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    The vast majority of American's, and most people to be honest, are under the impression that the USA was founded as a Christian country.

    Many anti religious quotes are attributed to the founding fathers, and the constitution specified that you didn't have to be religious to hold a government/public position.

    In God we Trust was added to the money in the 50's, replacing the previously non religious motto (or so I believe).

    There is no mention anywhere in the constitution of Christianity, or God, Jesus etc, and generally no evidence that the USA was in any way founded as a Christian nation.

    So why is it, and at what point did it become political suicide when running for office in America to be anything other than a Christian, why do so many politicians place such weight upon it, and why do so many Americans seem to believe it is something that their country is founded upon?

    If there's a similar thread let me know
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    Young students in America are indoctrinated with the story of Pilgrims and Plymouth Rock in primary school. It is a romanticized notion which tends to receive credit for more significance in America's founding than it deserves. The true story of what made America something special (it was once something special) is one of immigrants. What mattered is not the religion those immigrants chose to follow. What mattered was their desperation, their will, their determination, and their ambition. The story of America is one of an opportunity that attracted only the hardest men and women amongst us. They were defined by the condition of having little to lose and everything to gain, combined with the will to go after it.

    That spirit became the legacy of early Americans, and the founders were part of that legacy. Americans do not hold the memory of the founding fathers sacred because of their supposed religion. America should hold reverence for its' founders because their actions represent a devotion to an ideal which ultimately defined what it should mean to be American. A group of men, all of whom possessed much intellect, privilege, and opportunity, risked everything to fight for an ideal. Their belief in what it meant to be free men, was so important, that they were willing to put their very lives and even the welfare of their families at risk to stand for it. Then when some of these same individuals were presented with the opportunity to imbue themselves with powers beyond what they deemed appropriate for the good of the people, they declined.

    We may all come from different backgrounds, with different beliefs, and opposite expectations in the direction we want our governments to go. All our leaders deserve to have their judgement questioned. America's founding fathers are not above such scrutiny. However, in judging their character and sincerity in comparison to our normal political candidates today, my assessment is that we would be fortunate to find even one of such caliber amongst our ranks, regardless of his beliefs.

    America's religious history is a consequence of the times in which it was founded. Its' people's true devotion should have been one of freedom, but somewhere along the way they traded it for a devotion to comfort. At some point man will most likely realize the ability to colonize out in space. If that day comes, we can rest assured that many who are willing to go will be the best amongst us. It is a safe assumption that such a colony will likely evolve into something that society should aspire to. I sincerely hope that their ancestors will honor such efforts with more diligence than we have.

    That is the story of USA's foundation told by an American. Am I deluded?
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    It is a great paradox of American society. That a country so devoted to its roots and history can be so fundamentally wrong about its origins in this way.
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    Apparently, the American FFs were predominantly Presbyterian and Episcopalian. It is probably fair to say that the majority were Protestant Christians.
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    America is a much more religious country than us- around 36% of Americans attend church regularly, compared to 7% in the UK, and around 58% of Americans say religion is an important part of their lives- in the UK, it's lower than 20%. The fact that it wasn't founded on Christian principles with a state religion has, ironically, made religion far more interesting, diverse and lively than it is here in the UK, where most religious people are Anglicans and the state functions of the Church make it rather more boring.
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    (Original post by bm127)
    There is no mention anywhere in the constitution of Christianity, or God, Jesus etc, and generally no evidence that the USA was in any way founded as a Christian nation.
    It wasn't founded as a Christian nation in a political sense, but that it was a Christian nation is simply historical fact (I say this as an atheist).

    I think it's important to understand the historical context at the time; it's true many of the founding fathers were deists rather than theists, but at the time, the vast majority of people were deep and uncontroversial believers in Christianity.

    Being called an atheist was one of the worst things you could be called amongst intelligent people.
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    (Original post by AlexandrTheGreat)
    It wasn't founded as a Christian nation in a political sense, but that it was a Christian nation is simply historical fact (I say this as an atheist).

    I think it's important to understand the historical context at the time; it's true many of the founding fathers were deists rather than theists, but at the time, the vast majority of people were deep and uncontroversial believers in Christianity.

    Being called an atheist was one of the worst things you could be called amongst intelligent people.
    But there is a marked difference between being a Christian nation (which it isn't) and a nation of Christians (which it is).

    I'm quite sure all the FFs and the early 'trend-setting' Presidents were Christian, but they also wrote and spoke unequivocally on the subject, stating that none of the laws they would write for their new country would be based on religion of any form and that it would be illegal to make laws of those kind.
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    I agree with what Drewski, huge difference between being a Christian nation and a nation of Christians.

    Hell, Thomas Jefferson was a strong supporter of separation of church and state. It was interpreted in the First Amendment that this separation of church and state should exist. But sometime, in the 1800's I think, states started setting up state churches I believe, some of these were disestablished but you can see how the point could carry on and the US becoming more like a Christian nation despite not being one.
 
 
 
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