Thursday, June 14, 2007

USA not a "Christian nation"

I'm tired of Christian Fundamentalists calling the United States "a Christian nation." Although many of the Founding Fathers may have NOMINALLY belonged to Protestant sects, their words suggest that they were Deists or Unitarians and had no preference for Christianity, or intention of elevating it above other religions., under the heading "Religion and the Founding Fathers" lists Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and George Washington with quotes that express their generally negative attitudes about Christianity.

Under the heading of "Separation of Church and State?" makes a reasonable case against the Fundamentalist argument that "the founders meant only that no sect of Christianity was to be elevated above another, but still meant our government to be Christian..."

The Quartz Hill School of Theology
makes the following essential point:

Many well-meaning Christians argue that the United States was founded by Christian men on Christian principles. Although well-intentioned, such sentiment is unfounded. The men who lead the United States in its revolution against England, who wrote the Declaration of Independence and put together the Constitution were not Christians by any stretch of the imagination.

Why do some Christians imagine these men are Christians? Besides a desperate desire that it should be so, in a selective examination of their writings, one can discover positive statements about God and/or Christianity. However, merely believing in God does not make a person a Christian.

The United States is unlike any other country in the world in that it was founded on freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and has stayed that way for over 200 years. It is a country that has welcomed people from all over the world:

Give me your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be free...

As a result it is a marvelous, DIVERSE (both ethnically and religiously) place to live. I wouldn't change it for anything.



Enemy of the Republic said...

Even other Christians are sick of it--they give Christ a bad name. What happened to "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and give to God what is God's?" Separation of church and state is biblical or so I tell them, but I am a heathen and an apostate to almost everyone except Jesus, I hope!

the teach said...

Thanks, enemy, boy do I agree with you and thanks for the comment. Indeed we don't need a religious nation at all. People's religion are their own business!

jm4847 said...

I'm not living in the US but I admire the concept of freedom of religion and in general, and how that vission has helped many other countries and how it's also an ideal.
I remember watching a video on Youtube where a woman with a Pulitzer price said that the US was a christian nation and that atheist should just "shut up". That was so offensive.
Plus, the Treaty of Tripoli states that the US is NOT a christian nation, maybe those people need to actually study their countries history before telling us to "shut up".

the teach said...

Yea! jm4847. I agree 100%! Protecting people's right to practice religion is what the US does. It doesn't prefer one religion over another! Or expect that anyone has to practice any religion at all.