One Nation Under...Several Deists and Freemasons | Teen Ink

One Nation Under...Several Deists and Freemasons MAG

December 2, 2010
By Phantom_Girl GOLD, Ft. Carson, Colorado
Phantom_Girl GOLD, Ft. Carson, Colorado
14 articles 0 photos 279 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If it comes out of the lion's will be on the test."
-Mr. Bala

We've all heard that incredibly overused argument that our nation was founded on Christianity. I've heard it so many times – and backed up with the most inaccurate information – that I am ready to scream.

Before I continue, let me state for the record that I have absolutely nothing against Christianity. I was a Catholic for most of my life, and left it simply because it wasn't for me. My best friend, my step-mother, and many of my relatives are Christians. I have nothing against religion. No, my beef is with those who use inaccurate statements like “Our country was founded on Christianity” and “All of the founding fathers were Christians.”

Let me address some of these arguments. The first always seems to be that phrases like “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and “In God We Trust” on our currency have existed since the start of our nation. This is simply untrue. These phrases were not put on paper currency or added to our Pledge until the Cold War in the 1950s. During the Red Scare of Communism, people saw a need to separate the American identity from the concepts of communism. The original Pledge of Allegiance simply stated “I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands: one ­nation indivisible with liberty and ­justice for all.” In the original pledge, instead of “Under God,” Francis Ballamy, the author, mentioned unity, ­liberty, and justice. Get with the times, people; the Red Scare is over.

Some claim that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution mention God, when in fact, the Declaration of Independence only states “they are endowed by their Creator.” In addition, even that was not in Jefferson's original draft. He simply stated that equal creation was a reason for equal rights. He made no mention of a “Creator”; that was added later. As for the Constitution, religion is only mentioned when the document is stating that church and state will be separate. Funny, it never mentions God, but it says the church and state should stay out of each other's business. Clearly, this document was written by those familiar with Christian theocracy.

Many people in our country believe that our founding fathers were all Christians. While many of the founding fathers attended church, their ­personal beliefs were quite different from those taught by the churches they attended. For example, Thomas Jefferson, our third president, was the author of the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Far from being a Christian, he was believed to be a Deist and repeatedly made arguments against Christianity.

John Adams, our second president and another founding father, was a Unitarian. The Unitarian theology of that time, while Christian in nature, ­denied many basic ­principles of orthodox Christianity. It rejected the idea of the Holy Trinity, for example. The Unitarian theology of the colonial period was based on tolerance and reasoning and was much closer to Deism than the standard orthodox branches of Christianity popular in colonial times.

Benjamin Franklin, my personal favorite of the founding fathers, was an inventor, educator, diplomat, scientist, and public servant. He was also a Deist. He rejected the Resurrection, Divinity of Jesus, and the Trinity, according to Franklin stated his skepticism of Christianity on several occasions and became a Freemason in 1730.

George Washington attended church regularly, but was never confirmed or took communion, not even on his deathbed. He would wait outside the sanctuary while his wife took communion. His beliefs on the Trinity are questionable, and he is believed to have been a Deist. He was also a Freemason.

Thomas Paine, author of the revolutionary pamphlet “Common Sense,” has been called a “firebrand of the American Revolution.” He was also a Deist. He believed religion to be a tyranny and denied the Trinity, Resurrection, and even miracles. Paine is known for denouncing slavery in the colonies and pushing thousands of “fence-sitters” onto the side of revolution before the war, and he did all this without any basic religion.

All these founding fathers have made statements that clearly disprove any orthodox Christianity on their part and prove their tolerance toward non-Christians. Here are some of their thoughts in their own words:

“Question with boldness even
the existence of God.” – Thomas ­Jefferson

“No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever.” – Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

“Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the Common Law.”
– Thomas Jefferson

“God is an essence that we know nothing of. Until this awful blasphemy is got rid of, there will never be any liberal science in the world.” – John Adams

“Have you considered that system of holy lies and pious frauds that has raged and triumphed for 1,500 years?” – John Adams

“Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause. Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by the difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be depreciated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.” – George Washington

“Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.” – Thomas Paine

The author's comments:
So, I wrote this piece after reading several comments on Spirituality/Religion articles that claimed that America was founded on Christianity. I refuted as many horrible arguments as I could, but decided it would be better to refute them all at once.

