It was around the fourth of July when the subject of the USA being founded as a Christian nation was mentioned in a conversation. The devout Christian was explaining to others that this country was founded as a Christian Nation, with Christian Founders and that the Constitution contained all the principles of Christianity.
Actually, none of this is true. It is true that some of the Founding Fathers were Christian as Christianity was understood in those days. And Patrick Henry did make some speeches quite favorable about God and Christianity.
But we were still in a time period when most thought that it was alright for required taxes to go to certain religious organizations and churches, and not that far since the Salem witch trials with nineteen hanged and one of the accused crushed to death.
Some Founding Fathers were Christian and some were Deists. But against the whole-hearted endorsement of the Nation as Christian, we have Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and heavily involved with the Constitution. He even made his own Bible, tearing out the parts of the Bible he did not like and making his own Bible based on his thoughts.
We also have his letter to the Danbury, CT Baptists, reassuring them of the separation of church and state and that they had nothing to fear from the state or federal governments as to their religious practices. For many other Founding Fathers, their religious views and or affiliations were slightly fuzzy.
In addition to Jefferson’s work, Founding Fathers such as George Mason removed religious taxation in the 1776 Virginia Legislature, and many writers and signers of the Constitution – all Freemasons – subscribed to the theory of separation of church and state in the Constitution.
There are two big arguments against the USA beginning as a Christian Nation. One is Treaty of Tripoli in which it is clearly stated in Article Eleven that the “. . .United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion. . .”
That statement and treaty, then and now a part of our laws, was ratified unanimously by the US Senate, and signed into law by President John Adams on June 10, 1797. It had previously been signed and approved by Tripoli on November 4, 1796. The treaty language was written by two diplomats assigned by then- President George Washington.
The second argument against the United States beginning as a Christian Nation is the simple fact of timing. The Declaration of Independence was effective on July 4, 1776. The Constitution was finally ratified on June 21, 1788.
That is a period of almost twelve years since the Declaration of Independence. During those twelve years, any or all of the Founding Fathers or their advisors could have proposed, added, amended or otherwise included into the Constitution anything they wanted about religion or Christianity. They didn’t.
There is nothing in the Constitution about God, Jesus, the Holy Ghost/Spirit, the Ten Commandments, Resurrection, Salvation, heaven, miracles or anything else of a religious or Christian nature. One would think that Founding Fathers so hell bent (or heaven bent) on making sure that we were and are a Christian Nation would add a few tidbits in twelve years to help the rest of us foster this fiction.
Much of the thinking for the US Constitution comes from common law of the time and from the previous (1215) Magna Carta. Nothing there acknowledges or mentions the Bible, God, or the New Testament.