That Christian pastors want to flout laws that prohibit tax-exempt churches charities from campaigning should give us pause. A Christian who identifies her/himself as a strict constitutionalist seems to forget that Christians have no legal right to propound their beliefs on government policy.
Those who proclaim that the United States was founded on Christian principles are misguided at best. Our Founders never intended Christianity as a precept on which America should base its government. For this reason, the First Amendment, according citizens Freedom of Speech and Religion, is the most important right—it is the first right that was incorporated into the Bill of Rights.
In fact, that implicit dictum relating to freedom of speech and religion is the First Amendment, indicates our Founders considered these the most important foundations of our nation. After all, many who fought in the American Revolution did so not only as revolt against taxation, but also for the right for individuals to practice their chosen faith in peace. It is for this reason that the primary goal of the United States is to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.
There are more than a few quotes from our founders that strongly indicate that America was not founded on Christian principles. Yet, Pat Robertson calls this perspective a “lie of the left.” He and others like him would have their followers believe the co-mingling of Church and State were the very principles on which America was founded.
These perspectives are clearly myths. In the Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11, John Adams specified that “The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”
He stated This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it and the doctrine of the divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity
Jefferson, a Deist, firmly rejected the superstitions and mysticism of Christianity. He edited the gospels to remove the miracles and mysticism of Jesus and left only what he deemed the correct moral philosophy of Jesus. He strongly rebuked Christianity.
Christianity…(has become) the most perverted system that ever shone on man…Rogueries, absurdities and untruths were perpetrated upon the teachings of Jesus by a large band of dupes and imposters led by Paul, the first great corruptor of the teachings of Jesus. The clergy converted the simple teachings of Jesus into an engine for enslaving mankind and adulterated by artificial constructions into a contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves…these clergy in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ.”
Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”
I do not believe it is for the interest of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct its exercises, its discipline, or its doctrines; nor of the religious societies, that the General Government should be invested with the power of effecting any uniformity of time or matter among them. Fasting and prayer are religious exercises; the enjoining them an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises, and the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and the right can never be safer than in their hands, where the Constitution has deposited it.
Thomas Paine did not mince words regarding Christianity and the Bible:
Among the most detestable villains in history, you could not find one worse than Moses. Here is an order, attributed to ‘God’ to butcher the boys, to massacre the mothers, and to debauch and rape the daughters. I would not dare so dishonor my Creator’s name by (attaching) it to this filthy book.
It is the duty of every true Deist to vindicate the moral justice of God against the evils of the Bible. Accustom a people to believe that priests and clergy can forgive sins…and you will have sins in abundance.
“What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyranny. In no instance have they been seen as the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate liberty, does not need the clergy.
James Madison held opinions similar to Jefferson and Paine: Religion and government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.
As Jonathan Swift wrote We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.
How do you respond to people who insist America is founded on Christian principles?