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The Bible is very, very clear on this point, many times over. The Judeo-Christian God demands obedience. And not just to himself, but also to the rulers that are on earth. Romans 13 is all about obedience to the earthly rulers. So here you have a country that was built on rebellion, versus a book that is all about obedience, and the two are in fundamental conflict.

That's an important point that I try to make throughout the whole book. If you really pay attention to Judeo-Christian principles, and what those principles are — throughout the Bible, throughout the Ten Commandments — and look at the principles America holds dear and was founded on, the two are really diametrically opposed to each other. It does make it fair to say that these principles are un-American. Yes, I think so, and that's partly because we — many Americans — have rose-colored glasses when it comes to the Bible.

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Founding Fathers: We Are Not a Christian Nation | HuffPost

But you don't have to go farther than the Ten Commandments, for instance. In the Ten Commandments, God says, in Exodus 20 , "For I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children to the third and fourth generation of those who denied me. That is just something our justice system would never, never countenance, absolutely not.

Garry Wills - Was America Founded on Christianity?

It is un-American to punish children for the crimes of their parents. In fact, it says something along those lines in the Constitution in talking about treason. It says that "no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood," which specifically means that somebody found guilty of treason, their children will not be punished for that. So we have a fundamental conflict again between the biblical God promising to punish innocent children and the Constitution prohibiting it. In answering that you anticipated my next question.

The third part of your book is entitled "The Ten Commandments versus the Constitution," and in that you argue that each of those Ten Commandments is actually opposed to principles of the Constitution. So could you just pick one of them and explain the core of your argument about it, so that people can understand the kind of arguments you're making in this section? It's easy, that statement is fundamentally opposed to one of America's founding values, religious liberty. It is in perfect conflict with the First Amendment, which guarantees everyone religious liberty — you can worship no god or as many gods as you want, and it does not have to be the god of the Bible.

You could not write a rule that conflicted more perfectly with America's founding value of religious liberty than the First Commandment.

Is America A Christian Nation?

You point out that when people do monuments of the Ten Commandments they leave out parts, like where slavery is endorsed. Can you say something about that? If you go and see any of the monuments of the Ten Commandments that remain on public land, almost all of them are heavily edited, which itself tells us something, I think, very critical and important.

The Ten Commandments would appear on these monuments as they appear in the Bible, but they don't, because they don't reflect American values and principles. You just mentioned two things that stood out that I wanted to ask about, which are biblical values that actually did influence our founding that we've now rejected, meaning slavery and the subjugation of women. So could you talk about that, the fact that one way in which you could say the Bible influenced our founding is something that we've now rejected.

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I think that is true. I think it is fair to say — and I do concede this influence in the book — that Judeo-Christianity, especially the Bible, influenced how this nation dealt with slavery, and how it dealt with women, both at the founding and throughout a good chunk of our history. And it doesn't reflect well. These were bad values that any nation needed to shake off and get away from. The Bible when it comes to slavery is very, very clear that's perfectly fine.


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It's much harder to argue against slavery using the Bible. And that's just one example. We saw during the segregation era, too, where all these Southern segregationists were turning to the Bible and using it to justify segregation. And of course, the treatment of women in the Bible is abhorrent. I don't know that there's another word for it, they are treated like property in the Ten Commandments and throughout the Bible.

Many of the women who would be central characters don't even have names in the Bible, which just reflects how they were viewed by the writers of the time. That idea did work its way into a lot of American law and government for a long time, unfortunately.


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Thankfully we've gotten away from that in recent years. So I think it's fair to say that not only was America not founded on Judeo-Christian principles, it's a good thing it was not. And those few principles that did influence the founding and did infiltrate our government and laws, we have worked diligently to get away from for decades and centuries. Finally, in the fourth section of your book on American verbiage, you deal with public slogans — "In God We Trust," "One Nation Under God," "God Bless America" — which had nothing do with America's founding, but are rhetorical favorites for Christian nationalists.

The common theme, as you describe, seems to be that they emerged and gained a foothold in times of national fear and weakness. Constitution, they very consciously added God and made it a central argument that they were protecting the Constitution.

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What should we learn from that history? That was one of the more fascinating things I learned: There have been pushes throughout U. It is a deliberately godless document and at the time that it was drafted there was pushback against it because it was deliberately godless. People said, "Hey, you left God out. We gotta put him back in. There's so much in this book. According to the records, Franklin suggested that "henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business.

Aside from the fact that such a prayer clearly isn't very Christian in nature, what is usually left unsaid is the fact that his proposal was never accepted. Indeed, delegates didn't even bother voting on it — instead, they voted to adjourn for the day! The proposal was not taken up the next day, and Franklin never bothered to mention it again.

Sometimes, unfortunately, religious leaders will deceitfully claim that this proposal was accepted, a distortion which appears to have originated with Senator Willis Robertson, father of Christian Right leader Pat Robertson. The delegates' refusal to base this nation on Christianity can also be seen in the fact that neither God nor Christianity are mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. Furthermore, as early as the government specifically said that it is not a Christian Nation.

Trump-allied pastor tells worshippers “America is a Christian nation”

The occasion was a peace and trade agreement between the United States and Muslim leaders in North Africa. The negotiations were conducted under the authority of George Washington, and the final document, known as the Treaty of Tripoli, was approved of by the Senate under the leadership of John Adams, the second president.


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This treaty states, without equivocation, that the " Government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion Contrary to the claims made by some from the Religious Right, America was not founded as a Christian Nation which was then later undermined by godless liberals and humanists. Just the opposite is the case, actually.

America Is A Christian Nation

The moment Christianity is established we will begin to notice that it is extremely various, and we will begin to think about who the real Christians are. It is apparent that in the minds and imaginations of many who profess to be Christians, thinking about who the real Christians are has been going on for some time. Citizens of the United States should be grateful that the founders of our country sought to prevent the fusion of religious and nationalistic exclusivity.

Those who seek to be Christian in more than name should pray that the United States never becomes a Christian nation. Like this post? Subscribe to have new posts sent to you by email the same day they are posted. The point for me is who speaks prophetically to any nation, pointing many to Salvation in Christ in the process? An idea Jesus first taught His Disciples on how to build Luke Your email address will not be published.

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