America, a Christian Nation? / by kevin murray

It is taken as a given by most religious Americans, that the United States of America is a Christian nation, founded by Christians, for Christians.  But is this really true?  There are plenty of secularists that believe that America is a secular nation, or if not secular, not a Christian nation and they point out that our Constitution, its' Bill of Rights, and our Declaration of Independence, mentions the words, "Jesus", "Christ", or "Christian," a grand total of zero times.  Still there are others that admit to the Christian or Judeo-Christian heritage of America while also recognizing America as being the birthplace of religious tolerance, and accommodating therefore of all religious thought and belief.


The most important document in American history is its Declaration of Independence, declaring our freedom from the political bands of Great Britain, and setting forth a new proposition, that it was self-evident that all men are created equal, a thought that was stunningly revolutionary at the time and the very basis of the foundation of this great republic.  Our Declaration of Independence, invokes the word of God, five separate times, as "Laws of Nature," "Nature's God," "Creator,"  "Supreme Judge," and "Divine Providence."   Clearly, the Declaration of Independence recognizes that we are children of God, and brothers in arms by our equal creation.


The Constitution of the United States and its attendant Bill of Rights, invokes religious imagery or thought only three times.  It is in Article VI, to which it specifically states that "…no religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office…" it also is seen in the signatory part of the Constitution with "… in the Year of our Lord…" and finally as written in our First Amendment, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."  Clearly, the Constitution is not a religious instrument, which isn't too surprising, since the primary purpose of our Constitution was to consolidate the thirteen states into a republic, with specific delegation of powers and structure created to allow the USA to ratify treaties, conduct commerce, and to defend our new nation.


Taking a close look at these founding documents, along with our Founding Fathers, it is clear that they saw America as a nation, under the Providence of one omnipotent God.  Further, America was gracious enough to recognize and to accommodate religious tolerance, so that initially each State had their own establishment of religion, such as Anglican, Congregational, or no one established religion.  For instance, the New Jersey State Constitution in 1776 stated: "That no person shall ever, within this Colony, be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; nor, under any pretense whatever, be compelled to attend any place of worship, contrary to his own faith and judgment; nor shall any person, within this Colony, ever be obliged to pay tithes, taxes, or any other rates, for the purpose of building or repairing any other church or churches, place or places of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry, contrary to what he believes to be right, or has deliberately or voluntarily engaged himself to perform."


Consequently, for those that believe America was founded as a secular state, or somehow became upon the ratification of our Constitution a secular state, or would be more true to its roots if it became a secular state, they are fundamentally wrong and are clearly in error in judgment.  As for whether America is a Christian nation and/or a Godly nation, know this, from Luke 10:27, "… Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself."  Further, from the Quran, Verse 9:129, "…. God is enough for me. There is no god but He…"  Also, Talmud Shabbat Folio 31A, "… What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbor…"

Then remember, these great words, "… that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…"  There you will find your answer.