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

And one more thing before I go to bed, Zagada, I don’t know that this country is any more or less Christian than it ever has been. That was certainly not my experience tonight, where I as a Catholic, spent about 3 hours at an Easter Vigil. The church I was in was pretty full. How full was yours tonight?

And the cool thing about the Freemasons founding the country was that the lodges gave Protestants, Catholics and Jews a chance to meet with each other on equal footing without religion getting in the way. Kind of like the US Constitution does. It doesn’t favor any one religion and in fact, prohibts that sort of thing in the Establishment clause.

Why would I go tonight? It isn’t like there is a religious event going on.

Ostara, however, was quite fun, thanks much.

You still want to keep arguing about sentence structure, or are you done for now?

With nothing more than that statement you give you cannot tell. It very well could mean all of the apples or some. The reader may very well infer either alternative. 633squadron’s missive was written such that no exceptions were included. He did not equivocate and the context is clear. I amquite sure if he wanted to say “some” chirstians he would have.

You have become importunistic, however, and like the I-Ching, I do not instruct the importunistic. Goodnight. Have fun playing with yourself.

Sorry I responded before this line of utter BS had a chance to process. Christians are not ignorant. Christians of that time are not necessarily ignorant. No doubt many of them were educated forward-thinking individuals that knew a secular nation is a necessity for a functional non-oppressive government. A bunch of deists did get together and founded our nation with the backing of a majority of those Christians. Not because of their Christianity taught them self-determination but because they learned such lessons on their own. Or maybe from the inspiring words of Thomas Paine who was so rabidly anti-Christain Theodore Roosevelt called him “that filthy little athiest”

Oh, I will. That isn’t a sin to everyone, you know.

Christians have the funniest insults. It is like being in junior high again. O_o

Here you go. Settle in, it’s good read! Some framing quotes below.

Can We Be Good Without God?- On the political meaning of Christianity - by Glenn Tinder 12/89 The Atlantic Magazine

Methinks someone is dodging the questions.

Would you care to cite exactly which parts of the Constitution are founded on Christian theology, and from which part of the Bible they are taken from?

BTW, apparently we are a Christian nation, and apparently our soldiers have to [url=]pray for President Bush (I guess so he doesn’t fall in the lake while he is fishing on his ranch) O_o

The context of the “Christian perspective” outlined in Tinder’s article, which is the one I was referring to in my original response in this thread, is not seen in some line by line parsing of the Bible with the Constitution, but rather, in Christianity’s consideration (in theory) of the dignity and value of the individual. That day-to-day Christians in practice may regularly fail to achieve this end is to some extent beside the point. The notion that the individual has an inalienable value is a core tenet of New Testament Christian belief.

The mindset that produced the Constitution and other statements of principle in the formative years of the United States is, to a significant extent, directly reflective of the rights of the people as individuals. It is this social and political orientation that values the political individual that was informed and shaped by the proto-American Christian perspective that values the dignity and worth of the individual.

Astro, I think god must be on your side. I typed out a fairly huge response only to have my page reload for no reason. :stuck_out_tongue: Anyway…

I’ll ask again for the principles spelled out in the Bible and have been put into practice by the church that supports self determination and freedom. Triple points if I can’t come up with two other parts that support slavery, inequality or oppression. On to the article.

Wow I had no idea. I thought the Enlightenment was a HUGE deal. Guess I was wrong.

What a weird sentence. There was an age of increasing secularism that gave rise to our nation. Yet this rising secularism wasn’t the cause of this new form of government but was because of a reinterpretation of Christianity into secular terms? Why would Christianity need that if it had those ideas already imbedded in it? Why hadn’t the long Christian history of Europe made dozens of examples of a ‘Western’ style democracy before this? Why are so many of our principles based on Greek philosophies about government and not most of the Christian nations already in existence?

Well considering those ‘values’ have been around since before Christianity I do agree it’s unlikely they ‘created’ them. Just put them into practice unlike the aforementioned Christian nations. He’s got me on the metaphysical foundations. Hard for a secular philosophy to create an adequate foundation for the metaphysical.

cough**cough I think I need a glass of water.

Well that’s awfully nice of him. Declares rational secularism Christianity without Jesus and says he doesn’t have any major problems with it. Good for him.

Wow this reminds me of the time my cousin told me I couldn’t understand love without believing in God. I dunno about you but I don’t think the government loves me. I don’t think the majority of people in the government from the very beginning based their laws off of love. Notions of equality and freedom yes. But not spiritual love.

Help me with this one. People before Christ didn’t understand other types of love? People that don’t believe in Christianity is incapable of a special type of love that’s only for Christians? I’m not being snarky or sarcastic here I honestly don’t understand this point at all.

Does this guy even read his own bible? He does judge us and tells us if we do not worship him we will burn in hell for all of eternity.

Yeah including god and jesus.

Er ok. I don’t see my Government even imperfectly trying to sacrifice selflessly.

It’s bedtime for me so I won’t even bother with the torturous logic of the second part of that (maybe in the morning) So far however I have yet to see him come up with ONE connection. We’ve all provided factual evidence to suggest self determination was a REJECTION of Christian principles (quotes of the founders, the Bible vs the principles of the nation etc) without nonsensical definitions of the word ‘love’.

