Was this country founded on Christian principles?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by youngmom4, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. youngmom4

    youngmom4
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    I apologize if this topic has been addressed before, but I found this information really interesting. I am taking a class this term called "Making History: The Founding Fathers", and part of this week's unit is reading George Washington's Farewell Address, delivered when he was leaving office after his second term as President. One paragraph in particular really caught my attention:

    "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

    This is a clear advocation for making religion, which in Washington's mind would mean Christianity, a part of our society and culture. He told us that morality could not and would not prevail in the absence of religious principles. What a shame that we didn't listen, and so we are where we are today. I think everyone should be forced to study this at the same time they are studying the First Amendment. It lends a true interpretation of what was intended in the passage of that amendment.
     
  2. Magnetic Poles

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    The government must maintain neutrality toward religion, and in fact, the founding document...the Constitution of the United States, is a secular document. However, there is no doubt that the majority of the population has always been Christian of some variety, therefore we have a Christian culture in the U.S.; although we are not in any official sense, a "Christian Nation".
     
  3. tinytim

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    How many history classes still incorporate Washington's farewell address into their classroom?

    Some would balk because it mentions religion, even though the author was our first president, and it was a governmental document.
     
  4. Palatka51

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    Then it is safe to say that the "Christian Culture" had a large influence on the type of government we have today.
    Who was it that said, "People get the government they deserve?"
     
    #4 Palatka51, Nov 13, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2007
  5. youngmom4

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    I've never read it until now...in a college history class. I think this should be studied by kids whenever they study the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I think you're probably right, though...it mentions religion in a positive light, so the liberals will fight to keep it out.
     
  6. Alcott

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    Was this country founded on Christian principles?

    Nope. It was founded on greed and hatred. The greed of of not wanting to support and quarter an army of a faraway country, and hatred for laws that limited western frontier expansion, that taxed the people for the hated army and officials who could obtain writs easily to search any home or shop at any time, and referred to a manarch as if he were a dictator who owned all their lands and their markets, when the the crown's power had been sorely limited for almost a century.
     
  7. youngmom4

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    That has to be a record for a run-on sentence. :laugh: I really can't understand what you are trying to say without a little punctuation, but from what I do understood, I would strongly suggest you do some research into the founding fathers' generation. Most, if not all, stood for Christian principles. One of the biggest reasons for coming to America was to escaping religious persecution because they did not agree with the Church of England. This is one of the reasons I decided to take this class...I wanted to gain more insight into these men.
     
  8. preachinjesus

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    Was this country founded on Christian principles?

    There was a Judeo-Christian ethic at play but I don't believe America has ever been a Christian nation.

    While many of our leaders, and founders, have been religious they have not been explicitly Christian. Washington is an excellent example of this. There is a marked difference between religion and Christianity :)
     
  9. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    Yes it was.:thumbs: :godisgood: And a Christian can never maintain nuetrality and still be living a Christian life in any circumstance. Hence the founding Christian principles of this country.
     
  10. StefanM

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    FYI, a large number of the founding fathers affiliated with the CoE in America, some of whom were only nominally religious. The church was a major part of society in that age, so many politicians thought it wise to affiliate with the church.

    Also, look up Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason for a vitriolic condemnation of religion. He also wrote the more commonly known Common Sense.

    Benjamin Franklin wasn't a Christian, either, but he was quite tolerable of religion and saw some positives in it. He did believe in God, though.

    Thomas Jefferson was a deist.

    John Adams was a Unitarian.

    George Washington...the jury's still out. I think he was probably a nominal Christian.
     
  11. StefanM

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    Someone who believes in the separation of church and state doesn't necessarily want to eradicate all historical references to religion.
     
  12. 2 Timothy2:1-4

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    Those who like to remove God from certain portions of their lives always work to diminish the faith of our founders.
     
  13. JustChristian

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    Religion, yes. But was Washington a Christian? It's not clear.

    Washington revealed almost nothing to indicate his spiritual frame of mind, hardly a mark of a devout Christian. In his thousands of letters, the name of Jesus Christ never appears. He rarely spoke about his religion, but his Freemasonry experience points to a belief in deism. Washington's initiation occurred at the Fredericksburg Lodge on 4 November 1752, later becoming a Master mason in 1799, and remained a freemason until he died.
    To the United Baptist Churches in Virginia in May, 1789, Washington said that every man "ought to be protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience."
    After Washington's death, Dr. Abercrombie, a friend of his, replied to a Dr. Wilson, who had interrogated him about Washington's religion replied, "Sir, Washington was a Deist."
     
  14. sandrocksam

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    Puritans

    I do not know how much influence the Puritans had on forming our goverment, but clearly the were dedicated Christians.
     
  15. sandrocksam

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    1st Amendment

    :godisgood:
    The seperation of church and state used so much by the liberals is not even in the Constitution the First Amendment states
    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;". I believe the Supreme Court came up with the "seperation" clause from a letter addressing another letter by the Danbury Baptist. (of course you already know this) I do not understand how the "seperation" clause became so strong (stronger than the U.S. Constitution) except there are those who want to belittle the acknowledgement of God. How can a letter have precidence over a legal document ? (scuse any misspelling)
     
  16. saturneptune

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    Why on earth would you want to stay in a nation founded upon such tarnished ideals? There are planes leaving for Iran daily.
     
  17. Alcott

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    Because I do not currently have the means to get to another planet other than the earth.
     
  18. JustChristian

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    Separation of Church and State goes both ways. I support it because I believe that the government should in any way control our churches. Some complain about the necessity of demonstrating to the IRS that a church is a bona fide church and not just a shell set up to evade taxes. Churches have to file tax returns. The government has dictated to ministers that they cannot do certain things like endorse specific candidates for office and keep the church's tax status. The government could get much more involved in the affairs of the church. Do we really want for that to happen?
     
  19. StefanM

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    Because of its author. Consulting the letter, although its words are not binding, is beneficial because it gives insight into the thought processes of the time.

    Besides, it's not the phrase that we hang on; it's what the phrase means. Separation of church and state is a principle enshrined in the US Constitution (freedom of religion, no religious tests, etc.), even if the phrase isn't.
     
  20. sandrocksam

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    Freedom of religion

    "Freedom of religion" is good and I support that. But I believe what is being stressed in this country is "freedom from religion" that I do not support. I'm one of those narrow minded baptist that believe Jesus when He said "Iam the way, no one comes to the Father except by Me" I believe this country has been blessed in the past because we acknowledged God, now it is politically incorrect. Adrian Rogers preached a sermon recently (rerun) on Pslams 80 where he parelleled Israel and the U.S., When they believed and worship God He blessed and protected, when they chose to ignore His existance God removed the hedge of protection. Step back and look at this country in the past and look at the present where we are pushing God out of the picture, there is a marked difference. We should not be silent (silence is the same as agreeing). God will hold us responsible. Speaking out is a personal responsibility for each of us, not just the church or the preacher. Even if you feel foolish you should speak out, don't agree with your silence.
     

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