Yes—America is a Christian Nation

"In God We Trust" reminds people every day of America's Christian heritage. (From http://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/1303402061/in/photostream)
"In God We Trust" reminds people every day of America's Christian heritage. (From http://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/1303402061/in/photostream)

Whenever it's time for an American celebration, we can count on the trolls at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to show up and throw ice water on what are otherwise happy occasions, be they Thanksgiving, Christmas, or high school graduations. In 2010, the ACLU fog settled on Enfield, Connecticut to bully parents and school officials into halting a high school graduation being held at a local megachurch. Once again, its graduation time which means it’s time for Americans to be reminded of the ACLU’s take on their past constitutional sins and surrender to the ACLU’s threats of lawsuits on the unsuspecting.

This year, the ACLU’s target-of-choice is Neptune High School of Ocean Grove, NJ which has held their high school graduation for about seventy years in the Great Auditorium of Ocean Grove, NJ, a civic building that was built in 1894 by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Organization. This organization is Methodist in orientation and arose out of the camp meeting movement in the nineteenth century. Neptune High School finds themselves in the sights of the ACLU because the civic building in which they will be holding graduation exercises has a twenty-foot cross on the outside and religious displays inside.

Once Neptune High School received word that they were on the ACLU’s hit list for graduation, they caved on some of their demands, including the removal of the singing of two hymns (one of which was "Onward Christian Soldiers") and a student-led prayer. However, the ACLU wants that twenty-foot cross covered up (or taken down) and the same for religious paraphernalia inside the civic center. “It’s unconstitutional” they say, a “violation of the wall of separation between church and state.” So far (and to their credit), local officials have not caved on these demands.

Then there's the city of Republic, MO who had on their official seal, a fish. Well, the fish was an early symbol of Christianity and the ACLU said that it was unconstitutional, that it violated the separation of church and state. The ACLU won on this one and the city had to spend thousands of dollars to remove the fish from their city’s seal.

We may laugh at some of the silliness, but the ACLU is laughing too—all the way to the bank. They stand to make money when they bring some of these lawsuits. For example, a Georgia ACLU affiliate received $150,000 dollars in court fees after suing a Georgia county to remove a copy of the 10 Commandments from the county courthouse. It's an irony that the ACLU made $150,000 off the command, "thou shalt not covet."

The ACLU takes actions like these, claiming that America is not a Christian nation, but a secular one. According to them, America’s founding fathers were deists who tried to create a pluralist nation where Christianity held no special status. Their removal of religious symbols, they say, is compatible with America’s identity as a religiously pluralistic and secular nation.

In 1999 the city of Republic, MO lost a court case to keep a fish, a symbol of Christianity, on their city seal (above). Today, the blank space on the seal is a reminder of the ACLU's efforts to white-wash American history of its Christian influence.
In 1999 the city of Republic, MO lost a court case to keep a fish, a symbol of Christianity, on their city seal (above). Today, the blank space on the seal is a reminder of the ACLU's efforts to white-wash American history of its Christian influence.
Source

The American Identity: Conflict & Confusion

We don’t have to go any further than the 2008 election to see this conflict over America's national identity in play. In 2007 Candidate Obama told David Brody of CBN news that “Whatever we once were, we're no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.” [1]

Now, enter candidate McCain on the other side; McCain said “I would probably have to say yes, that the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation."[2]

I'm not sure how much John McCain understands about American history when he says that America is Christian. However, it's obvious that Candidate Obama neither understands American history nor the question he was asked. When we say that America is a Christian nation, we're not saying that everyone is Christian, no more than if I say “America is a nation of immigrants” does that mean that everyone is an immigrant. Such statements are what are true characteristically. Christianity is the most important dynamic in explaining why America is the unique nation that it is.

It was Winston Churchill that said that the further we look back the further we can look forward. With that in mind, let’s look as some of America’s history that points to a Christian heritage. In giving these evidences, I've tried to pick ones that are most familiar to you and me. These evidences are not what make America Christian. Christianity is many things, primarily a faith and a way in which to view the world. Rather, these examples that I give below are residuals or outputs from a Christian society.

Debate on Whether or Not America is a Christian Nation

While he served as Lincoln's Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase (1808-1873) began the process of placing the motto "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins.
While he served as Lincoln's Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase (1808-1873) began the process of placing the motto "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins.

Our national motto—“In God we Trust” has been the national motto since 1956 and was on our nation's coins as early as 1864. This was instigated by Salmon P. Chase, an Ohio lawyer whom Lincoln appointed his Secretary of the Treasury in 1861. In his instructions to the Director of the Bureau of the Mint, Chase stated

Dear Sir: No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins....You will cause a device to be prepared without unnecessary delay with a motto expressing in the fewest and tersest words possible this national recognition.

The Christian religion was a vital element in Chase's life, especially after his wife died in 1835. He became actively involved in the Sunday School Union and the abolition movement. It was Chase that coined the phrase for the Free Soil Party which was "Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men." Later, Lincoln appointed him to be Chief Justice of the United States in 1864. While on the Court, he admitted John Rock to the Supreme Court bar, the first black attorney to argue before the Court.

Patriotic Songs—Most of our historical patriotic songs that have resonated within the heart of patriotic Americans—The Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, God Bless America, America: My Country Tis Of Thee—have common themes: love of country, the land, its principles of freedom and liberty and the acknowledgment that we are a nation blessed by God and that our trust is in God.

Pledge of Allegiance—Our pledge to the flag contains the phrase “one nation under God.” Some, like the atheist Michael Newdow, have tried to make much of the fact that the phrase “under God” was not added until the 1950s. However, adding the phrase simply reflected what we were historically, that is, “one nation under God.” The American Congress was not inventing a new idea when it added that phrase to the pledge.

Oaths on the Bible—Today our president is sworn in using a Bible and witnesses are sworn into court using a Bible. Every president since George Washington has added the words to the oath, “so help me God” when being sworn into office.

Our Dates—Consider our system of dating things by BC and AD. You may think it’s been around forever. In fact, the current calendar was adopted by England and the American colonies in 1752. Only 24 years before the Declaration and 35 years before the adopting of the Constitution. We abandoned using the old Roman and pagan Julian calendar for the Christian calendar. We have to ask ourselves: “would a non-Christian people do this”?

Sunday—And then there’s Sunday. Sunday is still treated as a unique day of the week. Sunday is a Christian holy day. This is fading and was more prevalent in earlier times. Blue laws were more prevalent. The federal election has been held on Tuesday since 1842. Congress ruled out Monday as election day because it would force some people to travel on Sunday in order to vote. Today, industries like Chick-Fil-A are only practicing what has been a traditional practice in American history: Sunday is a day to close shop, go to church, and spend time with family.

In spite of the atheist attack on the Pledge of Allegiance, millions of Americans have opportunity to acknowledge God through the pledge every day.
In spite of the atheist attack on the Pledge of Allegiance, millions of Americans have opportunity to acknowledge God through the pledge every day. | Source
Anthony Comstock (1844-1915) was an American reformer that sought to legally suppress pornography and other vices through the law. He was opposed by the anarchist Emma Goldman and the eugenicist Margaret Sanger.
Anthony Comstock (1844-1915) was an American reformer that sought to legally suppress pornography and other vices through the law. He was opposed by the anarchist Emma Goldman and the eugenicist Margaret Sanger.

Our national holidays—Probably our most important one is Christmas, the celebration of the Savior’s birth. It is a government holiday. Then there’s Easter. Memorial Day observances make regular and continual references to God and prayers to Him to bless our nation.

Government Leaders Claim Christianity as their Own Religion—Every American president has claimed Christianity as his religion. Overwhelmingly most members of Congress and the Supreme Court, our governors, our mayors, our state reps., our judges claim the Christian religion as their faith.

Chaplains—There are chaplains in the House, Senate, and military. Paid for by tax dollars. The chaplains of the House, with the exception of a few Unitarians and one universalist have been of the Christian faith.

Historical Movements—Many historical movements in the United States were rooted and pushed forward in the name of Christ and the Christian faith: the Revolution itself, the Great Awakenings, the Abolition Movement, the Comstock Laws, the Temperance Movement (and eventually Prohibition itself) all reflect vital Christian dynamics that are propelling these movements. More recently, Civil Rights, Pro-Life, and the movement to defend marriage (with laws like the Defense of Marriage Act, for example) are modern examples of some of the same dynamics that have driven people to act from a Christian worldview.

All these current things that I mentioned—the songs, the professions of our government leaders, the pledge, the dating system—they didn’t just start today; they have a historical tie to them, some older than others. These things that I mentioned and many more provide at least prima facie evidence that America is and was a Christian nation.

References

[1] David Brody, “Obama to CBN News: We're no Longer Just a Christian Nation” CBNews.com July 30, 2007 http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/204016.aspx (accessed 8 February 2009).

[2] Russell Berman, “McCain Campaign Clarifies ‘Christian Nation' Remarks” New York Sun Online http://www.nysun.com/national/mccain-campaign-clarifies-christian-nation-remarks/63666/ (accessed 8 February 2009).

