"This is a Christian nation!"

Underseer

Diabloii.Net Member
"This is a Christian nation!"

That argument comes up a lot these days. The foundation of the argument is that the founding fathers were Christians. Generally the people making such arguments (usually fundamentalists and their apologists) expect you to believe that the founding fathers were as fundamentalist as they.

This ignores the fact that most of the founding fathers were deists, and regularly insulted the fundamentalists of their day.

Anyway, here are a few quotes from our founding fathers. Enjoy.

"They [the clergy] believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
- Thomas Jefferson

"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."
-John Adams

"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
- Thomas Jefferson

"There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington (1790)

"All this [Paul's writing] is nothing better than the jargon of a conjurer who picks up phrases he does not understand to confound the credulous people who come to have their fortune told."
-Thomas Paine (1737-1809)

"The Bible is a book that has been read more and examined less than any book that ever existed."
-The Theological Works of Thomas Paine
 

Lithium

Diabloii.Net Member
I haven't really seen it come up a lot or anything. But yeah, of course it's hard to define what a 'Christian nation' is or should be, so I tend to agree with you.
 

nnndave

Diabloii.Net Member
Not so much the fact that they were christians, but that they based our foundations on christian principles.
 

Underseer

Diabloii.Net Member
nnndave said:
Not so much the fact that they were christians, but that they based our foundations on christian principles.
You really think so?
"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."
-John Adams
 

Sergeant

Diabloii.Net Member
Eh, this isn't a Christian nation, it's a nation founded on principles of freedom (mostly of religion and speech). The founding fathers were all religious men and, as such, founded this nation on the basis that it was a chosen land, a land of promise granted them by God to give them freedom to worship as they chose.

I would not go as far as to say this is a Christian nation but I would go so far as to say this is a religious nation.
 

Underseer

Diabloii.Net Member
Deists barely count as religious. Your statements may be technically correct, but you're still stretching things a bit.
 

dantose

Diabloii.Net Member
John adams:
"The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were. . . . the general principles of Christianity. . . . I will avow that I then believed, 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."

"Twenty times in the course of my late reading have I been on the point of breaking out, "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion at all!!!" But in this exclamation I would have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company, I mean hell."

pretty clearly chistian


Sam Adams:
"The right to freedom being the gift of the Almighty...The rights of the colonists as Christians...may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institutions of The Great Law Giver and Head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament."

pretty clearly chistian


Ben Franklin (self professed deist):
"I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth--that God governs in the affairs of men... If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground unseen by him, is it probable an empire could arise without his aid? I firmly believe this, and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building not better than the builders of Babel."

"I believe in one God, the Creator of the universe; that he governs it by his Providence; that be ought to be worshipped; that the. most acceptable service we can render to him is doing good to his other children; that the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental points of all sound religion, and I regard them as you do, in whatever sect I meet with them. As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think his system of morals and his religion, as be left them to us, the best the world ever saw, or is like to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting changes, and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity; though it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it."

Doubt of Jesus is a pretty convincing argument against him being christian but he still has a distinct judeo-christian morality.


Alexander hamilton:
"In my opinion, the present consitution is the standard to which we are to cling. Under its banner bona fide must we combat our political foes, rejecting all changes but through the channel itself provided for amendments. By these general views of the subject have my reflections been guided. I now offer you the outline of the plan they have suggested. Let an association be formed to be denominated "The Christian Constitutional Society," its object to be first: The support of the Christian religion. second: The support of the United States."

Is there any doubt?


Patrick Henry
"Amongst other strange things said of me, I hear it is said by the deists that I am one of the number; and indeed, that some good people think I am no Christian. This thought gives me much more pain than the appellation of Tory; because I think religion of infinitely higher importance than politics; and I find much cause to reproach myself that I have lived so long, and have given no decided and public proofs of my being a Christian. But, indeed, my dear child, this is a character which I prize far above all this world has, or can boast."


