Do you think the Founding Fathers intended a Christian Nation?
This question is in specific reference to two important pieces of legislative evidence. Both, the 1st Amendment and the Treaty of Tripoli (Article 11). Keep in mind that the Treaty was ratified by many of the original founding fathers, and was signed into law by none other than John Adams in 1797.
Absolutely not. Although avid christian adherents would like to believe that was the intent of our founders it can not be further from the truth.
Those who left the old worlds to come to America to start a new life did so to escape the oppressiveness of their governments and their religious influences.
This was the main reason there was a "separation of church and state" that ensured there would be no religious influences on the government and that the government would not interfere in religious practices in the new world.
I am truly amazed that this important historical fact has been lost and misinterpreted in our history.
d.william, you are ignoring historical facts that are all clearly documented. The First Amendment, also, was to protect religious practices from government interferance--quite the opposite from what you believe to be the case.
And you wonder why some heretics would be burned at the stake. They run around lawless (no moral foundations) proclaiming lawless actions & behavior, forming mini-tyrants in the process, chaos here they come!
please read my whole comment not just the part of it that irks you.
The U.S. is a nations of Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims. non-believers and others. If the majority of the nation happens to believe in Christianity, then that is just a fact you have to accept--maybe not like--but must accept.
A signer Charles Carroll was born into a wealthy Roman Catholic family in Annapolis Maryland. He began his rather remarkable formal education at the age of 8, when he was packed off to France to attend a Jesuit College at St. Omer. He graduated the C
Ms Dee, regarding historical facts, I think that is what D.William said, "and that the government would not interfere in religious practices in the new world".
Yes. Less than a century after the nation's founding, this had to be addressed. After a year long investigation into a similar question, Congress declared on March 27, 1854 this House Judiciary Committee Report:
"Had the people [the Founding Fathers], during the Revolution, a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle. …At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and its amendments, the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged, but not any one sect [denomination].
"In this age, there is no substitute for Christianity. …That was the religion of the founders of the republic and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendents."
Two months later, the committee made this strong declaration:
"The great vital and conservative element in our system [the thing that holds our system together] is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and the divine truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
These ignorantly biased religious "errors" of the past certainly cannot be used for any governmental religious foundations of today, or be allowed to influence our gov. Christianity is far from being all that is pertinent.
The question had to do with what was the *past* intent. Your response, d.william, is therefore off topic.
Without a moral direction to follow, society becomes lawless. This is happening right now in the western world. Our morals are attacked daily by men who dream up their own wisdom and call tradition beliefs fantasy. Hell or bust for them!
That is true. But our government is unique that we live the truth of the Bible by accepting others and respecting their right to their own beliefs. It seems however that many others want to reject, persecute and shut the mouths of Christians.
Yes, the founding fathers did intend this nation to be Christian! The Declaration of Independence & the Constitution talk about God and a free people that should not live under a tyrant! They should live free worship their creator and appreciate this NEW land as a gift from GOD Almighty!
modern day christians still live in a fantasy world all their own. Thank god for diversity in this world.
As in the days of Kings & Princes (some of religious cloth) were tyrants and believed they were human-gods of & for the people. To mock ones belief is just another tyrant who sees themselves as greater than thou.
It a shame that the form of government by the people seemingly now no longer exists. Tyrants are back and they hate anything that is based on Christian morality. Judges making or changing our laws??? Their job is to uphold the constitution.
America is not anywhere defined as a Christian nation, nor is Christianity an official religion, which makes their intent pretty clear. This is reinforced by the Treaty of Tripoli, which clearly says America is NOT a Christian nation.
That doesn't mean they didn't believe moral virtue was important, it is just that moral virtue in their time and place was largely based upon Christian traditions. However, the obvious, and more important, intent of the founders was a free democracy in which people could decide for themselves the country that they want.
Since their time it has become more common for people to understand that religion is completely unnecessary for moral virtue, and in some cases is intrusive into the moral lives of others. The increasing resistance to government favoritism of Christianity is a reflection of the will of the people. As it should be.
We are not the Founders. They were a beginning not an end.
By the same token, neither did the Founders believe Christianity should be resisted or war attempted against it. The very government they designed was based on Christian principles with no intent on those founding principles being changed.
The founders wanted people to exercise their free will. If that free will resists Christianity, than that is exactly what they wanted. Christian principles once enslaved men and treated women as property. Thank God, for resistance to those principles
"intent of the founders was a free democracy" not true, it's a free Republic! Washington talks about a free REPUBLIC. Republics fall when moral values fall, history books can attest to that! History of the democratic Greeks, where are they today?
A Republic is in the Democracy tent. The will of the people is executed through the representatives they elect. I didn't disagree with the necessity for morals, just that we don't need Christianity to supply us with them.
Yes, the will of the people is executed through the representatives they elect, but many are lying to get elected. They hide their true beliefs even while swearing under oath on a bible. Power WILL corrupt the lawless.. GOD is them now!
junkseller, I'll take Christian principles over free will any day. I do not agree that it was the following Christian principles that men were led to enslave or degrade others. Other principles were at play, as well.
"[Slavery] was established by decree of Almighty God...it is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation..." - Jefferson Davis. Not an uncommon opinion at the time (and some still believe it).
junkseller, Jefferson Davis was not one of the nation's founders. That was decades, almost a century, after the nation's founding.
That's besides the point. It was one example from the multitude. You can find people using scriptural support for slavery and religious leaders who owned slaves going back throughout most of Christian history.
God commands the master to treat the slave well. Women, the old & children would have died after war if they were not taken in by the victory. No food, no protection, nothing!
junkseller, This thread is about the founding of the nation and whether "the Founding Fathers intended a Christian Nation". I'm trying to keep on topic.