More by this Author


Comments 57 comments

Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 14 months ago Author

I believe that the two, OT & NT can be harmonized in the NT if you consider that such statements as "turn the other cheek" apply to people in their individual capacity. However, there is no command for the state to forgive or to "turn the other cheek." Contrast Romans 12 & Romans 13. In Romans 13, the state is charged to be a "revenger to execute wrath against evildoers." And certainly, the OT also teaches that you are to love your neighbor (Exodus 23:4,5; Proverbs 25:21-2) and that personal retaliation is wrong: “Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me; I will render to the man according to his works” (Proverbs 24:29) and “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:18). I could give more, but I think that suffices to say that the foundation of the moral ethic found in the OT & the NT is the same.

Thank you for reading and your thoughts on the subject.


Jay C. O'Brien 14 months ago

Actually, the US is more of a Judeo-Christian nation. The Old Testament (OT) is Jewish (Rabbinic) and the New Testament (NT) is Christian. The OT and NT describe God and religion completely differently. The OT says God gives away land and authorizes killing an enemy for it. The NT says, "Love your enemy." The OT is obsolete to a Christian, but we keep hanging onto it. It may be more correct to say the US is a nation controlled by Rabbinic thought (OT).


jackclee lm profile image

jackclee lm 14 months ago from Yorktown NY

For those who claim otherwise, all they need to confirm is to listen to our own President Obama "we are no longer just a Christian nation..." In order for that statement to be true, which I believe we are headed, we would have had to be a Christian nation to begin with. Dos that make sense?


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 14 months ago Author

I would suggest that if you are going to use a quote that you at least give enough of it so that I and my readers can know what you're talking about. If you are going to use a quote to support your point, then you do your own research.

As for Jefferson's respect for Muslims, is this the same Jefferson that tired of the US policy of paying ransom to the deys of North Africa and decided to attack Muslim ships in the Mediterranean? At any rate, religious toleration for Muslims is not incompatible with a Christian view.

As for saying that America is secular....well, saying it's so doesn't make it so, does it?


Christopher Jay T profile image

Christopher Jay T 14 months ago from Fort Worth, TX

Yeah it would be nice for me to do your research for you wouldn't. Its a pretty famous quote. Google it dude prove me wrong. Oh, yeah an Jefferson had the utmost respect for Muslims too. OMG right wing heads will explode. America is Secular, Straight up. It is not ran by the christian religion If it was Have a State religion, and My girl friend I would be in Jail for breaking Some BS co habitation laws. We do niot use the bible as a law book.


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 14 months ago Author

Ok, but I would like to see the entire quote and the name of the work that it came from so that I can read the context and give a proper response. I do know that Jefferson held a view that Jesus was not the second person of the Trinity, but was the ideal moral figure, but whose teachings had been corrupted by Paul. Jefferson also called himself a Christian. Now, I'm not claiming Jefferson was a Christian--in fact, I don't think he was. But he did self-identify as a Christian.


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 14 months ago Author

Yes, you will find that in any American movement that you are likely to have professing Christians on both sides (that was bound to be true given that so many were professing Christians). However, the point that I am making is that without Christianity, you would have never had a successful abolition movement and certainly no civil rights movement. These movements did not take place in a vacuum. Rather, they took place in a literate cultural milieu that was saturated with Christian teaching. Movements toward abolition just did not take place in pagan or Muslim cultures; they took place in Christian ones.


Christopher Jay T profile image

Christopher Jay T 14 months ago from Fort Worth, TX

Thomas Jefferson is quoted sayi that Christianity was the most vile religion.


Christopher Jay T profile image

Christopher Jay T 14 months ago from Fort Worth, TX

The Abolition and civil rights movement were also opposed by Christians.


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 14 months ago Author

Chris,

Thank you for these thoughtful comments. My point in the article is never to say that America is officially Christian, but only that the primary religious dynamic that overwhelmingly informs it both now, and especially in the past, is Christianity. That's a historical fact that is hardly disputable. So when I say that "America is a Christian nation", it is similar to saying that "America is a charitable nation"; it's not officially charitable, but comparatively it is charitable.

America is a Christian nation in at least in the following sense.

1. Most Americans both now and especially at its founding identify with the Christian religion.

2. Most of America's government officials and all of its presidents have identified with Christianity.

3. The major religion to inform the American founding was Christian.

4. Major social movements such as the Great Awakening, the Temperance Movement, the abolition movement, and the civil rights movement were either to some or a large degree animated by the Christian religion.

5. The number of comments by the founding fathers in praise of the Christian religion are overwhelming; the number of derogatory comments are few. You have some by Thomas Paine and some by Jefferson, although even Jefferson's seem to be more directed toward the clergy than toward Christianity as a faith.

As for the founding fathers who were deists, there are at least over 100 men considered "founders." I would like you to name at least seven deists.

As for the Pledge of Allegiance, I'm not sure what you think it proves telling me that "One Nation Under God" was added in 1954. That would seem to strengthen the argument that America is a Christian nation. As for the inscription "In God We Trust" being added to the dollar bill, they had started putting the expression on American money starting back in 1864.

