Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Today's American unreligious history...

vid source

The right's contention that we are a "Christian nation" that has fallen from pure origins and can achieve redemption by some kind of return to Christian values is based on wishful thinking, not convincing historical argument. Writing to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1790, George Washington assured his Jewish countrymen that the American government "gives to bigotry no sanction." In a treaty with the Muslim nation of Tripoli initiated by Washington, completed by John Adams, and ratified by the Senate in 1797, we declared "the Government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion. ... " The Founders also knew the nation would grow ever more diverse; in Virginia, Thomas Jefferson's bill for religious freedom was "meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan, the Hindoo and infidel of every denomination." And thank Godor, if you choose, thank the Founders that it did indeed.

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