Ilya Shambat

Ilya Shambat
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Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Birthday
November 21
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Partner
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Adda Enterprises
Bio
Born in Russia, family moved to America when I was 12. Got a degree from University of Virginia at 18. Worked for Oracle, translated four books of classical Russian poety, was part of San Francisco and Washington, DC poetry and music scene. Good friends with San Francisco's own Persephone's Bees and acquainted with Patch Adams. Currently married with children, residing in Australia and working on a clean energy technology implementation.

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Salon.com
MARCH 11, 2012 5:35AM

"Christians built America"

Rate: 4 Flag
A long-running fiction repeated in churches and by Republican politicians is that Christians built America. As usual, they are lying.

The Chinese built America's railroads. Jews are behind much of its science, finances, journalism and film. Deists wrote American constitution and based it upon the work of European Enlightenment intellectuals. A motley crew of Hindus, agnostics and minority religions run America's computer industry that was the true source of 1980s and 1990s prosperity.

Americans drive cars built in Japan, own domestic appliances made in China, use DVD technology developed in India, and work on computers made in Japan and China with software written in the very non-Christian San Francisco Bay Area and Washington State.

This technology is based on the work of scientists, most of whom are Jewish, atheist or agnostic.

A related claim is that the liberties that Americans enjoy come from "God." If that had been the case, then all Christians throughout history would have enjoyed the same rights and liberties. In fact, Christianity pre-exists America by 1700 years, and most Christian societies had none of these rights and liberties. In fact most Christian societies were disaster zones for the bulk of the time that Christianity existed, and in the most aggressively Christian Middle Ages the white man was at the bottom of the world and could not hold his head up to China, India, Baghdad or Timbuktu. America's rights and liberties were put into place by deists and are based on the work of European Enlightenment philosophers such as Locke and Voltaire, who challenged most Christian teachings; and a document signed by American government in 1790 stated explicitly that American system of governance was in no way based upon the Christian religion.

In a country of 300 million people, there will be people possessing any number of different attitudes who will contribute in any number of ways. Some of these people will be Christians and others won't. The greatest problem with Christian teachings is that they claim that everything that does not come from Jesus comes from Satan. If this is true, then most of what an average American has comes from Satan: His car, his TV, his computer, his DVDs, and - yes - his democracy.

I've heard many Christians say that there's no pussy-footing around with Jesus: Either you're for him or you are against him. By that standard, just about every contemporary Christian is against Jesus, as most of what he has is the work of people who aren't Christians. As for America, it owes to everyone who has contributed to it, including the Jews, the Chinese, the Hindus, the minority religions, the atheists and the agnostics; and it's wrong for Christian-affiliated conmen to steal the credit for these people's work.

So every time one sees a preacher or a politician claiming that Christians built America, the correct response is: You Lie. America owes to all sorts of people who aren't Christian. As for American system of governance, it has no basis in Christianity and is based instead on European Enlightenment philosophy. The more people understand this, the more they can actually benefit America.

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Well said. Can't argue with a word of it.
All so reasonably true. You've completely demolished the hopes of so many wishful Christians. Good job. Of course men like David Barton, and his Wallbuilders, are not above revising history and outright lying to support this thesis that they know, independent of any facts, must be true.

Here is a bit of documented history on how much antipathy Jefferson and Madison shared toward Patrick Henry, a loud and unrepentant Christian fundamentalist who really did want to create a Christian nation.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/rodda/2012/01/16

How do people think that a Christian nation would produce a Constitution that does not mention God, Jesus, Resurrection, forgiveness, redemption, grace, or any other theological concept?

They like to point to the Declaration of Independence, and Jeffereson's Deistic notions of "Creator", and "Nature's God". Anybody who understands Jefferson and Deism will know these don't refer to a theistic God who intervenes in our lives, answers prayers, or performs miracles. Jefferson needed to conceptually invest humans with innate rights that did not depend on any human authority, and thus could not be taken away by any human authority. I have little doubt that a scientifically minded man like Jefferson would have worded it differently were he writing today with knowledge of evolution and the big bang.

What's laughable is that among Dominionists and Christianist fundamentalists it's now coming into vogue to emphasize the Magna Carta's influence on the American Bill of Rights.

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/01/04/397520/new-hampshire-gop-bill-mandates-that-laws-find-their-origin-in-1215-english-magna-carta/?mobile=nc

This gives them two ideological advantages: the magna carta is full of references to God, and it was good salt of the earth Anglo-Saxons bringing those prissy French aristocrats (Normans) to heel. This satisfies the desire (of some) to draw a line of racial and religious purity from the magna carta to the pilgrims to the founders.

This Christian Nation stuff blends religion's zeal with nationalistic politicized patriotic fervor in a way that is not just annoying or contrary to actual history; it also bears more than a passing resemblance to the mythologizing that used the romanticized Aryan narratives as a justification for many horrible crimes in the 20th century.

This Christian Nation ideology has the potential to draw in all kinds of very nasty white supremacist groups, and is an ideological core that could easily form the basis of a very nasty and violent fascist movement in our future if we don't remain vigilant.
For over five centuries now in the name of Christianity, Christians have proved to be very successful in wiping out indigenous peoples and cultures in the Americas, the Pacific and Africa.

Christians' beloved predatory economic system is about as antithetical to alleged Christian values as can be imagined.

Killing for Christ (america, liberty, freedom, justUS) enables killing for gold (oil, resources, wealth, power) righteously.

Would that American and European Christians' Jesus Christ show up for a second to give his alleged adherents his opinion of them as a whole, one might speculate upon what the vast majority of such alleged Christians would call themselves when their master disowned them.