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Author Topic:   Is America a Christian Nation?
Hyroglyphx
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Posts: 5866
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 2.3


(1)
Message 14 of 206 (546899)
02-14-2010 6:35 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Buzsaw
02-14-2010 5:56 PM


Somewhat ambiguous is what exactly the term "Christian nation" means. Does it mean that the founding fathers intended on basing their government around Christianity? Does it mean that the majority of the citizens were/are Christian?

The founders represented the majority of the nation's people who were likely at least 75-90 percent Protestand Christian at the time of the founding.

The majority of the Founding Fathers were deists, not Protestants. There are numerous quotes to support this.

What the founders were particularly interested in relative to Christianity is that no denominational sect or church system was to be established such as the RCC or Anglican Church or any such thing. What they established primarily was the freedom to practice religion anywhere, be it in school, government or private sector, uninhibited. This they did and this they practiced after the documents were established. Thus no fuss was raised about praying and Bible reading in schools or anything like that.

In the 1950's the government placed on currency motto's like "In God We Trust." It was not always this way. And while in rural areas I have no doubt schools were teaching prayer, this was not the intention of the Founding Fathers. That much is undeniable given their own testimony and their expressed purpose of keeping civil government and religion separate.

A conflict of interest arises. Where there may be no expressed religion in schools, it is certainly implied if prayer to Jesus is compulsory like a "Pledge of Allegiance." In fact, I don't agree with the pledge of allegiance either. In today's time, never before have we seen such a melting pot of culture and mishmash of religious beliefs.

Therefore in the best interest of respecting each others view, isn't it advisable to simply remain neutral when it comes to religion which clearly was the intent of the Framers?

Doesn't prayer in school and teaching parables about Jesus negate or invalidate the reason for churches?

That doesn't mean that somebody cannot pray in school of their own accord, in my opinion. If you feel convicted to pray in school, that is your right as a citizen seems to me. What some atheists have done is manipulate or extend the intent of the Establishment Clause far beyond the Framer's intent.

The intention of the Framers was never to keep God out of public life, but to keep religion and the government totally separate and to remain neutral.


"Political correctness is tyranny with manners." -- Charlton Heston

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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5866
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 40 of 206 (547160)
02-16-2010 8:27 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by Percy
02-16-2010 12:55 PM


what about other founders such as Washington, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and Benjamin Franklin, among others.

George Washington was a moderate Christian, John Adams became a Deist after living in America, so did Thomas Jefferson, Madison was a deist as well but a huge supporter of rights for all religion but critical of organized religion. Alexander Hamilton was probably the most ardent Christian of them all, being the most similar with today's ecclesiastical Christians.


"Political correctness is tyranny with manners." -- Charlton Heston

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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5866
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 42 of 206 (547164)
02-16-2010 9:33 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by RAZD
02-16-2010 8:34 PM


Re: The lessons of history
Some of these colonies proceeded to establish religious based governments, such as the Puritans in Massachusetts, and it was not long before they too started persecuting others of alternate faiths

Hell, they even began persecuting one another.

The founding fathers did not have far to look to see that religious based governments did not protect the basic human rights of those of alternate beliefs, and there was nothing theoretical about the relationship.

Absolutely, which is why it is important to distinguish what exactly someone means when they refer to America as "Christian nation." If it means that the majority of people identify as "Christian," yes that's true. If it means that the government is designed to model after Christianity, no that is not true.


"Political correctness is tyranny with manners." -- Charlton Heston

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 Message 41 by RAZD, posted 02-16-2010 8:34 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by Coyote, posted 02-16-2010 11:49 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5866
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 45 of 206 (547273)
02-17-2010 7:22 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by Coyote
02-16-2010 11:49 PM


Re: Where this is coming from
Too often, when we hear "America is a Christian nation" it is to justify some Christians telling the rest of the population what they should do.

Yeah, pretty much... Which is why it is definitely good to define the terms. I am curious as to what that term conjures up for the people at EvC who do believe this is a Christian nation.


"Political correctness is tyranny with manners." -- Charlton Heston

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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5866
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 83 of 206 (547898)
02-23-2010 5:49 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by Buzsaw
02-23-2010 3:57 PM


Re: James "I Wrote The Bill Of Rights" Madison
They are quotes of the signers on to the Constitution relative to what kind of a nation they proposed. Most of them were early presidents. Most of those quotes were about exercising Christianity and not about establishing any sect.

Those quotes make no sense in relation to the well-attested writings that contradict what you are alleging. What would they go out of their way to establish no formal religion only to really want Christianity to to be the baseline? Why didn't they ever refer to Christ?

They left exercisement of Christianity open to change from what they were practicing. Thus it has been changed to a more secular nation. I don't see why you people have a problem with that. I'm certainly not advocating establishment of my religious beliefs into law.

Then it is useless to refer to America as a "Christian nation" unless you do want society to reflect upon Judeo-Christian ideals. The reality is that there exists the freedom of religion to practice however you feel is necessary and the intentional neutrality on the government's part in establishing, condoning or disowning a religion.

If you mean that the majority of Americans are Christian to mean that America is a Christian nation, then no one would reasonably disagree. You seem to think that Christianity compelled the Founding Fathers to be the way they were. That just is not true in any sense.


"Political correctness is tyranny with manners." -- Charlton Heston

This message is a reply to:
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