Posted by: sponyak | October 27, 2007

The United States was founded as a Secular Nation

From Bob Sesca:
“America was founded by men of the Enlightenment: a movement which emphasized reason, rationality, liberalism, anti-authoritarianism and political equality. The founders were revolutionary liberals who believed strongly in secular government. This is nowhere near “right of center” or indicative of a Judeo-Christian Nation.

Many of the founding fathers, especially Thomas Jefferson, while claiming to believe in God, were deists and didn’t believe in the resurrection or the divinity of Jesus Christ; they didn’t believe in Christ’s miracles or the holy trinity. Bill O’Reilly would’ve poked their eyes out with his pointy fingers.

Thomas Paine, whose writing inspired the Declaration of Independence, rejected all religions: “I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.” (The Age of Reason, 1794)

John Adams, as president, signed a treaty in 1796 which stated unequivocally: “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.” There’s no gray area there.

And, naturally, we have the First Amendment which includes that pesky Establishment Clause which separates church and state. That, and Article VI which forbids a religious test for holding public office. Clearly a section of the Constitution the Republican candidates have overlooked.

Make no mistake, the founders absolutely believed in the existence of a God or a Creator. George Washington often spoke of “Providence.” But they were fighting and dying to escape the tyranny of a theocratic government. Why would they risk everything only to establish — hell, to establish exactly what today’s Republican Party wants: an imperial, conquering superpower fronted by a strong executive who legislates Judeo-Christian dogma?

The founders knew that theocracy and authoritarianism were the weapons of tyrants. Likewise, in establishing a constitutional democracy, they knew that if they sanctioned a national religion, then government would be able to tax and regulate religion — suppressing religious expression. So the founders created a secular nation in which any and all religions would be free to prosper without government intrusion — and vice versa.

As for the political and ideological views of the founders, you can’t get much more liberal than instigating a rebellion and engaging in revolutionary warfare against a standing imperial army, a monarch (unitary executive) and a monopolistic mega-corporation (the East India Company, which received the most infamous corporate tax cut of all time — triggering the Boston Tea Party). Sorry Republicans. The founding fathers were secular liberals. And so are a majority of Americans right here and now.”

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