Monday, November 22, 2010

America's 'Christian Nation' Myth

By the Rev. Howard Bess
November 22, 2010

While people came to the American continent for many reasons, one prominent reason was to find a place to escape religious persecution. Sadly, those who were persecuted because of their faith often became the persecutors.

Read on.


Morton Kurzweil said...

Separate but equal did not work for race and it does not work for religion.
A democratic society must be a secular nation if all beliefs and opinions are to be expressed.
Bigotry is the attitude, state of mind, or behavior characteristic of one fanatically devoted to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and intolerant of those who differ.
Equality under law is endangered by the idea that majority rule denies equal justice. The intolerance of a majority in imposing special privileges is as destructive as the intolerance of a minority.
Beliefs do not on determine true and false. They confirm the values of one social without the authority to establish them in law.
Obama must remove the Office of Religious Privileges from a democratic government.

strefanash said...

At last, an article by Mr Bess I agree with.

I hold that America was not founded as a christian nation as none were for there is no such thing.

Jesus said "strait is the gate and narrow the way AND FEW THERE ARE WHO FIND IT"

that being so one would nver get the mumbers to found a christian nation. and certainly those who persecute others are often enough christian in name only.

I am all for a secular freedom of relgion state as it means i can live my own evangelical christian life in peace.

those fools who want to overthrow this in the name of Christ re ignorant of history, and their own Bible

Johnson said...

With all due respect to Morton and Strefenash - I would say that you should explore the challenges and exploitations that would happen to the country when the world realizes that the country has no official religion. Hotels around NY are alread placing a Hindu Bible (bhagwad geeta) for the guests. Next, in coming times there can be a Quran as well.

What has the next generation to learn from this? Confusion and chaos? America's largest threats will be from countries having highest population, who do have an official religion. No technology or magic can stop or repair the damages caused by infiltration by other religions into America. As long as you have what you have now, Americans should strive to keep it or make it better, rather than voting for religious freedom. Many cons come with it.. India has religious freedom too, but an official religion is still maintained so that other religions don't exploit the freedom of practicing their own religion.

Eric said...

" prominent reason was to find a place to escape religious persecution."

I disagree with this assertion. The reason the Puritans and many other religious groups came to America was to esttablish their own private theocracies and clamp down on religious freedom for others (the very reason Williams and others were expelled from the Massachusetts colony).

The many debates that surrounded the peoblem of what to do about religion in the Constitution was driven largely by fear lest some unwanted denomination became ascendant in the new nation. The Congregationalists hated the Baptists, nobody liked the Quakers, and even the notion that a Jew, Mahometan (as Muslims were once known) or heathen achieve public office was preferable to a papist Catholic.

Stephen Waldma's book Founding Faith: The Birth of Religious Freedom in America provides a lot of interesting behind-the-scenes information on how the First Amendment and all that it implies came to be.

Bill Pilgrim said...

Mark Twain once got into a heated debate with Andrew Carnegie over the role of religion in American society. At one point, Carnegie bellowed: "America is a Christian nation!"
Twain's reply was equally forceful: "So is Hell!"