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stargazer123

Religion and the U.S.

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I just had a long debate with people who claimed this country was founded on Christianity because many of the founding fathers were Christian.

Did I miss something because I am to understand this country was founded on FREEDOM not religion!

I was called an idiot amongest other things, how very Christianly.

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I just had a long debate with people who claimed this country was founded on Christianity because many of the founding fathers were Christian.

Did I miss something because I am to understand this country was founded on FREEDOM not religion!

I was called an idiot amongest other things, how very Christianly.

Not too sure about if it was or was not based on Christianity, but if it was then why all the weapons and why in the early days did they wipe out or nearly wipe out the American Indian's

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I just had a long debate with people who claimed this country was founded on Christianity because many of the founding fathers were Christian.

Did I miss something because I am to understand this country was founded on FREEDOM not religion!

I was called an idiot amongest other things, how very Christianly.

Yes this country was founded on Christianity. The founding fathers believed they were Israelites. It made it ok to take away the land from all the other "gods". Slaves were more submissive as well through this avenue. But IMO they did it in pure belief, even if it was gruesome. They were more mystical in those days, referring to rites that to us probably would appear more like "magic". The freedom they referred to was NOT the freedom of religion, but the freedom to build for yourself a dream life and God was the one who helped them get there. Freedom was also only available to the white man..

...as far as I can tell....

Actually, Muslims were in America before the Christians, I heard

Even if this was true, they were not the founding fathers.

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Christianity was the primary religion of the Europeans who settled this country. Our ideals have until very recently been Judeo Christian in nature. I believe that the more "enlightened" we become, the worse trouble our nation finds itself in. Go figure. Those who scoff at Christianity never seem to make the connection that as bad as our system can be, it is still the most humane in the world. Though the nations would never admit it, they will sorely miss the generosity of Christian America when it is no more.

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i think it was, but i dont think anyone in are gov really believes in god now cause if they did no way they could do the things they do.

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Posted (edited)

It was not. It was founded as a secular nation. Most of the Founders were deists and most hate organized religion. This is well documented and is readily available to be found almost everywhere on the internet.

http://www.nobeliefs.com/Tripoli.htm

http://www.infidels...._till/myth.html

http://hnn.us/articles/42835.html

and so on.

Edited by Imaginarynumber1
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It was not. It was founded as a secular nation. Most of the Founders were deists and most hate organized religion. This is well documented and is readily available to be found almost everywhere on the internet.

http://www.nobeliefs.com/Tripoli.htm

http://www.infidels...._till/myth.html

http://hnn.us/articles/42835.html

and so on.

It was founded as a nation where people could choose for themselves. But there is no doubt what the majority religion was at it's beginning.

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It was founded as a nation where people could choose for themselves. But there is no doubt what the majority religion was at it's beginning.

I'm not debating that it was majority christian, just that it was not founded as a christian nation, but a secular one, now matter how much some to seem to want to change that.

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Posted (edited)

Immigrants came to the New World so they could freely worship without the restrictions placed on them by the Pope & their kings. My Huguenot ancestors fled France because Louis XVI was killing protestants, the Pilgrims were being persecuted in England, etc. So while a lot of emigrants were Protestant Christians, it was not their goal to establish a Christian state; they understood from personal experience the dangers of a religious theocracy.

Edited by Beany
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The founding fathers were predominantly Christian yes, but if it were founded mainly on those ideas why did the founding fathers feel we need to protect our citizens from certain injustices shall we say? if it were founded on Jesus and Christianity than there would be no need to bare arms or any stipulation regarding religion in the Constitution. There would be no need for lawsuits. There would be no need for the practice of any other religion or for any protection of citizens as granted under the Constitution of the U.S. Apparently the founding fathers saw injustice, they did not resolute to dissolve their religions but they saw the injustice in beliefs. Our forefathers were trapped in a time where religion was popular but yet even in that time they were forward thinkers. They contested things that no one at that time dare to contest. Freedom, I believe they were thinking freedom and something new and wonderful.

Edited by stargazer123

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Immigrants came to the New World so they could freely worship without the restrictions placed on them by the Pope & their kings. My Huguenot ancestors fled France because Louis XVI was killing protestants, the Pilgrims were being persecuted in England, etc. So while a lot of emigrants were Protestant Christians, it was not their goal to establish a Christian state; they understood from personal experience the dangers of a religious theocracy.

What Beany said, and I might add..

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ....

Thomas Jefferson wrote, "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."

And my belief as to why, was the Catholic Church for centuries had an Iron grip over nations and the first amendment broke that grip.

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I've heard that a few of your founding fathers thought Christianity was abhorrent and wanted religion and state very separate.

