15 December 2010

Yes, We Were Founded As A Christian Nation

In precept and principle. Even the Library of Congress acknowledges as much:

". . . many of the colonies that in 1776 became the United States of America were settled by men and women of deep religious convictions who in the seventeenth century crossed the Atlantic Ocean to practice their faith freely."

And . . .

". . . the nation's first major religious revival in the middle of the eighteenth century injected new vigor into American religion. The result was that a religious people rose in rebellion against Great Britain in 1776, and that most American statesmen, when they began to form new governments at the state and national levels, shared the convictions of most of their constituents that religion was, to quote Alexis de Tocqueville's observation, indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions." [Emphasis mine.]

And . . . 

"Congress appointed chaplains for itself and the armed forces, sponsored the publication of a Bible, imposed Christian morality on the armed forces, and granted public lands to promote Christianity among the Indians."

And . . .

"The first national government of the United States, was convinced that the 'public prosperity' of a society depended on the vitality of its religion. Nothing less than a 'spirit of universal reformation among all ranks and degrees of our citizens,' Congress declared to the American people, would 'make us a holy, that so we may be a happy people.'"

Not founded as a Christian Nation? You gotta be kiddin' me.

More here.

Also, doubters should explore these posts and the recommended links.


Michael Aubrecht said...

Hi Richard. Those are some great quotes. I think that you and I know each other well enough to agree to disagree at times. Personally, I think there is a big difference between saying that we were 'founded as a Christian Nation' (as in: there was the influence of Christianity in its origin) vs. 'founded as a Christian Nation’ (as in: founded to be a nation of Christians). As I stated in my post the other day, yes there are guiding religious principles and convictions that certainly influenced the Founders, but they never intended for America to be exclusively Christian. Even a casual examination of the country's origin shows that this system was meant to be a moderate-centrist governed society that offered freedom and liberty for ALL, not just followers of Jesus Christ. I think far too many conservatives today support the notion that the Founding Fathers created America to be a "Christian country," which is simply not true. They founded a country that incorporated Christian principles, but it was established so that all religions would have the equal freedom and liberty to worship as they liked. That is what sets us apart from other countries that do operate under a ‘dominant religious doctrine’ and enables devout Christians (like us) and those who aren’t, to live according to our own personal principles and convictions. And any detailed examination of the Founders reveals that the majority of them were not what we would consider to be traditional believers. So I agree in some ways and disagree in others depending upon what one interprets the phrase "founded as."

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Michael - I would not narrowly define 'founded as a Christian Nation’ to require America to be "a nation of Christians." I don't know anyone who believes that or where you're getting that from. I think you're splitting hairs. I'm referring to principles and precepts and the culture. No one that I know would "force" someone to be a Christian. As you well know, that is a contradiction and impossible. I don't know anyone who suggests the US should be "exclusively Christian." That would be a violation of conscience and antithetical to the Gospel. But Christianity was the dominant influence in our founding, our governing principles, and our culture. King George did not refer to the War for Independence as the "Presbyterian Parsons Rebellion" without good cause.

They've not sand-blasted all those Scripture verses from the monuments in DC yet, have they? In those monuments, there were no other words represented and carved in marble other than ones which referred to the Judeo-Christian principles which are found in Scripture. Just a random question - why are most federal and government offices still closed on Sundays? Why does Article I, section 7 of the Constitution provides that "If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a law, in like Manner as if he had signed it...?" Certainly not a recognition of the Christian Sabbath.

"Even a casual examination of the country's origin shows that this system was meant to be a moderate-centrist governed society"

"Moderate-centrist" is a relative term. Are you suggesting that the Founders would TODAY be considered "moderate-centrists?" If so, you're not reading the same founding documents and writings that I've read. Does the speech and writings of Henry and Jefferson sound like something a "moderate-centrist" would say today? Hardly. Besides, the left has co-opted the term. It's meant to deceive.

The Founders would not recognize our country today - and I don't mean technology, racial make up, or other changes - I'm talking about the growth of government and the power that government has seized from individuals and the states. They would be shocked and appalled at what the republic they founded has become.

"And any detailed examination of the Founders reveals that the majority of them were not what we would consider to be traditional believers."

I'd prefer specific names. Jefferson, Franklin, certainly, but they were heavily influenced by Christianity, nonetheless.

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas.