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

Updated on September 28, 2016
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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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    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 23 months ago from USA

      Wonderfully presented information on an important topic. You answer so many questions in this one hub. I grew up in a public school system learning the Lord's Prayer in school even though my family was not Southern Baptist.

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      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      You did it again! You wrote a very well thought out and well written Hub.

      While, I am aware that people say the US is a Christian Nation, I don't know many that mean it is a theocracy (except for an extremely small fraction of people). I, myself, do call the US a Christian Nation, but not to mean that we are to be ruled by the church (especially since there are hundreds of different faiths within Christianity). When I say that we are a Christian Nation, I mean that the majority of citizens are Christians. With roughly between 60 to 70% of the country being so, I would say that is a fair assessment.

      You are correct to say that we are a democracy, and in a democracy we the people vote for our representatives, which the majority are currently Christian who cannot change their upbringing just because the founding fathers might have intended the nation to be secular. With this said, I do not expect them to install Christian rules, but I also don't think we should take down every cross in national parks, monuments, or government buildings.

      So only when the majority of the nation is not Christian, will I stop calling it a Christian Nation.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

      My mind must work differently. I don't even think of the United States in terms of religion. Your perspective was interesting for sure.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      billybuc: I bet you don't watch a lot of TV news. If you did you would hear the U.S. being called a Christian nation all the time. If you are interested, just google the phrase and you will find tons of posts saying in the most defiant of terms that the U.S. was founded as a Christian nation. Thanks for your comment.

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      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      I agree Buc. I don't think most people do think of the US in terms of religion.

      Catherine,

      Founding as a Christian nation does not mean they wanted a theocracy, nor do people view it this way or think this; at least not 99% of the country. I am sure there were those that came to the US initially thinking of a creating a nation of Christians because that was the only religion they thought in terms of . Remember, this was a time when eastern and western worlds were separated, unlike today.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      The Biz Whiz: Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I have to address one point that you made. Politicians are entitled to their personal religious beliefs. I have no problem with that. But they must not take their religious beliefs into account when they act on behalf of the government. Laws that favor Christianity or any religion at all are unconstitutional. It is the duty of every citizen to fight to get those laws removed or we will end up as a theocracy. Those statues and crosses etc. do not belong on public property. I am fine with them being on church property or n your front lawn. When religious symbols are on public property it is akin to government endorsing those religions.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      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. Preachers are preaching it. I'm surprised you are not aware of it. The founding fathers were deists, not Christians. That is the very first point I make in the hub (after admitting that they were nominal Christians. But their actual beliefs were deist.) I don't make any case for anything except that the United States was NOT intended to be a Christian nation.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      FlourishAnyway: I grew up in the a public school system that made everyone say the Lord's prayer everyday. My family was Jewish and I was so ashamed to say the Christian prayer. I'm so happy kids don't have to go through that anymore. Thanks for your comment sand praise and votes.

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      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      Again, I never said people didn't say that. In fact, I even said that I call the US a Christian Nation, just not for the reason you say. Again, just to make sure this is clear, I say that because the majority of the US is Christian, not because the government is a Christian government, which would be a theocracy.

      You said: "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."

      I don't measure statistics from "googling it", nor Facebook posts, nor how many books talk about it on Amazon. Pssst! I'll let you in on a little secret...the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Which means the loudest talkers get the most attention. They make headlines, not the average joe. They are the articles that people want to read, but that does not mean they are the majority. MSNBC would like you to think that the majority would want the US to become a theocracy, but Fox New would also like its watchers to think there is a war on Christianity. My advice to you is to read between the lines.

      You said:"Preachers are preaching it." So you go to a lot of churches? lol

      You said:"The founding fathers were deists, not Christians. That is the very first point I make in the hub"

      That is not true because it is a general sweeping statement. I know you did say that in the beginning, but I didn't bring it up because it was just so obviously untrue that it wasn't worth bringing up. But since you did, so will I. Point in case; George Washington was a practicing Christian who, as you said, did attend religious services weekly, yet you put him under the paragraph which states religion was not important to him.

      How do you know? Because he didn't kneel? Maybe he had bad knees? You don't know what was in his heart or head and the fact is he never said otherwise. He did speak about God and attend services, so I have to take him at his words and actions, not yours. That is just one example. For you to say the founding fathers were not Christians is implying all of them were not Christians and that is not a truthful statement.

      You said: " My family was Jewish and I was so ashamed to say the Christian prayer." I hate that you had to go through with that because that is not right. I do not think someone should impose their beliefs on others. But I do think this is a Christian Nation as long as we are the majority and I will not deny that just because it is considered politically incorrect.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Biz Whiz: George Washington also refused to take communion. Was he allergic to wheat?

      As for how I know what preachers say--have you heard of YouTube?

      I used up every argument I had about why the US is not/should not be a Christian nation in so far as its laws are concerned. If you are not convinced, I give up.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      I just saw your other post and I would like to respond.

      You said: " But they must not take their religious beliefs into account when they act on behalf of the government."

      Then you said: "Laws that favor Christianity or any religion at all are unconstitutional."

      These are two different issues. I can consciously be aware that a law imposing my religious beliefs is unconstitutional, but I cannot very well make something that is part of my upbringing completely obsolete in my decision making because it is a major contributor to my experiences which I learned from. My religion was part of how I was raised and is part of my culture, therefore is a major contributor in every decision I make whether I consciously think of it or not.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      TheBizWiz: I suggest you take a look at some of the hubs in the Related Hubs section of my hub. They will provide you with lots of information that I could not fit into my hub. then you can go argue with them.

      Lawmakers have to be able to separate out which part of their beliefs apply generally and which are specific to their religion. If they can't do that, they need to resign.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      You said: "George Washington also refused to take communion. Was he allergic to wheat?"

      I don't know. Why did he say he didn't take communion?

      If that is your reasoning behind why he did not take religion seriously then you need to supply more to back that claim up because it is more open to interpretation. Whereas if a man goes to church everyday must feel that it is pretty important to him. That is a clearer assumption.

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

      Lol. Again, that does not mean the majority believe that way. I have seen a lot of cat videos, but that doesn't mean there are more households with cats than dogs in the US.

      Btw, why do you watch a bunch of preachers on Youtube? I am a Christian and I don't even do that. lol

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      Yes, as I stated earlier, I agreed with that when I said " I can consciously be aware that a law imposing my religious beliefs is unconstitutional,"

      You said: " But they must not take their religious beliefs into account when they act on behalf of the government."

