Recommended Read: Atheist History in the United States and Why are People Still Uncomfortable with Atheists?

The New Yorker has a good article about two books that reviews atheist history in the United States and what unbelievers actually believe. This is a good read that will help people understand atheism. 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.”

Edward Gibbon 

“Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.” 


From the Reason Rally in 2016

The New Yorker did a book review about two new books about what atheists actually believe. The book review does a good overview of atheist history in the United States and the challenges and discrimination that many atheists have indeed faced. If you have time I deeply would encourage you to read this article. Its called, “Why Are Americans Still Uncomfortable with Atheism?” Its my belief that many atheists and secular humanists are deeply misunderstand. That many face discrimination for their non-belief or the fact that they choose not to practice a faith system. One of my goals is to document and write upon this situations. As the nones are growing  in the United States and more people turn away from religion this is an issue that will grow with time. It can’t be ignored. Likewise atheist history from that of Elizabeth Cady Stanton or other pioneering figures needs to be researched and written about. That is a field much like women’s, GLBTQ, urban or individual ethnic that needs to be explored. This is going to be a brief post but I wanted to get this up as its on my pile of items that I read which I enjoyed. Take care guys! 

43 thoughts on “Recommended Read: Atheist History in the United States and Why are People Still Uncomfortable with Atheists?


    This is a pamphlet that Benjamin Franklin wrote to those considering coming to America.

    Now, many wish to accuse him of being a deist. Yes. He was. But not in the sense that his God was an impersonal God. He believed in the God of the Jews, the Christian God. He just didn’t believe that Jesus was God. To him and Thomas Jefferson, they did not believe in the trinity. But they were both Christians. In those days, deists believed in one God, and to them, that one God was the God of the bible. Next, the word, RELIGION, only meant differing Christian denominations. That’s it. Atheism was not ever a consideration. Neither was any other religion. And, in those days, no other religion was a citizen. Jews were here, but not citizens. And yes, they had a major problem with Catholics, too. Islam was not here. And neither was Buddha. We are not a Christian nation as a theocracy, however, every citizen was a Christian. I really wish that you’d stop glorifying atheism, as if it’s a good thing. It’s the root cause of our confusion in today’s society. I suppose, also, we had better gun control in the 50’s… or, people knew that guns were not meant for church and school massacres. The downfall of America is atheism.


  2. Based on the writings of our founding Fathers, do you think that they would have embraced LGBTQ, or Atheism? Or, do you think that they would have found those issues to be repulsive AND out of line of becoming American?

    The way that I read our founding documents, is that they expected people to behave in a certain manner, WORTHY of respect. Do you think that they would have respected the behavior of the LGBTQ community? I don’t. Not one bit.

    And the way that I also read the above link that I provided last night, according to Ben Franklin, SOCIAL WELFARE was NOT to be a consideration. If people want to come here, THEY WORK. They learn a trade, they contribute, and they are NOT to be in any position to be IDLE, because those people create problems. What kind of problems?

    Behavior…if people believe in God, they exhibit behavior much differently than those who do not.

    Fear is a key word that some do not like. If we know that we are going to get into trouble if we do a, b, or c, we tend to NOT do it.

    If we know that there is no eternal consequences for our actions, we shoot many people in school, rob banks, steal from the neighbor down the street, etc.

    Is this the America that our founding fathers wanted for us? I don’t think so, and I don’t think that they would have embraced the godless attitude that you want, either.

    And, you may note the LAST PARAGRAPH that Ben Franklin wrote, in full is (and please NOTE the specific word, ATHEISM):

    “The almost general Mediocrity of Fortune that prevails in America obliging its People to follow some Business for subsistence, those Vices, that arise usually from Idleness, are in a great measure prevented. Industry and constant Employment are great preservatives of the Morals and Virtue of a Nation. Hence bad Examples to Youth are more rare in America, which must be a comfortable Consideration to Parents. To this may be truly added, that serious Religion, under its various Denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and practised. Atheism is unknown there; Infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great Age in that Country, without having their Piety shocked by meeting with either an Atheist or an Infidel. And the Divine Being seems to have manifested his Approbation of the mutual Forbearance and Kindness with which the different Sects treat each other, by the remarkable Prosperity with which He has been pleased to favour the whole Country.”

    We have changed what our founding fathers set before us, and I think that Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson would be yelling and screaming at all of us for changing what they set up, and they would probably rip up all the Supreme Court decisions that went against their FOUNDATION for this country.

    Thomas Jefferson wrote the following:

    “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest.”

    When I read our founding fathers writings, I’m disgusted at what we have BECOME that they did not intend.

    Ed Chapman


    • A few thoughts:

      On the atheism subject itself, as a Christian I certainly don’t celebrate atheism. I certainly don’t consider it a positive in and of itself. However, I also have the viewpoint that in order to have true religious freedom in our country, that also entails the freedom to not be religious if one so chooses, and so I would defend that freedom even as I wished that fewer people made that choice. (Side note . . . as people of faith we can also learn from atheists to the extent that they hold up a mirror to us, and let us understand better how some of our choices of faith expressions come across to people, and in particular how some of those expressions can drive people further from faith instead of towards it.)

