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View Poll Results: Was America founded as a Christian nation?
Yes 37 25.87%
No 93 65.03%
other (please explain) 13 9.09%
Voters: 143. You may not vote on this poll

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Old April 25th, 2016, 10:42 PM   #11

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I voted other...

As while, yes, the founding fathers were themselves Christian and did seek to have America reflect their specific values, there is also the issue that also relates what they had seen as a problem.

Nations have traditionally used religion as a means to help control the populace and keep the country stable. This goes back even as far as Ancient Rome and Greece. There may have been issues where they tolerated other religions so long as they remained "loyal," but it was clear that matching the religion of the government was important. This became even more important when Constantine became Christian and began to use Christianity to keep the Roman Empire united. From there, the Christian church gained a great deal of authority within Western Europe...

This lead to years in which the Pope was the most powerful political authority in Europe after the fall of Rome. Now, while everyone was Catholic, this wasn't a major problem, but after the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, Europe spent nearly 100 years in a series of wars and bloody massacres to try and make sure only one religious faction controlled a certain area. The founders were all old enough to know about the violence and blood that had been shed in the name of God. Particularly when the definition of "God" differed. Especially when one looks at the theological differences between Calvinists, Catholics, and Lutherans and the actions these groups took to either secure or maintain power during the Reformation. Even the Puritans came to the new world with that sort of mindset... to be the religious faction in charge with absolute control, and thus able to set the rules.

The founders saw this and found the violence over the differences between Churches not to be worth it. Creating a "Church of the United States" would only further these sorts of fears. Thus why the First Amendment includes lines that would keep church and state separate.

So, while the Christian beliefs of the founders may have been present in their decision making... it was not to found the US as a "theological democracy." There were too many differences among Christian groups for them to adopt one and avoid religious warfare. In that sense, the nation they founded was "Christian" yet "not-Christian" at the same time in that church affairs weren't determined by the state and in pure theory the churches couldn't control the state either. In doing so, they allowed for the legal protection of the rights of Jews, Muslims, and any other religious minority living in the US.
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Old April 25th, 2016, 10:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam-Nary View Post
I voted other...

As while, yes, the founding fathers were themselves Christian and did seek to have America reflect their specific values, there is also the issue that also relates what they had seen as a problem.

Nations have traditionally used religion as a means to help control the populace and keep the country stable. This goes back even as far as Ancient Rome and Greece. There may have been issues where they tolerated other religions so long as they remained "loyal," but it was clear that matching the religion of the government was important. This became even more important when Constantine became Christian and began to use Christianity to keep the Roman Empire united. From there, the Christian church gained a great deal of authority within Western Europe...

This lead to years in which the Pope was the most powerful political authority in Europe after the fall of Rome. Now, while everyone was Catholic, this wasn't a major problem, but after the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, Europe spent nearly 100 years in a series of wars and bloody massacres to try and make sure only one religious faction controlled a certain area. The founders were all old enough to know about the violence and blood that had been shed in the name of God. Particularly when the definition of "God" differed. Especially when one looks at the theological differences between Calvinists, Catholics, and Lutherans and the actions these groups took to either secure or maintain power during the Reformation. Even the Puritans came to the new world with that sort of mindset... to be the religious faction in charge with absolute control, and thus able to set the rules.

The founders saw this and found the violence over the differences between Churches not to be worth it. Creating a "Church of the United States" would only further these sorts of fears. Thus why the First Amendment includes lines that would keep church and state separate.

So, while the Christian beliefs of the founders may have been present in their decision making... it was not to found the US as a "theological democracy." There were too many differences among Christian groups for them to adopt one and avoid religious warfare. In that sense, the nation they founded was "Christian" yet "not-Christian" at the same time in that church affairs weren't determined by the state and in pure theory the churches couldn't control the state either. In doing so, they allowed for the legal protection of the rights of Jews, Muslims, and any other religious minority living in the US.
Good post, Sam.

An "other," vote is probably the most sensible.
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Old April 25th, 2016, 11:54 PM   #13
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Well, imho I think America was founded as a Christian nation, no doubt. but today it isn't anymore...
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Old April 26th, 2016, 04:05 AM   #14

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam-Nary View Post
I voted other...

As while, yes, the founding fathers were themselves Christian and did seek to have America reflect their specific values, there is also the issue that also relates what they had seen as a problem.

Nations have traditionally used religion as a means to help control the populace and keep the country stable. This goes back even as far as Ancient Rome and Greece. There may have been issues where they tolerated other religions so long as they remained "loyal," but it was clear that matching the religion of the government was important. This became even more important when Constantine became Christian and began to use Christianity to keep the Roman Empire united. From there, the Christian church gained a great deal of authority within Western Europe...

