"The constitution grants rights to Christian sects only."
"This is a Christian nation."
All of these are claims you may hear from the religious of this nation, and in this article, we will discuss how to counter all of them with evidence from history and the constitution itself.
I. The Constitution is a Religious Document
One common claim of many fundamentalist Christians is that the constitution is a religious document. Unfortunately for them, they are wrong; who would have guessed that the "fundies" got it wrong again?
The constitution is a secular document and was inspired by enlightenment ideas, which began to develop in Europe and European colonies during the 18th century. The ideas of the enlightenment caused many revolutions and independence movements throughout the former European colonies in the Americas, the American revolution was one of the most successful attempts at reform.
The enlightenment was the change in the political philosophy of Europeans. It began at the time when kings, such as Louis XIV and Ivan the terrible, were seeking to consolidate their power under the crown and eliminate all aristocratic influence in their countries. The kings at this time claimed they had the divine right of kings endowed to them by god. This enraged many aristocratic nobles, who began attempting political reforms to limit the power of the king; these reforms caused the birth of new political ideas which removed god and religion from politics entirely such as "the social contract" which greatly influenced the writers of our constitution, which is itself totally void of any mention of god.
II. Freedom of Religion means Freedom of Christianity
Despite the absurdity of many fundamentalists' claims, the constitution does not mention freedom of religion anywhere. The Bill of Rights, otherwise known as the first ten amendments to the constitution, does however, so we'll give Christians the benefit of the doubt that they actually meant to say the Bill of Rights.
The Bill of Rights grants all people the freedom of religion, and although we could leave it at that because that is exactly what it says, we'll further prove our case by enlisting the help of another source, The Treaty of Tripoli.
We see the true opinion of John Adams, who was himself a founding father of this nation and one of the authors of the constitution, in the Treaty of Tripoli when he states:
"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."
III. This Is A Christian Nation
Out of all the claims of fundamentalists that we have mentioned so far, this one is the only one with a slight bit of validity.
While it is true that Christianity is the most popular religion among America's citizens, it is not true that America is a Christian nation. As we have seen in the previous sections, the constitution is not based on Christianity, and the freedom of religion applies to all religions and sects.
Leave all comments and questions in the comment section below. All people, regardless of religion, are encouraged to do so. Until next time, peace to all of humanity!