The Instigator
ksang
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Adam2
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

America: Christian Nation? - Rematch

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/11/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 646 times Debate No: 56435
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
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ksang

Con

After seeing bwilkins369 lose to Adam2 in this debate, I feel I would like to challenge the latter.

First Round is acceptance only.
Adam2

Pro

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
ksang

Con

Thanks to Pro for accepting my debate challenge.

Let's begin by asking: what is a "Christian Nation"?

For the purposes of this debate, we'll call a "Christian Nation" the following:

A nation that has it's priniples intentionally built upon specifically Christian ideals and promotes the Christian religion; a Christian theocracy.

Now let's get down to my arguments:

I. THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

The First Amendment forbids Congress from "promoting one religion over others."[1] So right off the bat, we know that the United States is a secular nation.

II. USES OF THE WORD "GOD" IN OFFICIAL AMERICAN DOCUMENTS AND GOVERNMENT ISSUES

Since the word God is used in things such as American currency ("in God we trust"), my opponent will probably bring this up. True, the word "God" is often used such documents, but is it really referring to the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible? The thing is, there is no proof whatsoever that God, as found in the Judeo-Christian Bible, is specifically the God that is mentioned in said documents.

The above sum up my inital arguments. I am willing to counter any new arguments that Pro decides to bring up.

I await Pro's rebuttals
Adam2

Pro

Thanks to Pro for accepting my debate challenge.

Let's begin by asking: what is a "Christian Nation"?

For the purposes of this debate, we'll call a "Christian Nation" the following:

A nation that has it's priniples intentionally built upon specifically Christian ideals and promotes the Christian religion; a Christian theocracy.
I disagree, a Christian nation doesn't have to be a country where Christianity is the official religion, and thus that religion can be shown favoritism. It can be a country that's culturally Christian, meaning the majority of people are Christians. Now, I would agree (and don't consider this me conceding) that a long time ago, Protestantism (Lutheranism) was the de facto established religion of the country, since they were being shown favoritism. But that's not the case anymore. Today the USA is culturally Christian (with the largest Christian majority actually being Catholic/Anglican [Anglicanism isn't really Protestant for historical reasons/if you want me to specify later why, I'd be glad to] instead of Protestant)

In this country, we have many Christian cultural things. The goal of America was a country blessed by God. Now... that doesn't mean they wanted to show favoritism towards that belief, but rather it was how they felt. Many of the presidents of the early United States were proud Protestants (John Hanson, who technically is the first president of the United States, being it was under the Articles of Confederation, was a proud Lutheran [though on the downside, he owned black slaves]). The Great Revival, which felt that Anglicanism and Deism was corrupting the country, took place in the South, and from there many great religions were born that added to the culture of the country, such as the Baptist Church, Methodism, etc.

So we may not be a theocracy, but in terms of culture, we are Christian. We have the Ten Commandments in the one of the buildings of Washington DC. We are probably also the only nation that has ads advetising the love of Jesus, especially in states where people are proudly Christian, like Minnesota and Ohio.
http://upload.wikimedia.org...

I. THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

The First Amendment forbids Congress from "promoting one religion over others."[1] So right off the bat, we know that the United States is a secular nation.
Not promoting one religion over the other makes it culturally a secular country. Ireland also doesn't promote one religion, but they are devoutly Catholic, the majority that is.

II. USES OF THE WORD "GOD" IN OFFICIAL AMERICAN DOCUMENTS AND GOVERNMENT ISSUES

Since the word God is used in things such as American currency ("in God we trust"), my opponent will probably bring this up. True, the word "God" is often used such documents, but is it really referring to the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible? The thing is, there is no proof whatsoever that God, as found in the Judeo-Christian Bible, is specifically the God that is mentioned in said documents.
This is a tricky one. There were people, like Ben Franklin, who felt that certain wording might show favoritism. However, none of that equates to establishing one religion. It's just how they felt. It set the culture of the country if you will.

Debate Round No. 2
ksang

Con

Thanks Pro for your response.

Obviously, the meaning of the term "Christian country" was not well established between us. I guess from this point in the debate, we will be arguing over whether America is culturally Christian or not.

I. CHURCH ATTENDANCE IN AMERICA

Obviously, for a religion to be culturally integrated into a society, there must be frequent practice as well as a majority declaration of faith in a population group, as Pro has asserted. However, although affiliation with the Christian religion is a majority at around 70%, weekly church attendance is only practiced by only about 36% of the American people [2]. True, the people of a nation can claim affiliation with a faith, but if nobody practices it, it can hardly be considered "cultural."

