Evolution is True and Christianity, and All Religions, Are Not
AMERICA IS NOT A CHRISTIAN NATION
America is not a Christian Nation.
Many Christians look around at American culture and see that most Americans are Christians or still at least believers in God. It says In God We Trust (IGWT) on their money and God is mentioned in the pledge and the American motto. Who could argue with Barton and his followers that American is a Christian Nation or at least founded on “Judeo-Christian values or principles”? But a close look at history and documents reveals this not to be the case.
Declaration of Independence - This document is just an announcement of a divorce from England and reasons why. The men who put this country together and risked their lives and futures were often religious which is actually more damaging to the claim that America was founded on Christianity or Christian principles since they purposely left references to a personal God out of the Declaration and any mention of God completely out of the founding laws of America.
The term “Creator” and “Nature’s God” are deist terms, not theistic. They specifically chose not to use God, Father, God Almighty, Heavenly Father, Jesus, or Lord. Much later Einstein would also refer to “Spinoza’s God” this way as an appeal to “the Laws of Nature” as found in the Declaration. They chose deist terms with great purpose, to create a secular government not affiliated with any particular religion or faith. These terms are Enlightenment views and are not religious in a Judeo-Christian sense. In addition, it’s not “our Creator”, or “the Creator”, but their Creator.
So also the terms “Supreme Judge of the world” and “divine Providence”. No mention of a theistic God nor a specific religion there. Purposely leaving out Christianity. Our rights are “… among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,…”. Not from Kings or God or various scriptures, but from us.
Constitution, Bill of Rights - there is no mention of God, Creator, Father, Jesus, Lord or even a single deistic term in these documents, the laws of America. On purpose. Religion is mentioned in two places and both are to limit it. Article VI “…but no religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public trust under the United States.”. In the Bill of Rights Amendment I reads “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion,…” That’s it; two references and those only curtail religious encroachment into the government. The founders desired a secular government, one that would exist outside religious preferences. A neutral government in terms of world views for all. Neither theistic nor atheistic. Secular, neutral.
American Motto - The motto the founders finally settled on was E Pluribus Unum (“from many, one”) adopted by an Act of Congress in 1782 for the Seal of the United States. What a great and virtuous motto compared to what we have now. It was used on coins and paper money starting in 1795. Near the end of the Civil War and to boost morale in the North, “In God We Trust” was added to 2 cent coins in 1864. Due to Cold War fears flamed by conservatives (McCarthyism, e.g.) the motto was changed to “In God We Trust”, which was assumed to be acceptable to all Americans. Please note that many millions of Americans are now agnostic or atheist. This motto does not represent all Americans. The first one did unite us; this one divides us. IGWT was then added to paper money in 1957. Actually, the first 1792 experimental coins had the motto “Liberty; Parent of Science & Industry”.
Pledge - Likewise, the pledge dates back to 1885 and suffered the same fate as the motto. Bellamy’s version was adopted by Congress in 1942 and was officially named The Pledge of Allegiance in 1945. “Under God” was added in 1954 by a Joint Resolution of Congress and inserted after the phrase “… one nation” - you may have guessed - due to fears again during a war - again the Cold War. See the pattern of all these assaults on our secular government?
10 Commandments - Which set? There are actually four different ones (Exodus 20, Exodus 34, Deuteronomy 5, and Deuteronomy 27). Most Americans think there are 10 and ignore the 600+ that actually exist in the Hebrew Bible. It appears most also think of the 10 via Cecil DeMille and Charlton Heston. It doesn’t matter, because the very first Commandment in the list violates the American Constitution. Any reason to go further?
1. “You shall have no other gods before me.” Article VI was just violated. Freedom of religion means just that. And one can’t have this freedom without freedom from religion also. Let alone that it implies there are other gods (of course there were - Yahweh as I’ve discussed was initially just one god of the Canaanite Pantheon).
2. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath,…” Freedom of speech? Gone. Cartoonists drawing Angels, God?
3. “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain”. Which God? The Mormon description of him in the flesh? Hindus? Freedom of speech, a cornerstone of America gone?
4. “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.”. An agnostic or atheist can’t work on Sunday if they wish? And SDAs and their Saturday Sabbath. Many states had “Blue Laws” that made it illegal for some stores to be open on Sundays, even if the workers or owners were not Christians, or Jewish. How do those first 4 not violate American laws?
