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24
32
Yes No
Debate Score:56
Arguments:41
Total Votes:60
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 Yes (19)
 
 No (22)

Debate Creator

Apollo(1608) pic



Is the United States a Christian Nation?

Was America founded as a Christian nation and upon Christian values?

 

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion"

--Treaty of Tripoli, Art. 11. Authored and signed by John Adams (founding father). Ratified by congress on Jun 9, 1797.

 "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free excersise thereof"

--First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

 

 

--Apollo

Yes

Side Score: 24
VS.

No

Side Score: 32

Historically, there is no argument, the answer is an unequivocal yes. The founding fathers were almost exclusively very vocal Christians, albeit from various faiths. The architecture of early America denotes numerous examples of the faith of Americans, from the supreme court building to the many monuments in Washington as well as other major cities. Virtually all of the first Universities were founded by churches.

As for the state of the US now.....probably not.

Side: yes
Bohemian(3861) Disputed
1 point

The founding fathers were almost exclusively very vocal Christians

Except for Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Ethan Allen, and James Monroe, who were Deists.

Historically, there is no argument

You are correct in this assessment.

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..." ~Treaty of Tripoli; Article XI

Submitted by John Adams to the U.S. senate in 1797, which passed unanimously

The architecture of early America denotes numerous examples of the faith of Americans

You make the same mistake many modern Americans make. You conflate Belief of Early Americans with the nature of it's Government which is very much secular. While many early Americans as well as many of the founding fathers were christian, there is no doubt about this, they were also very well aware of what had been happening in England for the past 200 years or so and in Europe for the past 1,000 years. Europe was a continent soaked in blood due to divergent religious beliefs. Some religious beliefs received official sanction by governments in Europe, and this was the cause of much bloodshed. Our founding fathers thought it important to have a Government that acts neutral in regards to religion, as to avoid many of the problems encountered in Europe.

Side: No
canteenkenny(62) Disputed
1 point

Ben Franklin said: “The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”

While Jefferson was certainly an atheist, that simply tells us he could be wrong in other ways also...."I think myself that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious."

But my point stands; the majority of the founders were strong men of faith, and were adamant that the government should not dictate our faith, but leave us alone to pursue (or not) God however we chose to.

Congress appointed chaplains for itself and the armed forces, sponsored the publication of a Bible, imposed Christian morality on the armed forces, and granted public lands to promote Christianity among the Indians. National days of thanksgiving and of "humiliation, fasting, and prayer" were proclaimed by Congress at least twice a year throughout the war of independence. Congress was guided by "covenant theology," a Reformation doctrine especially dear to New England Puritans, which held that God bound himself in an agreement with a nation and its people. They put "In God we trust" on our currency.

The treaty quote you refer to had a point..." 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." But Adams also said..." "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

You are correct, early architecture does not prove foundational intent.

Side: Yes

1st. "As the Government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;" is not found in the Arabic version. this was discovered in the 1930's.

The 1st amendment is telling congress to keep its nose out of religion. They were not to ESTABLISH a national religion. They left that up to the states.

Look at the state Constitutions (some written by the very men who signed the Declaration of Independence.

Delaware George Read signer of Dec. of Ind.

had to take oath stating "" I do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration."

Georgia

ART. VI. "... and they shall be of the Protestent religion, and of the age of twenty-one years, and shall be possessed in their own right of two hundred and fifty acres of land, or some property to the amount of two hundred and fifty pounds."

New Hampshire

XIX. That there shall be no establishment of any one religious sect in this Province, in preference to another; and that no Protestant inhabitant of this Colony shall be denied the enjoyment of any civil right, merely on account of his religious principles; but that all persons, professing a belief in the faith of any Protestant sect. who shall demean themselves peaceably under the government, as hereby established, shall be capable of being elected into any office of profit or trust, or being a member of either branch of the Legislature, and shall fully and freely enjoy every privilege and immunity, enjoyed by others their fellow subjects.

North Carolina

XXXII.(5) That no person, who shall deny the being of God or the truth of the Protestant religion, or the divine authority either of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any office or place of trust or profit in the civil department within this State.

XXXIV. That there shall be no establishment of any one religious church or denomination in this State, in preference to any other; neither shall any person, on any presence whatsoever, be compelled to attend any place of worship contrary to his own faith or judgment, nor be obliged to pay, for the purchase of any glebe, or the building of any house of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry, contrary to what he believes right, of has voluntarily and personally engaged to perform; but all persons shall be at liberty to exercise their own mode of worship: -- Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to exempt preachers of treasonable or seditious discourses, from legal trial and punishment.

Constitution of Pennsylvania

II. That all men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences and understanding: And that no man ought or of right can be compelled to attend any religious worship, or erect or support any place of worship, or maintain any ministry, contrary to, or against, his own free will and consent: Nor can any man, who acknowledges the being of a God, be justly deprived or abridged of any civil right as a citizen, on account of his religious sentiments or peculiar mode of religious worship: And that no authority can or ought to be vested in, or assumed by any power whatever, that shall in any case interfere with, or in any manner controul, the right of conscience in the free exercise of religious worship.