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America was founded mainly on Enlightenment era philosophy. Though I would argue America is a 'Christian Nation' but I would not say that it was founded on Christianity. The Founding Fathers ranged from strict Christians to Christian Deists to Deists, to Atheists. I would say Deism to Christian Deism was the main influence. Some FF believed in pure secularism but others believed religion (Christianity or not) was essential. The truth is that the FF are made up of a number of people with a number of different opinions.

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It was not. It was founded as a secular nation. Most of the Founders were deists and most hate organized religion. This is well documented and is readily available to be found almost everywhere on the internet.

http://www.nobeliefs.com/Tripoli.htm

http://www.infidels...._till/myth.html

http://hnn.us/articles/42835.html

and so on.

It is also recorded that these same government officials were deep in religious sects and practicing among the "miracle workers", consulting with the God of Jerusalem (that is of Israel, of Abraham)...

Edited by SpiritWriter

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It is also recorded that these same government officials were deep in religious sects and practicing among the "miracle workers", consulting with the God of Jerusalem (that is of Israel, of Abraham)...

Even if that is that case, it doesn't change the fact that the country was founded as a secular nation, not a christian one. Most of the founders felt that any faith was to practiced in private, if at all.

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I just had a long debate with people who claimed this country was founded on Christianity because many of the founding fathers were Christian.

Just because they may had believed in a god, that does NOT make them Christians. They were Deists, not Christians. One of them even ripped up the bible and only took the verses he liked because he saw the bible as "barbaric".

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It was not. It was founded as a secular nation.

No, you're thinking of France, which enforces a secular polity. The United States' federal government respects the free expression of religion in public.

At its founding, the United States also protected the power of the states to have established religions, religious tests for state office, and to promote religions, both one over others, and religion over irreligion. That policy mostly ended by demoscratic means in the states that did those things, and became unlawful after the Civil War, with the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment. State religious tests for public office were in force as recently as the 1960's.

The United States retains some scope for official religious promotion. Congresses' power to coin money, for example, allows it to place "In God we Trust" on the coins.

It was founded as a nation where people could choose for themselves.

It depends on what state you lived in. Rhode Island, for example, was wide open (because its Chrisitan founders thought religious freedom was what Christian values dictated). In neighboring Massachusetts, a Jew would have to pay taxes for the support of the town's Christian minister, probably Congregationalist.

The federal government would not intervene, neiher forcing Rhode Island to have some established church, nor preventing Massachusetts from taxing Jews for the support of Christian worship.

Our forefathers were trapped in a time where religion was popular but yet even in that time they were forward thinkers.

Religion has always been popular, as far back as we have records. In what way, in your view, were the devoutly religious Chrisitian founders of Rhode Island not "forward thinkers?" What has religious belief or holding am irreligious belief instead to do with being a forward thinker?

I've heard that a few of your founding fathers thought Christianity was abhorrent and wanted religion and state very separate.

Nicely said, a few. Thomas Paine was probably the most acerbic of the group that is called "Founding Fathers" (definitions vary).

As noted, however, many religious people wanted some separation between church and state, for a variety of reasons. One reason is that state subsidy of a competing religion may not be good for your religion (see the situation of Massahcuestts Jews, above). Another is state subsidy is not necessarily good for the church getting the money. Imagine, for example, how history might have been different if Martin Luther King, Jr were an Alabama state employee.

They were Deists, ...

Actually, most of the founders were Protestants, heavily members of the Anglican Communion and its dissenter churches. There were probably more deists than Catholics and Jews, but then again, there wern't many Catholics or Jews among the founders.

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America was founded mainly on Enlightenment era philosophy. Though I would argue America is a 'Christian Nation' but I would not say that it was founded on Christianity. The Founding Fathers ranged from strict Christians to Christian Deists to Deists, to Atheists. I would say Deism to Christian Deism was the main influence. Some FF believed in pure secularism but others believed religion (Christianity or not) was essential. The truth is that the FF are made up of a number of people with a number of different opinions.

:clap: Yes you got it!!! How many times I have brought up the Age of Enlightenment philosophy as basis of the US. Nobody seem to get it. My complementsts on you knowledge of history. I love those philosophers. I am so glad our founding fathers were well read and wise men. It is too bad the current leaders are not as educated as they were. Here is a link that is an introduction to that philosophy. I wish people who think we are founded on theology would read it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment

Stargazer, next time the idiots say you're an idiot start dropping names like Roesseau, Locke, Voltaire, and the like. When they don't who these men are, you are free to tell them are lacking in their education and are indeed idiots.

I really should get my degree in history and a teaching certificate.

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I'm always mildly amused at how these kinds of threads eventually take on a tone against Christianity. Never Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. All of which were present in our country at it's founding. Christians can stand for themselves and don't need my intercession. It just makes me wonder what possible, real threat this religion poses that causes people to be so antagonistic toward it. As a Christian, I'm not offended nor do I feel persecuted. I just don't understand the sentiment.

