I know this will cause a fire storm within some Christians because it goes against what they have been taught about the foundation of the United States of America. I’ve discussed this subject many times with fellow Christians over the years only to run into brick walls built around a foundation of misconceptions and wishful thinking. The idea our country was founded upon Christianity seems to have become a doctrine of the faith within some sects of Christianity. I hear many people ranging from local preachers to talk radio host pushing the idea that we must get the country back to it’s Christian roots. The truth is our Founding Fathers never intended our country to be ran by a religious theocracy and they setup safe guards to prevent this type of government. If the Founding Fathers intent was to base our country upon Christianity, then they did a pitiful job because no where is Jesus Christ or Christianity mentioned in the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution.

If we study history, then we see all the problems associated with a theocracy. A theocracy is oppressive and as savage as any leftist dictatorship can be. All we need to do is look at Europe in the Middle Ages, Islam, and the Salem witch trails to see the problem with mixing religion with government.

The Founding Fathers fled an oppressive theocracy when they left Europe. It’s easy to see why they took every step possible to prevent this type of abuse in the United States. The concept of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press is a safe guard against a religious theocracy or any form of oppressive government. Freedom and theocracy can never mix; it’s like saying that people are free while being under a Marxist regime. The one thing that a theocracy and Marxism have in common is how they enforce their rules which is by force backed up with a gun.

The Treaty of Tripoli is a very clear example of the the Founding Fathers view on Christianity and our government:

“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”(source)

The following is a very good post from Jim Walker concerning the myth that our country was founded on Christianity. I do not agree with everything that Mr. Walker promotes or believes, but I do agree with him 100% on this issue.

The Government of the United States is not, in any sense founded on the Christian religion

Mr. Walker makes his points and back them up with facts. As Christians, we should not be concerned with using the government to convert people. We should be focused on spreading our beliefs peacefully and seeking to convert people by peace rather than with the threat of force to obey our rules.

As a pro-life Libertarian, I believe in the freedom of religion and the freedom from religion. I reject the notion that we must pass laws based upon religion in order to bring peace to our country. All we need are common sense laws. We all need to learn to respect each others differences as long as those differences do not harm other people. If we feel a need to change something within our community, then buy all means use our freedoms and peacefully try to convert people to Christianity rather than trying to use the government as a means of force feed surfdom!

Theocracy is a terrible oppressive form of government that rules by fear and manipulation. The same Christians wanting to pass laws based on Christianity, are the same people who would whine about Sharia Law. Please explain to me the difference between Sharia Law and laws based upon Christianity from a US Constitutional perspective. Our constitution forbids laws to be made based upon religion:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

If we do, as some say, use Christianity as a foundation for laws to get America back to her roots then we will 1.) Establish a state religion 2.) Forbid the free exercise of religions that do not line up with whatever Christian sect is making the rules 3.) Censor free speech and the press 4.) And citizens will have no avenue to protest their grievances with this new government. If we do as some claim, then America will cease to be America and transform in a bigger version of mid-evil Europe were religious oppression intruded upon mankind’s basic right to be an individual. I know this is very unpopular to talk about from this perspective, but as Christians we wait on Christ to establish His perfect kingdom on earth; if we choose to set about doing this work for God, all we will do is create a bigger mess. Our Founding Fathers were wise to establish a system were liberty was allowed to flourish and at the same time rear it’s ugly head.

I had rather live under our government that strictly adheres the constitution than one that “thumps” a Bible as they use the threat of force to cram their beliefs down everyone’s throat who dares to disagree. At least under our rights given to use by our Founding Fathers, I will have the freedom to speak, to think, to disagree publicly, and the freedom to spread my beliefs without the fear of being arrested, harassed, or murdered. We cannot allow the actions of liberty hating leftist (or conservative liberty hating bible thumpers blaming “freedom” for all our sin ills) to skew our views on liberty.

