With Santorum now leading in multiple polls and his strong Christian beliefs I feel it is time to dispel one of the common myths that circulates within conservative circles: America was founded on Christian principles. The fact is the country was not founded on Christian principles, but throughout the twentieth century Christianity has worked its way into our political system. Some argue our currency says “In God We Trust” and our Pledge says “one nation under God” as proof that Christianity is a staple of our country. The problem is “under God” wasn’t added to the Pledge until 1954 and “In God We Trust” wasn’t added to currency until 1957.
Also, the Constitution , whom Republicans claim to strictly adhere to is void of any mention of God, Lord, Creator or Jesus. So the document on which our entire political and legal system is based lacks any reference to Christian principles. It would seem if a country was truly born from Christian ideals then God would be mentioned somewhere in the country’s most important document. Besides that, the Treaty of Tripoli, which was ratified by the Senate in 1797 says, “The government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on Christian religion”. Here we have, early in America’s history, Congress explicitly stating Christianity is not a part of the U.S. government.
Many times conservatives refer to the Declaration of Independence, which says, “We are endowed by our Creator” as proof that America is a Christian nation. The problem is the Declaration of Independence, although an important document in our history has no bearing on our government or our political system.
Finally many of the founders, like Jefferson, were not Christians but Deists. Deism believes there is a creator but he has no affect on people and does not intervene with human affairs. This is in stark contrast to the Christian God. So not only do many of our founding documents make no mention of Christianity, many of our founders did not even consider themselves Christians.