America Is A Christian Nation And Founding Fathers

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Ralph III, Jun 15, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Ralph III

    Ralph III
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello All,
    Just wondered if any of you have gotten into a debate over America being a Christian Nation? As atheist's and secularists like to vehemently refute such and insists secular. What are your thoughts?

    I have gotten into numerous debates with such. First some will try and imply the Founding Fathers were not religious, much less Christian. Or they try to minimize their beliefs. Only History completely refutes this. We might find a few to be odd in their beliefs; but many or most were quite religious and did believe in a personal God.


    This is simply an attempt to mislead people and cast shadows on the Founding Fathers and America. After these things are shown they then:

    1) immediately refer to the "treaty of tripoli". Are you familiar? In this treaty article 11 says America was not founded on Christianity. The treaty was simply and appeasement attempt with a Muslim nation, at war with "all" Christian nations. We hoped to avoid war as America, newly formed, was struggling and also to free hostages. The "language' and "terms" were hammered out in the middle east. It was basically and extortionist treaty. President Adams thought the whole thing cowardice, but peace was the attempt. However after a few years we entered war anyhow, America's first. When the treaty was re-negotiated on American terms, article 11 was dropped! The Muslim nation understood we were a Christian Nation as we understood they were Muslim.
    2) immediately say, well the Constitution does not have "God" or "Jesus" in it. However it does and also make references. The Constitution starts,
    the Bill of Rights guarantee's us certain rights. What were these rights and who guarantee's them as the Founding Fathers saw? Look at the Declaration of Independence.
    They then signed the Constitution
    Only Christian Nations would sign as such!

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

    My recent debate had to do with School Voluntary Prayer, and other things, removal in the 1960's. As the first Amendment has been "re-interpreted" to act against such. Justice Douglas, "hippie"..."liberal"(world book), admits to judicial activism, "Engel v. Vitale". He also offers some accurate insight with the First Amendment.

    The Separation of Church and State changed to be interpreted as the Separation of God from State. Thus effectively changing its' 150 year meaning and from it's inception. There was nothing to base their decision on in the Constitution. So they used new Language, as found in "Everson and Allegeny", in regards to Amendment One to ban voluntary School prayer. Activism at the highest level
    He could never pass the Seperation of Church State letimus test today because his interpretation would be held incorrect! Though he wrote it! Go figure.



    What are your thoughts? Are any of you young people aware of such things?

    All you have to do is read history. Or for an condensed version see the Supreme Court in "Holy Trinity Church v. United States" 1892. It gives an accurate account of America's Christian heritage as it had always been seen. Until last 50 years or so. Read the last half!


    Thought it might be of interest and have a great one.:Fish:
     
    #1 Ralph III, Jun 15, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2006
  2. Dale-c

    Dale-c
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,145
    Likes Received:
    0
    Watch out Ralph, you just might get flamed on this site for saying that we had a Christian founding!

    I agree with you but you would be amazed at the number of people on this board that not only DISagree but say that we SHOULDn't be a Christian nation.

    I asked prayer for Roy Moore's candidacy for governor a few weeks ago, only for people to say he was a rogue and lawless for wanting to have the ten commandments in the judicial building of Alabama.

    Sad, I know you are right but some are just ignorant, others just don't WANT to know.
     
  3. Magnetic Poles

    Magnetic Poles
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    10,407
    Likes Received:
    0
    And others just happen to disagree with you.
     
  4. Dale-c

    Dale-c
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,145
    Likes Received:
    0
    You will soon find out that there are many "Christians" on here that believe the same way. :-(
     
  5. Dale-c

    Dale-c
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,145
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some may disagree on the idea that we SHOULD be a Christian based nation.
    The facts that we were founded on Christian principles is just that, a FACT.

    You may think that is wrong, but it is still a fact.
     
  6. KenH

    KenH
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2002
    Messages:
    32,485
    Likes Received:
    0
    Our government has always been secular. Our vast majority of our citizenry has always been nominally Christian.

    Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that we were founded as a secular Christian nation as we have never succumbed to the terrible idea of establishing a theocracy in this country.
     
