America as a Christian nation

From Iron Chariots Wiki
(Redirected from Christian nation)
Jump to: navigation, search

American Christians often claim that America is a Christian nation as a way of justifying overt government support of Christianity. This claim is in opposition to the separation of church and state which is clearly laid out in the United States Constitution.



Apologists claim that America is Christian for the following reasons:

  • Many of the founding fathers were Christians.
  • The Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, asserts that men are endowed with inalienable rights "by their Creator".
  • The Puritans, who came here seeking the freedom to practice their religion, founded biblical law settlements that established a Christian colonial culture.
  • The first official act of the First Continental Congress was a call to prayer.
  • The Pledge of Allegiance contains the words "under God".
  • America's national motto is In God We Trust, which also appears on the currency.
  • The majority of people who live in America are Christians.
  • The religious federal and state holidays America has are only Christians.


Founding fathers

Many of the founding fathers were Christians, but many were Deists.

Regardless of their personal religious affiliations, they deliberately set up a secular Constitution.

Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence did not establish US law. The Constitution, a deliberately secular document, did.

Also, Creator is not a uniquely Christian term. Many religions believe in a single creator including Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism. If America were specifically a Christian nation, one would expect to see a mention of Jesus Christ among the founding documents.

Puritans wanted a Christian nation

The Puritans did not found America. They preceded the founding of the nation by more than 100 years.

First Continental Congress

The Continental Congress convened in 1774, two years before the Declaration of Independence and fifteen years before the Constitution. Obviously this Congress was not bound by the First Amendment, which had not been written yet.

Pledge of Allegiance

The original pledge was written by Francis Bellamy on September 7, 1892. It is not a founding document. Nevertheless, when the pledge was written it did not contain the words "under God". The reference to deity was added in 1954.

In God We Trust

"In God We Trust" was established as the national motto in 1956. A reaction to "godless communism", this McCarthy-era action may violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Majority of Americans are Christian

The majority of Americans are also white. Are we a "white nation"?

Religious holidays

Christmas Day is a federal and state holiday. Good Friday is a holiday in 11 states and Easter Sunday is also a flag day. America has both secular and Christian holidays.

Famous quotes

Any amount of historical research will prove that America was not founded on religion, but rather on freedom from oppression by religion. Take the following quotes:

"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind." -Thomas Paine, 'The Age of Reason'

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason. Lighthouses are more helpful than churches." -Benjamin Franklin

"I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth." -Thomas Jefferson

"What has been [Christianity's] 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." -James Madison

"There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness." -George Washington

Separation of church and state

Main article Separation of church and state

The actions of the Constitution's authors at the 1787 Convention best reveal their thoughts and intent regarding religion. They avoided attempts to insert worship into their deliberations, keeping religious activities separate from the process of creating our government. If no religion at the Constitutional Convention was good enough for our founders, it should be good enough for all public officials in the execution of their duties.

Our founders created a secular government based on freethinking political philosophies. Our founders' Constitution is a stunning rejection of "government under god", or theocracy. Only the Constitution establishes our government, not any other piously-worded document (such as the Declaration of Independence, Mayflower Act etc.). The Constitution makes no reference to god, except for the date, which is indicated by use of the convention, "In the year of our Lord." "We the People," not god, are the authority for our government. The Constitution prohibits any religious test for national office. The Constitution's first amendment prohibits Congress from passing any laws even "respecting an establishment of religion." During many Constitution ratification sessions in the states, Christians attempted to insert references to God and Jesus into the Preamble and sought to remove the "no religious test for office" provision. The fact that these religiously-motivated efforts failed demonstrates that even though the Constitution was a heated public issue and subject to controversy as a result of its secular nature, it was ratified as written. Our founders and the public knowingly chose a godless Constitution.

Conservative Christians argue that the First Amendment language, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," means our founders only meant to prohibit one denomination from becoming the official national religion. The evidence refutes this narrowest of interpretations, aside from the fact that the Constitution must give government such a power, and there is no power to do anything religious in the Constitution. In his letter to the Danbury Baptist Association (1/01/1802), Thomas Jefferson cited "a wall of separation between Church and State" as his reason for denying their request for a national day of fasting. Jefferson's metaphor came from London school master James Burgh, one of England's leading enlightenment political writers. Burgh's Crito (1767) included the phrase, "build an impenetrable wall of separation between things sacred and civil." Along with numerous other documents, Jefferson's message clarifies the intention of the amendment.

The proverbial "nail in the coffin" for the "Christian nation" argument is located in the Treaty of Tripoli. This treaty was unanimously ratified by the U.S. Senate on June 10, 1797 and was signed into law by President John Adams. Article 11 of this document states, "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..."

