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Why do people say this country was founded on Christian beliefs?


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This is not to start a debate about whether or not this country was founded on Christian beliefs, but I'm just generally interested in where this idea comes from. Do people learn this in school? Church? From family?

 

As far as I learned in school, this country was founded on the political philosophies of a group of men, most of whom were interested in keeping church and state separate. So, why this belief that we are a Christian country founded on Christian beliefs?

 

ETA: I suppose I should specify that by this country I mean the USA

Edited by thescrappyhomeschooler
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This is not to start a debate about whether or not this country was founded on Christian beliefs, but I'm just generally interested in where this idea comes from. Do people learn this in school? Church? From family?

 

As far as I learned in school, this country was founded on the political philosophies of a group of men, most of whom were interested in keeping church and state separate. So, why this belief that we are a Christian country founded on Christian beliefs?

 

ETA: I suppose I should specify that by this country I mean the USA

 

 

Many of the founders were devout christians who wanted the freedom to practice their religion without the government's interference. They were coming from Europe where the governments controlled which and how religions were practiced. They did want to have to be catholic, or protestant, or anglican, or lutheran, or whatever just because their king or queen was. Also their religious beliefs influenced their political beliefs.

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Well, something doesn't have to be true to be useful for advancing one's ideological beliefs, right?

 

Just my very cynical opinion, lol.

 

:iagree:

 

Some of the first settlers, who came here for their own religious freedom, denied it to others.

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Historically, it is clear that one of the main reasons people came to the new world was for religous freedom. Our laws stem from the ten commandments, our founders were largely christians and they mention God, Christ, and traditional christian beliefs and thoughts in many of their writings. There is so much more, but from that right there - it is fair to say that the US was founded on christian principles.

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Oo, I just finished writing my thesis on this!! (Well, more specifically it was on religion in state constitutions between 1776 and 1791, but still.) :D

 

I think people say this country was founded on Christian beliefs because they grow up learning that it was, or they hear people say that it was. Books about the colonial time period often give that impression, and with good reason.

 

When I was writing my thesis, I found out that religion was very, very present in state constitutions and in public life in general at the time of the Founding. However, the Revolution did not happen for religious reasons, it happened for political and philosophical reasons. People invoked God in the cause of the Revolution, but it was in the same way that anyone who believes in a god will invoke that god in support of this cause they have great faith in. So America was not founded on Christian beliefs, because Christianity had very little to do with the reasons for breaking away and making a new country.

 

It is true, however, that religious freedom as we know it today simply didn't exist in the states up to 1791. (That was where my research stopped..not saying that's when religious freedom suddenly sprang into being! :D ) Rhode Island had freedom of religion in its charter (it modified its charter instead of making a new constitution). *ALL* the other states, except for Connecticut which also just modified its charter, had things *in their constitutions* which would violate our modern-day idea of religious freedom. I only looked at laws about religion in Virginia and Massachusetts, and both of those states had "blue laws" which basically enforced Christian morality. So Virginia, which had true religious freedom in its constitution, didn't have true religious freedom in practice. Protestants definitely had preference given to them in the majority of states' constitutions. So, America was, in effect, a Christian nation. But, again, Christianity was not one of the pillars on which it was founded, because Christianity had little to do with the reasons they broke away and the government made at the federal level. At the state level, things were definitely Christian..nearly always Protestant Christian.

 

I also found in my research that most people who supported religious freedom at the time did so because of their strong Christian faith. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who were not traditionally Christian and supported religious freedom and separation of church and state for philosophical reasons, were in the minority in their reasoning.

 

Sorry, I definitely got into the "was it actually a Christian nation?" Not trying to debate either...maybe I got over-excited. :o Either way, hope this helps. :)

Edited by Hannah C.
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Oo, I just finished writing my thesis on this!! (Well, more specifically it was on religion in state constitutions between 1776 and 1791, but still.) :D

 

I think people say this country was founded on Christian beliefs because they grow up learning that it was, or they hear people say that it was. Books about the colonial time period often give that impression, and with good reason.

 

When I was writing my thesis, I found out that religion was very, very present in state constitutions and in public life in general at the time of the Founding. However, the Revolution did not happen for religious reasons, it happened for political and philosophical reasons. People invoked God in the cause of the Revolution, but it was in the same way that anyone who believes in a god will invoke that god in support of this cause they have great faith in. So America was not founded on Christian beliefs, because Christianity had very little to do with the reasons for breaking away and making a new country.

 

It is true, however, that religious freedom as we know it today simply didn't exist in the states up to 1791. Rhode Island had freedom of religion in its charter (it modified its charter instead of making a new constitution). *ALL* the other states, except for Connecticut which also just modified its charter, had things *in their constitutions* which would violate our modern-day idea of religious freedom. Protestants definitely had preference given to them in the majority of states. So, America was, in effect, a Christian nation, but it wasn't founded to be that way.

 

I also found in my research that most people who supported religious freedom at the time did so because of their strong Christian faith. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who were not traditionally Christian and supported religious freedom and separation of church and state for philosophical reasons, were in the minority in their reasoning.

 

Sorry, I definitely got into the "was it actually a Christian nation?" Not trying to debate either...maybe I got over-excited. :o Either way, hope this helps. :)

 

Cool!

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It's difficult to overstate how all-pervasive protestant Christian beliefs were in the colonial period.

 

Most homes had two books--the Bible and Fox's Book of Martyrs. Kids learned to read so that they could read the Bible. Literacy was very high because of that impetus. So was comprehensive general knowledge of the Bible, including memorized Bible verses, which were routinely assigned in public schools. All public meetings included prayers. English language literature of the period contains so many Biblical references that it's almost impossible to adequately footnote it--that's because literally everyone 'got' the allusions.

 

Even non-believers were expected (and in some states required by law) to attend church every Sunday, and businesses were required by law to shut down on Sundays.

 

Most of our founding documents contain Biblical references, and I believe that all of them assume the existance of God. The Star Spangled Banner, our national anthem, has a Christian verse, as does America.

 

The premise of separation of church and state was not ever envisioned going as far as it does today. It was envisioned in the context of a fundamentally Christian society in which no specific Christian denomination would be supported above others by any government.

 

This has all changed, a lot, in interpretation. But studying original sources makes these conclusions undeniable.

 

Having said that, I do not call the US a Christian nation. I favor the separation of church and state, and taking it further than the founders intended. But I don't want to change our history to make it suit those views of mine.

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As far as I learned in school, this country was founded on the political philosophies of a group of men, most of whom were interested in keeping church and state separate. So, why this belief that we are a Christian country founded on Christian beliefs?

 

 

 

Many people don't bother to read beyond the fact that many of the "founding fathers" self-identified as Christian, but were deists who were adamant that church and state remain separate. Or, as jld said, it's convenient to 'forget' that when it doesn't jibe with one's own ideology.

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:iagree:

 

Some of the first settlers, who came here for their own religious freedom, denied it to others.

 

This is not quite it--the settlers mostly didn't come for religious freedom in general; they came for the freedom to exercise their OWN religious views, and, as was customary in their home countries, they mostly tended to impose their views in their own new locales. The Quakers in Pennsylvania were a counter-example, but an unusual one.

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I think making money was a big reason this country was founded. The founding fathers didn't want to be ruled by England and pay taxes to England when they could be the big bosses here. I think Howard Zinn backs up this idea.

 

I do agree, though, that they had some pretty progressive ideas, like freedom of speech and freedom of religion. And I read recently that Jefferson was scared of big banks -- talk about a prophet! (From 13 Bankers, by Simon Johnson and James Kwaak)

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Beats the heck out of me. It is very clear to me from studying history that the founding fathers believed in a higher authority but no where does it say Christian Country. They believed in freedom from religion which is very different from freedom of religion. They did not want a ruler telling them what religion they had to practice.

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Okay, let me re-word this. If you believe that this country was founded on Christian beliefs, how did you come about this belief? Through school, your parents, church, reading?

 

I was taught very clearly in Catholic school that the founders (the big names, anyway) were deists, believing in a sort of hands-off ultimate power.

 

The sad thing is that once people's beliefs are set in their minds, you cannot show them any amount of proof to convince them otherwise.

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Many people don't bother to read beyond the fact that many of the "founding fathers" self-identified as Christian, but were deists who were adamant that church and state remain separate. Or, as jld said, it's convenient to 'forget' that when it doesn't jibe with one's own ideology.

I probably shouldn't be joining this conversation since I'm once again suffering from a head cold, but the whole "separation of chruch and state" just bugs me. I just can't let it go by without commenting. And I'm not calling on you, Mejane, in particular. You post just happened to be the first one on page two.

 

IMHO the Establishment clause is not meant to keep God out of the government, it is meant to keep the government from establishing a state religion. Those are two very different concepts.

 

Okay, I've said my peace and I'm going to let those who have clear heads carry on the discussion.

 

 

OP, to answer your question, I do not think the US was founded on Christian beliefs. I think the country was founded on the models of Greece and Rome by God-fearing (not necessarily Christians) men.

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I think making money was a big reason this country was founded. The founding fathers didn't want to be ruled by England and pay taxes to England when they could be the big bosses here. I think Howard Zinn backs up this idea.

 

 

 

I tend to agree with this. Jamestown was primarily a business venture, and the Puritans came here only after their Holland experience didn't work out. The FF were all about creating a new government sans monarch; religion didn't have much to do with it.

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IMHO the Establishment clause is not meant to keep God out of the government, it is meant to keep the government from establishing a state religion. Those are two very different concepts.

 

Stephen Waldman, in his book Founding Faith, says that the First Amendment was more about states' rights than anything. At the time it was drafted, all of the states had different positions on religion in their constitutions. The First Amendment, he says, was both a declaration that the federal government had to stay out of religion...and that the states *could* be involved in it! The First Amendment wasn't applied to the states until after the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified. In fact, I'm fairly certain the entire Bill of Rights didn't apply to the states at the beginning, only to the federal government.

 

Separation of church and state *did not exist* in the states at the time of the Founding. It simply wasn't there.

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IMHO the Establishment clause is not meant to keep God out of the government, it is meant to keep the government from establishing a state religion. Those are two very different concepts.

 

 

:iagree: I just meant that there are those who would seem content to 'forget' it exists at all.

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This is not to start a debate about whether or not this country was founded on Christian beliefs,

 

I admire your simple, touching faith in the board's ability to discuss this without a debate.

 

In the meantime, it seems a little close to the holidays to crack open a beer. Anyone want to join me in some hot cider with a shot of rum? :tongue_smilie:

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I admire your simple, touching faith in the board's ability to discuss this without a debate.

 

In the meantime, it seems a little close to the holidays to crack open a beer. Anyone want to join me in some hot cider with a shot of rum? :tongue_smilie:

 

:lol::lol:

 

Well, I have a cold, so I'm enjoying this thread with a cup of tea with lemon and honey, but I'm about to make it into a hot toddy if the debate heats up! :lol::lol:

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I was taught very clearly in Catholic school that the founders (the big names, anyway) were deists, believing in a sort of hands-off ultimate power.

 

The sad thing is that once people's beliefs are set in their minds, you cannot show them any amount of proof to convince them otherwise.

 

Why would you want to? Doesn't that sort of go both ways?

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:iagree:

 

Some of the first settlers, who came here for their own religious freedom, denied it to others.

 

This is not quite it--the settlers mostly didn't come for religious freedom in general; they came for the freedom to exercise their OWN religious views, and, as was customary in their home countries, they mostly tended to impose their views in their own new locales. The Quakers in Pennsylvania were a counter-example, but an unusual one.

 

I didn't read it that way, but if that's what you meant, cool!

 

Yep, that's what I meant! Maybe you skipped the word "own" in mine? :001_smile:

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I admire your simple, touching faith in the board's ability to discuss this without a debate.

 

In the meantime, it seems a little close to the holidays to crack open a beer. Anyone want to join me in some hot cider with a shot of rum? :tongue_smilie:

 

What a splendid idea!!!:cheers2:

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Many, but not all, of the early settlers came so they could freely practice their religion. When they arrived, they set up colonies where they could rule according to their own religion. As a pp said, there was no separation of church and state. The laws of the individual colonies were based on religion (in this case, Christian). [An interesting aside, there was no religious freedom in the colonies. In Massachusetts the Puritans kept to themselves and the Pilgrims did as well. The Puritans even had laws forbidding Quakers in their part of the colony. Quakers that did come were imprisoned and eventually made to leave. When they kept coming back, the leaders decided to lop off an ear, then the other ear after a second offense. Finally some were even hung.] I think it is a fair statement to say that this country was founded upon religious beliefs but I don't think that tells the entire story. Like a pp said, the reasons for the War weren't religious, they were political but I don't think it is correct to ignore the part religion played in our founding.

