Our Founding Fathers Were Not Christians

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  1. cooldad profile image60
    cooldadposted 12 years ago

    Were the founding fathers of this country Christians?  I have always been under the impression that our country was founded by people who were escaping religious persecution.  Why then, do so many people claim that this country was created under Christianity? 

    I could be wrong, but I don't think the words Jesus, God, Bible or Christianity are mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. 

    I also think that some of the founding fathers may have been leaning toward agnosticism or even atheism. 

    Any thoughts?

    1. A Troubled Man profile image58
      A Troubled Manposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      "Of the 55 delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, 49 were Protestants, and three were Roman Catholics (C. Carroll, D. Carroll, and Fitzsimons). Among the Protestant delegates to the Constitutional Convention, 28 were Church of England (or Episcopalian, after the American Revolutionary War was won), eight were Presbyterians, seven were Congregationalists, two were Lutherans, two were Dutch Reformed, and two were Methodists.

      A few prominent Founding Fathers were anti-clerical Christians, such as Thomas Jefferson (who created the so-called "Jefferson Bible") and Benjamin Franklin. A few others (most notably Thomas Paine) were deists, or at least held beliefs very similar to those of deists." wiki

      1. cooldad profile image60
        cooldadposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        @AtroubledMan: thanks for the information, i really know very little about this topic, that's why I posted it in the forum.  I've always been intrigued with the notion of how the country was established regarding religious influence.

      2. LiamBean profile image82
        LiamBeanposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Ben Franklin may be lumped into a group of "non-believers," but he most certainly was not anti-Christian. He gave freely to every denomination whose services he attended and he had a great deal to do with the creation of a chapel that would accommodate any religion.

        Beyond this he did not write or talk much about religion. In his view, it was the right of the people to believe as they choose, but his own beliefs were kept to himself, except, when on the rare occasion he would write to a friend explaining his views on religion. As you can see from the passage below he is sufficiently vague on the topic.

      3. TMMason profile image61
        TMMasonposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        That pretty much sums it up... Franklin was the only one who could have been called a Deist though. Jefferson, though adverse to the denominations, was a Christian.

        Nice post troub.

        1. Evolution Guy profile image60
          Evolution Guyposted 12 years agoin reply to this


    2. Paul Wingert profile image59
      Paul Wingertposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      The vast majority of the refugees that came over to the colonies were Christians being percesuted by other Christians. For example, my ancestors were menodite from Switzerland and arrived in Pennsylvania in 1749 to escape persecution from the Catholic Church. The founding fathers wanted to keep church and state seperate, that's why no mention of anything religious in the Constitution. But presidents still take the oath of office on the Bible, hmmm.

      1. cooldad profile image60
        cooldadposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        @Paul: amazing to think that the founding fathers wanted to keep church and state separate.  Looks like most people have forgotten that ideal.  I guess it could be safe to say that the country was founded by people who were religious, but didn't want any religious group to have ultimate authority or influence, they wanted the people to be free to think??

        1. Doug Hughes profile image61
          Doug Hughesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Putting things in historical context, the American revolution happened shortly after the Spanish Inquisition ended. In that case, Catholics & the Spanish government forced non-Catholics out and executed quite a few who didn't move fast enough.

          The Church of England and the government of England were in the slave trade together. (In the original draft of the Declaration of Independence,  this was one of Jefferson's complaints, but it was removed by the Southern states.)

          The point being, the founding fathers were well aware of the mischief gov't & religion could get into. Its these kind of trouble evangelical teabaggers want to get into.

          It was a bad idea then and a bad idea now.

        2. Marisa Wright profile image87
          Marisa Wrightposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          That's it in a nutshell.

        3. rebekahELLE profile image87
          rebekahELLEposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          There's a difference between being of a certain religion and being a fanatic, like we see now in political campaigns. I don't care what religion a government leader may or may not follow, and really don't think it should be a factor in determining a leader who is to represent people from different backgrounds and beliefs.

          1. A Thousand Words profile image67
            A Thousand Wordsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            The ideas behind Christianity are bound to turn a moderate to an extremist/fanatic. It is the nature of the religion. People eventually "realize" that either you believe what you say you believe or you don't. That's what I was taught for the years, and that principle, I still believe in, but I have since renounced Christianity, for various reasons. Any "moderate" Christian will eventually become more extreme the more their consciences are "molded," and an extreme Christian will eventually feel compelled to impose their religious views on legislation. This is the reason I would not vote for a Christian, moderate or extreme. Honestly, a true Christian shouldn't even involve themself in politics and wouldn't if they actually studied what the men in their holy book did. It's about affecting the individual people in a society, not imposing your views on governement, affecting everyone including the "heathen." That may or may not be why the founding fathers believed in seperation of Church and State. But, I definitely want us to go back to that idea.

        4. liftandsoar profile image59
          liftandsoarposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Don't you think there might be a difference between keeping church and state separate and respecting the right of all citizens to practice their religion?  A sincere follower of Jesus will desire to voice opinions and take positions that reflect his Lord's values.  Christians can enter fully into the political arena without forcing their views on the general population, yet by dint of logic and godly example be able to show that the practice of godliness is good even for those who don't share our faith. 

          You seem to assume that to be a Christian is to be oppressive.  I'm persuaded that the Christian faith rightly understood and practiced encourages respect for all without watering down its own convictions.

          1. A Thousand Words profile image67
            A Thousand Wordsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            You say that, but the nature of the religion says otherwise. If people passionately believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only way that we, all of the lost, evil little sheep, will be able to get to Heaven, then we'll have to be taught the "right way" by these "little shepherds" that have found the one true "Shepherd." And so, that honest feeling of having respect for all will eventually lead towards passionate, but oppressive actions thought to be the best thing for all the evil little sheep.

    3. profile image56
      dzaputoposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      as mentioned above many were Deist's, this was sorta the "in thing" with the post Enlightenment  thinkers or the 18th century, which many of our founding fathers were.   you should look up the Bible Thomas Jefferson produced....he removed all mention of supernatural interference....ie.  all miracles and communication with God.  Thomas Jefferson did not believe God ever intervened in human life ever.

      1. SparklingJewel profile image66
        SparklingJewelposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        ...on the contrary...it is my belief he was trying to show how the concepts of God were and ARE us, in each individual and not only from the dogma of religion.

        We are all OF God, that great source of energy from which all was created and that which animates life.

        all would do well to invest their time in studying the mysteries, the esoteric of the oldest world religions, the theories of the olde schools of philosophy on the soul, even alchemy, etc... to understand this point of "who/what/how you really ARE"

        I believe this is what Jesus true teachings are about, and Mohammad's, and Buddha's, and Zarathrustra's, and Confucious', and the Tao and .....

        "know thyself"

    4. parrster profile image78
      parrsterposted 12 years agoin reply to this
    5. James A Watkins profile image86
      James A Watkinsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Nary a one of the Founding Fathers was an atheist nor an agnostic. 52 of the 55 were devout Christians and three were Deists—which was the fad among intellectuals at the time the Constitution was ratified. The words Church, State, and Separation are not in the Constitution.

      1. profile image53
        justcuriouserposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        The word "rape" doesn't appear in the Old Testament, but the activity occurs.  The concept of separation is clearly stated, and so important it is in the very first amendment to the COTUS.

        1. James A Watkins profile image86
          James A Watkinsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I am sorry to inform you that you are sadly mistaken. The First Amendment does not "separate" church and state. Read it for yourself. It does not say that. It guarantees Free Expression of Religion and prohibits CONGRESS from establishing a national religion. Do you know what Congress is?
          http://james-a-watkins.hubpages.com/hub … ng-Fathers

          1. profile image53
            justcuriouserposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            The state can't prevent you from worshipping how you like nor establish a way for you to do so.

            Sounds pretty seperate to me.

          2. profile image53
            justcuriouserposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            By the way, I can quote mine the founders and make the exact opposite case very easily.  It's a fun game, but not a complete picture by any stretch.

            1. American View profile image61
              American Viewposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              " I can quote mine the founders" What is mine the founders?

              1. MelissaBarrett profile image59
                MelissaBarrettposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                It's "quote mine" like as in "gold mine".  Its when you mine (dig through) the internet/Bartlett's for quotes by reputable people that seem to substantiate your argument.  Christians do it with bible verses.  It wasn't poor English, it was poor reading comprehension.

                1. American View profile image61
                  American Viewposted 12 years agoin reply to this


                  Sorry, it was not poor reader comprehention, I never heard that before and with good reason. I do not believe in god so these religious terms evade me. Sorry if you thought there was more to me not knowing and looking for an answer. Unlike many on hubpages, I do not claim to know everything. So I will ask. Knowing and understanding is the only way to make an informed decision.

