Are we a Christian nation? (Yes & No)

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Are we a Christian nation? (Yes & No)

 

Are We a Christian Nation?
Yes, and no.

Ever since Native Americans were outnumbered by the white man,
the United States has had a population whose citizens were, and
continue to be, overwhelmingly Christian. Yet our country’s
Founders, also mostly Christian, created a secular federal
government; differentiating “We the People” from “a more perfect
Union.”

With the economy in the tank, and millions of Americans out of
work for the foreseeable future, why, you may ask, is this question
being raised now? Because fundamentalist Christians insist that this
basic understanding of just who we are should drive our political
choices. Fundamentalist religion is divisive (i.e. Mormonism as a cult, the
Ground Zero mosque, and the burning of the Koran), yet many
conservative politicians continue to proclaim that we are indeed a
Christian nation. “How did we get here?” you may ask.

Once the Puritans landed on our shores the first battle of what was
to become our culture wars was engaged. To be sure, we are one of
the most religious countries in the developed world. And the
legitimacy of the Christian culture that flourishes around us is not,
and should not be questioned. But rather, any controversy resides in
the nature of the relationship between our personal religion and our
collective government.

During the 1950’s when the “religious” West was fighting “godless”
communism the United States made certain religious/political
gestures stressing this difference between the two systems: “under
god” was inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance; a National Day of
Prayer was instituted; and “In God We Trust” replaced “E Pluribus
Unum” as our national motto.

However, in the 1960’s the Supreme Court handed down several
decisions limiting religion in governmental affairs: organized prayer
was banned from public schools (Schempp); only evolution was to
be taught as science in public schools (Epperson); and tests that
define church & state separation were established (Lemon).
Resistance to this judicial secularism increasingly manifested itself
in the Moral Majority movement, in which the organized Christian
Right began a push-back movement that continues to this day.
Fundamentalist Christians assert that the divine character of our
government is derived by the fact that: “God,” “Creator,” and
“Providence” are mentioned in the Declaration of Independence.
Separatists, however counter that after Cornwallis surrendered to
Washington at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781, it was not the
Declaration of Independence that the Founders used as the basis
from which to govern. Rather they reconvened and established a
new government, crafting a different document as the source of
our laws; at first it was the Articles of Confederation; and then it
was, and still is, the Constitution.

While those who extol religion as the sole formative factor cite the
numerous letters the Founders wrote referencing the virtues of
religion and morality, the secularist can respond, “Yes, the
Founders praised religion & morality, but the government that they
ultimately established was entirely and deliberately non-theistic,
for the Constitution neither endorses, nor opposes any religion.”
Fundamentalists, also maintain that the reference to religious
symbols in some official buildings establish that our government was
indeed founded on “Judeo-Christian principles”, a) the depiction of
Moses in the frieze of the Supreme Court, b) “Praise God” engraved
at the top of the Washington Monument, and c) an emblem of the
10 Commandments embedded in the floor of the National Archives,
support their view. To which the irreligious retort, a) “Does the
shape of the Supreme Court building based on the Parthenon in
Athens make us pagans?” b) “Does the statue of the Roman god Mars
in the Capitol rotunda suggest we are polytheists?” and c) “Do the
‘eye’ and ‘pyramid’ icons on the back of the dollar bill confirm us
all as unwitting freemasons?

There are tens of millions of American Christians, to whom their
religious beliefs are paramount to their identity. Their sincerity is
unquestioned. But ironically, their sincerity has been
misappropriated and hijacked by those who insist that any defense
of a secular constitution is fundamentally Un-American.
Such shameful demagoguery and pandering can be seen, and heard
from an increasing number of journalists, politicians, and clergy, all
in the cause of higher ratings, more votes, or larger congregations.
In their campaign to Christianize the essential non-definitive
religious nature of our American government they purposely
confuse, blur, and misuse concepts such as: religion, belief, and
morality, with the effect of conflating a Christian population with a
secular government.
 
Only our public schools, that have a duty to educate and produce
knowledgeable and well-informed citizens, can remedy this
confusion. Sadly, courses in basic civics remain inadequate, if
taught at all. While our Founders were masterful in their creation of a
democratically elected republic, they were apprehensive of the
“tyranny of the majority.” So should we, in a Christian majority
society, remember that secular values define our pluralistic and
democratic government, and remember that what makes us truly
exceptional is our respect for all individual citizens, Christian or
not.
 
