Help, please...Is this a Christian Nation?

Well, I’d like to see his documentary evidence first. Two reasons I can think of immediately: 1) I’d like to see what he’s been reading, so I can avoid reading it, and 2) I’m always up for a good laugh.

All seriousness aside…

Were the framers of the Declaration of Independence (which split us from UK) and the Constitution (which created the nation we know) “Christians”?

Answer: They had all been brought up that way, but I doubt that they would identify themselves that way, and certainly they would not identify themselves the way your correspondent is identifying himself. Some (like Franklin) were Deists. Some (like George Washington) were raised as Anglicans but vociferously resisted calling themselves Christians. Washington in particular was known to resist saying “God,” preferring “Providence” instead, to the eternal annoyance of the priests who had him at services.

Of course this points one problem: if I attend church every Sunday am I a Christian? Depends. These days, probably. In 1776, who knows? Lots of people back then attended church so they could see their friends who lived a ways away. I can just see Washington sitting in the back grumbling every time the padre mentions the “G” word…

Washington was also an avowed Freemason. You ought to run that by your correspondent and see what happens!

The FF also had the heritage of the Cromwellian Revolution and the “Glorious” revolution of 1688 to guide them. Even if they were devout Christians they were not going to let religion have anything to do with the government, and vice versa. Forget it! Look at the history of England from 1600 to 1688? You think anybody in his right mind wanted that sort of mess? No, the FF wanted nothing to do with organized religion.

Now, I think there’s another question to answer: Is the US a “Christian” nation because it’s founded on beliefs, attitudes, and culture that are markedly Christian? Who the heck knows? The US is founded on some ideas that were mighty lofty, theoretical, and radical in their day. It’s also founded on the heritage of nearly 1000 years of English government. Neither set of ideas grew up in a vacuum, they had to be influenced by Christianity. So, the US was founded on Western European Enlightenment principles, which have some basis in Christianity as opposed to, say, Buddhism.

And a rant, to finish: your correspondent doesn’t mean any of what I’ve said. I’m certain he means that the FF founded the US based on the teachings of Christ and the idea that the nation had to follow Christian values, which in turn means that it’s perfectly Constitutional to have prayers to Jesus in public schools, yada yada yada. He probably believes the crap that’s written about Washington, how Washington was a Christian who insisted that Christ was important in the government.

Your correspondent is absolutely dead wrong; he’s being led around by neo-conservative Christians who want to believe this junk even though there’s not a shred of evidence for it.

And, since I’m MOT, I will conclude by saying that there is no such thing as a Judeo-Christian heritage! I wish the Christians would stop dragging me into this crap! Look, the Christians are entitled to their opinions, but they do not speak for the Jews. So quit it!

[QUOTE=ZagadkaISocially, we are no longer Christian - which is just what the fundies want me to say, but so be it.[/QUOTE]

Nah, we’re still Christian, in lots of little annoying ways. The worst one is saying that Christian attitudes come from our “Judeo-Christian” heritage. There cannot be anything more Christian that stating some weird attitude about society and then dragging the Jews into it too, as if we’d really agree with anything they say.

Also, everybody taking off work for Christian holidays but not Jewish ones. It’s nice to say that Christmas is an “American” holiday but then you’re forcing me to be all happy because Jesus was born. I don’t mind Jesus, I think he was fascinating, but I do object to calling him the Son of G-d or the Savior or all of that stuff. It’s not that I don’t believe it, it’s that I come from a religion that Jesus was a part of and split away from. And you want me to celebrate? And then look at what Christians have done in Jesus’ name to the Jews? And you want me to celebrate?

You guys are a riot! ;j

633Squadron: Good movie, good comments.

There was an excellent article addressing this exact point I read several years ago (IIRC in the Atlantic I think) that discussed at length the role of Christianity in Western Democracies in general, and America specifically, as a backbone on which the principles embodied in the founding of America were expressed. The nature of this expression in the sense taken in the article, was not so much of a “because God said so” aspect, but rather how the prism of a Christian perspective expessed itself through principles and beliefs that informed the world view of the founding fathers and early Americans.

The overall theme of the article was that America is a Christian nation as expressed in it’s bedrock social structures, even if the reality of America today encompasses a myriad of differing perspectives, and that we need to be cognizant of the fact that it is that Christian perspective that shaped and nutured many of the principles and freedoms we hold dear, and that the notions and principles of freedom and equality embodied in that perspective did not just fall out of the sky but were largely a result of Christian influences.