          3. American View profile image61
            American Viewposted 12 years agoin reply to this


            You are right it is not in the first amendment. What has been done is a letter by Thomas Jefferson that states that has been used as the reason for the separation of church and state and link the letter to free speech.
            The phrase "separation of church and state" (sometimes "wall of separation between church and state"), attributed to Thomas Jefferson and others, and since quoted by the Supreme Court of the United States, expresses an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The First Amendment reads "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ....", while Article VI specifies that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." The modern concept of a wholly secular government is sometimes credited to the writings of English philosopher John Locke, but the phrase "separation of church and state" in this context is generally traced to an 1 January 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson, addressed to the Danbury, Connecticut, Baptist Association, and published in a Massachusetts newspaper. Echoing the language of the founder of the first Baptist church in America, Roger Williams—who had written in 1644 of "[A] hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world"— Jefferson wrote, "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State".[1]

            Jefferson's metaphor of a wall of separation has been cited repeatedly by the U.S. Supreme Court. In its 1879 Reynolds v. United States decision, the court allowed that Jefferson's comments "may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the [First] Amendment." In the 1947 Everson v. Board of Education decision, Justice Hugo Black wrote, "In the words of Thomas Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect a wall of separation between church and state." [2] However, the Court has not always interpreted the constitutional principle as meaning absolute separation of government from all things religious.[3][4][5][6]

            Public debates about the proper extent of church/state separation in the U.S. remain vigorous and impassioned. Politically active evangelical Christians such as David Barton, a former co-chair of the Texas Republican party, emphasize the religiosity of the nation's founders and assert that "separation of church and state," as widely understood by modern historians and jurists, is a "myth" and that the U.S. was founded as a religious, Christian nation  SOURCE WIKIPEDIA

          4. American View profile image61
            American Viewposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            The first Amendment. It says nothing about separation of Church and State

            Amendment I (1791)
            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.

            1. LiamBean profile image82
              LiamBeanposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              That congress can pass no law regarding religion and may pass no law prohibiting religion is not a wall between any church and government?

              Do tell!

              1. wba108@yahoo.com profile image79
                wba108@yahoo.composted 12 years agoin reply to this

                There is a big difference between the non-establishment of religion and the total separation of religion from all civil government. In the founding era, There would have been almost non-existent support for separating christianity from influencing civil government the only separation was a separation of the institutions of the church and the state. An established religion was common in Europe and england at that time. In England the Anglican church recieved previleges not available to other denominations, some denominations were persecuted! This is what the founders sought to prevent.

                Jeffersons wall of separation bears little resemblance to the separation instituted by the courts in 1947, Jefferson sought an institutional separation at the federal level only.

      2. Jeff Berndt profile image76
        Jeff Berndtposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        "The words Church, State, and Separation are not in the Constitution."
        Neither are the words God, Christ, Jesus, or Savior.

    6. wba108@yahoo.com profile image79
      wba108@yahoo.composted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I think its difficult to judge the extent of someones christian faith from 200 years ago but its easier to tell the ideas that influenced our nations founding. All you have to do is look around the monuments in Washington DC and you'll see reference to Christ and Christianity everywhere.

      The absense of numerous christian references in our founding ducuments had more to do with the assumption that matters of religion were deferred to the poeple and thier state and local governments , which almost entirely had a state sponsored denominations.

      Presidents from George Washington to George Bush have declared America a christian nation, even the Supreme Court declared America a Christian Nation in 1892 and 1952.
      Often revisist historians have take some high profile founders statements out of context to imply a secular founding. Some of the founders were not christians but it would be a mistake to take thier personal beliefs and read them into the founding documents. Having said this I believe the vast majority of founders were christians based on the sum total thier writings and action.

      1. parrster profile image78
        parrsterposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Well said!

      2. Jeff Berndt profile image76
        Jeff Berndtposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        "...even the Supreme Court declared America a Christian Nation in 1892 and 1952."

        Please cite those rulings? I'd be very interested in reading more about this.

        1. wba108@yahoo.com profile image79
          wba108@yahoo.composted 12 years agoin reply to this

          In the 1892 "Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States", Supreme Court Justice David Brewer affirmed "this is a christian nation" and in "Zorach v. Clauson, 1952" Justice William O. Douglas said “We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being”

          1. Jeff Berndt profile image76
            Jeff Berndtposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Thanks, I appreciate the citation. I'll have to go and read these now.

    7. American View profile image61
      American Viewposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Many early immigrant groups traveled to America to worship freely, particularly after the English Civil War and religious conflict in France and Germany.[8] They included nonconformists like the Puritans, as well as Catholics. Despite a common background, the groups' views on religious toleration were mixed. While some such as Roger Williams of Rhode Island and William Penn ensured the protection of religious minorities within their colonies, others like the Plymouth Colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony had established churches. The Dutch colony of New Netherland established the Dutch Reformed Church and outlawed all other worship, though enforcement was sparse. Religious conformity was desired partly for financial reasons: the established Church was responsible for poverty relief, so dissenting churches would have a significant edge.

      [edit]Former state churches in British North America
      [edit]Protestant colonies
      The colonies of Plymouth was founded by Pilgrims, English Dissenters or Separatists, Calvinists.
      The colonies of Massachusetts Bay, New Haven, and New Hampshire were founded by Puritan, Calvinist, Protestants.
      New Netherland was founded by Dutch Reformed Calvinists.
      The colonies of New York, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia were officially Church of England.
      [edit]Catholic colonies
      When New France was transferred to Great Britain in 1763, the Roman Catholic Church remained under toleration, but Huguenots were allowed entrance where they had formerly been banned from settlement by Parisian authorities.
      The Colony of Maryland was founded by a charter granted in 1632 to George Calvert, secretary of state to Charles I, and his son Cecil, both recent converts to Roman Catholicism. Under their leadership many English Catholic gentry families settled in Maryland. However, the colonial government was officially neutral in religious affairs, granting toleration to all Christian groups and enjoining them to avoid actions which antagonized the others. On several occasions low-church dissenters led insurrections which temporarily overthrew the Calvert rule. In 1689, when William and Mary came to the English throne, they acceded to demands to revoke the original royal charter. In 1701 the Church of England was proclaimed, and in the course of the eighteenth century Maryland Catholics were first barred from public office, then disenfranchised, although not all of the laws passed against them (notably laws restricting property rights and imposing penalties for sending children to be educated in foreign Catholic institutions) were enforced, and some Catholics even continued to hold public office.
      Spanish Florida was ceded to Great Britain in 1763, the British divided Florida into two colonies. Both East and West Florida continued a policy of toleration for the Catholic Residents.
      [edit]Colonies with no established church
      The Province of Pennsylvania was founded by Quakers, but the colony never had an established church.
      West Jersey, also founded by Quakers, prohibited any establishment.
      Delaware Colony had no established church.
      The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, founded by religious dissenters forced to flee the Massachusetts Bay colony, is widely regarded as the first polity to grant religious freedom to all its citizens. SOURCE_ WIKIPEDIA

    8. Repairguy47 profile image60
      Repairguy47posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      The first people who arrived here were indeed escaping religious persecution so your history is correct. As far as the founding fathers who created our present system of government I really don't think religion was a determining factor as much as being free from oppression was.

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Almost.  You're probably thinking of settlement at plymouth rock, but that was not the first settlement.

        The first settlement was at Jamestown Landing in Virginia, and it was both a penal colony and a profit center for the Virginia Company.  Religion did not play much part in it and certainly was not the reason for its establishment.

    9. profile image0
      Onusonusposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Yes most of them were, 32 signers of the declaration of independence were Episcopalian/Anglican, 13 were Congregationalists, 12 were Presbyterians, 2 were Quakers, 2 were Unitarians, and one was Catholic. Each having their own personal convictions, and devotion to God, but most of them believed the one truth that Jesus is the Christ and savior of our souls.

      Before the deceleration of independence was penned by James Madison, who was a devout Christian, he borrowed the frame work from William Penn (A Quaker) his frame of government of Pennsylvania. If you have ever read this document it is obvious that those men believed in Jesus Christ.
      The same was with people like Roger Williams, and many others. Since the time that the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock countless Christians around the world followed in their footsteps.

      What started with the pilgrims followed with the immigration of Puritans and Quakers. In Pennsylvania came German sects of Dunkers, Schwenkfelders, Moravians, and baptists. Roman Catholics in Maryland, The church of England established in Virginia.

      Then came the first great awakening in the 1730's and rose up the Evangelical movement, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Lutherans.

      Then in the second great awakening starting in 1800 came Anglicans, Congregationalists, and Mormons.

      Then in the 1870's the Third great awakening came, birthing such denominations as Christian science, Jehovah's witnesses, and Pentecostals.

      Yes this country is very Christian rooted indeed.

      1. Jeff Berndt profile image76
        Jeff Berndtposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        "Before the deceleration of independence was penned by James Madison, "

        Wait, what? Surely you've confounded the Declaration of Independence, which was written by Thomas Jefferson (editor of the famous Jefferson Bible), with the US Constitution, which was not entirely written by James Madison, and which includes no mention of Christianity, acknowledgement of heavenly authority, or other supernatural references at all.

        "If you have ever read this document it is obvious that those men believed in Jesus Christ."  No, Jesus is not mentioned in either the Constitution or the DofI. The DofI does mention "...the laws of Nature and of Nature's God..." but it's also important to remember that the DofI is not, and was never intended to be, the basis on which a government functions.

        Yes, America was and is full of Christians, and yes, most of the founders were Christians of one kind or another, but the founders deliberately chose to create a secular government.

    10. platinumOwl4 profile image73
      platinumOwl4posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      There is a real problem with misinformation. People often quote sources that are errors from the start. America did not start out as a Christian country it became one later. Many of the Founding Fathers believed in a supreme being, yet it was not connected to any of  the major religions of  their day. Just as George Washington was not the First President, he was the Ninth president of the United States but the first under the Constitution.

    11. lady_love158 profile image60
      lady_love158posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      It might surprise you to learn that religious services were held regularly in the capitol building on Sundays. It might also surprise you to learn that states had religion in their constitutions and supported them with public money. Indeed early settlements were in part started so that people could worship freely. The founders addressed the conerns of the states by including religious freedom in the constitution to prevent another church of england type of monarchy from emerging. In other words, they didn't have a problem with school prayer!

