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Is the United States a Christian Nation? Democracy, Not Theocracy

Updated on September 28, 2016
CatherineGiordano profile image

Catherine Giordano is a writer and public speaker who often writes and speaks on topics related to science, philosophy, and religion.

Democracy, not Christianity

The dominant religion in the United States is Christianity, but the United States is not a Christian nation by law. The clear intent of the founding fathers and the framers of the Constitution was to create a secular democracy governed by the rule of law where God and religion were left to individual conscience.

Is the United states a Christian nation?
Is the United states a Christian nation? | Source

Were the Founding Fathers Christian?

The founding fathers were Christian (sort of). The founding fathers were nominal Christians, not devout Christians. Even if they had been devout Christians that does not necessarily mean that they intended the United States to be a theocracy or a Christian nation.

The Christianity of the founding fathers and the framers of the Constitution was definitely not the same kind of Christianity we see today among evangelicals. They were what we might call CINO’s today—Christians in Name Only. Some followed the social conventions of their day to an extent with respect to church attendance, but religion was not an important part of their life.

  • George Washington was an Episcopalian. He attended church regularly, but he refused to take communion or kneel when he prayed.

  • Thomas Jefferson called himself a Christian, but he did not accept the divinity of Jesus Christ. He created his own version of the New Testament by cutting and pasting pages from the Bible together. Jefferson’s Bible removed all mention of miracles, including the resurrection.

  • Benjamin Franklin supported the Presbyterian Church all his life but rarely attended services.

The founding fathers were not Christians, but deists.

What is Deism?

Deism is the belief that God set the world in motion; but He is not a personal God who performs miracles and answers prayers.

They saw God as the “Prime Mover” who is revealed in the “Laws of Nature.” The age of Reason (16th and 17th centuries) and The Enlightenment (17th and 18th centuries) had changed the world view of scientists and philosophers. God was not a miracle-working father figure who dwelt in Heaven–he was” Divine Providence,” “The Universal Sovereign,” “Nature’s God,” “The Supreme Being” “The First Cause” or “The Creator.” (Nowadays we have added a new term--“Higher Power.”)

Deists believed that one could understand the Creator by the application of reason and the study of the laws of nature. They rejected the supernatural, miracles, dogma, and the “revealed truth” of organized religion.

A potter's wheel is a metaphor for the deist concept of a Creator who creates the world but takes no further interest in His creation. It excludes organized religion and worship of any kind.
A potter's wheel is a metaphor for the deist concept of a Creator who creates the world but takes no further interest in His creation. It excludes organized religion and worship of any kind. | Source

Why is the Word “Creator” in the Declaration of Independence?

Any who claim that the fact that the word “Creator” is in the Declaration of Independence proves that the founders intended the United States to be at Christian nation is utterly mistaken. It proves exactly the opposite.

Kings claimed that they ruled by “Divine Right.” God had placed them on the throne and to oppose the king was to oppose God.

When the founders wrote the Declaration of Independence they wanted to use God for their own purpose. When they said "endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights" they were telling King James that while you claim that God has set kings upon their thrones, we claim that "all men are created equal" and that God given humankind rights that even a king can not take away. Essentially, they were saying, “We have God on our side.”

They used a vague term like “Creator.” They could have said Lord, or Jehovah, or Yahweh, or even just God, but instead they used an abstract term like Creator.They were saying that people are created with these rights; just like we are created with brains and arms and legs. The king does not give us these rights and he cannot take them away.

Even if the word Creator was an exact synonym for God, it would not prove that the founders intended the United States to be a Christian nation. There is no mention of Christ, or “Our Lord and Savior, or "Our Redeemer” or any of the other terms used for Christ. Surely if they had intended the United States to be a Christian nation, they would have mentioned Christ.

They solidified their argument with these words: “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” They were saying government comes from people, not from God.

Declaration of Independence

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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.”

Were the Founding Fathers anti-religion?

The founding fathers were a product of their times. They probably could not imagine a world without religion. They may also have been a little elitist. They were upper class and educated gentleman; they did not need religion—they had “good breeding”. It was different for the masses—they needed religion to encourage moral behavior and to constrain bad behavior. They just wanted to keep religion out of government.

On a personal basis, the founders had a live-and-let- live attitude toward religion as shown by this statement by Thomas Jefferson.

“But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” ~Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782.

The founding fathers were not alone in their objection to mixing religion and government. Even religious leaders of the time were opposed to inserting religion into government and vice versa. In 1773, the Reverend. Isaac Backus, a very prominent New England Baptist minister, stated

"When church and state are separate, the effects are happy, and they do not at all interfere with each other: but where they have been confounded together, no tongue nor pen can fully describe the mischiefs that have ensued."

A painting of the founding founders at the Constitutional Convention.
A painting of the founding founders at the Constitutional Convention. | Source

Does the U.S. Constitution Mention God?

There is no mention of God (or Creator or any other term used for God or a God-like entity) in the Constitution. This was not an inconsequential accidental mission; it was a deliberate important omission.

Religious wars had wreaked havoc upon Europe for centuries. The monarchs of Europe used God as an excuse to wage war and to fight bloody battles of succession. Protestants and Catholics were slaughtering each other for political power.

Many of the earliest settlers came to the "New World” to escape religious intolerance and bigotry. (Ironically, they would often display that same intolerance and bigotry to members of other religions.) The New World was a refuge from the oppression of government-sponsored religion. Speaking about religion, John Adams said, “Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced.”

There is only one mention of religion in the Constitution of the United States. It is in Article VI Section 3 and it specifically excludes using religion as a requirement for public office. Surely if they had intended the United States to be a Christian nation, they would have stated that office holders must be Christian.

At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Benjamin Franklin is reported to have suggested that meetings begin with a prayer. The meetings were very contentious and Franklin thought prayer might help unify the delegates. The proposal for prayer was voted down.

Not only is God not in the Constitution, he was not even allowed in the debate room. The United States Constitution was written without any official prayers. But nowadays your local zoning board can’t seem to hold a meeting without an official prayer.

Article VI Section 3

"No Religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

What Does the Bill of Rights Say about Religion?

The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution in 1791. The framers used the first amendment to be more explicit about the role of religion in public life.

The final wording explicitly states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof... " This gave citizens both freedom of religion—the right to practice the religion of their choice as they saw fit—and freedom from religion—there would be no state church and government would never force religion upon the people.

It is instructive to look at how the wording was decided.

  • Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, written by Thomas Jefferson was the model. It declared, “All men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion on matters of religion.”

  • James Madison expanded it to “The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief of worship nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or any pretense, infringed.”

It seems pretty clear that rather than establishing a Christian nation, the founders' uppermost concern was protecting citizens from religious oppression and zealotry.

First Amendment

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

What Other Evidence Do We Have About the Intentions of the Founding Fathers?

The founding fathers intended the United States to be a secular country—at least as far as government was concerned.

On June 7, 1797 when the Senate unanimously ratified the Treaty of Tripoli, making peace with the Barbary pirates of North Africa, they stated that the United States had no quarrel with the faith of any Mehomitan (Muslim) nation. The treaty stipulated that the government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”

There it is in black and white. The United States was not founded on Christianity. Could it be any clearer?

In 1802, President Thomas Jefferson, one of the founders of the United States and the country's third president said, “Religion is a matter which lies between man and his God.” He declared that the first amendment had erected a "wall of separation between Church and State."

There it is in black and white. A wall of separation. Could it be any clearer?

Treaty of Tripoli

"The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”

American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation
American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation

New York Times bestselling author Jon Meacham tells the human story of how the Founding Fathers viewed faith, and how they ultimately created a nation in which belief in God is a matter of choice.

 

Why Does the Presidential Oath of Office End with “So Help Me God”?

It doesn’t, or rather it didn’t when the Constitution was written. The Constitution gives the oath as: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

In 1881, when Chester A. Arthur who succeeded President Garfield after his assassination, was being sworn in as the 21st president (1881 to 1885), he added the words "I will, so help me God." It has been traditional ever since to say “So help me God.” One day I hope to see a president take the original and correct oath of office. But it seems that presidents are either motivated by religious piety or too afraid not to show religious piety to adhere to the oath as written in the Constitution.

It has also become customary to swear the oath of office on a Bible, but it is not always done that way. John Quincy Adams, the 6th U.S. President (1825 to 1829), for instance, swore on a book of law to symbolize his fealty was to the rule of law.

Why Does It Say “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance?

It doesn’t. Or rather the original pledge did not include those words.

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by the socialist Baptist minister Francis Bellamy. Bellamy intended for the pledge to be used by citizens in any country. It was intended to foster patriotism among children.

In its original form it read:

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

In 1923, the words, "the Flag of the United States of America" were added.

It was recited at schools and public events, but it was not an official pledge until it was formally adopted by Congress in 1942.

In order to distinguish the United States from the communist Soviet Union and because of pressure from religious organizations (particularly the Catholic fraternal organization, The Knights of Columbus), President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words "under God." Congress passed the legislation and Eisenhower signed it into law in 1954. Bellamy's daughter objected to this alteration.

Today it reads:

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Inserting the words under God kind of negates the word “indivisible” since it divides the word “nation” and “indivisible.” Of course, it also divides those who believe and who don’t believe in God.

The words of the original official United States  Pledge of Allegiance do not include the words  "under God."
The words of the original official United States Pledge of Allegiance do not include the words "under God." | Source

Why is “In God We Trust” the Motto of the United States?

In 1782, the Great Seal of the United States was created. It included what was then the unofficial motto of the country, e pluibus unum which is Latin for "from many, one."

In 1956, Congress passed a law declaring “In God we trust” to be the official motto of the United States and President Eisenhower signed it into law. Like the insertion of “under God” into the pledge of allegiance, religious fervor and anti-Communist sentiment was behind it.

“In God we trust” first appeared on coins in 1864 after the Civil War. The phrase appears to have been taken from the fourth stanza of "The Star Spangled Banner" written during the War of 1812. The phrase is: "And this be our motto: In God is our Trust.” Religious leaders pushed for a new law allowing the phrase to be stamped on coins.

"In God We Trust" first appeared on paper currency in 1957.

Is the United States a Christian Nation?

Officially, the United States is a secular nation, a nation of all religions and a nation of no religion. Religion should not intrude on government and government should not intrude on religion.

Unofficially, that wall of separation has crumbled far too often under bombardment from religion. The word "God" has seeped into some acts of Congress, but still no official mention of Christ or Christianity.

The United States is a Christian nation in one sense of the word—the large majority of its citizens are Christian. (About 70% self-identify as Christian according to the 2014 Pew Poll.) But most of the time when people say "America is a Christian nation." they are not talking about population statistics; they mean it in the same way as "Israel is a Jewish nation."

Christians may be the majority, but that does not give Christianity the right to try to impose its religious beliefs on the country. The majority cannot take away the rights of the minority.

Let me rephrase. The majority can try to take away the rights of the minority, but it will be a sad day for the United States of America if they succeed.

The United States is NOT a Christian nation. It was never intended to be a Christian nation. Hopefully, it will never be a Christian nation.

One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America
One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America

Historian Kevin M. Kruse argues that the idea of “Christian America” is nothing more than a myth—and a relatively recent one at that. The author reveals how the comingling of money, religion, and politics created a false narrartive that continues to define and divide American politics today.

 

What do you think?

Did the founding fathers intend for the United States to be a Christian nation?

See results

For Further Reading

Kevin M. Kruse is a professor of history at Princeton and the author of One Nation Under God.How Corporate America Invented Christian America.” In this article for the New York Times, A Christian Nation, Since When, he discusses the history of Christians claiming that the United States is and/or should be a Christian nation.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is a non-profit organization organization that includes members of all faiths. It is dedicated to the preservation of the Constitution’s religious liberty provisions. The executive Director is the Revered Barry Lynn, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, The group provides this brochure: Is America a Christian Nation.

The Encyclopedia Britannica addresses the issue of the religious beliefs of the founding fathers. This article, The Founding Fathers, Deism, and Christianity, explains how deism influenced the thinking of many of the founding fathers despite their membership in, an attendance at, various Christian churches.

There are many other articles and books you can read on this topic. I googled and just picked a few of the top ranked articles from authoritative, fact-checked sources. If you want more information, I suggest you google the topic yourself or read one of the many books on the subject. I included one book above, but there are many others. Follow the amazon link, and amazon will provide you with other titles on this topic.

N.B.: It is not incorrect to call the United States a democracy.The country is a democracy, albeit a representative democracy, an indirect democracy, a constitutional democracy, or a democratic republic might be more precise terms. CLICK HERE for details.

© 2015 Catherine Giordano

I welcome your questions and comments.

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    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 4 months ago from Orlando Florida

      The reason this issue is important is that the Christian-Right in the U.S. tries to get away with saying the U.S. was formed as a Christian country. They think that this gives the the right to discriminate against other religions and to impose laws on everyone according to their version of Christianity.

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      Alan 4 months ago from Tasmania

      What if any is the importance of this question, whether not America is Christian?