The Constitution and amendments only mention religion three times, and only as prohibitions against government doing things religious. One cannot pervert express prohibitions against government doing religious things into powers for government to do religious things. Many public officials have a long history of violating their oath of office by mixing religion into government or by supporting religious groups. A tradition of violating the Constitution does not, however, change the Constitution.

v · d Religion
v · d Buddhism
Buddhist beliefs   Reincarnation · Buddha · Noble Eightfold Path · Afterlife
Tenants and dogma   Three Jewels · Four Noble Truths · Five Aggregates · Karma
Holy texts   Buddhavacana · Pali Canon · Mahāsāṃghika · Chinese Buddhist canon
Buddhist denominations   Mahāyāna · Vajrayāna · Tibetian Buddhism · Theravada · Hinayana · Other denominations
History of Buddhism   First Buddhist council· Second Buddhist council · Modern Buddhism
Buddhist politics   Tibet
v · d Christianity
Christian beliefs   God · Jesus Christ · Moses · Resurrection · Atonement · Creationism · Sin · Afterlife · Eschatology · Other beliefs
Tenets and dogma   Ten Commandments · Dogma · Rituals · Homosexuality
Holy texts   Bible · Old Testament · New Testament · Gospels · Apocrypha · Ninety-Five Theses · Modern biblical translations
Christian denominations   Catholicism · Anglicanism · Lutheranism · Baptist · Evangelism · Pentecostal · Mormonism · Jehovah's Witnesses · Other denominations
History of Christianity   Overview of early Christianity · Overview of middle Christianity · Overview of modern Christianity
Christianity and politics   Dominionism · America as a Christian nation · Australia as a Christian nation · Separation of church and state · Christianity invented secularism · Blue laws · Notable Christian political parties
Christianity and science   Creation science · Intelligent design · Quantum mysticism · Christianity invented science
Christianity and medicine   Christian Science · Jehovah's Witnesses · Abortion · Contraception · Notable cases of medical negligence due to Christian beliefs
Christianity and Education   Teach the controversy · Abstinence-only sex education · Prayer in school · Religious universities · Theological studies · Comparative religion studies
v · d Folk religions
African folk religions   Candomblé · African traditional religion · Santeria · Egyptian mythology
Asian folk religions   Arabian mythology · Armenian mythology · Chinese mythology · Japanese mythology · Korean mythology · Persian mythology
Polynesian folk religions   Hawaiian mythology · Australian Aboriginal mythology · Māori mythology · Rapa Nui mythology
South American folk religions   Inca mythology · Guarani mythology · Mapuche religion · Chilota mythology
North American folk religions   Aztec mythology · Inuit mythology · Maya mythology
European folk religions   Slavic mythology · Folklore of Romania · Greek mythology · Norse mythology · Roman mythology · Celtic mythology
v · d Hinduism
Hindu beliefs   Brahman · Shiva · Reincarnation · Vishnu · Yoga · Brahma · Atman
Tenants and dogma   Japa · Puja · Bhajan · Yajna · Homa · Tapas · Dhyana · Saṃskāra
Holy texts   Vedas · Rigveda · Yajurveda · Upanishads
Hindu denominations   Vaishnavism · Shaivism · Shaktism · Smartism · Shrautism
History of Hinduism   Prevedic religions· Brahmanism · Modern Hinduism
Hindu politics   List of Hindu political parties
v · d Islam
Islamic beliefs   Allah · Muhammad · Other prophets · Afterlife
Tenants and dogma   jihād · Fatwā · Martyrdom
Holy texts   Qur'an · Sunnah
Islamic denominations   Sunni · Shia
History of Islam   Islamic golden age · Modern Islam
Islamic politics   Islamic Theocracies · Sharia law
v · d Judaism
Jewish beliefs   Yahweh · Abraham · Moses · Afterlife
Tenants and dogma   Shabbat · Circumcision · Kosher food laws · Bar Mitzphah
Holy texts   Torah · Tankah · Pentateuch
Holidays   Rosh Hashanah · Sukkot · Yom Kippur · Purim · Passover
Jewish denominations   Haredi Judaism · Modern Orthodoxy · Conservative Judaism · Reform Judaism · Humanistic Judaism
History of Judaism   Israelites · Modern Judaism
Jewish politics   Sanhedrin · Mosaic Law
v · d New religious movements
Christian NRMs   Mormonism · Jehovah's Witnesses · Christian Science · Pentecostalism
Eastern NRMs   Caodaism · Chondogyo · Chen Tao · Jeung San Do
Modern NRMs   Scientology · Heaven's Gate · Raëlism
Islamic NRMs   Ahmadiyya · Babism
African NRMs   Rastafarianism · Hoodoo · Vodun · Candomblé · Santeria
Pagan NRMs   Ásatrú · Wicca
Esostoric NRMs   Theosophy · New Age

v · d Secularism
Support for separation of church and state   United States Constitution · First Amendment · Free exercise clause · Religious test · Separation of church and state
Attacks against separation of church and state   Proselytizing · Theocracy · In God We Trust · Persecution · Authoritarianism · Fundamentalism · Blue laws · Dominionism · Sharia · Theodemocracy · Blasphemy Law · Blasphemous libel · List of Theocratic political parties
Arguments for theocratic government   America as a Christian nation · Australia as a Christian nation · Canada as a Christian nation
Personal tools
wiki navigation