      1. Jeff Berndt profile image76
        Jeff Berndtposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        It might also surprise you to know that one of the delegates to the constitutional convention suggested starting each day with a prayer, and that the convention decided that this was not necessary.

  2. Jonathan Janco profile image60
    Jonathan Jancoposted 12 years ago

    Our founding fathers were certainly not Christian, but they were not atheist or agnostic either. Most of the people who formed the basis of ideology of this country (particularly Jefferson and Franklin) would be referred to as Deists. Which means they believed in a Supreme Creator that created the Universe, but rejected the concept of organized religion and also dismissed any supernatural ideas such as prophecy or divine intervention. When people refer to the US as a Christian nation, they are usually referring to the church communities throughout the original thirteen colonies. Catholic, Jewish and Muslim communities were (if they existed at all) scarce at best. But having said that, those that use the Christian nation argument to justify the belief that church and state should not be separate, you are still dealing with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of different denominations of Christianity. So, if we were to have a church-ruled state, which church would act as the theocratic ruler? Or would that simply translate to political parties? The Methodist Party? The Baptist Party? The Southern Baptist Party? The Baptist Reform Party? The Pentecostal Party?

    1. cooldad profile image60
      cooldadposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I think we have totally lost the ideal of keeping church and state separate.  That's why we have so many problems within government today.

      1. profile image0
        Brenda Durhamposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        People have chosen so often to misdefine and misrepresent that idea of "separation of church and state" that I'm not even gonna go into it right now, 'cause it's practically useless to try to change the minds of liberals by using THEIR definition of the problem!

        All those problems you mentioned are because of people who want to take God Himself out of our Nation.   They keep trying, and He just keeps on staying here in the hearts of Christians.   Ironic, isn't it?!

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          If only you would keep Him in your hearts and homes!  But no, you must project your desires and beliefs into our schools, our government, everywhere in our society that you can reach.

          The idea of "separation of church and state" was to keep individual religious beliefs out of other's lives, but few of the radical religious want to accept that.  Our founding fathers did understand the importance of that concept; there were too many different beliefs in their midst to ever get along otherwise. 

          From comments on these forums, most were not "real Christians", merely paying lip service to the title.  Nevertheless, they seemed to get along with each other well enough to lay the foundations of this country.  It was not until later, when the christians of hundreds of different sects managed to band together enough to enforce the beliefs they held in common onto the rest of the population that problems began to arise.

          1. profile image0
            Brenda Durhamposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            You say that first couple of sentences like it's a bad thing.

            I agree the "radical" religions need to be kept out!   But that doesn't include basic Christianity. 
            Yet some people still choose to label all Christians as radicals.

            1. Jonathan Janco profile image60
              Jonathan Jancoposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Brenda, who is trying to stop you from worshipping? Just because we feel God should be left out of the public sector, doesnt mean anyone wants to take god out of your life.

              1. livelonger profile image87
                livelongerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                She also believes that if you think gays should have equal legal rights, then you're heterophobic.

                A lot of her logic is impenetrable.

            2. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Yes, Brenda, it's a bad thing.  I understand that the religious right believe and act as if they know the only way to live a good life, but that belief does not make it so. 

              I also understand that they believe that they have a mandate from God to force everyone else to share their belief system and that it is OK to do so, but it is not.

              I understand that you do not view yourself as a "radical Christian" but you and all the others that try to force your lifestyle on others are indeed radicals.

              What the radical Christians completely fail to understand or accept is that everyone, not just the believers of similar dogma, has a complete right to lead their own lives.  This does not include indoctrinating their children into the myth of religion via our public schools, it does not include being forced to pay for or participate in religious activities or symbols, and it does not include being forced to follow religious laws or customs.

              Until the religious community accepts this very basic human right there will continue to be a massive fight in our society, and one the religious will lose.  Even if the country goes the way of religious law (whether sharia or Christian won't matter) eventually freedom will win out. 

              Our founding fathers, regardless of their personal religious beliefs, understood this basic right and tried to make it impossible for American government to take it away.  The Christian community has tried for a long time to create religious slaves out of everyone around them but have failed; indeed, past successes are being erased all the time in favor of freedom.  That the process will continue is inevitable; Americans are free people and will remain free - no religion will ever enslave the people in this country.

              1. A Thousand Words profile image67
                A Thousand Wordsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                Where's the "like" button?

                1. Eaglekiwi profile image74
                  Eaglekiwiposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                  All western nations are free in the terms you describe,however being stuck is poverty is not freedom ,or failing in  education.

            3. Eaglekiwi profile image74
              Eaglekiwiposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              LoL Brenda at your sense of humour.

              The secular state of mind has no problem bringing all kinds of unproven theories into the classroom though ,BUT what really angers me is that 6 yrs later the same 'experts' wonder why the kids have no sense of direction hmm anymore.

              Pretty soon we will have the generation of 'undoctrinated' kids, then whose fault will it be then ,when the world turns on its backside?

              1. profile image0
                Brenda Durhamposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                I totally agree.
                They'll be a generation or generations of immature "adults" who had no guidance as kids.

                1. earnestshub profile image81
                  earnestshubposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                  This is total bloody minded nonsense! Some of us have had children and grandchildren who have never been indoctrinated and they are wonderful kids.
                  Don't use your holier than thou attitude about kids unless you can point to real success as a parent and show that those children who do not have a religion are somehow worse. Same elitist crap!
                  You should be ashamed of yourselves!

                  1. A Thousand Words profile image67
                    A Thousand Wordsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                    I agree, earnest! Though, these are impossible things to truly measure. There are religious parents whose children become rapists and murderers and some whose children are "productive." Same for non-religious parents. But, those ideas are very elitist, and they frustrate me so, but I understand the mindset because I used to be that way. hmm I hope some things will change in this country.

                2. Marisa Wright profile image87
                  Marisa Wrightposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                  So parents have no responsibility to offer that guidance?

                3. wilderness profile image95
                  wildernessposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                  About the only "guidance" secular children won't receive is the concept that they are better than everyone else because they believe in a myth and therefore have a right and a duty to impose those beliefs on everyone around them.

                  Only good can come from that lack - certainly no harm.

                  1. Jeff Berndt profile image76
                    Jeff Berndtposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                    They also aren't frightened into obedience by the threat of hell.

              2. wilderness profile image95
                wildernessposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                By their very nature theories are unproven.  They DO, however, have evidence to support them and large efforts have been made to disprove them by peers of the theorists.

                Would the unproven theories of religion, without any evidence whatsoever, be better?  If so, should we then not teach ALL such theories, confusing our children beyond belief?  Or just the one YOU happen to believe in?

                How does teaching theories supported by evidence produce kids without a sense of direction?  I'm missing the connection here.

                It seems that the countries with "undoctrinated" kids do at least as well as those that indoctrinate their kids in the local religions.  In actual practice I would have to say that those countries with little religion do far better than those with religious governments.  Every government that has ruled through religion has been a dismal failure, yet the religious continue to promote the idea that they and they alone are able to run a country.  Why?

                1. Eaglekiwi profile image74
                  Eaglekiwiposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                  I agree that religion is as close to politics as anyone two can be,at least in the boardrooms.

                  Separation of Church and State,sounds good for the little people,but the reality is ,they hold each others hands.

                  No,I am talking about the demise of good old fashioned values such as integrity,truth,honesty etc that was ushered in and taught as Christians principles. Now before anyone rushes in and exclaims ,are you saying that only Christians believe in these things. No, Of course not! ,but never the less that is how those old values were 'indoctrinated' in dare I say it ,many of us way back when...

                  In comparison,who upholds those values being taught now in our schoools? today, since Religions been sent packing.
                  The average 16 yr old probably knows more about their local rapper and where to buy dope ,than who split the atom or 'who is Jesus Christ'.

                  1. wilderness profile image95
                    wildernessposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                    I would agree with much of what you say except that those values were being taught in schools as christian principles.  At least I never learned them in school 50 years ago.

                    Rather, I learned them at home and from society in general.  No one likes a liar for instance, and if you don't keep your word no one will trust you.  These things are commonly promoted as being from religion, but they are actually instilled from home life and interactions with ones peers and friends.  Although I've listened to thousands of sermons I don't believe I've ever heard a pastor target lying or personal integrity in the sermon.  These things may indeed be a part of many christian households, but they are also a part of any good home life teaching values to kids - christian, muslim secular or anything else.

                    That our youngsters know more about their local rapper and where to buy dope than who split the atom is indeed a failure of our schools, but not from taking prayer and mythology out of the curriculum.  Praying in school won't teach them who split the atom, won't prevent knowing where to buy dope and the question of "who is Jesus Christ" has no place in schools.  At least not unless you also teach who is Mohammed and who is Buddha and a hundred others.

          2. parrster profile image78
            parrsterposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            What you are suggesting is impossible.
            All humans will hold to some form of world view. The greater the conviction, the more fully it will permeate their thinkng, decision making, conversation and conduct. It's part of the human experience.

            To suggest that we can divorce ourselves from our convictions in any part of life is perverse (unatural), but to expect such at the level of political discussion is impossible. What you are asking is that politicians consist of only those with world view convictions so shallow as to not influence them at all. How is this possible, and why would you want to be led by such people.

            You write, "But no, you must project your desires and beliefs into our schools, our government, everywhere in our society that you can reach."

            And in what way are atheists doing any less. Atheism has been "preached" in our schools, government, and everywhere in society for a number of decades now.

            I challenge you to watch the linked series below. It goes for 27 parts, but will give you a fuller understanding of the men that founded your nation.