      It seems to me that those most vocal about being Christian can be the more hypocritical people and more likely to dabble in "breaking the rules behind the scenes."

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 4 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Sanxuary: There are two definitions of Christian nation.. One is a nation where the majority of people are Christian. The other is a nation where the law imposes Christianity on it citizens by law. The U.S. is the former, and there should never be even a trace of the latter. I agree with you about how so many Christians and even many Christian churches do not adhere to the purported teachings of Jesus Christ. They are hypocrites. Given how you feel about this, I think your decision to leave the church is a good one.

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      Sanxuary 4 months ago

      When we no longer recognize evil and no longer condemn it we are no longer a Christain nation. Right now just about everyone believes are churches have become conservative and political. They are more or less in bed with Trump and a supporter of Republicans who represent nothing of value. I hope its not true but you will not see me in church anytime soon. I do not have to be a member of any party to recognize evil and do not have to pick sides. I will however never support evil and hope all who deny the truth that they will soon be called out. With the truth approaching i will remind anyone who denied the truth of the lies they once told and the fools they have become. They will have no such high standing with me. I hope they have a fresh look at hell.

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      Catherine Giordano 4 months ago from Orlando Florida

      timothious: Usually I limit comments to two per person; extended back-and-forths get tedious. BTW, I have written a very popular essay on logical fallacies http://hubpages.com/humanities/Some-Common-Logical... You are engaging in the logical fallacy of argument from authority. Just because you have a degree in American History does not mean that you are right. Just because I do not have a degree in American History does not make me wrong.

      I was going to let you have the last word, but I have to address your point that there was a sizable Jewish community in the 1770's. Jews make up 4% of the population of the U.S. today; I doubt that it was larger back at the time of the founding of the country. The Jewish community was the proverbial drop in the bucket. Back in the 1770's, slaves were converted to Christianity. Their African religions and languages were prohibited. Some modern day African-Americas have converted back to Islam, but back in the 1770's it is highly unlikely that religious freedom for Muslim slaves was on the mind of Thomas Jefferson.

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      Catherine Giordano 4 months ago from Orlando Florida

      jonnycomelately: Yes, we must continually strive to form a more perfect union.

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      Timothius 4 months ago from Jasper, GA

      Actually, There were large Jewish populations in the the United States since the 1730's also, many of the slaves at that time were Muslim. The slaves collected in Africa brought with them their traditions and beliefs. When slaves earned their freedom in the 1860's, many of which went on to form Islamic groups toward the end of the 19th and early 20th century. I recommend reading "Muslims in America" by Edward Curtis. It is a short read. In addition, all the founders, especially Thomas Jefferson were well educated in Islamic belief and Jefferson even believed that one day, we would receive an Islamic migration. The founders kept other religions in mind when forming this government.

      I'm well aware of religious history in America. I hold a bachelor's in American History and culture and have taken many courses on religion in America. What I speak of isn't my perspective solely but the perspective of many Historians even those Historians that have atheist leanings.

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      Catherine Giordano 4 months ago from Orlando Florida

      jackclee lm: The founders never tried to legislate religion out of people's lives. They just didn't want to legislate it INTO people's lives. They thought they should draw up a government and leave church and family up to each individual.

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      Catherine Giordano 4 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Timothius: Multiple religious perspectives? I think at the time, the only religious perspective was Christianity, although there were different sects of Christians. And I think you are understanding the founders through the filter of your own beliefs. I relied on what they said and wrote. Thomas Jefferson created what is known a The Jefferson Bible. He cut and pasted removing all references to miracles and keeping only the oral teachings.

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      Alan 4 months ago from Tasmania

      Dexter Rogers has spoken his truth in the Huffington Post regarding the hypocrisy of America's Independence Day. Afro-Americans were not regarded as 100% humans, therefore they were not included in the Constitution.

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      Timothius 4 months ago from Jasper, GA

      We are only saying partially the same thing. No, there isn't any mention of God in the constitution and that's for good reason but, our government was designed around a populous that's religious. It was designed without God's mention because they didn't want to identify with a particular religion and because they believed religion to be an individual's choice without any governmental influence. They believed religion was necessary no matter what religion for the sake of moral guidance. Without religion, you don't have the moral restraints for our governmental design to work because human faults will always surface regardless of education or social status. The founders understood human nature. They were highly read people.

      People often mistakenly believe that the founder's didn't include God in the founding documents because they didn't want it to be a part of government. That is true to a certain extent. They wanted it to be a part of government ONLY in the way a society or people relate to their government in a democracy; through a filter of moral thought. They wanted diverse opinions and strong morals from multiple religious perspectives without the government being swayed to the opinion of one group. Before a government designed to be "self governed" can be established, you have to look at the characteristics of our species and create methods to elevate our species strengths and restrain our faults. This is what the founders did. They simply created a neutral playing field in the best way possible for our species.

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      Jack Lee 4 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Cathrine, we will have to agree to disagree. You can't legislate faith and religion either in or out of peoples lives. It is intricately tied to our political and social and economic systems. The three pillars of society are government, church and family. Can you name any successful country past or present that does not contain a portion of all 3 elements? I use church in the broadest sense including any religion that worship god or gods...or the supernatural.

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      Catherine Giordano 4 months ago from Orlando Florida

      timonthius: I don't think you are saying anything different from what I said in the essay. I really liked your apple-bucket analogy. The founders wanted religion in the United States to be a matter of individual choice. They did not object to citizens practicing religion, but they did not want religion to be part of the Constitution or the goverenment. There is no mention of, or reference to, God in the Constitution.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 4 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Cathrine, why is it unfortunate? From my point of view, it is when we replaced the religious state with the secular state that many of our social problems escalated. We did not have problem with teen pregnancy and unwed mothers until the great society experiment of the 1960s.. when welfare provided free housing and childcare and food stamps... to single mothers. That broke the family unit and lead to gang violence and kids dropping out of schools and illegal drugs use...

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      Timothius 4 months ago from Jasper, GA

      It does not matter whether you are educated or not, you are still a human with human faults. The founder recognized the human condition and used the principles of religion to cushion and check to our faults. Our nation is secular but, the individual people that make up the nation are not. This includes the leaders of our government. You can't fill a bucket full of apples and call the bucket and apple too.

      No, the founder's did not want religion in government but, they realized it was needed for the individual; educated or not.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 4 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Timothius: I agree that the founders wanted religion to control the "passions of the people." It was a bit of snobbishness on their part--the masses need religion; we educated people don't. However, whatever their feelings about the uses of religion, they did not want religion to be part of the government. Unfortunately, the ink was hardly dry on the Constitution, before the people of the newly-formed United States, started adding religion to their government. This practice continues to this day. Thank you for reading and for your thoughtful comment.

