Friday, February 10, 2012

Was America Founded As a Christian Nation? Part 1: The Founding Fathers

It is often preached from the pulpit that America was founded as a "Christian Nation." Perhaps worse than the blatant fallacy behind this is that so many people buy into it. However, to anyone who has spent a little time investigating the matter, the claim that America was founded as a Christian nation is unequivocally false.

It is not really a claim which needs to be refuted since, the simple fact of the matter is, America was the first country founded on the principle that all religions deserved equal respect and none deserved unrequited favor. The Christian doctrine of exclusivity was, to the minds of the founding fathers, incompatible with their loftier principles of a united republic, a United States. The vision they had was one of an autonomous nation where your religion was just one part of what defined you--but at the end of the day--each and every citizen, man or woman, could proudly call themselves free--they could call themselves--Americans.

In the minds of Christians, however, many tend to make-believe an alternative history where America was founded as a Christian nation and the term American is just a synonym for Christian. This could no more be further from the truth than if I were to claim that a centimeter was just a synonym for an inch. Yet such falsehoods are often preached as a matter of fact within the folds of the Christian faith. Sadly, the insistence of these falsehoods as truths has persuaded many to believe it and perpetuated the myth that America is a Christian nation.

In the first part of this series I will investigate a few of the founding fathers in order to follow up on the question whether or not all of the founding fathers were Christian. It stems to reason that if America was truly founded as a "Christian Nation" then all of the founding fathers would ubiquitously subscribe to the religious and moral ideals of Christianity. If we should find exception to this rule, then it would be safe to assume that, contrary to popular opinion, the United States was not founded as a Christian nation, let alone on Christian principles. The claim would hence be refuted.