Thursday, March 12, 2009

The USA Is Still Not a Christian Nation

While it is undeniable that the USA is a nation with lots of Christians living in it -- fewer and fewer, it would seem -- it involves a mendacious leap to arrive at the conclusion that the USA is a "Christian Nation."

It's worthwhile to take a step back now and then and note some of the key facts about the United States and Christianity.

  • The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion. This is a statement of historical fact, and these words appear verbatim in the Treaty of Tripoli, ratified by the United States in 1797, only ten years after the founders formally adopted the Constitution. (Cf.)
  • The phrase "wall of separation of church and state" does not appear in the US Constitution. It first appeared in the correspondence of Thomas Jefferson. True enough. Other words and phrases that do not appear in the US Constitution include "Jesus," "Christ," "God," "Lord," "Creator," "Divinity," "Bible," "Ten Commandments," "Christian," "Christianity," "Christian Nation," "Gospel(s)," "New Testament," "Old Testament," "Judeo-Christian," or grammatical variants. Reading the US Constitution would give a visitor from Mars absolutely no idea that such a thing as Christianity ever existed.
  • The Declaration of Independence invokes a "Creator" and "Divine Providence," and credits it with endowing humans with inalienable rights. There is no basis in the text of the Declaration for equating this generic divinity with the god of the Bible, and in any case, the Declaration of Independence is not law. The Constitution is law, and it contains no reference to any god, creator, divinity, or providence.
  • The only mentions of religion in the Constitution reinforce its independence from government power: Article VI declares that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States," and the First Amendment forbids the establishment of an official religion and bars government from legislating belief. (Cf.)
The United States is not a "Christian Nation." It is a non-theocratic constitutional republic that grants no authority to any king of any description, here or hereafter, mortal or divine.

If the above sounds familiar, it is. The time will come to stop repeating these obvious truths when people stop lying about them.

1 comment:

Toronto Real Estate said...

Interesting article, I always saw the US as one of the most Christian country. The word "God" is being used way too much and is visible almost everywhere you look in the US. Sometimes I feel like it's a little disrespectful to the people who believe in other religions or atheists. But the facts in your article shocked me a little. Thanks for a nice read.

Take care, Elli