01 May 2009

Is America A Christian Nation?

State Constitution preambles . . .

Alabama 1901, Preamble

We the people of the State of Alabama, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution..

Alaska 1956, Preamble
We, the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land.
Arizona 1911, Preamble
We, the people of the State of Arizona, grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution...
Arkansas 1874, Preamble
We, the people of the State of Arkansas, grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government...
California 1879, Preamble
We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom....
Colorado 1876, Preamble
We, the people of Colorado, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of Universe...
Connecticut 1818, Preamble.
The People of Connecticut, acknowledging with gratitude the good Providence of God in permitting them to enjoy.
Delaware 1897, Preamble
Through Divine Goodness all men have, by nature, the rights of worshipping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences.
Florida 1885, Preamble
We, the people of the State of Florida, grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, establish this Constitution....
Georgia 1777, Preamble
We, the people of Georgia, relying upon protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution....
Hawaii 1959, Preamble
We , the people of Hawaii, Grateful for Divine Guidance .... Establish this Constitution.
Idaho 1889, Preamble
We, the people of the State of Idaho, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings.
Illinois 1870, Preamble
We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil , political and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.
Indiana 1851, Preamble
We, the People of the State of Indiana, grateful to Almighty God for the free exercise of the right to choose our form of government.
Iowa 1857, Preamble
We, the People of the St ate of Iowa, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of these blessings, establish this Constitution.
Kansas 1859, Preamble
We, the people of Kansas, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges establish this Constitution.
Kentucky 1891, Preamble...
We, the people of the Commonwealth are grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties..
Louisiana 1921, Preamble
We, the people of the State of Louisiana, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy.
Maine 1820, Preamble
We the People of Maine acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity .. And imploring His aid and direction.
Maryland 1776, Preamble
We, the people of the state of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty...
Massachusetts 1780, Preamble
We....the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator of the Universe In the course of His Providence, an opportunity and devoutly imploring His direction
Michigan 1908, Preamble
. We, the people of the State of Michigan, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom, establish this Constitution.
Minnesota, 1857, Preamble
We, the people of the State of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings:
Mississippi 1890, Preamble
We, the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and invoking His blessing on our work.
Missouri 1845, Preamble
We, the people of Missouri, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness . Establish this Constitution...
Montana 1889, Preamble.
We, the people of Montana, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty establish this Constitution ..
Nebraska 1875, Preamble
We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom . Establish this Constitution.
Nevada 1864, Preamble
We the people of the State of Nevada, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, establish this Constitution...
New Hampshire 1792, Part I. Art. I. Sec. V
Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience.
New Jersey 1844, Preamble
We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.
New Mexico 1911, Preamble
We, the People of New Mexico, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty..
New York 1846, Preamble
We, the people of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings.
North Carolina 1868, Preamble We the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for our civil, political, and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those...
North Dakota 1889, Preamble
We , the people of North Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain...
Ohio 1852, Preamble
We the people of the state of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and to promote our common.
Oklahoma 1907, Preamble
Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessings of liberty, establish this
Oregon 1857, Bill of Rights, Article I Section 2.
All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences
Pennsylvania 1776, Preamble
We, the people of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance....
Rhode Island 1842, Preamble.
We the People of the State of Rhode Island grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing...
South Carolina, 1778, Preamble
We, the people of he State of South Carolina grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution.
South Dakota 1889, Preamble
We, the people of South Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties .
Tennessee 1796, Art. XI..III.
That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their conscience...
Texas 1845, Preamble
We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.
Utah 1896, Preamble
Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty, we establish this Constitution.
Vermont 1777, Preamble
Whereas all government ought to enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and other blessings which the Author of Existence has bestowed on man .
Virginia 1776, Bill of Rights, XVI
Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator can be directed only by Reason and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love and Charity towards each other
Washington 1889, Preamble
We the People of the State of Washington, grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution
West Virginia 1872, Preamble
Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the people of West Virginia reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God ...
Wisconsin 1848, Preamble
We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, domestic tranquility....
Wyoming 1890, Preamble
We, the people of the State of Wyoming, grateful to God for our civil, political, and religious liberties, establish this Constitution...


14 comments:

James F. Epperson said...

I don't think your posting supports your apparent point. I couldn't find any *Christian* sentiments among those preambles you listed. Religious sentiments, certainly, but I didn't see any references to *Christianity* per se.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hello James. Really? The fact that these preambles were written, for the most part, by professing Christians doesn't figure into the "sentiments" of the time?

Nothing personal, but I think that's absurd.

Also, read Virginia's preamble once more.

RGW

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

James:

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/

James F. Epperson said...

The problem is, that the phrase, "we are a Christian nation" has two meanings. Are a majority (plurality?) of Americans Christian? I'd say yes. Do we, as a nation, endorse a particular religion? We shouldn't, if we plan to hold to the intentions of the Founders. There is a distinction there which I think a lot of folks have trouble with. I have no problem declaiming my own Christianity. I also have no problem acknowledging that other religions exist, and I have no problem keeping the nation from walking down a theocratic path.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

I think its beyond argument that the Founders recognized Judeo-Christian principles as the foundation for our laws.

Religion (for our discussion, Christianity) should not (and cannot) be "enforced." But the principles which are universal to a stable society and culture should be, in principle, ingrained into our laws.

Peter said...

Richard,

What are Judeo-Christian principles? How many interpretations of a Judeo-Christian God are there? How many states, such as: Colorado "Supreme Ruler," Delaware "their Creator," Hawaii "Divine Guidance," Iowa "Supreme Being," Maine "Sovereign Ruler of the Universe," Massachusetts "Great Legislator of the Universe," Missouri "Supreme Ruler of the Unvierse," Vermont "Author of Existence," and Washington "Supreme Ruler of the Unviverse" express values that may loosely be defined as Unitarian? And Virginia, well, Virginia proclaims that "Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator can be directed only by Reason." Where does reason direct "Christian values?"

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Very impressive.

Spencer

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Peter:

I really find it quite amazing that anyone can, with a straight face, challenge the notion that the United States was formed (and continues to function to some degree) as a Nation with Judeo-Christian principles or that you actually think that term can be parsed.

"How many interpretations of a Judeo-Christian God are there?"

See the previous response. Fundamentally, the God of the Bible. From that point you do, of course, get into sectarian and doctrinal minutia. But that does not change the fact that there was, to a large degree, a "common faith" in the JC principles of Scripture.

"What are Judeo-Christian principles?"

Briefly, principles that are based upon the historical relation of Judaism and Christianity. The common belief in the God of the Bible and the Ten Commandments as a moral foundation for our law and institutions.

Unitarianism, though not compatible with orthodox Christianity, shares some common traits. But, was that the intent of ALL the states you mention? No.

"And Virginia, well, Virginia proclaims that "Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator can be directed only by Reason."

There is no period after "reason."." The phrase continues: ". . . can be directed only by Reason and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice *Christian* Forbearance."

"These and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation." ~ THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT HOLY TRINITY CHURCH v. U.S., 143 U.S. 457, 12 S.Ct. 511, 36 L.Ed. 226, Feb. 29, 1892

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Peter:

You ask:

"Where does reason direct "Christian values?"

Everywhere that Scripture is rightly divided and applied. Christianity is the most reasonable worldview that exists.

And that comes from one who was once a strident Darwinian.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Dr. P:

It is quite striking, isn't it?

Pam Walter said...

Wow! This really got some opinions going.

I agree with Richard that a strong inference can be made that the founders had Judeo-Christian values in mind when they penned the documents. I also agree that in our current time, people could argue that there can be many different meanings for the terminology used.

I'm afraid that the bottom line is: No one in the administration cares or is listening.

The most important thing to remember is Who's in charge. America has gotten the president it deserves and he will take our country where God wills or allows for His own good purpose. (Romans 8:28) www.satisfiedsole.com

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"The most important thing to remember is Who's in charge. America has gotten the president it deserves and he will take our country where God wills or allows for His own good purpose. (Romans 8:28)"

Pam - you are so right. Thanks for the comments.

Brboyd said...

God is in control. No matter what the Godless say, think, do. "...Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done..."

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Very much so, sir. Not that I think we're being true to our origin, but it's our origin nonetheless.