  7. Ralph III

    Ralph III
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dale-c you are correct! This is not to say we are a Christian Theocracy! Where religion is the greatest ruling factor in government. PC(political correctness) has gotten people scared to say we are a Christian Nation or founded as such.

    The Government of America was not formed to be a Theocracy. As which Church denomination would be favored or promoted? So we all should agree here and what the First Amendment was about. However, they did have every intention of God having a role within it! This was their ideal. IE: Congress prays before each session, ten commandments are in the Supreme Court, thanksgiving was a day to give thanks to God etc. etc.

    They more so left it up to the particular States to the degree, so to say. As seen with the early language of some Colonies/States. They were indeed along Theocratic lines which were wrong! As such discriminates against everyone, beleivers and non-beleivers alike. Now, most every State's Constitutional "preamble" at least recognizes God. Which I think is a good thing. This is definetly not secularism.

    Not trying to stir anything up just curious if many people are even aware of our heritage?

    Have a good one!:)


    Ralph
     
    #7 Ralph III, Jun 15, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2006
  8. Dale-c

    Dale-c
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,145
    Likes Received:
    0
    No it doesn't seem that many are.


    BTW, for what it is worth, Many states has state churches in the biginning. THe main point of the 1st ammendment was so that one states denomination would not rule the rest.

    Within 30-40 years though, the states ceased to have state churches themselves.

    Here is a chart on this page toward the bottom:

     
  9. billwald

    billwald
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2000
    Messages:
    11,414
    Likes Received:
    0
    The declaration of independance never was a legal document and binding on any U.S. govt. The people who wrote the Articles of Confederation may have been "Christian" but not the writers of the constitution.

    The Constitution was written to give the Supremes ultimate authority. When Kurt Godel applied for citizenship he argued with the judge that the Constitution was logically flawed because it could establish fascism which is exactly what the Bush govt is.
     
  10. Dale-c

    Dale-c
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,145
    Likes Received:
    0
    Please exaplain how the Constitution could establish fascism?
    As for Bush, I totally agree. So I am wondering where you see that connection?


    I see your point about the declaration but also it needs to be pointed out that that declaration shows the intent of the founders.
     
  11. Ralph III

    Ralph III
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    0
    Many or most the same people who worked on the Decleration of Independence also worked on the Constitution! Your statement is incorrect and makes no sense. This is not to say each signed both documents but they were involved with each. The Decleration of Independence was ratified by the Continental Congress! By Representatives of each Colony. They represented the people, in which the overwhelming majority of such supported these actions. It was legal and next to the Constitution/Bill of Rights was considered most important. Numerous of the Founding Fathers considered it to to be an intricate part of the Constitution. Which just outlined the type government.





    Bunk, is all that can be said! They wrote a Constitution, by the people for the people. Where the majority will was represented though respecting minority. It included an Amendment process to make necessary corrections and Bill of Rights! Which was the "unalienable" rights of the people as stated in the Decleration of Independence. Otherwise the Constitution would not have been approved. Several Founding Fathers did not see the Bill of Rights necessary because of such. Once again this shows the importance of the Decleration of Independence which is noted at the singing of Constitution, "and of the Independence of the United States of America".

    In addition if the Constitution was not sufficient, then another could be be drafted if the people so demanded. It has proven to be a time tested and fantastic Constitution!




    I have noticed some often question other's beliefs or depth thereof. Did not Jesus instruct us to hide in our room when we pray and to be secretive with our many good deeds, etc? Isn't the truth or depth of someone's belief, truly only for Christ to judge?

    Once again. You would have to erase half of history to say this Nation was not founded as a Christian Nation or on Christian ideals. This is not to say a Theocracy, but God indeed had a place in it, as they saw. Thomas Paine, some see as a founding father, wrote "age of reason", which was refered to as the atheists bible. Most everyone of the Founding Fathers had extreme critisism of it. He was by no means an atheist by today's standard, as he did note Gods hand in men's affairs. But he died an outcast because of his critism of Christianity.

