America: Not A Christian Nation

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posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 10:16 AM
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There is a not-so-disguised conspiracy by American religious fundamentalists and fanatics to label America as a Christian nation, or even worse, claim that it was founded as a Christian nation. Though nothing could be further from the truth, the push is being made in order to overcome the very secular mandates that keep Christianity (and all religions) out of government.

"Christianity neither is, nor ever was part of the common law"
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, Feb 10th.,1814.

"the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion"
-Treaty Of Tripoli, Article 11. Ratified unanimously without debate June 7, 1797

"One of the great strengths of the United States, is ... we have a very large Christian population -- we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. "
Barack Obama, April 2009

The U.S. Constitution



The Constitution is a secular document. It contains no mention of God or Christianity and any references to religion are strictly confined to the context of what the government cannot do:

"no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust" (Art. VI)

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" (First Amendment)


The presidential oath of office does not contain the phrase "so help me God" or any requirement to swear on a bible (Art. II, Sec. 1, Clause 8).

Nothing in the Constitution - the foundation of the nation - indicates anything about Christianity, the nation being founded upon it, nor established as a Christian nation.

The Declaration Of Independence



This document was designed to "dissolve the political bands", not to set up a Christian nation, and America is not governed by the document. It's principle is that "governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed," which is contrary to the biblical notion of rule by divine authority. The document does not discuss religion. References to "Nature's God," "Creator," and "Divine Providence" in the Declaration do not endorse Christianity. Thomas Jefferson, its author, was a Deist.

"Separation Of Church And State"



The phrase was coined by President Thomas Jefferson in a carefully crafted letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1802, when they had asked him to explain the First Amendment. The Supreme Court, and lower courts, have used Jefferson's phrase repeatedly in major decisions upholding neutrality in matters of religion.

Thomas Jefferson, explaining the phrase to the Danbury Baptists, said, "the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions." Personal religious views are just that: personal. Our government has no right to promulgate religion or to interfere with private beliefs.

The Supreme Court has forged a three-part "Lemon test" (Lemon v. Kurtzman, 1971) to determine if a law is permissible under the First-Amendment religion clauses.

1. A law must have a secular purpose.
2. It must have a primary effect which neither advances nor inhibits religion.
3. It must avoid excessive entanglement of church and state.

"One nation under God" and "In God We Trust"



The words, "under God," did not appear in the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954 due to McCarthyism. "In God We Trust" did not appear on paper currency before 1956. Though in 1956 the phrase "In God We Trust" was legally adopted as the United States' national motto by a law passed by the 84th United States Congress.(Public Law 84-851)", the original U.S. motto, chosen by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, is E Pluribus Unum ("Of Many, One"), celebrating plurality, not theocracy.

Ten Commandments and American law



The first four Commandments have nothing to do with lawful behavior and none of them are punishable by American law. Additionally, Commandment Five (Honor your father and your mother) and Commandment Ten (You shall not covet your neighbor's house, etc.) are also not punishable by law. The remaining four (murder, theft, adultery and perjury) were crimes punishable by secular and or pagan laws, and can even be found in Hammurabi's Code (dated to circa 1700 B.C.E.).

"The Founding Fathers were Christians"



The argument that 'since the Founding Fathers were Christians, therefore America is a Christian nation' itself is fallacious as a non-sequitur. Many were Christians, some were Deists. Despite their personal religions they clearly and intentionally arranged an entirely secular government as is evident by examining the documents establishing American government.

Supreme Court statements regarding church-state separation



The U.S. Supreme Courts have consistently preserved church-state separation, and therefore, religious liberty for all Americans. Never have the Supreme Courts established Christianity or any other religion as foundational to government or its laws. Below are simply two quotes from relatively recent S.C. cases:

"Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?"
-Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Conner on the Ten Commandments ruling, June 27, 2005

"When the government puts its imprimatur on a particular religion it conveys a message of exclusion to all those who do not adhere to the favored beliefs. A government cannot be premised on the belief that all persons are created equal when it asserts that God prefers some."
-Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun in the Lee v. Weisman ruling, 1992
___________________________

It's an unfortunate era in American history when modern Christian fanatics are fed lies about America being a Christian nation or founded as such, only to repeat those lies in an attempt for the concept to gain a foothold in the American psyche. The conspiracy comes in to play when politically powerful people with these incorrect ideas can gain access to public office (i.e., S. Palin, et al) in an attempt to undermine the very religious freedom which makes our country great. There is a huge agenda from religious conservatives attempting to reintroduce state-lead (Christian) prayers in our schools as well as the dangerous push to introduce "creationism" (a.k.a. "intelligent design") to America's science classrooms. The lie of America being/being founded as a Christian nation is a foundational component in swaying popular opinion in favor of these theocratic agendas.

Though even a cursory reading of America's foundational documents and subsequent court interpretations reveals no hint of Christianity anywhere, the myth persists. I implore all readers of this post to investigate for yourselves and stop repeating a blatant and pernicious lie.




posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 10:21 AM
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I've tried telling this to my christian fundamentalist dad and he still thinks this is a christian nation. His excuse for secular morality: Deception by Satan! LOL!