SECT. 10.

And each member, before he takes his seat, shall make and subscribe the following declaration, viz:

I do believe in one God, the creator and governor of the universe, the rewarder of the good and the punisher of the wicked. And I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine inspiration.

And no further or other religious test shall ever hereafter be required of any civil officer or magistrate in this State.

Constitution of South Carolina

XIII. "...The qualification of electors shall be that every free white man, and no other person, who acknowledges the being of a God, and believes in a future state of rewards and punishments, and who has attained to the age of one and twenty years, ..."

XXXVIII. That all persons and religious societies who acknowledge that there is one God, and a future state of rewards and punishments, and that God is publicly to be worshipped, shall be freely tolerated. The Christian Protestant religion shall be deemed, and is hereby constituted and declared to be, the established religion of this State. That all denominations of Christian Protestants in this State, demeaning themselves peaceably and faithfully, shall enjoy equal religious and civil privileges. To accomplish this desirable purpose without injury to the religious property of those societies of Christians which are by law already incorporated for the purpose of religious worship, and to put it fully into the power of every other society of Christian Protestants, either already formed or hereafter to be formed, to obtain the like incorporation, it is hereby constituted, appointed, and declared that the respective societies of the Church of England that are already formed in this State for the purpose of religious worship shall still continue incorporate and hold the religious property now in their possession. And that whenever fifteen or more male persons, not under twenty-one years of age, professing the Christian Protestant religion, and agreeing to unite themselves In a society for the purposes of religious worship, they shall, (on complying with the terms hereinafter mentioned,) be, and be constituted a church, and be esteemed and regarded in law as of the established religion of the State, and on a petition to the legislature shall be entitled to be incorporated and to enjoy equal privileges. That every society of Christians so formed shall give themselves a name or denomination by which they shall be called and known in law, and all that associate with them for the purposes of worship shall be esteemed as belonging to the society so called. But that previous to the establishment and incorporation of the respective societies of every denomination as aforesaid, and in order to entitle them thereto, each society so petitioning shall have agreed to and subscribed in a book the following five articles, without which no agreement fir union of men upon presence of religion shall entitle them to be incorporated and esteemed as a church of the established religion of this State:

1st. That there is one eternal God, and a future state of rewards and punishments.

2d. That God is publicly to be worshipped.

3d. That the Christian religion is the true religion

4th. That the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are of divine inspiration, and are the rule of faith and practice.

5th. That it is lawful and the duty of every man being thereunto called by those that govern, to bear witness to the truth.

And that every inhabitant of this State, when called to make an appeal to God as a witness to truth, shall be permitted to do it in that way which is most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience. And that the people of this State may forever enjoy the right of electing their own pastors or clergy, and at the same time that the State may have sufficient security for the due discharge of the pastoral office, by those who shall be admitted to be clergymen, no person shall officiate as minister of any established church who shall not have been chosen by a majority of the society to which he shall minister, or by persons appointed by the said majority, to choose and procure a minister for them; nor until the minister so chosen and appointed shall have made and subscribed to the following declaration, over and above the aforesaid five articles, viz: "That he is determined by God's grace out of the holy scriptures, to instruct the people committed to his charge, and to teach nothing as required of necessity to eternal salvation but that which he shall be persuaded may be concluded and proved from the scripture; that he will use both public and private admonitions, as well to the sick as to the whole within his cure, as need shall require and occasion shall be given, and that he will be diligent in prayers, and in reading of the same; that he will be diligent to frame and fashion his own self and his family according to the doctrine of Christ, and to make both himself and them, as much as in him lieth, wholesome examples and patterns to the flock of Christ; that he will maintain and set forwards, as much as he can, quietness, peace, and love among all people, and especially among those that are or shall be committed to lids charge. No person shall disturb or molest any religious assembly; nor shall use any reproachful, reviling, or abusive language against any church, that being the certain way of disturbing the peace, and of hindering the conversion of any to the truth, by engaging them in quarrels and animosities, to the hatred of the professors, and that profession which otherwise they might be brought to assent to. To person whatsoever shall speak anything in their religious assembly irreverently or seditiously of the government of this State. No person shall, by law, be obliged to pay towards the maintenance and support of a religious worship that he does not freely join in, or has not voluntarily engaged to support. But the churches, chapels, parsonages, globes, and all other property now belonging to any societies of the Church of England, or any other religious societies, shall remain and be secured to them forever. The poor shall be supported, and elections managed in the accustomed manner, until laws shall be provided to adjust those matters in the most equitable way.

Vermont

III. That all men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences and understandings, as In their opinion shall be regulated by the word of God; and that no man ought, or of right can be compelled to attend any religious worship, or erect or support any place of worship, or maintain any minister, contrary to the dictates of his conscience; nor can any man be justly deprived or abridged of any civil right as a citizen, on account of his religious sentiments, or peculiar mode of religious worship; and that no authority can, or ought to be vested in, or assumed by any power whatsoever, that shall in any case interfere with, or in any manner control the rights of conscience, in the free exercise of religious worship: Nevertheless, every sect or denomination of Christians ought to observe the Sabbath or Lord's day, and keep up some sort of religious worship, which to them shall seem most agreeable to the revealed will of God.

New Jersey

XIX. That there shall be no establishment of any one

religious sect in this Province, in preference to another; and

that no Protestant inhabitant of this Colony shall be denied the

enjoyment of any civil right, merely on account of his religious

principles; but that all persons, professing a belief in the faith

of any Protestant sect, who shall demean themselves peaceably

under the government, as hereby established, shall be capable of

being elected into any office of profit or trust, or being a

member of either branch of the Legislature, and shall fully and

freely enjoy every privilege and immunity, enjoyed by others their

fellow subjects.

Look at early supreme court decisions

Early Court Decisions on the Separation of Church and State

Runkel v. Winemiller, 1799

"Religion is of general and public concern and on its support depend, in great measure, the peace and good order of government, the safety and happiness of the people. By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed upon the same equal footing and are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty."

The People v. Ruggles, 1811

"[W]e are a Christian people and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity and not upon the doctrines or worship of those imposters [other religions].... [We are a] people whose manners... and whose morals have been elevated and inspired... by means of the Christian religion.

Though the constitution has discarded religious establishments, it does not forbid judicial cognizance of those offenses against religion and morality which have no reference to any such establishment... This [constitutional] declaration, noble and magnanimous as it is, when duly understood, never meant to withdraw religion in general, and with it the best sanctions of moral and social obligation from all consideration and notice of the law..."

Updegraph v. The Commonwealth, 1824

"The assertion is once more made that Christianity never was received as part of the common law of this Christian land; and... if it was, it was virtually repealed by the Constitution of the United States...

We will first dispose of what is considered the grand objection -- the constitutionality of Christianity... Christianity, general Christianity, is and always has been a part of the common law... not Christianity founded on any particular religious tenets; not Christianity with an established church... but Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men.

Thus this wise legislature framed this great body of laws for a Christian country and a Christian people.... [T]hus it is irrefragably proved that the laws and institutions of this State are built on the foundation of reverence for Christianity.... In this the Constitution of the United States has made no alteration nor in the great body of the laws which was an incorporation of the common-law doctrine of Christianity."

City of Charlston v. Benjamin, 1846

"Christianity is part of the common law of the land, with liberty of conscience to all. It has always been so recognized.... If Christianity is a part of the common law, its disturbance is punishable as common law. The U.S. Constitution allows it as part of the common law.... The observance of Sunday is one of the usages of the common law recognized by our U.S. and State Governments.... Christianity is part and parcel of the common law.... Christianity has reference to the principles of right and wrong... it is the foundation of those morals and manners upon which our society is formed; it is their basis. Remove it and they would fall... it [morality] has grown upon the basis of Christianity."

"What constitutes the standard of good morals? Is it not Christianity? There certainly is none other.... The day of moral virtue in which we live would, in an instant, if that standard were abolished, lapse into the dark and murky night of Pagan immorality...."

"In the Courts over which we preside, we daily acknowledge Christianity as the most solemn part of our administration. A Christian witness, having no scruples about placing his hand upon the book, is sworn upon the holy Evangelists -- the books of the New Testament which testify of our Savior's birth, life, death, and resurrection; this is so common a matter that it is little thought of as an evidence of the part which Christianity has in the common law...."

Commonwealth v. Nesbit, 1859

"By our... laws against vice and immorality we do not mean to enforce religion; we admit that to be impossible. But we do mean to protect our customs, no matter that they may have originated in our [Christian] religion; for they are essential parts of our social life.... Law can never become entirely infidel; for it is essentially founded on the moral customs of men and the very generating principles of these is most often religion."

Lindenmuller v. The People, 1860

"It would be strange for a people Christian in doctrine and worship, many of whom or whose forefathers had sought these shores for the privilege of worshipping God in simplicity and purity of faith, and who regarded religion as the basis of their civil liberty and the foundation of their rights, should, in their zeal to secure to all the freedom of conscience which they valued so highly, solemnly repudiate and put beyond the pale of the law the religion which was dear to them as life and dethrone the God who they openly and avowedly professed to believe had been their protector and guide as a people."

"All agreed that the Christian religion was engrafted upon the law and entitled to protection as the basis of our morals and the strength of our government."

