August 26, 2012
Christian Values and America's Historical Documents
While socially networking, a person will run into many different opinions on all topics. People have their own beliefs and ways of looking at things, so when I was expounding on my ideas, the inevitable topic of religion was brought up. As much as the Golden Rule flows through most religions, there are people who are not able to put their ego aside and open their minds to the simplest possibilities. The specifics of this topic were of such that the United States was founded on Christianity. Religion and politics are highly volatile topics and most people will only argue emotionally instead of stopping and critically thinking about any information they may be given on these two subjects. Many people believe that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were founded on Christian values, but in closer examination, they both have vague wording and Deist beliefs. Counterarguments
There are several reasons that people believe that the historic documents of the United States were written with Christian values in mind. One reason is, in the 19th Century, a movement started which believed that the settlers were led here by the hand of God (Allison, 1998). This was a popular belief and many people still hold true to this belief. It is taught in public schools that the colonists came over from England because of religious persecution. Another argument for this way of thinking is that, because of the belief that God showed the settlers where to go, that He also must have had led the Founding Fathers to write the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States (Allison, 1998). This lead to the belief that God is needed to preserve not only religious institutions, but also democracy. Human rights are seen to be given by God, which, in a nation that was intolerant of non-Christians, meant the Judeo-Christian God (Cherry, MD, 2011). Our Founding Fathers separated Church and state, but not God and state. Church and state and God and state are sometimes seen as the same idea, which can be confusing, even to a Christian. In addition to this, many believe that this country was founded with Christian values because of a statement that was made in Madison’s Federalist Paper Number 37 where it states, that only, “… a finger of that Almighty hand” could have shown him the insight to write the Constitution (Ferguson, 1987). United States Constitution
The United States Constitution was written in such a way as to be intentionally vague and without Christian values, but Deist values instead. The Constitutional Convention had many problems in coming up with this historic document. Every man that attended this convention had their own ideas and ways to convey what they believed needed to be included in this document. Vague Wording
Ben Franklin’s ambiguous wording in the Declaration of Independence led Madison to exaggerate the wording even further in the Constitution. The intentionally ambiguous wording that Madison used in the Constitution was used “to bring conformity within a divided country,” (Ferguson, 1987, p. 159). In the 14th Amendment it states, “Any person…,” but when this document was written African-Americans were not considered people, so Jim Crow Laws were kept in place in many areas of the country. In the convention meetings leading up to what the Founding Fathers wrote to become the Constitution, compromises were made. In the second amendment, it states that people have a right to keep and bare arms. What makes this vague is that most of us take this to mean any, and all people, but what the Constitutional Framers meant was to indicate those that were in the militias. So, those “people” that were in the “militias” could keep and bare “arms,” not just anyone could. Deist Beliefs
The Constitution forms a...