The United States of America has long been known as a pious country with references to God in phrases such as "In God We Trust" and "One nation under God." Many evangelicals consider these clichés to be affirmations that the United States was founded on Christian ideals. Some historians and scholars also debate that America's Founding Fathers' underlying reason for the First Amendment's notion of separation of church and state was to prevent their new nation from becoming a puppet of a church, as was the case of the Anglican Church in England. What many people do not know is that a great majority of the Founders were not practicing Christians, but followed much more freethinking philosophical schools. Many liberal Enlightenment ideals and free thought were actually the true ideologies of America's Founding Fathers, not Christianity.
At the time of the American Revolution, which happened towards the end of the Enlightenment, many new philosophies questioned or challenged the dogma of the Christian Church. One very common philosophy that many of the Founding Fathers considered themselves subscribers to was Deism. Deism is considered a natural religion that does not altogether deny the existence of God, but argues against divinity and supernaturalism. Deists believe that their belief in God should only be founded in nature and reason. Many of the Founding Fathers including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, and James Madison all considered themselves Deists to some degree (Haught, 77-101). Some on the religious right have for years tried to dispel this truth with varying degrees of success.
One Founding Father and primary author of the Constitution, James Madison, was a s...
... middle of paper ...
... to be. The founding of our country had its roots in Enlightenment ideals which emphasized reason instead of faith. Political and religious institutions in the past decade have sought to align themselves with government powers in order to bring a moral authority to government affairs. Until these institutions realize and accept the true facts about America's founding, they will be destined to repeat the ceaseless strife on our own shores.
Haught, James A. 2000 Years of Disbelief. Prometheus Books, 1996.
Robertson, Pat. "Restore America to its Jeffersonian Ideals." PatRobertson.com. 3 March 2000.
Walker, Jim. "Little-Known U.S. Document Signed by President Adams Proclaims America's Government Is Secular." The Early America Review. Summer 1997. 23 Oct. 2005
Walker, Jim. "Thomas Jefferson on Christianity and Religion." NoBeliefs.com. 30 Oct. 2005
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Introduction In the Old Testament Gods love for His people is revealed in the form of a covenant between God and the nation of Israel. The Old Testament contains the historical testimony of Israel as a nation. It shows clearly Israel’s triumphs and its failings in their covenant relationship as they journey through time. The Old Testament also contains examples of how God remains faithful to every word of His promises even though Israel is disobedient and is diversified as a result of their own actions.... [tags: Jesus, Bible, Old Testament, New Testament]
1091 words (3.1 pages)
- With sounds of youthful laughter, conversations about the students’ weekends, and the shuffling of college ruled paper; students file into their classrooms and find their seats on a typical Monday morning. As the announcements travel throughout the school’s intercoms, the usual “Please stand for the Pledge of Allegiance” becomes no longer usual but rather puzzling to some students. “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, indivisible, with liberty, and justice for all.” Confusion passes through some of the student’s minds.... [tags: U.S. Government ]
2046 words (5.8 pages)
- Abraham Lincoln, One Nation Under God Abraham Lincoln was one of the most eloquently spoken and forward thinking presidents the United States of America has ever had. Although his views were opposite to the majority at the time, he had a very clear view of the people in his country and the unforgivable wrongs that a great percentage of his people were enduring. While in office the civil war occurred and he was asked to address the nation at the dedication of the cemetery at Gettysburg on November 19th, 1863, later referred to as the “Gettysburg Address”.... [tags: United States, Abraham Lincoln]
1677 words (4.8 pages)
- Would God categorize his children. That is a question that I believe most would give a simple and direct answer: No. Would the United States categorize their citizens. Although the Amendment suggests that all men and women are equal, the fact is, the people of the United States are continuously being classified. So, if indeed the United States is one nation under God, why do we continue to sort ourselves through unreasonable and unethical factors. The misinterpretation of race has shattered the American society and for all that it stands.... [tags: essays research papers]
877 words (2.5 pages)
- ...ONE NATION UNDER (INSERT BELIEF HERE) One of my few clear memories as a child in school unfortunately is not of history, math or reading class. I can though, clearly remember standing in Mrs. Collins' classroom just after morning announcements, reciting The Pledge of Allegiance. Never really dissecting the words to it, I only knew that it was a matter of pride in our country that we recited the pledge. Today still, children across the country every morning recite the pledge, I hope with the same pride.... [tags: Current Events]
1219 words (3.5 pages)
- There exists a long held belief that the United States of America was founded on the principles and doctrinal views of Protestantism. Modern age Christians have scoured historical documents in an effort to provide evidence for a Judeo-Christian foundation in the nation’s republican framework. Likewise, their opponents have written lengthy dissertations and argued over various media outlets that Christian conclusions are unfounded. Yet despite their endless debate, religion, especially Christianity, has and continues to play a fundamental element of America’s cultural, societal, and political makeup.... [tags: christians, congregationalists and anglicans]
1813 words (5.2 pages)
- ... The meaning of God’s imminence assures us that God is and will always be in control despite the machinations of a corrupt social order to undermine God’s just reign. Preparing the masses, like our preaching ancestor John Baptist, for God is both empowering, and, as I mentioned earlier, intimidating. There is empowerment because God manages to use a flawed human vessel to do this important work amongst God’s people. Yet, bearing the message that God is near to all is also frightening because the message has implication for the messenger.... [tags: spiritual, nation, ministry, god]
3423 words (9.8 pages)
- 1. The principal event for the Israelites was the covenant God created with Adam, Noah, Abraham and others, because they were the chosen people for the great nation of Israel. 2. Israel´s crucial location was in the middle of the two great civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia, using Israel as their bridge for trade and thus making it very unstable. 3. Gilgamesh took everything without permission from the people and had sex with every woman he encountered, he was uncontrollable, so Enkidu was created.... [tags: Bible, Israelites, God, Chosen people]
788 words (2.3 pages)
- America today is a melting pot of both nationalities, as the saying has always gone, but it is also a mixture of many beliefs systems and religions. The nation today is one of the most religiously diverse around the globe, but the common belief is that America is a Christian nation. This idea comes from the fact that the majority of religious American citizens are Christian in practice (TB Pg.89). Although many would argue that America was founded and built to be Christian from the beginning. It is true that several pieces of American historical text mention religion and use religious jargon, but none specifically aimed as Christian; even though the authors may have self-identified as Christ... [tags: Christianity, Religion, Islam, God]
1389 words (4 pages)
- Good morning brother and sister, as we continue this series on the children of Israel… we now come to the part of God being upset with Israel… Moses was with God…they both was having a good time… planning and talking about how they was going to lead the children to the promise land…then all of sudden, God knowing ALL and seeing ALL… said to him… Go, get down this mountain right now. For your people…. I’m not calming them no more... whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, because it look like I didn’t do nothing…since they making idol gods… have corrupted themselves…Oh brother and sister they went and piss off the Almighty God… God called Israel your people, in the sense that they belonge... [tags: God, Islam, Lord, Torah]
1161 words (3.3 pages)