John Jay
"While in France . . . I do not recollect to have had more than two conversations with atheists about their tenents. The first was this: I was at a large party, of which were several of that description. They spoke freely and contemptuously of religion. I took no part in the conversation. In the course of it, one of them asked me if I believed in Christ? I answered that I did, and that I thanked God that I did."

christian but makes no referance as to relationship of the US govt. and religion.


Thomas Jefferson:
"I am a Materialist.

Among the sayings and discourses imputed to [Jesus] by His biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others, again, of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same Being. I separate, therefore, the gold from the dross; restore to Him the former, and leave the latter to the stupidity of some, and roguery of others of His disciples. Of this band of dupes and impostors, Paul was the great . . . corruptor of the doctrines of Jesus."

about as deist as you can get. I would say he is not a christian


Washington
"You [indians] do well to wish to learn our arts and our ways of life and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention."

open to debate due to he reluctance to open his personal beliefs and pratices up to general view but I would say he is christian lacking further evidence



Was ever founding father christian? no, but many were. Christian beliefs played a part in the constitution.
 

CaptJoe213

Diabloii.Net Member
The founding fathers, I think, more than anything, wanted to prevent the establishment of an 'official' religion, as happened in England with the Church of England. That's something I agree with a great deal, I choose to be christian, as is my right. You can choose to be any religion, or no religion at all, and I have no right to enforce my views on you, and vice versa. I think that every person should have the right to practice, or not practice, in any manner that they choose as long as it doesn't infringe on someone else's rights.

The problem I have, is that in places, the christian religion is chastised, and supressed. In my high school, the practice of 'see you at the pole' (an independant, outside of school hours, non required, voluteer activity for those that dont know) has been banned. But yet, we had Muslims and Jewish people, and the Muslims were allowed to bring their prayer rug to school, and at the appointed time, was allowed out of class to perform the prayers in the halls. The Jewish kids were allowed to wear the caps, even though we were forbidden from wearing cruxifixes that were visible.

Do I think that Muslim children should be allowed to pray in the hall at the appointed time? Yes. Should Jewish kids be able to wear the cap thing? Sure. If a dozen Christian kids be allowed to gather around a flagpole at like 6 o'clock in the morning to pray? Absolutely. I hear the Christian nation argument around my area alot, because we are predominantly Christian here, and it seems that Christianity isn't afforded the same rights as other religions. If I wanna stand around a flagpole in the bitter cold at the crack of dawn with like minded kids, I should be allowed to. If you dont want anything to do with religion, then you shouldn't have to. But all religions, and atheism as well, all deserve the same rights to practice their beliefs, as long as it doesn't infringe on others rights. This is what I think the forefathers wanted, for every person to make up their own minds.
 

dantose

Diabloii.Net Member
CaptJoe213 said:
The founding fathers, I think, more than anything, wanted to prevent the establishment of an 'official' religion, as happened in England with the Church of England. That's something I agree with a great deal, I choose to be christian, as is my right. You can choose to be any religion, or no religion at all, and I have no right to enforce my views on you, and vice versa. I think that every person should have the right to practice, or not practice, in any manner that they choose as long as it doesn't infringe on someone else's rights.

The problem I have, is that in places, the christian religion is chastised, and supressed. In my high school, the practice of 'see you at the pole' (an independant, outside of school hours, non required, voluteer activity for those that dont know) has been banned. But yet, we had Muslims and Jewish people, and the Muslims were allowed to bring their prayer rug to school, and at the appointed time, was allowed out of class to perform the prayers in the halls. The Jewish kids were allowed to wear the caps, even though we were forbidden from wearing cruxifixes that were visible.