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 10:28 AM
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reply to post by Condemned0625
 


Dear Condemned0625,
This is a question of semantics and interpretation. Christian Nation, where the majority is Christian would actually be correct, based purely on the majority of the citizens being Christian. Christian State however would imply that the State has a State religion, which the US does not.

Very fine line there my friend, very fine.

Regards,
T

edit on 6-1-2011 by torqpoc because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 10:30 AM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


Dear TraditonalRummer,
Please see my response above. Christian Nation and Christian State are very very different things.

Edit - I had to get this in also, you quote Barak Obama? Errmm surely you're jesting, right?
"One of the great strengths of the United States, is ... we have a very large Christian population -- we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. "
Barack Obama, April 2009

Barak Obama hasn't got the right to define anything, let alone comment. He uses "we" a little loosely there don't you think? Simply put if the majority is Christian, the Nation can be defined (using the rules of definition) as Christian. Similarly for Judaism, Islam, etc.. I am aware that Americans don't always follow the natural rules of the English language but .. well.. LOL, Barak Obama.. *snicker*

Regards,
T



edit on 6-1-2011 by torqpoc because: (no reason given)
edit on 6-1-2011 by torqpoc because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 10:30 AM
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Amen! What sickens me more than the misconception, is no one in the leaders seats have stood up and defended this nonsense. Thomas Paine was highly criticized by his constituents when he published "The Age of Reason". He was warned that the general public was too ignorant to grasp such concepts, and if he wanted to maintain his stature he would abandon the work all together. Jimmy Carter was the first president to run on a Christian platform and it seems to have taken hold strongly from there. Every president since carter has been questioned abhorrently by the public, regarding their religious beliefs. If people would simply take 30 minutes and read this countries founding documents it is all laid out there for them to see. ;(
But it is not Christian nature to question, just do that which they are taught. I am not saying this is a fundamental for Christians, as I am sure there are many who are aware of these things, but just like in the days of Paine, the vast majority are just far to ignorant.
edit on 6-1-2011 by recycled because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 10:34 AM
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Originally posted by torqpoc
reply to post by Condemned0625
 


Dear Condemned0625,
This is a question of semantics and interpretation. Christian Nation, where the majority is Christian would actually be correct, based purely on the majority of the citizen's being Christian. Christian State however would imply that the State has a State religion, which the US does not.

Very fine line there my friend, very fine.

Regards,
T



true enough, yet one must look at the meaning of those using the term.
if those using the term mean much more than your simplistic explanation,
is it not then voided?
no offense meant, but fundies want everything run according to their biblical beliefs, not just majority rule.



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 10:34 AM
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This thread is very debatable. The answer is both yes and no, depending on what one means by the phrase. It is known fact that the principles of the founding fathers were based on Christianity. All one has to do, is read about Ben Franklin, Madison, etc.


When President Harry Truman wrote to Pope Pius XII in 1947 that "This is a Christian nation.", he certainly did not mean that the United States has an official or legally-preferred religion or church. Nor did he mean to slight adherents of non-Christian religions. But he certainly did mean to recognize that this nation, its institutions and laws, was founded on Biblical principles basic to Christianity and to Judaism from which it flowed.


America was born to exemplify that devotion to the tenets of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture."


Samuel Adams, who has been called 'The Father of the American Revolution' wrote The Rights of the Colonists in 1772, which stated: "The rights of the colonists as Christians...may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institution of the Great Law Giver and Head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament."


There are other text as well that would suggest the contrary.


Samuel Chase was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a Justice of the US Supreme Court, and, as Chief Justice of the State of Maryland, wrote in 1799 ( Runkel v Winemiller): "By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion... ."


This court ruling, though centuries ago, would suggest otherwise.

Regardless though, some people would agree as do I, that Religion is known to cause more famine, plagues, and war, more than anything else in the world. Just simply read up on the Crusades. What is also interesting, is that the the first religion began during the days of the Egyptians. Based off the Zodiac, and the sun god.
And during that era, there were many whom were portrayed as a " god ", all of whom had the same characteristics such as: born of a virgin, spread the word, died by crucifixion, rose again in three days etc. They also shared the same names, king of kings, prince of peace..and so forth. These alleged " gods" began during the Egyptian era, had many " gods" all whom shared these attributes, from generation to generation.

And the story is simply passed on, down the ages. There are many " gods " on file. All of which, have actually never been seen, per say.



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 10:37 AM
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reply to post by rubbertramp
 


Dear Rubbertramp,
You're totally correct. The use of the term in the meaning of Christian State is wrong, in the case of the US anyway. The implications are staggering when taken in context of religious wars and the problems associating a "State" religion to a country could have.

My simplistic comments were only meant to differentiate between terminology, not the basis and content of the OPs post which is 100% correct (other than the Barak quote which i'm still giggling about).

Regards,
T

edit on 6-1-2011 by torqpoc because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 10:39 AM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
There is a not-so-disguised conspiracy by American religious fundamentalists and fanatics to label America as a Christian nation


While I understand your frustation,
it is prudent to understand that the majority of
residents of the United States practice Christianity.