      Then you said: "Laws that favor Christianity or any religion at all are unconstitutional."

      Again, that is two different issues.

      That is like telling me I cannot think like a man when I make laws. I am a man and cannot change that. I can however realize that making biased laws against women are illegal. Do you see the difference?

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      You said: "I suggest you take a look at some of the hubs in the Related Hubs section of my hub. They will provide you with lots of information that I could not fit into my hub. then you can go argue with them."

      I suggest you take a look at my Hub on John Rawls veil of ignorance theory

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 23 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      A quote from a good friend who expanded on a something I said:

      "The First Amendment basically tells government that religion is none of its business. It does not tell religious people that government is none of their business."

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      WillStarr: Good quote. Everyone should participate in a democracy--theists and atheists. Both have rights and responsibilities. My only problem is when theists try to impose their religious views by force of law onto people who do not share their beliefs.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 23 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      What religious beliefs, Catherine?

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      What religious beliefs?It's not around much anymore, but there used to be laws forcing stores to close on Sunday. The anti-abortion laws, the anti-gay laws, the God-want-Africans-to-be-slaves laws (mostly gone now), the school-prayer laws (fortunately gone now), the ban-the-books laws, the anti-teaching-about-evolution laws. Also the laws that aren't passed,e.g. Don't worry about climate change because God will take care of it.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 23 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      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.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 23 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Your hub is very informative. However, you lost me when you say "It seems pretty clear that rather than establishing a Christian nation, the founders uppermost concern was protecting citizens from religious oppression and zealotry." It is not clear to me your interpretation. The Constitution clearly was talking about the "establishment" of religion because they did not want one State Religion over all others, just the opposite of what you claim. This has been twisted over time to be "separation of church and state" which does not appear anywhere in the Constitution. You can claim the US has become a more secular nation but not that we were always a secular nation. IMHO

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      jackclee: Thank you for your comment. The main thesis of the article is that the founders did not want to mix religion and government. I don't understand your comment about "just the opposite of what you claim."--I never said the founders wanted one state religion. I said they want no religion in government, but they wanted no hindrance for people to follow the religion of their choice if they so chose.. I also never said that "wall of separation" was in the Constitution. I quoted that because it sheds light on the meaning of the first amendment. I just read a post online, by fox news, saying that at the time that the Constitution was written only about 1/5 of the population were churchgoers (although many more probably called themselves Christians.) It looks like the U.S. was more secular then than it is now. Here's the link. I never thought I would be agreeing with fox news. http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/03/05/america-...

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 23 months ago from Yorktown NY

      You implied that the first amendment was put in place to protect citizens from religious oppression where the opposite is that it was put there to prevent government from dictating religious participation on its citizens.

      In case you didn't know, Foxnews has the most audience by nelson numbers and most trusted among all the cable news channels. I find your last comment illuminating.

      Let me ask you this. If you know the intent of the Founding Father's so well, do you think they would approve of what the Supreme court is doing with regard to social engineering? Do they have the power to re-define "marriage"?

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 23 months ago from Oklahoma

      The religious often cite the founding fathers, but there are some that it is arguable whether or not they were Christian at all.

      Interesting perspective.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Jackclee: The Supreme Court has the power to do whatever it wants--even decide who gets to be president. We'll see what they do with the same sex marriage thing.

      Did you read the part in my hub about "freedom to and freedom from." The establishment clause has both purposes. Did you not read the part about how the founding fathers were products of the Enlightenment (which rejected the authority of religions) and how they feared the consequences of mixing religion and politics because they had seen what that had done to Europe--bloodshed for centuries.

      I quoted fox news because no one could ever accuse them of being anti-religion and yet there they were taking the same position that I was taking. I read that post because I wanted to hear the arguments against my position and I found the opposite.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Larry Rankin: Thanks for your comment. The founding fathers, for the most part, were Christians in name only. Some of them out right rejected organized religion. In the Related Hubs section on this page, the hub "America's 'Christian' Founding Fathers" gives detailed evidence to support this view. (Does it with humor, too.) I think some become so threatened by this fact because they fear it negates their beliefs. I don't see why, because the founders, regardless of their personal beliefs, set up the country so everyone is free to follow his conscience on matters of religion. No one can take away your right to worship as you please and no one can force you to worship if you don't please. At least that is how it is supposed to work.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 23 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting and thought provoking hub, Catherine. Thank you for sharing the information and for doing all the research.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      Catherine said:"Did you not read the part about how the founding fathers were products of the Enlightenment (which rejected the authority of religions)"

      The Enlightenment was not a rejection of religious authority! There were those involved in the Enlightenment that did try to lessen their authority, but that wasn't what the Enlightenment was about. As a matter of fact, religion was an important part of the Enlightenment.

      You said: "The founding fathers, for the most part, were Christians in name only. Some of them out right rejected organized religion."

      Again, you have not proof of that, but you are saying it as fact. The majority of founding fathers were Christian.

      I believe that Hitler was an Atheist, but when I express this, I let it be known that is my opinion because I don't have much proof. There is "Hitler's Table Talk", which is not verified. Hitler never denounced Catholicism, so I have to reside to the fact that him not being a Christian is by opinion only until I have more proof.

      This is the same case with the founding fathers. There are numerous cases where they professed their belief in God and attended church, so until you have irrefutable evidence, then anyone who says the majority of the founding fathers were not Christian are just speaking out of ignorance and instead of fact.

      The fact is that the Pilgrims and Puritans came here to establish a Christian nation. Whether they wanted a theocracy is unknown, but the fact still is that we are a nation where the majority is Christian, therefore Christian nation. Again for the 3rd time, that does not mean theocracy.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 23 months ago from Yorktown NY

      My point in asking is this. There are somethings not specifically stated in the Constitution because they are common knowledge at the time where 100% of the people believed and there were no dispute. Our country were founded with Divine providence. The concept of marriage for example was well defined. IMHO, the Founding Fathers would never thought it would be re-defined. Even so, they wrote into the Constitution an amendment process for such things so that in the future, if the mass majority of the people have a change in belief, there is a venue and process to pursue it, difficult by design. However, 9 appointed judges should not take upon themselves to speak for the masses. They are there to interpret laws passed by Congress not to legislate from the bench. I guess my understanding of the Constitution is different from your. That is good to have open discussion about these topics. Thanks for your responses.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Alica C: Thanks for your comment. I appreciate a comment with a compliment instead of a diatribe.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Jackclee: I agree the Supreme Court oversteps their authority sometimes. However, as long as 5 out of 9 agree, there is nothing we can do. [We are getting a little off topic here.]

