Saturday, October 15, 2011

Why the US is not a Christian nation:

This morning, a girl in my sorority claimed that the US was “founded on Christian values” and that’s why anti-choicers (she called them pro-life, of course) think they have the right to force their religion into out laws and uteri. I told her she was wrong, and she tried to argue with me. I prepared to prove her wrong: “I am an American Government major. You are an Asian Studies major. I KNOW what the Constitution says, I’ve read it so many times I’ve lost count” So thenĀ  I found this article from July 4, 2011, which I will be sending her way - quoted at length below.

Beyond that, the first House of Representatives, while debating the First Amendment, specifically rejected a Senate proposal calling for the establishment of Christianity as an official religion. As Lambert concludes, "There would be no Church of the United States. Nor would America represent itself as a Christian Republic."

The actions of the first presidents, founders of the first rank, confirmed this “original intent:”

— In 1790, President George Washington wrote to America’s first synagogue, in Rhode Island, that “all possess alike liberty of conscience” and that “toleration” was an “inherent national gift,” not the government’s to dole out or take away

— In 1797, with President John Adams in office, the Senate unanimously approved one of America’s earliest foreign treaties, which emphatically stated (Article 11): “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 tranquility of Musselmen (Muslims) …”

— In 1802, Jefferson added his famous “wall of separation,” implicit in the Constitution until he so described it (and cited in several Supreme Court decisions since).

These are, to borrow an admittedly loaded phrase, “inconvenient truths” to those who proclaim that America is a “Christian Nation.”

The Constitution and the views of these Founding Fathers trump all arguments about references to God in presidential speeches (permitted under the First Amendment), on money (not introduced until the Civil War), the Pledge of Allegiance (“under God” added in 1954) and in the national motto “In God We Trust” (adopted by law in 1956).

You all know how I feel about “In God We Trust” on money (it should more truthfully read “In this piece of paper we trust”), and “Under God” in the Pledge (though I don’t say it anyway). In short: THIS IS NOT, NOR HAS IT EVER BEEN, A CHRISTIAN NATION. Kthanksbye.

[And on a side note, what is it with people who have NEVER read the Constitution in full claiming that they know exactly what’s in it and what the intent was?]

(Source: seriouslyamerica)

Notes

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  5. dominoblox reblogged this from seriouslyamerica and added:
    Yesyesyesyes and yes again. I just wrote a paper about this in History class. The Treaty of Tripoli itself is quite...
  6. seriouslyamerica posted this