Class Warfare Blog

November 18, 2012

The “Christian Nation” Power Play

Filed under: History,Politics,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 10:44 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

If you haven’t heard the claims by evangelicals that the U.S. was founded as a “Christian Nation,” you haven’t been paying attention.

This is a power play by the religious conservatives. Historically, evangelicals supported the Constitution being written without the word “God” in it. Several of the states tried to amend the Constitution to include the word “God,” even “Jesus Christ” and all of these were defeated, in most cases with evangelical support.

A lot of people who insist on their “Nth Amendment Rights” under the Constitution seem to not realize that the original framers of the Constitution (the Founding Fathers!) did not see fit to include those rights in the draft Constitution, nor were they in the Constitution as adopted and ratified. Religion’s protection from the government in the First Amendment (and vice-versa) was only added a few years after ratification.

Prior to the First Amendment being added to the Constitution, the only mention of religion was that there couldn’t be a religious test for elected federal offices, that’s it.

So why did evangelicals support the passage of the Constitution (and other separation of church and state legislation in the states)? It was because they were a small segment of the religious at the time. If the nation were to support a religion it would be one of the more powerful denominations and they would get frozen out, so they supported the “God-less” Constitution and the separation of church and state.

Realize that the Christians in late eighteenth century America were virtually all Protestants. Those Protestants brought their loathing of Catholicism with them from the Old World, but evangelicals were much fewer in number than establishment church members (Anglicans, Congregationalists, etc.). But now evangelicals are feeling their oats and/or they don’t know their own history and/or are suffering from limited intellectual horsepower (or most probably all three) and they have been proposing their Christain Nation claptrap, thinking they are now in line to benefit from that designation.

The argument then is the same as the argument now: if the state supports a particular religion and then there is a shift in popularity, that support can shift to another group and away from yours. While you are on the “outs” you could dwindle to obscurity. It has happened before.

But the evangelicals are feeling their oats, especially with their gains in outward religiosity during the Bush administration.

Apparently they don’t believe in their own doctrines. Their main doctrine is you don’t need an intermediary between you and God, the relationship is direct, hence priests (especially Catholic ones) aren’t needed. If those intermediaries aren’t needed, of what use is the government in that relationship?

There are over 23,000 sects of Christianity. If they can’t get along, how is government support going to change anything? Each of those sects believes the others are “wrong” to some degree. My list of those wrong is just one longer than theirs.

This is a flat out power play and should be seen as such. People who espouse that we are a “Christian Nation” are looking for power and I would guess that means over you and me.

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3 Comments »

  1. Not to sound trite but I do not have a religion. I have a relationship. I believe that there is a vast difference between man made religions and the life dedicated to following Christ. The body of Christ (the true Church) is fragmented at this time. It is confusing for even the most devout follower. However, God has always had a remnant of people and it is to those people that He has sworn to bring through the tribulation that is to soon fall upon this planet.

    Comment by csusa1776 — November 20, 2012 @ 10:02 pm | Reply

    • Faith can move mountains, it is said, but if that faith is that “He has sworn to bring (a remnant) through the tribulation that is to soon fall upon this planet.” I would rather the mountains not be moved. Gods who play favorites have always been divisive. We are better off believing that any left behind diminishes us.

      Comment by stephenpruis — November 20, 2012 @ 10:17 pm | Reply

      • God does not play favorites. He has given all an opportunity to accept the work of His son on the cross. He has given us free will on earth to do as we please. Once our last breath is taken, we will reap the rewards or consequences of our choices on earth.

        Comment by csusa1776 — November 21, 2012 @ 10:13 am | Reply


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