I’m sure most people who would actually come to this blog are already aware of this fact. Anyway, I am writing because many people who argues about how America is not a Christian nation will rely on the Letter to the Danbury Baptists or the Treaty of Tripoli as their main sources for their argument. I am not saying those two example don’t provide concrete evidence of the intentions of the Founding Fathers; they certainly do. What I am saying, however, is that there is a much simpler and even more concrete piece of evidence which completely nullifies any assertion that America was founded on “Judeo-Christian principles.”
It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out why these people’s assertions are false; all you have to do is read the First Commandment in the Bible and compare it to the First Amendment of the Constitution. You first find the Ten Commandments written in the Book of Exodus, Chapter 20 (and then again in the book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 5). In the King James Version of the Bible, the first commandment reads as: “I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:2-3) The first amendment reads as: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Let’s first break down the first commandment: God starts off by saying he is the lord, signifying that he is the only deity in existence. In verse 3, God is saying that he is the deity that must be worshiped before anything else. In this context, “other gods” means anything that is not him that people make into gods or other gods that were purported to exist during the time the Bible was written. Overall, God is expecting compulsory worship of him and him only from all of the inhabitants of the world.
Now, let’s go to the first amendment. For our purposes, we will just be looking at the first part of the amendment. For congress to make no law respecting an establishment of a religion, it cannot hold one religious system in higher regard than any other religious system. Therefore, Congress can not establish a law which gives preference specifically towards the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). In order to ensure that the tenets of the First Amendment are met, Congress must remain neutral when it comes to any faith. For the sake of our argument, the second half of the first part of the amendment is the most important part of the text. It guarantees United States citizens the ability to worship in any way they see fit. The ability for citizens to worship in any way they see fit goes in direct opposition to the god of the Abrahamic faiths, who compelled people to worship him. The god of the Abrahamic faiths does not allow for religious freedom, and it is seen in some of the most frequently cited text within the entire Bible. On the other hand, the guarantee of religious freedom in the United States comes from some of the most frequently cited text within the entire United States Constitution and its Amendments. These two statements are not compatible with each other. One directly and blatantly contradicts the other.
Many may say that I am only talking about two specific statements. However, there is no way to deny the importance of the First Commandment and its centrality to the Abrahamic faiths. Nor can anyone deny the importance of the First Amendment and its centrality of the United States Constitution and in our daily lives. Others may find quotes that some of the Founding Fathers have said expressing their belief in the God of the Abrahamic faiths. Although many are documented to have been said by some of the Founding Fathers, they are only quotes. Yes, some of the Founding Fathers were Christians, but that is irrelevant. What is relevant are the laws they wrote. If we want to study the religiosity, or lack thereof, of the laws of the United States, the laws written will provide solid evidence for how religious a nation the United States is. However, as I have already shown, you don’t have to dig too deep to find out how religiously based the United States’ laws and founding documents are.
“If you won’t listen to reason, there’s always…Towanda.”