Db Colby Reply to DB In my experience, reading, and reflection I believe that America was founded on the principles of Christianity but not founded to be an exclusively Ch


Db Colby Reply to DB

In my experience, reading, and reflection I believe that America was founded on the principles of Christianity but not founded to be an exclusively Christian nation like France or Great Britain. This is backed up by the 1797 Treat of Tripoli. “As the government of the United States Is not, in any sense, founded on Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never have 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.”[1] Hall suggests “Viewed in it’s international context, it seems most reasonable to view the eleventh article of the Treaty of Tripoli as a practical measure intended to bring peace with an Islamic power, rather than as an abstract statement of church-state relations.”[2]

When looking back in history you will notice many instances of Christian leaders taking steps to create a place in this world for religious freedom and freedom from tyranny and that place is in America. How they did this was protections for religious freedom which is found in our Constitution. “When one turns from Jefferson and Madison to the rest of America’s civic leaders in the late eighteenth century, it becomes evident that most believed government should protect, promote, and encourage religion and morality.”[3] One of the reasons people ended up leaving Great Britain is because of religious persecution, people wanted to worship God the way they saw fit. This idea of religious freedom was woven from the start into the fabric of America. Because of that anyone can practice any religion they see fit. There are a lot of countries today that you don’t have those freedoms, an example would be Iran. Without the encouragement from the founder’s religious freedom would be lost and America would be a restrictive Christianity only country or something very similar. We can see an example of this in the early states and their religious tests.

“America’s founders did not want a national church, and many were coming to oppose establishments at the state level as well. Yet, without an exception of which I am aware, they agreed with George Washington that of ‘all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.’ Moreover, they all acted as if civic authorities should promote and encourage religion and morality, even if some later came to question the appropriateness of doing so.”[4] I agree with Hall when he is discussing the founders not wanting a national church and that they were for promoting religion and morality. The beliefs of the founders on religion are the reason why we can go to a Christian school or have prayers before the Supreme Court opens or why we have a Chaplain in Congress. The early founders couldn’t see the future, but they did have the understanding and wisdom to promote protections for religions and morality. The diversity we have today could never happen if it wasn’t for the founders forward thinking and planning government in a way that allowed for diversity. The founders could have easily shut America up and made it one hundred percent Protestant, but they chose to allow other religions to flourish and helped create America as the destination for the world.   

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