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Another well researched and written hub, Catherine. Some actually believe this nation was founded on Christianity and you cannot tell them otherwise. Merely because many citizens have inherited their religion means nothing in the scheme of things.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Thanks for your comment, Randy Godwin. I merely have to look at some of the comments I have gotten here to see the truth of your statement.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 23 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Randy is correct that the Founding Fathers never intended to establish a theocracy, Christian or otherwise. They'd had enough of the Church of England. I know of no Christians, other than some fringe sects, who want the US to become a theocracy today. But, that's exactly what Islam wants in all countries, including the US.

      All of the Founding Fathers belonged to one of the Christian denominations, including the deists, and the nation was overwhelmingly Christian in the late 1700's.

      Claiming that the Founding Fathers were not Christians or were not even religious is simply revisionist history.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      WillStarr: History can be wrong, but all we have to go on is the historical record. I am reporting on what the historical record says and doing it fairly and accurately. I you documents are discovered, conclusions may have to change.

      The historical record that we have gives zilch evidence for the opposing view that the US was intended to be a "Christian nation." Even if the founding fathers were the most devout Christians, nothing in the record shows that they intended to found a "Christian nation" so their personal piety (if it existed) is essentially irrelevant. However, their non-piety is relevant (if true) because it gives insight into why they would be unlikely to want to found a "Christian nation."

    • XaurreauX profile image

      XaurreauX 23 months ago

      Those who believe that the U.S. is a "Christian nation" aren't really interested in history, what the Founding Fathers did or said or what the Constitution actually says or means.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      XaurreauX 21: I couldn't have said it better myself. Thank you for your comment. I see you are new to HubPages. Welcome.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 23 months ago from Yorktown NY

      XaurreauX -How about from the horse's mouth so to speak... Is George Washington a Founding Father? Here is the full text of his proclamation on the Thanksgiving 1789 -

      http://www.heritage.org/initiatives/first-principl...

      Can it be any clearer?

    • Volker Loeper profile image

      Volker Loeper 23 months ago

      So you would like to prove that it is a lie that

      the US was founded on Christianity. ...by lying to us?? This is probably the most poorly researched and most inaccurate article I have ever read on the subject. The denominational affiliation of The Founding Fathers is a matter of public record. Among the delegates were 28 Episcopalians, 8 Presbyterians, 7 Congregationalists, 2 Lutherans, 2 Dutch Reformed, 2 Methodists, 2 Roman Catholics, 1 unknown and only 3 deists--Williamson, Wilson and Franklin, this at a time when church membership entailed a sworn public confession of biblical faith.(John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution, (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987), p. 43.)

      So, not only were 93% of them DEVOUT Christians, many of them were even Calvinists, considered by some to be the most extreme and dogmatic form of Christianity.

      Either u start doing some homework, or your anti-theistic contributions will be exposed as what they are: cheap propaganda schemes

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      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      Great job Volker and Jackclee!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Jackclee lm: Really, a Thanksgiving day proclamation. Obama goes to pray breakfasts and gives a pious speech and I am pretty sure he his an atheist while publically saying he is a Christian . he even belonged to a church. It is part of his job. (It is just my guess that he is an atheist; he's never said anything, but it is like gaydar, we atheists can recognize each other.)

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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      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. I even have a book by a respected historian and university professor that upholds my views. And he is not alone. Or don't. I really don't care. If you don't like what I write, why do you read it?

      And this hub says nothing about atheism. I don't think the word is used even once.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 23 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      ' "The historical record that we have gives zilch evidence for the opposing view that the US was intended to be a "Christian nation." Even if the founding fathers were the most devout Christians, nothing in the record shows that they intended to found a "Christian nation" so their personal piety (if it existed) is essentially irrelevant.'

      We are essentially saying the same thing, Catherine. The Founding Fathers, while all belonging to one Christian denomination or another, were adamantly opposed to creating a theocracy, which of course, would have been a Christian theocracy during those days.

      Whether or not it was viewed at that time as a 'Christian nation' was incidental. But since almost all Americans in those days were in fact members of a Christian denomination, it would be wrong to say that it was not in reality a 'Christian nation', albeit not by design nor official declaration.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      WillStarr: I agree with everything you just wrote in the last comment. The problem comes with the definition of "Christian nation" If you mean a country where the majority of the people are Christian, then yes we are a Christian nation. The problem is the people who use the term "Christian nation" mean it as a country founded by Christians for Christians with laws based on the Bible, the way we mean it when we say Israel is a Jewish nation. When I say Christian nation, I am using the second definition. It was how the term was used in the Treaty of Tripoli.

      Funny thing is, the proportion of Christians in the US is declining. The latest Pew poll says 70%. It used to be much higher. So if it goes down to 49%, will everyone have to stop saying "Christian nation" because neither definition will be true?

    • Volker Loeper profile image

      Volker Loeper 23 months ago

      I followed the way how you presented it. See your title on your fb page for this article. I presented you facts that completely oppose what you presented about the religion of The Founding Fathers. Lying about it would be just one option. The other, more likely, is that you did not inform yourself properly on the subject but just followed what you read in anti-theistic diatribes blindly, without checking it's accuracy. A bit like reading "mein kampf" and, with that "knowledge"at hand, writing and essay about Jews / Jewish influence in Europe.

      The result: you claim that The Founding Fathers were deists, when in reality, 93% were devout Christians. It is a LIE

      Now I'm not calling you a liar. I'll give you the benefit of a doubt. I only call you poorly/badly informed on a subject you have chosen to ride about it like you were an informed expert.

      All I'm asking: "do some real homework next time around ...thanks

    • Volker Loeper profile image

      Volker Loeper 23 months ago

      Lol "write"

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      Catherine said:"(It is just my guess that he is an atheist; he's never said anything, but it is like gaydar, we atheists can recognize each other.)"

      The psychological term for this is "projecting".

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 23 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      'The problem is the people who use the term "Christian nation" mean it as a country founded by Christians for Christians with laws based on the Bible, the way we mean it when we say Israel is a Jewish nation.'