            1. parrster profile image78
              parrsterposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Sorry, wrong link. try this one -  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZ3epzXJd_Y

            2. Jeff Berndt profile image76
              Jeff Berndtposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              "Atheism has been "preached" in our schools, government, and everywhere in society for a number of decades now."

              No it hasn't. Atheists are not trying to get atheism added to the curriculum. They're trying to make sure that devotional theology isn't added to the curriculum. They're trying to keep nonscientific stuff, like creation "theory," out of science classrooms, and you know what? I'm on their side in this.

              I don't want some public school teacher teaching my kid about religion. That's up to me and my wife, and perhaps a trusted member of the clergy.

              It's not atheism that's creeping into our schools and government--it's religion. In God we Trust was not our original motto, and it didn't appear on our coins until the Civil War. It didn't appear on paper money until the 50s, which was also when the phrase "Under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance.

              Religion is creeping into our secular institutions, not being driven out of them.

              But it makes for a more compelling narrative to pretend that Christianity is under attack, and that the atheists are evilly trying to suppress religion. Fear is a powerful motivator.

              1. parrster profile image78
                parrsterposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                "Atheists are not trying to get atheism added to the curriculum."

                Well, they're trying to get Theism taken out... which, for them, achieves the same thing. And let's be honest, many atheists don't want people to believe in God just as much as some Theists want the opposite.

                and as I see it, atheists most definitely have an agenda, as does any group with a belief system. You only have to visit prominent atheistic websites to see the obviousness of that. There's nothing wrong with having an agenda; it's what's on the agenda that needs attention.

                "They're trying to keep nonscientific stuff, like creation "theory," out of science classrooms..."

                I don't see theism and science as contestants (and neither do many, many highly competent scientists I could name). And, what, Evolution is a fact, not a theory? I don't think so.

                "Religion is creeping into our secular institutions, not being driven out of them."

                How can religion be creeping in? People of belief in God have been in the majority since the inception of your country. If anything, religion is seeping out, not creeping in.

        2. cooldad profile image60
          cooldadposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I'm an atheist and not once have I ever imposed my beliefs on anyone.  Not once have I told anyone that they are going to hell if they don't believe in God.  Not once have I ever shot an abortion doctor.  But on many occasions those types of things have been said to me.  Not everyone believes in god, especially from the standpoint of a world view.  I think it's important that we all have an open mind and tolerance when we discuss issues like this.  And please, stop blaming everything on liberals.

  3. NMLady profile image77
    NMLadyposted 12 years ago

    I agree that state and church should be seperate.  Afterall, who would get to choose WHICH religion?

    1. Jeff Berndt profile image76
      Jeff Berndtposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      That's exactly why the framers chose to create a secular government.

  4. Stump Parrish profile image61
    Stump Parrishposted 12 years ago

    Interesting how it's always the other guy who's the radical. So which one of the 38,000 sects of christianity practices basic christianity? I get the feeling that no matter what your answer is the other 37,999 sects will simply state that you aren't a true christian. They will ignore you or try and kick you out of god's glee club.

    1. calpol25 profile image60
      calpol25posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I agree there, there is more bigotry between faiths fighting for who is right and who is wrong yet Jesus was Jewish. so is Christianity right?

  5. profile image55
    daisymaposted 12 years ago

    August 17, 2011

    It bothers me not the least that our Founding Fathers were not Christians.  Look what they left us!

    Read Thomas Jefferson's RELIGIOUS FREEDOM statute he wrote for Virginia.  It's still on the books in the Commonwealth. 

    Most likely our Founders were influenced to include Religious Freedom which includes the freedom to NOT believe, religiously, partly by their own irreverence.  Everybody knows Thomas Jefferson compiled his own personal Bible in which he excluded the miracles.

    James Madison didn't always go to church either.  After George Washington was scolded by his pastor for being somewhat irreverent about his church attendance then George Washington stopped going altogether.  I could care less!

    We thank George Mason, that we have religious freedom, because he refused to sign the Constitution after the Convention in 1787 because no Bill of Rights had been presented to accompany the Constitution.  After a bill of such rights which included those of religion was introduced in December of said year then George Mason consented.

    Stop trying to impose religion on us!  You prove our Founders very right indeed.

  6. August Fire profile image60
    August Fireposted 12 years ago

    I believe in God, but, I also believe alot more than that. I also believe that as Americans, we are suppose to have the freedom to choose our religious beliefs and to be able to pray if that is what we want to do and that should include praying in public and in schools if one wishes to participate!! And demanding that prayer be banned in schools and in public is absolutely ridiculous and it takes away our religious freedom! I happen to agree about the religious fanatics, they take things too far! I won't push my beliefs onto someone that doesn't want to hear it, but, if you ask me my opinion, I will tell you in a direct manner exactly what I believe. But, I also respect your beliefs.
       I think our government is corrupt from greediness and religion is being blamed for alot of the problem. I am also a United States Veteran, my son is presently in the United States Army and my Father served in Vietnam and the first Gulf War. Our soldiers pray... most of them do believe in God.

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Regarding prayer in school and public:

      If Muslims (I'll pick on them this time) suddenly kneel in the middle of a street and begin their daily prayer is that OK?  If not, is it OK for Christians to shut down activities to do their prayer?

      If it is not, when and where would you propose school prayer happen, bearing in mind that it is not OK to disrupt classes, other students or school activities? 

      Where would you pray in public?  In a corner all by yourself, disrupting no one or on a podium in front of a group that have gathered for some other reason than to pray?

      It seems to me that when you pray in public and demand that those around you be quiet and stop their other activities to accommodate your prayer it is no different than a large group of Muslims shutting down a public street to place their mats and do their own prayers, yet this is always what the Christians seem to demand.  That everyone else in the school, for instance, be silent for a period for your personal prayer, that everyone at a public event be quiet and do nothing while you pray.  Only when you will give the same respect to anyone else that demands you stop what you are doing and listen to them spout heresy and immorality does this kind of request make sense.

      1. August Fire profile image60
        August Fireposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Well, when I went to school, we took a moment to pray before the daily work began. And we didn't have to worry about someone being offended, everyone prays where I'm from... which is a very small town and from which I bolted like a scared rabbit just as soon as I could... I happen to know an atheist, yes, just one... he is respectful of others' beliefs. I don't demand that anyone stop for me if I should decide to pray outside on a street corner or in a class room, infact, when I pray, I'd rather people stay away from me so that I'm not distracted from my thoughts.
           I don't have to listen to another person's prayers and neither does anyone else. That's the whole idea behind "religious freedom". I'll just say this now and be done with it... As for myself and my family... and there are alot of people I know that feel the very same way I do... We will pray when and where we should feel the need to do so and I don't care who is offended... I will fight for the right to prayer, it is in the constitution that we be able to pray without persecution... and I will defend God to my death!
           I don't ask you to believe as I do and I don't ask you to pray with me nor to even listen to my prayers... WHY should you ask me to stop praying? In my past experiences, when a person demands that someone stop doing something... that person doing the demading is afraid of something. People still have very narrow minds... I'll bet if I told you I was a witch, you'd be willing to accept that far better than my telling you that I am a Christian. Or would you try to hunt up a gang of mad, narrow minded people and have a witch hunt???

        1. Evolution Guy profile image60
          Evolution Guyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Who is asking you to stop preying exactly?

  7. cheaptrick profile image75
    cheaptrickposted 12 years ago

    god is dead...long live GOD!

  8. Evan G Rogers profile image60
    Evan G Rogersposted 12 years ago

    Who cares what religion they believed in.

    They declared that Congress shall write no law respecting one religion.

    1. SpanStar profile image60
      SpanStarposted 12 years ago

      People have tried and still or trying to reject God in anyway they can.  Jesus had to suffer and die for men's ignorance and we still  can't get enough of cruifying him.

      Episcopal Church (United States)


      Anglicanism Portal

      The Episcopal Church (also officially known as the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America) is a MAINLINE ANGLICAN CHRISTIAN CHURCH found mainly in the United States (including its unincorporated territories), but also in Honduras, Taiwan, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands and parts of Europe.[2][3][4] The Episcopal Church is the Province of the Anglican Communion in the United States and most other territories where it has a presence (excluding Europe). The Episcopal Church describes itself as being "Protestant, Yet Catholic".[5] In 2009, the Episcopal Church had a baptized membership of 2,175,616 both inside and outside the U.S. In the United States, it had a baptized membership of 2,006,343, making it the nation's fifteenth largest denomination.


      Signers and non-signers of the Constitution

      http://www.adherents.com/gov/Founding_F … l#multiple

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Now that's an interesting link.  Every single one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation and the Constitution were Christian.  Not a single atheist, pagan, muslim or any other form of religious belief is represented.

        As noted above in other posts, several of these people were not church goers and Jefferson even rewrote the bible to agree with his beliefs yet is still listed as a Christian.  I would have to say that these lists are compiled by someone with a definite agenda to promote and was done with little regard to actual truth.

        For those that swallow such ridiculous lists, I have some waterfront property in Arizona for sale cheap!

        1. SpanStar profile image60
          SpanStarposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          When Jesus oftered people a better way of life they chose to live in their ignorance.

          1. wilderness profile image95
            wildernessposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Your are certainly right - our ignorant founding fathers, not believing in the myth of Christianity, only managed to write the best guideline for government the world has ever seen.  It wasn't and isn't perfect, but is the best around.

