Saturday, July 4, 2015

CNN: "Was America founded as a Christian nation?"

Check out the responses from multiple contributors. Below is a taste from one of them -- our friend John Fea:
It is true that the founders, by virtue of the fact that they signed the Declaration of Independence, probably believed in a God who presided over nature, was the author of human rights, would one day judge the dead and governed the world by his providence.

Those who signed the United States Constitution endorsed the idea that there should be no religious test -- Christian or otherwise -- required to hold federal office.


Tom Van Dyke said...

"Was America founded as a Christian nation?"

This question is always posed this way by someone whose answer is already "no." Indeed each of the experts the author rounded up are liberals.

"Founded" of course is used in the context of the ratification of the Constitution. However, America was America before the Constitution and so the discussion begins [and ends] based on a false premise.

Tom Van Dyke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Van Dyke said...

FTR, let me add that I found John Fea's "No, but..." reply satisfactory, and Ray Haberski touches on the right question

America was not founded as a Christian nation; take a look at the Constitution. The more interesting question is whether America is a Christian nation.

For the better part of its history, the United States and the most prominent form of Christianity in America, mainline Protestantism, were intertwined. Until relatively recently, almost every major issue had either Christian connotations or developed in opposition to Christian dominance.

since America was already a "Christian nation" when it was "founded." The question is whether the issues were argued by secularists vs. Christians or more like certain sects of Christians against others.

The other experts were the usual secularist hackery: The Enlightenment, the Treaty of Tripoli, blahblahblah

Art Deco said...

I think a generation ago Irving Kristol offered that whatever you made of the term 'Christian nation', what we were living in was certainly a Christian society. One might also note that people have to make do with the facts on the ground, whatever they are. The facts on the ground in 1774 would have been an array of religious establishments of varying degrees of vigor and popular subscription. In pursuit of common objects, the politicians of the day craft a modus vivendi, the contents of which would be that the Congress of the United States cannot prescribe fines for recusancy or require membership in the Protestant Episcopal Church for military officers and postmasters or appropriate money to pay the salaries of Anglican vicars. Kind of a butterknife for fairly adjudicating latter day controversies over local school curricula and whatnot, but that does not stop people from playing capture the flag.

Art Deco said...

However, America was America before the Constitution and so the discussion begins [and ends] based on a false premise.

I've pointed that out to Mr. Rowe before and he chattered about having refuted something-or-other and 'the divine right of kings'.