The Instigator
SirCrona
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
rugbypro5
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Does Christianity Have Any Place in American Government?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
SirCrona
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/3/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 538 times Debate No: 66321
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

SirCrona

Con

I'll be taking the con side of this argument. Pro must argue for the Christian religion's positive effect and legitimacy in taking a large role in government (not specifically Protestantism, orthodox, or Catholicism, but pro may choose one specifically if he or she desires.) First round is for acceptance only. Good luck.
rugbypro5

Pro

I accept. I will argue that Christianity is not only needed, but was expected by our founding fathers to be in our government.
Debate Round No. 1
SirCrona

Con

For starters I'd like to thank pro for accepting this debate. Good luck and may the best man win.

My first point is the first amendment, a key part of the constitution's candid pledge to defend the rights of all citizens, guarantees freedom of religion. The right to be unabridged in religious practices is guaranteed to all under the constitution. That's well and good- religious persecution was one of the reasons why people fled Europe to come to America. And so, to uphold this freedom of which scores of men died for and infinitely more would KILL for, certainly there is no better way than to integrate the Christian religion into the governme- wait, what? That seems just a bit counterproductive.
The introduction of Christianity into our government itself presents a conflict of interest. I wish to confuse nobody in what I am asserting- Christians with Christian values are very welcome on Capitol Hill. But please, leave your God(s) at the door; You're the one we elected to lead us, not him. The first amendment is very clear that one has a right to choose for himself what religion he should practice, if any. Christianity (or indeed any religion) can't be a part of government because then it would abridge this right; These principles enacted would effectively reinforce one religion and disallow others as its practice would be part of law. For example, take the butler act, the catalyst of the famous "Scopes Monkey Trial." It stated:

"That it shall be unlawful for any teacher in any of the...public schools of the State which are supported in whole or in part by the public school funds of the State, to teach any theory that denies the Story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible,"[1]

Anyone notice anything a bit off about that? This law asserts not only to teach the Christian story of recent creation (a policy that doesn't account for the six sevenths of humanity that isn't Christian) but it forbids teaching anything else, not even allowing presenting the ideas as unconfirmed, hypothetical, or mythical. Several schools elected to not teach elective courses on world religions, for the bill made it difficult to get into them in detail. So basically, Christian stories are more important that other stories? INCLUDING scientific facts such as the process of evolution of life? All religions are free... but some are more free than others? Forgive my frankness, but that is quite simply crap.

The common argument for Christian integration of government is that the nation was allegedly founded on the tenements of Judeo-Christian philosophy. This position is defended by mixed anecdotal quotes such as a couple made by John Adams (who was not a Christian himself) remarks on his observation of Christian businesses. However, the founding fathers did not play favorites with religion when they were running the country. They had just separated from a very fundamentalist authoritarian empire. They knew better than to found a nation with religious principal in mind. The separation of church and state in order to protect religious freedom called for a non fundamentalist, officially atheist (more on that scary "A" word later) government. The fact that America's government is secular in nature was disputed (and settled shortly thereafter) very early in our timeline: during the 1796 conflict with the Ottoman Empire. Part of famous American statesman and founding father John Adams' resolution to the war was a secular defense of the United States. To quote from Adams' treaty:

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims]; and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."[2]

America's aversion to state religion saved its proverbial skin in this instance. The Ottoman Empire was an incredibly powerful entity at the time, and without foreign aid America would have been devastated in armed conflict.

My last point is on the religion of the government itself. Devoid of a founding religious ideal, the government's religious stance is inapplicable, and therefore non fundamental as well as atheist. There's that scary word again. To clarify: Atheist government does not make the country atheist. As stated before, such an imposition is against the constitution. The government is atheist because it has no religion. It does not, should not, and cannot take the anti-religious stance colloquially known as fundamentalist atheism, or as anti theism. The adoption of Christianity by the government would violate the official secular policy of America and the religious freedom of Americans.

[1]- http://law2.umkc.edu...
[2]- http://books.google.gr...
rugbypro5

Pro

Hi, and thank you.

I'd like to begin by saying this: The topic of this debate is whether or not Christianity has any place in American government. It is incredibly simple to prove that it does.

I am a Christian, I am an American citizen, and I can vote. So, when I see a law, or a candidate that is in line with my Christian beliefs, I vote for it/them, and just like that, Christianity has a place in American government. So this debate should already be over.

This however, wouldn't be that great of a debate, and we still have two more rounds after this, so I'll now show that not only does Christianity have a place in American government, but that it is the foundation of American government.