            1. SpanStar profile image60
              SpanStarposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              The orignators of the first constitution were religion people and the main reason these people sail off to  find this new land was to practice that new religion and so before modern man decided things people came together in the fellowship and love of God to eat together.  Since this these lies about not being religious Thanksgiving has always been and still celebrated today even by today's government officals and now that people are aware of that the Godless can work on remove that as well.  Generates in the past said the Pledge of Alliegence "And To The Republic For Which It Stands One NATION UNDER GOD!"  The Horror of 9/11 and the likes Require What That We Stand Around With Our Thumb Up Our Nose And Just Be Quiet-YEA That's Doing Whole Lot-PLEASE.

              1. Jeff Berndt profile image76
                Jeff Berndtposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                Wow, what a load of incoherent drivel.

                The framers of the constitution wrote a secular document that makes no mention of any supernatural power, and which asserts that all authority derives from the people, and nowhere else. The folks who celebrated the legendary first thanksgiving were long dead by the time the Constitution got written; you should check your dates. The Under God phrase was not in the original Pledge of Allegiance--it was added in the 1950s.

                Stop making stuff up and confounding other stuff.

    2. Stump Parrish profile image61
      Stump Parrishposted 12 years ago

      Prayer has not been banned in public school. Why is that so hard to accept? The only thing that has been banned is teachers and other government employees leading students in prayer. If you want your child to recieve a religious education, send them to a religious school.

      Very few of the people complaining about the so called removal of prayer in school. are worried about their children praying enough. After all dont they have 40 to 50 chances a day to pray with their kids?  before and after a bowl of Corn Flakes, on the way to the bus or school, any time during the day they can call the little kiddies on theit cell phone and break out in prayer. They can pray with them after school, before and after dinner. before, during and after American Idol. Before, during and after their baths. How about when they put them to bed? No they aren't worried about their kids praying enough, they are worried that mine aren't praying enough. They seek to force my kids to take part in their religious pratices knowing full well that the best time to hook 'em is when they are young. They aren't interested in prayer in school, they are interested in christian prayer in school.

      They would raise holy hell if their kids were forced to recite muslim prayers four or five times a day now wouldn't they? They don't want their kids to be forced to listen to that garbage and can't undrestand it when others feel the same way about their chosen religion.

      How about it christiams, do you want your kids to recite 5 muslim prayers a day, one jewish prayer, one buddhist prayer, one hindu prayer, recite the rosary, and then a taoist prayer. We can follow that with a shinto prayer, a jainist prayer,  a sihkist prayer and a vodun prayer. We need to throw in a wiccan prayer, a macumba prayer and a scientologist prayer. A native American prayer, a satanist prayer and a prayer for the other twenty five major religions practiced in this country. Or is it just your chosen religion you seek to have our government employees promote?

      I get the feeling that this is the real reason the christian right seeks to have the federal government removed from the educational system. If the federal government wasn't involved in educating our children, they could turn our schools into religous indoctrination centers based upon the beliefs of the majprity in that area. It would save christians parents a lot of money if they could turn over their responsibility for the brain washing of heir kids to the schools. By removing the federal government from education, they wont be in conflict with the seperation of church and state when they cram their beliefs down the throats of children of all faiths or no faith. Of course they will state that these parents are free to move to an area that thinks like they do. Just what this country needs is more segregation. It maes a lot more sense for christian parents to take responsibility for teaching their own children in their homes and churches. Ihen again, it's not their kids they are after. It's mine and those of the rest of us who have different beliefs.

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 12 years agoin reply to this


        I had never thought of school prayer in quite that way although I have always recognized that the religious right pushing for it was little more that a desire to indoctrinate all children. 

        Your comment that all christian parents have plenty of time to pray with their kids and therefore school prayer is nothing more than a desire to force other children to participate in the farce is well taken.  TY.

      2. A Thousand Words profile image67
        A Thousand Wordsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Very, very well put! I may have to reference this for future arguments just so you know, Stump Parrish.

    3. mikelong profile image61
      mikelongposted 12 years ago

      The original Pledge of Allegiance did not have "under God" in its text.... That was simply a Cold War creation...

      1. SpanStar profile image60
        SpanStarposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Do you have the link or document showing that?  Cold war or not it was in the school system for years and American history has lot of evidence that Christain values were prime importance and when it comes to schools-I hate to break it to people but the first school teachers in America were Nuns

        I found it-Mikelong you are correct it was added.  Still I don't see how it changes the moral values of this country at that time .

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I might add that "In God we trust" was first printed on paper money at about the same time.

          Yes, you can tell that the morals around then were not particularly good - both of these items were Christians trying to force their value and belief systems on the rest of the population.  Indeed, the words in the pledge forced millions of schoolchildren to tell the world that they believed in the supernatural whether they did or not.

          No, not a very moral action at all.

          1. SpanStar profile image60
            SpanStarposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            I won't say what I think of your wrong idea of the moral values then and now.  There was a big difference between what problems had then and they do now- people felt safe walking the street at night baring the pyscho race haters and the biggest trouble schools faced then was running in the hallways and chewing gum.  Now the deaths by kids killing their classmate is unbelievable and you dare make that unfounded illusion regarding the difference as being better now than then-clearly you aren't about misunderstanding you're just about having things your way.

            1. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              No spanstar, I don't think things are much better now.  In many ways they are worse.

              Having said that, though, I find one of the greatest moral issues (if not the greatest one) is to simply leave people alone to live their life as they wish.  This includes not hurting someone taking a stroll at night, it includes not stealing from them, it includes allowing two people in love to marry each other and it very definitely  includes not trying to force everyone else to arrange their lifestyle according to someone else's rules.  Just leave them alone to decide for themselves how to live their own life in peace.

              This issue is something that the religious of our society can't seem to fathom.  They believe they have the right and the duty to enforce their own rules for everyday living on everyone around them as well as the same right and duty to force others to joint their belief system.  It is that very lack of morality that allowed people to insert those words in the pledge and on our money.

              I'm not about having things my own way (except in my own life) - I would never consider forcing the removal of churches or denying anyone the right to worship (or not) as they see fit.  Just leave your neighbors out of your worship.

              It is the religions of the world that insist on having things there own way - once again, those words in the pledge of allegiance to our country are a good indication of what I'm saying. 

              The constant demands that our children pray to strange Christian Gods in our schools, the demands that our kids be taught that a supernatural creature violated all the natural laws of our universe to create it and the life on our planet, the incensed reactions when the public doesn't want to pay for their religious icons in public land - the list is endless. 

              Why can't the religious just keep their religion to themselves and let the rest of us live our lives as we see fit?  Why must they always have things their way?

        2. Jeff Berndt profile image76
          Jeff Berndtposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I wrote a hub about it. It's a fact.

    4. mikelong profile image61
      mikelongposted 12 years ago

      I have far more than an article....  There was a statue built in Salt Lake City, Utah, that has the pledge engraved in stone...  There is no "under God"....

      It came later...and the "anti-Communists" drove it in...  Not being a Christian or monotheist myself, I find this to be insulting and an overreach of government sponsorship of religion, and a specific brand of monotheism..


    5. Stump Parrish profile image61
      Stump Parrishposted 12 years ago

      The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892  I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

      Swearing of the Pledge is accompanied by a salute. An early version of the salute, adopted in 1892, was known as the Bellamy salute. It started with the hand outstretched toward the flag, palm down, and ended with the palm up. Because of the similarity between the Bellamy salute and the Nazi salute, developed later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted the hand-over-the-heart gesture as the salute to be rendered by civilians during the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem in the United States, instead of the Bellamy salute. Removal of the Bellamy salute occurred on December 22, 1942, when Congress amended the Flag Code language first passed into law on June 22, 1942.

      In 1951, the Knights of Columbus, the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization, also began including the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.[15] In New York City, on April 30, 1951, the Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus adopted a resolution to amend the text of their Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of each of the meetings of the 800 Fourth Degree Assemblies of the Knights of Columbus by addition of the words "under God" after the words "one nation." Over the next two years, the idea spread throughout Knights of Columbus organizations nationwide. On August 21, 1952, the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus at its annual meeting adopted a resolution urging that the change be made universal and copies of this resolution were sent to the President, the Vice President (as Presiding Officer of the Senate) and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The National Fraternal Congress meeting in Boston on September 24, 1952, adopted a similar resolution upon the recommendation of its president, Supreme Knight Luke E. Hart. Several State Fraternal Congresses acted likewise almost immediately thereafter. This campaign led to several official attempts to prompt Congress to adopt the Knights of Columbus’ policy for the entire nation. These attempts failed.

      Prior to February 1954, no attempt to get the Pledge officially amended succeeded. The final successful push came from George MacPherson Docherty.

      President Eisenhower, though raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, had been baptized a Presbyterian just a year before. He responded enthusiastically to Docherty in a conversation following the service. Eisenhower acted on his suggestion the next day and on February 8, 1954, Rep. Charles Oakman (R-Mich.), introduced a bill to that effect. Congress passed the necessary legislation and Eisenhower signed the bill into law on Flag Day, June 14, 1954.[16]

      The phrase "under God" was incorporated into the Pledge of Allegiance June 14, 1954, by a Joint Resolution of Congress amending §7 of the Flag Code enacted in 1942
      I guess Eisenhower is now considered one of our founding fathers. Good thing he didn't approve of Baptist style socialisn or we would again be doing our version of thed Nazi salute.

    6. mikelong profile image61
      mikelongposted 12 years ago

      If I truly have the ability to freely express my faith...what if I believe in a pantheon of deities?  Under God in official government documents, currency, symbols, etc. undermines the perceived legitimacy of my religious beliefs...

