America was not founded as Christian nation

Morristown, New Jersey
August 5, 2010 7:43pm CST
I hear it over and over again- that America was founded as a Christian nation, that the founding fathers wanted to establish a covenant for a Christian nation, etc. A lot of people say this as a way of trying to bully non-Christians into allowing the government to promote Christianity. Those who say that America was a Christian nation and that the founding fathers were Christian often try to use this to deny the separation of church and state. In reality, most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and early patriots were not Christians. Here are some quotes from the Founding Fathers. --- Excerpted from Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia Deluxe Copyright © 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 The Learning Company, Inc ---- John Adams 2nd president, "I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved-- the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!" -letter to Thomas Jefferson "How has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?" -letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec. 27, 1816 . "The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole cartloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity." "God is an essence that we know nothing of. Until this awful blasphemy is got rid of, there will never be any liberal science in the world." "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it." . --- Thomas Jefferson 3rd president, Drafted Declaration of Independence, Signer of Constitution, influential on 1st Amendment "I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature." "Religions are all alike - founded upon fables and mythologies." "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." [Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823] --- James Madison: 4th president, influential in the Constitutional Convention, Proposed the 1st Amendment "During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its 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." "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise." [April 1, 1774] --- Benjamin Franklin Signer of Declaration of Independence, signer of Constitution "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." [Poor Richard's Almanack, 1758] "Lighthouses are more helpful than churches." "He (the Rev. Mr. Whitefield) used, indeed, sometimes to pray for my conversion, but never had the satisfaction of believing that his prayers were heard." [Franklin's Autobiography] --- George Washington 1st president After Washington's death, Dr. Abercrombie, a friend of his, replied to a Dr. Wilson, who had interrogated him about Washington's religion replied, "Sir, Washington was a Deist." Historian Barry Schwartz writes: "George Washington's practice of Christianity was limited and superficial because he was not himself a Christian... He repeatedly declined the church's sacraments. Never did he take communion, and when his wife, Martha, did, he waited for her outside the sanctuary... Even on his deathbed, Washington asked for no ritual, uttered no prayer to Christ, and expressed no wish to be attended by His representative." [New York Press, 1987, pp. 174-175] Paul F. Boller states in is anthology on Washington: "There is no mention of Jesus Christ anywhere in his extensive correspondence." [Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1963, pp. 14-15] ---- Thomas Paine- pivotal in the founding of America: "Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half of the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call 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." "Take away from Genesis the belief that Moses was the author, on which only the strange belief that it is the word of God has stood, and there remains nothing of Genesis but an anonymous book of stories, fables, and traditionary or invented absurdities, or of downright lies." "All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit." "The study of theology, as it stands in the Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authority; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion." Also: "One of the embarrassing problems for the early nineteenth-century champions of the Christian faith was that not one of the first six Presidents of the United States was an orthodox Christian."--The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1968, p. 420. According to : [The Church in America, 1776-1990: Winners and Losers in Our Religious Economy, by Roger Finke and Rodney Stark (1992).] - Only 17% OF colonists at the time of the American Revolution belonged to churches.
2 people like this
6 responses
@epicure35 (2822)
• United States
6 Aug 10
I do not know where you got your "quotes" or even understand them, but letters to Jefferson and others do not represent what the founders believed and predicated our country and Constitution on. The roots of this country, America, are Judeo-Christian and are chartered UNDER GOD. People came originally to colonize this country in order to WORSHIP GOD as they chose and not live under the tyranny of man and an imposed and mandated "religion". There is no "state" or government mandated religion here, unless you want to count Obamaworship, secular humanism, and socialism. There is also no "separation of church and state" phrase in the Constitution; that phrase came, as some of your quotes, from a letter to Thomas Jefferson. According to our Constitution, it is the state that may not encroach upon religion and religious expression and freedom of worship by denying it or locking it out of the public arena (except for "politically correct" deference to Islam). Our money reflects our origins and charter "In God We Trust". Our Constitutional form of government is also threefold in its separation of powers because God is our legislator, executive, and judge. And when Jesus returns, the "government will be on His shoulders" as he rules and reigns. Unfortunately, secular humanism, itself defined as a "religion", has turned nonthinkers upside down and truth inside out, as they mock God and elevate "man" to the exact kind of tyranny people came here to escape. This country was founded under the liberty of God. Unless we return to our roots, we will continue to be subject to the tyranny of the corrupt politicians and the usurper who demand our enslavement and remove our liberty. Thomas Jefferson DID say, "Those who oppose tyranny are obedient to God". Our founding fathers framed all of government around God our Creator. Perhaps your definition of "Christian" is too narrow; they were all praying men, who believed in the uncompromising leadership and headship of God and the blessings and liberty He alone could give us.
• United States
6 Aug 10
You are right barehugs...they wanted a country free from being ruled by a king or a religious leader. They saw what happened in Rome with one...and what happened in England with the other. they wanted us to be our own people...with no master. To decide our own lives and destiny.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Aug 10
Actually, seventeen hundred years of Christian theology said that Jhvh set kings over men and to rebel against a king was to rebel against God. The Declaration of Independence is as explicit a rejection of Christian political doctrine as it is possible. Our Charter, the Constitution, says nothing whatsoever about being under any God. Jefferson's letter, the one you don't even understand but feel qualified to comment upon, used the phrase "separation of church and state" to explain the intent of the First Amendment. We're not a Christian country, and never were. Deal with it.
1 person likes this
@tap0991 (2767)
• United States
6 Aug 10
It says excerpts from then where its from. its cited right at the beginning.