The current government of the USA and its founders were Freemasons. Out of 56 people who signed the Declaration of Independence, 50 were Freemasons. Every General in the Revolutionary Army was a Freemason and so were about 2000 officers. Boston Freemasons staged the Boston Tea Party. Ben Franklin, George Washington, Paul Revere and Thomas Jefferson were Freemasons. The whole idea of freedom of religion is Freemasonic because Freemasons don’t care what God you worship just so long as you acknowledge one. This idea about this being a Judeo-Christian country is a lot of horseshit. The USA was founded by Deist Freemasons and 16 US Presidents were Freemasons

Also, the Bill of Rights is a practical line-by-line response to the excesses of the Inquisition.

Oops. My first line should have said, “The current government of the USA was established by Freemasons.”

Sorry. I don’t hink anyone in power in the Executive Branch at the moment are Freemasons. That would be Skull and Bones.


good points. There is plenty of ignorance, fanaticism, violence, intolerance, and slavery to make an argument for a ‘Christian prism’ influencing America.

It is fortunate we had a bunch of Deist/agnostic founders that set down laws to make sure such tendencies didn’t become the law of the land.

American principles of government vs. Biblical principles of government:

And also, of some historical interest, is Article 11 of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship, Signed at Tripoli November 4, 1796, and unanimously ratified by the United States Senate:

Damnit, MEBuckner, stop singlehandedly ruining our debates. :wink:


Not be excessively antagonistic, 633squadron, but to indict all Christians as having done something to Jews in Jesus name is tantamount to a Christian indicting all Jews as members of the International Jewish Conspiracy.

Um, he didn’t. He said, “look at what Christians have done” - Christians have done a lot of stupid and evil things. That doesn’t mean that all Christians do stupid and evil things.

Zagada. Here’s the quote from 633squadron:

And then look at what Christians have done in Jesus’ name to the Jews? And you want me to celebrate?

I stand by my comments.

Also, I think 633squadron ought not protest that much about the Christian Fundamentalists who invoke the “Judeo-Christian” rhetoric. For whatever reason. the Christian Fundies seem to like Israel, perhaps because they think that by being nice to Israel God will reward them come Judgment Day. In my opinion, and I am not alone, Israel is not a strategic asset it is a strategic liability. My understanding is that the USA gives Israel more money than any other country in the world. I daresay that if we were to cut out the flow of money to Israel, we would have peace in the Mideast in about aweek.

Please note that I use Israel as a state, and do not say anything at all about the Jewish faith.

I stand by my opinion that you need a few more 7th grade English comprehension classes.

The comment is parsed as “look at what [people called] Christians…” not, “look at what [all] Christians…”

I know you’re trying your best to be amusingly snarky, but you’re really missing the fundamental point, that the Christian perspective, regardess of how illegal, immoral and fattening you think it may be, is what shaped the nature of proto-American beliefs in self determination and freedom. Your apparent determination to hug the skirts of the notion that it’s all really about a bunch of noble deists riding herd on a pack of ignorant Christians is is amusing but rather silly.

Excuse me? I’m going to have to ask for a cite where the Bible says something about self-determination and freedom.

Oh that’s good Zagada, something very sophisticated like an ad hominem argument.

But on the topic of reading comprehension, I don’t see how you get the supplemental comments that you insist are there even with the help of your parsing.
My reply speaks to exactly what was quoted from 633squadron in which the whole of the two paragraphs is an indictment of Christianity as being “annoying” and forcing him to be happy about Jesus being born. Squadron wrote what he wrote, I responded, I stand by it, and and your revisions don’t say what he said.

So, according to your understanding of the English language, if I say:

“Apples fell on my head”

that means that all apples fell on my head?

Stoid: Your friend is absolutely right. No other cultures other than those based on Christianity think that it is legally or morally wrong to steal, murder, or falsely accuse others. That is why the crime rate is so high in Japan compared to the US. You may mistakenly thing that demoocracy was practiced in ancient Greece since the word has a Greek derivation, but it is actually from the 11th commandment that was lost by Moses (this is why democracy never shows up in the Bible). The fact that we are a Christian nation explains why we turned the other cheek when attacked by Japan and Al Queda rather than going to war. It also explains why we take such good care of the poor and weak and provide health care for everyone.

Ok. Where in the bible does it support self determination and freedom? Where in church practice has that been encouraged? Both the Bible and the Church held utter submission to God to be the highest possible calling and free will is responsible for all sins starting with the Original Sin. Incest, Slavery, Polygamy, Bigotry, Hatred and violence are easy to find in there. As well as rationalizations used to this day to encourage those types of things. Where is the social-political frame work set forth so clearly in Christianity that has shaped our nation? A counter rise in humanistic tendencies in spite of the Christian church is where we seem to get our freedoms we cherish so dearly.

I’m glad you find it so amusing and silly. Tell me where is your rash of quotes showing that they founded the principles of the nation on Christianity? There’s dozens if not hundreds of quotes from that time attesting to how thoroughly they tried to divorce themselves from an oppressive church. They were a bunch of men trying to seprate themselves from the old ways of doing buisiness. Which included Christianity.