      Polytheism is not done away with....and neither is animism...  Christians, however, with the support of monotheists in general, have worked against their existence...

      And for those like me, who have no religious beliefs....we are then typically labelled as "not quite American" by those who see the stars and stripes as symbols of a "Christian nation"...which we are not...and should never be...

      We are Americans protected and defined through the Constitution of the United States and state/local based systems...  Religious preference/belief is/should be completely apart from this...

      1. SpanStar profile image60
        SpanStarposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        That's where differ because this country, this nation was built on the ideal of a Christain lifestyle.  This country's history has scores of religious people not only in this country but sent out as servents of God to help those in need and frankly I find that most commentable.  For those that can't wait to pointout the those situations that didn't turn out so great -doesn't compare to all the ones that did.

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          No, this country was not built on Christianity.  It was built on Freedom for everyone. 

          Do you remember the immortal words of Thomas Jefferson - "that all men are created equal" and that they have a right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"?

          He did not say that the Christians are superior and should determine how all should live - those words are that ALL are equal.  ALL people can determine how to live. 

          People have a right to liberty.  This again does not mean that the Christians shall determine how everyone shall live so that society can continue - it means Freedom.  The freedom and liberty to choose for ourselves.  Only those laws that are necessary to protect one person from another are acceptable - not the hundreds or thousands of laws based on twisted christian ideas of morality.

          1. cooldad profile image60
            cooldadposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            I agree that this country was not built on Christianity.  I think what has been lost is that our country was founded on the basis that all people should be free and equal to practice whatever religion they choose, without persecution.  After all, the founding fathers were fleeing from religious persecution. 

            But, that's been severely twisted throughout time and molested by right wing politicians to fit certain agendas.  The religious right has been dangerously powerful for far too long.

    7. SpanStar profile image60
      SpanStarposted 12 years ago

      If you find that statute offensive then I'm guessing you don't use American dollar bills for they say "In God We Trust?"  Right.

      1. Woman Of Courage profile image60
        Woman Of Courageposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        In God we trust. Right on the money. smile

        1. profile image53
          justcuriouserposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          It's interesting to note that Jesus said "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to me what is mine".  Yet we have decided to comingle the idea of money and God.  What a pity we spit in the Lord's eye.

          1. Eaglekiwi profile image74
            Eaglekiwiposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            I think the point Jesus was trying to make ,was to Give to God what belongs to him ie Glory, Obediance and to the Government what belonged to them (Taxes)..wink

            Both seem to be out of balance now, dont ya think?

        2. Jeff Berndt profile image76
          Jeff Berndtposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          And it didn't get put there until the 1950s, when a bunch of bible-thumpers decided to impose it on the country.

          Stop pretending that the "In God We Trust" motto has always been there, or proves that the US is a Christian nation. It hasn't, and it doesn't.

      2. cooldad profile image60
        cooldadposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Because what's printed on money really matters.  I'm sure every time you spend a dollar, you think "God Bless this dollar" (sarcasm)  We have no control over the money supply and what's printed on it.  The dollar also has the term "Washington, D.C." on it, and I know most people aren't fond of D.C. and what happens there.  Silly argument.

    8. mikelong profile image61
      mikelongposted 12 years ago

      Who are you addressing?

      If your statement is directed to me, my use of coinage and dollars has nothing to do with "In God We Trust" being written on it...  To assert that using this currency is somehow connected with, at minimum benign support of Christianity/monotheism is incorrect...

      The fact that these words are found in such places is a demonstration that "freedom of religion" has been institutionally twisted into a monopolistic support of a certain brand of religion over others and their non-religious counterparts...

      1. SpanStar profile image60
        SpanStarposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        It was direct to you.  Muslim People are recognize by their country and faith, Jewish the same, Buddah the same all the other country can be recognized by their religous faith-ALL BUT AMERICA.

        1. Jeff Berndt profile image76
          Jeff Berndtposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          "all the other country can be recognized by their religous faith-ALL BUT AMERICA."

          Well, yeah. That's because the US is not a Christian country. Thank you for proving yourself wrong.

    9. Stump Parrish profile image61
      Stump Parrishposted 12 years ago

      The majority of people in this country are supposedly christians. Logic states that the majority of people committing these crimes must be so called christians. Too bad so many christians need constatnt reminders of how they are supposed to act.I assume you are one of those who if you discovered right now that there is no god, would instantly turn into a murdering animal.If all of our morality comes from your god and he is shown not to exist, your arguement states you would become societies worst nightmare. It would be a good thing for society that atheists exist to show all you christians what right and wrong is. You have repeatedly stated that all morallity comes from god and that indicates you dont have access to that information on your own.
      As to your comment about not using the dollar bill I will say this, If you desire to live ina country controlled by religion, move to Iran. They like weak minded non thinking people over there. You should feel right at home.

    10. mikelong profile image61
      mikelongposted 12 years ago

      Muslim people are represented by their country and faith?

      What are you saying?

      If one is Muslim, does every nation with a majority Muslim population represent that person? 


      While there are Jews, not all Jews are represented by Israel... In fact, there are many Jewish communities against and hostile to Israel..

      I don't understand your comment perhaps... 

      The United States was founded on a colonial model established to promote trade and wealth building...  While so many point to the Pilgrims, it is important to recall that the first settlements of English in the New World was in Jamestown, and religious freedom had nothing to do with its establishment...

      The competing colonial companies (the Plymouth and London/Virginia Companies respectively) were searching for profit...  What those indebted to them (like the pilgrims) came for was something else.... 

      For all the Christianity influenced in the United States, a huge part of American identity came directly/indirectly from the Native inhabitants of this land...

      To suppose that there was just a one-way transmission of ideas and identity is folly..

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Interesting point.  It is...convenient...to forget that the first European colony in America was a penal colony and one used to promote profits.  Quite different from the popular notion that all our forefathers were all about Christianity.

    11. cooldad profile image60
      cooldadposted 12 years ago

      "atheism has been preached in our schools, government, and everywhere in society for a number of decades now."
      What schools did you attend and in what country?  I was schooled in America and the only time atheism was ever mentioned was in a glossary at then end of a World Religion text book.  Maybe things have changed in the past 10 years, I'm not sure.  My children are in grade school now and none of them have been exposed to atheism in the classroom yet.  I hope it's true that it's being taught in schools now.

      1. Eaglekiwi profile image74
        Eaglekiwiposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Yes they have changed alot,particularly at the University level wink

        I don't have a huge problem with evolution and world religions being taught though ,the main problem is that the format is introduced as Gospel.

        Who said it was -them?

        1. Jeff Berndt profile image76
          Jeff Berndtposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          "the main problem is that the format is introduced as Gospel."

          Wait, what? What do you mean by that? I'm genuinely confused.

    12. KC Santiago profile image59
      KC Santiagoposted 12 years ago

      Escaping religious persecution does not equate to giving up faith.

      http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=News … mp;id=5243
      The phrase "Founding Fathers" is a proper noun. It refers to a specific group of men, the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention. There were other important players not in attendance, like Jefferson, whose thinking deeply influenced the shaping of our nation. These 55 Founding Fathers, though, made up the core.
      The denominational affiliations of these men were 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

      http://christianity.about.com/od/indepe … athers.htm

      "While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian."
      George Washington

      "The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God."
      John Adams

      "I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ."
      Thomas Jefferson

      "Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. ... Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us."
      John Hancock

      "Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That He ought to be worshipped.
      As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and his religion, as he left them to us, is the best the world ever saw, or is likely to see;”
      Ben Franklin

    13. Stump Parrish profile image61
      Stump Parrishposted 12 years ago

      Parrster, I took your advice and checked out the video. I took the first thre claims made and decided to verify them. Here is what I found out about you David Miller's claims.

      So Help Me God being removed


      A pious hoax:
      In late 2004, an anonymous person started to circulate an Email concerning a swearing-in ceremony at a courtroom in Raytown, MO. Raytown has a population of about 30,000 and is near Kansas City and Independence. A 2007-NOV version of the Email is: This is by a daughter of a murdered couple in Raytown who had a Bible and Bookstore [sic] on 63rd street.

      When I had to testify at the murder trial of my parents a week ago, I was asked to raise my right hand. The bailiff started out; "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?" I stood there and waited but she said nothing. She said, "Do you?" I was so stunned, I blurted out "What happened to 'so help me God'?" She came back with, "Do  you?" I replied yes, but I was perplexed.
      Then the judge said "You can say that if you want to." I stopped, raised my right hand, and finished with "So help me God!" I told my son and daughter that when it came time for them to testify, they should do the same.

      It's no wonder we have so many problems in this country. If I'd had my wits about me I'd have told them that taking God out of the courtroom is only going to result in more criminals and murderers. I don't know what can be done about it, but it's time for us to step up and DO something.
      http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Legislation … icle6.html

      Sec. 6.  Eligibility to elective office.

      Every qualified voter in North Carolina who is 21 years of age, except as in this Constitution disqualified, shall be eligible for election by the people to office.

      Sec. 7.  Oath.

      Before entering upon the duties of an office, a person elected or appointed to the office shall take and subscribe the following oath:

      "I, _______________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and maintain the Constitution and laws of the United States, and the Constitution and laws of North Carolina not inconsistent therewith, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of my office as _______________, so help me God."

      crosses  , story found on Fox News and it continues to state...The students say the 4,000 crosses meant to represent the number of abortions performed daily are not representative enough of the "cultural and religious diversity" on Bradley's campus.

