4 ways America not a Christian Nation
2) Public education
4) Liberal political leaders and the laws they enact
4 ways America a Christian Nation
1) population – Pew Religious Landscape Survey – 78% Christian (read Backfired)
2) founding documents – colonial charters, state constitutions. (read Original 13-A Documentary History of Religion in America’s First Thirteen States, Prayers and Presidents-Inspiring Faith from Leaders of the Past,
3) institutions (marriage, traditional family, honesty, golden rule, pledge of allegiance, national motto,
4) Concept of tolerating people who are not part of your group (read Three Secular Reasons Why America Should be Under God)
The U.S. Constitution went into effect JUNE 21, 1788, when New Hampshire became the 9th state to ratified it.
The 55 writers of the U.S. Constitution consisted of:
26 Episcopalian Christians,
11 Presbyterian Christians,
7 Congregationalist Christians,
2 Lutheran Christians,
2 Dutch Reformed Christians,
2 Methodist Christians,
2 Quaker Christians,
2 Roman Catholic Christians, and
Dr. Franklin, who called for prayer during the Constitutional Convention, June 28, 1787:
“God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.’…
I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel…I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business.”
Delaware, 1st to ratify the U.S Constitution, stated in its 1776 State Constitution:
“Every person…appointed to any office…shall…subscribe… ‘I…profess faith in GOD THE FATHER, and in JESUS CHRIST His only Son, and in the HOLY GHOST, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine inspiration.’”
Pennsylvania, 2nd to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 State Constitution, signed by Ben Franklin:
“Each member, before he takes his seat, shall…subscribe…’I do believe in one GOD, the Creator and Governor of the Universe, the Rewarder of the good and the Punisher of the wicked. And I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration.'”
New Jersey, 3rd to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 State Constitution:
“All persons, professing a belief in the faith of any PROTESTANT sect, who shall demean themselves peaceably under the government, as hereby established, shall be capable of being elected.”
Georgia, 4th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1777 State Constitution:
“Representatives shall be chosen out of the residents in each county…and they shall be of the PROTESTANT religion.”
Connecticut, 5th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, retained its original 1662 Colonial Constitution, which established the PROTESTANT CONGREGATIONAL, till 1818:
“By the Providence of GOD…having from their ancestors derived a free and excellent Constitution…whereby the legislature depends on the free and annual election of the people…The free fruition of such liberties and privileges as humanity, civility and CHRISTIANITY call for.”
Massachusetts, 6th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1780 State Constitution, written by John Adams:
“Any person…before he…execute the duties of his…office…[shall] subscribe…’I…declare, that I believe the CHRISTIAN religion, and have a firm persuasion of its truth’….The legislature shall…authorize the support and maintenance of public PROTESTANT teachers of piety, religion and morality.”
Maryland, 7th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 State Constitution:
“No other test or qualification ought to be required, on admission to any office…than such oath of support and fidelity to this State…and a declaration of a belief in the CHRISTIAN religion.”
South Carolina, 8th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1778 State Constitution:
“No person shall be eligible to a seat…unless he be of the PROTESTANT religion…The CHRISTIAN PROTESTANT religion shall be deemed…the established religion of this State.”
New Hampshire, 9th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1784 State Constitution:
“No person shall be capable of being elected…who is not of the PROTESTANT religion.”
Virginia, 10th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 State Constitution, Bill of Rights, written by James Madison and George Mason:
“It is the mutual duty of all to practice CHRISTIAN forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.”
New York, 11th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1777 State Constitution:
“The United American States…declare…’Laws of nature and of NATURE’S GOD…All men are created equal; that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable rights…Appealing to the SUPREME JUDGE of the world…With a firm reliance on the protection of DIVINE PROVIDENCE’…
The good people of this State, ordain…the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination…Provided, That the liberty of conscience, hereby granted, shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness.”
North Carolina, 12th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 State Constitution:
“No person, who shall deny the being of GOD or the truth of the PROTESTANT religion, or the Divine authority either of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any office.”