Davis v. Beason, 1889

"Bigamy and polygamy are crimes by the laws of all civilized and Christian countries. They are crimes by the laws of the United States.... To extend exemption from punishment for such crimes would be to shock the moral judgment of the community. To call their advocacy a tenet of religion is to offend the common sense of mankind....

Probably never before in the history of this country has it been seriously contended that the whole punitive power of the government for acts recognized by the general consent of the Christian world... must be suspended in order that the tenets of a religious sect... may be carried out without hindrance."

Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 1892

"No purpose of action against religion can be imputed to any legislation, state or national, because this is a religious people.... These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic [official, governmental] utterances that this is a Christian nation."

United States v. Macintosh, 1931

"We are a Christian people... according to one another the equal right of religious freedom and acknowledging with reverence the duty of obedience to the will of God."

_

Zorach v. Clausen, 1952

"The First Amendment, however, does not say that in every and all respects there shall be a separation of Church and State.... Otherwise the State and religion would be aliens to each other -- hostile, suspicious, and even unfriendly....

We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being.... When the State encourages religious instruction or cooperates with religious authorities... it follows the best of our traditions. For it then respects the religious nature of our people and accommodates the public service to their spiritual needs. To hold that it may not, would be to find in the Constitution a requirement that the government show a callous indifference to religious groups. That would be preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe.... [W]e find no constitutional requirement which makes it necessary for government to be hostile to religion and to throw its weight against efforts to widen the effective scope of religious influence.... We cannot read into the Bill of Rights such a philosophy of hostility to religion."

Side: Yes

Samuel Johnston:

• “It is apprehended that Jews, Mahometans (Muslims), pagans, etc., may be elected to high offices under the government of the United States. Those who are Mahometans, or any others who are not professors of the Christian religion, can never be elected to the office of President or other high office, [unless] first the people of America lay aside the Christian religion altogether, it may happen. Should this unfortunately take place, the people will choose such men as think as they do themselves.

[Elliot’s Debates, Vol. IV, pp 198-199, Governor Samuel Johnston, July 30, 1788 at the North Carolina Ratifying Convention]

Side: Yes
1 point

Although that the U.S. has laws that declared that U.S. is a Non-Christian Nation,but this law is only used to protect the people in the U.S(Because to protect from discrimination),and the 70% population in U.S is Christian,so we can conclude that U.S is a Christian Nation.

Side: Yes

Theoretically it is due to Christmas being a Federal Holiday and Christianity is the majority Religion.

Side: Yes
2 points

Locke and similar social contract theorists and liberal philosophies that can trace their ideological origins back to Plato and Socrates are the creators of the principles the USA was founded on. Many of the nation's founders were a mix between Christianity and deistic ideology. While many believed religion to be important for morals, many believed that the church could not instill true religion via coercive methods such as the state apparatus and have personally seen what religious sectarianism can do with in the colonies and the motherland. They believed in the freedom of conscious of each individual, and in john lock's rights of "life and liberty", although I wish they would of included the third: "property". While many immigrants to the united states were christian, no biblical principle is codified in our constitution nor does the bible endorse the American system.

Side: No
churchmouse(328) Disputed
1 point

Did they have rules outlawing same sex marriage and sodomy? Did their public schools teach the children about God…the Lord Prayer? Did their Supreme Court state that we are a Christian country? Did they have an outside observer from another country like Alexis de Tocqueville write a book about their Christian Heritage and that by all appearances we were living as Christians in a nation based on Christ? Did their capital have biblical verses from the Bible…quoted all over their buildings? And what does "IN the year of our LOrd" mean? Does it mean little Lord Flauntleroy?

If you examine what the Founders said there is no question as to where our faith lied at that time. All that is positive in our countries foundation can be traced back to the scriptures. It is unfortunate that today if you declare that you think we were a Christian Nation and your on peoples hate lists and your thought as nutcase. But these are people who do not know the facts of history. If you want quotes from the founding Fathers would be glad to post them. I have accumulated over one hundred that include Jesus, Scriptures, God, Moses…..I also have speeches and other documentation.

Side: yes
Apollo(1608) Disputed
2 points

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion"

--Treaty of Tripoli, Art. 11. Authored and signed by John Adams (founding father). Ratified by congress on Jun 9, 1797.

Side: No
casper3912(1581) Disputed
1 point

Simply because people attempted to institutionalize their particular take on religion into the republic, doesn't mean that America was ever a theocracy. The "degradation" from god being taught in schools to secular education and so forth is due to the precedent set in the constitution. Further more, the morality of such things and if they should be touched by the state is a hotly contested area amongst even Christians.

If America was a christian nation, you wouldn't need to mine for quotes of people using their personal beliefs to justify government action; you would find it explicitly in the very basis of the government; the constitution. The bill of rights doesn't even include a biblical commandment.

Also, would you address the point I was making instead of going off on a tangent? The speeches and so forth are irrelevant.