I haven't disagreed with you, merely pointed out that those Christian principles haven't always been so terrific (e.g. slavery, Manifest Destiny) which is why we need thoughtfulness and free will versus rigid ideology.
junkseller, I agree with you that principles alone do not keep a society on a good track. It takes responsible people to adhere to them.
Very common, Wealth people hired tutors for their children of the cloth, signer William Williams studied theology with his father, Pastor of the First Congregational Church in Lebanon.
America certainly has a Christian heritage. However, America unlike other countries does not have a state religion. We do not imprison or persecute citizens or non citizens for their religious beliefs and speech.
Well said, America does have a Christian Heritage! The skeptics WOULD like to change history anyway the can, by spreading non-truths. Many of our founding fathers and their ancestries come from Europe and was Europe predominantly christian.
If you trace the philosophies of the founding fathers you'll find yourself at the Greeks and humanist philosophers of the enlightenment far more than you'll find yourself at the Bible.
The Founding Fathers envisioned a nation of Christians and not necessarily a Christian nation, in that the nation provides for freedom of religion and therefore could not legally declare itself a Christian nation.
However, the Declaration of Independence makes many references to God and the First Amendment to the Constitution forbids the creation of any laws that would interfere with the right to a person's religious choice.
So I think the Founding Fathers envisioned a nation of Christians and today which today would probably be better described as a nation of people who are believers of a higher spiritual authority. The Founding Fathers did not anticipate the immigration of Jews, Buddhists and other religious groups.
Exactly! So, freedom means free to follow whatever religion and no other power is to oppress it, as some other commenters here imply. I do not understand how some take Christianity as oppressing free will.
amusing. christianity (and all other organized cults) is the epitome of indoctrination/brainwashing techniques. No 'free will" there.
d. williams--no one says you have to follow a religion of any kind. It just says no laws can be enacted that would interfere with the right to a person's religious choice. I do not understand your comment
According to d.williams " I am deeply opposed to the indoctrination and brainwashing techniques that history has so distastefully imposed on all of the children of this world in the name of religion that only adds to the mental disturbances, anguish
The constitution does not say that this is meant to be a christain nation. Some of the founding fathers were agaisnt christianity. However overall they did belive in christian moral standards, if that makes since. Thomas Jefferson himself did not like christianity as he felt human greed, and human influence altered a lot of christianity. So he created his own bible the (Jefferson Bible) , which he belives are the true teachings of the bible. The founding fathers belivied that christan moral's would bennifit this country. However they did not make it a set religion if that makes since. The founding fathers belived in freedom of religion however they did refrence God as they wanted this country to adopt his moral standards noted by the bible. The founding fathers wanted people to acknowledge God, and Morals, but not necessary a religion. God does not always mean christian as there are people of other religions who belive in God.
Another thing america is not a true democracy where the people vote for everything. Rather America is more of a Constitutional Republic where we vote for leaders to vote on things for us this was done on purppose by the founding fathers to avoid mob rule.
Signer Robert Treat Paine was a native of Massachusetts, born in 1731. He was expected, by family tradition, to become a Minister. He got high marks at the Boston Latin School and was admitted to Harvard College, where he graduated in 1749. He taught
The Holy scriptures in the Bible clearly teaches us that we all have fallen natures. Every man, woman and child is capable of make good and bad choices; being wise or foolish. That does not in anyway take away from the truth of the scriptures.
The Founding Fathers did not intend for a Christian nation. Many believed in utilizing moral Christian principles in the administration of government. However, many of these men rejected Christian religion in terms of worship (many were deist) and some practice (slavery, womanizing).
The Founding Fathers wanted a nation which granted freedom OF religion as well as freedom FROM religion.
Jefferson was tutored by the Reverend James Maury, a learned man, in the finest classical tradition. He began the study of Latin, Greek, and French at the age of 9. He attended William and Mary College in Williamsburg at sixteen years old, then conti
Again, all of us are flawed. There is none righteous, not one. You simply need to read the news in any culture to validate this truth. Christians are people also with human flaws. Love, forgiveness and relationship is fundamental to Bible doctrine
Below is just a very few quotes from some of the founding fathers:
George Washington 1st U.S. President
"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."
--The Writings of Washington, pp. 342-343.
John Adams 2nd U.S. President and Signer of the Declaration of Independence
"Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God ... What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be."
--Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, Vol. III, p. 9.
Thomas Jefferson 3rd U.S. President, Drafter and Signer of the Declaration of Independence
"God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever; That a revolution of the wheel of fortune, a change of situation, is among possible events; that it may become probable by Supernatural influence! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in that event."
--Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, p. 237.
"I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ."
--The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, p. 385.
John Hancock 1st Signer of the Declaration of Independence
"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." --History of the United States of America, Vol. II, p. 229.
Benjamin Franklin Signer of the Declaration of Independence and U.S.
"As to Jesus of Nazareth, 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; letter to Ezra Stiles
Pres of Yale University on March 9, 1790.
There is one side, there is another side, and there is the truth. I reckon the point of the matter is somewhere in the middle. As Junk points out, you can't ignore the Treaty of Tripoli. And in light of the past, it is important to remember that they were a beginning, not an end.
However, on the same hand, John points out how many of the Founding Fathers kept Christianity close to their hearts, as evidenced by their private writings. There were certainly some (Jefferson and Franklin) who skewed heavily towards Deism, but there were others that maintained their faith.
I think that the debate can be argued whether or not its freedom from or freedom of, and that it can go on for eternity. Frankly, they are the same thing. I think Jayden Miller probably has the best answer, and as such, he is the person I am picking for best answer.
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