Thanks again for reading and your comments.


Christopher Jay T profile image

Christopher Jay T 14 months ago from Fort Worth, TX

But what is is that you mean by christian nation? Christianity may be the majority religion in this country, but is not run on an religious principles. America is not a theocracy. There is no state religion we are forced to adhere too. If we are a Christian nation why is it perfectly legal to practice any religion of choice, or none at all? We are very much a secular nation. We are not governed by religious dogma. If you did research you would realize that our founding fathers were deists who did not believe in the indemnity of Jesus Christ, which by Christian standards would disqualify them as Christians. In this country we have separation of church and state. The words one nation under god did not appear in the pledge of allegiance until around 1954. The inscription "In god we trust" was not on the dollar bill until the 1950. These things were done to spite the soviet union who were not big on religion. It was the cold war. The sybology that is on the dollar bill that christians like to say is Judeo christian origin, and proof that the founding fathers were Christian, wasn't designed until the Late 60s.


Sanxuary 3 years ago

I believe that Judeo Christian values are values that most of us were born with and the Bible just spelled it out. The more I look the more I find the unbeliever wanting the same things. Sin is negative consequence influenced by terrible choices. To claim such choices do not exist we would be killing one another beginning the day we were born. Every person born understands right and wrong to some extent but argues their entire life in an effort to achieve wisdom. Regardless of belief the Bible does provide wisdom and the unbeliever attempts to claim otherwise. Most surprising is that we only judge ourselves in the end, regardless of how we die.


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 3 years ago Author

Sanxuary,

I agree with much of what you say here. I should note that you have not responded to any of the information I provided that supports America being Christian. All of the things that you mention have little to do with whether America is Christian or not. Certainly, if Christians acted more like they should, it's Christian distinction would be more obvious. America's "Christianity" has to do with what America is premised upon, not solely on the individual acts of its people. For example, the United States is a republic. That is a fact of its founding regardless of whether Americans act like the citizens of a republic. The claim that it's a "republic" has to do with its founding, not with how its citizens act. If America's people were to act like subjects to their government rather than citizens, this would breed confusion. But it would in no way diminish from the citizens of a republic.

Thank you for your reading and your insightful comments.


Sanxuary 3 years ago

America is not a Christian Nation. The maturity of Christians in this Country is at its lowest point. They practice nothing in most cases and never change a thing in their life. They sing a few hymns in a million dollar church before big screen televisions and walk right back out the door and support evil, everywhere else. They live for greed and convert the spiritual aspects of God into Earthly agendas. Like every ruthless heathen they treat others like dirt everywhere. They are just like any other American in almost every case only self righteous. Its the great mystery I have pondered in wondering where are the Christians in this Country. When we are forced to hide from persecution and secret hand shakes, perhaps the real believers will show up. They will look back and realize that they supported wicked things that never did anything that had good values or ever supported such values. I am not condemning anyone but really look at this Country we live in and ask yourself if this is a Christian Nation? Bankrupt, corrupt and full of Greed and bent on Earthly goals and not on Heavenly purpose. We support whatever is claimed as the lesser evil but all of it has nothing to do with God. You have to go to God and serve his purpose first before his will can ever be done on Earth. There are good Christians out there but we are finding silence is the only way people will listen today.


RavenBiker profile image

RavenBiker 3 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA.

You are correct. The United States is influenced by Christianity. But for the sake of being influenced, your word, by one thing does not make it that thing. Example: Just because the United States was founded by white people (for many causes we not need get into here) does not make the population all white.

I'm saying, "historically" calling the United States a Christian nation does not mean it is Christian. Just because some Founding Fathers were Christian does not mean they were inspired by Christian "ideals." The one thing this Hub fails to mention historically is that the Founding Fathers, Christian or not, were highly influenced by the Enlightenment. You cannot remove or ignore the Enlightenment had on our Founding Fathers. The American "ideals" you speak of is not Christian, it is the result of the Enlightenment.

AS a matter of fact, I did write a researched Hub about what the Founding Fathers DID say about faith, religion and God. The Founding Fathers were scared out of their wits and conflicted about the nation they started.


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 3 years ago Author

Well, no, that's the way you put it. I'm only making a historical observation, just as we preferred republican government over monarchy or constitutional government over centralized authority. You can no more remove America's Christian influence from it's historical experience than you could remove constitutionalism or republican principles without fundamentally altering what is good about America.

The attempt to whitewash the symbols of Christianity from the public will do nothing to diminish America's Christian character. The physical manifestation of Christianity's influence only serves to remind people; it doesn't make America "Christian" as I stated in the article. The list of Christian-oriented cultural artifacts provide the evidence that America is characteristically Christian. It's a historical reality.