      In regards to the Christian nature of our country, it seems to me that you extrapolate from the faith expressions of various “founding fathers” to reach the conclusion that America was founded as an explicitly and exclusively Christian country, with a “not welcome” sign hung out to all other faiths (or non-faiths). That’s a conclusion that I just don’t reach myself. Was the nation founded in principles and laws that reflected the Christian values which were predominant in society at that time? Sure. I don’t think that is debatable. But, if the country was really founded to be an explicitly and exclusively Christian nation, I would think the Constitution would have made that abundantly crystal clear. Instead, it is remarkably quiet on the issues of religious preferences apart from the First Amendment declaration of “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Now, I know that you interpret this as really meaning “The Nation is founded as an explicitly Christian nation, and Congress will not favor one Christian denomination over any other Christian denomination,” but I just don’t see the textual (or contextual) justification for arriving at that interpretation. If that were the case, the “founding fathers” would certainly have made that clear.

      Further, what is the implication for today if one decides to interpret history as America being founded as an explicitly and exclusively Christian country, and say we need to get back to such a model? Are we to impose religious practice upon people by law? Establish faith requirements for entering the country and for citizenship? Drive out of our country all who are not Christians, and even all who name themselves as Christians but who don’t conform to our particular view of Christianity? I just can’t even envision the “founding fathers” intending to set up such a country when one looks at the Constitution and the actual laws legislatures established upon the founding of the country.

      As Christians, isn’t our mission to be salt and light in this world, essentially being God’s “ambassadors” to the world, and living out the Great Commission of preaching the gospel and making disciples? And yet, so many Christians now see their mission as trying to seize political control of society, imposing their faith on others through earthly political means, and in doing so making a Faustian bargain with a political party wherein they offer total support for everything the political party wants in exchange for the political party advancing some small subset of “Christian values” that they choose (and, indeed, it is a very small subset, consisting mainly of some specific rules and regulations, and next-to-nothing of the positive principles, values and acts we are to represent and perform).

      One more thought, circling back to my first paragraph: as a person of Christian faith, who wants to live where I am free to practice my faith as I understand it, I would far rather live in a free secular country than in a country where the likes of Jerry Falwell Jr., Ralph Reed, etc. would be empowered to establish what “religious freedom” means for everybody.


      • A Righteous Mass Movement can do without a God, but MUST have a Devil.
        And the Devil’s Minions — WITCHES — hiding under every bed.
        Here! There! Everywhere! So Beware!


      • Well, HUG, I see that you are in the festive Halloween mood today! Maybe you can score a Kit Kat Bar tonight! Don’t forget to do blackface. I hear that scares people really bad! Happy Halloween!


      • In regards to the Christian nature of our country, it seems to me that you extrapolate from the faith expressions of various “founding fathers” to reach the conclusion that America was founded as an explicitly and exclusively Christian country, with a “not welcome” sign hung out to all other faiths (or non-faiths).

        But ALL the Founding Fathers were Born-Again Bible-Believing Christians (Exactly Like ME)! David Barton Says So! Everything Else — Lies! Fake News!


      • HUG, very much agreed that many conservative Christians today tend to project their “flavor” of Christian faith onto those who came earlier. In the case of the founding fathers, I think there are probably a wide degree of variations between the faith-in-practice understanding of those from 250 years ago versus those today, even if there may be substantial agreement on major theological points.

        It doesn’t even have to be 250 years ago. For example, it seems like Barton’s disciple Eric Metaxas projected modern American evangelicalism on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the WWII-era German Lutheran pastor, in his biography. My father, a retired Lutheran minister who is knowledgeable about both Lutheranism and WWII history, shakes his head at the thought that Bonehoeffer would find substantial faith-in-action understanding agreement with the current-day conservative, politically-driven American evangelicals.


      • Dave H

        I’ve done a lot of reading on dot gov websites, and it’s easy, very easy to conclude that the word, “RELIGION” in those days ONLY pertained to the numerous Christian denominations only. So when Madison had problems with religion, it only meant that he didn’t want to favor one Christian denomination over another, because as you well know, each denomination had a different opinion. And this is where freedom OF, not from, derives from. Each Christian denomination is free to express themselves. You cannot negate out what Benjamin Franklin said, regarding that atheism is unknown here. In addition, Thomas Jefferson, and other presidents spent public money to spread the gospel, so to speak, to the natives. At that time, Negros and Natives were not citizens, and so when I state that all citizens were Christians, the word citizens needs to be emphasized here. Jews also were not citizens, including Catholics, if I’m not mistaken. Our country citizens were Christian protestants of a lot of denominations. I mentioned Madison earlier. Both Jefferson and Madison attended Christian church services in all three branch government buildings. Why? Because all religions were being taught. No, I don’t mean Buddhism or Islam, or such. I mean all Christian denominations were taught. This can be found in the dot gov website, the Library of Congress. That pamphlet that Ben Franklin wrote, it was to and for Christians in Europe. When Adams wrote that we are not a Christian nation in a treaty, or was to tell a Muslim nation that we are not a theocracy, which a Muslim nation is. But that does not mean that all CITIZENS were not Christian. The Natives were not. The Negros were not. But they were not Citizens. In addition, Thomas Jefferson explicitly said that he was a Christian, and that he could not stand how people concluded otherwise, so he didn’t speak of his beliefs, except in a letter. He hated call Calvinism, and did not believe in the virgin birth, or the divinity of Jesus. But Ben Franklin explains that people did not TRUST the church of England. That was the issue.

        We have to look at things from our founders perspective, otherwise, we are just making up stories to suit our beliefs. Especially in the usage of the word, “RELIGION” that Congress shall pass no law…It was Christian denomination. Not the general purpose as used today. They did not conceive that a Muslim would run for office. But they did conceive that a Calvinist would. Or a Baptist. We have reinterpreted our founders intent, and twisted it, all because of how they used the word religion and the word God. Again, atheism was unknown here.

        Ed Chapman


      • I continue to strongly disagree with your argument. First, I don’t believe that the founding fathers were excluding all other religions. Just today I was reading President George Washington’s letter to a Jewish congregation he visited in New Englan, and you can’t for a moment read it and think he didn’t see them as full-fledged Americans and peers. Using your interpretive model, I could just as easily argue that the second amendment right to bear arms applies today ONLY to ball-and-powder muskets and pistols (and, I guess, cannons) because that is clearly what the founding fathers were familiar with as firearms, and I doubt you would buy that argument for even a moment.

        But let’s just take it to its natural conclusion anyway. I take it then that your position is that only Christians should be US citizens? I find it hard to take your argument any other way. Shall we also do away with women’s suffrage as well since women did not have the vote until a century and a half after the founders lived? I assume we will need to scrap most or all of the constitutional amendments because they went beyond the founding fathers’ original words. And who in government is going to administer the citizenship test to determine who is “really” a Christian? I assume those who identify as progressive Christians would be ruled out since they couldn’t *possibly* be Christians given their contrary positions on some of the social issues?

        I am just trying to figure out the full extent of what you think the country should be, and the picture I am getting is that of a fundamentalist Islamic state, only with conservative Christian leaders in place of ayatollahs. Help me out if I am totally off base here.


      • Dave H,

        I understand that you continue to disagree with me. However, I’m not basing my decisions on anyone’s blog. I’m going to the source, the horses mouth.

        Did you miss the part, by the way, that Benjamin Franklin said that atheism is unknown here? Did you miss the part as to his reason that he said it in the first place? Or seems to me that you want to skip that part, or tell Ben Franklin to his face that he’s a crazy man for even suggesting such a thing.

        Next, you seem to ignore the point that both Madison and Jefferson attended Christian worship services in, GET THIS…A GOVERNMENT BUILDING… SO MUCH FOR SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!

        BUT, why did they attend in the first place?

        Are you denying that public money was spent on spreading the gospel to the Indians?

        Look, Dave, everything I said is backed up in writing, by three horses mouth ‘s.

        I quote the words.

        Yes, Christian morality was indeed expected, and Benjamin Franklin made a specific point in stating that atheism is not here…FOR A REASON that no ones piety would be shocked by the behavior of one.

        I just don’t see you grasping his point. Why would he say it unless it had real meat and potatoes meaning?

        You seem to believe that this nation set out to be secular from the start? That religion was just TOLERATED?

        Read and study from the dot gov sites, read the letters.

        If you really believe that this nation was set up to be secular in nature, then you and I have a problem.

        For the record, I’m stating that our founding fathers would be pissed at Christians today, for turning a blind eye, doing nothing to stop the secularization of this nation.

        I quote what Jefferson said regarding why he trembles.

        Can you repeat it for me please? Why did he tremble?

        Ed Chapman


      • Reading back through, my comment comes off as more smarta** than I wanted it to be. I truly am frustrated and perplexed, and I truly do want to know the full extent to what people want. I really think there is sometimes an agenda that goes far beyond what people say at first. I really want to understand the full extent to which people want to take things.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dave H,

        I understand your frustration.

        Since my last comment, I’ve been trying to find information regarding the Jews, and their citizenship in America.

        I can’t seem to find where I read it before, but other sites are indicating that both Jews and Catholics alike did not obtain full citizenship rights until about 1790, EVEN THO they were HERE in America.

        Before 1776, there were the colonies, and in SOME STATES, Jews and Catholics alike were NOT tolerated at all.

        It wasn’t until George Washington, along with Thomas Jefferson that proclaimed religious freedom of conscience to them…but again, it stopped short of FULL citizenship, and POLITICAL FREEDOM to vote or hold office, until about 1790.

        Some states FORBID anyone who did not proclaim Jesus as their Lord and Savior…and we all know, that excludes the Jews. Many EXPECTED the Jews to convert to Christianity, so they only tolerated them for that purpose.

        It wasn’t until many many many many years later that the Native American’s, aka Indians, gained US Citizenship, as well as the Negros. But, Christianity was brought to them as well. And PUBLIC MONEY, AKA TAXPAYER DOLLARS were spent in order to “Give the Indians the gospel”. And that began with George Washington and ended sometime in the mid 1800’s, and I THINK that the only reason that it stopped, was because someone complained…don’t quote me on that just yet, tho.

        Ed Chapman


      • Dave H,

        The one thing that we need to look at was: WHO WAS HERE IN 1776?

        We know that, according to Benjamin Franklin, there were no atheists here.

        We know that Protestant Christians were here.

        We know that Jews were here.

        We know that Catholics were here.

        We know that Negro slaves were here.

        We know that the Indians were here.

        So, we need to take these one by one, and dissect each, regarding religious beliefs, and their religious freedoms, and the 1st Amendment, and their CITIZENSHIP, their right to vote, their right to hold public office, the tax dollars that was used to spread the gospel to the Indians, etc.

        And from what I’m seeing, I don’t see that the first amendment meant that the word “OF” in freedom OF religion included the word FROM to be interchangeable with the word “OF” at all.

        In other words, it was unheard of, in this country, that anyone had NO BELIEFS whatsoever.

        Catholics proclaim to be Christian.

        Christians, whether protestant or Catholics, believe in the JEWISH GOD.

        So, where does that leave Mohamedism? That is, Islam? Tolerated, yes. But when did they arrive? When did they gain citizenship? Were they allowed to spread the “bad news of Mohamed”, instead of the good news of Jesus?

        I have not researched that as of yet, but JEWS religious beliefs are CHRISTIAN beliefs, without the law of Moses, but with the Law of Jesus.

        The United States DID HAVE A PROBLEM with Mohamedism. Hence, the treaty of Tripoli. They treated American sailors terrible, all because of Christianity. Muslim Nations are theocracies. A Christian Nation, just by virtue of those two words, is a theocracy. We are not a theocracy. But the sailors were Christians.


      • Wondering, I believe Ben Franklin. Period. Atheism is UNKNOWN there is exactly what he said, and that was how many years AFTER 1776? Unknown. Piety shocked. I don’t think that’s “quite a claim” as you accuse. Dissect the whole letter, aka pamphlet. Don’t just skim it. Go slowly, cuz his use of the English language is not the way we use it. Tell me, oh wise one, are you saying that Ben Franklin had no clue as to what he was saying? That he was only guessing? That he lied? That he was just making a figure of speech? That he was mistaken? That he is making any unproven or un- substantiated outlandish claim? An ignorant claim?

        Myself, I take him at his word.

        Ed Chapman


      • From the Smithsonian Magazine “America’s True History of Religious Tolerance”:

        “In 1779, as Virginia’s governor, Thomas Jefferson had drafted a bill that guaranteed legal equality for citizens of all religions—including those of no religion—in the state. It was around then that Jefferson famously wrote, “But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” But Jefferson’s plan did not advance—until after Patrick (“Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death”) Henry introduced a bill in 1784 calling for state support for “teachers of the Christian religion.”

        Future President James Madison stepped into the breach. In a carefully argued essay titled “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments,” the soon-to-be father of the Constitution eloquently laid out reasons why the state had no business supporting Christian instruction. Signed by some 2,000 Virginians, Madison’s argument became a fundamental piece of American political philosophy, a ringing endorsement of the secular state that “should be as familiar to students of American history as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution,” as Susan Jacoby has written in Freethinkers, her excellent history of American secularism . . .

        After long debate, Patrick Henry’s bill was defeated, with the opposition outnumbering supporters 12 to 1. Instead, the Virginia legislature took up Jefferson’s plan for the separation of church and state. In 1786, the Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom, modified somewhat from Jefferson’s original draft, became law. The act is one of three accomplishments Jefferson included on his tombstone, along with writing the Declaration and founding the University of Virginia. (He omitted his presidency of the United States.) After the bill was passed, Jefferson proudly wrote that the law “meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew, the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.”


        That was 1784 and that is acknowledging the presence of Christians, Jews, Gentiles, Muslims (Mahometans), Hindus, and infidels, which I would take to mean persons of no particular faith persuasion. And Jefferson specifically references in 1779 those who believe in no God.

        I think that you may be being quite too literal on Franklin’s statement about “no” atheists in the New World. I fully acknowledge that the vast majority of the population identified as Christian, and the prevailing culture was Christian, that is certainly beyond debate.


      • I think my last comment to you is at the bottom of the screen. I mention that Virginia is a state, not the whole country. So, as I stated before, other states didn’t treat Jews and Catholics very well. The 1st amendment wasn’t ratified until when? And Jefferson quoted Locke a lot, who lived and died many years before Columbus sailed the ocean. Infidels were the Indians. And they were not citizens. Treating other religions with dignity is different than full rights and citizenship. Natives didn’t have it. They were infidels. According to the government. I’ll respond more tomorrow.


      • I will also repeat my previous question, and I would really appreciate a direct reply. When you reference a return to the vision of the founding fathers, are you saying that you want citizenship to be granted only to Christians? I would like a simple direct yes or no on this, because everything you have written seems to lead me to the conclusion that you want citizenship, voting rights, and political leadership to be predicated on one being a Christian. If I am mistaken on that, please explain what your view actually is.

        If it is your view that only Christians should have these rights, then I would repeat my question of who gets to determine who is and who is not a Christian, as many of those who proclaim themselves Christians differ on what you clearly view as essential moral or social points.


      • Dave H,
        You mention Madison, and his opposition to religious instruction. Again, I’m gonna reiterate, the word religion pertained only to Christian denominations only. WHO WAS HERE? Christians and Jews. And it was the hope that Jews would convert. The Indians were known as infidels, and taxpayer dollars were spent to give them the gospel. Government money. Public funds. Started by none other than or first president, and Jefferson had no problem with it, cuz it continued thru his presidency, and beyond. Madison was concerned about differing beliefs within only one religion, and that religion was Christianity. WHO WAS HERE? WAS BUDDHA? NO. Christians, Jews, and slaves and Indians. The later two were not citizens. Jews and Catholics were reluctant additions. What year wad the first amendment ratified? What year did George Washington become president? What year were Jews and Catholics finally citizens? Is Virginia a state, or the country? Before the ratification, other states did not adhere to Virginia law. Jews were not welcomed in some states.

        It really amazes me that people conclude this as a secular nation.

        What year did the Indians finally get citizenship?

        It is well noted in legal court paper and legislation, that the Indians were known as infidels.

        Please tell me that you acknowledge that public funds were allocated for the purpose of doing missionary work to give the Indians the gospel of Jesus.

        Separation of church and state is extremely misunderstood, especially since Jefferson attended Christian worship services in all three branch buildings. And ALL ALL ALL ALL religions were taught. And the ONLY thing that the word ALL represents, is Every Christian denomination.

        Therefore, when Madison used three word religion, it only pertained to Christian denomination doctrine. Not Jew, not Mohammed.

        And finally, Madison also attended Christian worship services in all three branch buildings, too.

        Separation of church and state did not mean what atheists say it is today.

        What do I want? Well, let’s see… how do you get atheists to stop doing school shootings? Robbing people? Murdering people?

        You can’t. We had our chance, but we blew it by shifting our founders intent of a religious nation, we bought off on the idea that this is a secular nation, and Thomas Jefferson TREMBLES!

        Ed Chapman


      • Dave H,

        I need to make a correction. I previously stated:
        “Jefferson quoted Locke a lot, who lived and died many years before Columbus sailed the ocean”

        John Locke lived from 1632 to 1704. He was never in this country, lived many years before Thomas Jefferson, but long after Columbus.

        And while Jefferson mentions “Mahometan” or Hindoo, WHERE WERE THEY?

        Where were they? Hindoo’s in America in 1780? In Virginia? What city?


      • I am still looking for a simple yes or no response to my question, do you want citizenship and voting rights and the ability to run for office to be limited to Christians only. I am continuing to assume that your position is yes, based on the things you have said. If that is the case, remaining open is my follow-up question as to who gets to decide who is *really* or *not really* a Christian. And, I am starting to think that your position may also be that anyone who is not a Christian shouldn’t even be in the country at all, and perhaps should be deported.

        You ask, “What do I want? Well, let’s see… how do you get atheists to stop doing school shootings? Robbing people? Murdering people?” We do already have existing means to address these things. There are laws that prohibit school shootings, theft, and murder, and a whole range of other crimes. The real question is who will obey the laws or not. Is your position really that only Christians obey the laws, and they do so all the time, and all others do not obey the laws? Is your position that if the USA gets rid of all the atheists and people from religions other than Christianity that the US will no longer have crime? I am incredulous. You seem to stake the claim (which I don’t think is true) that *every single person* in the colonial period was a Christian except for a few Jewish persons here and there and the native Americans, which you grant. So I gather there was no crime in the New World until “we started letting in those other kinds of people”? The more I dissect your words, the more I wonder just how far you are going with some of these views. Today we have far too much tribalism with people seeing the entire world in terms of “Us” versus “Them,” with “Us ” being entirely right and true and perfect and wonderful, and “Them” being malevolently and intentionally evil in every single regard. This tribalism is literally a nightmare, and I just can’t understand the hate and bitterness inherent within it, and I especially can’t understand it within those who claim the name of Jesus.

        Again . . . I am a Christian. I believe as Christians we should be propagating the gospel. I believe that lives can be positively impacted by people having a real and living faith. I also believe that society benefits from that, as Jesus certainly observes in His call for us to be salt and light in the world, which presumes that a lived-out faith will have good and positive results in the world. That is where I think the focus ought to be, wherever we are. I do think we would see positive results from more people having a positive faith that is positively put into practice. But how does a nation issuing proclamations and passing laws that say all must be Christians, and marginalizing all who are not Christians (if not outright deporting them), etc., achieve the changing of hearts through faith? Did the Constantine’s proclamation that the Roman empire was Christian change make all inhabitants of the Empire Christian by decree, from a real faith perspective? On the flip side, did the Inquisition bring about real faith in people by threatening them with consequences if they didn’t convert? God changes people’s hearts through faith, not through human legislation or coercion.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dave H,

        I have no idea why you are trying to bait me with a yes or no question here. What I want regarding citizenship is irrelevant to current reality that’s not gonna change on my behalf. What I’m attempting to do here, is to give the reality of our founders and what they originally intended. My contention is that they intended a religious society, whereas you contend that they intended a secular society. Mine branches off that it would be a Christian society , and that Christians need to play nice with others, but those others need to realize that they live in a Christian society, not a secular one.

        Next, you say that there are laws against school shootings. HOW’S THAT WORKING OUT?

        I ask, how’s that working out for a reason. What is the difference between a Christian and a Jew?

        A Jew is bound by the law of Moses. A Christian is bound by the law of love they neighbor.

        In other words, BEHAVIOR. IF YOU LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR, you won’t steal, lie, or shoot students I school.

        Our founding fathers believed I a word called virtue, and they believed that morality comes from the bible. Not Confusious.

        I can’t stand how you use the word tribalism. The lefty people try to bait is with that word, and white nationalism, too. It’s ridiculous.

        You and Wondering have a secular view of our founding, and I’m saying, NOT SO FAST!

        AND, I’m providing what they said.

        Did Jefferson say that he trembled or not? Why?

        My opinion about us or them is irrelevant.

        I am white. I am a nationalist. So I guess that makes me a white nationslist? Really? How?

        You see how false labels get started?

        Ed Chapman


      • Dave H,

        Just in case you missed it the first time:

        Thomas Jefferson wrote the following:

        “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest.”

        Does that sound SECULAR to you? It doesn’t to me. “MINDS OF THE PEOPLE”. “THE ALMIGHTY”. “SUPERNATURAL”. “GIFT OF GOD”. “GOD IS JUST”.

