The United States is a Christian Nation
Debate Rounds (3)
I would like to bring to debate and propose that this is not a Christian nation. Historical documents, letters and authenticated quotes and propositions will be my primary source for affirmation, and as such I would expect similar documentation.
Stick to presenting documentation regarding the nation, its practices and legalities. Avoid the following types of arguments:
Claiming that because there are a majority of Christians in this nation is not proof that it is a Christian nation. This would be like saying because the majority of citizens are Caucasian, therefore this is a Caucasian nation.
Claiming that because many of the original settlers and founders of the nation were deists, or perhaps a Christian, is not proof that this is a Christian nation. This would be analogous to saying the founders of Apple was a Zen Buddhist therefore Apple is a Buddhist company.
My opponent takes the position of the Tea Party, Libertarians, and strict constitutionalists. That is, that the will of the original founders is correct and should be adhered to.
This is similar stating that we should revert to the gold standard, because it is in the constitution.
Were we on the gold standard? Yes. Are we on the gold standard? The answer is an obvious no.
The three Great Awakenings transformed America into what we see today: 76% identify themselves with the Christian faith.
Note how this has impacted public policy. The idea of abortion is so repugnant to the religious that Legislated Law could not pass. It had to be the Case Law of Roe v. Wade that brought this important aspect to the forefront.
The other issue of the day is Gay marriage. In some metro areas, 10% of the populace identify as gay. This minority is excluded from the right of marriage because of a religious majority that believes in a holy book that condemns homosexuality.
The separation of Church and State is, in practice, a myth.
The Church in question is the Christian Church.
Contrary to the first line in my opponent"s argument regarding the religious affiliation of the 1700's founders. I did not make, nor will I submit, that the founders were anything but Christians or at the very least deists. I am sure that they had their faiths, their religious affiliations whether private or public however is neither central to the debate and is erroneous data in this context.
As per the second statement, I do not hold that sentiment to be an accurate description of my position. The founders intentionally wrote the Constitution to be an evolving document as they knew, or presumed that as time progressed and knowledge acquired governmental influence, power and practices would need adjustment. Their "will" if anything is the progress be made for the betterment of the nation.
As stated above, the framers of the nation saw that evolution of the nation was inevitable. Making the case that since they had the gold standard and we no longer do is exactly what they had envisioned. Although the exact historical act of moving away from the gold standard was not predicted, it was within the architects initial boundaries of what the federal Government could do. This was a piece of progress that was needed in order for the economy to accommodate growth and continue to flourish, thus benefiting the nation. Also, point of contention, the constitution does not explicitly say that we must adhere to the gold standard. Article 1 Section 10 is the only section of the Constitution that mentions gold, no limits or constraints are set upon the power of the Congress or the federal government, are presented.
My opponent mentions the case Roe v. Wade. This case is a great example of what the founders were preparing the nation for. The case, in its most basic sense, reaffirms that it is not within the Federal Government"s power to make getting an abortion illegal.
However, none of the above speaks to the debate at hand. That being, whether or not this nation is (current tense) a Christian nation.
My opponents final thoughts expressed in the last few statements do apply, and will be address.
The example of the gay rights argument is a great example. Were the nation a Christian nation, a single consensus would have to be made regarding which set of Christian principals we would want to adopt. For example, would it be the beliefs of the Westborough Baptist Church or one of the many "Gay friendly" Christian churches? Although this exact argument was not present in the 1700's for the founders to consider, the debates with ramifications like this were on their minds, and this is what prompted them to put into place government restrictions regarding religions.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," was the first amendment that the founders included in the binding contract between government and citizen, the US Constitution. Many people interpret this to mean we have the freedom of religion, which would be an accurate summary. However, the government has not the right to be involved with the religion of the people; therefore it should also be interpreted to stipulate freedom from government"s involvement in religion. This is a restriction, not on the people who want to practice, but of the government that wants to influence.
"Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorized only to execute their acts" "Thomas Jefferson
In regards to influence of values held by Christians impacting the legislation passed in congress, it is only fitting that Christian members of congress do right by their conscience. Nothing could be father from the truth to speculate that congress should pass laws that defy their moral compasses. However, legislation with respect to the conventions and philosophies presented in the creation of this nation, the prosperity of this nation and the presumed greatness of the laws of this nation must be taken into consideration. The evolution of the nation was expected, however defiance of what created the nation is out of the powers of the legislature, and that is why we are not, will not and never will be a Christian nation.
To that end I borrow from the Declaration of Independence: "whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends [infringing on rights], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." Where it sits on the people, not just the majority of people mind you, to ensure that congress protects the rights we are granted, one of those being the protection from a government establishment of religion.
A nation that is 100% Christians. Suppose one atheist moved here from Norway. Then America would cease to be a Christian nation.
The idea is ludicrous.
Examples of a religious nation is the Islamic Republic of Iran, where they practice Sharia Law derived from the Qur'an. They worship as a nation Islam in particular, Shia Islam is the official religion. The government forces religious doctrine on its citizen in many forms, i.e. females over the age of nine must wear a hijab in public.
A Christian Nation, would have to have a single Christian doctrine for which to call our official religion (which the Constitution prohibits). Like Islam, there are many Christian denominations including Methodists, Lutheran, Baptist, Protestant so on an so forth; to stay consistent in laws a single one would have to be chosen. Government powers would force citizens follow its laws which would have based on Christianity; this would mean major shifts in our way of life, shell-fish would be as outlawed as Gay marriage, women would never have gone through suffrage and got the right to vote, slavery would be legislated as per the holy book, The Bible etc...
As per the rules of the debate, "Claiming that because there are a majority of Christians in this nation is not proof that it is a Christian nation." which seems to be what your argument is based off of with your statement "76% identify themselves with the Christian faith." The crux of your argument breaks the initial rules set forth at the beginning of the debate. My argument for why this is a fallacy is you cited statistics read very close to 78.1% of American are Caucasian," which does not mean we are a Caucasian nation of course we are not. We are a nation of mixed races and ethnicity as the poet Emma Lazarus' words stamped on the nations standing welcome the Statue of liberty implies, bring us everyone we will welcome and embrace.
The Jewish Nation is made up of mostly secular people, and is called a Jewish nation. Your example of Iran is invalidated.
Regardless of being called a "Christian nation" in a formal manner, I have proven that America is a Christian Nation in practice.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by x2MuzioPlayer 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Even if I grant the power of the Christian majority in America on the controversy over same-sex marriage, it's not a strong point to drive home since Con's response was that the foundation for law in America is not derived from Christian principles (followed by a list of holy laws that are not American laws). The focus on outliers thoroughly distracted both Con and Pro from the heart of the issue, which is the foundation for American law. I can elaborate in the comments if I need to.
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