Saturday, November 12, 2005

Why Do Many Believe This Country was Founded Upon Christian Principals?

Here is a poll that shows over 85% of the U.S. consider themselves Christian.

My guess as to why so many claim that the principals of Christianity is what this nation was founded upon, (now notice I am not claiming that the founders were mostly Christian, merely that the principals were), is evidenced by:

- a Letter that John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813 where he was saying that this was in fact the basis for the system of government in America…

The general principles, on which the Fathers achieved independence, were the only Principles in which that beautiful Assembly of young Gentlemen could Unite....And what were these general Principles? I answer, the general Principles of Christianity, in which all these Sects were United: . . . Now I will avow, that I then believe, and now believe, that those general Principles of Christianity, are as eternal and immutable, as the Existence and Attributes of God; and that those Principles of Liberty, are as unalterable as human Nature and our terrestrial, mundane System. - Lester J. Capon, ed., The Adams-Jefferson Letters 2 vols. (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1959), 2:339-40

- And when Adams wrote: “The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue equity and humanity…” - John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, Ed., (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1856) III:421, dairy entry for July 26, 1796.

When most people miss a meeting and want to know what took place, they ask one of the participants who was there for an account. Now, the account may not be 100% accurate, but one would hope that the "tone" or the "concepts" of the meeting would be similar if all were asked.

There may be other quotes that may show that others had other things to say about the founding principals of our nation, but I doubt we will find such an exact quote on the "Underlying Principals" of our founders. We may find that other things were discussed, but I would love to see other quotes about the "Principals" not being Christian, I just can't believe that Adams would have been so specific and yet not be with a consensus.

- And many other early records that show that most of the framers believed in God, (most were Theists), and most believed in Christian principals, even if they weren't Christian, (as evidenced by Adams quote above), and above all they wanted a nation that had no “National Church”, but yet one that recognized God.

Again, no one particular church. Secular does not mean "anti-religious", it means, "not relating to a religion or a religious body." - American Heritage Dictionary

.“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars…” - George Washington

Some of the Founding Fathers were slave owners, and many of them recognized that they needed to do something about that, and some did. But most saw it for what it was and worked to get rid of such an evil practice. But that is for a different post.

Well there you have it.

Probably will be ignored by the Christian haters out there, but then all you can do is present your facts and let those who are open minded ponder it with real intent to know and not intent to start putting it down as quickly as they can.


At 11:01 AM, Blogger Yolo Cowboy said...

It makes sense that Adams was writing to Jefferson, who was pretty secular. He knew how to address the right crowd, but his personal writings show an agnostic streak in him. The left often points to Jefferson as proof that the founders were not religious and all this God stuff is something that should be stricken from all public places.

The evidence on the other side of the argument is overwhelming. To say that our nation was founded on the principals of Christianity is just foolish.

Great Post FAR.

At 11:08 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

What better way to persuade folks who are Christian, (both colonials and english) to form a new nation but to tie it to their belief system. As most nations at that time were either in disarray or had state religions, the idea of nation without such would seem heretic. Such statements about the christian principles of the foundation of our nation may have been necessary to avoid the perception that this was a SECULAR government. Now that secularism/athesism/agnosticism/extreme pluralism/relative moralism/ is now so prominent in our nation, everyone acts so surprised by these quotes by our founding fathers. Personally I am share the beliefs of our nations architects and wish more folks would pay attention to them.

At 11:11 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


You said:"To say that our nation was founded on the principals of Christianity is just foolish."

I think you meant to say..."Was NOT founded..."


At 4:02 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


Ever notice that the ones who protest the lowudest that people are need to be more sensitive to others feelings, are the ones that don't mind persecuting the Saints with large quantities of hate?


At 4:03 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Oh, and BTW, you are welcome here anytime Melissa.



At 4:04 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Even if all the founders were Christian, practiced their religion and thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread, what import does that have? I must still ask, so what?

Those same Christian founders of the nation turned around and drafted a Constitution that made no reference to religion, let alone Christianity, except to say that everyone has freedom to practice their own religion and that Congress can't make any laws establishing religion.

The Constitution, since Day 1 of the Republic, has been held to be the highest source of legal authority in this country, not the Bible. That is not a liberal belief. You can thank your Christian founding fathers for that.

At 4:08 PM, Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

"To say that our nation was founded on the principals of Christianity is just foolish."

I agree. However, my main purpose is to point out that the word you're looking for is 'principles'. 'Principals' has a different root and a different meaning.

And now I must be off to my lion-feeding; they're throwing some christians to the lions at Madison Square Garden tonight, which is always entertaining for the whole family.

:-), StS

At 6:30 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


I think the only significance is that we should all remember the words of Washington at the end of my post that religion and morals are necessary pilars of any great society, and I was just trying to put a perspective on all of the folks who say our nation was founded upon Christian Principals.

And Admas said it about as plainly as possible.

and sts, you did see that I pointed out that YC probably mis-spoke and meant "NOT" founded. But he did set you up for that one, nice jab. :)



At 6:38 PM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Franklin who was a Deist was the one who started the Congressional chaplaincy. Did the Founding Fathers intend the USA to be a Christian nation?

Most of them did.

At 9:08 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


Thanks for your post as well. It was much more detailed than mine and was an enlightening read and great deal of relevant info.

Thanks again for your comment on my blog, you are certianlly welcome here anytime.


At 9:37 AM, Blogger GNN Staff Writer said...

Although many on the Left believe they have witnessed a "Christian backlash", they don't realize that the backlash has only just begun.

At 7:27 PM, Blogger Yolo Cowboy said...

FAR your right, my bad.

Type, think. Type, think.

Sometimes my fingers move a little slower than my brain. And that is slow indeed.

At 8:30 PM, Blogger Roseville Conservative said...

Good Stuff, FAR...

At 9:34 AM, Blogger JustinC said...

Fair enough, but then how do you explain Article 11 of the 1796 Peace Treaty between the United States and the nation of Tripoli, which reads:

"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 Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan 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."

There is a good Wiki on this treaty:

Important to note is that this text was in the treaty as approved by John Adams and ratified by the Senate.

At 9:34 PM, Blogger highlyblessed1 said...

If one does not believe that the United States based laws, charters, state constitutions, and other foundational documents on biblical principles, and in particular the Ten Commandments, then I would say that individual is ignorant of this country's history. To start the education, try walking around the nation's capital and read all the writings on the monuments and statues. Then take a trip to the National Archives and Records Administration and look through some of our nation's foundational documents. You will see the thread of liberty and Christianity entwined throughout our nation's history.

At 10:41 PM, Blogger PastorHeart316 said...

A good historian goes beyond mere academia and studies the condition of life and common discourse of the day. The founders unilaterally affirmed God's existence and as well acknowledged that the tenets of Christianity best addressed the needs of a republic. The irony here is that atheists and agnostics alike have the freedom to express their opinions due to the principles of Christian tolerance held by our forefathers. Had these same scoffers been the founders, our entire country would no doubt be forcibly atheist by now.


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