        Are those secular words? I don’t think so. How about you?

        Ed Chapman


      • Dave H,

        I’m gonna give you some links…if you don’t mind…please check them out, for the purpose of seeing if I am telling the truth, or making a false claim:

        From the Library of Congress:
        Jefferson and Madison attend CHRISTIAN worship services in GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS…a HUGE NO NO IN TODAY’S SOCIETY! Please note that it was CHRISTIAN only, not Buddha, not Mohamned, NOT EVEN CATHOLIC UNTIL…

        Speech to the Constitutional Convention, June 28, 1787. Benjamin Franklin
        “Benjamin Franklin delivered this famous speech, asking that the Convention begin each day’s session with prayers, at a particularly contentious period, when it appeared that the Convention might break up over its failure to resolve the dispute between the large and small states over representation in the new government. The eighty one year old Franklin asserted that “the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this Truth–that God governs in the Affairs of Men.” “I also believe,” Franklin continued, that “without his concurring Aid, we shall succeed in this political Building no better than the Builders of Babel.” Franklin’s motion failed, ostensibly because the Convention had no funds to pay local clergymen to act as chaplains.”


        Thomas Jefferson’s letter to Benjamin Rush:
        “…the Christian religion was sometimes our topic; and I then promised you, that one day or other, I would give you my views of it. They are the result of a life of inquiry & reflection, and very different from that anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence; & believing he never claimed any other…”

        NOTE: Notice the words, “very different fro the ANTI-CHRISTIAN system *IMPUTED TO ME* by those who know NOTHING of my opinions.”

        Ben Franklin:

        He did not like going to church. Why? Because the preacher was MORE CONCERNED about making people better CHURCH GOERS than BETTER CITIZENS. His church was all for the LOVE GOD part, but missed out on the LOVE PEOPLE part.

        You said:
        “Again . . . I am a Christian. I believe as Christians we should be propagating the gospel. I believe that lives can be positively impacted by people having a real and living faith. I also believe that society benefits from that, as Jesus certainly observes in His call for us to be salt and light in the world…”

        Has SUPREME COURT stuff in it!!!!!!
        The following is an excellent read regarding the LEGALITY of giving the SAVAGES (infidels, heathens), the Indians, or, as they are called today, NATIVE AMERICANS (But for some reason we still have INDIAN reservations? Why not Native American reservations?) the gospel:
        It’s an email back and forth but there is a lot of info there.

        Declaration of Independence so states 3 God given rights, and acknowledges that there are more, as the words, “AMONG THESE” notes.

        In that same document it also states that it is the GOVERNMENT responsibility to SECURE those rights.


        The following link is from a FAMOUS Indian actor and activist, and this is what he has to say about the word, “INDIAN”, FOR WHICH THE LEFTIES WANT TO CALL “INDIGIONOUS”:

        “The word “Indian” is an English bastardization of a Spanish bastardization. Columbus wrote “una gente en dio” – “a people in with God.” He went on to write that they are so peaceful and generous as it to be a fault. Therefore they’d make excellent slaves. The Spaniards started calling them “indio.” That stuck. This is 100 years before the English conquered the sub-continent they called India. We were the first with that name. Then the English bastardized the Spanish to “Indian.””

        Columbus was Italian, not Spanish, but he was working for Spain, and Spain goofed on the translation.

        The statue of Columbus in New York so states that the Indians are people of God, or something like that, so that shows that the lefites are not telling the truth about the word “Indigionous”.

        And finally, I ask you:
        “What RELIGION, outside of Christianity, has a GOD that gives FREEDOM?”

        I’d say NONE! How about you?

        Ed Chapman


      • Dave H,

        I had previously said:
        “A Jew is bound by the law of Moses. A Christian is bound by the law of love they neighbor.

        In other words, BEHAVIOR. IF YOU LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR, you won’t steal, lie, or shoot students I school.

        Our founding fathers believed I a word called virtue, and they believed that morality comes from the bible.”

        I want to expound on that for just a moment.

        Under the Law of FAITH, as opposed to the Law of Moses, we, as Christians are BOUND by the COMMANDMENT to Love our neighbor as ourselves.


        Shooting students at school would NOT EVEN ENTER ANYONE’S MIND, at all, period, IF…If what?

        According to the Bible, THE LAW IS NOT MADE FOR THE RIGHTEOUS, BUT FOR THE LAW BREAKERS (lawless).

        I have to stress this BIG TIME that our founders PASSED LAWS to INTRODUCE morality BASED ON THE BIBLE to the Indians.

        Jews use the Old Testament. Christians use the New Testament, and Christians are a combination of Protestants and Catholics.

        NO OTHER RELIGIOUS BOOK WAS USED TO DISCUSS MORALITY TO THE INDIANS, except for the Bible, and THAT WAS LAW, legislation, tax payer provided, public money, NOT PRIVATE MONEY FROM THE CHURCH PLATE.

        Ed Chapman


      • Dave H, and Wondering:

        Supreme Court February 29, 1892 and many other, with links, it states, states SPECIFICALLY that this nation is a CHRISTIAN NATION.

        Apparently 40 or so years later, it was overturned.

        It goes on to explain WHY.

        The primary mission of Columbus was to SPREAD THE GOSPEL to the the heathen. And the only way to do that was to BRING PEOPLE TO SETTLE HERE. Those people would OBVIOUSLY BE…CHRISTIANS.

        Dave H, you mention that it is your duty to spread the gospel, right? Well?

        So from the days of Columbus, we now have HEATHENS telling Christians to sit down and shut up, that they are gonna tell us how it’s gonna be!

        The link, which will bring you also to more links:
        143 U.S. 457, 12 S.Ct. 511, 36 L.Ed. 226
        February 29, 1892

        Ed Chapman


      • Ed, two observations and then I am done, as we are kind of going on in an endless loop where we simply keep rephrasing the exact same points over and over.

        (1) I am not trying to “bait” you with my direct questions. I really want to know the answer. I really want to get a better understanding of what specific changes you would want to see implemented. I really want to understand the full implications of what your calls to “make America a Christian nation again” means, in terms of laws and legislation, in the present day. Not only from you, but from many of my evangelical friends who have a strong nationalistic American exceptionalism bent to their understanding of their faith, as if America is God’s preferred nation and American Christians are God’s favored Christians, inherently superior to those “lesser” countries and Christians around the world. Left without a direct answer, I will form my own conclusions about what I think your (and their) view is.

        (2) I have never argued or believed that our founders were secular. You keep citing references to show that many/most specifically referenced faith. I know that. I know that the colonies were essentially Christian, bearing a Christian heritage, seeing the world through a Christian lens, having settled here from largely Christian Europe. That is not and never has been my argument. My argument is that in forming the new nation and its constitution, the founders provided for free exercise of religion not dictated by the state. You take several writings and then redefine “religion” to be “Christian denomination” and then substitute “Christian denomination” wherever you see the word “religion” in every one of the founders’ writings. I believe in doing so that you are over-extrapolating and assuming the very conclusion you set out to prove.

        We clearly aren’t going to get anywhere in discussion. Each of us is convinced in our own minds. And the sad thing is, I am not arguing to tear down Christianity, although you clearly believe I am. Far from it, I want Christianity to flourish. I just believe that the way God has told us to do it (not just Americans, but Christians anywhere on this earth) is to preach the gospel, make disciples, live as salt and light in the world, love Him with all our hearts, love our neighbors as ourself, and be a witness of His love and the gospel to those around us. As opposed to grasping at political power and control, making tit-for-tat bargains and selling out wholesale to political parties, uniting church and state, and seeking to legislate faith by edict. And because I see our Christian mission as the first way and not the second, you conclude that I am bent on the destruction of the Christian faith and of America.


      • Well, I’m sorry, but I can’t answer your questions. I thought the answers I have were self evident, but you can’t see it, and I’m a bit flabbergasted that you can’t.

        In short, atheists live in a Christian society. Christians don’t live in a secular society. Freedom of conscience means action of behavior. Behavior based on the bible. Why can’t a Christian florist deny service to a gay couple, but a gay owner of a coffee shop can deny service to Christians? The argument of the first was because of commerce laws. Yet, the latter is what? Freedom? Police being denied service just for being a cop? Where is the commerce laws in those cases? Christians being denied their freedom of conscience, and it amazes me that Christians such as yourself and Wondering are just rolling over and letting the atheists dictate what our actions as a religious people are supposed to be, which is in a church building only. Christians are being passive, and letting a religious nation fall to the heathens, and Christians are NOT advancing the gospel at all. What are they doing? Fighting amongst themselves as to which denomination has the better doctrines. Jesus must be so proud? NOT! IF you believe in spreading the gospel to the heathen, then do it! Don’t be passive. Defend the faith. Defend it to atheists.

        Ed Chapman


      • If you read the reasoning behind why the word God or religion was not in the constitution, you will see that it was already an assumption that he was there without it being mentioned. A religious people didn’t need it there. It’s like asking why the word cheese isn’t mentioned in a Mexican restaurant. It’s assumed that they already have cheese. So you don’t need to ask.


      • Dave H,

        This will be my final response to this debate with you, so you can relax.

        I am going to ask one more time, WHO WAS HERE?

        Who was the MAJORITY vs who was the MINORITY?

        The majority was CHRISTIANS. Christians were here for a PURPOSE, and that was to advance the gospel to the heathen.

        When I state that the word RELIGION was in regards to CHRISTIAN ONLY, you have to take a good HARD LOOK at the question as, “WHO WAS HERE that was the MAJORITY?”

        And when that answer is obtained, THEN we can move on. The answer CHRISTIANS.

        So, are you saying that our founding fathers wanted to keep the MAJORITY in a box?

        What I’m saying is that CHRISTIANS came with MULTIPLE FLAVORS, called DENOMINATIONS.

        That is what the MAJOR PROBLEM was. Christianity was not the problem. Denominations were. Each denomination wanted to RUN things THEIR way.

        And THAT was the issue behind what our founding fathers wanted to settle. That was the WHOLE and SOLE issue that needed settled.

        No denomination would have reign, but the GUIDING PRINCIPALS of the Bible would. And that was the whole issue.

        That is why the word religion ONLY pertained to the word Christian only. It was a DISPUTE as to WHICH FLAVOR of Christianity would have FAVOR over another.

        And, as it turns out, as our founding fathers rightly settled, NONE.

        Islam, and other “religions” was NOT the issue, because THEY WERE NOT HERE…except for Jews, and Catholics and Indians and slaves, and YES, I do stand by that.

        That is the end of my story.

        Thanks for listening, and be sure to tip your waitresses, cuz I’ll be here all week! LOL

        Ed Chapman


      • All right, sorry, I will make one more reply since it raises a different point.