      ''The cross is a symbol of Christianity. Bradley's not affiliated with a Christian religion. Many students at Bradley University are Jewish and of other faiths. It is offensive because it represents, it takes over a large part of our campus,'' said Catherine Morrison of the group Voices for Choice.

      For a daily dose of politically correct shenanigans, head over to the Tongue Tied Web site.

      I went to this site and it is for sale and is nothing but advertisements. They stated that the story was supplied by ews 25. A visit to this site showed...that the page I was looking for did not exist.

      prayer removed in utah


      Prayer Before City Council Meetings and Legislative Sessions

      November 16, 2000

      Due to a pivotal United States Supreme Court case in 1983, the constitutionality of legislative prayers, at least for the federal Constitution, has been firmly established. In Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783 (1983), the Court held that a state legislature’s practice of opening each legislative day with a prayer performed by a state-selected and paid chaplain did not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Rather than examining the case under the usual Establishment Clause framework, the Court looked to the history of the use of prayer before legislative sessions, in both the state and federal systems, and relied on this history when finding these prayers to be constitutional.

      Further down this report we find that some prayers are being cut, by the city council based upon the content of the prayer itself. Why wouldn't he tell people that it was the council itself that was removing parayers for no being religious in nature? The report states that...More recently, a city council has been granted the power to review and reject prayers based on their content. In Snyder v. Murray City Corp., 159 F.3d 1227 (10th Cir. 1998) (en banc), cert. denied, 526 U.S. 1039 (1999), an individual citizen wrote a prayer, the essence of which criticized all prayers before city council meetings, and requested the opportunity to deliver his prayer before a Murray City Council meeting. Id. at 1228. (3) Snyder was requested to submit his prayer to the city attorney, who then rejected it as not being within the guidelines for a prayer. These guidelines were outlined in a letter to Snyder: “The purpose of the ‘prayer’ is to allow individuals that opportunity to express thoughts, leave blessings, etc. It is not a time to express political views, attack city policies or practices or mock city practices or policies.” Id. at 1230.

      Now the first three claims by this guy are all lies or misrepresentations. I will not waste antmore time watching 27 chapters of lies and half truths. I suggest you do some research into the links you are providing to support your claims. It makes you look a little foolish when it's shown to be nothing but garbage spewed to sway the minds of those who will not verify the work. This is typical Wallbuilders and David Barton style of lying to christians.

      I googled the name and presentation from the beginning of the video that read...david miller phd frequent speaker on matters pertaining to christian religion and culture wars and found this. I found that he works for the Apologetic Press and every article and book presented is religious in nature. He has written several books and article with a Kyle Butts. Mr. Butts is a graduate of a religious college and has written several books on religion himself. This site is a mirror image of the Wallbuilders site and nothing can be verified. Every statement made must be accepted with faith.

      This video series is a joke. I would say nice try but it's not even worth an honorable mention as a bunch of crap.

    14. Stump Parrish profile image61
      Stump Parrishposted 12 years ago

      And my problem with their having a religious degree is that the majority of things they write deal with science and geology. Disputing dinosaur evidence and books like this. How does one learn about science and dinosaurs by reading the bible?

    15. mikelong profile image61
      mikelongposted 12 years ago

      There was no such thing as being "non-religious"... 

      http://www.academicamerican.com/colonia … nthrop.htm

      They lived in small societies where (in the case of the Puritans) required rigid adherence to their "norms", regardless of whether one was a member to the church or not... 

      Many people call themselves Christians, but how many would have found the Puritan way of life tolerable? 

      There was a reason they had to reform...  Who here has read "Young Goodman Brown"?

      We can look to see what the "Founders" thought about their brands of Christianity...in its many forms...but it doesn't have relevance to our current society... 

      If we accept that we live in a multi-religious and non-religious society (which we do...there is no denying this) then the logic regarding the role of government and religion becomes plain to see...

      The government is only there ("supposed to be") to keep a peaceful inner environment with the necessary systems to maintain justice and redress grievances. It provides the liquidity needed to construct projects that will promote the general welfare/well-being of our society. These aren't my words or ideas... I look no further than the Preamble to the Constitution to realize the purpose behind our system of governance..  There is no mention of God, Christianity, or monotheism in that statement...  Anyone who believes and contributes to the ideals stated in the Preamble is American in my book...  Religious/non-religious, it makes no difference...

      1. SpanStar profile image60
        SpanStarposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I strongly suggest you go back and read mankind's history before the bible was created and look at the horror men imposed on people.  Tax collectors during and before Jesus were thought of as the lowest form of people because they didn't just collect taxes they stole tax money, over charged people and GUESS WHAT THEY WEREN'T CHRISTIANS-What A Shock. The claim that life is so much better now then in years passed maybe this video can be ignored about today's children 15 million below the poverty line demonstrate this illusion non-Christians are doing so much:
          http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp … 8#44182098

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          And Christian crusaders raped, murdered and pillaged in the name of God.  Christian inquisitors tortured people, often to death, in the name of God.  Christian Puritans murdered "witches" (usually simply in a land grab for property) in the name of God.  Our own Christian founding fathers kept slaves - perhaps the worst offense of all.

          What was your point with ancient non-christian tax collectors that stole money again?

          1. SpanStar profile image60
            SpanStarposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Wilderness why don't you get off it-Where are these perfect non-Christians you keep running your mouth about-Where, Where-Where?

            1. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              ?????  Perfect non-christians I keep running my mouth about?  There are no such creatures - you have misread my intention somewhere.

            2. Jeff Berndt profile image76
              Jeff Berndtposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Find us a perfect Christian or shut up.

          2. SpanStar profile image60
            SpanStarposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            The point about Christian are evil villians here when there is more then enough proof that lots of non-Christian were evil.

            1. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              And yes, spanstar, that is exactly what my post was about.  There is no real difference in evil capabilities between Christians and non-Christians. 

              The Christian and secular life styles are very similar in evil done by their "followers".  Neither side is exempt, or really any better (or worse in the things that truly matter) than the other.

              Which is what I've been carping about on this thread.  If, as I and apparently you believe, one is as bad (evil) as the other why then do Christians insist that their chosen lifestyle is better somehow and that everyone must conform to it?  Why can't the Christians of the country just let others live as they wish and stop pushing their own version of faith? 

              I do not intend these as rhetorical questions, nor sarcasm, nor even a "put down".  Rather it is a real question to which I've never heard any answer but a muttered "Because it's God's way" or something similar, which is another way of saying the Christian lifestyle IS better.  Yet, as you and I agree, there is plenty of evil to go around on both sides of the religion fence.

              1. SpanStar profile image60
                SpanStarposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                We agree to a point....for you see I do believe Christian faith makes a difference in people's lives that is not to say I'm suggesting that everyone become Christian-we are free to choose but don't after thousands of years of trying to make mankind-BE BETTER THAN WE ARE that we are the ones who need to be in the closet.

                1. wilderness profile image95
                  wildernessposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                  You see, that may be the only real difference between our thoughts.  I do think that Christians try, and try hard, to be good people.  But so do non-believers.  The lack of faith in God does not mean that non-believers don't understand morality and evil, it doesn't mean they don't try to be as good as possible.

                  Christians very often seem to forget that.  They seem to believe that all morality, all goodness, all integrity comes only from their faith but it just isn't so.  The basics of integrity, of morality are just as present in the non-believer as in the Christian, and in that one area of "live and let live" is far more prevalent than in most Christians. 

                  Perhaps you said it best - believers want to make mankind be better than they are while non-believers are mostly concerned with themselves and do not try to change their neighbors into something they don't want to be.

                  Even at that though, there is no need (nor does anyone actually want) Christians to hide in the closet.  Just don't come into MY home and MY life and try to change it to what you think it should be.  With all your faith and belief you are still no better than I at determining what is right and what is wrong.

        2. mikelong profile image61
          mikelongposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I am well aware of ancient history...  Don't project your shock onto me please... What they did they did, but they have no bearing on what we are doing or discussing now..

          I don't know what you are responding to.... You have seriously misinterpreted what I have said, and have proceeded to put words in my mouth that were never uttered..

          You are trying to make a point through the linked video, but I am not sure what it is...

          1. SpanStar profile image60
            SpanStarposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            The point being claims were being made that life today is much better then years passed with our drive-by shootings, looting and how wonderful life is with having placed God on the back burner because we non-Christians tell ourselves life is better and the facts say no we are not better that's the point of the video.

    16. profile image0
      wongomowaleposted 12 years ago

      They wanted to create a secular religion. Considering what Christianity does when mixed with politics, that was a very good idea.

    17. earnestshub profile image81
      earnestshubposted 12 years ago

      I agree. People are people no matter what creed or culture we belong to, no matter what we believe is the true meaning of life we are a mixed bag of good and evil.

      Good and bad is in all of us. Some recognise the bad and make a conscious choice not to do it, some people only see it in others but not themselves, so have no self control without some form of deity to tell them what to do.

      Unfortunately that deity is usually originated from the bible, instructing people to hate others and that it is OK to kill those who don't share the same view.
      Not great instructions.

      1. Eaglekiwi profile image74
        Eaglekiwiposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        True there is good and bad.
        I have never been instructed to hate ,on the contrary there are a few people I have met that Id love to slap ,but nooooo, God said love your enemies wink

        So,I did.

    18. mikelong profile image61
      mikelongposted 12 years ago

      I haven't read any of the statements that you claim were made..

      My words were quite clear....and you avoided answering to them by diverting on a tangent...

      Your religious views are yours...and your job is to keep them from encroaching on the beliefs of others...like me.