Christianity as a religion is unique in its insistence on the ultimate dignity and worth of each individual. Societies with Christian foundations thus establish political systems which are notable for their insistence on “respect for the individual” and “a belief in the essential equality of all human beings”. Thus, historically we can see that when Christianity was the dominant force in European culture–from the 4th century C.E. and the final conversion of the Roman Empire to a Christian state, until the rise of the secularist “Enlightenment” of the 18th century C.E.–was an era in which Christian Europeans built social and political systems in which the inherent equal dignity and worth of every individual was of paramount value, as opposed to systems which valued human beings according to their “class”, “birth”, “station”, or “estate”, and in which some people were considered born to rule, and others born to serve.

Next: Black is white, up is down, and night is day.

“The United States is in no way founded upon the Christian religion.”

– George Washington & John Adams, in a diplomatic message to Malta

(from the earlier posted link by Attrayant)

Several, yes. However, the vast majority of them claimed some manner of Christian affiliation ( and Even Ben Franklin’s proclaimed deism is equivocal. He did adopt deism for a while, but abandoned it later on, as was known to quote Scripture within the Federal Convention.

As Astro said, the USA is a pluralist society, but its foundation was shaped to a great deal by Christian principles and worldviews. This does not make it a specifically Christian nation, but its bedrock was largely hewn by this perspective Before anyone puts words in my mouth, I’m not claiming that all these beliefs were exclusively Christian, but that they helped shape the laws and political formation of the country, as astro explained.)

Most of the Founding Fathers belonged to Christian churches, so it’s safe to say that they did not see a contradiction between “self-determination” and Christian principles. Most of them most certainly did NOT reject Christian principles, as your claim would require them to do.

Quite simply, the right to self-determination is not absolute. Never has been. The Biblical injunctions against sin, and its penalties for severe sins, do not inherently contradict the principle of self-determination, as the latter was never meant to be an absolute goal to be valued above everything else.

No society can exist which sets no limits whatsoever on individual liberty–a condition where there are no limits on anyone’s freedom of action isn’t a society at all; it’s anarchy. “Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins” and all that.

However, the Constitution and laws of the United States take a very different view on what “sins” should be penalized than the Bible does, or indeed than the law codes of a number of the North American colonies did. A number of the colonial law codes (particularly in New England) made such crimes as worshipping “false gods” punishable by death, an impeccably Biblical view of civil government. There is no question that colonial Connecticut or Massachusetts Bay were “Christian nations”. The United States of America, however, has never been based on such a “worldview”, and has emphatically rejected such principles since the adoption of the Constitution.


I looked at you site. Did you look at mine? The one I linked to had dozens of quotes (I have others but they aren’t laid out as nicely). I enjoyed this line

May have been hostile? And that darn Paine. Forget all of his firey pamphlets that stirred the common man into action. Forget his years of government service where he revealed fraud time after time. He arrived too late and left too early to influence anyone (he left in 1780 to do a book on the revolutionary war at the request of Franklin so obviously none of the Founding fathers were aware of his writings and weren’t influenced by them). Which I guess is partly true after all Paine believed in equality, freedom, but he was anti-slavery (fairly unusual for that time) so I guess he wasn’t promoting Christian values that our nation was based off of.

Would have been nice if he had actually included those quotes instead of just one by Benjamin Franklin that’s nicely counter weighed against Franklin’s other quotes.

Another proof that site offers is a claim that several founding fathers were on church rolls. I don’t understand how that’s stronger then their many many writings. This was an era when Europe and most of the USA was still under the yoke of the Church. It’s almost like saying I attended public school at one point so I MUST support the government and even if I write something that explicitly states I’m rejecting such teachings it doesn’t count.

Interesting sentence

So his commitment to natural rights and his belief all men are created equal is in CONFLICT with his sifting of the Bible? Do they even understand what the word individual means?

At least four? More like 0 if you’re talking about the specific god of Christianity. Staunch churchman indeed.

I like how he admits that Thomas Jefferson didn’t like Christianity but it was really just Calvinism that he was really against.

I think there is very little evidence that any of them were god-fearing.

Unlike Christian nations that had a divine right of kings and believed someone set over you was done so by god. “Render onto Caesar’s that which is Caesar’s” Doesn’t mean to me 'rise up and rule yourself in a system of checks and balances so you don’t get taken advantage of"

I wonder if he got this from the Northwest Ordinance? That’s the only example I can think if that implies this at all and even that was put into place before the Constitution from the Ohio Company that forced a provision into the ordinance days before a vote.

I think this one has already been debunked in this debate. At best the Founding Fathers wanted a neutral state.

And our prevailing government was a secular institution that has attempted to resist that influence for a long long time.

Once again all we get is airy speculation and few facts that can’t be questioned or debunked.

It’s important to distinguish between politicians pandering by mentioning God (which they all do, on both sides - John Kerry quoted the Bible last week and attended church with the cameras running), and the government actually enforcing the notion of a ‘Christian Nation’. Which it doesn’t. In fact, even while maybe the most devout President since Jimmy Carter sits in the White House, a judge was thrown off the bench for refusing to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments from a federal building.

Am I the only person who thinks it doesn’t really matter whether or not the founding fathers were Christian or not? I’m Italian, but if I open a restaurant, it doesn’t have to be an Italian restaurant.

Hey, the founding fathers were all male, does that make this a male country?

Are thou cracked in thine skull? The whole POINT of the Christian Nation movement is to acheive exactly that. That’s the whole reason this debate exists: in order to create precedents that will help dismantle SOCAS piece by piece.