    Just out of curiousity. If some of you founded a Nation, would God have a place in it or be recognized at all? Because the Founding Fathers felt yes. :Fish:
     
    #11 Ralph III, Jun 19, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2006
  12. Magnetic Poles

    Magnetic Poles
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    10,407
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry Ralph, but many of your quotes directly contradict other, well documented ones. Many of these came from the mind of David Barton, president of Wallbuilders, and under scrutiny, he has admitted some of these are not accurate at all. Better do some research on this and use fact rather than fiction to make your case.
     
  13. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    26,806
    Likes Received:
    78
    This has never been a Christian nation. It is a secular nation established on Christian principles.

    The only place the Constitutionm entions God in any way is in the date. Every time a date is given with "A.D." it is saying "In the year of our Lord." It is simply the ways dates are said, it is not an acknowledgement that we are a Christian nation.

    I am grateful to our founding fathers for their wisdom in separating church and state.

    No church in the state - no state in the church.

    BYW, disagreeing is not flaming.
     
  14. Dale-c

    Dale-c
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,145
    Likes Received:
    0
    A nation built on Christian principles IS a Christian nation.
    It was not a Theocracy, nor was it a Church/State as was common in Europe.
    Every nation has a religion that governs it's people.
    Every country has a standard by which laws are made.

    I think some would keep God out of it. :-(
     
  15. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/532.jpg>Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2000
    Messages:
    17,527
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would probably call it more of a secular religious nation. Although it is true that we were certainly founded on some Christian Principles, we were also founded on some non-Christian principles, such as slavery. I know that there are those here who think there is nothing unChristian about slavery, but I respectfully disagree with you.

    Also, Ken,

    What if God in his sovereign will were to establish a theocracy? Would you still call it a terrible idea?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  16. Dale-c

    Dale-c
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    4,145
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joseph, I am not going to nitpick about your specific instance of slavery but I will wholeheartedly agree that even though the founding was highly influenced by Christian principles, men are depraved and as such nothing was done in a perfect manner.

    There was sin then just as now.
    The difference was that Christians were predominately Calvinistic then and understood God's sovereignty and the Christians of that day were much more effective than the man centered Christianity that is prevalent today.
     
  17. Magnetic Poles

    Magnetic Poles
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    10,407
    Likes Received:
    0
    No doubt most of the population of this country have been predominately Christian of one variety or another. In that sense, it could be seen as a Christian nation. However, the principles of The Enlightenment were carried into the founding of the US. The Bible is not the foundation of law here, but rather the Constitution, a document that C4K has correctly indicated doesn't mention God or Jesus.

    Officially, nations cannot be of any religion. They are collectively groups of people with all sorts of beliefs. To protect minority religions from oppression, the founders wisely saw what sectarian strife had caused in Europe, and established a nation that has no state religion, where people are free to practice their beliefs, yet separating the church and government, one from the other. This protects the rights of all to worship or not, as they see fit, and for the government to be neutral in matters of personal faith.
     
  18. fromtheright

    fromtheright
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/2844.JPG>

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    2,772
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ralph,

    What does "a Christian nation" mean to you?

    Does it mean that our laws should be based on the Bible? Catholic or Protestant? OT or NT? What part/verses of either? Why some and not all? Does it mean that the Bible is thereby incorporated into our laws?

    What about contradictions between the Bible and the laws? Who gets to decide which parts of the Bible are contradicted? On what do they base the authority to make such determinations? What about popular sovereignty, which even so horrified an opponent of democracy as Alexander Hamilton conceded is the case in our system? In our constitutional republic, who is sovereign in determining how we should be governed, God or the people? If "in the year of our Lord" is characteristic of a Christian nation, what else is implied in the term "Christian nation"? What was "God's role" intended to be in our republic.

