The Instigator
p_ritter
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
AakaashR
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

America: A "Christian Nation"

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/18/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 743 times Debate No: 35740
Debate Rounds (4)
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p_ritter

Pro

America shouldn't be called a "Christian Nation" because of the majority of the population's belief. There is a Freedom of Religion, and no matter how many people believe in one religion, America shouldn't be named after one belief.
AakaashR

Con

This is my first debate on this site, so please forgive me and let me know if I make any errors in form. I'd like to thank you for debating with me, and I look forward to an engaging argument.

I will be arguing the Con side: the United States is a "Christian Nation" and is rightfully known as such. Not only is the majority of the population Christian, Christianity shapes nearly every aspect of the United States' politics, culture, and society. Pro argues that the United States should not be considered a Christian nation because there is Freedom of Religion. I will first demonstrate that Freedom of Religion is not truly a reality in the United States, and I will then provide several examples of Christian influences on society that have detrimental effects on American citizens. This will make it apparent that, in many cases, the force of Christianity highly influential in shaping public policy. I will show that, for these reasons, the United States is a "Christian Nation".

While the United States certainly is more tolerant of different religions than many other nations, "absolute" Freedom of Religion would entail absolute equality - in all areas of life - between members of different religions and absolute equality between religious and non-religious citizens. It is readily apparent that this is not the case. The growing sentiment of Islamophobia, and the actions committed as a result, is but one of many examples that confirms that "absolute" Freedom of Religion is an ideal rather than a reality in the United States. I would be happy to provide Pro with several examples of Islamophobic acts or acts that otherwise undermine the ideal of Freedom of Religion in the United States if she so wishes.

For the last century, a highly controversial topic in education has been that of teaching evolution in public schools. It is - and has been for the last several decades - readily apparent that evolution, rather than divine creation, has led to modern life. However, due to the influence of various Christian groups (particularly in the South), evolution has been banned at many points in time in the United States during the twentieth century - despite the United States' much-vaunted "Freedom of Religion". The Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925, in which John Scopes was tried and fined for teaching evolution in a Tennessee high school in violation of the Butler Act. Below is an excerpt from the Butler Act:

"...that it shall be unlawful for any teacher... to teach any theory that denies the Story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible..."

It is apparent that it is Christian influence, rather than a general religious influence composed of the viewpoints of different religions, that shaped this act. This bias is perhaps best exemplified by the Tennessee Supreme Court's response upon Scopes' appeal: "We are not able to see how the prohibition of teaching the theory that man has descended from a lower order of animals gives preference to any religious establishment or mode of worship." Despite the fact that the Butler Act itself prohibited teachings that contradicted the Bible, the court did not rescind it for nearly fifty years. More recently, several states have passed an act requiring "critical analysis" of evolution. This often entails the teaching of "intelligent design" - a theory for which there is no scientific evidence. Advocates of intelligent design use this term as a placeholder for creationism, and these acts mandating the teaching of intelligent design ensure that creationism will be taught alongside evolution. In the United States, the idea of creationism is predominantly Christian; the fact that this religious idea is mandated by the state to be taught alongside a scientifically proven fact clearly demonstrates that Christianity is an extremely powerful force that is not as of yet divorced from the state.
Debate Round No. 1
p_ritter

Pro

p_ritter forfeited this round.
AakaashR

Con

I await my opponent's response to my argument in round 1.
Debate Round No. 2
p_ritter

Pro

p_ritter forfeited this round.
AakaashR

Con

AakaashR forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
p_ritter

Pro

p_ritter forfeited this round.
AakaashR

Con

AakaashR forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
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