      But I've never heard a Christian say that, Catherine. I've heard progressives make that assertion, but never a Christian. Do you have any Christian quotes to cite?

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Volker Loeper: I stand by my research. There are many who make the claim that the founding fathers were nominal Christians, but deists in their world view. That is why they used the deist term "Creator" in the Declaration of Independence. You have only to look to the left of this page and you will see others making the claim and providing documentation.

      What I don't understand is why some people care so much about whether or not the founding fathers were devout Christians or not. Their Christianity had nothing to do with the founding of this country.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      Catherine said: "What I don't understand is why some people care so much about whether or not the founding fathers were devout Christians or not."

      By saying this, you just downplayed the significance of it, therefore making your point less substantial. If it is not important then why did you include it in your Hub?

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      To everyone who doubt my assertion that there are people in this country claiming that the US is a "Christian nation" (in the sense that the government should write Christianity into its laws) or that the founders were deists in their world view or that the specific did not want the United States to be a Christian nation, I have added a "for Further reading" section to the hub.

      I am really tired of people who apparently know nothing of history calling me a liar and a fool. If you want to debate the issue further take it up with the sources I am providing.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      Will said: "But I've never heard a Christian say that, Catherine. I've heard progressives make that assertion, but never a Christian."

      I think trying to explain this to them is like trying to explain the meaning of the word "is" to Bill Clinton.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      Catherine,

      When you write a Hub about religion or politics, then you should expect a debate. When you write a Hub about religion AND politics, then expect a little fireworks. While these topics can get negative responses, they also get a lot of views. I write Hubs about business because that is what I know about, but they also are a niche subject and do not get many views. The first time I wrote a Hub that included Atheism/Agnosticism (last week) it became my highest viewed Hub. The reality is that if one is going to approach controversial subjects, they need to be sure an have thick skin. If a person is sensitive, then they should write about things that will get less negative responses.

      I have not seen where anyone called you a liar or fool, so I wouldn't read into things so much. My advice is to take everything said with a grain of salt and just sit back and enjoy getting the traffic.

      Btw, just because people are not agreeing with you, doesn't mean they are being diatribe. It just means that they have a different point of view, that's all. You shouldn't feel that they are personal attacks.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 23 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Catherine - The answer to that question is this - Do you believe that America would be the country that it is today without the Christian influence in the founding of our country?

      Some would have you believe that we are a secular nation and that Christians have pushed the country to a right of center government and the progressives are trying to correct this. I think it is just the opposite.

      We started as a Christian nation and prospered because we implemented tolerance and liberty and freedom and self reliance...and embraced an economic system that is based on Capitalism. Over the recent years, the foundation of our nation have been undermined by various groups including trying to remove religion from the public square. Hence the attempt by some to re-write history.

      Here is a link to some of the Founding Father's own words - http://www.aproundtable.org/tps30info/beliefs.html

      You can make the claim that we are more secular today due to progressive ideas and I would totally agree with that. However, we did not start out that way.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      Catherine said:"I am really tired of people who apparently know nothing of history calling me a liar and a fool."

      It is probably not a good idea to insult people while imploring them not to insult you. The fact is you included fallacies in this Hub.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      I have now added a section "For Further Reading". The Encyclopedia Britannica, among other sources, backs up the claims that I made in this hub that some are so vociferously disputing to the point of calling me a liar. I hope that after they have educated themselves on the facts, they will be big enough to apologize.

      I would have include this back-up information originally except it did not occur to me that the claims I made were not widely known or that people wouldn't do any research of their own before attacking me.

      Jackclee: Yes, Christianity has been a force in shaping America, for good and for ill. I made no claims whatsoever about that in this hub. I made only the claim that the founding fathers wanted the United States to be a secular nation insofar as government was concerned with the people having the right to believe as they wished in maters of religion.

      I put a lot of time into researching and writing this hub. I stand by the claims I made.

      Please don't start bombarding me with links to Christian and rightwing websites that dispute my claims. I choose objective authoritative websites that provide a broad overview of the subject and don't rely on isolated quotes to prove their conclusions. If you want to continue this pointless argument, you must do the same.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      Catherine,

      Here is where the contradiction lies in your twisting of words to fit your personal opinion.

      Britannica said: "Thus, Deism inevitably subverted orthodox Christianity. Persons influenced by the movement had little reason to read the Bible, to pray, to attend church, or to participate in such rites as baptism, Holy Communion, and the laying on of hands (confirmation) by bishops."

      So, see "attending church". It is shown that the majority of founding fathers did attended church. Which you agree with by saying:

      "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."

      So "despite membership in, an attendance at".

      I will not deny that deism was influential at the time of the founding fathers and that they researched and read up on it. I myself have read books on and been influenced by Buddhism, but that does not prove that I am not a Christian.

      The article said: "The sweeping disagreement over the religious faiths of the Founders arises from a question of discrepancy. Did their private beliefs differ from the orthodox teachings of their churches?"

      and: "But the widespread existence in 18th-century America of a school of religious thought called Deism complicates the actual beliefs of the Founders."

      and: " Although such men would generally continue their public affiliation with Christianity after college, they might inwardly hold unorthodox religious views."

      Key words here are "disagreements", "complicates", and "might". There is no facts given in this article about their Christianity, only assumptions.

      They did not use concrete language because it is just a theory, not a fact, but you present it as one, which is what I take issue with, as seen below:

      You said: "I would have include this back-up information originally except it did not occur to me that the claims I made were not widely known or that people wouldn't do any research of their own before attacking me.

      and you said in your Hub: "The founding fathers were Christian (sort of). The founding fathers were nominal Christians, not devout Christians."

      and you said: "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."

      This is a debated topic, but you make is seem as if it is something well known and proven like gravity. The fact is that there is no proof the majority of founding fathers were not devout Christians. Until there is verified proof, you are only throwing up a theory.

      They also offer this caveat: "Although no examination of history can capture the inner faith of any person, these four indicators can help locate the Founders on the religious spectrum. "

      See "cannot capture the inner faith". The only thing concrete we have to go by is that they were members of church and spoke of the influence of religion. Until there is evidence against this proof, then that is all we have to go by.

