The US is a nation built on Christian principles, by Christians and for Christians. To yank away all of that influence would be to topple the entire footing of the country. Instead you have to chip away at the foundation and replace the broken pieces with Marxist philosophy. That’s how you fundamentally change the nation. With the help of the ACLU, the goal will be achieved in our lifetimes.
(Name withheld on request.)
This statement came to me as part of a discussion thread concerning my newest target, Gov. Rick Perry, and his apparent violations of Article IV clause 3 as well as Matthew 6:1-10. It also goes to my position that politicians should not be permitted to use religion as a qualifier for public office. But that is a topic for another column.
I have spent the last 20 months researching and writing a book on this very topic. A Christian Nation? An examination of Christian nation theories and proofs (yes, the subtitle changed a bit), looks at this very topic and responds to the proponents concerning their positions. Each proofs was examined in terms of accuracy, authenticity, and context of the document and time written. I came to only one major conclusion:
The United States is NOT a nation built on Christian principles, nor for Christians. and not all of the Founders were Christians.
Additionally, there is the failure to prove that Democrats, liberals and progressives are Commie-pinko-hippie-freaks, though I do claim the title for myself.
Allow me to discuss what I do know about American history.
The original conquest of the New World by the Europeans was to find treasure, spices and a quick route to the Orient. As it is today, commerce is the director of government. The primary reason was not to spread Christianity in its various forms.
The original colonies, English, Swedish, Dutch, Spanish, French and Portuguese, were chartered for commerce. Not one charter spoke to the establishment of a religious colony. However, this does not prevent the Christian nation proponents from referring to the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the two Puritan settlements of Salem and Plymouth. What they seem to neglect is the third Massachusetts settlement of Ma-re, which was an Anglo-Saxon pagan settlement.
Court cases cited, such as Church of the Holy Trinity v. US, by the proponents are also questioned. In this specific case, the proponents quote ““No purpose of action against any religion can be imputed to any legislation, State or national, because this is a religious people… this is a Christian nation.”
Yes, the quotes from this and other cases can be found in the decisions, but that does not make statements concerning the Christian basis of our nation precedent setting. In fact all of the quotes were referred to in terms of evidence presented to the various courts. I could not find one court decision stating unequivocally that the United States is a Christian nation. I did find many that said it was not.
A Christian Nation? also cites the very successful use of God as a propaganda tool during the Cold War. In every case, the purpose was to separate the godless Russian commies from the God fearing Americans.
Also discovered is an interested theory concerning cognitive dissidence; when two opposing ideas are being presented to a person as facts. Dr. Michael Shermer discusses this concept in his books, most recently in The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths. The concept is simple: when confronted with facts that contradict belief, belief wins almost every time.
This is not a matter of falsely advocating an unsupportable position, but not accepting something new as fact that may dismantle one’s personal foundation. In many cases these false beliefs came from a person of power – a teacher, minister, priest, rabbi, parent, et cetera. The “he is my minister and would never lie to me,” outweighs the critical review of the facts, therefore denying the facts exist or simply refusing to consider the facts. We all do this, though for some this is more embedded in their beliefs than others.
Not all beliefs are based on myths or are religious based. Beliefs can be based on very logical objective evidence that may have led to an incorrect conclusion. Einstein did this when it came to Quantum Theory.
However, it is the religious teachings that seem to hold sway over too many Americans and cause them to be blinded to the evidence at hand. This seems especially true in the Christian nation debate, with more right-winged Christian conservatives taking the ecumenical position over the secular.
Can these individuals be convinced to change their position concerning the religiosity of the government of the United States? Maybe, but hitting them over the head with facts seems to cause the stubbornness factor to raise ten-fold. Does this mean do not try? No, but one needs to recognize that some individuals, like my friend above, will close the door without peeking first.
A Christian Nation? An examination of Christian nation theories and proofs is now available for pre-order. Please visit the A Christian Nation? project site to order yours today.
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