One Nation Under God?

It doesn’t seem to matter how easily demonstrable it is from the writings of the founders themselves that the United States was most assuredly not founded on “Christian principles” let alone under the direct auspices of Jesus Christ, evangelical fanatics will continue to insist the contrary to be true.

John Adams, Second President of the United States, wrote in his 1788 A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America that:

Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind…

The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this even an era in their history.

Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses…

Click on the picture above or here for a larger version where you can zoom in on all of its glorious details such as the black robed judge on his knees hiding his face in shame over various SCOTUS decisions enforcing the separation of Church and State… A descriptive tour of the painting with often hilarious explanatory notes can be taken here.

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25 Comments

Filed under Religion, US Politics, Wingnuts

25 responses to “One Nation Under God?

  1. Excellent post Red. Your best this year (well, at least top 5)… Happy New Year!

  2. Ottlib

    I also notice they still have Christ looking like some blond, white Northerner.

    He was from the Middle East, his skin and hair colour would have been much more similar to someone like Bin Laden than some hippy from the 1960s.

  3. Bill

    The real Jesus couldn’t get elected in the Red south today..that dang socialist.

  4. Ryan

    I don’t know why anyone, secular or otherwise, is arguing about whether or not America was founded on “Christian principles.”

    If I weren’t a Christian, I would gladly let these Constantinian America-worshipers take the blame for the historical crimes and violence of the American state. One would gladly hope that a nation “contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses” would have caused far less historical destruction.

  5. Ti-Guy

    …and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe…

    Sends shivers down my spine.

  6. Heh. I noticed that too.

  7. Does not power mask itself as societal religion–willful ignorance is indeed no coincidence.

    Good post.

  8. Penny

    Happy N.Y Red – I’m curious as to why you always post about the American dsyfunctional system. Is it because we are headed on the same path and you’d rather not comment on what’s happening in the true north and supposed ‘free’. :-)

  9. Tomm

    Happy New Year!

    Penny,

    I think RT likes American news, just like Harper, he prefers to dissect what happens with the elephant to the south of us.

    Our issues do seem petty and minor given the political/social paralysis the US has been undergoing for many years now.

  10. Okhropir rumiani

    That’s got to be a Mormon illustration, no?

  11. Ti-Guy

    Our issues do seem petty and minor given the political/social paralysis the US has been undergoing for many years now.

    And what political/social analysis are you referring to, Tomm? And do you really believe that comes through on cable teevee nooz?

  12. Tomm

    Ti,

    The US system has been very confrontational since the 80’s. The Republican and Democratic Party’s have been entrenching their positions and been more and more aware of electability than good governance.

    There hasn’t been a national discussion of national renewal for many years.

    The issues the US is dealing with don’t include when a specific Cabinet Minister may have known about the potential threat of torture in an Afghan jail before he took action. Their issues have been about sending 100,000 troops overseas and whether they should close their borders, print more money, and start wars.

    The issues that will grow their nation have had no chance to catch support or resonance.

  13. Ti-Guy

    Their issues have been about sending 100,000 troops overseas and whether they should close their borders, print more money, and start wars.

    Don’t forget death panels.

  14. philosoraptor

    Hey Red, thought you might be interested in this, if you haven’t come across it already:

    The Dunning-Kruger effect

  15. Okhropir rumiani

    No link, philosoraptor.

  16. philosoraptor

    Thanks…I dont’ know how that happened. Here’s the full URL:

  17. When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    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.

    Anybody know where that is from?

    (As a preemptive strike against certain facetious individuals, no it is not from the US Constitution. It’s from something that is every bit as important.)

  18. Liz

    Patrick,

    What you are quoting is the Declaration of Independence, which was written primarily by Thomas Jefferson, who is widely argued to be a Deist.

    Are you attempting to argue that it is espousing a Christian ideal? Because such statements as “Nature’s God” are Deist ones.

  19. Quite so.

    Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.

    — Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

  20. Dave — Thanks much for the video. That’s fascinating; certainly explains a lot of things…

  21. Rob

    The professor gets it worse than just about anyone from the artist in the explanatory notes. Tightly holding his Darwin book indeed.

  22. He attended Brigham Young University, which might shed some light on his scorn for academics.

  23. What you are quoting is the Declaration of Independence, which was written primarily by Thomas Jefferson, who is widely argued to be a Deist.

    Which, in actuality, means very little.

    A person could argue anything.

    Moreover, many Deists reject the notion of Christ’s divinity, and simply argue in defense of his moral teachings.

    Are you attempting to argue that it is espousing a Christian ideal? Because such statements as “Nature’s God” are Deist ones.

    Or, rather, that they can be interpreted as Deist statements. After all, the Abrahamic God would unquestionably be nature’s God.

    Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it would read ‘A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;’ the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.

    There’s a serious problem with treating this statement as evidence that Christian teachings weren’t central to the foundation of the United States.

    First off, one has to remember that evangelical demoninations within the United States at the time of the founding were feirce advocates of the separation of Church and State.

    One should remember that one of Christ’s teachings was “render unto Caesar what is his”. Part and parcel of this lesson is that a subject or citizen has obligations to their state, which should be met.

    Evangelical christians did not want Christianity to be considered a duty to the state. Rather, their preference was for a voluntary devotion to Christianity, not a compulsary one.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    PR — Caught in the Spam filter, then the second one went automatically to Moderation. Sorry about that.

  24. Dave — By the way, speaking of that Dunning-Kruger effect, I ran across this quotation yesterday:

    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.” — Charles Darwin

    Prescient, huh?

  25. Ti-Guy

    I thought for sure you were already aware of the Dunning-Kruger hypothesis since it’s been brought up on this blog before

    I call it a hypothesis rather than an effect, because I don’t think there’s been enough empirical research to determine whether the incompetence is really a result of a metacognitive deficiency or whether it’s conscious and deliberate.

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