The Instigator
octo
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
kbub
Con (against)
Winning
22 Points

The United States was founded as a Christian Nation

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
kbub
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/15/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,413 times Debate No: 44027
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (4)

 

octo

Pro

Of the 55 colonial delegates to Consitutional convention of 1787 52 or (94.5%) were members of Christian churches and only 3 of the delegates considered themselves to be deists.
kbub

Con

This is a speed debate. We each have only one hour, so forfeits are understandable and not resignations (though they are very disadvantageous).

My opponent says that the United States is a Christian nation. Nations that subscribe to a particular religious system are called "Theocracies."

The United States is certainly not a theocracy.
1. The United States, according to one article, claims to be the first nation without an official religion.
2. The Constitution prohibited any religious testing to gain office.
3. Diverse religious freedoms, not specifically Christianity, is protected by the Constitution in the First Amendment.

Founding Fathers
4. Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were deists [2]
5. John Adams became a Unitarian [2]

Rebutals: My opponent gave no source for her/his statistics. However, even if they were true, this would only reflect the fact that the majority of the Founding Fathers happened to be Christian, not that the United States was "Founded as a Christian Nation." In fact, as I pointed out the Constitution explicitly forbade the United States to be founded on any one religion, which was a radical decision at the time.

While certainly some Christian values were considered in founding the nation, these were seen as private and personal, rather than public and official policies. Additionally, while Christian verses were used in public, this was simply the way politics works at the time: the Bible was an easy literary reference.

Thanks to my opponent!

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.britannica.com...
Debate Round No. 1
octo

Pro

One of the letters frome Ben Frankland sent to Ezra Stiles says and I quote "Here is my creed : I Believe in one God Creator of the universe. That he governs it by his providence. That He ought to be Worship" and that came from one of the least religions founding fathers. Even though he says later that he starts to doubt Jesus Christ divinity he also says that he completely agrees that the morals of Christ are the best and he also only said that he had SOME doubts not that he wasn't a Christian or he completely doubted. Pluses George Washington said " It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the bible
kbub

Con

My opponent gives quotes from two Founding Fathers, again without citing. I have cited my source for why Benjamin Franklin was a Deist. I have also pointed out that the Founding Fathers used Christian dialogue as a political method, which my opponent drops.

Let me elaborate. It was considered improper at the time to not be Christianity, as it still is today. For example, President Obama was almost not elected based on the mere rumor that he was Muslim, despite his professing to be a Christian on numerous occasions [1, 2, 3]. My opponent did not cite her/his arguments, but we can certainly assume that there was good reason for Benjamin Franklin to have spoken as if he were a Christian.

The quote from George Washington only states that relgious ought to use the Bible as a moral text, much like an ethical textbook. This does not mean that Washington supported a Theocracy, or even an official religion.

Even if Washington and Franklin were Christian (no sources remember), that still doesn't matter. My opponent dropped the important arguments, like:

1. The United States isn't a Theocracy
2. The United States claim to be the first nation without an official religion.
3. The Constitution does not allow people to take a religion test to be elected (meaning that non-Christians were officially as welcome a Christians).

My opponent dropped all of those arguments.

Let me also add that neither the Constitution of the United States nor the Constitutions of any states nor the Declaration of Independence nor other official United States documents claimed to support Jesus Christ specifically.

James Madison also supported the United States not being religous, no matter what religious majority was in power [4]

[1] http://mediamatters.org...
[2] http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com...
[3] http://urbanlegends.about.com...
[4] http://atheism.about.com...
Debate Round No. 2
octo

Pro

You said the America is the first country not to be founded on a religion witch is true unlike England the church did not run the country but the founders wanted the country to be founded on Christian beliefs. As Patrick Henry a sighner said and I quote " It can not be emphsized to strongly or to offten that this great nation was founded not by religionist but by Christians not on religion but the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum prosperity and freedom of worship here. " in Patrick Henrys will and testament to his children he says " The religion of Christ witch will make them rich indeed. "

The Paris Peace Treaty of 1783 the document that ended the American Revalutuonary War when the US sighed and became a nation they sighed "in the name of the holy and undivided Trinity. The Treaty ends with "The Year of our Lord" .
kbub

Con

My opponent says: "You said the America is the first country not to be founded on a religion witch [sic] is true...." My opponent admits that the United States of America was not founded on a religion. Christianity is a religion, so my opponent admits here that the United States was NOT founded on Christianity. I believe here that my opponent has admitted that I have successfully defended that the US was NOT founded as a Christian Nation, and hence concedes the main point of the debate.