Vic Losick is a documentary filmmaker whose most recent film is “In God We Teach” is now on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wP6B4gpgyRI

 

 


Brian37
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Having a history of a

Having a history of a particular label being the majority does not make the state an "official anything" in regards to religion. We have freedom of religion, not a freedom to use government to set up religious pecking orders.

The First Amendment is an anti trust anti monopoly law. Combine that with "no religious test" in the oath of office, Jefferson's "wall" he talks about in his letters to the Baptists, and

The Barbary Treaty article 11, "As the government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion".  Signed by both houses of congress without dissent into law by President John Adams June 10th 1797.

America has had a history of a Christian majority, but the state itself as far as government has no official or unofficial state religion.

Madison modeled the First Amendment after Jefferson's Virgina Religious Freedom Act. Look that up to understand the intent, not only of Jefferson, but the founders as well in the concept of remaining neutral and not playing favorites.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Our Country's Founders

Our country's founders were not necessarily christian as the OP states. I can find countless quotes from Madison, Jefferson and Paine that would dispute that.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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harleysportster wrote:Our

harleysportster wrote:

Our country's founders were not necessarily christian as the OP states. I can find countless quotes from Madison, Jefferson and Paine that would dispute that.

EXACTLY! Paine referred to "church mythologists" and Jefferson had some very deragatory things to say about Christianity as well.

I would say America is definitey NOT a Christian nation! Chruch attendance is only at 26% and a pastor friend who was my neighbor said about half the people show up only for the refreshements afterwards and the social scene.  So that leave around 10% of the nation that are true Christians!

HARDLY a Christian nation!

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


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Are we a Christian nation?

Perhaps I did not explain myself clearly enough. The (non-Native American) POPULATION of the colonies was even more (self-described) Christian than it is today. And the Founders reflected that majority.  Surely, Jefferson & Paine were NOT Christians as were a few other Deists (and a small number of closeted nonbelievers). My point is that given their overwhelming Christian make up they still created a GOVERNMENT that was (and hopefully will remain) neutral on all things religious.

 


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VicLosick wrote:Perhaps I

VicLosick wrote:

Perhaps I did not explain myself clearly enough. The (non-Native American) POPULATION of the colonies was even more (self-described) Christian than it is today. And the Founders reflected that majority.  Surely, Jefferson & Paine were NOT Christians as were a few other Deists (and a small number of closeted nonbelievers). My point is that given their overwhelming Christian make up they still created a GOVERNMENT that was (and hopefully will remain) neutral on all things religious.

 

Good point.  I don't know if you guys ever watch Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN on Sundays but you should.  It can be very interesting.

On one show he talked about the founding fathers and the founding documents.  He said it was amazing that they left religion OUT of the founding documents when everything about life back then was based on religion!

I'm sure the founding fathers were smart enough to see that MILLIONS in Europe had been killed over Christianity so they knew it's best to leave it out!

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


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Are we a Christian nation? (Yes & No)

 Agreed. Please view my documentary, In God We Teach" for free at: : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wP6B4gpgyRI

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Hint

VicLosick wrote:
0 0 1 21 124 Vic Losick, Inc. 1 1 144 14.0 Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE etc.

Your posts are coming out all funny, presumably because you are cutting and pasting from a Word document and the formatting is being pasted with the text.

One can do Preview Comment before posting to check whether this is the case.

Putting the text to be pasted into Notepad first is one way around this.


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Funny posts

 Sorry 'bout that. I'll follow your instructions in the future.

 


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NO WAY JOSE are we a

NO WAY JOSE are we a Christian nation!!

I typed the above in X-large font but it came out normal! Why??  

 

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


JesusNEVERexisted
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Vic Losik, I started

Vic Losik, I started watching your video and the staff at that Kearny, NJ high school need to be HUNG!

Especially that one psycho teacher who keeps speaking of the MYTHICAL Jesus!

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


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hmm

yea i find it a taboo subject cause i live in northeast TN and there are so many backroad dogmatic christians around here and to try and  wexplain that this country WAS NOT founded as a christian nation would start a small holy war discussion. i just hope the conservatives dont succeed in amending govt policy that encompasses religous beliefs.... thatll be a sad day i think if they try and pull it..

Chris


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VicLosick wrote:To be sure,

VicLosick wrote:

To be sure, we are one of the most religious countries in the developed world. And the

legitimacy of the Christian culture that flourishes around us is not,

and should not be questioned. But rather, any controversy resides in

the nature of the relationship between our personal religion and our

collective government.