This lead to years in which the Pope was the most powerful political authority in Europe after the fall of Rome. Now, while everyone was Catholic, this wasn't a major problem, but after the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, Europe spent nearly 100 years in a series of wars and bloody massacres to try and make sure only one religious faction controlled a certain area. The founders were all old enough to know about the violence and blood that had been shed in the name of God. Particularly when the definition of "God" differed. Especially when one looks at the theological differences between Calvinists, Catholics, and Lutherans and the actions these groups took to either secure or maintain power during the Reformation. Even the Puritans came to the new world with that sort of mindset... to be the religious faction in charge with absolute control, and thus able to set the rules.

The founders saw this and found the violence over the differences between Churches not to be worth it. Creating a "Church of the United States" would only further these sorts of fears. Thus why the First Amendment includes lines that would keep church and state separate.

So, while the Christian beliefs of the founders may have been present in their decision making... it was not to found the US as a "theological democracy." There were too many differences among Christian groups for them to adopt one and avoid religious warfare. In that sense, the nation they founded was "Christian" yet "not-Christian" at the same time in that church affairs weren't determined by the state and in pure theory the churches couldn't control the state either. In doing so, they allowed for the legal protection of the rights of Jews, Muslims, and any other religious minority living in the US.
Good morning Sam. I am kind of wondering where you got this information. I haven't come across evidence of a debate along those lines at the time of the Constitution.

I do understand that, yes, there was an established and official religion in each (most) of the original colonies. As a result, one might easily argue they were established Christian. However, early historians see lots of evidence that only lip service was being given to the religion of the individual colonists. Low attendance, high resentment of the support required, etc. Yes, they were taxed for support of the church. Something which led to a great deal of bitterness and harsh disputes between the congregations. I would say their rejection of established religion came from personal experience with something they did not want, did not like, and were in no mood to allow in the new country. I believe the support for established religion in the US was very low. John Jay comes to mind among the major founders as a guy in favor of establishment but he was pretty much soundly rejected. Patrick Henry, a dissenter totally against establishment before the war, wanted to establish Virginia as a Christian state but he lost his argument in 1787.

Just wondering here, do we consider the Quakers to be Christian? Would the founding of Rhode Island be considered Christian? And should we mention that Puritans hated Quakers so badly that they passed a statute giving them the death penalty merely for existing within the colony. Maybe they were Christians in name but, not in practice. Should we really indicate that Massachusetts was a Christian colony just because they gave lip service to it?
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Old April 26th, 2016, 04:44 AM   #15

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White Anglo-Saxon Puritans laid the foundation for the United States of America.
In my opinion,Calvinism is not Christian but Judaism with a "Christian" cover.
Spiritually the United States is a Jewish country that indirectly came out of the Old Testament.

I voted "No".
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Old April 26th, 2016, 06:23 AM   #16

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They wanted to justify the idea that everyone is equal before the law. Christianity teaches that Christ wasn't "more" crucified for some and less for others.

That is, if we are equal before God, we should therefore be equal before the law.

I'm guessing that the gap between "is" and "should be" varies across the entire spectrum of human history.
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Old April 26th, 2016, 06:33 AM   #17

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I do not think America was founded as a Christian nation.

It was founded by Christian men with Christian values, but was designed to be inclusive to all religions. I do not think anyone would found a theocratic nation while allowing said nation to include all other religions. That would kinda defeat the purpose, right?

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Old April 26th, 2016, 06:51 AM   #18

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No, the USA was not founded as a Christian nation. From what I have read though the founding fathers in general did incorporate a # of Christian ideals into the laws.

Some of the founding fathers were against religious minorities...but it seems most came to the defense of religious freedom. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Rush all argued for religious freedoms for non Christians.
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Old April 26th, 2016, 07:00 AM   #19

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayatollah View Post
White Anglo-Saxon Puritans laid the foundation for the United States of America.
At least 2 of the founding fathers were Catholics and there were tens of thousands of Catholics in the 13 colonies. Catholics, Protestants, and other Christians laid the foundation of the USA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayatollah View Post
In my opinion,Calvinism is not Christian but Judaism with a "Christian" cover.
Spiritually the United States is a Jewish country that indirectly came out of the Old Testament.

I voted "No".
The question that was asked was

Was America founded as a Christian nation?

Interesting you then say the Spiritually the United States is a Jewish country

Can you elaborate on why you think that
Spiritually the United States is a Jewish country

Is it because Jews have lived in the USA that you say the above?

If the USA is a Jewish country in spirit , then so is the Islamic republic of Iran a Jewish country in spirit...at least going by the fact that Jews live in Iran. I suppose maybe you base your above statement on the historic connection between the three religions of Abraham?

Last edited by JoanOfArc007; April 26th, 2016 at 07:03 AM.
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Old April 26th, 2016, 07:27 AM   #20

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Not necessarily. The Founding Fathers were products of the Enlightenment and Deism, and it shows in their work.
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