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I really should get my degree in history and a teaching certificate.

One thing that I have noticed is that most people (and nearly all Republicans) are almost totally ignorant of history and this is why it keeps repeating. Nearly everything we are dealing with today has happened within the last couple hundred years. People need to read history more.

I think you should go that route...that is the route I am taking. I have 3 majors (Religious Studies, History, Education) and I plan on going for my Masters in Education and teaching license. Someone needs to explain things to our dumbass kids...

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I'm always mildly amused at how these kinds of threads eventually take on a tone against Christianity. Never Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. All of which were present in our country at it's founding. Christians can stand for themselves and don't need my intercession. It just makes me wonder what possible, real threat this religion poses that causes people to be so antagonistic toward it. As a Christian, I'm not offended nor do I feel persecuted. I just don't understand the sentiment.

Really, I don't know about that. When Muslims and the rest say idiotic things I generally call them out on it. I am maybe harder on the Muslims than the Christians. I should take a look at that and maybe toughen up on the Christians. :whistle:

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I always thought it was founded on morals, freedom of and from religion , and radical white hairpieces.

They did seem to draw inspiration from Christianity but also from Judaisim and Islam. Many of the Founding Fathers I've read about (can't find the source at the moment, meaning I'm at work :P) respected the other religions which they weren't a part of. Which is why our country allows us to make our own choices on that matter as long as we don't force others to be the same. Though that hasn't really worked out in recent years. Go figure.

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I always thought it was founded on morals, freedom of and from religion , and radical white hairpieces.

They did seem to draw inspiration from Christianity but also from Judaisim and Islam. Many of the Founding Fathers I've read about (can't find the source at the moment, meaning I'm at work :P) respected the other religions which they weren't a part of. Which is why our country allows us to make our own choices on that matter as long as we don't force others to be the same. Though that hasn't really worked out in recent years. Go figure.

As Darkwind suggested, read Enlightenment philosophy. You can see Christian influences in it and certainly Islamic ideas. Many things that are credited to European philosophers and scientists actually come from the Islamic Empire. The Islamic Empire is actually where they got much of their knowledge of the Greeks. This goes way beyond religious ideas...it is an entire philosophy. And like I said, the Founding Fathers beliefs varied greatly.

-Paine was a Deist (though most considered him an atheist.)

-Washington believed religion (not necessarily Christianity) was essential to morals and often required soldiers to pray and attend worship services but little is known about his actual beliefs.

-John Adams was a Puritan and his father was a deacon. He went to Harvard to be a minister but became a lawyer instead. He considered himself a devoted Christian but rejected most of orthodox Christian theology (original sin, atonement, divinity of Christ, predestination.)

-Jefferson considered himself Christian, identified with Jesus but intensely anti-clerical. He thought the Trinity is hocus-pocus, immaculate conception is preposterous, and Jesus is fully human (also rejects the resurrection.)

-Madison- Little is known about his beliefs but he was extremely supportive of religious freedom. He was the most radical proponent of the separation of Church and State.

I think you get the point…views were very different…

Edited by HuttonEtAl
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Religion has always been popular, as far back as we have records. In what way, in your view, were the devoutly religious Chrisitian founders of Rhode Island not "forward thinkers?" What has religious belief or holding am irreligious belief instead to do with being a forward thinker?

Eight Bits how are ya? What I was trying to relate is that in my view on religion itself has been a tool used to stunt and discourage forward thinking in many respects. Freedom, enlightment, science, all these things through out history were discouraged. It seems to be the case that the church generally tried to keep it's control over the populus but in part not only keeping them ignorant but under control. When you look throughout history it seems to be the case that religion and forward thinking come to odds with one another, so I wouldn't generally equate a nation founded on freedom for all to be based in religion what so ever. Don't know if any of that made sense? I'm not saying that religious people can't be forward thinkers I'm just saying that in my opinion religious ideals are far different than ideas of freedom and independence many times.

I'm happy other posters brought up enlightment, I believe that word encompasses a lot and can be directly related to freedom, becoming enlightened from tyranny, control, letting each man be the master of his own destiny through his own means. Whatever people believe I think we can mostly agree the ideas this nation were founded on were something quite marvelous in many ways for that time. Funny though that for as much as this nation was built on and these great ideas that thought of freedom did not extend to some at points in time like the American Indians, the slaves, women, the mentally ill etc...just my thoughts.

Edited by stargazer123

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I'm always mildly amused at how these kinds of threads eventually take on a tone against Christianity. Never Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. All of which were present in our country at it's founding. Christians can stand for themselves and don't need my intercession. It just makes me wonder what possible, real threat this religion poses that causes people to be so antagonistic toward it. As a Christian, I'm not offended nor do I feel persecuted. I just don't understand the sentiment.

I have problems with any religion or lack of in general anytime it is used as a method to control and is forced on others.

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