Talk:The United States as a Christian nation

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Icon ancient aliens.svg

This Pseudohistory related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


I don't really get the point of this "Christian Nation" idea. Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that "The US" was founded by a group of fanatical religious Christians.

If true - so what?--BobSpring is sprung! 18:05, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Then secularists could not invoke tradition in their support of separation of church and state, and the religionists' arguments about "judicial activism" would actually have a mote of validity to them. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:09, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Good point. But hey! Who cares about the US anyway?--BobSpring is sprung! 19:12, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Who cares about the US? EH, PEOPLE WHO LIVE THERE, LIKE ME, DUH! I don't want to live under a Christian fascist state run by people like Rushdoony and his spiritual descendents! (talk) 23:47, 2 March 2011 (UTC)


Do we really want to link to a poorly written, poorly argued, factually inaccurate essay that isn't really something RW would back?--Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 02:20, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Probably not. Тytalk 02:21, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Factually Innacurate[edit]

This article is factually inaccurate.

Take Jamestown. The guides there report that residents were HUNG if they missed three church services! (And there were 15 services per week; 2 daily and 3 on Sunday)

The only Deists to sign the Declaration of Independence were Jefferson and Franklin. And they were inconsistent. Deists believe that God doesn't interfere with the world He created. Yet Franklin believed that God helped out the U.S. on a number of crucial occasions during the Revolutionary War. Furthermore, BOTH Franklin & Jefferson wanted the Official Seal for the new nation to feature the Israelites escaping from Egypt along with the caption "Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God."

Most Signers of the Declaration were NOT secularists, but rather pretty devout Christians (though some were undoubtedly just going through the motions). I've researched and written 43 of their biographies and challenge anybody to demonstrate the "secularism" of a Roger Sherman, a John Witherspoon, a William Williams, or a Sam Adams.

Finally, the Treaty of Tripoli was signed by the same John Adams who also signed a national Proclamation of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer just nine months later.

I actually agree that the U.S. was not intended to be a Christian Nation, but it wasn't intended to be a Secular Nation either. We're some sort of hybrid that eschewed a national church, but expected the Christian religion to play an important role in social affairs and public policy.

Chip Chipcombs (talk) 20:37, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

(1) Most of the claims you attribute to this article are not actually found in it; (2) there is no conflict between being a devout Christian and a secularist as secularists were in the American founding period. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:46, 11 December 2011 (UTC)


I was reading this and it occurred to me that people could easily argue that Jefferson (it was Adams actually) represented a minority position of the Founding Fathers in being a Secularist, partly because he was a member of the Federalist Party (the Religious Right tending to prefer the thought of the Democratic-Republicans and Thomas Jefferson), and partly because he wasn't an author of the Deceleration of Independence, the Constitution, or the Federalist Papers. So I'm going to alter the section "Treaty of Tripoli" to "From The Founders Mouths" which will include the Treaty of Tripoli, but also quotes by Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and if I can find the time, I'll look through some of the other major figures in the Founding Movement (Washington, Franklin, etc). I might also include some comments talking about the danger of mixing religion and politics from some major political figures since the Foundation Period.

Just wanted to give a heads up incase I save the page and it seem incomplete.--Logic and Empricism (talk) 21:24, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Moral Minority by Brooke Allen was a fun little exploration of the more famous founding fathers. It's not exhaustive (less than 200 pages) but it's good for laymen. --TheLateGatsby (talk) 14:50, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

A bit (a lot) clunky[edit]

This could be made a lot better. I'll try. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:07, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Talking About Being a Christian Nation, not a Christian Government[edit]

Not a member of the religious right here nor a supporter of its agenda. But I do agree with the notion that the United States was historically founded as a Christian nation. Not that it was enshrined in the Constitution of the federal government - but in the constitution of the nation, as in, the makeup and character of the nation, the people of America? Undoubtedly, indisputably, overwhelmingly Christian in belief and practice as well as worldview throughout most of its history. Reflected clearly across the country in common law, state law, and yes, even some federal laws throughout most of its history. It was a Christian nation under a secular government. The Treaty of Tripoli, far from decisively disproving that, corroborates: the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen.

The government and the nation, as in the people, are two very different things. Think it's intellectually weak not to acknowledge and discuss the difference here, or to pretend Christianity was never an important part of the social fabric of the American nation. That smacks of what you guys call 'woo' on here. (talk) 12:56, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

Did you forget to read the "This is not simply referencing that the majority of Americans were, and many still are, Christians (albeit of a rather large variety of denominations), but rather, the state and its institutions should openly embrace and promote Christianity and (in some cases) the Old Testament legal code (which is a terrible foundation for laws)." part following the first sentence in this article? (talk) 14:04, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
It appears I did forget that I had read that. I'll admit my error and withdraw my argument. I would, however, suggest changing 'referencing' to 'acknowledging' in that sentence. (talk) 00:08, 14 December 2014 (UTC)