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I agree that the early colonists who *did* come to the "New World" for religious freedom were seeking religious for themselves and still persecuted others. Puritans in Boston outlawed Christmas celebrations for over 20 years. You could be fined for not working on Christmas, for having a big meal or otherwise thought to be celebrating.

 

Whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas, or the like, either by forbearing labor, feasting, or any other way upon such account as aforesaid, every such person so offending shall pay for each offense five shillings as a fine to the country.

 

These laws were by and large intended to be anti-Catholic and anti-Anglican. Puritans were destroying church organs with axes even through the Civil War period.

 

Religious groups of varying types eventually grouped together for their own interests and protection.

 

IMHO the Establishment clause is not meant to keep God out of the government, it is meant to keep the government from establishing a state religion. Those are two very different concepts.

 

That really depends upon which founder you're talking about. Thomas Jefferson absolutely believed it should work both ways. Here is THE document that has guided how it is widely interpreted: http://www.usconstitution.net/jeffwall.html

 

Mr. President

To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & 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 & State. [Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from prescribing even those occasional performances of devotion, practiced indeed by the Executive of another nation as the legal head of its church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.] Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association assurances of my high respect & esteem.

(signed) Thomas Jefferson

Jan.1.1802.

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I think it is a fair statement to say that this country was founded upon religious beliefs but I don't think that tells the entire story. Like a pp said, the reasons for the War weren't religious, they were political but I don't think it is correct to ignore the part religion played in our founding.

 

I guess I don't see the country as "founded" until the Revolution. Until then it was still, for all intents and purposes, a part of England.

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Okay, let me re-word this. If you believe that this country was founded on Christian beliefs, how did you come about this belief? Through school, your parents, church, reading?

 

Through the Founding Documents. I really wasn't aware that this was a "mystery" to people. I mean it is all there in the original sources - the only thing you need to do is actually read them.

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Through the Founding Documents. I really wasn't aware that this was a "mystery" to people. I mean it is all there in the original sources - the only thing you need to do is actually read them.

 

I have copies and have studied them. You could possibly make a Deist argument from them, but not Christian one. And what sort of Christian would it be reffering to?

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Many people don't bother to read beyond the fact that many of the "founding fathers" self-identified as Christian, but were deists who were adamant that church and state remain separate. Or, as jld said, it's convenient to 'forget' that when it doesn't jibe with one's own ideology.

 

That's the current rhetoric floating around after Secular Humanism but it happens to be false. They were not deists. They were Christian.

 

And there is no separation of Church and State in the Constitution or Founding Documents. The purpose was to have no State religion, i.e. FEDERAL religion (like the Church of England) instead these colonists decided to allow the STATES, not the Federal government, determine which religion they wanted to partake in. i.e. Pennsylvania was specifically founded as a Quaker colony by Penn. Georgia was specifically founded as a Christian colony by Oglethorpe.

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I am not sure that the sorts of people who were early settlers are very much like most of today's American Christians. I imagine mostly two varieties -- the Quakers and Unitarians, and the very strict Puritan types.

 

The biggest advocates of this point of view, from my own observation, are Evangelical Christians, often those who have TV programs (e.g. Pat Robertson), and affiliated groups like Focus on the Family.

 

I am also not sure to what degree the desire to practice one's OWN religion freely always translates to religious freedom for all, especially given some recent poll numbers about religious freedom, and a large number of internet postings that "when you come here, you have to be an American!" and therefore give up cultural practices and religions that are not typical of white American Christians, and I wonder if that's really what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

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They were not deists. They were Christian.

 

I'm leaving out the unnecessary inflammatory bit of your post. To whom are you referring? Some of the founders most certainly fall more into the deist category.

 

And there is no separation of Church and State in the Constitution or Founding Documents. The purpose was to have no State religion, i.e. FEDERAL religion (like the Church of England) instead these colonists decided to allow the STATES, not the Federal government, determine which religion they wanted to partake in. i.e. Pennsylvania was specifically founded as a Quaker colony by Penn. Georgia was specifically founded as a Christian colony by Oglethorpe.
That is true. They absolutely intended to discriminate against other religions.
Mr. President

To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & 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 & State. [Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from prescribing even those occasional performances of devotion, practiced indeed by the Executive of another nation as the legal head of its church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.] Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association assurances of my high respect & esteem.

(signed) Thomas Jefferson

Jan.1.1802.