Those who hate Christianity have a right to speak out, but they do not have a right to pass laws in order to silence those who choose to be Christian; likewise Christians do not have the right to pass laws to silence those whom they deem as anti-Christian. Two wrongs do not make a right. The beauty of America is that we all have the ability and right to have these debates and discussions without fearing punishment.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.-Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

The bottom line is if Christians want to change the direction of our country then they need to start by spreading the Gospel. They need to disciple new converts and teach their congregations how to live a Christian life. This is far more effective than passing things like Blue Laws etc. and trying to strong arm society to accept our beliefs. In my opinion, Christians who used the government to make laws based on their “morals” or because they were “offended“, taught many atheist how to use government to push forth their agenda. All sides need to step back and appreciate our freedoms, respect each other’s differences, and grow some thicker skin! We all share this country together so lets live together in peace while accepting each other’s differences!

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Comments
  1. stannj51 says:

    Agree. Christians lose their perspective in their pursuit of a political solution. We follow the Lord who says that his kingdom is not of this world. God puts all leaders in office, good or bad, even the devils who rule nations. If God has mercy on America, he will bring about common-sense laws and legislators. Yet, America has been officially atheistic for many years, for it teaches evolution and a godless creation science and it promotes godless laws and policies. We are to evangelize and disciple all who turn to the Lord from among the Jew and Gentile; and also pray for all men and their authorities as Paul says, so that God promotes the quietness of believer’s lives, for they alone can bring knowledge of the Mediator to man.

    Stan

  2. Greg Boyd, in his book MYTH OF A CHRISTIAN NATION, covers this dilemma in great detail.
    Thanks for your article – good to be reminded and for the truth to be told.

  3. Vita Da Vivere,

    Thanks for that info. I will look into that asap.

  4. dashcap says:

    “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion as it has in itself no character of enmity [hatred] against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen and as the said States [America] have never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

    From US Historian David Barton:

    “This article may be read in two manners. It may, as its critics do, be concluded after the clause “Christian religion”; or it may be read in its entirety and concluded when the punctuation so indicates. But even if shortened and cut abruptly (“the government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion”), this is not an untrue statement since it is referring to the federal government. Recall that while the Founders themselves openly described America as a Christian nation, they did include a constitutional prohibition against a federal establishment; religion was a matter left solely to the individual States. Therefore, if the article is read as a declaration that the federal government of the United States was not in any sense founded on the Christian religion, such a statement is not a repudiation of the fact that America was considered a Christian nation. Reading the clause of the treaty in its entirety also fails to weaken this fact. Article XI simply distinguished America from those historical strains of European Christianity which held an inherent hatred of Muslims; it simply assured the Muslims that the United States was not a Christian nation like those of previous centuries (with whose practices the Muslims were very familiar) and thus would not undertake a religious holy war against them.”

    Claim: The Government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.

    “Had the people, during the revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianinty, that revolution would have been strangled in its cradle. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the amendments, the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged, not any one sect [denomination]. Any attempt to level and discard all religion would have been viewed with universal indignation…It [religion] must be considered as the foundation on which the whole structure rests…In this age there can be no substitute for Christianity; that, in its general principles, is the great conservative element on which we must rely for purity aand permanence of free institutions. That was the religion of the founders of the republic, and they expected it to remain the religion of their decendents.” Source: House Judiciary Committee, 1854, on discussions regarding the Establishment of Religion. Reports of the Committees of the House of Representatives Made During the First Session of the Thirty-Third Congress (Washington:A.O.P. Nicholson, 1854) pp.1, 6, 8-9.”