    • Timothius profile image

      Timothius 4 months ago from Jasper, GA

      No, the founders did not want religion and government to mesh but, they did want religion in the nation and found it very important in the design of the government. Just as the founders designed the different branches to check each other, religion was supposed to check the passions of the people.

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      Catherine Giordano 11 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Jason Dupea: You and I may mean that Christianity is the majority religion of the United States, but many others mean that the United States was founded to be a Christian nation and that our laws are based, or should be based, on Christianity. They say so loudly and openly.

      I have to disagree with you about Christian precepts underlying the Constitution and laws of the United States. I haven't seen anything in the New Testament (or Old) about liberty or equality.

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      Jason Dupea 11 months ago

      One big straw man. When people say the US is a Christian nation, they don't mean that Christianity is the state religion. They mean it is a nation of mostly Christians (nominally) and founded upon Christian precepts, such as the moral value of liberty and the equal value of all men at their creation.

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      Jack Lee 16 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Austinstar, don't think you know my background. I was born into a Buddist family, I immigrated to the US when I was 10, I converted to Catholicism when I was 45 and have been a Christian ever since.

      If I was born in a Muslim country, I think I would do anything I can to leave such repressive country. I studied all religion including various protestant sect before decided on my final choice. i did not make it lightly. The catholic RCIA process takes about 1 year to complete. I wrote a hub on my process as part of my autobiography. You can search it if you care to read it. I wrote that back in 1997...

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Christianity 2.2 billion 31.50%

      Islam 1.6 billion 22.32%

      Secular [a]/Nonreligious [b]/Agnostic/Atheist ≤1.1 billion 15.35%

      Hinduism 1 billion 13.95%

      Add up the totals and you get 51.62% of the WORLD is NON-CHRISTIAN! (includes other religions not mentioned here)

      So, even being in the "majority" in the USA does not make Christianity the world's religion.

      Jacklee - if you had been born in a Muslim country, you would be Muslim and you would say that Allah is the only god.

      But you were born into a majority of Christian believers and that is the only reason that you are a Christian - because that is what you have been told all your life.

      You really need to get out more.

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      Alan 16 months ago from Tasmania

      By the way, the statement "Christianity is a religion well established for 2000 years" is not true, surely. Even today there are many arguments and disagreements about the fundamentals of Christianity. So it cannot be "well established" in its entirety. Look at its history. Wars; dominance; being on the giving end as well as the receiving end of cruelty; re-writing of scriptures for ulterior gain; coercion; etc. None of this relates to being "well established." You might wish it to be.

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      Alan 16 months ago from Tasmania

      jacklee lm, I get your point and agree that "the atheist humanist that are trying to re-write our history" need to keep control of the facts and not misrepresent history.

      Similarly, people of a Christian persuasion should not make presumptions about history merely based upon their ulterior motive of evangelism.

      The very presumption that being christian is way superior to any other belief system is divisive; it cannot lead to unity.

      I personally prefer the position of Equanimity, without claiming to be very good at keeping to it. You might care to look up this term. It's highly valued in Buddhist teachings.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 16 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      History supported slavery as well. Is Christianity supposed to be a good thing just because it is historical? Or is it like slavery, just another error of philosophy?

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      Catherine Giordano 16 months ago from Orlando Florida

      jackclee lm: No one doubts that the church was influential during the time of the founding of the U.S. That's why the first amendment prohibiting the establishment of a state religion was necessary. The Founders wanted to keep religion and government separate. If the Founders had wanted to set up the U.S. has a Christian country they could have said so in the Constitution. They didn't. In fact, just the opposite. (They said there shall be no religious test for office.) Case closed.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 16 months ago from Yorktown NY

      The ideology in this case I was refering to is the atheist humanist that are trying to re-write our history. Christianity is a religion well established for 2000 years.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 16 months ago from Tasmania

      Yet you seem to be saying, ideology (i.e. christianity) trumps history.

      May be this phrase will be further distorted : "Trump idealizes history." ;)

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 16 months ago from Yorktown NY

      I had the opportunity to visit St. Paul Church in Mt. Vernon, NY - a Historic Landmark since 1980. It clearly shows how the church played a major role in the lives of these early Americans, from pre revolution till modern day. It was interesting to learn how this church also played a role in the first Amendment. The fact that our country was founded as a Christian nation by Christians is uncontrovertible. The building was used by the citizens to conduct official business of church and state.

      This is one glaring example of history trumps ideaology.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      The J Phronesis: There were many founding fathers; I only mentioned a few, like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who were clearly nominal Christians. Others had various degrees of religiosity. They argued about the place of religion in government. Those who wanted a government that was neutral on religion won the debate. The U.S. was founded so the each person could practice religion or not as he wished. As I clearly stated, they were not against religion--they thought it usedful; they just did now want it to be part of government.

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      The J Phronesis 2 years ago

      I have written two hubs on this issue as of now tackling the faith of the Founding Fathers and the origins of Separation of Church and State phrase. I agree that America was not intended to be a secular state. However I beg to differ on your presentation infering that all the founding fathers were only nominal Christians and did not intend for American society to reflect Christian principles. You gave a lot of facts that makes your arguments seem solid, but if you read my hubs, or research as deeply as I have, you'll probably discover that the ground under your conclusions is not as solid as it seems.

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Thanks ShunkW: I appreciate your support for my writing. Thanks for the information about Thomas Jefferson and the "pursuit of happiness."

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      ShunkW 2 years ago

      Hey Catherine. Love your writing so any "criticism" I might offer is purely constructive. This is a subject I have read a lot about but my writing talent is not very good. I believe the other book I was talking about is called “Swerve”: The long-lost book that launched the Renaissance which is about the finding in a monastery of a long lost manuscript by the first-century Roman philosopher Lucretius basically called "On the Nature of Things". Christians tried their best to destroy all the copies because it helped sow "seeds of modern secularism". He helped elucidate the concept that gods were not necessary for happiness. Supposedly Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson owned at least five Latin and English editions of the book in his library....Which pretty much showed that the "pursuit of happiness" had nothing to do with gods and was a concept he got from this ancient writing. Keep up the great work by the way.