Rhode Island, 13th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, retained its original 1663 Colonial Constitution till 1843, which stated:
“By the blessing of God…a full liberty in religious concernements…rightly grounded upon GOSPEL principles, will give the best and greatest security…in the true CHRISTIAN faith and worship of God…They may…defend themselves, in their just rights and liberties against all the enemies of the CHRISTIAN faith.”
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Lafayette Black wrote in Engel v. Vitale, 1962:
“As late as the time of the Revolutionary War, there were established Churches in at least eight of the thirteen former colonies and established religions in at least four of the other five.”
John K. Wilson wrote in Religion Under the State Constitutions 1776-1800 (Journal of Church and State, Volume 32, Autumn 1990, Number 4, pp. 754):
“An establishment of religion, in terms of direct tax aid to Churches, was the situation in nine of the thirteen colonies on the eve of the American revolution.”
The U.S. House of Representatives, March 27, 1854, unanimously voted to print Congressman James Meacham’s report, which stated:
“At the adoption of the Constitution, we believe every State – certainly ten of the thirteen – provided as regularly for the support of the Church as for the support of the Government…
Down to the Revolution, every colony did sustain religion in some form. It was deemed peculiarly proper that the religion of liberty should be upheld by a free people…
Had the people, during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle.”
Some argue that a line from the failed Treaty of Tripoli, 1798, “the [federal] government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion” discounts America’s Judeo-Christian heritage, but this is clearly not the case when one examines the context.
Barbary Pirates of Tripoli were terrorizing the high seas, capturing American ships and enslaving sailors. As Tripoli was a Muslim country, its Islamic Shari’a Law instructed them not to make treaties with “infidel” Christians:
“Infidels are those who declare: ‘God is the Christ, the son of Mary’” Sura 5:17,
“Infidels are those that say ‘God is one of three in a Trinity’” Sura 5:73,
“Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends” Sura 5:51,
“Believers, do not make friends with those who have incurred the wrath of Allah” Sura 60:13
As Muslims fought infidel “ Christian” nations of Europe for over a thousand years, U.S. Ambassador Joel Barlow had the challenge of convincing Tripoli that this time they were not negotiating with the Christian religion, but with a nation-state.
This was a novel concept to the 18th century Muslim.
If Tripoli did not understand this new concept, then Barbary Pirates would continue capturing “infidel” American sailors and selling them into slavery, as the Koran instructed:
“The infidels are your sworn enemies” Sura 4:101,
“Make war on the infidels who dwell around you” Sura 9:123,
“When you meet the infidel in the battlefield strike off their heads” Sura 47:4,
“Muhammad is Allah’s apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the infidels” Sura 48:29,
“Prophet, make war on the infidels” Sura 66:9
When one understands this background, the sentence of the Treaty, read in its entirety, reveals the intent was not to diminish Christianity’s influence on America’s founding, but to simply negotiate a treaty that the Muslims would keep:
As the [federal] 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 law, religion or tranquility of the Musselmen,- and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinion shall ever produce an interruption of the
harmony existing between the two countries.
The Muslims did not honor the Treaty, so U.S. Marines captured the city, thus the anthem “From the Halls of
Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli.” The new treaty drafted under Jefferson’s administration, 1806, did not include the misunderstood phrase.
If treaties are a way of uncovering the beliefs of America founders, then other treaties besides Tripoli’s must
be examined, such as The Treaty of Paris, 1783, which ended the Revolutionary War, signed by Ben Franklin, John Adams,and John Jay – first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court:
In the name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity. It having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the hearts of…Prince George the Third…and of the United States of America, to forget all past misunderstandings….Done at Paris in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three.
President Thomas Jefferson extended three times a 1787 Act of Congress in which lands were designated by treaty:
For the sole use of Christian Indians and the Moravian Brethren missionaries for civilizing
the Indians and promoting Christianity.
The Treaty with the Kaskaskia Indians, December 3, 1803, similar to the Wyandot Treaty, 1805, and Cherokees Treaty, 1806, was passed in Jefferson’s administration:
Whereas the greater part of the said tribe have been baptized and received into the Catholic
Church, to which they are much attached, the United States will give annually, for seven years, one
hundred dollars toward the support of a priest of that religion, who will engage to perform for said tribe the duties of his office, and also to instruct as many of their children as possible, in the rudiments of literature, and the United States will further give the sum of three hundred dollars, to assist the said tribe in the erection of a church.