Finally, I would be interested in more than just a denouncement. What do you think are the best arguments that America is not Christian? America's founding fathers were not characteristically deist. They would not know what you were talking about if you launched into a discussion about their "pluralistic" views. It seems to me that the selective elimination of religious artifacts is rank religious bigotry (that is, religion is specifically singled out and targeted for censure). Thanks for reading and for your comments.


RavenBiker profile image

RavenBiker 3 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA.

Fine.

The United States is a christian nation. All else be dammed.

This is what this Hub wants to say?

ACLU (despite my dislike for them) is right. The Hub said it:

"...America is not a Christian nation, but a secular one. According to them, America’s founding fathers were deists who tried to create a pluralist nation where Christianity held no special status. Their removal of religious symbols, they say, is compatible with America’s identity as a religiously pluralistic and secular nation."

Again, all else be dammed.


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 4 years ago Author

JJ,

That's what Americans are doing now: declaring America a Christian nation, just as they always have. There have always been people to question that conclusion. And groups like the ACLU have done a good job of causing people to question that reality. But their complaints about Americans asserting their religious freedom does nothing to diminish America's status as a Christian nation. Thanks for your comment.


jjsundar 4 years ago

Great Hub!!! I am looking forward to the day on which America declares that it is a Christian nation once again.


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 4 years ago Author

Benoitsmidget--Thanks for the kind remarks and best wishes on Hubpages.


Benoitsmidget profile image

Benoitsmidget 4 years ago from Boston

WOW! This is a remarkable Hub. You have covered all the bases and backed them up so brilliantly. God Bless!


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago Author

Gitrdun & Hattie Mae, thank you for your kind remarks...hope it was a help....


wba108@yahoo.com profile image

wba108@yahoo.com 5 years ago from upstate, NY

Bibowen-This is an awesome masterpiece of a Hub and I will book mark it! The ACLU won't be happy till Christianity is entirely removed from the public square. They zealously crusade to secularize America and remove all traces of christianity from the public square! The ACLU to me symbolizes the ignorance of America in regards to thier true Christian roots.

Even the US Supreme Court declared America a christian nation in 1892 "Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States", Justice David Brewer stated "this is a christian nation" and in 1952 " Justice William O. Douglas stated “We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being”. Regards-WBA


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago Author

Kwade T., thank you for your thoughtful comments. One of my other articles, "The Freedom from Religion" does more to address the issues you raise here about the freedom "of" vs. "from" religion. Best wishes on hubpages....


kwade tweeling profile image

kwade tweeling 5 years ago from USA

You are absolutely right, in my opinion, that the ACLU takes things too far by demanding crosses be removed or covered up. Because the statement is "freedom of religion" OF religion. Not "from religion." We each have the right to practice what we believe. That does not mean practice what you believe and shut down others. That does not mean, avoid all expression of your beliefs in view of others. It means feel free to express and practice so long as that practice does not harm others. I guess it gets sticky when we try to define "harm". It seems everyone wants to define harm to themselves as being offended. But "screw others if they are offended."

Classifying us as a Christian nation is like keeping people who have left your church on the register as members. Do you really want these people to represent your beliefs just to boost your numbers? The nation was founded with Christian ideals to stop religious persecution. Not just so they could believe what they wanted. But because it is "Christ like" to treat others beliefs with dignity, respect, and an open mind. They were not perfect and they knew it. They left it in our hands to continue to grow as a nation and as people in whatever way we chose. While the United States of America was founded and formed by a group that consisted of primarily Christians, I think many of us who battle saying we are a Christian nation are missing the point.

The point being, we are a nation of whatever we want to be. Of the individual. That is why we have "Freedom OF". We can grow and change. Whatever we are, it's up to us.


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago Author

LRC,

Thank you for your comments. In another hub ("Tempest in a Treaty") I make the distinction between a "nation" and a "government." In the modern world, democratic states are nations in possession of a government. Best wishes on Hubpages.


LRCBlogger profile image

LRCBlogger 5 years ago

I think this is a very thorough hub. I appreciate that fact that you point out 'under God' was added to our coins almost 100 years later and added to the presidential oath, pledge of allegiance, etc many years later.

I personally think our founding fathers would be upset at how religion has become entangled into our society. Many of our founding fathers were religious, however, they did make a deliberate attempt to not have a state sponsored religion. The constitution is quite clear and deliberate, if they wanted this country to be a Christian nation, they would have spelled it out in the document.

To your points regarding Christmas, Sunday's, our political leaders religious beliefs (the majority are Christian), I'd have to agree that we are a 'Christian Nation'.


