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Was America Founded on Christian Principles

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Was America Founded on Christian Principles?

Mark Weldon Whitten (1999) refutes that the United States and our fore fathers founded this nation as a Christian nation. Whitten (1999) says there are seven main points that make him believe America was not founded on Christian principles:

1. No prayers or divine guidance or approval, were offered during the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

2. The Constitution makes no appeals to religious authorities, rationales, or purposes. The Constitution is a "Godless document"

3. The only mention of religion in the Constitution prohibits any religious tests from holding political office.

4. The Federalist Papers--Written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay to 'sell' the new Constitution to the American people--also made no appeal to religious authorities, rationales, or purposes to legitimize the Constitution.

5. Madison was the driving force behind the creation and adoption of the Bill of Rights. Madison practiced a quite strict separation of church and state. Religion and government will both exist in greater purity, less they are mixed together.

6. Debate of the First Amendment disallows non-preferential aid to religion in general not aid to Christian denominations.

7. The text of the First Amendment itself refutes the idea that it does not embody the principle of church-state separation.

Summit Ministries (2000) offers encouraging arguments. They state that it is believed that our American founders, the ones that fought the American Revolution and wrote the U.S. Constitution acted on the assumption that America was and would continue to be a predominantly Christian country (Summit Ministries, 2000). In today's upbringing, there is a world wind of confusion. The opinionated meaning of the Constitution has banished religion in America. America must choose to acknowledge God as the supreme authority (Summit Ministries, 2000). Biblical Christian principles are the only way to solve real problems and we are being told that it is unconstitutional (Summit Ministries, 2000). The first amendment does not state separation of the church and state. (See Table 1) Summit Ministries (2000) states the amendment should accomplish three purposes:

1. Not giving any religious denomination a preferred status.

2. To keep the government out of religious beliefs

3. Order the states to deal with religion establishments and aide as they saw fit.

The founding fathers did not include the First Amendment in the Constitution to disallow Christianity from influencing state-established institution; on the contrary, America's founding fathers expected our nation to be (on the whole) Christian, and our government to reflect that bias (Summit Ministries, 2000). .

Both authors reflect bias reasoning. They both have opinionated data, that reflects their stand on this issue. The confusion of the intended meaning of the first Amendment has caused the bias reflections of the authors' reports. Whitten seems to base his research on some assumptions. For example, No prayers were offered during the creation of the U. S. Constitution; where is that documented and how does he know this as a fact? Was he there? Summit Ministries believe that our fore fathers did find our nation based on Christianity. Do we truly know what our fore fathers were feeling when the Constitution was being created?

Whitten and Summit Ministries show a selective presentation on information. Both sides talk to data that suit their reasoning and opinions. You do not see Whitten answering any question to the fact that the constitution does not make any remark to the separation of church and state. Whitten calls the Constitution a "Godless Document." Summit Ministries believe that our fore fathers were Christians and that no government should be able to interfere or take the right away.

Neither author is open to compromise. They do not bend from their line of belief. They either believe or not, that this country was founded on Christianity. They have some facts and opinionated beliefs that make their direction.

I guess you can call me opinionated also, since I will state that I am a Christian. I understand the first amendment to limit the power of government to interfere with religion. The idea of the separation of church and state is not founded in any document.



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