II. "In this country, we have many Christian cultural things. The goal of America was a country blessed by God."

Can we get a source that asserts this point?

III. THE FAITH OF SOME U.S. PRESIDENTS

Pro claims that because some of the presidents that we elected were proud Protestants, America as a whole is culturally a Protestant nation. Besides not giving any sources to confirm such the fact, his assumption is fallicious. His logic is presented as follows:

P1: Some U.S. presidents were Christian
C: America is a culturally Christian society.

IV. ADVERTISING OF CHRISTIANITY

Again, a fallicious argument. What can we expect from a religion that calls upon it's followers to spread their beliefs? I have seen an advertisement for Islam. Is America culturally Islamic because of it? Advertisements for Christianity can be found in other countries as well as seen in this image from Japan.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

V. REBUTTALS TO MY ARGUMENTS

Pro seems to be conceding to each of them.

I await your response.

Adam2

Pro

Thanks Pro for your response.

Obviously, the meaning of the term "Christian country" was not well established between us. I guess from this point in the debate, we will be arguing over whether America is culturally Christian or not.

I. CHURCH ATTENDANCE IN AMERICA

Obviously, for a religion to be culturally integrated into a society, there must be frequent practice as well as a majority declaration of faith in a population group, as Pro has asserted. However, although affiliation with the Christian religion is a majority at around 70%, weekly church attendance is only practiced by only about 36% of the American people [2]. True, the people of a nation can claim affiliation with a faith, but if nobody practices it, it can hardly be considered "cultural."
This is very tricky, as America has 50 states. There are bastions where the people are deeply religion. North and South Dakota are very Lutheran. The Southern states are very Baptists. Delaware is strongly Methodist. So yes, a good portion of America is devoutly Protestant. It even affects the laws.

II. "In this country, we have many Christian cultural things. The goal of America was a country blessed by God."

Can we get a source that asserts this point?

Ten Commandments on a Washington Building
Until not too long ago, our school pleadge of allegiances said, "One nation under God.'
Our US dollar bills say "In God we trust"
You won't really find things like this in other countries

III. THE FAITH OF SOME U.S. PRESIDENTS

Pro claims that because some of the presidents that we elected were proud Protestants, America as a whole is culturally a Protestant nation. Besides not giving any sources to confirm such the fact, his assumption is fallicious. His logic is presented as follows:

P1: Some U.S. presidents were Christian
C: America is a culturally Christian society.
Actually make that the majority -- John Adams, Jackson, Polk, Johnson, Teddy Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, Eisenhower, LBJ, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, Bush Jr -- all devout Protestants.

IV. ADVERTISING OF CHRISTIANITY

Again, a fallicious argument. What can we expect from a religion that calls upon it's followers to spread their beliefs? I have seen an advertisement for Islam. Is America culturally Islamic because of it? Advertisements for Christianity can be found in other countries as well as seen in this image from Japan.
More Judeo-Christian ads exist than any other religion.
http://en.wikipedia.org......

V. REBUTTALS TO MY ARGUMENTS

Pro seems to be conceding to each of them.
Actually I've rebutted all of them
Debate Round No. 3
ksang

Con

Thanks Pro for your response.

I will now take the chance to make some final rebuttals.

I. CHURCH ATTENDANCE IN AMERICA

Pro points out that there are states where many people are religious and thus would have higher levels of church attendance and displays of faith. He has no source to support this, but even if it were indeed a true fact, he has merely proved that these states are religious. He still has not proven that the country as a whole is culturally Christian.

II. THE GOAL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

He still has not proven his fallacious statement correct. I have already stated that even though such documents mention "God", they do not point to THE Judeo-Christian God specifically. Also, one building does not represent the culture of the country as a whole.

III. THE FAITH OF PRESIDENTS

Pro says that the majority of U.S. presidents were Protestant. Based on the list he gives us, if there are 14 Protestant presidents and 43 presidents in total, that gives about a 33% minority. Even this does not matter as I have already shown that just because many of our presidents are Christian doesn't make us a Christian nation.

IV. ADVERTISING

Again, it is a fallacious argument.

V. CLOSING STATEMENTS

Thank you for this chance to do this rematch debate.

SOURCES:

[1]: http://www.law.cornell.edu...
[2]: http://en.wikipedia.org...
Adam2

Pro

Thanks Pro for your response.

