We often see the arguments being made on both sides, that America is a Christian nation or that America is certainly not. This has blossomed in my lifetime, because I can recall as a young boy, never hearing anyone argue this. Once was a time, it was commonly understood, we are a nation founded on principles of Christianity, One nation under god, and the few radicals who believed otherwise were marginalized. There is an insidious underbelly to this debate, it stems from, and is forwarded by, Atheists and Communists who have the same motivations for eroding our values as a nation.

Today, I will take on this hotly-contested issue and attempt to settle some myths and misconceptions surrounding the debate. Disclaimer: I do not approach this from a Christian perspective, nor do I embrace an Atheist or Agnostic viewpoint. I am personally a non-religious Spiritualist who believes in a power and force greater than self, but is not necessarily the God of Abraham.

First we will examine the basis for our founding as a nation, our declaring of independence from Britain, and the reasons for it. While taxation was the major material reason prompting us to sever ties with the Crown, it actually went far beyond this in a philosophical sense. That is, the taxation was a byproduct of a far more troublesome issue, that of religious persecution. In Britain, the official doctrine of religion was only found in one place, the Church of England. You were free to have whatever beliefs you wanted, but if you were to be a part of accepted British society, you had to conform to the doctrines of the Church, which was controlled and operated by the government. Regardless of whether you believed what the Church taught, you were expected to support the Church with your tax dollars, and anyone who refused was viewed as a traitor to the Crown.

Across the ocean, there was a burgeoning colonization happening, as Puritans, Unitarians, Quakers and others, who weren’t particularly fond of the religious teaching of the Church of England, sought refuge and liberty to live and worship as they believed, without government reprisal. These people were certainly not Atheists running away from Christianity, far from it. They were highly and devoutly religious people who refused to be cajoled into worshiping a government religion. As time progressed, the king continued to pile on extra tax burdens for these dissidents and objectors, and it finally reached a tipping point with the Boston Tea Party. The most compelling piece of evidence we have, is the actual declaration document, which establishes our independence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Some will protest that the Declaration of Independence has no legal bearing and is not part of the Constitution, but we have to remember, this was the founding document which enabled the Constitution. Without it, there would be no need for a Constitution at all. The Constitution is the “rule book” by which we are to govern, it has no reason to include mention of God or a Creator, because the whole intent and purpose of founding the new nation was religious freedom. To put God or the Creator into the Constitution, would have been a blatant hypocrisy to that objective. How can you have religious freedom, yet demand obedience to a particular religious belief? This would have made us no different than Britain with the Church of England, and the founding fathers realized it.

We often hear about the proverbial “wall of separation” between church and state, and some presume this means that we have a “secular” form of government, which is totally false. We actually have an “all-encompassing” form of government, tolerant of all religious beliefs or no religious belief at all. While the concept of “all men are created equally and endowed by the Creator” is clearly a Christian religious philosophy, it is through that philosophy we are given the inalienable right to worship however we please. The “wall of separation” is an often misinterpreted misnomer, which actually comes from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists. It was intended to reassure them that the new federal government would not interfere with their religious doctrine.

In order for America to be a “Christian nation” we would have to be a theocracy. The Establishment Clause makes it very clear, we cannot be a theocracy, even if we wanted to be. So the argument that we are a “Christian nation” is also a misnomer. We are founded on Christian principles, and it is through those Christian principles we believe in free will and the inalienable rights of man to govern himself and worship God any way he pleases, or to not worship any God, if he so chooses. In other words, it is not required that you personally believe in this Creator who endowed you with inalienable rights, but that is the basis on which we establish all liberty and freedom. The intentional ambiguity of “Creator” was important, as this offers the widest range of possible individual religious belief. It was intended to encompass all, including those who didn’t happen to believe in the God of Abraham.

Jefferson was a noted Deist, as were several public figures of the time, and Atheists love to quote Jefferson and reference his deism when arguing against our founding principles. It’s important to remember two things; Deism is not Atheism, and for the sake of appearing impartial and objective in matters of religion and government, it was an attractive alternative to proclaiming a particular religious faith. Deists were considered ‘neutral’ and didn’t pose a threat or offend the various denominations of Christianity. As for where our founding fathers stood on the existence of God, or the importance of God in establishing our country, you can Google ‘what founding fathers said about God’ and find thousands of pages documenting their words. They most certainly did believe, without question, that we were a nation founded and based on Christian principles.

Here are a few of the more notable quotes I have found, pertaining to what our founders had to say about God and Christianity:

“Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed the conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?” – Thomas Jefferson (Deist)

“The Bible is the cornerstone of liberty. A student’s perusal of the sacred volume will make him a better citizen, a better father, a better husband.” – Thomas Jefferson (Deist)

“We have staked the future of American civilization upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” – James Madison (Deist-Episcopalian)

“The highest glory of the American Revolution was this – that it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.” – John Quincy Adams (Unitarian)

“He who shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world.” – Benjamin Franklin (Puritan-Deist)

“It can not be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.” – Patrick Henry (Anglican-Presbyterian)

“Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly implore His protection and favor.” – George Washington (Deist-Episcopalian)

“The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His apostles…to this we owe our free constitutions of government.” – Noah Webster (Congregationalist)

“In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed.” – Noah Webster (Congregationalist)

“Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – John Adams (Unitarian)

So where does all of the modern day secularist claptrap come from, and why do we find ourselves inundated with people who staunchly believe we are some kind of secular nation forbidden from recognizing God in government? Well, interestingly enough, it comes from the Marxist philosophy which has infiltrated the public lexicon in our schools and universities over the past 50 years. You see, the philosophy of Karl Marx prescribes Atheism, because in order to implement the State as the prevailing authority over man, you first have to remove any reverence to all other authority, which would include any Gods. If man has faith in God, he can’t hold faith in the almighty State, and therefore, can’t wholly commit to giving his all for the state. In order to properly implement Marxist Socialism, you have to first undermine religious faith, as a matter of due course.

When you remove the belief and faith in God from the principles of our nation, you effectively render our inalienable rights, alienable by man. Suddenly, we are not endowed with anything, we are granted our freedom by men who sit on a court or serve in a legislative body. Those men have the authority to determine what rights and freedoms we are allowed to have, not God. The belief in our founding principles of inalienable liberty can only be achieved if we have some faith in a Creator, who endowed these rights instead of man. Now, that can be the God of Abraham, or Nature’s God, or a Spiritual Force greater than man, but it has to be something as opposed to nothing. We’re certainly not a nation of Nihilists who believe our rights and liberties come from nothingness.