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North America: A Country Founded On Christianity?


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Thursday night family dinner is approaching, and I've just heard this week's topic for discussion will be the idea that America was founded on Christianity. I know I've come across information regarding this in a forum but I can't seem to find it, and some information opposing this idea would certainly be helpful during the Atheist Kids vs. Christian Parental Units discussion tomorrow evening.

 

Oh, how I love being the leader of the rebels. :Duivel:

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I've noticed that people who tend to argue that America was founded on Xianity are making the argument in order to suggest that there shouldn't be a separation between church and state. The idea seems to be along the lines of "America was founded on Xianity (or Xian principles), therefore America is a Xian nation, therefore Xianity should be the official religion somehow". Creating a state religion, to whatever degree, involves the erosion of the principle of separation of church and state, by default.

 

With that in mind, here's a place to start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state

 

The article itself needs some cleanup, but has links to additional sources. About halfway down in that article is a section about the topic of religion and American politics, and the role Xianity has played in the founding of the United States. Another introductory article can be found here: http://www.religioustolerance.org/scs_intr.htm (the religioustolerance.org site has some other great links too).

 

America was founded on quite a few things - religious freedom (for Xians only, initially), democracy (derived ultimately from pagan Greece), English common law, and so on. It was influenced by a lot of philosophies of the Enlightenment, and it also grew directly out of a conflict with England. Xianity isn't the only thing that influenced the shaping of the American nation.

 

Even if it were, a reading of the Constitution (Articles too, not just Amendments) indicates that, regardless of the personal religious leanings of any of the Founders, one of their top values was the separation of church and state. It's in the First Amendment, for pete's sake; it's also implicitly included in things like Article VI. And the Constitution is the law of the land - not the damn Bible.

 

So I'd target the real argument, the whole "the US was founded on Xianity so therefore should be a Xian nation" thing. The US wasn't founded only on Xianity, and even if it was, the idea that it needs to be a Xian nation is utter bullshit. The Founders were abundantly clear on the idea that religion needed to stay the hell out of government at any cost. To attempt to create a theocracy here is unAmerican and unpatriotic, not to mention illegal (at least in theory).

 

I'd probably also play with their heads by asking exactly what Xian principles or verses America was founded on. Go on, have 'em get their Bibles out, and pick verses, or have them explicitly outline for you what Xian principles are behind the US. I've tried this and have yet to see any kind of answer whatsoever, just a lot of uneducated spluttering.

 

Something a lot of Xians don't realize is that the separation of church and state is actually good for religions, especially when coupled with the concept of religious freedom. When the government stays out of religious practice, then you avoid things like, say, the state taking Xians out of Sunday worship to line them up against the alley wall and shoot them for being Xians.

 

I suspect a lot of Xians who make the "US is Xian" argument are afraid of something. They aren't on top anymore. Freedom of religion means freedom for everyone, not just them. Combine that with the other First Amendment rights - to free speech and free press - and it means that many religions can compete for believers. And Xians are losing ground.

 

Hell, I'd freak out too.

 

Anyway. Check out some of those links on both the above sites, and see what you come up with. And good luck.

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If the Founders were Xians, there wouldn't be any freedom of religion or speech, only edicts to believe in Jebus or else, same as all historically Xian countries throughout history.

 

The inclusive nature of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights alone is un-Xian - and evidence enough that America has no Xian foundation whatsoever.

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Oh yes. My father recently decided every week someone new will come to the table with a topic for discussion, and only that topic will be discussed for 30 minutes (the time limit is mostly to prevent his uptight wife from becoming too overwhelmed with religious debate) and after 30 minutes - dessert is served, and the discussion ceases.

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They might try to pull this one out of their asses:

 

 

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ! For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here." --Patrick Henry

 

 

However, check this out (scroll down):

 

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Patrick_Henry

 

And this:

 

http://www.wallbuilders.com/resources/sear...p?ResourceID=20

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Don't forget the opening line of the Treaty of Tripoli (1796):

 

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..."

 

Remember to mention that the treaty was ratified unanimously... a mere seven years after the Constitution was ratified.

 

Full text here:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tripoli

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Ugggh, this argument always drives me batty. It doesn't matter what the Founding Fathers believed religiously, or even that there was a great amount of Christians coming over here and forming colonies. The FF's were VERY explicit that they were NOT founding this country on ANY religious doctrine. It's even spelled out in so many words in the Treaty of Tripoli:

 

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.

 

Is it such a leap of logic to read your basic history and see that all these Christians were fleeing CHRISTIAN persecution? Let's pretend for a second that all the FF's were indeed all Christians...Is it so hard to deduce that they were smart enough to see how FAST they would end up recreating England's oppressive religious rule in the new land if they put even one word leaning in any religious direction on these critical documents forming the basis of our government?