 

VicLosick wrote:

There are tens of millions of American Christians, to whom their

religious beliefs are paramount to their identity. Their sincerity is

unquestioned. 

 

A lot of very good points made, Vic, good post.  The only thing I disagree with was the parts I quoted above.  The implication with both being that Christianity and Christian's faith itself and their sincerity should not be questioned.  I disagree.  There have been multiple studies lately where Christians are asked very telling questions about why they believe and what they believe. I don't have the results from the American studies, because I can't seem to find it on google right now (If anyone knows where to find these polls that were done in 2010 and 2011 please post links here)  So I'm posting some results from a very similar British poll, though I think the numbers were a little less religious than on the American version.

(These were answered by people who self identify as (Christian&quotEye-wink

Do you believe in the power of prayer:  --   No belief in prayer: 37%,  Never or almost never pray from choice: 37%

*Why do you believe?  --  I believe Christian teachings: only 27%,   I was baptized/christened: 72%,    One or both parents are Christian: 38%

Like I said, the American stats won't be quite this good, but this shows the problem with giving undue respect to this Christian majority in our country.  The numbers of 70%(+) of Americans being believers are a farce.  A huge chunk of Christians aren't really Christians when you start asking them questions.  

Some personal examples of what I mean.  Numerous family members of mine are like that, and some still stubbornly identify as a Christian though 5 minutes of conversation will reveal they are deists at most.  My roommate identifies as Christian but rejects most of the bible, and when asked if Yaweh is god, he says he believes there is something, a higher power in the universe.  My 2 best friends identify as Christians.  Upon being shown that SO MUCH of the bible is demonstrably bullshit one proclaimed, "if it all (Chistianity) wasn't real, I wouldn't want to know."  The other basically admits that if it weren't for living with his religious family, and having a gf who's a believer he "wouldn't be as religious" whatever the hell that means, and has stated on many occasions that "a lot of the bible is bullshit."  Funny how they all sound much more deist than Christian, but their fear of the reactions of their friends and family, and possibly to admit they're wrong all this time keeps them using the label.  I could type for an hour on friends, coworkers, aquaintences, and people online who do the same thing.  

Coming out of the closet as a deist, agnostic, or atheist has no motivation for some people because continuing to BS themselves is so much easier and really a comfortable position for them.  If cognitive dissonance doesn't get the better of them, why would they bother to change positions, especially since most Christians find friends and family will abandon them or at least make them feel extremely marginalized for coming out.  It's not like being gay, where a strong desire to be with the opposite sex, and not have to hide it/ live a complicated double life motivates them to come out.

I think Sam Harris is dead right when he says giving the moderates too much leeway props up the fundamentalists, and since at least a 1/3 probably more of the moderates aren't even really Christians, we HAVE TO question them and their "sincerity" or lack thereof.   

"They always say the same thing; 'But evolution is only a theory!!' Which is true, I guess, and it's good they say that I think, it gives you hope that they feel the same about the theory of Gravity and they might just float the f**k away."


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Are We a Christian Nation?

This essay is not about religion per se. What people believe and why they believe it is not the point here.  The essay is only about the proper place of religion in our government. What's legal and what's not legal. I think secularists get into trouble when they start getting into religion itself. If you'll notice, people like Dinesh D'Souza always try to bring the conversation around to belief. I'm not interested.

The overwhelming majority of the population in the US is Christian. That is a fact. But I try to make several points given that fact.

1. The majority of the (Christian) Founders put their personal beliefs aside when they wrote the Constitution.

2. The Founders were afraid of the "tyranny of the majority."

3. Those Christians who have invested so much of their identity and strength in their Christianity ironically make themselves vulnerable to demagogues such as Bill O'Reilly, Bill Donahue (Catholic League)  & Rep. Peter King. "There's a war on Christianity. There's a war on Christmas."

Please check out my documentary, "In God We Teach" on YouTube.

 

 

 


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Are We a Christian nation?

I'm afraid that I do not understand "Our country's founders were not necessarily christian." The (non-Native American) population of the Colonies was over 90% Christian. Even if you factor in a few Deists and closeted nonbelievers (of all stripes) that still leaves the Founders as overwhelmingly Christian. That is a fact. To argue that is to miss the point that the Founders created a secular Constitution despite their personal beliefs. You don't have to try and change history to make those who agree with you (the Founders) that we have a secular government also agree with you that they were not Christian. It weakens your argument. 

 


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Are We a Christian Nation?

Me again. Please check out my documentary, "In God We Teach" on YouTube.

