“Christian Nation”

I have ordered a book from Amazon called “The Myth of a Christian Nation” by Gregory A. Boyd.  Greg is the Sr. pastor at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, MN.  I have become increasingly frustrated with the “Christian” wing of the the Republican party and their attempt to strong arm conservatives into voting for particular candidates and issues.  We are bombarded again and again by “religious” leaders telling us of a “war on America” and encouraging us to return to our “Christian roots” as a nation.  This nation was founded by religious refugees who were tired of a government-run church and who wanted to worship as they saw fit.  These men and women were not fundamentalist, Evangelical Christians as some (Dobson, Falwell, Robertson) would have us believe.  Many writings of our nations founders indicate belief in GOD, in a deity, in the Almighty.  I can recall NO instance in which a founder wrote about “the cause of Christ” or “conversion of souls”.  The framers of the constitution knew exactly what they were doing.  Separation of Church and State IS the law of the land!  Period.

Passionately,
Matty

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5 Responses

  1. As I understand it, the whole “separation of church and state” was to ensure that no particular church/religion would run the government. It’s not a “separation of FAITH and state” which is what I think a lot of people misunderstand.

  2. Andi,
    I wholeheartedly agree. I know the founders were men of faith…

    What I don’t like is people equating “Christian” with a particular party or position in politics…

    Thanks for reading, hon!

    Matty

  3. Matt,

    What is your facebook name? I’d love to add you. Mine is J-y J-n, Sacramento (bloggers note: I edited the name to protect privacy -M)

  4. Matty –

    Hmmm, constitutional law? That’s a new topic for you. Actually, the Bill of Rights has two specific clauses that deal with the whole freedom of religion/separation of church and state. As it stands, the words “separation of church and state” do not appear in the constitution at all. The two clauses are the establishment clause and the free exercise clause. (I think that is what is called — it has been a few years since my last con law class.) The establishment clause is the one that most people equate with separation of church and state: “Congress shall make no law regarding an establishment of religion”. The Free Exercise Clause follows immediately after “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Note that the two clauses form one sentence.

    What the framers failed to realize was that federal courts would at time interpret the Establishment Clause in a way that would infringe upon the Free Exercise Clause. For example, restrictions on government support of religious schools are the mostly the result of judicial decisions, and not legislation. Certainly it is probably right that we don’t want the federal government to directly support a Christian (or Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, whatever) school.

    What about prayer at school? Does allowing a teacher to pray in the classroom establish a state religion? Maybe, maybe not. But does saying that the same teach is absolutely not allowed to pray in his classroom restrict his free exercise of religion? At times it probably does.

    I could go on and on, but I just realized that this is getting long. Here is my point: This area is very difficult to define. I think that the country was definitely more Christian in the past. I also think that the sue-happy culture that we live in has exacerbated the whole situation and made it worse than it needs to be.

    Okay. I feel better now.

    John
    john-simons.com

  5. John-

    You are exactly right… it is a complex issue… as for the teacher praying in public school, what he does in his own heart and mind is his “free exercise”… as soon as he, as a representative of the school and therefore the government, leads others in prayer, he violates the establishment clause…

    the responsibility of government with regards to religion is simple… STAY THE HELL OUT! government shouldn’t promote or hinder any religion, inasmuch as the practitioners of said religion don’t infringe on the rights of others… including the right not to be bombarded (read: harassed) by religious themes…

    as to “In God We Trust” and “One Nation Under God”… this is traditional flowery language of the 1700’s… it isn’t/wasn’t intended as evangelism…

    I feel better now, too!

    SDG,
    Matty

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