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      ShunkW: The founding fathers were well-educated men; they might have known about the book you refer to. I went to Wikipedia for more info on Roger Williams. "Roger Williams was an English Protestant theologian who was an early proponent of religious freedom and the separation of church and state. In 1636, he began the colony of Providence Plantation, which provided a refuge for religious minorities." I suspect the founders were influenced by him, as you say. Sometimes an idea "is in the air., an idea whose time has come, once obscure suddenly becomes popular. "

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      ShunkW 2 years ago

      Good read but a bit disappointed that Roger Williams was not mentioned. He was one of the people most responsible for the concept of the separation of church and state in the "New World". I would recommend the book "Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul" to anyone that might like to learn more about his contributions. Thomas Jefferson used his writings extensively when penning the Constitution. Also there is another book whose title escapes me right now about the lost writings (mostly destroyed by Christians) of an Atheist about 2000 years ago that when found contributed greatly to the concept of "the pursuit of happiness"...

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      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Austinstar wrote:

      "For Christians, the Old Testament is obsolete and is considered the Jewish bible. "Christians" are supposed to be followers of Christ and he is only found in the New Testament....

      The OT belongs in Jewish homes and culture, the NT is for Christians. And neither one should have anything to do with secular governments."

      I 100% agree. Start a church and I will join.

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Bonxboy: I too learned the original pledge as a child. thank you for your insightful comment about how the "so help me God" and the swearing on the bible are actually unconstitutional. i hadn't thought of that.

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      Raymond Soller 2 years ago from The Bronx

      Catherine: In my opinion, the most important part of whether "So help me God" should be part of the presidential inaugural ceremony is not so much what the president may add to his oath of office, but that the Chief Justice should not prompt the president to say anything that is not prescribed by the constitution.

      What is most ironic about popularly elected presidents swearing on a bible, especially the King James Version, is that the president is sworn to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" while the King James Version of the Bible, Romans 13:1-2 reads:

      1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

      2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

      As a kid, I go back to an era when "under God" was not part of the Pledge of Allegiance; "In God We Trust" was not printed on U. S. paper currency; and no one was saying that George Washington started the tradition of adding "So help me God" to the presidential oath. So please keep up the good work.

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      Lela 2 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Lawrence - you can throw the whole book out. It's the worst book ever written.

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      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      @lawrence01 Yes, it's always difficult for a person with a strong christian conviction to look outside of his/her "faith" for what might be something closer to the truth.

      It's like and "open and shut" case regarding that one book.

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      Lela 2 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Lawrence - just for fun, try thinking of the government and religion as two separate entities. I bet you could do it if you tried.

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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Austinstar

      I don't think you can seperate the two (government and faith) as each person will reflect what they believe. I just hope they reflect acceptance.

      As for the OT being for the Jews and the NT being for Christians sorry but the OT WAS THE BIBLE OF THE FIRST CHRISTIANS. It was Jesus' Bible and it was Peter and Paul's so we can't throw it away! We might not understand or like it but we can't throw it out!

      Lawrence

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Austinstar: You make very good points. If it is in Leviticus and not in the NT, Christians should not be citing it. I love the way you phrased it.

      "The OT belongs in Jewish homes and culture, the NT is for Christians. And neither one should have anything to do with secular governments.

      Governments are for keeping the peace, promoting infrastructure, and defending our country. Our government is not in the business of promoting religion - of any kind."

      I liked it so much I quoted it in my response t your comment.I think you have the kernal of a hub there.

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      Lela 2 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      For Christians, the Old Testament is obsolete and is considered the Jewish bible. "Christians" are supposed to be followers of Christ and he is only found in the New Testament.

      So, this is why I still am amazed that so many "Christians" keep trying to throw ancient Old Testament culture up as a way to influence today's laws and society.

      The OT belongs in Jewish homes and culture, the NT is for Christians. And neither one should have anything to do with secular governments.

      Governments are for keeping the peace, promoting infrastructure, and defending our country. Our government is not in the business of promoting religion - of any kind.

      Our country may have a majority of Christians in it, but they do not regulate, or have authority over non-Christian society and culture. Why is this so hard to understand?

      The government is for the people, with liberty and justice for ALL.

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      BonxBoy: Than you for your addenda. You certainly know your history. As soon as I get a chance I will look into the things you mentioned and incorporate them into the article if I can verify them. I'm glad you enjoyed the article despite the trifling points you found lacking.

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Jay C. OBrian: I very much appreciate your comment. I didn't go to law school, but everyone knows federal law trumps state law and the Supreme court decides if there is a conflict and someone sues over it. Well, I guess not everyone. I hope people will now stop arguing otherwise.

      You make a very interesting point about Judeo-Christian. I just did a new hub and learned that for Christians the New Testament trumps the old testament.

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      Raymond Soller 2 years ago from The Bronx

      Just for the record: The repetitive "tradition," where every president has added SHMG to the presidential oath, did not begin until FDR's first presidential inaugural ceremony in 1933. Herbert Hoover, 1929, is the last president who did not add a religious codicil to his oath of office.

      It's not quite accurate to say that JQA, 1829, "swore on a book of law." To be more precise, CJ John Marshall presented JQA with a law book from which he read the presidential oath.

      There are a number of other presidents besides JQA & TR who are not known as having sworn their oath on a Bible. To start with GW did not include a Bible at his 2nd inauguration. After GW, Andrew Jackson was the next president who is said to have to sworn on a Bible, but that appears to be an anomaly until the 1845 inauguration of James K Polk. After that we know that Rutherford B. Hayes, at his March 3, 1877 private ceremony, did not use a Bible; Calvin Coolidge, August 2, 1923, chose not to place his hand on the Bible, which was close by, when sworn in by his notary public father; (as mentioned) TR did not use a Bible; JFK did not place his hand on his family Douay Bible, which was held by James Browning, Clerk of the Supreme Court (JFK later said that he forgot); LBJ used a Catholic Missal (prayer book); and lastly, Obama, at his "do-over" ceremony, did not include a Bible.

      As for Kenneth C. Davis, he, in his recent book, Don't Know Much About American Presidents, wrote: "Legend has it that he [GW] kissed the Bible and said "So help me God" --- words not required by the Constitution. But there is no contemporary report of Washington saying those words. On the contrary, one eyewitness account, by the French minister, Comte de Moustier, recounts the full text without mentioning the Bible kiss or the "So help me God" line. Washington's use of the words was not reported until late in the nineteenth century."

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      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      As a retired attorney, federal law trumps state law where there is a conflict. The U.S. Supreme Court rules on outstanding issues. Did anyone else go to law school?

      Is the United States a Christian Nation?

      The USA does not have a recognized religion, however the great majority of citizens who are not atheist claim to be Christian. Of the declared "Christians" most accept both the Old and New Testaments. This acceptance makes them actually Judeo-Christian, not truly Christian. To be Christian, one must renounce Old Testament Judaism. Why? You cannot have both a god of War (OT) and a god of Peace (NT) at the same time.

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      Toga 2 years ago

      AHHAAH. You can't debate so you want people to go away.

