Religions raise and contribute billions of dollars to the problems of poverty and illness on this planet. They educate children. They practically single handedly take care of AIDS patients in most cities, providing medicine and shelter for them. They throw great parties like Mardi Gras and Christmas.
Why would anybody hate religion?
The Founders were almost to a man devoutly religious and held the belief that our rights come from God and no government authority. Even the very few who were agnostic or Atheist appreciated and embraced the principle that rights emanate from no human authority and not one quibbled with that being described as God-given. Almost all of the Founders were also Christian and thus their concept of right and wrong, justice and injustice, as well as their definition of unalienable rights were based on Christian concepts. Most believed that if their Christian God did not bless this nation, it would not prevail. And all believed that the Constitution would work only for people of moral virtue and most believe that virtue would be Christian virtue.
Evenso, they were to a man keenly aware of the danger of the government favoring any religious belief over any other. They agreed to a man that government should have no authority over a person's religious faith nor would any religious authority have power over the government. The government could grant no favor or impose any consequence on any person for what he did or did not believe.
But with those safeguards in place, both government and all the people were totally free to be as religious or non religious as they chose in any manner that they chose. Elected representatives frequently expressed their religious faith even on the floor of Congress and they held religious services in the congressional chambers. And despite evident religious conviction included in much of what they did, no federal theocracy developed. And the theocracies that existed within some of the states eventually dissolved never to reform. The system worked beautifully by forbidding any religious mandate while passionately protecting religion.
So was the country founded as a Christian nation? No way.
Did the Founders expect that it would be mostly a Christian nation and therefore much stronger because it was? Yes they did.
"I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." --Benjamin Franklin 1776
I think the belief that we're founded on Christian Principles is more telling of what Christians think of their religion in regards to our country rather than what our Country thinks of religion.
A screaming comes across the sky.
It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.Pynchon - Gravity's Rainbow
I think our country was founded by Christians, but is not based ON Christian beliefs. These things aren't one and the same. That's where a lot of Christians get hung up. Were a lot of our founding fathers religious? Sure they were. No one seriously disputes that, though there were a few deists and atheists amongst them. However, none of our founding documents were based upon Christian tenets. The constitution has zero connection to Mosaic, Abrahamic, or even Judaic law, or the teachings of Christ. The constitution and declaration of independence were based upon Enlightenment ideals and a variety of ancient systems of government: Roman, Greek, and Germanic.
Age of Enlightenment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaThe "Enlightenment" was not a single movement or school of thought, for these philosophies were often mutually contradictory or divergent. The Enlightenment was less a set of ideas than it was a set of values. At its core was a critical questioning of traditional institutions, customs, and morals, and a strong belief in rationality and science. Thus, there was still a considerable degree of similarity between competing philosophies. Some historians also include the late seventeenth century, which is typically known as the Age of Reason or Age of Rationalism, as part of the Enlightenment; however, most historians consider the Age of Reason to be a prelude to the ideas of the Enlightenment.
The Enlightenment Era, while not explicitly anti-religion, followed the Age of Reason during which a lot of accepted truths, about government, the right of kings, and the right of the church to control the lives and thoughts of mankind, were critically examined and rejected.
They didn't misspeak, the point that the Bible was printed by Congress was made more than once. In the video Glenn Beck says emphatically that the Bible was "PRINTED BY CONGRESS, BY CONGRESS!!!"I assume you're talking about when Glenn and David showed the Bible and said, "Congress printed this Bible". Well, of course government didn't print the Bible. They misspoke there. They meant Congress APPROVED the printing. Glenn read it right off the page in the Bible. He shouldn't have said "Congress printed this Bible."
Excerpt from Chris Rodda's article on Huffpo:Congress also knew it was being printed in order to use in schools.
The following is the entire resolution:There are many versions of this story floating around, all worded to mislead that Congress either requested the printing of the Bibles, granted Aitken permission to print them, contracted him to print them, paid for the printing, or had Bibles printed for the use of schools. Congress did none of these things. All they did was grant one of several requests made by Aitken by having their chaplains examine his work, and allowing him to publish their resolution stating that, based on the chaplains' report, they were satisfied that his edition was accurate. The words "a neat edition of the Holy Scriptures for the use of schools" are taken from a letter written by Aitken,(8) not the resolution of Congress.
The actual resolution is edited in various ways. The purpose of this editing is to omit that Congress also had a secular reason for recommending Aitken's Bible, and, in most cases, to turn the resolution into a recommendation of the Bible itself, rather than a recommendation of the accuracy of Aitken's work.
You can read the entire article at the Huffington Post:Whereupon, Resolved, That the United States in Congress assembled, highly approve the pious and laudable undertaking of Mr. Aitken, as subservient to the interest of religion as well as an instance of the progress of arts in this country, and being satisfied from the above report, of his care and accuracy in the execution of the work, they recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States, and hereby authorise him to publish this recommendation in the manner he shall think proper.(9)
Chris Rodda: No, Mr. Beck, Congress Did Not Print a Bible for the Use of Schools
America is absolutely a Christian Nation and there is no rational argument to the contrary...
All this talk about the Founding Fathers is irrelevant and completely off point...
The Founding Fathers only created the government, the government is not the "Nation"...
nation[ney-shuhn] Show IPA
1. a large body of people, associated with a particular territory, that is sufficiently conscious of its unity to seek or to possess a government peculiarly its own: The president spoke to the nation about the new tax.
2. the territory or country itself: the nations of Central America.
3. a member tribe of an American Indian confederation.
4. an aggregation of persons of the same ethnic family, often speaking the same language or cognate languages.
Nation | Define Nation at Dictionary.com
The problem is that there is no state, other than Israel, that is a Religious State. So when we use a term like "A Chistian Nation" it is a set-up at best. It is a term used to describe the people within it, when it is not relevant to the nation as an entity. It describes the people within, and it is accurate.
Several of the original Thirteen Colonies were established by English settlers who wished to practice their own religion without discrimination: Pennsylvania was established by Quakers, Maryland by Roman Catholics and the Massachusetts Bay Colony by Puritans. Nine of the thirteen colonies had official public religions. ... Many U.S. adult citizens identify themselves as Christians (76%)... non-Christian religions (including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and others) collectively make up about 4% ... Only 59% of Americans living in Western states report a belief in God, yet in the South (the "Bible Belt") the figure is as high as 86% ...
Religion in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Roman Catholic (23.9%)
Jehovah's Witness (0.7%)
other Christian (0.3%)
no religion (16.1%)
Religion in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia