A recent poll found that 55 percent of Americans believe the U.S. Constitution establishes a Christian nation. What do you think?I find it difficult to believe that McCain actually believes what he is saying and is instead pandering the Religious Right since it has captured the GOP, but, none the less, it is disheartening that a leading presidential candidate is unwilling or unable (due to lack of understanding) to defend the secular principles enshrined in the Constitution and first amendment which allow religion (including the majority religion of Christianity) to flourish in America.
I would probably have to say yes, that the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation. But I say that in the broadest sense. The lady that holds her lamp beside the golden door doesn't say, “I only welcome Christians.” We welcome the poor, the tired, the huddled masses. But when they come here they know that they are in a nation founded on Christian principles.
The Constitution makes no mention of God, nor Christianity. It established a secular nation with religious freedom for all. It in no way or shape established a Christian American. At least that's what the founders believed.
"[T]he government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion" - Treaty of Tripoli (1797), signed into law by President John Adams
What "Christian principles" are in the Constitution? The Bill of Rights? Where in the Bible are we to find the seperation of powers into three branches of government and a system of checks and balances?
This is not Biblical principle, but the tradition of ancient Athens and the Roman Republic; of the Enlightenment and of Spinoza, Lock, Hume (and other Scottish philosophers) and Montesquieu.
Is it the common law from which the nation was founded Christian? Thomas Jefferson seems to think not
I was glad to find in your book a formal contradition, at length, of the judiciary usurpation of legislative powers; for such the judges have usurped in their repeated decisions, that Christianity is a part of the common law. The proof of the contrary, which you have adduced, is incontrovertible; to wit, that the common law existed while the Anglo-Saxons were yet Pagans, at a time when they had never yet heard the name of Christ pronounced, or knew that such a character had ever existed.The implication of those who say this nation was founded on "Judeo-Christian principle" is that without a belief in God (the Judeo-Christian God) our constitutional democracy would not be possible. That is simply false.
The Government of the United States is secular. It derives its power from the consent of man. It is a Government with which God has nothing whatever to do -- and all forms and customs, inconsistent with the fundamental fact that the people are the source of authority, should be abandoned.