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago Author

RT,

Thanks for your comments and commentary. There isn't much you say here that I disagree with. I had a similar discussion with another guy in the comments section of one of my other hubs "Was George Washington a Deist"? We also debated the issue of calling America "Christian" given the actual Christian status of Americans. You might take a look at those comments and see what you think. Best wishes on Hubpages


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Interesting hub and comments. Alot depends on definitions, and getting definitions right determines whether a discussion is worthy. cooldad displays another facet of worthy dialogues--common sense.

I understand the main point of your hub, but because of the definition of Christianity I disagree that American is a Christian nation. No matter how many people are true Christians, a "country" can't be "Christian." A Christian is a person and Christians are a group of people who believe what God says about His Son Jesus the Christ and repent of what God calls sin in His Word. Christians determine to continually learn more about His Word and live by what it.

Refusing to pick and choose Scripture to suit our moods or circumstances, Christians study the whole counsel of His Word, letting Scripture define Scripture because we heed God's warnings. Both His promises of blessing and His warnings are united to His amazing character of love, mercy, and justice, yet mysteriously, in His omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence He has made a way for us to have an individual friendship with Him that grows as we study His Word and humbly pray about it.

We agree with Him and arrange ourselves under His Word, even if others don't understand and will not listen to it. Even when they hate us for it, we trust what He says because He has shown us that this life is a vapor and eternity with Him is worth it all. He is the Christian's infinitely personal God. He knows all of our thoughts, intents, and motives, and He wants to help us examine them through the lens of His Word so we can align them and enjoy growing in Christ according to the deep riches of His knowledge.

While many who first came to this land were Christians, then many who established our Republic were Christians, not all were. Still, nearly all did recognize the distinct benefits of Judeo-Christian values for any group of people, as opposed to, for instance, those of a nation that offered human sacrifices in the darkness of their savage lives. Only 50 years ago cannibalism was still openly practiced in PNG. Sections of Africa still sell its own people into slavery.

Why mention these other cultures? To say that America is a Christian nation is a dangerous methodology on several levels. We live in a fallen world that has a predetermined end. For all our technology, supposed progress and education, the human race is not improving. Probing what our nation tolerates in our own culture proves this point.

We should not dismiss the values of our Founders. Not their intent to preserve the right and good teaching that God has for people, nor their warnings about disregarding what God says should be taken lightly. If we as a nation took seriously what our Founders warned us about we would not be facing many of the issues that our society deals with today, but most don't even know that they warned us about our country's future.


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago Author

Unbornhumanrights, I agree that adding the words "so help me God" reflects our leader's belief that the nation was dependent on God. It should be noted that that phrase was added to the oath and that the Constitution does not require it. In fact, the Constitution forids a religious oath according to Article VI. Thanks for the observation.

Cooldad, that all sounds reasonable enough to me. Thanks for taking an interest...


cooldad profile image

cooldad 5 years ago from Florida

very well written and documented hub, i enjoyed it. I'm an atheist and I've always had difficulty with the separation of church and state. But it doesn't bother me if a graduation ceremony is held in a church. I think there is some evidence that some of the founding fathers weren't exactly devout Christians, but people rarely want to acknowledge that. I think religion should be presented in school in the context of a history lesson. I do think all people should be more tolerant when debating about religious topics, regardless of what they believe or don't believe in. Our country is terrible with understanding tolerance and healthy debate.


unbornhumanrights profile image

unbornhumanrights 5 years ago

It is very clear that the founding Fathers wanted a Christian state! Or they would not have added the words to the oath, “so help me God” among other things!


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago Author

KKT,

Thanks for your comments. The controversy over whether or not America is a Christian nation is recent. People generally understood America's Christian foundations this prior to the "ACLU Era" that we find ourselves in. Best wishes on Hubpages


KK Trainor profile image

KK Trainor 5 years ago from Texas

Bibowen, great article! I think the only people who shriek and cry about America not being a "Christian Nation" are those who haven't the strength and peace that true faith gives a person. I believe your point was that much of our history as a nation, not the land itself, but the people and institutions that formed the United States of America, is based on Christian traditions and beliefs. Ok, so some only want to debate the "slaughter" of the Native Americans. This has nothing to do with your point as far as I can see. And I read the article by sembj and did not find it very original.

When I took Constitutional Law in law school there was no emphasis on the so called separation of church and state because, as you said, it doesn't exist. Our founders simply didn't want to follow in the path of their ancestors and create another nation "slave to the church". This nation is no slave to the church, but everyone is allowed to worship any way they like. So the result was what was intended as far as that's concerned.

There are just a lot of people who dislike our whole system, some of them even benefit from it but would never admit it. Let them live in their sheds in the woods and hate. I love this country and it's Christian traditions, and I love the non-Christians too. And I hope that a few of those Christian traditions can be preserved before the ACLU has its way and removes religion from everything.


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago Author

The main point of this essay is not the merits (or lack thereof) of the ACLU. It is on whether or not America is a Christian nation. You've got the last word on the ACLU; let's leave it at that.