My opponent also says that "... the founders wanted the country to be founded on Christian beliefs." I think that this is just slightly off. Instead of "beliefs," I would put "values." The Founding Fathers, as I've said before, were certainly respectful of the Bible's ability to prescribe ethics, and certainly wanted to use ethics, including Biblical ethics, to guide the United States. However, the Founding Fathers for the most part personally and certainly officially did not want the United States to be founded on Christian beliefs. I have explained this multiple times, but my opponent in each round does not address these arguments specifically. Simply being guided by ethics from a multitude of sources including the Bible does not make the United States Federal Government Christian.

This appreciation for Christian values helps explains Patrick Henry's words that AGAIN my opponent neglects to cite (there are at least two typos in the quote too. I doubt those belonged to Patrick Henry). Patrick Henry believed that the gospels of Jesus gives some important wisdom for running the government. This does *not* mean that Patrick Henry advocated a Theocracy, or a State religion, or only Christian leaders. Patrick Henry also points out that it is Christian ethics that advocate tolerance of other religions, according to this quote. What Patrick Henry says privately to his children really doesn't have anything to do with the debate about the US as far as I can tell, since this was advice for his family and not the government.

My opponent does not cite the Paris Peace Treaty. This is problematic because I only have one hour to respond, and I have a life. This makes it very difficult to look up, and makes it untrustworthy for voters. Now, if I give my opponent the benefit of the significant doubt and take her/him at her/his word, this still does not mean that the US was founded on religion, or Christianity. "The year of our Lord" is a common phrase for A.D. In fact, A.D. in Latin means "the year of our lord" ("Anno Domini") It's use was standard and not of religious significance.[1] Signing under the name of the trinity also does not reflect official policy but was a matter of tradition.

As far as official Policy is concerned, I've won the debate. Also, my opponent added new sources in the last round, so I think I am allowed to do so as well.

1. The constitution protects religious preference in the government: Congress shall make NO law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." [2]
2. None of the state constitutions mentioned following Jesus, nor did the Declaration of Independence.
3. There was a separation of Church and State
4. The United States is the first nation with no official religion.
5. The Constitution did not allow elections or government positions to be based on religion.

My opponent dropped or conceded all of these arguments.

This is from the Treaty of Tripoli: "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion...." [2]

Conclusion:
Simply because many of the Founding Fathers respected the advice of the Bible for running a government does not mean that they wanted the United States to be a Christian Nation. In fact, they were one of the first to make country that did the opposite: Make sure that it was founded on no particular religious views or preferences. The Constitution does not allow Christianity to be part of the official government policy. I gave many examples of this. There is no state constitution that recognizes Jesus, a point my opponent dropped. The Constitution does not allow the government to fund religious institutions. Many founding fathers were not Christians. The treaty I mentioned specifically said that the United States was not founded as a Christian Nation. My opponent gives no sources, nor any official documents claiming that the United States was founded on Christianity. In contrast, the Constitution forbid and prevented the United States from being founded on Christianity.

Again, my opponent has not citations, even after I asked. There is no reason to trust any of her/his points. My opponent also conceded that the US was not founded on religion. While there were certainly plenty of Christians in the US, as I have thoroughly pointed out, the US was not by any means a "Christian nation."

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...(full)
[2] http://www.nobeliefs.com...
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Samiam 3 years ago
Samiam
My two cents, even though voting is long done:

Kbub definitely won as Pro's wording of the resolution doomed him before Con could even speak. It would have been better to say "The US was founded on Christian Values", which would have made for a much more engaging debate :)

Sources were nonexistent for Pro, so Con's unreliable sources still win out, conduct was fairly even, and kbub definitely held the more convincing argument. Nice debate :)
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
Yes?
Posted by NarutoUzamaki 3 years ago
NarutoUzamaki
I am a christian
Posted by octo 3 years ago
octo
Oka
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
Yes, good luck!

Here are some things I'd consider to answer your question.

Arguments:
1. There seemed to be a concession for the entire debate in the last round

2. Pro (you) seemed to have dropped the most vital points of the debate (1-5)

3. Pro did not have any sources

4. Con attacked Pro's arguments with strong argumentation and sources. There was nothing left unexplained or dropped by Con's analysis.