5. “Honor your father and your mother…” This requires respect simply because of a family connection. Not all parents deserve honor or respect. Noah cursed his own grandson because he passed out drunk and was naked. Lot offered up his daughters to be raped by a mob. Later both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. The Bible’s explanation is absurd.
6., 7, 8, 9th Commandments have their own issues. Importantly, these are not exclusive or original to Judeo-Christian religion. So why hold them up as great contributions from the Bible? Secondly, most only apply to specific believers and don’t have universal principles as American laws do. Neighbor refers to fellow believers, as context shows in Leviticus 19.
The 7th is a commandment against adultery. Yahweh loves to legislate sex. In Michigan adultery is still considered a crime. In Maryland oral sex is outlawed. Jesus’ announcement about lust is basically a thought crime. North Korea? Penalties for mixed-race sex were common in America until 1967 (Loving v. Virginia). Homosexuality was not decriminalized until 2003. Many Christians still would like to withhold marriage for gays, even though the Christians are not losing any of their rights to marriage. And couples who want to have open marriages? How is the 7th commandment not another edict that conflicts with American’s principles of liberty and freedom if in agreement by all parties? Swingers?
10. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house…wife…or slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor”. Problems, problems. The woman is property? Slavery is condoned? And this is a thought crime? One can be convicted for having thoughts but not acting on them?
People want to put the 10 Commandments in front of government institutions and city supported parks?
Photo by Valerie Peters. Lewiston, ID. September 18, 2022
The Separation of Church of State must be protected
Thus, the mistaken ideology that America is a Christian nation is simply wrong. It is great because a form of government was established not under divine influence but a neutral one to world views and faiths, written by men only. One of the greatest gifts given to us by the founders was the separation of state and church that has been under attack by conservative Christians for over 100 years. Now with their political lust finally satisfied with a pseudo Christian proxy for a president who packed the Supreme Court for them, and a bench that will vote Christian Nationalism agenda items, they desire actually to damage our democracy and remake the country in their fundamentalist image. Because they are often called out for their destructive behavior and even brought into the courts, they cry victim. Don’t other Americans wish they had their “victimhood”. Christmas is repeatedly under attack each December? Incredible tax breaks. Unlike other non-profits, they get a parsonage exemption and also don’t need to report to the IRS all the documentation that other non-profits must. Some have even passed state laws that no atheists can hold office, violating the Constitution!! These laws are still on the books in 7 states.
For 300 years the sea lanes of the Mediterranean Sea had been plagued by North African Muslim states pirates who captured ships and used hostages for ransom or slavery. Before the American Revolution the American colonies were protected by the British Navy and during the revolution by France. But when America became an independent nation, it faced protecting its merchant ships on its own. The US Government then began a series of diplomatic meetings to end the piracy resulting in The Treaty of Tripoli (now Libya).
"As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense
founded on the Christian religion …."
Article 11, Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the United States and the
Bey and Subjects of Tripoli of Barbary.
Signed in 1796 under George Washington’s second term, ratified by unanimous
Senate vote, and signed into law by Adams June 10, 1797
Treaty as it was read to the Senate and signed into law by Adams
Frank Lambert, PhD Historian at Purdue notes (pg. 11):
“Thus the Founders ensured that in no official sense would America be a Christian Republic. Ten years after the Constitutional Convention ended its work, the country assured the world that the United States was a secular state, and that its negotiations would adhere to the rule of law, not the dictates of the Christian faith. The assurances were contained in the Treaty of Tripoli of 1797 and were intended to allay the fears of the Muslim state by insisting that religion would not govern how the treaty was interpreted and enforced. John Adams and the Senate made clear that the pact was between two sovereign states, not between two religious powers.”
Other encroachments into American government by religion
1952 - National Day of Prayer
1953 - The National Prayer Breakfast
1955 - A prayer room is installed in the US Capitol. It even has a stained-glass window of Washington praying at Valley Forge, which never happened.
Want to know more? Google, “America is not a Christian Nation”. Better yet, “The Founding Myth; Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American” by Andrew Seidel. Also, Steven K. Green’s “Inventing a Christian America; The Myth of the Religious Founding.”
“Yes, the long war on Christianity. I pray that one day we may live in an America where Christians can worship freely! In broad daylight! Openly wearing the symbols of their religion… perhaps around their necks? And maybe — dare I dream it? — maybe one day there can be an openly Christian President.
Or, perhaps, 43 of them. Consecutively”.
~ Jon Stewart