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      toga: I asked you nicely to go away. I'm not interested in continuing the debate.

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      Toga 2 years ago

      I am not ATM. I asked a legit question. That is not trolling. You make the claim that the federal law trumps state law. When the constitution was written, who are you pointing to back that claim up? That is a legit question. You are making an assertion based on what?

      All I have been asking is how do you back that up? How is that trolling?

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      Lela 2 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      You do a great job of handling them. I'm taking lessons.

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Austinstar, Thomas Swan, and jonnycomelately: I try not feeding the trolls, but they still come back.

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      Lela 2 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Trolls. Can't live with them, can't live without them. At least they are easy to spot.

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      Thomas Swan 2 years ago from New Zealand

      I usually check the IP address beneath comments left by persistent "guests", put it into infosniper.net, find their location, and compare with similarly vituperative hubbers. Sometimes you'll find a match.

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      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      Some time back, in other discussions, we had "ATM." He argued in a similar way to "toga." Wonder if they are one and the same....

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      toga: You got me. You win. Now can you drop it. I just don't care if you believe me or not. And I don't intend to spend any more of my time trying to convince you.

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      Toga 2 years ago

      You were only ignoring because you could not answer. I understand. I thought you might really be interested in what you were putting up. But by ignoring that which you can't answer and running from it only shows me you are not interested in the truth, just in the indoctrination.

      I can't take you seriously if you can't debate your point. And you haven't.

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      toga: I'm not really interested in continuing the debate. Every time I respond, you come back with a new objection. I was hoping if I ignored you, you would go away. I've moved on. You can join HubPages and write your own hub on the topic, and then you can debate all comers.

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      Toga 2 years ago

      A few days ago I asked what you were basing your statement on. I was interested to know, prior to the 14th amendment, what claim do you base that the federal law trumps all state law?

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      peoplepower: Thank you so much for your comment, praise, votes, and share. I wrote about the pledge, the money etc. because some people have used that to try prove that the U.S. is a Christian nation. They don't realize that most of that stuff was done fairly recently. Even if that stuff had been there from the beginning, it would only mean that the U.S. is a godly nation, not a Christian one. It does not say Christ. I'm sure the founders would be shocked to see how there good intentions have been subverted with how much god (custom and law) has infiltrated official government activities.

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      lawrence 01: People don't always live up to their ideals, secular or religious. They made compromises to get the Constitution ratified (slavery), but they stayed strong on religion and kept it out of the Constitution.

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      jonnycomelately: You just gave one of the best defining principles of the ideal religious view. "A love of humanity that transcends dogma." You have had quite a spiritual journey. It is a journey that never ends for any of us. Or perhaps I should say, a journey that SHOULD never end.

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I'm too tired right now to respond to these thoughtful comments. I'll do it in the morning.

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      Mike Russo 2 years ago from Placentia California

      Catherine: Thank you for such a thorough and well written article. As I was reading it, I was forming my questions to ask in the comments, but by the time I finished reading, all of my "gotcha questions" were answered.

      The problems arise when people think that religious doctrine can trump government laws. This country is based on the rule of law. Not the scripture of the bible or any other religious doctrine. It may be argued that our founding fathers were or were not Christian, but that doesn't matter because, the Constitution is based on law. I don't believe the Supreme Court consults the bible in making its determinations.

      The latest ruling about same sex individuals having the same rights as heterosexuals is not based on religious doctrine. It's about LGBT people having the same legal rights as other individuals when it comes to mutual property.

      But some of the Christians in this country refuse to marry them, because they can quote scripture that they interpret to mean that LGBT is not a Christian act and this country was based on Christian doctrine.

      Religious doctrine can be interpreted to justify killing of others. Look at the Crusades and ISIS. Did God intend for Christians to have slaves, so that Christians could prosper by using slave labor? Did God intend for the pioneers to kill the Indians in the name of Manifest Destiny?

      In a theocracy, religion is law and practiced as such. In a democracy, the people make the laws and religion is what they practice if they so choose. If not, that's O.K. too, according to the first amendment.

      When it comes to politics, religion and God are used as a political expedient. God is a generic term and manifests itself differently based on religious ethnicity.

      Voting up, useful and sharing.

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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Catherine

      I wasn't arguing with you. Like you I think that they were living out their faith in light of what they knew.

      They didn't always get it right (Washington was a slave owner, I'm not sure if Ben Franklyn was but he played a significant part in shaping Wilberforce's ideas) but they lived according to their faith and their desire to worship (or not) freely.

      Like you, some of the stuff coming out of the "fundamentalist" area (I won't call them christian because at times what they say is anything but christlike) I find pretty worrying.

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      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      Catherine, I was born in UK. Migrated to Australia almost 40 years ago, so count myself as more than half Australian now, but with a strong international intellect.

      Brought up in the Anglican (High, i.e., theatrical) Church, then into the non-denominational, hallelujah-type churchiness, and about 40 years ago moved away from the bible-based religion. Tried Siddha Yoga, Reiki, all interesting and useful within the learning curve. More recently, Vipassana, which is very useful for searching my inner world.

      Still open to enlightening experience and teachings from others.

      Still retain a love of humanity that transcends dogma.

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      johnnycomelately: Thank your your comments. I agree entirely. Religion and religious beliefs should not be put into the laws of this or any other country. The U.S. Constitution is supposed to protect the citizens of the U.S. from this kind of thing. If the founding fathers could see how often their good intentions have been violated as religion has insinuated itself into government, I'm sure they would be very dismayed.

      BTW, what country are you from? Your profile doesn't say.

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Thank you once again Randy Godwin. Just so you know, the Whiz called me a liar and a coward. He said everything I wrote was simply made up He went on about at great length repeating the insults over and over and he used all caps for some of it. I don't even remember all the offensive things he said and I have permanently deleted the comment. I do know that I actually felt physically afraid--his language was so strong. I am fine with people saying I am wrong and attempting to prove it. I always allow those comments and respond politely to them. I even have allowed mildly abusive comments, but he went way over the line. Now he is going around and leaving messages for me on other people's hubs. If this continues, I will report him.

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      Lela 2 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      It is a simple concept, but there are people in the world that believe that their god contrls everything. The only problem is, really, is that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of these gods. Everybody wants their god to be the one in control.

      I imagine that there are people in the world who have never once in their entire lives read any other book than the Christian bible. It controls them.

      I have noticed that once an idea is set in someone's head, it can never be unset. These people actually pride themselves on this fact.

      Progress is slow, but it is inescaple. People are going to have to accept the fact that the U.S. has a government by the people and for the people, not just Christian people, but ALL people.