      Btw, I hope you do not take issue with my bringing a different point of view. You seem to be getting a bit frustrated that there are people who have views different than yours.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile image

      Nancy Mitchell 23 months ago from Bend, OR

      Catherine, I loved reading your hub, but most of all, I loved reading the comments! You and the BizWhiz should take your show on the road! Now, if you really want to stir the pot and get lots of feedback, write a hub critical of pitbulls! Voted up.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      BizWhiz: See the comments about Volker Loeper above. He calls me a liar many times. If you want to say I am misinformed, my skin is thick enough for that. I draw the line at "liar". I could have blocked those comments, but I thought I would let everyone see the kind of person who is opposing me. I think I responded quite moderately when I said "ignorant of history"; what I might have said would have gotten me banned from HP. Anyway, I hope the "For Further Reading" section that I added to the hub this morning, will end the insults.

      Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I too have discovered that all my charming and amusing little hubs go nowhere, but write on something controversial, and views skyrocket. Let's try to keep that our little secret before HP becomes a hot bed of revolution. I will go read your hub to see if we have any other points of agreement.

      I think yu are cherry picking the Britannica article to make your point. The overall thrust was that deism was an important world view to the founders and influenced their thinking and that some of the founding fathers may have been Christian in name only. I chose this article because it was objective, unbiased, and included all points of view. My reading of it supports my conclusions, but it is possible for others to have a different interpretation.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      letstalkallabout: thanks for your comment. Pitbulls? I'm afraid that is not my ballywick, but you made me laugh. such a welcome repiste from all the negativity.

      Actually, I'm over being angry about the negative comments. I just remember that every comment and every view these people give me helps me be successful on HubPages. I have gotten over 700 views on my first day with this Hub. That may not be a lot for some people, but for me it is huge. The poll shows that most likely most of the readers agree with me, but they are not the ones who like to leave comments.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      Catherine said: "See the comments about Volker Loeper above. He calls me a liar many times."

      He said you were lying about the things you put in your Hub. That is different than calling someone a liar. Technically everyone lies, but that does not make them a liar in the sense that people refer. I mean, I bake cakes, but I don't go around calling myself a baker. A liar is generally thought of as a person that lies habitually, just like a baker is generally referred to as someone that makes money baking goods. Also, the word liar was not in his/her comments except the part they said the didn't call you a liar.

      You said: "I think I responded quite moderately when I said "ignorant of history"

      And Volker feels justified saying that you lied when you did not represent the whole truth. I myself said you were not being completely upfront in the way you presented your information and I have even more evidence when you said:

      "The overall thrust was that deism was an important world view to the founders and influenced their thinking and that some of the founding fathers may have been Christian in name only."

      So now you are moving into the "may have been" territory, which is much better than when you said: "They were what we might call CINO’s today—Christians in Name Only." See the difference? May have been and were. I knew I would get you to change how you think ; )

      You said: "I think yu are cherry picking the Britannica article to make your point. The overall thrust was that deism was an important world view to the founders and influenced their thinking and that some of the founding fathers may have been Christian in name only."

      If you mean taking direct quotes from your own source to prove you wrong, then yes. lol. I mean, isn't that what we all do? Take sources that back up our beliefs to prove we are right? In reality can't we just say that I filled in the blanks from your cherry picking by using the source you provided? You said: "I chose this article because it was objective, unbiased, and included all points of view." Doesn't that mean you cherry picked? because the source you provided also included my points, which you conveniently left out.

      You said: "Actually, I'm over being angry about the negative comments."

      Negative or presenting different views? There is a difference.

      You said: "I just remember that every comment and every view these people give me helps me be successful on HubPages. I have gotten over 700 views on my first day with this Hub."

      I am happy for you. I do think you are a good writer, which is why I follow you. I did say this was a good Hub, I just happen to disagree with you. I hope you don't think that is negative.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      TheWhixBiz: If someone shouuts in your face, "That is a lie" it does not matter that technically the person has not called you a liar. He could have just sqid, I was wrong.

      One thing I hate is when a debate degenerates into a school yard fight. "Is to." "Is not." And the same points are repeated over and over. Neither of us is going to convince the other, so let's just let it rest here.

      Thanks for your compliments about me being a good writer even tho you disagree with what I have written.

    • profile image

      Volker Loeper 23 months ago

      I gave you an explanation

      I gave you the facts about the real religious affiliation of The Founding Fathers

      I gave you a proper source with it

      .....but it seems, all you want to talk about is "he called me a liar"

      Let me just say that I didn't. I know that American culture views this a bit different and gets offended easier when it comes to pointing out that someone doesn't speak the truth (I'm pretty sure President Obama, when reading your comment about him, would say "she called me a liar"). So let me apologize and repeat one more time that I don't think of you as a liar.

      But your claims about The Founding Fathers are still incorrect and so are many others in this article. There isn't much out there that I haven't studied / read on the subject at hand. So, after reading your article, my original opinion about it has not changed. Please let me know if u would like a bit more education on the individual points yourself. I'm more than happy to address every single one critically

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Volker Loeper: You wanted documentation. I gave you documentation. Now you don't like my documentation. As I predicted no matter how many times I provided documentation for your "questions," you would not be satisfied.

      As for my comment about President Obama, I said it was my feeling about him; I have no way to prove it is true or not. I have never even met him. Since I was talking about my own feeling/perception it is not a lie. I was making a point that when it comes t religion, politicians often "go along to get along" regardless of their own personal beliefs. I could give you the reasons for my feeling, but perhaps that will e the topic of another hub. Okay, one reason: When Obama spoke at the last prayer breakfast, he talked about Christians being "holier than thou." Those might have been his exact words. I will need to fact check that when I have time.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Volker Loeper: I went to your profile page so I could see your hubs and learn what you are an expert on. I see you are new. When you complete boot camp, we can continue this conversation. You could start by writing a hub where your premise refutes my premise. I'm sure you have too much to say on the topic to get it all into a comment. I have over 3000 words in this hub.

    • profile image

      Volker Loeper 23 months ago

      I never said anything about the sources/their credibility that you finally provided. I haven't looked at them yet. I only wanted to respond to your complains and claims about me. I'll take a look

    • profile image

      Volker Loeper 23 months ago

      So, after reading through the EB article, I have to agree with BizWhiz. It doesn't support your view/presentation, even contradicts them to a certain extent.

      Even so I don't agree on all points with the author (quite a few vague assumptions ....what's up with all the Paine quotes? He wasn't a Signer and he wasn't a Convention delegate), he at least doesn't make the mistake and presents his views as historical facts.

