Re: We are a REPUBLIC, NOT A DEMOCRACY.....
Marlin, you hit the nail squarely on the head with this article. In fact, it is a point I go out of my way to make when I teach American history or political science. Our system of government was consciously modeled on the old Roman Republic, infused with the ideas of Montesquieu, not on Athenian democracy. A truly democratic system can't work for a citizenry larger than a few hundred simply because it is far too cumbersome.
Dawg, you make a very valid point as well, but one I would like to take a bit further if I might. If by "Christian principles" you mean the underlying ideals of justice, ethical behavior, and good will propounded by Christianity, I agree with you wholeheartedly. Those principles, in my view, are essential to any form of government if it is to function effectively. Without them, we are little better than the beasts of the field and forest. That is why I think most of the controversy concerning the placing of the Ten Commandments in public places is so utterly absurd. The principles are valid no matter what religious belief system one follows. However, I do believe also that we must be supremely careful not to cross over the line into bigotry; i.e., "You must follow my religion, my belief system, or there shall be neither justice nor freedom for you." The results of that sort of attitude can be easily seen in such places as Iran. I would not wish to live in any society where religious devotion was a "requirement," nor would I wish to live in any society where the right to be devoted to a religion was denied. The First Amendment says in part, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Notice it does not say "the Christian religion," it refers only to religion generally. That, I believe, is as it should be. It seems to me that if there were little less religious bigotry in the world, and a bit more toleration, there would be far less conflict and war.