As for James, if you have a beef with him, don't smear him here; carry on your little private war with him.


William R. Wilson profile image

William R. Wilson 5 years ago from Knoxville, TN

If you are being told things about the ACLU that are untrue, you might want to reconsider other things that those same sources are telling you. Why would they tell lies about the ACLU?

I commend your efforts to keep your writing intellectually rigorous.

Now, as for the ACLU supporting child porn - that's total BS. The ACLU supports free speech. Sometimes cases come up where there are questions about the boundaries of free speech that involve child porn. That's when the ACLU steps in. Believe me, if your free speech rights were being threatened, legitimately (and that's the key word), the ACLU would be willing to help you. That's why my BS meter went off with the Christ of the Abyss story - what legitimate reason would the ACLU have to go after a statue like that?

James's hub was filled with lies, and a few distorted truths. I wrote a hub on the subject.

Saying that the ACLU is pro-child porn is like saying that all Christians are pro-genocide and racist, since the genocides of the Native Americans were justified by Christian thinkers at the time, and so was slavery.

There is a case to be made that Christianity allows for a kind of binary thinking that encourages atrocities, but it would be a fallacy and absurd to say that all Christians are racist and genocidal.

Likewise with the ACLU. They don't have some agenda to destroy the USA. Their agenda is to protect the very American values of free speech and freedom of worship (or not).


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago Author

Todd,

Thanks for updating us on the Military Industrial Complex and for stopping by...


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago Author

Sembj

First, I'm not interested in discussing the Native Americans--that topic was raised by another poster, not by me. Second, I read your article. It seems to be based on the premise that America cannot be Christian because state actions (like the killing of Osama bin Laden) are acts of vengeance, but that the Bible does not allow for this.

But a generous reading of the Bible allows for the ethic of personal forgiveness along with the state's task of executing vengeance on "evildoers." This is compatible with both the Old Testament and New Testament. I treat this (to some degree) in my hub "Does the New Testament Support the Death Penalty"?

Thanks for stopping by.


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago Author

William,

Thanks for bringing to my attention my opening on the John Pennenkamp State Park and the ACLU. I pulled it from some old notes I had, but, like you, have been unable to find a credible source online to substantiate it. I was careless in using it in the write up and not further substantiating its background. Therefore, I have pulled it until I can give it further research. It might be an urban legend, but I'm just not sure at this point.

Anyway, I have rewritten the beginning and updated it and we have you to thank for it. Thanks again for keeping me honest.

And given my pro-Israel posture, anti-Semitic sites are where I land by accident and not by intention.

As for James Watkins, I'm not sure which article you're referring to, but if he said that the ACLU supports child porn--he's right--they do. Their attempt to hide behind the fig leaf of distinguishing between child porn photos and other illustrations of child porn is weaker than their church/state "wall of separation." They're kiddie porn facilitators and, in that sense, James is right.


William R. Wilson profile image

William R. Wilson 5 years ago from Knoxville, TN

In fact, I have googled for this case you speak of in your opening paragraph and the only evidence I found was a single page titled: THE ACLU – TROJAN HORSE OF THE JEW.

I hope you're not getting your information from those people.


William R. Wilson profile image

William R. Wilson 5 years ago from Knoxville, TN

By the way, what are your sources for your accusations against the ACLU? Your "christian" websites might not be telling the whole story. James Watkins wrote a big hub about how the ACLU was all for child pornography and when I researched it I found out how everything he said was full on lies that were being spread by so called Christians. You might want to check your facts.


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

"In God We Trust" is in the presence of so many occult symbols having to do with the Satanism of Freemasonry and Globalism. . . .that I have to wonder if you are serious.

America, the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA has got to be about the most corrupted global power that does the least amount of good for widows and orphans worldwide. . .it's unimaginable that this nation, by and large, would ever be something that Christ would recognize as having his mark on it.

It's disgusting, really, we have the highest incarceration rate in the world. This is because we have FOR PROFIT private prison industries. People literally get rich off of the misery of their brothers.

But they are their brother's keepers just the same - and will be judged for NEVER caring for their brothers.

The Military Industrial Complex is making fortunes right now off of the death and misery of little brown people far away. . . .but Jesus stated for us that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves.

This nation is not the slightest bit Christian. This nation creates widows and orphans as a measure of business and profit.

I wonder if you are not insane.


Sembj profile image

Sembj 5 years ago

Hi Bibowen: I have tried to make a different case to yours in a Hub I have just published called:

US is not a Christian Nation.

I hope you have a chance to look at another viewpoint.