      I don't dislike your documentation (the author made a lot of factual accurate points), but it doesn't verify your claims at all

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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Volker Loeper: Put it all in your own hub so I can address it in a systematic way.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 23 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Catherine, I am sorry about adding links. It is your hub and I respect your wishes. I will no longer add links. The reader can do their own research and find the references. This is a touch subject and I guess we are entitled to hold our opinions. I respectfully disagree with your conclusion, I do acknowledge you have spent a lot of time and effort to back up your assertions. Good try.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Thanks for your comment, jackclee.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      BizWhiz: You wrote in the comments."When you write a hub about religion and politics you should expect a debate." I thought I was writing about history. I never expected this hub to be controversial. I thought everything I wrote in this hub was a well known fact and I was just organizing a bunch of related facts and filling in some details.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      I was out, but now I guess you dragged me back in.

      You said:"I thought I was writing about history."

      Are you trying to be coy? Yes you did write about history, but history has to have a subject. Your title includes "Christian", "Theocracy", "Democracy", so naturally the subjects are religion and politics.

      No, some are your opinion. Even your source says the topic of the religion is still debated, which means until there is proof stating otherwise, the majority founding fathers were practicing Christians. Your opinion on the founding fathers is just like your opinion of Obama being atheist; just an assumption until proven otherwise.

    • JRLSolutions profile image

      Joy Lynskey 23 months ago from Moneta, Va

      Great, comprehensive article. No, this nation was not founded in any way on Christianity. The founding fathers were well aware of why they came to the country in the first place. Fleeing religious persecution, the real type, not the type put upon christians in the USA think they have today.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      JRLSolutions: Thanks for your comment. You get the message loud and clear, but I think you already knew it. I appreciate your praise of this hub and I hope I added a few details you might not have been aware of.

    • profile image

      SanXuary 23 months ago

      We are not a Christian nation by any stretch of the imagination. In fact most of those so called 70 percent of people claiming to be Christian are practicing nothing. I desire that God is never mentioned by any of our government officials and anyone who does believe in God should no longer support them at all. Why would anyone who is a true practicing believer support Satan and a Godless nation of hypocrites clothed only in apathy. It supports poverty, destroys its own men and their families. It worships inequity and everything it once claimed to be it is no longer. If there was another place that was once America we would be leaving this country for the very same reasons we came here.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      SanXuary: Thank you for your comment. I agree with you that those politicians who call loudest to insert Christianity into our government are not true Christians but hypocrites who hijack the beliefs of the truly pious for their own purposes.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 23 months ago from England

      Hi Catherine, this was interesting reading, over here in England we were always regarded as a Christian country, but recently there was a bit of an argument on tv and in the news about it no longer being that way, most of us said yes it is, others said it no longer counts, I personally think it still is but I am biased! lol!

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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Nell Rose: You probably know better than me, but it is my understanding the The Church of England is the official church making England a Christian country. However, I think around half of the population of England is atheist, so the official church is pretty much ignored. It's there, but it is meaningless. Ireland just legalized gay marriage by a popular vote showing that religion has lost its grip on the populance of Europe.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 23 months ago from England

      Yes it seems like it doesn't it? I think the problem is that ever since they stopped prayers at school or visiting church from school people don't get into the habit of going, therefore its in decline, which is a shame, nell

    • Justin Earick profile image

      Justin Earick 23 months ago from Tacoma, WA

      People who separate themselves from reality in order to believe things they know cannot possibly be true (talking snakes, talking while burning bushes, seven-headed dragons, resurrection, virgin birth, turning water to wine, turning a snake into a rod, parting the Red Sea, surviving inside a large fish for 3 days, kangaroos/polar bears/pythons travelling to the Middle East to get on a boat...), have proved that observable reality has very little to do with their views.

      Great hub! Btw, wasn't the US founded as the first overtly secular nation? Now that's a label to be proud of!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Justin Earick: I think you might be right. The U.S. was the first country in history to be formed as a secular nation. Maybe the only country. I can't think of another.

      If people want to believe Bible stories, that is their business, but they can't rewrite history. The facts are the facts whether you like them or not.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 23 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Catherine - How do you explain the fact that almost all Presidents swore in to office on the Bible? And in a court of law, before testifying "I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, so help me God.". Just curious how you rationalize this.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      jackclee: Did you read the hub before commenting? There is a whole section about how not all presidents said "so help me God"and not all swore on the Bible. It took 100 years before this custom started.

      The constitution says "swear or affirm" when taking the oath of office. That is in the hub also. A person need not say "so help me God" in a court of law. When I went to court, I opted to affirm. I did not say "so help me God" and everything was just fine. I'm not sure when the custom of so help me God in the courtroom started. I will have to check that.

      If you want to discuss this, it is just a waste of everyone's time if you don't even read what I wrote and then check out whether it is true or not.

      The Constitution is the overriding document. It does not mention God or Christianity. All other public mentions of God came long after the Constitution was ratified and are in my belief unconstitutional. I explain this are great length in the hub. Please read it and then check out the facts for yourself before posting a comment.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      Catherine said:

      "There is a whole section about how not all presidents said "so help me God"and not all swore on the Bible. It took 100 years before this custom started."

      That is just not true, Catherine. You are trying to pass off your desires as facts and that is just not right. George Washington was the first president to swear on the Bible, so the custom didn't start 100 years after him. The only two presidents after that who didn't swear on a Bible were John Quincy Adams and Teddy Roosevelt.

      http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/17/opinion/obeidallah-b...

      As you see in the article, they stated that John Quincy Adams was religious, but chose to swear in on law books to show he believed in separation of Church and State.

      As for using "So help me God", historians such as David McCullough and Kenneth Davis say that George Washington said those words and most presidents after. You are twisting facts by saying Chester A. Arthur was the first to use the phrase, but in actuality, he was the first president RECORDED saying it. You conveniently left that part out.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      I was referring to the "so help me God part" when I said nearly 100 years later. It was first said by the 21st president in 1851. If it wasn't recorded how do you know it was said? By recorded I assume you meant written down.Sound recording was invented until 1877.

      Most presidents swore on the bible, some didn't. But the Bible and the "so help me God" part are custom. not law. And neither is in the constitution. And neither mentions Jesus Christ. Remember this hub is about whether or not the US is a specifically Christian nation.