 

I hate watching people mangle our history. It's those types who are doomed to destroying what we fought so hard to gain and protect all this time.

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They might try to pull this one out of their asses:

 

 

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ! For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here." --Patrick Henry

 

 

However, check this out (scroll down):

 

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Patrick_Henry

 

And this:

 

http://www.wallbuilders.com/resources/sear...p?ResourceID=20

Patrick Henry...hmmm...wasn't he the guy who said "Give me Librium or give me Meth"?

 

P.S. I let it pass that in your title you refer to North America as a country.

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You're just a ray of sunshine, Roman.

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North america is a CONTINENT, Not a country,

 

There are 3 legaly recognized countrys within the continental plate of north america.

As well as the dreams and aspirations of us natives to someday be free (but i digress).

 

As non christians we are under a deep obligation to be educated and informed..................

...............And to avoid mistaking continents for countrys.

 

Thankyou , we now return you to your regularly scheduled forum topic

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They might try to pull this one out of their asses:

 

 

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ! For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here." --Patrick Henry

 

 

However, check this out (scroll down):

 

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Patrick_Henry

 

And this:

 

http://www.wallbuilders.com/resources/sear...p?ResourceID=20

Patrick Henry...hmmm...wasn't he the guy who said "Give me Librium or give me Meth"?

 

P.S. I let it pass that in your title you refer to North America as a country.

 

Patrick Henry is my uncle by marriage. He was a brilliant orator, statesman, and lawyer, but he was also a real hellfire and brimstone fundamentalist. He had brilliant ideas, but he's also said to be a very tempermental, loudmouthed, stubborn, opinionated, and derilict individual (like most fundies :P ) . Mostly his role in everything in the formation of this country was as an orator. He was a good shit-stirrer and lawyer, and he was used as such. He was actually a strong critic of the constitution, and he was in favor of the strongest possible government for the individual states, and a weak federal government. He was also very critical of the fact that the convention was conducted in secret. He sort of had to be herded around by everyone else so his qualities were used to maximum benefit and his flaws could do the least amount of damage.

 

So honestly, he's not the best person for anyone to be pulling out of their asses as an example of the "Christian Principles" this country was founded on, because he did a lot of leading and arguing, but not a lot of actual founding.

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You're just a ray of sunshine, Roman.

Waddayamean JUST a ray of sunshine. I am my Mama's Sweet Baby Boy. She used to say Ishkabibble all the time, and she was probably thinking of my Dad when she said it. Are you my Daddy?

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Sorry... can't help ya' there.

 

MERELY letting you know how you brighten my day.

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Why not just not go to the family dinner, if they are going to have such an annoying topic? Or are you a minor and forced to eat with them? Thankfully, my parents aren't that religious, but if they tried to do something like that to me, I'd just stay home and decline the invitation.

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I think this is simple really. Where in any document is there a reference to Jesus? To Christianity? None. If they pull the old "Nature and Natures God", or "Endowed by their creator" reply that they meant Mithras, not Jesus and have them prove you wrong by only using those documents. If they cite A.D. as being "Anno Domini" reply that it is just a date convention. (If you feel like being perverse simply say that their "Lord" was Mithras and leave it at that.)

 

Else, reply that the idea of "the persuit of happines" was never a Christian idea. Quite the reverse in fact. Point to Jefferson and the Virginia Statutes of religious tolerance. Point to Benjamin Franklin being a member of the Hellfire Club.

 

Hope they serve Swiss cheese at dinner because it will be the only thing at the table with more holes in it than the argument that the United States was founded as a Christian Nation.

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Sorry... can't help ya' there.

 

MERELY letting you know how you brighten my day.

Well, that brightened up my day, which was already pretty bright BECAUSE I AM GOING TO FLORIDA FOR A WEEK. That's right. My very own Sweet Baby Boy emailed me my yearly ticketless ticket to Miami...I leave on the 20th and come back on the 28th. I was also informed that my grandson, who is my son and me made over but with significant upgrades, is one of only 36 out of over 600 students at the Gloria Something-Cuban Elementary School to be on the President's Special Honors List, for straight A's, for being Student of the Month twice this year, for exemplary good conduct and for being the Kid Most Like His Grandfather. OK, I made up the last one.

 

You don't get to be rid of me for a week, however, because they have computers down there.

------------------

 

Amethyst and Vortex: GREAT POSTS!

 

Either one of those would be my advice. Either don't go, or just tell them "Shut the fuck up, Dave." Well, you don't have to say "Dave."

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