The largest religion in the US is Christianity, practiced by the majority of the population (76% in 2008[4]


Denial of this basic fact is ludicrous, regardless of your personal feelings, though many may be quite flawed in their practice.

en.wikipedia.org...

Cheer up- the way things are headed, this statistic will decline rapidly.

And no, I am not furthering that the Constitution is grounded in Christianity, as I do not claim such, or even that our country is a "Christian nation" as it is secular and should be grounded in democracy and FREE WILL.



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 10:39 AM
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reply to post by torqpoc
 


That doesn't matter. It was never intended to be a christian nation. This is simply just a nation with the majority of its citizens being christians, along with a mix of christian and secular laws. You'll find a similar situation in India or Sweden, being that most Indians are Hindus and most Swedes are Atheists. Many European countries are mostly non-religious and Australia has a significant amount of non-believers as well.

At least other countries actually get it. They understand that there is no evidence for religious claims, which is why I would like to leave the U.S. as soon as possible.
edit on 6-1-2011 by Condemned0625 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 10:43 AM
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reply to post by Condemned0625
 


Dear Condemned0625,

It does actually matter as those who use and define things are then followed by the next generation and next thing you know, the term Christian Nation is synonymous with Christian State. People then believe that the US actually has a State religion.

As to intention, I’m sorry but truly? Christianity was intended for everyone on the planet, surely you're aware of that? The intent of Rome from a very long time ago, and following on from there the Christian missionaries etc.. was to push (with intent) Christianity to every corner of the planet.

I'm not sure if you actually meant intended in that manner, however the simple fact is that the US has a majority of Christians who "chose" to follow that religion. The basis of that choice and whether it was actually free will or associative is another arguement entirely.

Edit - By the way you're wrong about "many" European countries. If you actually do more research you will find that a vast majority of European countries are Christian Nations. Some actually are Christian (or a branch of Christian) States.

Regards,
T
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posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 10:47 AM
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reply to post by torqpoc
 


yes, and this is where we agree.
i am all for majority rule.
in ways we are a christian nation, just like you have already explained.
if not for corruption and lobbyist influence, there would be a possibility of a christian state.
judeo- chistianity controls a lot of power in america, luckily the majority of the population is still relatively good folks, or it could be far worse.



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 10:48 AM
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What's really scary, is that there are those who actually believe that the phrase " separation of church and state", is in our Constitution. I have had some who think it was in the Declaration as well?



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 10:54 AM
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reply to post by torqpoc
 


No. You should do your research. Sweden is mostly non-religious, Iceland is mostly non-religious, Latvia, Slovenia, Denmark, Czech Republic, Estonia, etc. These are independent nations that are mostly secular and non-religious. Most christians did not choose to be christians because they were indoctrinated at birth and all throughout their childhood, instead of being allowed to decide for themselves. Forcing children to believe nonsense, generation after generation, is how that religion has kept going. Same applies to islam.



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 11:03 AM
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reply to post by Condemned0625
 


Dear Condemned0625,
I live in Europe.. i'd love to see your research because your statements are wrong as far as I am aware and similarly for the people I talk to on a daily basis living in 90% of the countries you've mentioned.

Taking the discussion to an arguementative level about the rights and wrongs of religion isn't actually what I asked, or commented on. It has nothing to do with the OP by the way. You're now discussing free will, free choice, indoctrination etc.. I responded to your comment about America was not intended to be a Christian Nation, and i'm sorry to say but the "intent" was for all of us to be Christians, if you look at it from the view point of the Vatican and Rome.

Please post some links to the statistical information about religious choice in the countries you mentioned, i'd love to see it and correct my view point if i'm wrong, however at this moment in time I actually think I am right in stating that the vast majority of Nations in Europe have, currently, Christianity as the main religion. For the record and for the sake of clarity, I stated they were Christian Nations, not that the majority of people were Christians.. just that the majority who do follow a religion are Christians. Vast difference there for a start.

Regards,
T

edit on 6-1-2011 by torqpoc because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 11:07 AM
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I would say the US is a Christian nation, because most people say they are Christian, even though it's not the officially sanctioned national religion, but then again, maybe it is, don't they use the Christian Bible to do all the swearing in? Why not use the Consitiution? Why the Christian Bible?



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 11:09 AM
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reply to post by torqpoc
 


Must I go to that extent just to prove something that should be obvious? I guess I may as well.

en.wikipedia.org...
atheism.about.com...

These statistics are only a few years old and I'm sure they're very similar today. You might be in one of the countries that is largely religious, such as Spain. Need more links?



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 11:19 AM
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Christianity, along with all other forms of religion, needs to be exterminated by whatever means necessary.

Religion is nothing but a cancer upon humanity.



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 11:22 AM
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reply to post by Condemned0625
 


I would hardly suggest Wikipedia being a valid source of reference?



posted on Jan, 6 2011 @ 11:31 AM
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Originally posted by BigTimeCheater
Christianity, along with all other forms of religion, needs to be exterminated by whatever means necessary.

Religion is nothing but a cancer upon humanity.
Exactly. It must be abolished.





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