Critical Thinking Club Message Board › Christian Nation
In the arguments over whether America is a Christian nation, there are convinced believers on either side. Disputants can each support their arguments with quotes and events. Our task as critical thinkers is to evaluate the evidence and testimony to draw conclusions about their veracity and significance. But I think that there are other questions that we should consider.
What do those who believe that America was “founded as a Christian nation” mean by that? Merely that most Americans when the nation was founded were Christian? That Christianity presents a “world view” which underpins our public institutions, which we have in common with other Christian nations, but which are fundamentally different than what could ever arise in a nation in which a Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist world view prevailed? Or that it was the intent of the Founding Fathers to manifest their Christian faith in our government, which they ensured with the constitutions that they wrote for the United States and the various states?
Do they have a “hidden agenda” behind their historical arguments? Do they want to use the claim of a Christian foundation to justify government support for Christianity, such as Christian prayers in public schools, and Ten Commandment monuments on the grounds of city halls? Do they believe that only Christians are “true Americans,” who should be favored by government over non-Christians?
Similar questions should be drawn up for evaluating someone who argues that America was not founded as a Christian nation, but someone else should do that. That is the position that I already accept as correct, so I may not be the most critical audience.