We Are Not A Christian Nation
I know this will rattle many conservatives, and inspire open revolt from some, but it is true.
Many people believe that Biblical values led our founding fathers to craft the United States. They believe that we were built on Christian morals, and that in order to preserve our great nation, we need to protect those values.
This is why so many Christians want the 10 Commandments on court houses and the like. Any time there is a law or movement to legalize activities the Church doesn’t like, it feels like an attack on the foundation of our nation.
“By removing Christian values from the law, we are in fact making our nation more biblical.”
But here’s the good news: This is a battle we were never meant to fight. We are not losing our nation. By removing Christian values from the law, we are in fact making our nation more biblical.
Our Christian Founders
Despite what many historians like to say, most of the founding fathers were indeed Christian. Some may have been more deist, but most were Christian. This becomes very clear when you read their letters and journal entries. Some of the confusion comes from the cultural differences back then.
For many it seemed ungentlemanly to broadcast their faith convictions far and wide (something Christians today may want to examine…).
Many of them were devoutly Christian. And their ideas on government did come from the Bible. But the nation they created was not Christian. And it was never meant to be.
The Secular State Our Christian Founders Created
The idea that led to our nations founding was simple: All men are children and creations of God, which means all men are equal in respect to each other.
Since we did not create ourselves, or anyone else, we cannot claim any kind of authority over them.
I.e., we are completely equal to each other. The only person who can order our lives is God Himself.
So, unless God Himself steps down and sets up a kingdom, men must rule themselves. And if we are to rule ourselves, we MUST recognize our equality in doing so. Otherwise we are assuming authority and dominion over people we never had.
Because of our “inherent equality,” we have certain “inherent rights” in relation to each other. These inherent rights are “endowed by our creator” and common too all humans… whether they are Christian are not.
- Since we are equal, we have the right to life. Only God has the authority to end our lives. Therefore, no one has the right to kill us.
- We also have the right to freedom. Only God has the authority to order our lives. Therefore, no one has the right to enslave us or dictate our lives in any way.
- And we have the right to our labor. If our lives are spent creating something, we alone have authority over it. Therefore, no one can steal from us.
These are the guiding principles of our nation.
Our government was setup with one purpose: to protect the inherent rights of all people.
That is the only way our government can be “biblical.” Once we over step those bounds and try to impose our Christian values on society (like banning gay marriage, drug use, etc.…), we violate those rights and become inherently tyrannical.
If someone’s actions aren’t violating someone else’s right to life, freedom, and wealth, then the government can’t involve itself.
The only way we can have a biblical government is if it is limited to protecting individual rights.
Jesus Never Told Us To Rule
Jesus never told us to rule over people. And He never told us to force our worldview on those around us.
In fact, in John 12 He says, “If someone hears my words and does not follow them, I do not judge him. For I have not come to judge the world, but to save it.” That’s pretty shocking.
Furthermore, when the rich young ruler refused to follow Jesus’ advice, Jesus did not force him into action.
Jesus never forced people to follow Him. And if we are to model His behavior (as all Christians should), we can’t either.
“Jesus never forced people to follow Him. And if we are to model His behavior, we can’t either.”
This is why a government built on individual rights is so amazing. It avoids religious tyranny and allows people to have freewill.
In fact, forcing people to live by our morals stands in direct opposition to biblical principles of freedom. When we try to “protect our Christian values” through legislation, we are not acting like Jesus. We are acting like the Pharisees.
This means we can and SHOULD give up our battle to codify Christian values into law. It isn’t biblical, and it is tyrannical in nature.
We are assuming authority we never had and forcing people to live by our view of morality. It doesn’t matter if we’re right. As long as someone isn’t violating another person’s inherent rights, the government can’t involve itself.
That is the amazing power of our nation. It is this idea of inherent rights that turned the world upside down 250 years ago. And this same idea can do it again today.
Even though most of our founding father’s were Christian, they also understood equality. They came from a world were religious wars killed tens of thousands at a time. They knew that when faith and government mixed, blood and tyranny followed suit.
“The founders knew that when faith and government mixed, blood and tyranny followed suit.”
If we want to protect the traditional values of our nation, we will give up the idea that we are a Christian nation. And we will fight for people’s rights to live their lives however they see fit.
I put it this way, I may not agree with your lifestyle choices, but I will die to defend your right to make those choices.
Thank you for reading, and I’d love to hear thoughts, so please leave a comment blow.
About Sean Edwards
Sean Edwards is an author and a communication strategist. He graduated from the Western Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in history. Sean has a passion for discussing philosophy and American politics.