5. Even IF Pro won all of the specific offensive points, it is still not enough to demonstrate that it is a theocracy, and not nearly enough to compensate for Con's dropped arguments.

It would seem then that Con logically won the arguments, not matter how the judge interprets them. I am concerned though that people who simply have an opinion will not judge based on the arguments but on their bias, but this is always a problem in debate.

Grammar:
There were a number of run-on sentences, comma splices, capitalization errors, and misspellings on Pro's part, where as very few grammar mistakes on Con's part, in spite of longer arguments.

Sources:
Only Con gave sources.

It would seem then that grammar and sources would also go to Con. I would guess then that if we had fair, unbiased judges that Con would win.
Posted by octo 3 years ago
octo
That was a good debate let the best man win. Oh and by the way who do you think is going to win?
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
Oh wait. Never mind, it did post. Sorry! (*sheepish look*)
I must have pressed it twice or something. I did have a panic attack haha!
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
To those voting: This was a speed debate. On my computer when I pressed submit it said there was two minutes left. My internet must have been lagging or something, because it didn't let me post. I immediately placed my last argument in the comments seconds after. This was not a forfeit! Even if it were though, I still win because my opponent drops most of my arguments.

Letting you know again, this was not a forfeit!
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
the official government policy. I gave many examples of this. There is no state constitution that recognizes Jesus, a point my opponent dropped. The Constitution does not allow the government to fund religious institutions. Many founding fathers were not Christians. The treaty I mentioned specifically said that the United States was not founded as a Christian Nation. My opponent gives no sources, nor any official documents claiming that the United States was founded on Christianity. In contrast, the Constitution forbid and prevented the United States from being founded on Christianity.

Again, my opponent has not citations, even after I asked. There is no reason to trust any of her/his points. My opponent also conceded that the US was not founded on religion. While there were certainly plenty of Christians in the US, as I have thoroughly pointed out, the US was not by any means a "Christian nation."

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org......(full)
[2] http://www.nobeliefs.com......
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
his family and not the government.

My opponent does not cite the Paris Peace Treaty. This is problematic because I only have one hour to respond, and I have a life. This makes it very difficult to look up, and makes it untrustworthy for voters. Now, if I give my opponent the benefit of the significant doubt and take her/him at her/his word, this still does not mean that the US was founded on religion, or Christianity. "The year of our Lord" is a common phrase for A.D. In fact, A.D. in Latin means "the year of our lord" ("Anno Domini") It's use was standard and not of religious significance.[1] Signing under the name of the trinity also does not reflect official policy but was a matter of tradition.

As far as official Policy is concerned, I've won the debate. Also, my opponent added new sources in the last round, so I think I am allowed to do so as well.

1. The constitution protects religious preference in the government: Congress shall make NO law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." [2]
2. None of the state constitutions mentioned following Jesus, nor did the Declaration of Independence.
3. There was a separation of Church and State
4. The United States is the first nation with no official religion.
5. The Constitution did not allow elections or government positions to be based on religion.

My opponent dropped or conceded all of these arguments.

This is from the Treaty of Tripoli: "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion...." [2]

Conclusion:
Simply because many of the Founding Fathers respected the advice of the Bible for running a government does not mean that they wanted the United States to be a Christian Nation. In fact, they were one of the first to make country that did the opposite: Make sure that it was founded on no particular religious views or preferences. The Constitution does not allow Christianity to be part of the
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by chengste 3 years ago
chengste
octokbubTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: CON did a much better job, PRO quoted Ben Franklins letter without reference to back it up
Vote Placed by imsmarterthanyou98 3 years ago
imsmarterthanyou98
octokbubTied
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Reasons for voting decision: ro's argument isn't sufficient and lacking real evidenceto prove his case
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
octokbubTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's argument simply isn't sufficient to prove his case. A few delegates stating their support for Christianity doesn't mean that all the delegates agreed that that was how things should be, nor does it mean that they wanted a Christian nation. He simply doesn't take enough time to warrant his points, and Con outstrips him in level of argumentation.
Vote Placed by Josh_b 3 years ago
Josh_b
octokbubTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Was the formation of the government based on christian principles? I would say yes. Was the nation founded and deemed a christian nation? No. Freedom of Religion is very clear in the constitution. Despite what one person may believe over the other, the written, signed by men, law is the only recognized ruler in this nation.