• United States
6 Aug 10
We are a country founded on freedom. Freedom to live our lives as we want. to practice whatever religion we want...have not religion if we want...and basically be free to make our own choices and live our lives how we want. We were never meant to be a cooker cutter society...living the same lives...believing the same things or making the same choices. that is something that is lost in our society sometimes....that everyone should be able to live thier own lives...even if it different from our own.
@lulu1220 (1010)
• United States
6 Aug 10
I so agree with you on this. I am a true believer of the motto..Live and let live. Live your life the way you want and let me live mine the way I want. It may be different but we need to respect and accept it. Freedom of religion is the right to practice religion as you see fit in this country. You can be a Christian, a Jew, a Buddist, a Muslim, a Pagan, an Athiest, etc. We should not be a nation under God since we need to respect and accept all religions in this country. Yes a majority of American are Christians but we need to be open to all of them. That's what makes this country so great. I just practiced another one of my rights - Freedom of Speech.
@epicure35 (2822)
• United States
9 Aug 10
That is right, lulu, but what has happened is that atheistic and secular interests are intent on removing our guaranteed freedom of religion and replacing it with "freedom from religion" so to speak. This country was colonized by those who chose to worship God freely, no matter what their particular religion, with no interference by government. The exact opposite is happening before our eyes as a government takeover by those who hate God is aimed at destroying those who love Him and removing the liberty and freedom God has given us.
@Ezra710 (137)
• United States
7 Aug 10
You can find selective quotes of just about anything you want during any man's long lifetime. I submit these for your pleasure opalina !! "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or to often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christiians, not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ." - Patrick Henry "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." - George Washington "Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly implore His protection and favor." - George Washington "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religous people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." - John Adams "The highest glory of the American revolution was this - that it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity." - John Quincy Adams "We have staked the future of American civilization upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." - James Madison "Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed the conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?" - Thomas Jefferson "The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His Apostles...to this we owe our free constitutions of government." - Noah Webster It is true the true that God is not mentioned in the Constitution as noted by my fellow participants. God is also not mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. However, this does appear in the Declaration,"the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them", also appearing later is - "We hold these truths to be self evident,that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." Now you can argue up and down and all around about who the Creator is, but I guarantee they are not referring to any man on this earth. You can also look into another document that was written 156 years earlier, known as the Mayflower Compact, which set the precedent for the future colonies as they formed governments. I leave with a few more quotes, these from our Creator!! "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." - 1Corinthians 2:14 "But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine upon them." - 2Corithians 4:3-4 , "For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen,being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their hearts wer darkened. Professing themselves to be wise they became fools." Romans 1:18-22 , "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scriptures is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but by holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." - 2Peter 1:20-21
@epicure35 (2822)
• United States
9 Aug 10
Many thanks, Ezra, for the wisdom you have shared with us. May God continue to bless you as you stand for truth and justice.
@sierras236 (2740)
• United States
6 Aug 10
Those are nice quotes. But the answer is yes and no. America is a "Christian" nation in the sense that the majority of the people who immigrated here were from the "Christian" religion. At that time, especially in England, the religious factions were split between the Catholics and the Protestants. To make things even more confusing, the Monarch determined which religion was the "national" religion and those who protested were outcasts. Some of them were sent to America as a result. But I want to point out the Spanish that colonized Florida and those were coming from Mexico were also Catholic. Thereby, the conclusion can be drawn that the overwhelming number of immigrants belonged to some sect of the "Christian" church. So in a sense, you could say that America is a "Christian" nation based on the overwhelming numbers of immigrants that were "Christian." However, the founding fathers were well aware of the dangers of mixing government with religion. Despite their individual views, recognized that the government had no role in religion. Thus, they made certain to not make the same mistakes that England and the other countries were making. It was based on their observations of government and religion that helped them decide to ensure a separation was put into place that protected everyone. So yes, American was founded as a "Christian" nation because the majority of the immigrants were "Christian." Just like we call Iraq and Iran Muslim nations, Israeli a Jewish nation and pretty much the rest of Europe is Catholic-based. No, because the dangers of mixing religion and government were well-defined and experienced by many immigrants. The founding fathers recognized the need for a protection clause to prevent meddling and the temptation of power that the Catholic church represented at that time. We had some really smart founding fathers. I really think that some of their advice would come in handy now.
@matersfish (6311)
• United States
6 Aug 10
I don't understand the "fighting" (more specifically, I guess, would be 'BOOYAH') that goes along with it. America was founded as a Christian nation! HA! America wasn't founded as a Christian nation! HA! Both sides need to get over themselves on this one. America was founded as a nation where I can choose to worship or not to worship, and the "state" shouldn't have any say-so in my personal beliefs, whether encouraging or discouraging. Some founders had more faith than others in different things. This goes for all people throughout history and probably all people to come. Trying to align one's faith with another man's values or twisting them to fit kinda defeats the purpose of America in my estimation. And trying to paint them the way it best suits any debate seems Glenn Beckish. (And not that I have a big problem with Beck or anything, but he goes on and on and on about the founding fathers and needing to be JUST LIKE them for some reason. I'll keep my modern luxuries, tyvm.)
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
6 Aug 10
Hi opalina, From what I have read of American history, it seems that many of the early settlers left their country of origin because they wanted the right to worship as they wished. I'm not surprised by those quotes because I have read others that suggest that many founding fathers believed differently from most Christians today. Benjamin Franklin was known to believe in reincarnation and Thomas Jefferson has been quoted as saying of Paul the apostle that the world would have been a better place if he had never been born. Blessings.