This article was originally published in Forward Progressives and written by Allen Clifton.
Conservatives seem to not quite understand that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are two completely different things. The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson. The Constitution was put together by many different individuals and it essentially creates our government and lists the rights of its citizens.
Granted, the Declaration of Independence does say, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator…” with “creator” referring to some form of God. But, again, this document has nothing to do with our Constitutional rights.
Our Constitution has exactly zero mentions of God, Jesus, Christians or Christianity.
In fact, the First Amendment clearly states that we’re given the freedom of religion. It also says Congress can’t make any laws based on religious beliefs.
But let’s just look at a few comments from some key Founding Fathers about the United States, separation of church and state and how this nation wasn’t founded on Christianity:
- The Treaty of Tripoli, signed by President John Adams: “The Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”
- Thomas Jefferson: “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 prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.”
- James Madison: “And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.”
- Thomas Jefferson: “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”
- Thomas Jefferson: “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.”
And that’s not all of them – there are several more – but I figured those were pretty clear cut.
Now why, if our nation was founded on Christianity, would some of our key Founding Fathers speak so strongly against mixing religion and government? Why would our Constitution never once mention God, Christians, Jesus or Christianity? Why does our very First Amendment specifically say that Congress cannot make laws based on religion?
It makes absolutely no sense for anyone to logically argue that this nation was founded on Christianity when there’s overwhelming evidence that says otherwise.
These people who claim this nation was founded on Christianity are simply wishing that it had been, instead of facing the reality that it wasn’t. The problem is, they’re trying to base laws on their wishes instead of the clear cut facts on what the Constitution and our Founding Fathers mapped out.
Allen Clifton is from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and has a degree in Political Science. He is a co-founder of Forward Progressives, and author of the popular Right Off A Cliff column.
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