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      KMSplumeau: Thank you for reading, praising and commenting. I never expected that this essay would be so controversial. I presented well documented facts, but some of the comments reveal that some people have just gone berserk over the idea that the founders did not intend for the U.S. to be a Christian nation by law. They did not hate religion or want to do away with religion; they simply wanted every person to follow their conscience on matters of religion and for government to be neutral on religion.

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      lawrence01: I doubt that the founding fathers divorced themselves from all their beliefs when they wrote the Constitution and I never claimed that. Of course they used their beliefs. And one of their most important beliefs was that religion and government should not be mixed. As I wrote, they had seen all the war and death caused by religion throughout the ages and they sought to protect the U.S. from that kind of thing. As I wrote, they were not against religion, they just did not want it written into law. Why are so many people having such a hard time accepting this very simple and obvious concept.

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      KMSplumeau 2 years ago

      Great hub, I really enjoyed this. Reading through the comments has been enlightening as well, since this has been such a hot-button issue for many years. Voted up and sharing!

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      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      I regard Catherine's hub here as most enlightened and researched. Thank you Catherine.

      If the United States of America were to continue in the ways that your Founding Fathers envisaged and intended, then I would be very happy to live in your country.

      However, with the prospect of fundamentalist and fanatical christian believers taking more and more power within your Government, I predict it will prove a very sad future for mankind the world over.

      Conversely, if tolerance, mutual respect, education and humility allow christian people to open their eyes to other possibilities, then our world will progress and we will learn to live united as neighbours.

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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Catherine

      Excellent hub but you've probably got quite a few people 'discussing' with you about the founding fathers.

      Personally I don't think you can divorce someone's actions from their faith

      I enjoyed the hub.

      Blessings

      Lawrence

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      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      @WillStarr 12 days ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Level 6 Commenter

      You said: "I don't base my objections to abortions and homosexual marriage on religion. I base it on my personal moral standards. I simply think both are wrong."

      I suggest that, under the democratic system of government in your country, you are perfectly entitled to hold those views. But.... you are not entitled to impose those views on other members of your nation by way of laws based upon your religious beliefs.

      As a person who is a-theist in my thinking, I can agree with you about some aspects of abortion, but my thinking can stand independent of any belief in a deity. I am free to be homosexual in my orientation, but I am also free to have a religious conviction or not.... it does not influence my orientation.

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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Well Ben--you don't mind if I call you Ben, do you?--Catherine is the HubEmpress of her articles and comments and is directly responsible for keeping the insults to a very minimum. Approving insulting comments can get the entire hub unpublished with no chance of having it considered again. Been there, done that! :)

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      Lela 2 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Biz, you seem to be ultra sensitive to having your comments deleted. Why don't you try to improve your comments? You come off as condescending and rude. Stick to the topic at hand and be less argumentative. It might work.

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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Well I for one, Whiz, seriously doubt that's your real picture! And when folks are afraid to show an actual picture it tends to make them somewhat suspect in the honesty department. :P

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      Lela 2 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Jackli said, "However, 9 appointed judges should not take upon themselves to speak for the masses"

      The Supreme court does NOT speak for the masses. It speaks for the constitutionality of the LAW! And the phrase: "justice and liberty for ALL". They do a very good job of interpreting the constitutional law. It is their job to do so.

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Christina S: Thank you for your comment. I wish everyone in the U.S. understood this principle of our government as well as you do. You have summed it up perfectly--"It protects all of us." The founders fought hard to to create a country that would keep religion and government separate to protect the freedom of everyone.

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      Christin Sander 2 years ago from Midwest

      I thoroughly enjoyed your hub and found it to be very well-organized, thought provoking and an honest examination. You can be a Christian (or otherwise religious) person and separate that from following the constitution. The Constitution was by its design written to protect people from religion being imposed on them while also preserving their ability to worship as they see fit. I think you hit the nail on the head perfectly. Glad I found your hub. It's astonishing to me the number of people that don't understand the concepts of separation of church and state - it protects ALL of us.

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      Jack Lee 2 years ago from Yorktown NY

      Cathrine - the United States of America under the Constitution divided the powers between federal and states. This is the bases of "federalism." To answer your question, you need to look deeper than just the U.S. Constitution but the Constitution of each States. I don't want to add links as you have instructed in the past but you are welcome to do a search on the States Constitution and you will find plenty of mention of God that you claim are not in the Constitution. I actually believe that the US is no longer a Christian Nation in 2015, especially after the latest decision of the Supreme Court. Congratulations, you got what you wished for. What's next?

    • profile image

      Toga 2 years ago

      What are you basing your belief this statement on…. The states can't make any laws that contravene the Constitution.

      And where did the writers of the constitution state that?

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Thomas Swan: Thank you for your comment. I enjoyed reading it. I included things lke "uneder God" because many people argue that proves the U.S. is a Christian nation. About 10 years ago someone sued to have "under God" removed from the Pledge. The Supreme Court heard the case and then wimped out, saying that the person bringing the suit didn't have standing because he was suing on behalf of a minor child and he did not have full custody of the child.

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      Thomas Swan 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Catherine, you've done some excellent research here. I'm also fed up with Christians trying to shoehorn their religion into politics or trying to alter history. I've always wondered why God was mentioned in things like the presidential oath and the pledge of allegiance when the founding fathers were clear about Church and State remaining separate. Your hub helpfully explained when and how edits were made. I think it's unlikely to change many minds though. Religious individuals are well-practiced in believing things that make them happy rather than things that are likely to be true.

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      A large majority of the citizens of the United States are Christians. As you say, some use their religion to benefit society and some show none of the values that are commonly held to be "Christian values." Nonetheless, this country was not founded to be officially Christian. The founders intended for government to stay out of religion and neither promote it nor suppress it. The founders also intended for religion to stay out of government. The constitution plus the writings of the founders when taken in their entirety very clearly supports this view. Even if they were personally religious, they did not want to mix government and religion.

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      Word 2 years ago from Chicago

      Hi Catherine, Not as a whole is the U.S. a Christian nation. Many of the forefathers proclaimed to be Christians but many times it didn't show. Also, it's good to show humility when praying but God answers prayers whether you kneel or not. Many Americans claim to be Christians but they can't help it that they are prejudice against others, they implore favoritism, they retaliate for offense. God says, vengeance is His. God's Word promotes to love one another. That seems to be hard to do for many people to do. There are various religions. Some are peaceful and some resort to violence in trying to bring about a change. The Christian community within itself is a work in progress. A Christian is to be Christlike on a daily basis as well as uphold the principals of the Bible.

