Freethinking for Dummies

Skepticism, secular humanism, social issues

The Founding Father’s Failed Experiment

“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

What is this abomination? It obviously must be from a proposed treaty between the U.S. and a Middle Eastern country, probably Iran, created by the obviously socialist administration of Barak Obama.

Think again.

This is part of the terms of a treaty with Tripoli, drafted in 1796 under George Washington and signed by John Adams in 1797.

The fact that the United States was not founded as a Christian nation is made plainly clear here, and made so by the very men who founded our supposedly ‘Christian’ nation. This treaty was then approved by the U.S. Senate, composed of many of the other founding fathers, thereby becoming the law of the land. For those of you who still insist that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, the fact that it wasn’t is not only proved false by this treaty, it is part of the law of our land.

This country was founded as a secular nation. A nation where people are free to believe anything they wish. They can practice (or not practice) any religion they like.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution reads "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ." The mistake that the founding fathers made was not being more explicit about what the separation of church and state was supposed to mean. That they didn’t expound on this clause was not because they were Christians who really wanted more religion in everyday life, but had to compromise. It was because they believed that the idea of the separation of church and state, and its secular implications were simply so self evident and rational that they needed no more explanation. It never occurred to them that 200 years from then, the country that they founded would devolve into the exact same religious climate of fear and tyranny that had, only a generation before their time, rocked England and most of Europe.

Their whole concept of the American Experiment was to set up a nation where the horrors of religious persecution, civil war, blood and death could never occur. Sadly, they assumed that future generations would have put behind them religious sectarianism, bigotry and hate, and embrace living in a nation where everyone’s rights to their own beliefs and ideas were sacrosanct. They were obviously wrong.

Religious bigotry and hatred are alive and well in these United States, as is the same climate of fear and persecution (of gays, atheists, science, etc) that tore England and Europe apart. It is a good thing that our founding fathers, these giants of men, these believers in universal human dignity and the power of rational though, are not alive today to see the dismal failure of the great American Experiment.

May 14, 2010 - Posted by | Religion, Skeptical | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. [...] Founding Father Speaks About Religion (Again) I’ve written several post here , here, here, and here about the fact that the United States was not founded as a Christian nation or even upon [...]

    Pingback by A Founding Father Speaks About Religion (Again) « Freethinking for Dummies | September 9, 2010 | Reply


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