Should America be a Christian nation?
Britain is officially a Christian nation. Because it is, America is not. That distinction was intentional because America's founders had chaffed under the abuses of a state faith. However, it is a serious mistake to believe America's founders were anti-Christian.
06/27/2012 09:31:19 PM
Vision, Amen brother! lol It has been shown time and time again that when religion enters politics it is a destructive influence. I am not anti-God but we have the "fundies" trying to take over this country. Anybody who uses the name of God to attain control and power over others is dangerous. That applies to the well-meaning "fundies" too. We have "God's Word" saying that we will never have world peace because everyone who doesn't agree with it is evil. With that attitude, "freedom of religion" is simply an artificial construct trying to hold back the tide of rampant authoritarianism. I am not saying that all Christians are like that, but certainly the "fundies" are.
06/26/2012 11:10:12 AM
The author is not entirely correct. Not all colonies started out as Christian. In Massachusetts, the Puritans who had been persecuted in England since their beliefs did not conform the the ruling Churches of England (or for a short period Presbyterians), started their own brand of religious intolerance. The Virginia Christian "mandate" would also have been anathema to my great great etc. (8X) grandfather, Roger Williams. Williams once said: "Enforced uniformity confounds civil and religious liberty and denies the principles of Christianity and civility. No man shall be required to worship or maintain a worship against his will." Willliams believed that no government had the moral authority or right to impose or require adherence to the "first table" of the commandments. Williams also had a deep respect for the Native American peoples and believed that the taking of Native lands by Europeans without compensation was morally unjust. He also felt that a man's conscience to worship (or not) should not be imposed upon: "It is the will and command of God that (since the coming of his Son the Lord Jesus) a permission of the most paganish, Jewish, Turkish, or antichristian consciences and worships, be granted to all men in all nations and countries." Nothing in Supreme Court rulings has ever prevented students from praying. But the establishment clause does prevent imposition of a state religion. Thank-you to men like Roger Williams for ensuring that there is freedom to practice religion (or not) according to one's own conscience without imposition by the state. Thankfully, in the United States, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, other religious groups, and the non-religious can practice their beliefs or not, peacefully and without state interference. For more information on Roger Williams and the Two tables of the commandments: http://libertymagazine.org/index.php?id=1355
06/25/2012 03:07:08 PM
And for those of us not Christian? Should our children be indoctrinated to sing praises to Christian Deities (Jesus or God, whichever) in school, with all of it's implied and actual authority over their lives? It's true: Jefferson, Madison, et. al, were not openly hostile to Christitanity (though I doubt any modern Catholic or evangelical would recognize Jefferson's version of "Christian", despite your quote here), but neither were they facing a determined, well funded Christian minority hell-bent (har-har) on legislating every aspect of their creed, to the detriment of any minorities in their way. I doubt they had members of the Continental Congress saying, "This is a Christian nation, and non-Christians are not due 1st Amendment freedoms" (the article quotes quite the opposite, in fact), as Bryan Fischer, spokesman for the AFA recently espoused. Such is the rabid fundamentalism we face. Such is the reason for such firm push-back when inroads are attempted in local communities or schools, because it's the first step down a very scary slope. No, sir, keep your Christianity away from my kids' schools, and out of my government, and I'll keep my religion close with me and mine, out of your business, school, and government. That is what this country was founded on, and that is what I will continue to fight and advocate for.