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Against all Authority

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The Roots of War?

America is Not a Christian Nation

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It is a common mistake to think that the United States is based on Judeo-Christian ideas, but America is not a Christian nation. To belief so is wishful thinking and based on ignorance of history. Without getting into a long treatise on the subject, one way to challenge this dogma of the religious right is to simply look at what the founding fathers of the country said. Here are some relevant quotes.

Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and third President of the United States. He is considered by most to be one of the most influential Founding Fathers. Here are some quotes from him:

The Christian God is a being of terrific character - cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust.

Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which the weak minds are serviley crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear. (in a letter to his nephew Peter Carr)

Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man.

The priests of the different religious sects... dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight, and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subdivision of the duperies on which they live.

John Adams

Adams is also considered one of the most influential Founding Fathers of the United States. He played a leading role in persuading Congress to adopt the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776, and later became the second President. The following quotes make it clear not only that he didn't think this was a Christian nation, but also reveal his attitude about religion in general.

As the 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 laws, religion, or tranquility, of Musselmen; and as the said States have never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries. - From a treaty with Tripoli, under George Washington, signed by John Adams 1797

This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it.

As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?

James Madison

Called the "Father of the Constitution," because he was the principal author. He also wrote many of the Federalist Papers, which are considered to be the most influential commentary on the Constitution. He is also known as the "Father of the Bill of Rights," because he wrote the first ten amendments to the Constitution. He believed that the United States needed checks and balances to protect individual rights from the tyranny of the majority. Here is what he thought of Christianity:

During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruit? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence of the clergy,; ignorance and serviltiy in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.

Benjamin Franklin

A newspaper publisher, civic activist, statesman, soldier, and diplomat, Franklin was an early proponent of colonial unity and of an American nation. He arranged the French alliance that helped make possible the independence of the United States. Always pithy and to the point, he said the following:

Lighthouses are more useful than churches.

Thomas Paine

An author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, and revolutionary, Paine wrote the powerful pamphlet Common Sense (1776), which advocated colonial America's independence from Great Britain. He also wrote the book The Age of Reason (1793–94), which advocated deism, promoted reason and freethinking, and argued against religion and Christian doctrines. The following quote shows how he felt about all religions:

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

The Tyranny of Religion

Virtually all the founders of this country - whether atheists, deists, agnostics or theists - believed strongly in keeping religion out of Government altogether. Had they heard the following coming from a sitting president, they would have been horrified:

No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God. - George H. Bush, replying to journalist Robert Sherman

Many of the founders were agnostics or deists. The latter did not believe in the typical Christian god, but in a "creator" that was something more like the "force" in the movie Star Wars. This is clear from their many writings, which seem to be ignored by all those who wish this was a Christian nation. The dangers of promoting an official religion are hinted at in the following quotes from well-known Christian leaders:

When the Christian majority takes over this country, there will be no satanic churches, no more free distribution of pornography, no more talk of rights for homosexuals. After the Christian majority takes control, pluralism will be seen as immoral and evil and the state will not permit anybody the right to practice evil. - Gary potter, President of Catholics for Christian Political Action

I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good... Our goal is a Christian nation. we have a Biblical duty, we are called by God, to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism. Our goal must be simple. We must have a Christian nation built on God's law, on the ten commandments. No apologies. - Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue

Michael Donald Bray, a violent activist and believer in a theocratic United States, wants biblical law applied in the country. In an interview with Richard Dawkins, for example, he said adulterers should be executed. Other biblical injunctions that are supposedly the word of God - and that a Chrsition theocracy might enforce - include killing witches, stooning to death those who collect firewood or otherwise work on the Sabbath, killing homosexuals, killing those who say "God Damn!" and preventing cripples from entering churches.

To prevent a Christain Taliban from gaining power in our country, we need more people to understand that America is not a Christian nation. Christians, Muslems, Jews, Buddhists, and others are free to believe what they want, and say what they want, and worship who they choose, but the United States was founded by men who wanted religion to be thoroughly separated from Government. I agree with their sentiments and hope enough others do.


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Radical New Thoughts | America is not a Christian Nation