 


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 Pretty sure there's a

 Pretty sure there's a treaty somewhere that states we weren't intended to be a Christian nation.


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"Are We a Christian Nation?"

 Yes, it's the treaty with the Barbary pirates. I like to stick with the Constitution. 


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bobsrevenge999

bobsrevenge999 wrote:

 Pretty sure there's a treaty somewhere that states we weren't intended to be a Christian nation.

Yes, and I will post that yet again in a second.

When one takes the First Amendment and oath of office in combination, those two alone say that their is no religious pecking order sanctioned by the government.

BUT even outside the Constitution the entire congress without any dissent in both the house and senate, signed The Barbary Treaty in which article 11 states "As the government of the United States is not ,in any sense, founded on the Christian religion", signed by President John Adams June 10th 1797.

 

The founders were for freedom of religion, not the fallacious pecking order crap Christian revisionists sell.

There was never a right to a monopoly or advocating on the founders part, of a religious pecking order. It is perfectly legal for any natural born citizen to run for president, and if that person wins the election, they do not have to be subject to a religious litmus test. In theory, and maybe in the future, we can have a non-Christian president. The founders never intended the crap "You can take office, as long as you swear an oath to some sort of Christian sect god". The oath of office merely says "no religious test".

 

It burns fundies that we keep knocking down their facade.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Vic Losick wrote:Me again.

Vic Losick wrote:

Me again. Please check out my documentary, "In God We Teach" on YouTube.

 

I saw most of it and the reason why that fucking crazy history teacher was ramming the MYTHICAL Jesus down people's throats is because he KNOWS Christianity is dying out! Just do a search for "Christianity is dying" and you'll see how many Christians themselves have admitted this! This is the last desperate gasp of the looney ChristNUTS!

With every successive generation Christianity dies out more and more! Great for the rest of us!

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


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No not at all

Chrisitianity was dead after about 100 to 150 Ad.


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Check out my new outtakes

Check out my new outtakes from "In God We Teach"
Neil deGrass Tyson on "The Argument for Ignorance" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lImxObF-BfA&feature=g-upl)
George Carlin on "God Bless America" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7cG1y1BDn0&feature=g-upl)


Brian37
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Old Seer wrote:Chrisitianity

Old Seer wrote:

Chrisitianity was dead after about 100 to 150 Ad.

Really? Mind selling me whatever you are smoking, got to be the best weed in the world. I am really confused because politicians still invoke god, and there are plenty of churches I see on tv and driving down the street.

I wish it had died back then, then humanity could have been spared the Dark Ages and we'd probably as a species been faster advanced than we ended up being.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


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Brian37 wrote:Old Seer

Brian37 wrote:

Old Seer wrote:

Chrisitianity was dead after about 100 to 150 Ad.

Really? Mind selling me whatever you are smoking, got to be the best weed in the world. I am really confused because politicians still invoke god, and there are plenty of churches I see on tv and driving down the street.

I wish it had died back then, then humanity could have been spared the Dark Ages and we'd probably as a species been faster advanced than we ended up being.

 

OldSeer is the king of NoTrueScotsman fallacies, and is saying that true Christianity didn't survive. And yet he has never given any proof to back up his vague assertions.

Secularist, Atheist, Skeptic, Freethinker


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ThunderJones wrote:Brian37

ThunderJones wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

Old Seer wrote:

Chrisitianity was dead after about 100 to 150 Ad.

Really? Mind selling me whatever you are smoking, got to be the best weed in the world. I am really confused because politicians still invoke god, and there are plenty of churches I see on tv and driving down the street.

I wish it had died back then, then humanity could have been spared the Dark Ages and we'd probably as a species been faster advanced than we ended up being.

 

OldSeer is the king of NoTrueScotsman fallacies, and is saying that true Christianity didn't survive. And yet he has never given any proof to back up his vague assertions.

So what did survive? Fake Christianity? LOL

I gotta agree with Brian.  Starting at around 150 A.D. Christianity really exploded and took off and went on to dominate the world for the next 1600 years or so! After the founding of a secular America and Europe around 1800 Christiantiy has begun to slowly die off in the west and now it's at its lowest influence ever!

More and more people who realize the bible is crap and fairy tales exist more than ever before!

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


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Death of Christianity

I'm afraid that reports of the death of Christianity have been greatly exaggerated. Belief in a higher power has been very comforting to humans since the beginning of human existence and will continue to do so. (N.B. Faith in a higher power says nothing about the existence or non-existence of a higher power).