Can you find a biblical quote that supports the bill of rights? Or the separation of the government into 3 distinct parts, etc? Did Jesus ever say that judges of a society laws should be appointed by the leader of the military and hold their positions for life?

Side: No

Nowhere does the Constitution say that there is a wall of separation of church and state. This was a phrase used by Jefferson, not in any official document but in a letter he sent to the Danbury Baptists.

The idea that we were a Christian nation is the real war we are having today. It is a battle of worldviews…and this has a direct affect on our culture. So today we play tug of war over moral issues…especially abortion and gay marriage. (pornography, euthanasia, cloning, stem cell research and even hate crimes legislation)

If America was never a Christian nation then what was it? It was not that of a Muslim influence or atheistic Marxist nation either….or Jewish or humanistic. Were we a nation influenced by say the French Revolution? Was the Humanist Manifesto our guidebook to lives issues? How many of those I just mentioned promote human dignity?

No this nation in one way or another has gone to bat for most countries in the world who live under these systems. This is not because people in the country are just morally without God on the same page. The thing that has connected the nation morally has been God. The Bible is the book that made America. I believe the earths stability has all to do with the health of the Christian religion. Facts are facts and people today are trying to rewrite history to include things that just are not true. My parents had a set of encyclopedias….Britannica. I remember reading them and doing reports for school…. 1970ish…. In them were series of original writing of American History. They all attested to our Christian beginnings. I read quotes from our Founders…that included Jesus Christ, scripture, Lord, God, Moses….etc.

I have compiled a list of quotes that show that our beginning…even before the Founders time…was that of the Christian faith.

Men who recognize the facts of history long ago…make a stance…like the one Ronald Reagan did when he was president. It was not too long ago, when he declared 1983 the year of the Bible.

http://americancreation.blogspot.com/2009/05/ronald-reagan-year-of-bible-and.html

America was founded for religious liberty. The goal of the Founders was that we be free to live according to our consciences. Why should Christians be singled out for persecution on this when…it was President Washington who said that we would never be a happy nation unless we lived like good Christians, living in imitation of Jesus Christ? Of course people have always been welcome in America who believe in some other faith. But it is so today that when we speak of tolerance of opinion or viewpoint (very Christian trait) its being abused against those with the very worldview from whence it came? Christianity. The very issue of tolerance is America at the core. Our Christian heritage defines us as does our tolerance for opposing world views.

To finish…I just can't believe those who deny our Heritage. You can certainly and I would agree today that we are not Christian…but history does not back up this claim.

What document said that our rights come from God and it is the duty of the state not to interfere with that? The Declaration of Independence did. Mentions God four times.

In the early nineteenth century what took place in the Rotunda of the U.S Capital building? An evangelical preached Christian worship service.

If you took a visit to Washington and went to the Capitol how many pictures are displayed that contain direct evidence of our Christian Heritage? Four contain direct references to Christianity. One shows Columbus landing and on one side you can see the planting of the cross. The second is that of Pocohontas being baptized. The third…shows the Pilgrims with a large open Bible with Jesus written on it. They are having a prayer service aboard the Mayflower. The last picture shows some Spanish explorers…one is holding a crucifix on a pole.

What document opens with "In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten….having undertaken, for the glory of God, and the advancement of the Christian faith, a voyage'?

The Mayflower Compact which is one of our most important documents of all history. In it they specifically declare the motivations of the Pilgrims and why they came over.

How many Pilgrim-Puritan constitutions, charters, compacts, of which the Mayflower Compact is one, led up the THE Constitution?

100. The Constitution is a indirect outgrowth of the Puritans charters and documents. This might be one reason why Newsweek declared that the Bible is our founding document.

What document begines "In the Name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity'? The Peace Treaty ending the American Revolution.

There is a bible verse (Leviticus) on the Liberty Bell. Wow….where is that separation of church and state?

I'll end with this…it was not secularism that made America great…it was the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Wall? Only in those peoples minds who do not know history.

Side: No
casper3912(1581) Disputed
1 point

No one is denying that Christianity, as the dominate religion has made it's mark on the nation. Perhaps the problem is the definition of founding, and what it means to be a christian nation. You seem to take the mere fact that Christianity was dominate and was expressed to mean that it was a founding force of the nation, however I take a much more strict measure.

Christianity used to be far more sectarian than it is today, religious tolerance was a foreign concept for many Christians then, who only travels for the sake of their own religious beliefs and not those of the other sects. Religious liberty, wasn't their goal.

Btw, the establishment clause is often known as the separation of church and state clause.

Side: yes
canteenkenny(62) Disputed
1 point

The Declaration of Independence states..."We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" The first paragraph states..."When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them..."

The church was left out of the constitution because they feared a "state church", not because they wanted to ignore the church. Which echos your contention that They believed in the freedom of conscious of each individual, and in john lock's rights of "life and liberty"....since the two are not mutually exclusive.

