After the Declaration came the Constitution, and again, all they wrote in to it was “freedom of religion.” No specific religion, faith, creed, or doctrine. As a matter of fact, they went back and forth on how to word the idea that became “freedom of religion.” Look closely.
At one point it was “Congress shall make no law establishing a religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, nor shall the right of conscience be infringed. But as you can see above, that was stricken out in favor of some proposed language precluding “religious tests,” and not establishing “Articles of Faith or a mode of worship or prohibiting the free exercise of religion.” History shows us that all this was negotiated and renegotiated into the final language:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof
This was not by any means an endorsement of Christianity any more than any other religion, as the founders and drafters did not unanimously follow a single faith themselves. More importantly, they had experienced religion pushed upon them, so both empirically and philosophically, they knew better than to “force it.” (values of a nation)
But did this idea of not forcing Christian beliefs onto the non-christians of the nation last? Yes and no. It did for some, but obviously not for others. There are several cases in point, and I will cover some of the main ones in the upcoming posts.
For now, I’ll rest on this point: The U.S.A. and the image of Christ given by the Bible seem to have something in common, but it’s not legalism, or judgmentalism, or a sanctimonious attitude, or even the idea of one race or creed being better than another.
It’s the idea of not forcing it. Freewill. God invented it. The U.S.A. used it as its enabling documents claimed natural law and the “god of nature,” but many of the Christians of this nation have been eroding it for generations, in the name of Christ Himself. I’m not sure they were even aware of the consequence of their actions – the consequence of forcing it. But we are seeing the consequences in modern society, and ironically but not surprisingly, the Christians are blaming anyone and everyone else. I am a Christian, and that’s exactly why this bugs me so much. I’ll explain…