Is The United States of America a “Christian nation” or isn’t it? And should it be? Did the founders want it to be?
This country exists because at great cost men and women fled the oppression of a country whose government dictated that the state version of Christianity would be adhered to with precision. It was for religious liberty that Christian men and women left all they had, got on a boat, and came to a new land with nothing but hope and faith in God.
Our founding document, the United States Constitution, was not, and is not a perfect statement. It has been amended many times and in the very first amendment religion was addressed.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…
The government can not establish a religion, or religious system, nor can it tell anyone, or any group how they should express their beliefs.
The founding fathers and the framers of the Constitution never intended that the United States be a theocracy. A theocracy (“government of a state by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided.”) will never work on this earth until Jesus Christ comes and rules in person. We are not a Christian nation. We are a nation whose Constitution reflects Judaeo/Christian ethics. The people who founded the country and prepared our guiding documents were mostly Christians though some were Deists. But they were wise enough to avoid even the possibility that their new country would one day become what they had fled.
Political types have talked much the last several years about the “separation of church and state” and some even say the phrase is in the Constitution. And they have used a flawed understanding of that term to try to stamp out any hit of the Christian God from the public square. Just to be clear, the term “separation of church and state” is not in the Constitution. The phrase was coined by Thomas Jefferson who wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in which he said, referencing the First Amendment to the Constitution:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.
It is clear to most objective thinkers that both the “establishment clause” and the “exercise clause” of the First Amendment were to protect religious people from the government, not the reverse.
The United States Constitution is the bed rock of our country. Godly men, with I believe wisdom from above, wrote a masterful document and with it’s several amendments has served us well for 240 years.
As laid out in the Constitution, we citizens have the opportunity to elect, or reelect, a United States President and Vice President every 4 years. That process is in full swing as I write these words. How should I choose a candidate to support and vote for? Well, that is for every individual to decide. In my view it should be the person who will best follow the United States Constitution. The Presidential oath of office includes these words:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
If we choose the leader of the free world based on a religious test we are making a mistake. A person can be a fine Christian and a very poor leader. History has proven that point again and again.
We the citizens need to be protected from our sworn enemies. Our borders need to be protected. Our trade with other countries needs to be fair. We need less federal government intrusion, less restrictions on business, and more power to the individual states. When the country was founded it took only about 100 years for the United States to become the most successful country in the world. Following those simple ideals of limited government, free enterprise, and unbridled right to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can have the same results now.
Soon the Presidential candidate field will be down to only two. Voting for the candidate of your choice is a precious privilege that tens of millions of people the world over would like to have. Use that right carefully, but please use it. If good people will only vote the course of a declining nation can be reversed, maybe. I am always hopeful, always looking forward to a better time for my children and grand children and the generations who will come along later.
Please, be involved in the process. Sometimes it isn’t fun but it’s always important. May God give us wisdom as the future of the United States is shaped for the next four years.