      Why are you not satisfied for the U.S. to be a country of no religion and all religions. Why are you so desperate for the US to be a Christian nation that you clutch at straws?

      The hub talks about the founding of the U.S. and what the founders intended. If it is not in the Constitution it is irrelevant to the debate on this question. It doesn't matter who said what, or wrote what, or did what--it is not in the Constitution!

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      Catherine said: "jackclee: Did you read the hub before commenting? There is a whole section about how not all presidents said "so help me God"and not all swore on the Bible."

      So what you say is the end all be all on the subject? So since you say it is so that makes it true? We should just take your word for it and be gone?

      and you said: "If you want to discuss this, it is just a waste of everyone's time if you don't even read what I wrote and then check out whether it is true or not."

      He and I both researched what you said and we have provided sources that prove them false. So since when is telling the truth, providing facts sources a waste of time?

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      Catherine said: "If it wasn't recorded how do you know it was said? By recorded I assume you meant written down."

      Because historians like McCullough, Davis, and many others have recorded witness accounts.

      You said: "Most presidents swore on the bible, some didn't. But the Bible and the "so help me God" part are custom. not law."

      All but two. To say "most presidents swore on the Bible" is a gross understatement.

      You said: "Why are you not satisfied for the U.S. to be a country of no religion and all religions. Why are you so desperate for the US to be a Christian nation that you clutch at straws?"

      That is not my problem and you know it. Where have I tried to prove the US is a Christian nation in the sense that you suggest?

      The only thing I want is for you to stop representing lies as the truth so you can twist this Hub to someway try to prove your desired opinion as reality. You are not being honest in this Hub.

      You said: "The hub talks about the founding of the U.S. and what the founders intended. If it is not in the Constitution it is irrelevant to the debate on this question. It doesn't matter who said what, or wrote what, or did what--it is not in the Constitution!"

      If it is not important, then why did you include it in the Hub???

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      Let me make something more clear. Before Arthur, they do not have transcripts of the oath, but witnesses did say the oaths included "so help me God". This includes the inauguration of Washington.

      Just out of curiosity, how would you explain Arthur just saying this out of the blue if it were not a tradition passed down.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      BizWhiz; I stand by my research. The link you provided proved my claims, not yours.

      Please provide references from reputable historians for your claims. Until then, I stand by my research.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      I have no idea why you would think it backed your claims. It says why presidents should not use a Bible, not that they did not. Now I understand why your research is so skewed. It's just par for the course.

      I provided reputable historians. As a matter of fact, McCullough is probably the go to historian since Ambrose died. You can look up what he said or not. That is up to you. I just provided you with my source.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      BizWhiz; I did not say that presidents did not use a Bible. I said not Every president used the Bible. The point was it is custom, not law.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      BizWhiz: David McCullough has written a lot of books. Could you narrow it down by title and chapter. A page number and paragraph number would be even better. An online article by him would be even better; then I won't have to go to the library. I am looking for just the information about which presidents 1-20 said "so help me God" when they took the oath of office.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      The book John Adams. I can't remember off of the top of my head what page it is, but you can read it yourself to find the quote. It might actually do you some good to read real history by a real historian.

      Btw, I have also included a link to Washington's inauguration speech, just in case you were curious.

      https://www.papermasters.com/george-washingtons-in...

      In it, he refers to God and Heaven fyi.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      BizWhiz: One more time: Whatever someone did of or didn't say in a speech, IT. IS. NOT. IN. THE. CONSTITUTION.

      P.S. Thanks for all the views and comments. It helps improve my rankings.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      LOL. That, my friends, is called moving the goal post! You asked for proof and sources and when I provide them...POOF, you go back to where you feel safe.

      My disagreement this whole time has been with how you portrayed the founding fathers in a way that did not truly reflect how they are just so you could validate your Hub, which is based on opinion, not fact.

      I provided these things because (for the umptenth time) you said: "The founding fathers were Christian (sort of). The founding fathers were nominal Christians, not devout Christians."

      And you said: "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 of kneel when he prayed."

      I only brought up GW's speech because it included a big reference to God and heaven.

      Btw, while Jesus is not mentioned in the Constitution, God is. When Christians reference God, it includes the trinity; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. We have proven that the majority of founding fathers were Christian and did rely on the guidance of God. Founding fathers wrote the Constitution. Founding fathers made sure to include God in the Constitution.

      DISCLAIMER; For the fifteenth time, I have always insisted that we are not a theocracy. The fact still remains that the majority of founding fathers and Americans at that time were believers. Now we are still majority believers and a democracy who elects representation which is majority Christian. So like it or not we are a nation guided by Christian principles. AGAIN, I DID NOT SAY THEOCRACY LIKE ISRAEL. Only a hard-line fringe group might believe that. I have never met any, so I can only guess that it is even true that it is even a small group that believes that.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      Catherine,

      While we always don't see eye to eye, I enjoy you as a writer, so I am happy to help get your views up. Heck, I might even buy one of your books off of Amazon.

      Btw, when someone doesn't approve a comment of mine, I know I have done something right ; ) Censorship is the biggest form of flattery to me!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      The BizWhiz: I have never had a comment of mine denied. I approve all comments, even ones that strongly disagree with me. The only exceptions are when someone gets way off topic or gets way out of line with personal insults or unacceptable discourse (racist, etc.) I may have denied your comments once or twice.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      Thank you for uncensoring it

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 23 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Cathrine, I find it curious that you would stick to your assertions when common sense will tell you otherwise.

      Here are a few facts that speaks for itself -

      1. In God We Trust on our money.

      2. 10 Commandments on the Supreme Court Building.

      3. Two National Holidays - Thanksgiving and Christmas.

      4. National Day of Prayer held each year where Presidents are in attendance.

      5. Patriotic songs such as America the Beautiful, God Bless America, Battle Hymn of the Republic...

      6. Pledge of Allegiance.

      7. National Christmas tree on the lawn of the White House.

      8. Sunday - off (sabbath) (some counties still observe Blue Laws)

      9. National Cemetery - covered with Crosses.

      10. Lincoln's famous Gettysburg address.

      11. Cornerstone of the Capitol Building.

      12. For July 4th (coming up in a few days) - John Adams noted: "This day will be the most memorable epic in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival." He felt the celebration should be in a manner that would commemorate the day as a "day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty."

      I can find more but does it matter?