I will now take the chance to make some final rebuttals.

I. CHURCH ATTENDANCE IN AMERICA

Pro points out that there are states where many people are religious and thus would have higher levels of church attendance and displays of faith. He has no source to support this, but even if it were indeed a true fact, he has merely proved that these states are religious. He still has not proven that the country as a whole is culturally Christian.
A good chunk of states go to church more than half
Alabama
58%
1
Louisiana
58%
1
South Carolina
58%
4
Mississippi
57%
5
Arkansas
55%
5
Utah
55%
7
Nebraska
53%
7
North Carolina
53%
9
Georgia
52%
9
Tennessee
52%

according http://www.religionfacts.com...
it's just the states with less attendance to affect the country's statistics

II. THE GOAL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

He still has not proven his fallacious statement correct. I have already stated that even though such documents mention "God", they do not point to THE Judeo-Christian God specifically. Also, one building does not represent the culture of the country as a whole.

It's not just one building. It's the stuff, our money we use. The pledge of allegence we used to have. It does matter.

III. THE FAITH OF PRESIDENTS

Pro says that the majority of U.S. presidents were Protestant. Based on the list he gives us, if there are 14 Protestant presidents and 43 presidents in total, that gives about a 33% minority. Even this does not matter as I have already shown that just because many of our presidents are Christian doesn't make us a Christian nation.
John Adams – Unitarian
John Quincy Adams – Unitarian
Andrew Jackson – Presbyterian
Martin Van Buren – Dutch Reformed
James K. Polk – Methodist
Millard Fillmore – Unitarian
James Buchanan – Presbyterian
Andrew Johnson-Protestant, no official affiliation though
Ulysses S. Grant – Presbyterian, Methodist
Rutherford B. Hayes-Protestant, but didn't belong to a particular church
James GarfieldDisciples of Christ
Grover ClevelandPresbyterian
Benjamin HarrisonPresbyterian
Grover Cleveland – Presbyterian
William McKinley – Methodist
Theodore RooseveltDutch Reformed
William Howard Taft – Unitarian
Woodrow WilsonPresbyterian
Warren G. HardingBaptist
Calvin CoolidgeCongregationalist
Herbert HooverQuaker
Harry S. TrumanBaptist
Dwight D. EisenhowerPresbyterian
Lyndon JohnsonDisciples of Christ
Richard NixonQuaker
Ronald ReaganPresbyterian
Bill ClintonBaptist
George W. BushMethodist

As you can see the majority here are Protestant
http://en.wikipedia.org...
I didn't put Episcopilian as it really isn't Protestant, but Catholic (Church of England is really Catholic moreso than Protestant for various reasons, which I won't get into -- the origins of the church were not for the sake of Reformation; King Henry was still a proud Catholic in ideology after the conversion, just he didn't take orders from the Pope)

Actually it does matter as people elected them, though mostly white people historically.

IV. ADVERTISING

Again, it is a fallacious argument.
Actually no, I brought up things in our money and our buildings that are Christian.


Thank you con.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Learners 3 years ago
Learners
I believe this debate is flawed from the very beginning. You should both agree on that a Christian Nation is? What the bible, or Jesus and his disciples have laid out as criteria for a Christian Nation? How a Nation can become a Christian Nation will help us know whether America is a Christian nation.
Some Presidents are devout Christian, a large proportion of the population is christian are not enough to label a country Christian Nation.
Posted by Uh-Ha 3 years ago
Uh-Ha
Adam, how can you appear so well disposed in this debate and function so childishly in your debate about Nazism. I have been impressed with your moves in this one. What caused you to run so much off the rails in your other debate concerning how you would not feel insulted, nor should German people, to be called a Nazi?

Is this the same Adam2?
Posted by Adam2 3 years ago
Adam2
George Washington: member of the Church of England
Lincoln you are correct about
Posted by lifemeansevolutionisgood 3 years ago
lifemeansevolutionisgood
George Washington: Never publicized what religion he followed
Abraham Lincoln: Speciically said, "Christianity is not my religion"
Posted by Jikpamu 3 years ago
Jikpamu
President George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, JFK, Ronald Reagan, even Barack Obama, and most if not all Presidents have at least claimed Christianity as their religion and thus Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

A Gallup December 2011 Poll had 78% of America claiming Jesus Christ...that's about 234 Million Americans.

So is America a Christian Nation: yes... : )
No votes have been placed for this debate.