Do I think that Muslim children should be allowed to pray in the hall at the appointed time? Yes. Should Jewish kids be able to wear the cap thing? Sure. If a dozen Christian kids be allowed to gather around a flagpole at like 6 o'clock in the morning to pray? Absolutely. I hear the Christian nation argument around my area alot, because we are predominantly Christian here, and it seems that Christianity isn't afforded the same rights as other religions. If I wanna stand around a flagpole in the bitter cold at the crack of dawn with like minded kids, I should be allowed to. If you dont want anything to do with religion, then you shouldn't have to. But all religions, and atheism as well, all deserve the same rights to practice their beliefs, as long as it doesn't infringe on others rights. This is what I think the forefathers wanted, for every person to make up their own minds.
I would fight that, SC has been quite clear that if school grounds are made available to any religion they must be made available to all. Unless, of course, you are out side the US.
 
maccool said:
Bah, quotes can be used to prove anything remotely resembling the truth.
Especially since the men that said these words are long dead and gone. Therefore, they cannot tell us if we are interpreting the original meaning in proper context.

NB :)
 

xXxDraGoNxXx1123

Diabloii.Net Member
maccool said:
Bah, quotes can be used to prove anything remotely resembling the truth.
It's like that one time that I was talking Jessica Simpson and she said to me "Travis, I... love... you... I want you... NOW!!!".

Ahhh... yes. I will never forget the day she said those sweet words to me.

"Travis, I hate you. I would love to smash you in the face in with a brick. I want you to get out of my bathroom NOW before I call the cops!!!"
 

CaptJoe213

Diabloii.Net Member
dantose, I'm in texas, and though I think it is an isolated thing in a certain area, it is happening in this state. I dont know why they did this, but it is sickening. I have participated in petitions and marches over it, and I hear there is a lawsuit pending against that ISD for it (I live in a different part of Texas now) but it's exactly that kinda thing that I feel is against the founding fathers ideas of what our country should be.
 

Damascus

Diabloii.Net Member
Which to me brings up another point.

In all honesty, why do you care what a bunch of men who died almost 200 years ago thought about their nation? Maybe if we stopped wondering what they wanted and thought more about what is best for us now we'd be a lot better off. The IS then and the US now are clearly two different places.
 

dantose

Diabloii.Net Member
Damascus said:
Which to me brings up another point.

In all honesty, why do you care what a bunch of men who died almost 200 years ago thought about their nation? Maybe if we stopped wondering what they wanted and thought more about what is best for us now we'd be a lot better off. The IS then and the US now are clearly two different places.
a valid point. the topic is pretty academic but interesting none the less. I think the answer to the question is 73.
 

Ash Housewares

Diabloii.Net Member
Nastie_Bowie said:
Especially since the men that said these words are long dead and gone. Therefore, they cannot tell us if we are interpreting the original meaning in proper context.

NB :)
darn, you beat me to my "they're dead so fudge 'em" argument
 

Underseer

Diabloii.Net Member
[font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=+1]"The founders of our nation were nearly all Infidels, and that of the presidents who had thus far been elected [Washington; Adams; Jefferson; Madison; Monroe; Adams; Jackson] not a one had professed a belief in Christianity.... Among all our presidents from Washington downward, not one was a professor of religion, at least not of more than Unitarianism."
[size=-1]-- The Reverend Doctor Bird Wilson, an Episcopal minister in Albany, New York, in a sermon preached in October, 1831; first sentence quoted in John E. Remsbert, "Six Historic Americans," second sentence quoted in Paul F. Boller, George Washington & Religion, pp. 14-15[/size][/size][/font]
 

Underseer

Diabloii.Net Member
John adams:
"Twenty times in the course of my late reading have I been on the point of breaking out, "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion at all!!!" But in this exclamation I would have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company, I mean hell."

pretty clearly chistian

You're taking Adams out of context here. Adams was arguing to Jefferson that religion was necessary for keeping the masses in line, but not necessarily something he applied to himself.

However, I'm not going to blast you for that because a certain section of the above quote is quite often taken out of context by atheists. (I'm pretty sure you can guess which part.)
 
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