“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Thomas Jefferson wrote those words to express the emotions of a nation that desired freedom, and to shake the foundation of the British Empire. However, this simple, but eloquent phrase has sparked one of the greatest debates in American history. Is America a Christian nation? One question has divided the nation and its politicians since the founding and forming of America. This fiery debate has sparked more controversy than any other debate in modern politics.
Of the fairly limited amount of books I have read in my lifetime regarding the origins of the country we live in today from a religious standpoint, the vast majority are rife with one scarcely mentioned and not infrequent pitfall of inaccuracy that glares at me as I flip through their pages: they sugarcoat the difficult parts. Any controversy that may mitigate their argument (such as the gruesome altercations between the early colonists and the Native Americans, Benjamin Franklin’s or Thomas Jefferson’s religious stances, or the Americans’ horribly violent recalcitrance against the nation they then considered home) is deceptively changed or mollified in attempt to please readers, or perhaps even more embarrassingly, omitted out of sheer ignorance on the subject. With The Light and the Glory, preacher Peter Marshall and New York publishing house editor David Manuel defy the stereotypes of American Christian authors and unapologetically disregard potential vitriol from their intended audience in the process. After conducting extensive research on the topics they planned to discuss in their book, Marshall and Manuel devised the following thesis for The Light and the Glory: (a) God has, or at least had, a definitive and demanding plan for America, and (b) our continual deviation from this plan is why modern America is so seemingly headed for
Many Americans, including myself, grew up with the understanding of America as unmistakably Christian, but it is important to evaluate the legal, biblical, and cultural basis of this argument. While the primary way to establish a Christian nation would be through legal means, Hughes asserts that Christianity has not been established in the Constitution or The Declaration of Independence, which are the documents most important to the founding of America. While many Christians argue that there are Christian connections in these texts, these religious references are more accurately attributed to the Deistic beliefs of the founders. Berger’s term of internalization, or the acceptance of societal ideas for personal guidance (Berger 4), can be used to explain the American interpretation of the religious references in the founding documents as Christian. However, the founding of America does appear to have some Christian influences. These influences are due to the founders’ acceptance of the Christian American nomos, Berger’s term for a set of beliefs that governs society (Berger 19). This influence caused them to add the phrase “in God we Trust” to the dollar bill, the biblical image of the red sea in earlier designs of the seal, and an eye at the top of the pyramid on the seal of the dollar bill in order to symbolize the providence that protects the nation.
Religion has been a large part of this country, starting with the very first people to arrive in America, the Pilgrims. Breaking away from the Church of England, the Pilgrims settled in what is now known as Massachusetts in 1620, in order to express religious freedom. They wanted to practice Christian beliefs similar to ones practiced by earlier Christians. Based on the views of the founding people of America, many would claim this as support that America was founded as a Christian nation. Fast forward to the late 1700’s, where both the Declaration of Independence and The United States Constitution had been written. These documents both showed signs of a Christian foundation with multiple references to God. As stated in the Declaration, “[They] hold
America was known for its democratic government but most importantly seen for its freedom, shown in Document D, “...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry...but that
The reputation that the Unites States has today as a world power has been cultivated over various forms of nationalism, wars, and both foreign and domestic relations. The freed Americans men had a new opportunity of establishing a new outlook on conducting world affairs. Unlike many other colonies in the Americas, the Unites States was shaped by the lack of “centuries of European religious, monarchical, and aristocratic order” (Hixson- 25). The British government did not take a deep investment in the establishment of an extensive overseas government and religion like the Spanish did in Latin America. As colonies, one of the primary goals of the Unites States was religious freedom, but only for Anglo-Saxon Christian religions.
There is an age old question about good old America and its foundation that has been debated on for decades that I have the pleasure of touching on today. That question I tend on giving my insight on today which is, was United States was founded as a Christian nation or as something else? In retrospect one can say that America was founded on three documents: The Declaration of Independence, The Paris Peace Treaty of 1783, and the Constitution; however what does that mean to America being a Christian Nation? Well the Declaration of Independence has many references to God, and both the Treaty and the Constitution end with them being sign in the “Year of our Lord”. One would assume this is all evidence that the founded on Christianity, but then I read Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptist. After reviewing the letter’s substance and the reason for him writing the letter it would appear that I’m torn even as I am writing this.
American culture is in my opinion a mixture of all cultures in the world. In some states, minorities have become majorities because of the huge masses that have immigrated there. Those groups have integrated their own customs to Americans and at the same time, have made American customs part of their lives. In that enormous alloy called Americans, you can meet diverse kinds of persons, languages, foods and words. At the same time, specific traits make this culture as any other unique. The British writer Lesley Hazleton describes in the essay The First Game her experience when she attended a baseball game for the first time in her life. It was her first time visiting America as well and the way the
The most prominent piece of evidence for those that believe that this is not a Christian nation is Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli which states, ??the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion?? Source J. This treaty was read aloud to the entire Senate in 1797 and was unanimously approved. President John Adams announced it to the people and it was published in 3 well-know newspapers. According to Ed Buckner, Ph. D, in his speech ?Does the 1796-97 Treaty with Tripoli Matter to Church/ State Separation??, there was no record of protest to the articles within the treaty, Source G. It went without question, in this case, that the government held no religion whatsoever.
As we study American history, we found that our nation which we call the land of the free was found founded as a Christian nation. This is one of the reason the pilgrims left Europe to come to America for life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
Steven Green states that the impact of religion during the founding of the United States should be looked at in its totality and not in distinct instances. Many people would make many claims that America was created as a nation of Christians and it was built upon Christian values. They would argue that the Constitution and other documents like the Declaration of Independence shows the founding fathers had a lot of religious values influences. This is what has become the base for creating the myth of America being a “Christian Nation”.
Initially, America did not have a Christian foundation in the sense of creating a theocracy. However, it was shaped by Christian moral truths, and the forefathers created a hospitable environment that supported this religion. The relationship linking the state and religion grew strong as most of the people in the nation became Christians. This research paper outlines how Christianity came to be one of the major religions in the United States of America.
Was America founded as a Christian nation? This is a controversial topic for all Americans. There are a lot of sayings and supports for both sides of understanding. However, as for myself, I do not believe the United States has a Christian foundation. The reasons why I am not on the side of support are the words of former Presidents and Founding Fathers, requirements in US policies, and deductive reasoning from the past.
The establishment of the European Union (EU) solidified a united political, economic, and defensive front creating a Supranational Organization (Lucas, 1999, no page). With the assistance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United States, the EU has developed a comprehensive security strategy responsible for leading the coalition’s objectives for mutual solidarity, global stabilization, and defense. To address security threats both regionally and globally set forth by the European Security Strategy (ESS), considerations were developed which encompass both cultural domains of geography and development.