Did our founders intend to form a “Christian nation?”

One of the most often-heard statements from theists, Christian fundamentalists especially, is that the United States was “obviously” intended to be a “Christian nation.”  After all, they say, all of our founders were Christians, and even if they weren’t, our laws are based upon the bible and Christian principals.

Are these statements true?  Was this indeed intended to be a Christian nation?  Several months ago, I was asked to put together a presentation for my local Humanist group based upon this question.  Although I had read considerably on the subject, I had never really, comprehensibly researched it to the point where I could speak with a high degree of certainty.  Of course I could make all the common arguments, the Treaty of Tripoli, Madison’s writings, the Constitution itself, etc., but I wanted to have all my ducks in a row and be able to present a comprehensive argument.

Of course I had a time limit on the presentation, so the six-thousand or so words that follow represent the best of, but nowhere all of the information my research turned up.  The paper is well-footnoted, with links where possible to information on the Internet.  I hope you enjoy reading this piece as much as I enjoyed putting it together.  The link is below.

Christian Nation, you say

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2 responses to “Did our founders intend to form a “Christian nation?”

  1. Pete, thanks for starting this blog!

    I confess that I do not read newspaper(s) regularly, listen on NPR only occasionally, and read the Sunday New York Times. However, I do get enough news by osmosis that I can remain righteously indignant most of the time. I’ve written to Mike McIntyre on many occasions, and I look forward to the day when he gets voted out of office.

    I look forward to reading more of your comments here.

    Alyson

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