I have been working, as many of you know, on a series of posts about fundamentalist Christian theological misinterpration of Scripture and doctrine. I have not posted a new article in that series in some time, and unfortunately, it will probably be a while before I finish the post I am currently working on. When you are slowly losing your eyesight, research takes a long time to complete. That is why I have been focusing lately more on politiics than religion. But, today we return, if only briefly to religion in combination with politics.
The fundamentalists in their revisionist American history want us to believe that the Foundinf Fathers intended for the USA to be a Christian nation. I have stated a number of times that that idea is pure bull shit. In his op-rf piece for the New York Times, A Nation of Christians Is Not a Christian Nation, Jon Meacham, the editor of Newsweek, and the author of “American Gospel” and “Franklin and Winston,” offers some very interesting and telling points about how the Founding Fathers (and Mothers) viewed the relationship of church and state in the new Republic.
Pay particular attention to Meacham’s discussion of the Connecticut attempts to revise the preamble of the Constitution. Coonecticut as an English colonoy was started in the 17th century by Puritans from Massachussetts and the Puritans, the “founding fathers” of American fundamentalism, remained a prominent political power in Connecticut, as well as other parts of New England, in the eighteenth century.
This attempt to change the preanle was defeated because the Founding Fathers wanted to avoid anything that smacked of a state religion. In the early sixteenth century, Nenry VIII and his daughter Elizabeth I had made the Anglican Church the only officially sanctioned religion in England. Many of the colonists who settled in New England, including the Puritans, came to New England because they wanted the freedom to worship as they chose. Funny about that: they wanted to worship as they chose but denied that right to others. Guess hypocrisy is ingrained in fundamentalism.
The other really interesting part of Meacham’s article is his discussion of the Tripoli (that’s in Libya) “pirates” and the negotiations with the Islamic rules of Tripoli to end this state-sanctioned terrorism of American shipping. The treaty, signed gy John Adams and ratified by the US Congress, makes it very clear that the United States, at least in those days, was NOT a Christian nation and therefore religious differences, and the baggage that comes with the history of Islamic-Christian political differences, were not an issue in this case. My, how times have changed!
Please do read this piece by David Meacham. Don’t let the findamentalists distort your understanding of American history. The US is and always has been a nation grounded in liberty and justic for all, no matter what religion you practicer.