      We are multi-religious and non-religious....and so the state has an obligation to stay out of the spiritual realm altogether...  Following the theme written in the Preamble of the Constitution have nothing to do with the beliefs, or lack their of, of the divine or afterlife...

    19. Stump Parrish profile image61
      Stump Parrishposted 12 years ago

      Wilderness, one thing that bothers me is that according to some christians, all goodness and morality comes from god. I suppose that if they woke up in the morning and discovered that there is no god, they would instantly turn into raging animals. They would be unable to stop themselves from starting on a crime spree that would sicken hard core criminals. What other alternative is there if their god is the only thing that makes them a moral being? I have actually been told on here that there is no way that I can be a decent person due to being an atheist. What bothers me a lot is that these people get to vote.

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I think that is a common fallacy in most Christians, whether they will come right out and make the statement or not.  They are trained to believe that man is inherently evil and incapable of living a moral and ethical life without intervention from the priesthood and God.

        It is probably the biggest bone of contention in our country today in the religious area.  Christians are of the opinion that their way of life and belief system is the ONLY way to live correctly and coupled with a mandate from God to spread that way of life it makes for a lot of problems.  As you say, far too many Christians absolutely know that their way of life and "connection" with God provides the only right way to live and an awful lot of people find that attitude just a little offensive.

    20. Stump Parrish profile image61
      Stump Parrishposted 12 years ago

      1k words, thanks and your welcome to anything that helps. Peace

    21. Stump Parrish profile image61
      Stump Parrishposted 12 years ago

      The phrase America is a Christian Nation appears no where in any of our legal documents of the time. In fact the only reference to our religious status appears in the treaty of Trippoli where it state cleary that America is NOT a christian nation. This treaty was printed in news papers across the country and caused ne public out cry. Why do you suppoes that is? I'll tell you why, American citizens at that time were aware of the fact and acceptted it as being not only the truth but as one of our founding principles. They were aware of the dangers and abuses of the type of country delusional Christians today seek to turn America into. In God you trust, the rest of us will think for ourselves, thank you.

    22. Recon Jack profile image60
      Recon Jackposted 12 years ago

      This is a very interesting thread and I just want to briefly weigh in.  Like it or not this country was definitely influenced heavily by religion.  Not just Christian but all forms.  This effect came after long observation of the effects of religion on state and vice versa (mostly personal not Godly or godly lol).  This freedom is one of the many things that set our country dramatically apart. (see world history 101)  That having been said, the basic moral values of the Christian religion have their own obvious value.  (do not kill, do not steal, etc.)  Basing a law structure on these premises was a new concept in the eighteenth century.  Prior to this structure a very random set of laws existed in european nations that heavily favored those with money and/or title.  The simple words "all men created equal" were revolutionary. 

      A basic understanding of Christianity leads one to understand that these beliefs cannot be forced.  The concept of free will has been dramatically misunderstood for a long time.  Each person has a choice to do with what they will.  Not every Christian fully understands this just like every Muslim is not a terrorist and every atheist doesn't have it all "figured out".  Despite the words "under god" not having been included in the original pledge, I think it is good for us to acknowledge that our government is not the ultimate power.  It doesn't say "the god of the jews" or "the god of the christians".  If you choose to believe that your statement refers to mother earth or thor it would have the same effect.

      All arguments on this (and almost every other historical) topic are also influenced by the concept of "collective memory".  There is no way to completely understand the thought processes of our founding fathers because we are completely displaced in the things that we know and the influences on our lives.  How many Americans have experienced any form of specific religious persecution ending in death.  Very few.

      We look back with what we perceive to be perfect retrospection and sometimes lose sight of the fact that we are all effected by our personal experience and history.

      The full impact of the genius documents laid down at the birth of our nation can only be comprehended by a thorough understanding of the geopolitical process that brought humanity to that point.  Quibbling over which god our forefathers worshipped or what their real intentions were doesn't really solve anything.  The fact that "all men are created equal" and that they are equal under the law is and was huge.  Additionally, that fact that we have the freedom to worship as we choose is also huge.  These basic premises applied the same then as they do now and that foresight alone shows the true genius of the documents.

      I'm sorry I wasn't as brief as intended but many of the arguments on the thread demonstrate a complete lack of research and understanding.  I'll get off my soapbox and do something productive now.

    23. cooldad profile image60
      cooldadposted 12 years ago

      Recon jack: thanks for stopping by, that was a great reply, you make some very good points.  I think what gets lost is that we have the "freedom to worship as we choose".  I think that statement is often overlooked.  It should mean that we are free to be atheist, free to be a Buddhist, free to be a Christian, but we should not force our beliefs on anyone else in any situation.  There is no concrete evidence yet that can point to one religion being the ultimate and truthful religion.  In a nutshell, none of us may be right in our beliefs, that has yet to be decided.

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        You are absolutely correct in that no one religion has been found to be right.  Unfortunately, the religious right will not agree with that statement at all.  Each religion is absolutely right and understands completely the will of God - just ask them.

        What the religious right doesn't seem to understand is that theirs is a never ending battle.  Right now (at least on these forums) the target is atheism and Islam.  If these two evil groups could just be stamped out they could then take on the heresy of Jews, Buddhists, Pagans etc.  When they are gone the next target would likely be the "non-Christian" Christian sects - the Mormons, Adventists, Witnesses and so on.  Then the non-mainstream, independent churches.  Unfortunately, when all these are wiped from the face of the earth in God's work they will inevitably find that some churches are breaking off from the now mainstream beliefs and forming their own ideas and these must then be attacked and destroyed.  A never-ending power struggle to control people and eliminate that basic freedom to worship (or not) as the people wish.

      2. A Thousand Words profile image67
        A Thousand Wordsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I'm pretty sure that none of them are, at least none of the ones with a god are. I'd be more willing to accept a more spiritual belief system. But I say this because, if we as human beings can have a higher standard of morality than the gods or God we are supposed to worship, and they are supposed to be perfect, morale and otherwise, than most of the ones I've learned about/ heard of aren't it. I mean, read the Old testament. It applies to Christianity AND Judaism. And really partially Islam too, considering there are parts of the Kuran that have similar information to the OT, but of course they believe the OT to be corrupt, and vice versa. You'll find God commanding people to be killed, including pregnant women and infants. Stoning people is condoned and even commanded, how to properly own a slave, etc. I haven't really read a significant portion of the Kuran or Quran but, their God is similar to the OT God.

        But the real point I want to make is, as long as there are religions that claim to be RIGHT, no ifs, ands, or buts about it, then there will be people devoted to that religion, and if that religion talks about escape from a Hell or anything like it, they will feel compelled to spread that religion, especially if a "Great Commission" is given out.

    24. NMLady profile image77
      NMLadyposted 12 years ago

      What we may define as Christian most certainly was different in that era.  Anyway,  Jefferson didn't like many of the Christians of his day.  Jefferson re-wrote the Bible to the size of an essay. 
      As for Franklin,  he certainly disparaged the "Bible-thumpers" of the day.
      Then you have the Southern Christians who based slavery on the Bible saying it was righteous.
      Anyway,  all of them knew that they and the rest of the population did NOT agree on what kind of Christianity, SO, our Founding Fathers decided to seperate state and religion.
      That is a-okay by me UNLESS you want to live by MY Christian faith;  as I don't want YOU to decide what I live by.

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 12 years agoin reply to this


        Except that perhaps I'm a Muslim and will require either freedom or that everyone live by Sharia law.

        1. NMLady profile image77
          NMLadyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          No,the Christians don't get to stone anyone either.
          Nor do the women have to marry their dead husband's bro.
          etc. etec. etc.

    25. profile image53
      justcuriouserposted 12 years ago

      Every other sect supposes itself in possession of the truth, and that those who differ are so far in the wrong. Like a man traveling in foggy weather they see those at a distance before them wrapped up in a fog, as well as those behind them, and also people in the fields on each side; but near them, all appears clear, though in truth they are as much in the fog as any of them. --Benjamin Franklin

      I love quote mining Franklin.  He's such a blast!

      1. parrster profile image78
        parrsterposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        That's a very neat quote, I'll have to remember that one.

    26. mikelong profile image61
      mikelongposted 12 years ago

      And placing "In God We Trust" and "God" in government documents, proceedings, and buildings proclaims monotheistic religion of the Judeo-Christian tradition to be the only acceptable model...

      This is inappropriate...  There are other models of religion, and non-religion is growing... The government has no place in meddling in this evolution, aside from mediating disputes that pose a threat to society... 

      Having me recite "so help me God" or place my hand on a Bible is worthless if I don't believe in God or some other variation...  Having Congress pray before each session doesn't keep the corruption (as seen through the Boehner cigarrete company payoffs on the House floor during a vote on tobacco regulation) from flowing...  It actually emphasizes the hypocrisy that this "Christian nation" exercises..

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/opini … rbert.html

      Does Boehner identify with Christianity? 


      They certainly identify him and with his party:


      I guess it also depends on who the specific Christians are:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7P8Rmmm … re=related

      http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/ … s-tell-joh

      I only highlight Boehner here because he was the first that came to mind...

      1. profile image52
        keit4ey3heposted 12 years agoin reply to this


    27. cooldad profile image60
      cooldadposted 12 years ago

      Is creationism scientific any any sense of the word?  Why should creationism be included in a science classroom?  I think it would be fine to include it as a theory only.

      1. Evolution Guy profile image60
        Evolution Guyposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        It is not at all scientific and should not be introduced to a science classroom as a theory - because it is not a theory as defined by science . It is wild speculation.

        1. Jeff Berndt profile image76
          Jeff Berndtposted 12 years agoin reply to this



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