Was the United States really founded as a Christian nation?
which 'founding father' said this?
"I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature.....Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make half the world fools and half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the world. ?"
- justgoodfolkLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
No. The United States Constitution serves as the law of the land for America and indicates the intent of our Founding Fathers. The Constitution forms a secular document, and nowhere does it appeal to God, Christianity, Jesus, or any supreme being. (For those who think the date of the Constitution contradicts the last sentence, see note 1 at the end.) The U.S. government derives from people (not God), as it clearly states in the preamble: "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union...." The omission of God in the Constitution did not come out of forgetfulness, but rather out of the Founding Fathers purposeful intentions to keep government separate from religion.
Although the Constitution does not include the phrase "Separation of Church & State," neither does it say "Freedom of religion." However, the Constitution implies both in the 1st Amendment. As to our freedoms, the 1st Amendment provides exclusionary wording:
Congress shall make NO law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. [bold caps, mine]
Thomas Jefferson made an interpretation of the 1st Amendment to his January 1st, 1802 letter to the Committee of the Danbury Baptist Association calling it a "wall of separation between church and State." Madison had also written that "Strongly guarded. . . is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution of the United States." There existed little controversy about this interpretation from our Founding Fathers.
If religionists better understood the concept of separation of Church & State, they would realize that the wall of separation actually protects their religion. Our secular government allows the free expression of religion and non religion. Today, religions flourish in America; we have more churches than Seven-Elevens.
Although many secular and atheist groups fight for the wall of separation, this does not mean that they wish to lawfully eliminate religion from society. On the contrary, you will find no secular or atheist group attempting to ban Christianity, or any other religion from American society. Keeping religion separate allows atheists and religionists alike, to practice their belief systems, regardless how ridiculous they may seem, without government intervention.
Thomas Jefferson is also the one you quoted.
Many of the Founders were hardly Christians. There were several Deists, most prominent among them Thomas Jefferson. Deism rejected formal or organized religion, including Christianity; it taught that people should depend on human reasoning, not revealed truths, to discern what is true in the world. Deism rejected the divinity of Jesus and ascribed his miracles and resurrection to "mysticisms, fancies and falsehoods" (Jefferson's words).
Another standout is Benjamin Franklin. The body of his work strongly suggests that he was an atheist. Like most atheist politicians since, Franklin was not so impolitic as to broadcast this fact. He sometimes evoked Providence or God in his speeches, ever mindful of his Christian audiences. But anyone familiar with Franklin's writings knows of his true philosophy towards religion.
Thus, the fact that not all the Founders were Christians, and that they actually removed a widespread Christian qualification for office in the U.S. constitution, proves that the Founders did not intend this to be a Christian republic.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Personally I understand the issue to be GOVERNMENT'S attitude toward religion(s). Forbidden are two actions by government: establishment and prohibition. Essentially they did not want more of the earlier experiences with the Roman Catholic Church or the Anglican Church. Both claimed to be the only true religion and persecuted those who did not practice them or who wished to practice religious beliefs in some other way. Religion was not the issue. Government interference with religious practices per se was the point of the Constitution. Some of the witch hunts in early colonies were the same sort of interference.
I find it odd that the Bible so many use in this country is the translation authorized by James I of England which was used to support his claim of divine right to rule and to the exclusive nature of the Anglican Church. Some parts of that translation are not in any other version of bible books.Source(s): College and post-grad studies including greek versions of the bible.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
I would say that the US was founded as a Christian nation, if you consider that the majority of people who were colonists were Christians. I would say that the US was founded as a Masonic/Free Masonic nation if you consider the fact that most of the founding fathers were involved in Masonry and Freemasonry. There is supporting evidence in the architecture and layout of places like Washington D.C., as well as the prolific nature of the the symbolism that has been incorporated into the public symbols of the United States. You don't really believe that the Statue of Liberty is the Statue of Liberty, do you? It is the Statue of Semiramis. Granted, these things, including Washington D.C. were post foundation, but many of the founding fathers were Masons. The majority of the population were Christians. It depends what you mean by foundation and whether you believe that the beliefs of the masses, or the beliefs of the founders take precedence. It is relative to one's perception. According to wikiquote, Thomas Jefferson is the founding father who has been attributed with the quote in question.
- TimmyLv 41 decade ago
It was founded upon the ideas stemming from the Age of Enlightenment, which was a period of great thought and questioned the dogmas of theistic thinking.
Nowhere in the Bible can one find the DoI or The Constitution.
That quote is from Thomas Jefferson.
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- ?Lv 71 decade ago
Thomas Jefferson, but the majority of our founding fathers were believers and founded our concepts and precepts on this basis. read some more history and you will find the facts.
christianity is not the only one that has a history of violence but if you read the pre history of the crusades, you will find the real cause of the conflict, it is both ancient and current. history does repeat itself.
in today's world, it is not the Christians who are blowing people up or killing innocents daily on a global basis. current events would be helpful to reach on understanding of what is occurring NOW.
i wonder what you believe on who and how they should prevail their goals.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Yes we were founded on a christian nation.
- 1 decade ago
yes they were. founded on christian principals.