Let's start with our founding fathers. You pulled out a quote, let me pull out a few myself.

"... in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissouluably linked with the birthday of the Saviour..." -John Quincy Adams (5th Presidident)

"... It (the Declaration of Independence) laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity."- John Quincy Adams

"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." John Jay (The first supreme court chief justice, and one of the three men most responsible for the Constitution)

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism who should labour to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens.” - George Washington


Next, there are some governmental foundations that come from Christianity.

First is the 3-branch system. The idea of having a judicial, legislative and executive branch came directly from the Bible in Isaaih 33:22, " For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us."

Second, the way our judicial system works, having local courts, state courts and then the supreme courts, was derived from Deut. 1:15, "So I took the wise and respected men you had selected from your tribes and appointed them to serve as judges and officials over you. Some were responsible for a thousand people, some for a hundred, some for fifty, and some for ten."

Are you going to tell me that one quote Adams made in the face of an empire that would've easily wiped his country off the face of the earth is sufficient to undermine all of this? Certainly not!

So like I said, even if our country wasn't founded on Christian principles, Christianity would have a place just by the country having Christian voters. But like I just gave evidence of, I think we have good reason to believe our country, at heart, is Christian.
Debate Round No. 2
SirCrona

Con

I'd like to point out a simple fact to start my rebuttal:
Christians are not Christianity. America could spontaneously become a religiously homogeneous nation of all Christians and Christianity would still be inappropriate in government. The fact that our government is atheist does not mean our governors have to be atheist (As, I said before, that would violate their religious freedom!) A Christian voting for a candidate or law that conforms to their religious beliefs does not put Christianity into the government. I'll use this analogy to demonstrate my point: Our current government outlaws murder and theft. The same may be said of almost every recorded civilization in history. And yet, that is not enough to liken our nation to others that had a similar practice of outlawing murder and theft among citizens, such as Nazi Germany or Jonestown. The religious are quite welcome in government; Their religions aren't. You are within your rights to vote for a law because that law is similar to your religious principles, but a law that is about religious principles (e.g. Biblical creation being taught in schools, prayers being mandated, etc.) cannot be passed. As for the quotes pro used; Those merely portray people of a particular worldview likening their decisions to their religion. In particular, John Jay's quote sticks out to me. People have the right to vote for things based on their world view. I can't say I agree with Mr. Jay about how America is a Christian nation, as the very document that gave him his job (The constitution) also says that the nation is explicitly noncommittal in the spiritual world (i.e.. atheist.) but each of these quotes only serve to demonstrate a particular person's religious view.

Next, the alleged biblical inspiration. The first quote is very contradictory of our current system. The LORD (i.e... God) is serving all of those roles. The entire idea behind the government having 3 separate branches is so that there are different people ruling these aspects of government so that one cannot be the most powerful in case one becomes corrupt or abusive. The second one is quite spot on, but it still does not make America's government Christian. What works, works, and in this example the bible got it right. This fails to prove why our government should be Christian. Con ended his point by saying that this gave us reason to believe our country is Christian at heart. If that is how it is, then that means that the country shuns the rich in favor of shared wealth (Mark 10:23-25) Executes homosexuals (Leviticus and Romans) Allows slavery (Exodus 21) among numerous other objectionable acts. This is obviously not how our nation operates, nor is it even how most Christians want it to operate. I assert that a country that detaches itself from religion is atheist in its governing, and a nation that doesn't follow all principles of a religion can't be said to follow that religion.
rugbypro5

Pro

rugbypro5 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
SirCrona

Con

As my opponent has forfeited, I feel no need to add to previous arguments. What I have sad before I find to be quite sufficient.
rugbypro5

Pro

rugbypro5 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by dhardage 2 years ago
dhardage
I think cheyennebodie really needs to read the entire constitution and look at all of the law that has been made since then to keep religion out of governments. Where religion rules, despotism and predjudice thrive.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
When I became Christian, I did not lose my citizenship. Nor my voice in government.I have just as much right to vote for those that express my opinions that you have the right to vote against.Believe it or not, it was the Judeo-Christian influence that made our country great. Just look at the places where that influence has been snuffed out. Schools, inner cities.All liberal utopias of violence and ridlin.
Posted by AbandonedSpring 2 years ago
AbandonedSpring
I think pro needs to read the first amendment, which was written by the founding fathers
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
SirCronarugbypro5Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by MrJosh 2 years ago
MrJosh
SirCronarugbypro5Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for the forfeit
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
SirCronarugbypro5Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments were more compelling, and Pro ff many times