Sunday, October 13, 2013

CHARLES C. HAYNES: Dispelling the myth of a ‘Christian nation’

I'm not sure we at American Creation caught this back in August. A taste:
But in spite of this anxiety, drafters of the Constitution took the radical step of founding the first nation in history with no established religion.


Tom Van Dyke said...

Dishonest essay. Religion was left to the states, 12 of 13 of which had religious tests for office

and all 50 state constitutions mention God.

"We" at American Creation could start by reading "our" own blog.

Jonathan Rowe said...

You like the "religion is left to the states" as sort of a mantra. There is a lot of interesting stuff about the 14th Amendment and men like John Bingham which we haven't gotten into.

One problem with analyzing all this is that the past wasn't just a foreign country, but also a much bigger country (metaphorically speaking of course; yes the population was much smaller) in the sense that there were no trains, planes, automobiles, TVs and telephones, to speak nothing of the Internet. It wasn't just "religion" that was left to the states; but a whole Hell of a lot of other things. Back then, the US was arguably an "are" and not an "is" entity. The United States as an "is" really didn't get settled until after 1865, just before we got the 14th.

Jonathan Rowe said...

And when I say the issue wasn't settled, it's because after closely reading the historical record, I'm not really sure if the US was an "are" or an "is," before the Civil War. I do know Patrick Henry opposed the original US Constitution precisely because it smacked of an "is" and that was something with which he vehemently opposed. That's one reason you can tell his "great nation" quotation is phony (other than it being completely unconfirmed in the record).

"[B]ut, Sir, give me leave to demand, what right had they to say, We, the People. My political curiosity, exclusive of my anxious solicitude for the public welfare, leads me to ask who authorised them to speak the language of, We, the People, instead of We, the States?"

Tom Van Dyke said...

You're arguing against strawmen and anachronisms. Religion was left to the states at the Founding. And Washington was sworn in as president on a Bible, then he and Congress went directly over to church. True story.

Essays like Haynes's leave so much out that people end up knowing less than when they started to read it.

Jonathan Rowe said...

The entire Bill of Rights were left to the states, accordingly. It's not just religion.

Tom Van Dyke said...

"America" is federalism--the states, not just Washington DC. That's the whole point. To ignore the role of the states is to misdefine "America."