    • profile image

      Toga 23 months ago

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

      What does one have to do with the other?

      George Washington was an Episcopalian. Ok.

      He attended church regularly, OK

      but he refused to take communion….. From the mountvernon.org site…Washington was said to have refused to take part in communion, but there are conflicting reports. One states that Washington did participate in Holy Communion before taking control of the Continental Army, but not afterwards. Washington, however, would often leave church services early, leaving Martha Washington behind to participate in the ceremony. He was even once rebuked by the assistant rector of Christ Church in Philadelphia for this practice.

      of kneel when he prayed. Based on what? And where does it say you have to kneel when you pray?

      Your most damaging accusation is in question by the keepers of Washington's estate. So how do you justify your claims of him being a CINO?

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      jackclee: It is not in the constitution. Most of the stuff you talk about I addressed in the hub so i won't go into here again. All of the God stuff came much later and it is not in the Constitution. Much of it is unconstitutional in my opinion.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Toga: It is the opinion of many historians that George Washington was a deist. Anyway it does not matter what his religious practices were in his private life or what he said when gave speeches or anything else. 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.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      Hello. I showed you where God was mentioned in the Constitution; article VII

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      Catherine said: "It is the opinion of many historians that George Washington was a deist."

      "Many"? Do you think you could provide 5 reputable REAL historians that feel this way? Just provide the sources you used for your Hub.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      Catherine said: "BizWhiz: One more time: Whatever someone did of or didn't say in a speech, IT. IS. NOT. IN. THE. CONSTITUTION."

      and: "Anyway it does not matter what his religious practices were in his private life or what he said when gave speeches or anything else. What matters is that it is not in the Constitution."

      Catherine,

      Do you see a trend here? We are critiquing your section on the founding fathers' lack of belief because it is not valid. Then you say their beliefs are irrelevant. If this is the case, then why don't you just take that part out? It takes away from the Hub because it does not have enough evidence to be substantiated.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      BizWhiz: Thank you for your comments. I just looked up Article VII of the constitution. It is about bring suits in court. No reference to a deity at all. Not even remotely.

      I provide sources for my claims n the hub itself. See "For Further Reading" at the end.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      I'm trying to understand why some people are so upset by a few simple facts of history. I think it may be that they have been told the lie that the U.S. was founded to be a Christian nation their whole life. Learning the truth is wrenching to their worldview and identity. I have known these facts for forever (by which I mean so long ago that I don't remember when I learned it.) So it seems very matter of fact to me and I never expected how threatened these facts would make some would feel.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 23 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Catherine - The simple answer is some of us disagree with the notion that Christianity has nothing to do with the founding of our country and the success and prosperity that came as a result. If you take away the religious influences, then I truly believe that we would be a very different country today. In fact, it is being played out today as we speak. Do you really think our recent decline as a nation both economic and political are not tied to the secular progressive policies?

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      jackclee: We would indeed be a different country without Christian influence. In my opinion, a better country. But it is immaterial to my point. The country was not founded to be a Christian country.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 23 months ago from Yorktown NY

      That's fair. It is a free county and we are entitled to our opinions. Time will tell. The experiment is on going. Our country has embarked on this path and the future will prove one way or another who is correct. The past is history. Peace.

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months ago

      Catherine said: " I just looked up Article VII of the constitution. It is about bring suits in court. No reference to a deity at all. Not even remotely."

      OMG, just as I suspected. You don't like to take a lot of time researching, do you. The reality is that you wrote this Hub and you haven't even read the Constitution, which explains why you have so many falsehoods. It is a shame that so many people live their lives without actually knowing what is out there because they like to take the easy way out, so here I go again. I have to spoon feed another person. I will copy and paste the whole thing and include my source.

      http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitu...

      Article. VII.

      The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

      The Word, "the," being interlined between the seventh and eighth Lines of the first Page, The Word "Thirty" being partly written on an Erazure in the fifteenth Line of the first Page, The Words "is tried" being interlined between the thirty second and thirty third Lines of the first Page and the Word "the" being interlined between the forty third and forty fourth Lines of the second Page.

      Attest William Jackson Secretary

      done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

    • profile image

      TheBizWhiz 23 months 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.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 23 months 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.

    • profile image

      Toga 23 months 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.

    • profile image

      Toga 23 months 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.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months 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.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months 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.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months 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.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 23 months 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!

    • profile image

      Toga 23 months 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?

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months 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.

    • Justin Earick profile image

      Justin Earick 23 months 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?

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months 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.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 23 months 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.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months 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.

    • Thomas Swan profile image

      Thomas Swan 23 months 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.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months 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.

    • profile image

      Toga 23 months 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?

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 23 months 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?

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      Christin Sander 23 months 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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      Catherine Giordano 23 months 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.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 23 months 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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      Randy Godwin 23 months 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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      Austinstar 23 months 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.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 23 months 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! :)

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 23 months 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.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 23 months 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

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 23 months 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.

    • KMSplumeau profile image

      KMSplumeau 23 months 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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      Catherine Giordano 23 months 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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      Catherine Giordano 23 months 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.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 23 months 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.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months 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.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months 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.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 23 months 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.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 23 months 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.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 23 months 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.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

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

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months 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 23 months 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.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months 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.

    • profile image

      Toga 23 months 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 23 months 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.

    • profile image

      Toga 23 months 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.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months 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.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 23 months 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....

    • Thomas Swan profile image

      Thomas Swan 23 months 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.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 23 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

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

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

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

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 23 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

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

    • profile image

      Toga 23 months 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?

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

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

    • profile image

      Toga 22 months ago

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

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 22 months 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.

    • Bonxboy profile image

      Raymond Soller 22 months 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."

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 22 months 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.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 22 months 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.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 22 months 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.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 22 months 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.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 22 months 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

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 22 months 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.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 22 months 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.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 22 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

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

    • Bonxboy profile image

      Raymond Soller 22 months 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.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 22 months 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.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 22 months 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.

    • ShunkW profile image

      ShunkW 22 months 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"...

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 22 months 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. "

    • ShunkW profile image

      ShunkW 22 months 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 22 months 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."

    • profile image

      The J Phronesis 20 months 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.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 20 months 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.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 10 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.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 10 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 10 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.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 10 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.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 10 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?

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 10 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.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 10 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.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 10 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.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 10 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...

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      Jason Dupea 5 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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      Catherine Giordano 5 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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