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Justin Earick: Thank you for your comment. The AD comment was indeed pathetic and it went downhill from there. In a comment that I had to delete because it was beyond the pale of civil discourse, he was ranting about erasures. I don't know if there were erasures, but if something about God was erased, it only proves my point--the founders did not want God in the Constitution.

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      Justin Earick 2 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      Whiz - Because your comment was low-hanging fruit, and barely worth redress. "The year of our lord?" Really? That's your evidence? Standard 18th century English for the date, which wasn't in the draft that was actually approved at the convention? You're grasping at straws, and it's pathetic. How difficult is it to understand that no religion shall be established (no religious test, and freedom from religion, it's really clear), and that the United States was the first country to overtly declare itself a secular nation?

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I had to ban BizWhiz from commenting on the comments section of my hub because he crossed the line from disagreement with the facts and opinions I stated into hysterical diatribe and insults. (I deleted the worst of it, but left some of his off-the-wall comments to show why I had to ban him.) He continues to post even after I banned him forcing me to delete his comments again. Thanks Randy Godwin for standing with me on this even tho I had to delete your witty responses because they didn't make sense without BizWhiz's comments. My advice to BizWhiz: Make your case in your own hub. You are not welcome to comment on my hubs. Stop being a pest. Also a note to others: If you make a point or ask a question and I answer it, and then you come back with the exact same question, I will not respond to you.

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      Toga 2 years ago

      Again, what is NOT in the constitution was left to the states. The writers of the constitution did not want to step on the states beliefs and therefore let matters of religion up to the states.

      What is it you think the states are going against when the issue was left up to the states to deal with? And why can't you explain it?

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      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      "I think the God of the OT and NT are different and that the OT God was a pretty brutal God. I don't think the founding fathers were under the sway of Rabbinic traditions."

      OK, we agree the OT God was pretty brutal. The teachings of the NT are: love one another, love your enemy, sheath your sword, etc. Is there only one God who is schizophrenic or two different Gods or is one Testament simply wrong?

      Jefferson solved the contradiction by deleting the OT entirely and NT stories outside of Matt, Mark, Luke and John.

      Rabbinic traditions are found in the OT. If people quote from the OT they are following the Rabbis. If one cites the NT, they are following Jesus. You are what you rely upon.

      Religion is and always will be in government, if not officially. Just speak to a Southern Baptist!

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Jay C. O'Brien: Thank you for your comment. It is refreshing to have a comment that is rational, although I don't entirely agree with it. I think the God of the OT and NT are different and that the OT God was a pretty brutal God. I don't think the founding fathers were under the sway of Rabbinic traditions. I have not found any mention of that. They were brought up in the Christian church so if they were influenced by anything, it was Christianity. I don't think they were war-mongers either, but I haven't researched that topic. This essay wasn't even that much about the founding fathers. After the first few sections, I never mention them again. I talk more about the history of religion seeping into government. For some reason that I am still trying to understand my comments about the founding father's religious views, views which are widely known, have touched a nerve.

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Toga: The states can't make any laws that contravene the Constitution. God and Christianity are not in the Constitution. I was trying to explain why the founding fathers did not want it in the Constitution. You may think my ideas about the reasons are wrong, but it is still self-evident that God and Christianity are not in the Constitution as ratified.

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      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      BiZwhiz: I have a copy of the constitution right on my desk. It is always kept there. You need to stop with the insults. Please don't comment here anymore. I will not approve your comments. You have crossed the line.

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      Toga 2 years ago

      Then a shift of topic.

      What matters is that it is not in the Constitution. No mention of Christianity or God. Only the admonition that government and religion should not mix.

      The Constitution says it will not make any laws concerning the Establishment of Religion. Then proceeds to follow through with that. The writers of the Constitution fully understood that what was not in the Constitution was left to the States. So the writers did not eliminate God or religion from government, they just shifted the topic to each state to deal with. And God was in every states constitution at that time, and remains so to one degree or another. Which the actions suggest your views are not theirs.

      And please don't try and make anyone think that the actions of the government in 1860s with the 14th amendment was the intentions of the writers of the Constitution.

      Besides Thomas Jefferson himself wrote in three different forms that religion was left to the states to decide. Among others as well. I will be happy to post the entire letters of Jefferson, just so you can see I am not cherry picking them. Or from others if you like.

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      Toga 2 years ago

      You first list your reason that George Washington is a Deist.

      Then you back it up with questionable material. Questioned by the keepers of George Washington's information.

      Then you say support for your claim does not matter because someone thinks Washington was a Deist.

      That means you care nothing about credibility and everything about promoting your views instead of the truth.

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      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Excellent article, you wrote the following.

      "Is the United States a Christian nation?

      Unofficially, that wall of separation has crumbled far too often under bombardment from religion. The word "God" has seeped into some acts of Congress, but still no official mention of Christ or Christianity."

      "Christianity" is taught from the Bible which consists of the Old Testament (OT) and the New Testament (NT). The OT is Jewish because it was written by the Rabbis. The NT is Christian because it documents the teachings of Christ. The OT and NT are contradictory. The OT depicts God as jealous, vengeful and wrathful, but the NT depicts God as a loving personal Father. The OT teaches to "kill all the Canaanites", but the NT teaches, "Love your enemy."

      Thomas Jefferson saw this contradiction and constructed his, "Jefferson Bible" without any reference to the OT.

      Most founding fathers followed the Rabbinic tradition of the OT, "kill your enemy." They did not embrace Christianity which teaches, "Love your enemy." The exception to this are the Quakers, Mennonites and Amish.

      Summary: The USA was and is actually controlled by Rabbinic tradition and is are not truly Christian.

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      TheBizWhiz 2 years ago

      Catherine said: "Biz Whiz: If you think there are not lots of people insisting that the United States is a Christian nation, just google it. You can also find a bunch of books about it on amazon. Even more just go on facebook--you'll see these posts all the time"

      Your sources of research are, as YOU stated; Google, Amazon, and Facebook.

      Catherine said: "Voker Loper: Calling me a liar really crosses the line and shows how insecure you feel in your views. Google this subject and see how many respected historians agree with me."

      Again with Google.

      Catherine said: "As for how I know what preachers say--have you heard of YouTube?"

      Wow. Youtube

      With the internet, opinion news sites, and talk radio people now days get their information/news as if they are ordering it off of a menu. I call it "niche news" because people don't get unbiased news anymore, they go straight to a source that agrees with their biased feelings such as Fox News, MSNBC, Bill Maher, or Rush Limbaugh. That is fine and dandy, but when you take opinions and pass them off as facts, then that is where the problem lies.

      As I see it, you don't like to take the time to read and research. You like to get instant information and it shows in this Hub.