Fundamental religious faith and rule-of-law democracy are mutually exclusive propositions. Fundamental faith demands unthinking fealty. Rule of law democracy demands that we think. While the men who wrote America’s founding documents were all Christians of one stripe or another, Deism “subverted orthodox Christianity“. Many of America’s founders practiced a brand of Christianity modern American Christians would not recognize as Christianity. Deists weren’t dogmatic. Nature and God shared a lot of attributes. Deists didn’t use their religious faith (such as it was) to legislate (slavery was the exception). And they certainly didn’t see America as the means to nationalize their faith. The founders may have been Christians but they didn’t see the country they were founding as “Christian”. Even most of our founders would have balked at the idea: America a “Christian Nation”? God forbid!
All religions make it a point to recruit you when you’re young and uninformed. No one asks a child if they want to be baptized. The adults simply do it to the child, like it or not. Believe in it or not. Same goes for America’s founders. They had no choice about being baptized as children. “But as adults they did have a choice about participating in communion or (if Episcopalian or Roman Catholic) in confirmation. And few Founders who were Deists would have participated in either rite. George Washington’s refusal to receive communion in his adult life indicated Deistic belief to many of his pastors and peers.” America’s founders had no use for Christian dogma or any church’s control over the country.
Deism itself “stood for rational inquiry, for skepticism about dogma and mystery, and for religious toleration. Many of its adherents advocated universal education, freedom of the press, and separation of church and state.” If Deists now occupied the SCOTUS seats occupied by hard core Catholics? Roe v Wade would be alive and well. Voting rights would be assured. The wall between church and state would be inviolable.
Losing Our Religion
America never was and was never going to be “a Christian nation”. That’s just one more fiction that fiction-loving Christians love to tell themselves while they lament that more and more people are quitting the faith. If anything America’s shores presented a blank slate where the religiously inclined could run riot. Consider the religions – mostly Christian offshoots – that sprang from America: Mormons, Shakers, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Scientists, Pentecostals, Unitarians and Scientologists.
Christians especially hate Scientology. They despise its mythology and dogma. From an entirely outside perspective – outside Christianity and Scientology – they’re both variations on a theme. One complaining about the other – that’s hilarious!
America is no more a “Scientologist” country than it is a Christian one. While Christian doctrine played a part in shaping our culture, the same could be said for Jewish doctrine (since that’s the basis for Christian doctrine). It’s background influence. Like the weather or geography.
Is America a “Christian nation”? God forbid.