“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” - Jonathan Edwards -

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Christian Nation?

I was having a conversation with a friend recently when we went down the path of politics and religion. Now, my friend is a wonderful Christian person, and I love him as a brother, but we have sharply different views of this subject.

He began the conversation by saying that he was disgusted with all of the politicos and their pandering of the Muslim community. I asked him to expand on this thought, and basically, he believes that if a politician even gives a nod of acceptance towards the Muslim community, then he/she cannot be Christian! I found that to be a bit over the top.

Now, mind you, I am not going on record to say that I believe that ‘all people pray to the same god’. I am simply saying that a person who is going to be the leader of the USA needs to be the leader of the USA, NOT simply the ‘Christian’ leader, or the ‘black’ leader, or the ‘white’ leader, or the ‘left-handed’ leader. This is [one] of the problems I have with the current round of election nonsense, there is no one standing up and saying “What is good for America?”, rather it seems that everyone is saying “What is best for me?”

But I digress from my original intent.

Our conversation really revolved around his statement that the USA is a ’Christian’ nation, and was founded, and should be ruled as such. Here is where we began to strongly disagree. Mind you, I am not saying that the USA was founded by wiccans, but rather by a diverse group of people coming from several different perspectives.

I tried to explain to my friend that the US Constitution, a brilliant document by all accounts, expressly had no ‘God language’ by intent. As a matter of fact, I believe that the US Constitution was one of the first nation-founding documents without reference to divine fiat.

Here is the preamble -- ”We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence [sic], promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The First Amendment is clear that the government is not to establish, nor prohibit religious practice. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Many folks on both sides of the argument have either not read this amendment, or decided to interpret it in their own way.

My friend then went on to say that it was the Pilgrims who were the true ‘founders’ – well, no, actually the indigenous people were the true ‘founders’ in that sense. It is true that the Pilgrims were fleeing from religious persecution, but they were not the ‘founders’; they were the first to arrive from Europe. The founders were represented by a much more diverse group, including many deists, i.e. Jefferson, Franklin, and (the most infamous of the deists), Paine.

To further illustrate -- let’s look at another document, the Declaration of Independence, where we find in the first line, these words -- ”We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Compare that line with this quote from Plato -- ”All men are by nature equal, made all of the same earth by one Workman; and however we deceive ourselves, as dear unto God is the poor peasant as the mighty prince.

It would seem that our founding fathers dipped into many fountains to pen the founding documents! Now, I am not denying that the USA was founded on Judeo-Christian ethics, but that primarily means that we took the framework for our legal structure from the Decalogue. But utilizing Judeo-Christian ethics does not constitute a ‘Christian’ founding!

So, I write all of this to say that when a presidential candidate recognizes the pluralism of the country by mentioning Islam, or another religion, this does not, in and of itself, constitute an unchristian act, nor does it mean that the person will ‘surrender’ our country over to the radical Jihadists, any more than giving a nod to the Christian community means that they are endorsing Fred Phelps! I would hope that any presidential candidate worth their salt would recognize that the USA is a diverse melting pot…

Let us, as a Christian community, think critically and cogently about whom we vote for, and not knee-jerk react to every statement that we are fed!


Anonymous said...

"Judeo-Christian" is a term we've added only recently. I doubt the Deists, Quakers and Unitarian among the Founding Fathers would recognize what we done with what they left us.


Ray said...

Although the term may be recent -- the framework was based upon a Judeo-Christian ethic -- the decalogue.

However, I heartily agree -- many would be shocked at the direction we have taken, on both fronts! The liberal and conservative...

J. Wendell said...

I have asked Lou Martuneac as politely as I can (several times) to stop emailing my wife with his derogatory, intimidating, high-minded, and threatening, letters. This drove me to my wits end. He has backed off for a while until just recently. It has come to my attention that he has started the harassment again.

Is he going about the blogosphere looking for every American girl to pick on? Does he email your wife when you have told him to stop? Do you know anything about this annoying anonymous blogger other than his oft repeated boast, “I have written a book?”


Lou Martuneac said...

To All:

This morning I sent an apology via e-mail to Rose and John. The apology was NOT for having included Rose in a bulk e-mail. My apology was in regard to how I reacted to John’s two paragraph comment that I find disingenuous on several levels.

Never-the-less, my reaction was not right, the Holy Spirit convicted me of it, and I responded to Him. I immediately deleted my reply, posted both a public apology and the e-mail to Rose and John I mentioned above.

Furthermore, in the e-mail apology I also asked for their forgiveness.

Even though both Rose and John have been active in the blogs today, neither of them have acknowledged nor accepted my apology. Neither one has indicated or written to forgive me as I requested.

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father also which is in Heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in Heaven forgive your trespasses,” (Mark 11:25-26).

I did my best following my conscience and the leading of the Holy Spirit to make this right and bring closure. Unless I hear otherwise, it appears Rose and John are not willing to bring closure.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1:9).

As far as I am concerned this is a closed issue and under the blood, whether or not Rose and John will respond appropriately.