For a 'non-partisan' forum, Rep. Kline talked about some very partisan issues that negatively critique the current Obama administration... like criticism for high unemployment, needing smaller government, no more stimulus packages, no more government spending in general and lowering taxes. All in all, it didn't feel much like a 'non-partisan' speech but the one thing that was most upsetting is John Kline's statements on America's history and his focus on religion and fear:
“I’m standing here on this stage with a document [the United States Constitution] that was founded on those Judeo-Christian principles of belief in the almighty and belief in an all powerful God,” he added. “We opened this rally with prayer to that God, but we have many people sometime — nameless, faceless people — who are literally trying to erase God from the public square, from the nation’s capital.”See John Kline's full speech in The UpTake video below. The Religious Right and John Kline's claims that America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and thus the government can promote those principles is completely FALSE and not based on America's own history. In fact just the opposite is true: The Founding Fathers intentionally create a government that was totally neutral toward all things religious....When Kline is referring to 'nameless, faceless people', he is in fact referring to America's Founding Fathers!
....America's Constitution was crafted specifically by the Founding Fathers to stop a Theocracy. Our Founders wanted ALL men to make the choice for themselves and not be forced to adhere to one religion. That is why we have the FIRST amendment:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances"In other words, the government did not need the permission of the Church in order to act nor did they want the government to be of religion but free from religion. The first amendment enumerates the right to; speech, religion, press, petition and assembly. This is not to suggest that 1st amendment rights are absolute or that they have not been impinged upon time and time again.
This is the opposite of what the Religious Right and John Kline's are claiming. Kline's claim that America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and thus the government can promote those principle is removed from the reality of what U.S. history has been. Since the earliest days of the nation until now, efforts have been made to amend the Constitution to include a recognition of God and Christianity. The repeated failure of those attempts has led to a new strategy in recent years, including what John Kline is doing by rewriting the history and claiming that God and Christianity have always been in the Constitution.
What John Kline is doing is trying to
Thomas Paine was a pamphleteer whose manifestos encouraged the faltering spirits of the country and aided materially in winning the war of Independence:
I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of...Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all."George Washington, the first president of the United States, never declared himself a Christian according to contemporary reports or in any of his voluminous correspondence. Washington championed the cause of freedom from religious intolerance and compulsion is shown by his embracing Freemasonry
John Adams,a Unitarian and the country's second president, was drawn to the study of law but faced pressure from his father to become a clergyman. He wrote that he found among the lawyers 'noble and gallant achievements" but among the clergy, the "pretended sanctity of some absolute dunces". Late in life he wrote:
"Twenty times in the course of my late reading, have I been upon the point of breaking out, This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!"It was during Adam's administration that the Senate ratified the Treaty of Peace and Friendship, which states in Article XI that "the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion."
Thomas Jefferson,a Unitarian and third president and author of the Declaration of Independence, said:
"I trust that there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die a Unitarian."He referred to the Revelation of St. John as "the ravings of a maniac" Thomas Jefferson held most clergy and organized religion in low regard not so much for theology, but for abuse of power and attacks on liberty.
James Madison, fourth president and father of the Constitution, was not religious in any conventional sense.
"Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."
"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution."
Ethan Allen, whose capture of Fort Ticonderoga while commanding the Green Mountain Boys helped inspire Congress and the country to pursue the War of Independence, said,
"That Jesus Christ was not God is evidence from his own words."In the same book, Allen noted that he was generally "denominated a Deist, the reality of which I never disputed, being conscious that I am no Christian." When Allen married Fanny Buchanan, he stopped his own wedding ceremony when the judge asked him if he promised "to live with Fanny Buchanan agreeable to the laws of God." Allen refused to answer until the judge agreed that the God referred to was the God of Nature, and the laws those "written in the great book of nature."
Benjamin Franklin, delegate to the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, said:
As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion...has received various corrupting Changes, and I have, with most of the present dissenters in England, some doubts as to his Divinity; tho' it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the Truth with less trouble."
He died a month later, and historians consider him, like so many great Americans of his time, to be a Deist, not a Christian.
All of these Founding Fathers had two things in common, they had the American government recognize your right to participate freely in the religion of your choice, and they insisted that religion be separate from that government. Rep. John Kline apparently doesn't know America's history or doesn't share those same time honored values, or just plain wants to