lee Virginia Episcopalian

Richard Henry Lee Virginia Episcopalian

George Read Delaware Episcopalian

Caesar Rodney Delaware Episcopalian

Samuel Chase Maryland Episcopalian

William Paca Maryland Episcopalian

Thomas Stone Maryland Episcopalian

Elbridge Gerry Massachusetts Episcopalian

Francis Hopkinson New Jersey Episcopalian

Francis Lewis New York Episcopalian

Lewis Morris New York Episcopalian

William Hooper North Carolina Episcopalian

Robert Morris Pennsylvania Episcopalian

John Morton Pennsylvania Episcopalian

Stephen Hopkins Rhode Island Episcopalian

Carter Braxton Virginia Episcopalian

Benjamin Harrison Virginia Episcopalian

Thomas Nelson Jr. Virginia Episcopalian

George Wythe Virginia Episcopalian

Thomas Jefferson Virginia Episcopalian (Deist)

Benjamin Franklin Pennsylvania Episcopalian (Deist)

Button Gwinnett Georgia Episcopalian; Congregationalist

James Wilson Pennsylvania Episcopalian; Presbyterian

Joseph Hewes North Carolina Quaker, Episcopalian

George Clymer Pennsylvania Quaker, Episcopalian

Thomas McKean Delaware Presbyterian

Matthew Thornton New Hampshire Presbyterian

Abraham Clark New Jersey Presbyterian

John Hart New Jersey Presbyterian

Richard Stockton New Jersey Presbyterian

John Witherspoon New Jersey Presbyterian

William Floyd New York Presbyterian

Philip Livingston New York Presbyterian

James Smith Pennsylvania Presbyterian

George Taylor Pennsylvania Presbyterian

Benjamin Rush Pennsylvania Presbyterian

Thomas Paine was also a Deist.

Sorry I don't have a source for this, I dug it up a couple of years ago for an email discussion.

My point is not to defend religion, only to point out that religion, in and of itself, is not the evil that you make it out to be. The collectivism inherent in most religions is.

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The majority of the Founders were Deists (non-Trinitarians).

I believe deism refers to non-interference by God, not disbelief in the Trinity. I think it can be safely said that the majority of the founders understood the dangers of religious political power and were principled against the pitfalls of any collectivism, save that necessary to the defense of individual rights.

John Adams was definitely a religious man who railed against the anti-Christian deism of Thomas Paine, and was possibly the most influential political force behind the Revolution.

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We would pay our taxes to the County, State and Federal Government but our personal lives will not depend on any religious leader found in the White House or the Capitol. This came to me last night when I had had quite enough of the Candidates running who want full control over our individual lives. I want my America back.

Comments?

Your America consisted largely of church-going folks in the 18-th and 19-th century. And it still did in the 20th century.

Your America was never overly fond of atheists, and many atheists (and agnostics) had to disguise themselves as church going Americans. Many people in the Unitarian-Universalist church were "closet" atheists. Did you know that Tom Paine, the advocate and spokesman for independence was, after his death, reviled as an atheist by many Christian folks. They spit on the memory of the man, whose writings had a great deal to do goading Americans into fighting against England for their independence. Paine, in the later portion of his life was spurned by many, and died lonely and isolated. This was partly because of his anti-religious attitude.

And be careful of what you wish for. You probably would not be comfortable living in a Secular-Humanist Community. Atheists and agnostics they are (for the most part). They are also dedicated altruists who live to share not only their wealth, but other people's wealth. Being secular is no guarantee of being acceptable to Objectivists. I would rather live in a town that consisted mostly of New England Congregationalists (who are Christians, but very tolerant of other beliefs) than among dedicated Secular Humanists. I live in New England, so I know what I am talking about. The Congregationalists go to church on Sunday and are righteous folk who mind their own business during the rest of the week. The ones I have lived among or met are (for the most part) decent and honest folk. They do business straight and square and they do not "get in your head". Not bad, yes? Some of the secular humanists I have met are self-righteous anti-Christian bigots and very far to the left politically. Ideologically their movement is slanted left politically. They tend to be statists. This people want to make other people -Good-. They want to create a world without Sin. Beware!

Consider Horace Mann, the father of public (mis)education in the United States. He was a Unitarian Universalist who probably prayed to whom it may concern, and he substituted the State for God. He latched on the the Prussian model of State run, State funded schooling which commanded that all the little boys and girls go to State schools where they would learn to be good little citizens. Und Zey Vill Enchoy It! Mann and his ilk won out and now we have schools were good little boys and girls pray to the U.S. Flag but don't learn to read very well. Is this what you really want?

Think about it.

ruveyn

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Are you saying all of the founders were religious men or just some of them. If so, which ones?
Enough of the major, famous ones were deists or "close enough", in the sense that they thought God was fairly incidental in day-to-day lives. One notable exception was Patrick Henry. Not sure if one would call him a major founding father, but he's at least symbolically important because of his famours speech; and, he was important at the state-level in Virginia.

Patrick Henry wanted government funding for the teaching of Christianity, holding that it would ensure better public morality and would not interfere too much with Church-State separation. [Check this out for more.]

Jefferson and Madison were appalled by this. Jefferson wrote, in a private letter to Madison, "what we have to do, I think, is devotedly pray for his [Patrick Henry's] death.”

Bonus: Here's a re-enactment (likely with some poetic licence) of a Jefferson/Henry argument.

Edited by softwareNerd
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