Are we a Christian nation?

As noted by The Chief, Todd Lohenry seems to think America is a Christian nation. To prove his point, Lohenrycited the preambles of each state’s constitution, but the only problem is that the word Christian is only mentioned once in the Constitutions of the respective 50 states. Sure, the words “God” and “the Creator” are mentioned quite a bit, but I haven’t found any mention of our nation being founded as a “Christian” nation. Ever one for a spirited debate, I posted a comment over at Todd Lohenry’s blog, but curiously, the comment I made, a comment which was made over a week ago, has yet to be approved, but the gist of my question is this:

Can someone point me to the specific portions of the US or state Constitutions that reference the United States being founded as a “Christian nation?” I don’t find the word Christian mentioned in the US Constitution or the Bill of Rights, and I don’t see it mentioned at all in the state Constitutions either. Further, Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli (1797) seems to disagree with the assertion that the United States is a Christian nation:

Art. 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 Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan 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.
Oh, and let’s not forget what George Washington had to say about whether the United States was founded as a Christian nation:

“The gov’t of the US is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion. The United States of America should have a foundation free from the influence of clergy.”

Sounds like President Washington knew what he was talking about.


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13 thoughts on “Are we a Christian nation?

  1. If we are indeed a Christian nation, it seems to me that our leaders and political activists on both sides could stand to act a little more Christ-like.;)

    That being said, such a designation can’t be proven with any certainty. The Founders left these things unclear for a reason….

  2. Check your facts before you attack — your comment was approved, however, I don’t take the time to comment on every liberal slam I receive. I will, however, be posting a response to your post soon…

  3. Attack? Liberal slam? My gosh, Mr. Lohenry has a thin skin. I thought you were rather pleasant, Zach.

  4. Todd, say what you want, but my comment was still being “moderated” as of yesterday; I checked before I wrote this entry.

    As for my “attack” I thought I presented a rather well-reasoned response to your assertion that we’re a “Christian nation.”

  5. I think Lohenry suffers from a Christian upbringing.
    Only Christian extremists confuse Christianity. So many Christians are manipulated into believing the tenets of their church at the expense of understanding Christianity.
    My grandmother donated to religious groups every year and she often purchased material advertised on the religious Christian channel in the Chicago area. One of her prize purchases was a Bible with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in the center of the Bible. They were linked together in one book. She viewed them as one and the same.
    I am not surprised that others do, too.

  6. RC, that’s the point for many on the religious right – they want a country where religion and government are thoroughly inter-meshed, contrary to what the Framers had in mind when they separated church and state.

  7. I’d like to know what kind of Christian government we are suppose to have if we are founded as a “Christian Nation.” As we saw with Bush, the government can quickly become a shadow of whatever brand and sect of Christianity one subscribes too.

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