A Christian Nation

Topics: Separation of church and state, Christianity, Thomas Jefferson Pages: 3 (819 words) Published: June 20, 2005
There are many different opinions regarding the idea that the United States is a Christian nation. After reading the Church book, however, I believe it is obvious that our country was not in fact founded on Christianity. Even though many religious right groups insist our laws should enforce the doctrines of Protestant Christianity. The documents written by our founding fathers say otherwise. The U.S. Constitution has no mention of Christianity or Jesus Christ, and is evidence within itself that our country was not founded as a Christian nation.

The men who founded the legislature of our country had seen first hand the difficulties that church and state partnerships could create in Europe. The consequences of this partnership are the main reason a secular government was created in the United States. During the colonial period, alliances between religion and government produced oppression and tyranny on our own shores. Many colonies, for example, had laws limiting public office positions to Trinitarian Protestants. While some colonies had officially established churches and taxed all citizens to support them. Dissenters faced many obstacles of persecution.

Many people began looking for an end to religious testing. They argued that true faith did not need or want the support of the government. These protestors were not anti-religious. In fact they believed that by allowing people their right to freedom from religion, they would eventually find themselves true Christians.

Perhaps the most profound writing on the subject of church and state separation was The Landholder, No. 7, written by Oliver Ellsworth, who is also awarded for the creating the term "United States". In this document Ellsworth plainly states the meaning and affects of the omission of religious tests for office to the general public.

When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence he spoke of "unalienable rights endowed by our Creator." He used generic...
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