Thanks,

Sem


Sembj profile image

Sembj 5 years ago

As an aside, I cannot help noting that some native peoples tended to be rather aggressive but by and large most native peoples either did not have a lot of contact or slaughter great numbers of their enemies. An excellent account of how many, many peoples lived prior to white settlers is given in Claude Levi Strauss`s Man`s Rise to Civilization for instance. Most behaviors of many native tribes and people pale in comparison to the barbarous practices of many of the Christian settlers. It seems that the history of indigenous people is not being properly represented in the comments section.

There are many other ideas in the article itself that I intend challenging in a hub but thought I would warm up with questioning the interpretation of history prior to the European settlers.

Obviously I enjoy tackling the issues raised in your article and look forward to continuing the dialogue in a hub.

Thanks,

Sem


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago Author

Thanks for reading and the support, CM.


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

I will simply say...."Bravo!"...

up and awesome!


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago Author

The issue on this article is whether or not America is a Christian nation. A nation is defined as a group of people, not a place of settlement. For both you and William (above) I'm not making reference to the native population; I am referring to the (mostly European and mostly British) nation that occupied North America, mostly on the east coast, fought a revolution against the British in their declaration of independence, and forged a national government in the 1780s.

Second, you seem to want to say "the European Christians weren't nice people." But that is not what this article is about; it's about whether or not the American nation is Christian, regardless of what moral indictment we may place upon it.

Thanks for stopping by and reading.


Fay Paxton 5 years ago

Whomever the natives were who inhabited the land, they were not the Europeans who came, with disease, indulged in ethnic cleansing and stole their land. The Indians fed the Europeans and taught them how to hunt.

If they did slaughter and consume one another, that was their way of life. That is why America is always at war...because of the superior attitude that we have a right to impose our way on everyone else.


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago Author

William

Who has the moral high ground on your Native American argument: the natives that lost their land to the Europeans or the natives that killed the prior natives that inhabited the land? In other words, which group of natives did you want to place on the moral pedestal? If they survived starvation, the native populations were slaughtering (and consuming!) rival tribes for centuries before Billy Bradford, and Johnnys Carver and Smith ever arrived.

Second, you have no argument with me about our not having an official state religion so I'm not sure what your point is there.

Third, the Constitution does not establish a "separation of church and state." This expression has been used throughout American history (sometimes with dubious motives) to denote a distinction between state and church in various venues, but it does not have constitutional status, no matter what the zombies at the ACLU and AU have to say about it. A plain reading of the First Amendment makes no mention of a "separation of church and state." In fact, only about 1/2 of the Court is "strict separationist" any longer. The others are either preferentialists or accomodationists.

Finally, there is more to using the Bible to take an oath than what you suggest. Read George Washington's Farewell Address (1796).

Thanks for reading and your insights.


William R. Wilson profile image

William R. Wilson 5 years ago from Knoxville, TN

The European settlers who established America were indeed Christian. But the land that was here before them was definitely not Christian, so your argument leaves out the millions of people here who were exterminated, enslaved, and forcibly converted to Christianity. There are also the Africans who were brought here by force and also stripped of their language, culture and religion.

Once the indigenous religions were exterminated, the Christians were indeed the majority. Certainly they didn't behave in a very Christ like manner. But that's beside the point.

The constitution establishes a separation of church and state. There is no official state religion in the US. None. Not Christianity, not Buddhism, not anything. As far as the state is concerned, America is not a religious nation.

The traditions of the white settlers who dominated America for the first few centuries of it's founding were Christian, however. Thus, the use of the bible to swear in officials, etc.

But there is a difference between the traditions of a nation and the Nation's official religion.


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago Author

Paul, I'm also not a big fan of Francis Bellamy. Just a pledge to a nation alone smacks too much of fascism (which is what the atheist would have us do). But I have no problem with a statement that has me to pledge "one nation, under God"; it regularly puts matters in proper perspective. Thanks for stopping by and your comments.


Paul Shearer 5 years ago

I would prefer to see the Pledge completely removed given its dubious origins and socialist under-pinnings. I'm not a fan of Francis Bellamy.


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago Author

Good point LC. Thanks for stopping by and for your comments.


lcvarner 5 years ago

Let us remember too where the word "Holiday" originated. Holiday was originally two words. "Holy day" So if July 4th is not a holiday, then what should it be called? For that matter, should government still work on holidays if we truly separate church and state. Does the ACLU still operate on holidays? Just thinking.


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago Author

Thanks Hattie & Gitrdun. Glad to see some kindred spirits out there.


gitrdun4444 profile image

gitrdun4444 5 years ago from North Carolina

Great hub! It's ashame we can't go back to when things were so simple though! Everyone needs to be reminded of our history, and our constitution, and yes "IN GOD WE TRUST".


HattieMattieMae profile image

HattieMattieMae 5 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

Awesome! Good to know that someone cleared that up on here! lol

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working