not a Christian nation, part n

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Writing at God Is for Suckers!, KA debunks the Decalogue-is-the-basis-of-American-law myth, based on this article by Richard Carrier. As he notes, we owe far more to Solon (and to English common law, which also predates Christianity's introduction into England) than to Moses, but the Right's historical revisionists can't possibly admit that. Jefferson made a similar observation when confronted with the Religious Right of his day:

"For we know that the common law is that system of law which was introduced by the Saxons on their settlement of England, and altered from time to time by proper legislative authority from that time to the date of the Magna Charta, which terminates the period of the common law...This settlement took place about the middle of the fifth century. But Christianity was not introduced till the seventh century; the conversion of the first Christian king of the Heptarchy having taken place about the year 598, and that of the last about 686. Here then, was a space of two hundred years, during which the common law was in existence, and Christianity no part of it...that system of religion could not be a part of the common law, because they were not yet Christians...we may safely affirm (though contradicted by all the judges and writers on earth) that Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law." (letter to Thomas Cooper, 10 February 1814)

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on August 5, 2008 5:05 PM.

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