In 1822, Congress ratified the Convention for Indemnity Under Award Of Emperor Of Russia as to the True
Construction of the First Article of the Treaty of December 24, 1814, which begins:
In the name of the Most Holy and Indivisible Trinity.
On January 20, 1830, in a Message to Congress, President Andrew Jackson stated:
According to the terms of an agreement between the United States and the United Society of Christian Indians the latter have a claim to an annuity of $400, commencing from the 1st of October, 1826, for which an appropriation by law for this amount, as long as they are entitled to receive it, will be proper.
On December 6, 1830, in his Second Annual Message, President Andrew Jackson commented on Indian treaties:
The Indians…gradually, under the protection of the Government and through the influence of good
counsels, to cast off their savage habits and become an interesting, civilized, and Christian community.
On December 6, 1831, in his Third Annual Message, President Andrew Jackson stated:
The removal of the Indians beyond the limits and jurisdiction of the States does not place them
beyond the reach of philanthropic aid and Christian instruction.
In 1848, Congress ratified the Treaty ending the Mexican War, which brought into the Union California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming:
In the Name of Almighty God: The United States and the United Mexican States…have, under the protection of Almighty God, the Author of Peace, arranged, agreed upon, and signed the following: Treaty of Peace…If (which God forbid) war should unhappily break out between the two republics, they do now solemnly pledge….all churches, hospitals, schools, colleges, libraries, and other establishments for charitable and beneficent purposes, shall be respected, and all persons connected with the same protected in the discharge of their duties, and the pursuit of their vocations….Done at city of Guadalupe Hidalgo, on the second day of February, in the year of the Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight.
Referring to Indian treaties, President Abraham Lincoln stated in his Third Annual Message, December 3, 1863:
It is hoped that the treaties will result in the establishment of permanent friendly relations with such of these tribes as have been brought into frequent and bloody collision with our outlying settlements and emigrants. Sound policy and our imperative duty to these wards of the Government demand our anxious and constant attention to their material well-being, to their progress in the arts of civilization, and, above all, to that moral training which under the blessing of Divine Providence will confer upon them the elevated and sanctifying influences, hopes and consolations, of the Christian faith.
Of the treaty to end Turkish Genocide of Armenian Christians, President Cleveland wrote December 2, 1895:
By treaty several of the most powerful European powers have secured a right and have assumed a duty not only in behalf of their own citizens and in furtherance of their own interests, but as agents of the Christian world. Their right to enforce such conduct of Turkish government as will refrain fanatical brutality, and if this fails their duty is to so interfere as to insure against such dreadful occurrences in Turkey as have shocked civilization.
President Wilson wrote to the Senate, July 10, 1919, on the Treaty of Peace with Germany signed at Versailles:
A new responsibility has come to this great nation…The stage is set, the destiny disclosed. It has come about by no plan of our conceiving, but by the hand of God who led us into this way.
Of the U.S. delegation drawing up the Four-Power Treaty, President Warren Harding wrote December 23, 1921:
He has full confidence now and is more than gratified over their efforts, because they are working
out the greatest contribution to peace and goodwill which has ever marked the Christmas time
in all the Christian era.
In 1889, John Bouvier’s Law Dictionary (Philadelphia, J.B. Lippincott Company) hinted of the novel use of the 14th Amendment in its definition of the word “Religion”:
“‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof’…
By establishment of religion is meant the setting up of state church, or at least conferring upon one church of special favors which are denied to others…
The Christian religion is, of course, recognized by the government, yet…the preservation of religious liberty is left to the States…
This provision and that relating to religious tests are limitations upon the power of the (Federal) Congress only…
Perhaps the Fourteenth Amendment may give additional securities if needful.”
Justice Joseph Story wrote in his Commentaries, 1833:
“Probably at the time of the adoption of the Constitution…the universal sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience and the freedom of religious worship.
Any attempt to level all religions, and make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation.”
Summing up the pre-14th Amendment view, Justice Joseph Story wrote in A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States, 1840:
“The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance, much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects.”