Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

Is this proof that we were founded as a christian nation?


The first chief justice of the supreme court of the US says:

John Jay:

“ Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” Source: October 12, 1816. The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, Henry P. Johnston, ed., (New York: Burt Franklin, 1970), Vol. IV, p. 393.

23 Answers

  • RickK
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Were we founded as a "Christian Nation"? Read the words of the Founding Fathers and judge for yourself:

    In 1797 the President John Adams and the U.S. Senate unanimously signed a statement saying "... the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion...".

    "The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretence, infringed.''

    -- James Madison (Original wording of the First Amendment; Annals of Congress 434 (June 8, 1789).)

    "If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Romish Church, but practiced it up on the Puritans. They found it wrong in Bishops, but fell into the practice themselves both there (England) and in New England".

    -- Benjamin Franklin

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."

    -- Ben Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1758

    "Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be deprecated."

    -- George Washington

    "The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning. And ever since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate a free inquiry? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality, is patiently endured, countenanced, propogated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with the dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will find you have distrubed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hand and fly into your face and eyes."

    -- John Adams

    "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State"

    -- Thomas Jefferson

    "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being hat have been the fras his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."

    -- President George Washington

    “Religions are all alike -- founded upon fables and mythologies”

    -- Thomas Jefferson

    "Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a common censor over each other. Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced an inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth."

    -- Thomas Jefferson

    "During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have 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."

    -- James Monroe

    "The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries."

    -- James Madison

    "During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have 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."

    -- James Madison

    "When I observe into what inconsistent absurdities those persons run who make speculative, metaphysical religion a matter of importance, I am fully determined never to puzzle myself in the mazes of religious discussion [and] to content myself with practicing the dictates of God and reason so far as I can judge for myself."

    -- John Quincy Adams

    There is a reason why this period in history during the 1700s was called "The Age of Enlightenment". As these quotes and other writings from the period demonstrate, it was in stark contrast to the Dark Ages from whence we came, and to which we will return if we allow faith to overwhelm reason.

    We are a Christian Nation only to those people who would rather promote their faith than promote their country.

    Real Americans understand one immutable truth:

    You cannot have freedom OF religion without having freedom FROM religion.

  • Lindy
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    From what I have learned I think that the United States of America was founded partly to get away from being told that people had to worship a certain way. In England the Reform Church controlled everything in politics. The founding fathers wanted people to be free to worship as they chose.

    We became a Christian nation. At that time I doubt that many people had been introduced to any other religion. Maybe some of the Chinese that came over had some different beliefs. There were many English, Irish, Italians and all of those are basically Christian.

  • 1 decade ago

    This nation was founded on the principle of religious freedom for all. You do know that all religions are practiced here don't you. The people who founded the country on the whole were Christian, but that just means that the Christian founders recognized and valued each person's right to practice whatever faith they had, including no faith. Now because one justice once wrote something, do you think that that is the only way to see the issue? If that's true, how do you explain that even justices disagree with each other. The fact that one person wrote one thing once is not indication it's necessarily the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We were founded as a nation of religious freedom...for all. (And in my opinion, thank God for that!)

  • jrrose
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago


    The words God, Jesus, Holy Spirit or the 10 Commandments are not mentioned even once in the US Constitution.

    The Constitution gives power to the people, not God.

    The Treaty of Tripoli more than states that the US, was in no way, founded upon Christianity. This Treaty was signed and passed (even by Christians) with no problem. That alone tells us that the US is not founded upon Christianity.

    Article 11 of the Treaty states, "

    Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

    Nuff Said.

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  • 1 decade ago

    As you can see from the numerous mentions of the Constitution, the quotes from different founding fathers and the statement from the Treaty of Tripoli, just b/c some judge misunderstood the law, that hardly makes the desire to escape religious persecution, which was extremely important to the founding fathers, any less real.

    FYI T. Jefferson was not a Christian. He might have claimed deism but he certainly was not Christian. (Check out the Jefferson Bible)

  • Daphne
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    George Duffield, Congressional Chaplain On October 1, 1777, after Jacob Duché, Congress's first chaplain, defected to the British, Congress appointed joint chaplains: William White (1748-1836), Duché's successor at Christ Church, Philadelphia, and George Duffield (1732-1790), pastor of the Third Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia. By appointing chaplains of different denominations, Congress expressed a revolutionary egalitarianism in religion and its desire to prevent any single denomination from monopolizing government patronage. This policy was followed by the first Congress under the Constitution which on April 15, 1789, adopted a joint resolution requiring that the practice be continued. Resistance to Tyranny as a Christian Duty Jonathan Mayhew delivered this sermon--one of the most influential in American history--on the anniversary of the execution of Charles I. In it, he explored the idea that Christians were obliged to suffer under an oppressive ruler, as some Anglicans argued. Mayhew asserted that resistance to a tyrant was a "glorious" Christian duty. In offering moral sanction for political and military resistance, Mayhew anticipated the position that most ministers took during the conflict with Britain. Christianizing the Delawares In this resolution, Congress makes public lands available to a group for religious purposes. Responding to a plea from Bishop John Ettwein (1721-1802), Congress voted that 10,000 acres on the Muskingum River in the present state of Ohio "be set apart and the property thereof be vested in the Moravian Brethren . . . or a society of the said Brethren for civilizing the Indians and promoting Christianity." The Delaware Indians were the intended beneficiaries of this Congressional resolution.

  • 1 decade ago

    The fact that a christian wrote this statement in 1816 is not proof that the United States was founded as a christian nation.

  • Anarch
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    The fact that some of the men who founded the country were christians (some deists and non-christian theists should also be included) doesn't make the United States of American a nation founded on God. The only thing it tells us is that it was a nation that included many Christians.

  • Here are some quotes that explain why the 1st amendment is worded as it is.

    Thomas Paine was a pamphleteer whose manifestos encouraged the faltering spirits of the country and aided materially in winning the war of Independence:

    I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of...Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all."

    John Adams, the country's second president, was drawn to the study of law but faced pressure from his father to become a clergyman. He wrote that he found among the lawyers 'noble and gallant achievments" but among the clergy, the "pretended sanctity of some absolute dunces". Late in life he wrote: "Twenty times in the course of my late reading, have I been upon the point of breaking out, "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!"

    Thomas Jefferson

    "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." -- Thomas Jefferson (letter to J. Adams April 11,1823)

    James Madison, fourth president and father of the Constitution, was not religious in any conventional sense. "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."

    "During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have 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."

    Ethan Allen, whose capture of Fort Ticonderoga while commanding the Green Mountain Boys helped inspire Congress and the country to pursue the War of Independence, said, "That Jesus Christ was not God is evidence from his own words." In the same book, Allen noted that he was generally "denominated a Deist, the reality of which I never disputed, being conscious that I am no Christian."

    Benjamin Franklin, delegate to the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, said:

    As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion...has received various corrupting Changes, and I have, with most of the present dissenters in England, some doubts as to his Divinity; tho' it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the Truth with less trouble."

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Quote mining at its best. When you see "blah blah blah... blah blah." The dots are parts taken out intentionally to misguide the reader. It ruins the credibility of the source immediately. Try again. I really don't care what they said to others, it's what was written into the constitution that matters. This is not mow, nor ever will be, a "Christian nation."

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    no it is talking about colonial years. Yet when the country was formed it was made and country for religious freedom.

    Also note that if America was made to be a christian nation then why did Thomas Jefferson write the virginia statute of religious freedom even though he is a christian

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