As evidenced by this letter, Thomas Jefferson definitely believed it was wrong for any government (not just a federal government) to prescribe a religion and/or adherence to particular religious practices. Eventually the courts came to agree with Thomas Jefferson.
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I am also not sure to what degree the desire to practice one's OWN religion freely always translates to religious freedom for all, especially given some recent poll numbers about religious freedom, and a large number of internet postings that "when you come here, you have to be an American!" and therefore give up cultural practices and religions that are not typical of white American Christians, and I wonder if that's really what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

 

 

Certainly we can agree that the Founding Fathers had in mind that once the new country was established loyalties were to be to this new country? I'd be willing to bet that most of the "you have to be an American" posts you are referring to is really an illustration of the cultures who come here and decide to REMAKE America in the image of their HOME country.

 

That just ticks people off - with good reason. Study the Fall of the Roman Empire and it is blatantly obvious why we can't be a nation of "cultures".

 

Either we are all Americans or we are nothing.

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As evidenced by this letter, Thomas Jefferson definitely believed it was wrong for any government (not just a federal government) to prescribe a religion and/or adherence to particular religious practices. Eventually the courts came to agree with Thomas Jefferson.

 

I could never proclaim that ALL people who took part in the founding of this country were Christians, though the resounding MAJORITY of Founding Fathers were indeed Christian - thus the resounding majority of Founding Documents contained their Christian belief.

 

You can read into Jefferson's letter anything you want. The fact is still clear - the man was a Christian - i.e. he believed that Jesus Christ was the son of god.

 

 

Samuel Adams

Father of the American Revolution, Signer of the Declaration of Independence

 

 

 

 

I . . . recommend my Soul to that Almighty Being who gave it, and my body I commit to the dust, relying upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins.

Will of Samuel Adams

Charles Carroll

Signer of the Declaration of Independence

 

 

 

 

On the mercy of my Redeemer I rely for salvation and on His merits; not on the works I have done in obedience to His precepts.

From an autographed letter in our possession written by Charles Carroll to Charles W. Wharton, Esq., on September 27, 1825, from Doughoragen, Maryland.

 

William Cushing

First Associate Justice Appointed by George Washington to the Supreme Court

 

 

 

 

Sensible of my mortality, but being of sound mind, after recommending my soul to Almighty God through the merits of my Redeemer and my body to the earth . . .

Will of William Cushing

 

John Dickinson

Signer of the Constitution

 

 

 

 

Rendering thanks to my Creator for my existence and station among His works, for my birth in a country enlightened by the Gospel and enjoying freedom, and for all His other kindnesses, to Him I resign myself, humbly confiding in His goodness and in His mercy through Jesus Christ for the events of eternity.

Will of John Dickinson

John Hancock

Signer of the Declaration of Independence

 

 

 

 

I John Hancock, . . . being advanced in years and being of perfect mind and memory-thanks be given to God-therefore calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing it is appointed for all men once to die [Hebrews 9:27], do make and ordain this my last will and testament…Principally and first of all, I give and recommend my soul into the hands of God that gave it: and my body I recommend to the earth . . . nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mercy and power of God. . .

Will of John Hancock

Patrick Henry

Governor of Virginia, Patriot

 

 

 

 

This is all the inheritance I can give to my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed.

Will of Patrick Henry

John Jay

First Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court

 

 

 

 

Unto Him who is the author and giver of all good, I render sincere and humble thanks for His manifold and unmerited blessings, and especially for our redemption and salvation by His beloved son. He has been pleased to bless me with excellent parents, with a virtuous wife, and with worthy children. His protection has companied me through many eventful years, faithfully employed in the service of my country; His providence has not only conducted me to this tranquil situation but also given me abundant reason to be contented and thankful. Blessed be His holy name!

Will of John Jay

Daniel St. Thomas Jenifer

Signer of the Constitution

 

 

 

 

In the name of God, Amen. I, Daniel of Saint Thomas Jenifer . . . of dispossing mind and memory, commend my soul to my blessed Redeemer. . .

Will of Daniel St. Thomas Jenifer

Henry Knox

Revolutionary War General, Secretary of War

 

 

 

 

First, I think it proper to express my unshaken opinion of the immortality of my soul or mind; and to dedicate and devote the same to the supreme head of the Universe – to that great and tremendous Jehovah, – Who created the universal frame of nature, worlds, and systems in number infinite . . . To this awfully sublime Being do I resign my spirit with unlimited confidence of His mercy and protection . . .

