Did U.S. Founders Want a ‘Christian Nation’?

A survey conducted by the First Amendment Center shows that a majority of Americans believe that the country’s founders intended the U.S. to be a Christian nation.


Sept. 13, 2007

Oh, my goodness…what an ignorant country we live in! Or at least that’s what some would have you conclude from this survey. How dare anyone desire a Christian nation or foundation!

I have a T-shirt I wear once in a while. It’s red with a U.S. flag on it and in the front it says:


On the back is the First Amendment (with the highlighted words in bold here):

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

The USA Today jumped on the opportunity to point out how erroneous it is for that majority of Americans who think in terms of a “Christian nation” in a story published Wednesday.

While the story goes on the premise that the poll can be interpreted, as the headline reads, “Most think founders wanted Christian USA,” I’m sure the founders didn’t want to legislate Christianity into the Constitution. They simply knew that they themselves were not the beginning and end of building a good and prosperous nation. The Lord’s word rang true enough for them that they could use His principles as a starting block. Where else could they begin?

The founders themselves were well aware of religious oppression. It is the reason many left Europe. So why would someone knowing full well the horror theocracy could reign on people, write any religion into the Constitution?

They didn’t. However, many knew the resurrecting power of a personal relationship with Jesus. That’s different from religion and that is the right they were trying to protect.

Take what you want from the survey, but I suggest not taking the offshoot spins from the results as gospel.

That’s found in the Bible.


State of the First Amendment 2007 Survey

USA Today – Most think founders wanted Christian USA

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress

That from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion, that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God, and that government of the people by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.—Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863

Image and excerpt from The Presidential Prayer Team.

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