    You gotta do something with that. Don’t attempt to secularize and sanitize the US Government of any or its foundational roots by redefining what the Founding Fathers were and believed in their hearts.

    d

  5. dashcap,

    There is nothing in your post that proves America was founded as a Christian nation. Your sources are not the founding fathers own words, nor it is their complete works. It’s easy to assume what someone “meant” based on a preconceived view that somehow our Founding Fathers left a “Christian” European theocracy in order to establish a new world version of the same flawed system of though: a government based upon religion. The very core rights granted to us which are the freedom of speech, freedom of religion(and yes..freedom from religion), and the freedom of the press are in direct conflict with a “Christian” nation, because a Christian based nation would not allow such things to exist if they conflicted the faith and/or what is allowed to be accepted.

    The truly damning thing to this idea that America was founded on Christianity is the fact that no where in our founding documents which became the basis(or became the laws) is the name Jesus Christ mentioned. The second thing is many of the Founding Fathers were not Christian in the sense of what we define as Christian. So what if the majority of the people in the US during that day considered themselves Christian, it does not mean the founders of the country were of the same beliefs.

    This is just wishful thinking and dangerous thinking to want to setup America as a Christian theocracy. NO THANK YOU! I will keep my freedoms and keep the ability to speak my mind and live how I want to live without some zealot with the backing of the states guns to threaten me for what I believe(or do not believe) and for what I think.

    Theocracy is a terrible form of government. Sadly, the redefining of what our Founding Fathers believed and how they setup the United States is done by many Christians today who want to force feed their theocracy on everybody who disagrees.

    The kingdom of God is not of the earth. Only God Himself will setup His kingdom. This is the Lord’s work to do after all is said and done. I, for one, am thankful that more people are standing up to Christian revisionist who want to create the fiction that our Founding Fathers wanted to create a Christian “God fearing” theocracy of oppression.

    You have no moral right to force another human to accept your beliefs by passing laws and/or creating fiction in order to justify forceful oppression of our citizens who do not want any part of your theocracy. Our Founding Fathers gave us the right to reject this ideology, and the right to bear arms so we can resist “if” these types of oppressive governments ever take root.

  6. DyspraxiaDad says:

    I wish I could find it again but I ran across a letter online in the Jefferson Archives where he was arguing AGAINST a motion, I believe in the Virginia constitution where a group of representatives wanted to specifically use “Christ” in their constitution as opposed to more generic, more inclusive terms. Jefferson specifically mentioned Muslims and Jews in framing his argument against such language.

    Many of the founding fathers may have been Christian (mostly Deists actually) but they were progressive, non-fundamentalist, non biblical idolatry type Christians who saw the value of rational thought. Heck, Jefferson made his own bible by separating out the ethical teachings of Christ from the prophetic and the supernatural. The current crop of biblical literalists that are attacking not only separation but also rational thought and science are extremely troublesome to me. It’s an attempt to drag this country back into the Dark Ages at a time when things are starting to unravel under excessive bureaucracy, a “democratic” system tainted with outside money, and ridiculous levels of debt.

    Thanks for writing about this, it is an important topic that is being ignored at the moment but is still very much in the news. The sideways approaches being used by these groups to insert their religious beliefs into public law are not often recognized (Tennessee laws opening a window for Creationist pseudo-science; Virginia law sbanning gay marriage and being used to unseat gay public servants; banning gay marriage in NC and many other states going so far as to alter state constitutions. It’s all a smokescreen for the REAL problems in this country.

    • DyspraxiaDad,

      Thanks for adding that to this thread.

      I am amazed by so many Christians who are willing to trample our rights in the name of setting up a “Christian” nation where our freedoms are oppressed by a bunch of self-made righteous zealots. The Marxist and the Christian have more in common than they want to admit….ponder that all who spread this belief that America is a theocracy.

  7. cal4u says:

    This is excellently presented, I also have come to see that the US is NOT, nor is Canada for that matter built on the foundation of Christianity! Most were Masons, and we know they are not Christian.

    I believe in total separation of church and state. There is no biblical foundation giving Christians the authority to govern the world with Christian principles period! This can and will only lead to a tyrannical fascist leadership!

    The Lord bless you for your contribution. I look forward in reading more from your site.
    In His Eternal Love……

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