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View Poll Results: Was America founded as a Christian nation?
Yes 37 25.69%
No 94 65.28%
other (please explain) 13 9.03%
Voters: 144. You may not vote on this poll

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Old April 27th, 2016, 05:58 PM   #51

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Which is what was meant. You are not really arguing whether the United States was a Christian Nation but whether it was a theocracy. Which is clearly not what is meant.
No, I'm definitely not arguing if it were a theocracy or not. We are absolute not a theocracy. Having a state sponsored religion is no guarantee there will be a theocracy. So even if we had a state church there is no reason we could not have elected leaders as well.

As for the rest of the argument, boiling this down to being a christian nation because most were christians is akin to saying that its a Yankees Bar because a majority of the patrons are Yankees fans. I live in CNY and Yankees fans are everywhere, that doesn't make the bar a Yankee bar.

For me, thats just too boiled down. Just my opinion tho.
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Old April 27th, 2016, 06:22 PM   #52

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I do think that there was a certain Christian cultural element present during the time of the Founders, no doubt. But I don't think it deserves to play the main role. Most of the inspirations of the principles of the United States were either derived from classical philosophers/thinkers or the Enlightenment. And in particular, the Enlightenment focused on a more secular understanding of the humanities.

As others have mentioned, there is certainly a historical element where being a "Christian nation" might be a part of our country. This is especially relevant during the "Red Scare" of the post-WWII period. However, these principles were not as strongly held when the country was founded.
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Old April 27th, 2016, 06:26 PM   #53

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Sometimes the US was more Christian than others.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Awakening
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Old April 27th, 2016, 07:49 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by KIVALO View Post
No, I'm definitely not arguing if it were a theocracy or not. We are absolute not a theocracy. Having a state sponsored religion is no guarantee there will be a theocracy. So even if we had a state church there is no reason we could not have elected leaders as well.

As for the rest of the argument, boiling this down to being a christian nation because most were christians is akin to saying that its a Yankees Bar because a majority of the patrons are Yankees fans. I live in CNY and Yankees fans are everywhere, that doesn't make the bar a Yankee bar.

For me, thats just too boiled down. Just my opinion tho.
Its more than that. For most our history the church was the center of the community, public elementary school reading textbooks before the Dick and Jane readers had a religious orientation to them and I am showing my age in saying that when I was in elementary school we still said the Lord's Prayer at the beginning of the school day.
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Old April 27th, 2016, 07:54 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Zheng He View Post
I do think that there was a certain Christian cultural element present during the time of the Founders, no doubt. But I don't think it deserves to play the main role. Most of the inspirations of the principles of the United States were either derived from classical philosophers/thinkers or the Enlightenment. And in particular, the Enlightenment focused on a more secular understanding of the humanities.

As others have mentioned, there is certainly a historical element where being a "Christian nation" might be a part of our country. This is especially relevant during the "Red Scare" of the post-WWII period. However, these principles were not as strongly held when the country was founded.
What does the Red Scare of the 1950s have to do with whether we were a Christian Nation?
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Old April 27th, 2016, 08:33 PM   #56

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What does the Red Scare of the 1950s have to do with whether we were a Christian Nation?
The Soviet Union at the time was in theory atheist officially. To anti-Communist politicans, the idea was to emphasize where we different from them or to try and be what the Soviets were not. This included trying to lay the emphasis that America was a "Christian" nation as opposed to the evils of atheist/Communist society.

In that sense, the idea that the US was a "Christian Nation" was more of a fabrication to suit the politics of the time. It wasn't anything that was actually used earlier in American history for any real reason.
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Old April 27th, 2016, 09:39 PM   #57
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As far as I know, the Constitution is not in any way based on religion or, in particular, Christianity. The pre-Amendment Constitution only mentions religion once, to mandate that there will never be a religious test for holding office in the new government. Madison and others were skeptical about religion entering politics and feared that majoritarian sects would seek to manipulate federal offices to exclude others and dictate their religion on others.

However, "In God We Trust" is on our currency, in our courtrooms and government buildings. Each session of the House and the Senate opens with a prayer, and probably every state and municipal legislature. All religious institutions get tax breaks from every taxing entity. Christmas is a national holiday, even though it's nominally a Christian event.

I think the Founding Fathers were concerned that the new United States not establish a state religion, as the Church of England was. They never intended that God be absent from public life. America has more churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and other religious institutions than any other nation. This is because we cherish religious freedom and have enshrined it in our Constitution.
I agree with you 100%
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Old April 27th, 2016, 10:02 PM   #58
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America was founded as a FREE nation. they wanted to make clear that it would not be controlled by any one religion, and is why they added separation of church and state to the constitution. Philosophy of Men Like Looke and Voltaire had a great enfluence upon the men who sat in Philadelphia and hammered out the first constitution of the United States of America.
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Old April 28th, 2016, 12:12 AM   #59

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Originally Posted by Recusant View Post
The idea of equality before the law predates Christianity, as can be seen in the funeral oration of Pericles, recounted in Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War Book 2, Chapter 6:
The Americans has nothing to do with Pericles. They're protestants and other Christian sects at the time of the founding of the nation.
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Old April 28th, 2016, 02:45 AM   #60

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Originally Posted by Zheng He View Post
I do think that there was a certain Christian cultural element present during the time of the Founders, no doubt. But I don't think it deserves to play the main role. Most of the inspirations of the principles of the United States were either derived from classical philosophers/thinkers or the Enlightenment. And in particular, the Enlightenment focused on a more secular understanding of the humanities.
This.

I would also add the influence of the Native peoples, for example the Iroquois Confederacy, as another inspiration. They certainly weren't christian.
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