Question 2: Was the United States of America founded as a Christian nation?
This is not a new question. Some Americans think so – other think not. While the majority of Americans have been Christians for the vast majority (if not all) of the nation’s history, I aim this question at those saying the USA is officially Christian because the Framers intended to give special recognition of Christianity through its government.
The purpose of this post is not to debate the issue, but to provide reasons for saying YES – the United States was founded as a Christian nation. I welcome discussion and comments, but ask commenters to stay on topic. I numbered the reasons for easy identification. For the record, the No list is the next post.
Reasons Why the USA is a Christian Nation
1) The Puritans saw the New World (while founding the Massachusetts Bay Colony) as the New Israel – the New Jerusalem
2) Christianity was the predominant religion in colonial America – and their European roots were based in Christianity; so they naturally applied Christian/Biblical principles
3) The majority of the Framers were Christian
4) Writings by individual Framers provide evidence – such as
The moral principles and precepts contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civic constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crim, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war – proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.” (Noah Webster)
Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers; and it is the duty – as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” (John Jay)
The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.” (John Adams)
5) Phrases as “In God We Trust and “One Nation under God” support Christianity
6) Eight of the original 13 colonies acknowledged Christianity in their colonial charters
7) The Declaration of Independence includes “Laws of nature and nature’s God” and “Endowed by their Creator”
8) The Article of Confederation (the precursor to the US Constitution) stated, “The Great Governor of the world”
9) The US Constitution establishes the Presidential Oath and many presidents say, “So help me God”
10) The US Constitution concludes with “In the year of the Lord.”
11) An early act of Congress (1782) promoted the Bible for circulation to and use in schools
12) Treaty of Paris (1784) is the negotiated agreement between the United States and Great Britain ending the Revolutionary War and recognizing the United States of America as a sovereign, independent nation.
In the name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity. It have pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the hearts of the most serene and most potent Prince George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, …. And of the United States of America, to forget all past misunderstandings and the differences.”
13) USA as a Christian nation is part of its identity
14) One can produce numerous parallels correlating the US Constitution and the Bible
15) In Holy Trinity v. United States (1892), Justice David Brewer writes for the majority of the court:
These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation. In the face of all these, shall it be believed that a Congress of the United States intended to make it a misdemeanor for a church of this country to contract for the services of a Christian minister residing in another nation?
Next Post: Reasons why the United States is not a Christian Nation.