Exactly which Christian principles & which secular principles contributed to the United States' founding?

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Please explain your answer.

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11 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I am curious of the same answer, seeing as the Christian Bible does not allow for freedom of religion (the ten commandments states "thou shalt have no other gods") or the kind of "live and let live" tolerance promoted in secular governments (ever heard of Sodom?)

    Secular governments are influenced by Enlightenment thinkers; specifically, the use of reason and freedom of discourse. Some of the posters above have a much better grasp of historical context than I do, but most acknowledge that the U.S. was not founded with the intent of a "Christian" nation.

  • 1 decade ago

    Christian principles like integrity, courage, responsibility, the sorts of things which underlie the basic right to be free, are not exclusively Christian. But they are not simply secular, either. They are moral or ethical principles which must be in place in order for the rule of law to work. Many people get their integrity from their religion, but many also get it from reason and humanity. Because really, it is sensible to be ethical, so people can trust you, so you promote the idea of ethics in your community, so you can trust others. When we work together harmoniously, we can do more than any of us could do separately. But it does not take being a Christian to see that.

    The founding fathers were very careful to say that this is NOT a Christian nation, and that at a time when the majority of the citizens probably were Christians. Some of that was because there are so many Christian denominations, but it was also an awareness that you don't have to be Christian to be a good person.

    P.S. The fact that God is mentioned in some of our founding documents does not imply Christianity specifically. In fact, many of the founding fathers were Deists rather than Christians. That is, they believed in God, but not necessarily the Bible.

  • QED
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    #1: Whenever folks tell me this is a Christian nation in its founding, I always ask them to show me where in the Constitution or the Federalist Papers it makes this claim. The Federalist Papers were essentially the background documents that supported and explained the Constitution.

    #2: In fact, one of the biggest criticisms of the new government, and one of the reasons why it was so hotly debated, is that it was called a "Godless document" by the hard-core Christians. Patrick Henry was one such person.

    #3: Yes, some Founders made reference to god or creator in their arguments, but almost all were Deists, and their "god" had nothing to do with Yahweh. In fact, if any modern day Christian had dinner with any of the folks who used this term "god", they would not recognize anything they would consider Christian about their theologies and outlooks. They believed in what today is best described as "Spinoza's God."

    Morganie_xo:

    The idea that some of the founders were "evangelical Christians" is laughable. Most were Episcopalians, basically "Catholic-lite", and the "rapture" hadn't even been invented yet. The full concept of "faith alone" hadn't even been full popularized yet (the 2nd Great Awakening 40 years later, maybe). Not one of them could ever possibly be confused with a modern day Christian.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The founding fathers were Deists, not at all like most modern day Christians. They valued reason.

    Many of our laws were taken from old Saxon laws, not the bible. Thus the term "common law", as in "common law wife"..

    Our constitution was heavily influenced by the Iroquois nation.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Freemasonry had the largest impact on the foundation of the United States.

  • God
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Treating women as second class citizens, owning slaves, extermination of non-Christian natives--can't get much more Christian than that.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I can't remember the exact proverb, but Jefferson used it, as the foundation for his explenations of the seperation of powers (executive, legislative, judicial). That principle, borrowed from the old testament, was the 'experiment' that we read about so often. I'll try to find the exact proverb for you.

  • Molly
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    You will find the answer in the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution.

    The inalienable right before God that men ought to be free to worship God.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Many Christian principles.

    Exactly all of them are there for you to study in our country's history.

    It would take a book to explain.

    Get crackin!!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
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