Side: yes
Bohemian(3861) Disputed
1 point

The church was left out of the constitution because they feared a "state church", not because they wanted to ignore the church.

And how is this consonant with your view that the United States is a Christian Nation? Is "not ignoring the church" equivalent with being "founded on Christianity"?

Side: No
2 points

What these kinds of debates often come down to are simply a misplacing/misunderstanding of what are Christian values. Christians assert, when arguing that the United States was/is a Christian nation, that the values the founders preached are exclusively Christian. What this presumes, however, is that these values originated solely from the Christian church. However, I would posit that values like "life, liberty, and property" come from values developed outside of the exclusive influence of the Church. I would say "the right to bear arms" is against the foundation of Christian principles of pacifism and tolerance. I would say that "no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" is counter the traditional hierarchical organization of Christian establishments.

The fact that we have laws regulating social behavior that happens to additionally be judged similarly by the Bible is more coincidental than causal. Our laws tend to be based on common sense, and as close to universal values (within and especially without Christianity's sphere of influence) as we may be.

Side: No
churchmouse(328) Disputed
2 points

Our country began far earlier than our Founders time….when the Constitution was penned. I am saying from the earliest settler…it was not secular but Christian. In the Founders day….it was Christian. Our public schools taught biblical principles….they sang Christian songs…memorized biblical passages. The lifestyle was Christian. Most the Founders agreed with this…and stated it speeches and letters. We were not Muslim, Jewish, atheist in nature or anything else. This was not recognized…as SCOTUS at the time even stated that we were a Christian nation. State Constitutions named Jesus Christ and even some forbid anyone other than a Christian from holding a political office. Harvard….did not allow anyone in that was not Christian…and the top career choice….pastors.

The right to bear arms….do you think Christ would want Christians to just roll over and play dead if their lives were threatened? No not at all. People think that because we are Christian that we should not advocate violence whatsoever…that we should in fact…do nothing….not life one finger in opposition to anything. There were wars talked about in the OT and the NT. God sanctioned wars and self defense. Christ was not a whimp who sat around singing Kumbaya.

I am not talking about some secular understanding of religious tolerance or of Christianity itself. I am talking about specific examples that show….that America has always been from the start Christian. By that I mean….Christ is involved…not just nice rules to live by. Christ was the center…and people read the scriptures and the scriptures affected their moral decisions….NOT LIKE TODAY…

I believe today most Christians believe but don't do anything. God is inside the box and they are outside the box. Most are Christian in name only…they do not take to heart what God commands them to do or how to live. Historical revisionists have knocked Christ down a few notches. Just read about the Jesus Seminar…and their goals. So today Jesus is just a moral leader who was not divine like the scriptures say he is. People believe what THEY WANT TO BELIEVE….without taking the scriptures into account for anything. Our society is so removed from the scriptures….why God would want to bless our nation is beyond me…and I don't think He does anymore.

We do have laws that govern us. Today they have changed however. Why was gay marriage never allowed if we were secular? Do you think that the scriptures did not influence this at all? Why was sodomy illegal? Prostitution?

Adultry? If we were secular and God played no part…..all of these would have been legal…and thought moral. But that is not the case.

Bias always comes into play and it has when making laws. What is legal is moral so it seems. Abortion was once immoral and thought wrong by society. How is it today? It is legal and moral obviously.

I guess if like you say its common sense…then gay marriage and adoption and sodomy should all be illegal. It always has been and it just makes sense.

that it remains that way.

Side: yes
Conro(767) Disputed
2 points

"Our country began far earlier than our Founders time….when the Constitution was penned. I am saying from the earliest settler…it was not secular but Christian."

I see, so just because the first settlers were orthodox Puritans, everything that followed was necessarily Christian in nature. That's like saying because the Greeks predated Rome, Romans necessarily followed all Greek culture and customs. I hope you can be rational enough to notice the flaw in logic there. Though they may be similar, I hardly think you could call the Greeks Romans or vice versa.

" The lifestyle was Christian."

Because they were Puritans. You like to skim over parts of history in which religion wasn't center. Even so, you say Christian like it automatically means something. The various dominant sects (Puritan, Quaker, Protestant, Revivalist, Catholic, etc.)had more to do with beliefs than some overarching theme about Christians.

"State Constitutions"

Since when is a state the federal government? The only binding document of the United States is the United States Constitution (and subsequent treaties), not various states' constitutions.

"Christ was not a whimp who sat around singing Kumbaya."

It was just an example, and I resent your use of a straw man fallacy. I never said he was a wimp, just that he advocated non-violence (e.g. "turn the other cheek").

"Christ was the center"

Never officially sanctioned by the federal government.

