LTA America, a Non-Christian Nation Part 1- Origins

America, Are we a Christian Nation?

by Matt VossMatt-Voss-thumbnail

 

 

The internet is abuzz with it, but can we really call America a Christian Nation? In a word: no. In three words: not even close. This isn’t some subjective opinion because America once stole our milk money or disrespected our mother; it’s hard, it’s objective, and it’s fact.

To refer to America as a Christian Nation is incorrect on at least three fronts. Initially, it shows naivety of the ideals wrought by the founding fathers, which have been articulated with lawyerly gusto in our Constitution.

Secondly, it shows a misunderstanding of the methods and purposes of Christ, whom all Christians are supposed to be following as Lord, meaning that they are supposed to have devoted every area of their lives to emulating Jesus to the fullest and deepest extent possible. Pickers and choosers need not apply.

Lastly, if America were a Christian Nation wherein a Christian Theocracy held sway, things would look very, very different indeed. Let’s talk about that.

The Founding Fathers

The year is 1787. It’s a full two centuries before Ronald Reagan may have been found dancing his heart out to Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” on the Oval Office radio. Reagan, as we know, was known for his audacious rug-cutting skills <*citation needed>.

In the months between May 25th and September 17th, 1787, James Madison penned the Constitution of the United States. He was in the company of other greats like George Washington, the writer; John Jay, the abolitionist; and Alexander Hamilton, the Broadway star. *Update: Hamilton was never actually in a musical, but was the subject of a musical some 220 years after his death.

The issues and articles discussed at the Constitutional Convention were easily agreed upon and documented, then these founding fathers all went out for mojitos. Actually no; as might be expected in modern politics, it took almost 4 months of debating and redebating, and the support for the articles finally drafted into the document was far from unanimous. Bureaucracy has always been predictably tedious, like trying to thread a needle with a VW bug.

The Smartest Guy in the Room

This is undoubtedly why sly old Madison, being Madison, showed up to the convention more than a week early. He sequestered for himself the empty floor of what was soon sure to be a sweaty chamber of boisterous statesmen competing in both passion and volume to outbluster one another. There were sure to be conflicting ideas of how little baby America was to be raised.

Long before the delegates from the other states had even hit the road for Philadelphia, Madison began drafting a blueprint for the Constitution-to-be, so when the other delegates were considering a template to frame their ideas, Madison’s “Virginia Plan” was read aloud. It was a sort-of Lorem Ipsum space-filler of titanic proportion.

Operation: Virginia Plan went off without a hitch, and that crafty Madison’s own thoughts and ideas were given the undivided attention of everyone in that room. Well-played, Madison. Gold star.

Play Nice, Fellas

Though much of The Virginia Plan was used, getting everyone to agree on every bit of it was about as likely as Smeagol winning a beauty contest. If we would have founded this fledgling nation on the individual proclivities of each of the founding fathers, we would find ourselves up to our eyeballs in economic contradiction and racial hypocrisy.

John Jay, a protestant, wanted Catholics banned from holding any type of political office. He was also in favor of the very thing this article refutes, saying that, “…it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian Nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” Ideally, that sounds great (if you’re a Christian), but the idea did not make it into the Constitution.

A plethora of great and terrible (and some terribly racist) viewpoints were passionately argued at the Constitutional Convention, but in the end, all was decided by vote, and, when quill went to paper, the creators of our baby ‘Merica had decidedly voted that, no, they did not see it fit to call ourselves a Christian Nation.

The 1st Amendment

Next time somebody gets all in a huff about how far we’ve come from the “Christian morals” on which “this country was founded”, tell them this little diddy about James Madison. Of the 39 signatures on the Constitution, almost all of them belonged to men that had professed a faith in Christ at one point or another. Christian morals, while solid enough for a person to base a life, were voted down as the best foundation for America.

Sure, we have a lot of Christians in this country, and we have since the beginning, but more than a quarter of this place belongs to people that practice Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, all kinds of others, and some don’t practice anything at all.

The Constitution’s 1st Amendment demands the freedom to practice all religions. To my Christians out there: who do we think we are we to ask millions of our non-Christian brothers and sisters to agree that all holidays, marriage laws, societal standards, et al should mirror our faith to the exclusion or denial of their own? That’s not love, and it’s just not Christian.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” –Ephesians 4:2

Just this morning, Prime Minister of Canada and my man, Justin Trudeau, a Christian, released a video wishing his Muslim brothers and sisters a “blessed an joyful Eid al-Adha. Way to love your neighbor, Trudeau.

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