Tuesday, July 06, 2010

America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion . . .

by Dick Mac

Continuing with my thoughts of yesterday when I confirmed that God is not mentioned in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights and Other Amendments, I have learned that there is a legal document, ratified by Congress and President John Adams (perhaps the most parochial and religious of all the founding fathers) in 1796, stating that the United States is specifically NOT a Christian nation.

That's right: not a Christian nation! John Adams ratified a treaty that states the United States is not a Christian nation.

Let me say that one more time for you: The Fifth Congress of the United States, and President John Adams, in 1796 signed a treaty that declares, in black & white, that the United States is not a Christian nation.

Article 11 of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the United States and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli of Barbary states:

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

Wow! So that's pretty explicit: " . . . the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion . . . ."

So, everyone repeat after me: "The United States is not a Christian nation."

I am adding this tidbit of information to the fact that neither the United States Constitution nor the Bill of Rights and Other Amendments include any mention of God to the points that help me conclude that my country is intended to be a utopia that allows religious and non-religious people alike to exist as a society. Furthermore, I believe the founding fathers intended to protect all citizens from the finagling of the religious to insert their religiosity into the public (governmental) discourse.

Tomorrow, I think I'll discuss Article VI, Section 3 of the Constitution, which ensures there can be no religious test to hold public office.

I love being an American, and I love being a Christian, and I like them really separate from each other. It's just so much more . . . how do you say . . . civilized!


Brian Middleton said...

A couple of other tidbits: James Madison--himself a Christian--opposed the appointment of official Congressional chaplains, and also vetoed a bill establishing what we would now call a "faith-based initiative" in the District of Columbia. The language of that veto can't be quoted often enough:

“[T]he bill vests in the said incorporated church an authority to provide for the support of the poor and the education of poor children of the same, an authority which, being altogether superfluous if the provision is to be the result of pious charity, would be a precedent for giving to religious societies as such a legal agency in carrying into effect a public and civil duty.”

Al Falafal AKA T.Faigle said...

Even though historical fact means no more to the Teabag Cult Community than any other kind of fact, this is a great historical find. Of course, it may lose some of its argumentative weight when it is compared to so many other US Treaties - especially those with Native Americans - of which it could be said that very few were written in good faith and fewer still were never broken.