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.
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!