"I believe today most Christians believe but don't do anything. God is inside the box and they are outside the box. Most are Christian in name only…they do not take to heart what God commands them to do or how to live. Historical revisionists have knocked Christ down a few notches. Just read about the Jesus Seminar…and their goals. So today Jesus is just a moral leader who was not divine like the scriptures say he is. People believe what THEY WANT TO BELIEVE….without taking the scriptures into account for anything. Our society is so removed from the scriptures….why God would want to bless our nation is beyond me…and I don't think He does anymore."

This entire paragraph is irrelevant to the debate.

"Today they have changed however."

Laws are in a constant state of flux as our views and interpretations of morality are constantly in a state of flux.

"Why was gay marriage never allowed if we were secular?"

Because of homophobia, which anthropologically predates any claims the Bible has over being the origin of homophobia.

"Do you think that the scriptures did not influence this at all?"

I'm sure they did, especially at least in California, Prop. 8 being pushed by the Mormon church with negative ads and false information to mislead a population, making them believe that "it was for the children" that there should be no gay parents married.

"Prostitution?"

It is legal in some places. Additionally, it is more instituted by governments to try to prevent the spread of STI's, limit unwanted pregnancies, and discourage prostitution because of the negative social ramifications (stigma, pimps, violence, etc.).

"If we were secular and God played no part…..all of these would have been legal…and thought moral"

Obviously not. First, you assume that the Bible founded the belief in these various social practices, which is blatantly false. Second, you assert that necessarily without the Bible, we would behave in a way that would negatively affect society. However, there is no evidence to support this claim, and is in fact counter intuitive. There is no reason to assume that governments would institute laws and legislation that would knowingly and maliciously cause the end of a prosperous society.

"What is legal is moral so it seems. "

I would never say that.

"Abortion was once immoral and thought wrong by society. How is it today? It is legal and moral obviously."

I wouldn't say that either. I would say abortion is amoral. That is, I would say aborting a fetus does not necessarily always carry emotional/moral baggage.

"then gay marriage and adoption and sodomy should all be illegal. It always has been and it just makes sense."

No, that is the opposite of common sense. Just because "it always has been" does not mean "it just makes sense" (especially since it hasn't "always been").

Side: No

The history is unarguable. But it is being rewritten as we speak.

Side: yes
2 points

The unites states is not a person, it cannot have an opion or religion. It is also not owned by any one person, so long as all citizens are not perfectly the same in their beliefs it cannot be stated that a country, which separates religion from government, is a country of religious affinity. The christian nation, which is defined by the people who believe in christianity and christ, is the only christian nation there is. the notion of a nation is a term which applies to a group of people of common belief or practice. The citizens of the united states are unified in their citizenship to the geo-political entity that is the united states. religious affinities of those people do not appropriately reflect the character of the united states because religiosity is not relevant to this entity. They are categorically distinct

Side: No

We have become a secular humanistic mess. Nothing about our nation is Christian and I would guess that the majority of people who claim Christianity and to love and follow Christ don't live it and walk it. Barna has done studies on this and his findings back up what I am saying.

I believe we started out as a Christian country however.

Side: No
Apollo(1608) Disputed
2 points

I believe we started out as a Christian country however.

Evidence?

Side: No
Conro(767) Disputed
2 points

"I believe we started out as a Christian country however."

"And let us establish herein that the united States of America is established as a country based on Christian principles and the belief in the Christian God." Article 0, Section 0, penned by no one.

Side: No
canteenkenny(62) Disputed
1 point

Read the first two paragraphs of the Declaration. That is a pretty solid foundation.

Side: yes
Anthonyhook(178) Disputed
1 point

John Jay said "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers. And it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."  (October 12, 1816. The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay)

John Adams said "The general principles, on which the Fathers achieved independence, were the only Principles in which that beautiful Assembly of young Gentlemen could Unite, and these Principles only could be intended by them in their address, or by me in my answer. And what were these general Principles? I answer, the general Principles of Christianity, in which all these Sects were United: And the general Principles of English and American Liberty, in which all those young Men United, and which had United all Parties in America, in Majorities sufficient to assert and maintain her Independence. "Now I will avow, that I then believe, and now believe, that those general Principles of Christianity, are as eternal and immutable, as the Existence and Attributes of God; and that those Principles of Liberty, are as unalterable as human Nature and our terrestrial, mundane System."  (Adams wrote this on June 28, 1813, excerpt from a letter to Thomas Jefferson.)

“The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.” – John Adams

It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.- Patrick Henry

Early Court Decisions on the Separation of Church and State

Runkel v. Winemiller, 1799

"Religion is of general and public concern and on its support depend, in great measure, the peace and good order of government, the safety and happiness of the people. By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed upon the same equal footing and are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty."

The People v. Ruggles, 1811

"[W]e are a Christian people and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity and not upon the doctrines or worship of those imposters [other religions].... [We are a] people whose manners... and whose morals have been elevated and inspired... by means of the Christian religion.

