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Why U.S. is not a Christian nation

Kenneth C. Davis
Posted: July 4, 2011.

Print: CNN

It is true these words do not appear in any early national document. What may be Jefferson’s second most-quoted phrase is found instead in a letter he sent to a Baptist association in Danbury, Connecticut.

While president in 1802, Jefferson wrote: “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State ... “

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Comments (15)

Such a great article! Your words are useful for me and I do hope you can write this kind of article more! Looking forward to your new creation.

posted on July 4, 2011
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2. MajorityofOne

The comments leave A LOT to be desired.

Sigh.

posted on July 5, 2011
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If anyone is interested,  watch this short video to learn more on why America is not a Christian nation:
http://youtu.be/Vw45_3vbWQA

posted on July 7, 2011
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4. James Carmichael

There seems to be a lot of discussion about what the founding fathers wanted or what they meant, and that this should determine whether or not the United States is a Christian Nation, or if it should be. To me, the historical ‘what he meant to say’ debate is not irrelevant, but not that important either.

I don’t care what a piece of paper says the nation should or shouldn’t be. Here’s how I believe we should decide whether or not the US is a Christian Nation: does the nation represent Christian values? Does the US government and it’s people behave as the Christ would? I would argue that whatever the US is doing at the moment is NOT what Jesus would do. At all.

Jesus (if he existed), believed in loving your neighbor, helping others regardless of their race or creed. He preached loving the poor and frowning upon the rich or material possession.

Now look at the US in 2011. It claims to love Jesus, but it doesn’t seem to understand his message at all. It’s getting closer and closer to a totalitarian fascist regime a la Nineteen Eighty-Four; it thrives on continuous warfare; it displays racism and arrogance towards other people, sometimes within its own borders. That’s not true of all American, many of them are progressive, but as a whole, there is a trend that you cannot easily ignore.

In Orlando, police officers are arresting people for feeding the poor. Does that look anything like what Jesus would do? Why do we judge a nation by what it pretends to believe in rather than what it actually does? Isn’t that another principle that Jesus supposedly taught?

Let’s be honest: the US is a terrorist state. I’m not talking about the people, but the government and the powers that be. It routinely supports Israel, another terrorist state. It supplies weapons to Mexican drug cartels and Middle Eastern terrorists, and has been doing so for a long time (remember East Timor)?

Knowing all this, it seems extremely clear to me that the US is absolutely nothing like a nation that Jesus could be proud of. In that sense, it is not a Christian Nation.

posted on July 9, 2011
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@James Carmichael—while I agree at a high level with your comment, one thing in particular does disturb me, and that’s the fairly random swipe at Israel.  The US supports Saudi Arabia even more than Israel (with huge amounts of petrodollars and arms sales)  and to the extent you dislike some of Israel’s actions you would be a huge hypocrite not to deplore Saudi Arabia’s 1000 times more.  So why the mention of Israel?

posted on July 9, 2011
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6. James Carmichael

@ellenberg: I just happen to know more about the US/Israel relationships than the US/Saudi Arabia relationships, which is why I mentioned one but not the other. I don’t see how that makes me a hypocrite though… unless I had stated that Israel was the worst example possible. It was a good enough example to make my point, along with Mexico and East Timor.

If you think you can solidify my point by mentioning Saudi Arabia, by all means go ahead… the more dissent the better!

posted on July 9, 2011
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A point almost always missed is this-‘All men are created equal and endowed by THEIR creator’ said Mr. Jefferson. Not THE creator, but THEIR, or each individuals believed in creator. This clearly avoids the implication of any Christian or universal God. It seems obvious that Jefferson used this word intentionally being that he was somewhere in the Deist/Agnostic realm himself.

posted on July 10, 2011
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@James Carmichael: Does your post suggest that if the US behaved, by and large, more altruistically (i.e., more “Christ like”) toward its citizens and global partners, then we would be a Christian nation?  I’m not sure I would make that leap…

posted on July 12, 2011
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