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15 September 2005

The Founding Fathers Were NOT Christians

There are a lot of good quotes here... here's a few:

*
The Christian right is trying to rewrite the history of the United States as part of its campaign to force its religion on others. They try to depict the founding fathers as pious Christians who wanted the United States to be a Christian nation, with laws that favored Christians and Christianity.

This is patently untrue. The early presidents and patriots were generally Deists or Unitarians, believing in some form of impersonal Providence but rejecting the divinity of Jesus and the absurdities of the Old and New testaments.


*
It was during Adam's administration that the Senate ratified the Treaty of Peace and Friendship, which states in Article XI that 'the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.'


Thomas Paine:
nor by any church that I know of...Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all


*
On his deathbed, Washinton uttered no words of a religious nature and did not call for a clergyman to be in attendance.


John Adams:
Twenty times in the course of my late reading, have I been upon the point of breaking out, "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!


Thomas Jefferson:
I trust that there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die a Unitarian." He referred to the Revelation of St. John as "the ravings of a maniac"


James Madison:
Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.


Ethan Allen:
When Allen married Fanny Buchanan, he stopped his own wedding ceremony when the judge asked him if he promised "to live with Fanny Buchanan agreeable to the laws of God." Allen refused to answer until the judge agreed that the God referred to was the God of Nature, and the laws those "written in the great book of nature."


*
The words "In God We Trust" were not consistently on all U.S. currency until 1956, during the McCarthy Hysteria.


And my favorite:
The Treaty of Tripoli, passed by the U.S. Senate in 1797, read in part: "The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion." The treaty was written during the Washington administration, and sent to the Senate during the Adams administration. It was read aloud to the Senate, and each Senator received a printed copy. This was the 339th time that a recorded vote was required by the Senate, but only the third time a vote was unanimous (the next time was to honor George Washington). There is no record of any debate or dissension on the treaty. It was reprinted in full in three newspapers - two in Philadelphia, one in New York City. There is no record of public outcry or complaint in subsequent editions of the papers.


And from a linked source:

Thomas Jefferson:
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 importers led by Paul, the first great corrupter of the teaching of Jesus.


Thomas Paine:
It is the duty of every true Deist to vindicate the moral justice of God against the evils of the Bible.


This is interesting:
Having escaped from the state-established religions of Europe, only 7% of the people in the 13 colonies belonged to a church when the Declaration of Independence was signed.


This is really good too:
It was they—the Baptists—who were instrumental in securing the separation of church and state. They knew you can not have a "one-way wall" that lets religion into government but that does not let it out. They knew no religion is capable of handling political power without becoming corrupted by it. And, perhaps, they knew it was Christ himself who first proposed the separation of church and state: Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto the Lord that which is the Lord's.


This one surprised me. Not because they declared the US to NOT be based on Christianity, but because the original was in Arabic...

ARTICLE 11.

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 never have 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.

Am I understanding this right? Did we agree that we would never go to war with them because we weren't Christian?

Of course there are other sources as well...