Though the constitution has discarded religious establishments, it does not forbid judicial cognizance of those offenses against religion and morality which have no reference to any such establishment... This [constitutional] declaration, noble and magnanimous as it is, when duly understood, never meant to withdraw religion in general, and with it the best sanctions of moral and social obligation from all consideration and notice of the law..."

Updegraph v. The Commonwealth, 1824

"The assertion is once more made that Christianity never was received as part of the common law of this Christian land; and... if it was, it was virtually repealed by the Constitution of the United States...

We will first dispose of what is considered the grand objection -- the constitutionality of Christianity... Christianity, general Christianity, is and always has been a part of the common law... not Christianity founded on any particular religious tenets; not Christianity with an established church... but Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men.

Thus this wise legislature framed this great body of laws for a Christian country and a Christian people.... [T]hus it is irrefragably proved that the laws and institutions of this State are built on the foundation of reverence for Christianity.... In this the Constitution of the United States has made no alteration nor in the great body of the laws which was an incorporation of the common-law doctrine of Christianity."

City of Charlston v. Benjamin, 1846

"Christianity is part of the common law of the land, with liberty of conscience to all. It has always been so recognized.... If Christianity is a part of the common law, its disturbance is punishable as common law. The U.S. Constitution allows it as part of the common law.... The observance of Sunday is one of the usages of the common law recognized by our U.S. and State Governments.... Christianity is part and parcel of the common law.... Christianity has reference to the principles of right and wrong... it is the foundation of those morals and manners upon which our society is formed; it is their basis. Remove it and they would fall... it [morality] has grown upon the basis of Christianity."

"What constitutes the standard of good morals? Is it not Christianity? There certainly is none other.... The day of moral virtue in which we live would, in an instant, if that standard were abolished, lapse into the dark and murky night of Pagan immorality...."

"In the Courts over which we preside, we daily acknowledge Christianity as the most solemn part of our administration. A Christian witness, having no scruples about placing his hand upon the book, is sworn upon the holy Evangelists -- the books of the New Testament which testify of our Savior's birth, life, death, and resurrection; this is so common a matter that it is little thought of as an evidence of the part which Christianity has in the common law...."

Commonwealth v. Nesbit, 1859

"By our... laws against vice and immorality we do not mean to enforce religion; we admit that to be impossible. But we do mean to protect our customs, no matter that they may have originated in our [Christian] religion; for they are essential parts of our social life.... Law can never become entirely infidel; for it is essentially founded on the moral customs of men and the very generating principles of these is most often religion."

Lindenmuller v. The People, 1860

"It would be strange for a people Christian in doctrine and worship, many of whom or whose forefathers had sought these shores for the privilege of worshipping God in simplicity and purity of faith, and who regarded religion as the basis of their civil liberty and the foundation of their rights, should, in their zeal to secure to all the freedom of conscience which they valued so highly, solemnly repudiate and put beyond the pale of the law the religion which was dear to them as life and dethrone the God who they openly and avowedly professed to believe had been their protector and guide as a people."

"All agreed that the Christian religion was engrafted upon the law and entitled to protection as the basis of our morals and the strength of our government."

Davis v. Beason, 1889

"Bigamy and polygamy are crimes by the laws of all civilized and Christian countries. They are crimes by the laws of the United States.... To extend exemption from punishment for such crimes would be to shock the moral judgment of the community. To call their advocacy a tenet of religion is to offend the common sense of mankind....

Probably never before in the history of this country has it been seriously contended that the whole punitive power of the government for acts recognized by the general consent of the Christian world... must be suspended in order that the tenets of a religious sect... may be carried out without hindrance."

Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 1892

"No purpose of action against religion can be imputed to any legislation, state or national, because this is a religious people.... These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic [official, governmental] utterances that this is a Christian nation."

United States v. Macintosh, 1931

"We are a Christian people... according to one another the equal right of religious freedom and acknowledging with reverence the duty of obedience to the will of God."

Zorach v. Clausen, 1952

"The First Amendment, however, does not say that in every and all respects there shall be a separation of Church and State.... Otherwise the State and religion would be aliens to each other -- hostile, suspicious, and even unfriendly....

We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being.... When the State encourages religious instruction or cooperates with religious authorities... it follows the best of our traditions. For it then respects the religious nature of our people and accommodates the public service to their spiritual needs. To hold that it may not, would be to find in the Constitution a requirement that the government show a callous indifference to religious groups. That would be preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe.... [W]e find no constitutional requirement which makes it necessary for government to be hostile to religion and to throw its weight against efforts to widen the effective scope of religious influence.... We cannot read into the Bill of Rights such a philosophy of hostility to religion."

Side: Yes

The USA is a Courtry of democracy. Rated #15 in the world.

The Usanhas no main religion. The Us constitution gives freedom of religion. Plus not everyone in the Us is Christian.

Side: No

Not with our civil rights violations. .

Side: No