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This article has 29 comments.

on Nov. 5 2011 at 10:44 am
The_Earl_of_Zerces PLATINUM, Waukesha, Wisconsin
36 articles 0 photos 106 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."
-Sigmund Freud

It's actually kind of funny. During the debate over the passing of the US Constitution, one of the chief problems the Anti-Federalists had with the Constitution was that it didn't make any mention of God.

on Nov. 2 2011 at 4:36 pm
bemark12 BRONZE, Lawrence, Kansas
1 article 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
"God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind that I will never die." - Bill Watterson

It's certainly accurate that America was not primarily founded by Christians or even theists; however, I would argue that the Declaration of Independence's foremost idea, the self-evident rights and equality of mankind, is a Judeo-Christian idea. It most certainly doesn't trace back to our classical background; one only needs to read Plato or Aristotle's thoughts on slavery to see that. The idea we have today that all people are equal traces back to the Judeo-Christian idea of sanctity of all life, and I think we'd be hard-pressed to find this kind of idea expressed in the Greco-Roman world outside of the Jewish community. I won't be naive and say that this was founded as a Christian country, but I will say that one of its primary ideals has deep roots in Judeo-Christianity.

on Oct. 31 2011 at 8:22 pm
Olivia.297 BRONZE, Orillia, Other
1 article 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
Ever notice how you never see me and superman at the same time?

incase you didn't notice, there's nothing in this article that says anything about not believing in god, just how the USA was formed. most priests, btw have always taught me to ask about my faith, to question it. it will make your faith stronger, and help you to become a free thinker.

on Jun. 1 2011 at 4:13 pm
Well, I just disagree because what I know from my pastors.

on Jun. 1 2011 at 1:33 am
Phantom_Girl GOLD, Ft. Carson, Colorado
14 articles 0 photos 279 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If it comes out of the lion's will be on the test."
-Mr. Bala

As for the education of the pastors I visitied, that seems like a ridiculous assumtion to make. I don't know what you mean by "it's just the way I'm reading it," as you can assume nothing of the pastors with just the information I gave you.

Several of the pastors made the same claims as you are, however they didn't disprove anything that I've said.

on Jun. 1 2011 at 1:31 am
Phantom_Girl GOLD, Ft. Carson, Colorado
14 articles 0 photos 279 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If it comes out of the lion's will be on the test."
-Mr. Bala

Actually, our electoral colleges were created because the founding fathers feared the popular vote, as there was no organized political parties at the time; but they also feared election by Congress, as it would likely reflect the opinions of the Congressmen as opposed to the people. They may have gotten the idea from Moses (however I'm not so sure), but it wasn't born from Moses, it was born from the needs of the people at the time.

You can argue that our laws/morals came from the Bible, but you can just as easily argue that they came from the Koran or Vedas. It's something you are free to believe, but that doesn't make it true.

As for slavery...well, I prefer to think that it was born from a misguided take on the Bible, not born from the Bible itself. Slavery was mainly used for economic purposes and supported by people who chose to look at the Bible in a scewed fashion.

on May. 27 2011 at 8:14 am
Our laws/ morals, electoral college (which we got from Moses' time- he took a representative from every tribe out of 12 tribes), early slavery (for the south), and other things I don't know. But heard a lot from the educated pastors from my church. What church do you go to? 'Cause the way I'm reading from your comment, it looks like the pastors you talked to are not that educated in U.S. history and government. I mean no disrespect, but it's just the way I'm reading it.  

on May. 27 2011 at 1:41 am
Phantom_Girl GOLD, Ft. Carson, Colorado
14 articles 0 photos 279 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If it comes out of the lion's will be on the test."
-Mr. Bala

Explain to me how the US was born from the Bible.

And actually, I have spoken to pastors. Nice people, but they didn't tell me anything that disproved anything that I've said in this piece.

on May. 13 2011 at 9:15 am
You mentioned a book called Common Sense, I suggest you get some. Unfortunately in today's society on youth, it has brainwashed our children to think on a peticular level: atheism. America was born from the Bible. Go beyond google, go beyond your school, go beyond everything and go to a pastor. Trust me, you will learn things you never even know about our country. Some of it is suprising. I challenge you to do that.