    My own answer: Yes, we are a Christian nation. We were founded by Christians seeking to preserve their right to freely worship. Our Founders' views were at least heavily influenced by Christianity. They were not Deists or skeptics of the French mold but they were heavily influenced by the Scottish Enlightenment, which included an emphasis on virtue, but that was not an orthodox Christian/evangelical influence. They were not seeking a theocracy but neither were they looking to found a nation devoid of the influence of the church, but that influence was to be on the government through the medium of a virtuous citizenry which the Founders believed was essential to the survival of a Republic. There is much revisionist history in this debate, on both sides, including much of the work of David Barton. Being a Christian nation, however, does not mean that those in leadership are bound to follow the Bible, only that the Founders understood its importance. This debate obviously enters in the arguments about the establishment clause, which was meant only to prevent a national establishment of religion, with all of the web of connections that historically went with such establishment. The Founders understood the importance of the diversity of religious influences, but believed that such diversity did revolve around Judeo-Christianity, not necessarily orthodox Christianity. Thomas Jefferson, whose views on the First Amendment should be neither taken as authoritative on the meaning of the establishment clause nor misconstrued, wrote convincingly that "It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg...for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god."

    BTW, Ralph, I do thank you for the information on the Treaty of Tripoli. I had read it but it's been years and I had forgotten. I also agree with your statement that

    to the extent that Congress voted to enact and provide for those things, which are clearly not an establishment of religion, in the sense in which that term matters, i.e., their historical experience.

    As to the history you noted, Everson v. Board of Education had nothing to do with school prayer. Also, what they relied on was not "new language", but was rather a mistaken view of the proper meaning and influence of Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists and James Madison's "Memorial and Remonstrance".

    MP, as I stated, Barton is not to be trusted as a reliable source on American history, at least not without serious reservations, but which of the quotes given by Ralph III are questionable? Just because David Barton is not a trusted source doesn't mean that any quotations suggesting Christian influences are "from the mind of David Barton" and therefore not to be trusted.

    I would also second Dale-c's challenge to billwald's preposterous assertion that (1) the Bush Presidency is fascist and (2) that fascism is allowed under the Constitution.
     
  19. Magnetic Poles

    Magnetic Poles
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    10,407
    Likes Received:
    0
    FTR, as to the link between the French & American thinking, France was the closest ally of the nacient USA. Ben Franklin made numerous trips there. The American Revolution inspired the French Revolution. They are cut from the same cloth.

    In regards to the questionable quotes, I won't go on a search for you, but several of the quotes Ralph used are even listed as questionable now on Wallbuilders site. Of course, only after being challenged on them. Or you can Google for the answer. It is readily available.

    But we can quickly look at the alleged Jefferson quotes . . . let's examine the one's listed by Ralph:
    Now, Jefferson did have a belief in what he believed was Jesus teachings, which he thought were buried under the Christian religion. If he said these things, they were certainly pulled from context. Do those seem congruent with a man who edited the miracles of Jesus out of his Bible? Are they congruent with the following, well-documented statements?
    Obviously, TJ was not a Christian in any modern sense of the word. To state otherwise is revisionism at its worse.
     
    #19 Magnetic Poles, Jun 19, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2006
  20. fromtheright

    fromtheright
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/2844.JPG>

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    2,772
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't think you'll find anything I said disagrees with that comment, with which I agree, but as with most of us his views were not constant and unchanging.

    As to Wallbuilders, do they still have a link to their questionable quotations? I know they used to but I just looked at their website and was unable to find it. I agree with you as to Jefferson's view regarding "the doctrines of Jesus" and miracles and am well aware of The Jefferson Bible (which was actually two different books). Barton and his followers err in ascribing any orthodox views to Jefferson (I don't think, actually, that even Barton would disagree with that).

    As to his statement about the common law, though I am not prepared to debate that particular view, it is not conclusive as to that issue but falls back on his Saxon view of English history, of the Saxons' pure government being corrupted following the Norman Conquest.

    As to ascribing French intellectual influence on the Founders it is fallacious to argue that because the two countries were allies that therefore they were a primary influence on the American Revolution. I don't deny that the opposite was true but the American Revolution's effects were perverted in the French version, which was recognized by many of the Founders if Jefferson was a bit pumped up about it. Because Franklin made several trips there? Surely you know that there were far more of the Founders whose origins were in England, several of them even immigrating here themselves. Hamilton moved here from the West Indies (I don't remember which island) but I haven't seen an argument being made that there was a "West Indian intellectual influence" through Hamilton. I recommend Gertrude Himmelfarb's The Roads to Modernity: The British, French, and American Enlightenments.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Loading...