Will of Henry Knox

John Langdon

Signer of the Constitution

 

 

 

 

In the name of God, Amen. I, John Langdon, . . . considering the uncertainty of life and that it is appointed unto all men once to die [Hebrews 9:27], do make, ordain and publish this my last will and testament in manner following, that is to say-First: I commend my soul to the infinite mercies of God in Christ Jesus, the beloved Son of the Father, who died and rose again that He might be the Lord of the dead and of the living . . . professing to believe and hope in the joyful Scripture doctrine of a resurrection to eternal life . . .

Will of John Langdon

John Morton

Signer of the Declaration of Independence

 

 

 

 

With an awful reverence to the great Almighty God, Creator of all mankind, I, John Morton . . . being sick and weak in body but of sound mind and memory-thanks be given to Almighty God for the same, for all His mercies and favors-and considering the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the times thereof, do, for the settling of such temporal estate as it hath pleased God to bless me with in this life . . .

Will of John Morton

Robert Treat Paine

Signer of the Declaration of Independence

 

 

 

 

I desire to bless and praise the name of God most high for appointing me my birth in a land of Gospel Light where the glorious tidings of a Savior and of pardon and salvation through Him have been continually sounding in mine ears.

Robert Treat Paine, The Papers of Robert Treat Paine, Stephen Riley and Edward Hanson, editors (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1992), Vol. I, p. 48, March/April, 1749.

 

[W]hen I consider that this instrument contemplates my departure from this life and all earthly enjoyments and my entrance on another state of existence, I am constrained to express my adoration of the Supreme Being, the Author of my existence, in full belief of his providential goodness and his forgiving mercy revealed to the world through Jesus Christ, through whom I hope for never ending happiness in a future state, acknowledging with grateful remembrance the happiness I have enjoyed in my passage through a long life. . .

Will of Robert Treat Paine

John Witherspoon

Signer of the Declaration of Independence

 

 

 

 

I entreat you in the most earnest manner to believe in Jesus Christ, for there is no salvation in any other [Acts 4:12]. . . .
f you are not reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, if you are not clothed with the spotless robe of His righteousness, you must forever perish.

John Witherspoon, The Works of John Witherspoon (Edinburgh: J. Ogle, 1815), Vol. V, pp. 276, 278, The Absolute Necessity of Salvation Through Christ, January 2, 1758.

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Christian = one who believes in Jesus Christ as the son of God.

 

The Puritans and Quakers would have strongly disagreed with your definition.

 

Certainly we can agree that the Founding Fathers had in mind that once the new country was established loyalties were to be to this new country? I'd be willing to bet that most of the "you have to be an American" posts you are referring to is really an illustration of the cultures who come here and decide to REMAKE America in the image of their HOME country.

 

You're absolutely right, we should be living in longhouses like good Americans. It is WRONG to use Greek revival architecture, we should tear down those monuments in Washington in favor of something new and strictly American. Puh-lease, enough with the flaming. EVERYTHING in the US is borrowed from one country or another.

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I could never proclaim that ALL people who took part in the founding of this country were Christians, though the resounding MAJORITY of Founding Fathers were indeed Christian - thus the resounding majority of Founding Documents contained their Christian belief.

 

You can read into Jefferson's letter anything you want. The fact is still clear - the man was a Christian - i.e. he believed that Jesus Christ was the son of god.

 

Did anyone deny Thomas Jefferson was a Christian? No. You're using a strawman argument. The debate is NOT whether some of the founding fathers were Christians. The debate is: did they intend for people to worship freely (or not) at their own choosing?

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You're absolutely right, we should be living in longhouses like good Americans. It is WRONG to use Greek revival architecture, we should tear down those monuments in Washington in favor of something new and strictly American. Puh-lease, enough with the flaming. EVERYTHING in the US is borrowed from one country or another.

 

 

That was good for a chuckle! :001_smile:

 

What flame? LOL...take a deep breath and then reread the post.

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Did anyone deny Thomas Jefferson was a Christian? No. You're using a strawman argument. The debate is NOT whether some of the founding fathers were Christians. The debate is: did they intend for people to worship freely (or not) at their own choosing?

 

I was just answering the OP...which reads:

 

Why do people say this country was founded on Christian beliefs?

 

And edit to say: Actually YES they DID deny he was a Christian. (Dare I say you should go read the post? Or is that flaming?)

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