        Proponents of Christian America: The Bible says behavior x is sinful, As a Christian nation we MUST demand our government pass laws outlawing x.

        Me: The Bible says we are to take care of the widow and the orphan, feed the hungry, clothe the poor, help the helpless. It talks about that like 1000 times more often than it talks about behavior x. We should have a social “safety net” for those who are in need and have no means to provide for themselves.

        PoCA: Whoa, slow down! That is not the government’s job. That is up to individuals to do. Government has no business sticking its nose into such things. That would cost a lot of money, would require taxes, and would be socialism!

        My point is that most of those who want America to be an explicitly and exclusively Christian nation are kind of selective in the particular subset of Biblical principles they would like to see the government promote. And almost always those principles that come at no cost to themselves, but are targeted at “others.” They would like to legally codify the “hammer verses” that point at others but not those that make any kind of requirements on us.


      • Ben Franklin didn’t believe that we should have a “social” safety net, and that if we did, the government’s role should be LIMITED, and that legislation should be passed to make it limited. His thoughts were that if you are coming to America, YOU HAD BETTER WORK, learn a trade, and provide for your own family.

        In addition, let’s take it back to the bible in Matthew 25, and there are MORE references to this other than Matthew 25. CHARITY is NOT a government responsibility. It’s from YOUR OWN pocketbook.

        Jesus never talked to Caesar as how to feed the poor, nor did he tell Caesar how to run his government. However, the apostle Paul also stated that HE is NOT going to LEAVE preaching for the purpose of feeding the widows. It was up to the CHURCH congregation to figure that one out, so Stephen and OTHERS were APPOINTED to be IN CHARGE.

        Charity is not charity if it’s a tax. The good Samaritin was not a government official, nor was he representing the government. He did not expect a tax deduction on his tax return, nor a reimbursement from the Romans. It was his personal money.

        The bible also states as to WHOSE responsibility it is for the widows in the first place, and that is RELATIVES, but if NO relatives exists, THEN the church get’s involved, such as with Stephen. Not the government.

        Lastly, if you read Matthew 25 carefully, you will see that it is YOU as an individual are to visit those in prison. You can’t pawn that off on the government, like you want to do with FEEDING THE POOR. If the government visits you in prison, it’s gonna be BAD NEWS, not gospel.

        Why do you want to pawn off individual Christian responsibility to the government as a tax? What if I don’t want to contribute to what you want? Can’t I make a choice? Not if it’s a tax, and a tax is not charity.

        If you actually read the very first link that I provided in the very first comment, you will see that Ben Franklin expected THE POOR to WORK to eat.

        Ed Chapman


      • Dave H,

        Please don’t misunderstand my last comment to you.

        I have NO PROBLEM of the government imposing taxes to feed the poor and help the widows, etc. No problem at all.

        My problem is that Christians seems to think that the taxes imposed to do such things ABSOLVES them of LOVE THY NEIGHBOR.

        If you see a destitute person, do you say:
        1. I paid my taxes already
        2. I already gave at the office
        3. The Welfare Office is on 1st and Pike
        4. The soup kitchen is on 4th and Denny
        5. I’ll pray for ya! (or as what is being mocked today, “Hopes and Prayers!”)

        Is that how it works? Is that what Jesus meant? Is that what GOOD WORKS is? Taxes?

        Here is what I was taught:

        If you see a need, FILL A NEED. I think that’s what Jesus taught. I could be wrong.

        Ed Chapman


      • Dave H,

        Thanksgiving is coming up!!

        I’m really curious about a statement you made, and I’d like clarification if you don’t mind.

        You said:
        “Christians now see their mission as trying to seize political control of society, imposing their faith on others through earthly political means”

        Seize? Do we not have elections? Imposing their faith? If a politician mentions God, that’s a bad thing? Did George Washington mention God in OFFICIAL speeches? You have a problem with Trump mentioning that we worship God? So go back to George Washington in his speeches about God.

        President George Washington, on October 3, 1789, from the City of New York, proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving:

        Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor…

        “Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the twenty-sixth day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these Unites States…that we then may all unite unto him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed…

        And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions…to promote the knowledge and practice of the true religion and virtue…

        Given under my hand, at the City of New York, the 3rd of October, A.D. 1789.”

        Earthly political? As opposed to what? Heavenly policital?

        You proclaim to be Christian, yet you have a problem with God guiding his earthly creatures in an earthly government? You just want heathen men who TOLERATE religion to do it?

        You proclaim to be a Christian, yet you have problems with Christians in government.

        When you PROCLAIM Jesus, the first thing that people must do to come to him is to do what? Repent, right? Repent from what? Sin, right? What is sin? 1 John 3:4, Romans 3:20, Galatians 3:24.

        Ed Chapman


      • And yet, so many Christians now see their mission as trying to seize political control of society, imposing their faith on others through earthly political means, and in doing so making a Faustian bargain with a political party wherein they offer total support for everything the political party wants in exchange for the political party advancing some small subset of “Christian values” that they choose…

        There was a roughly-similar situation in Weimar-era Germany.
        Before their 1933 coup-from-within, when the National Socialists (Nazis) still needed to appeal to voters, one of their positions was presenting themselves as the Guardians and Defenders of Traditional German Family Values against the gay (in the meanings of the word both then and now) decadence of Weimar Berlin.

        The slogan “Blood and Soil” was NOT originated by the National Socialists; it referred to a genre of nostalgia for a simpler, more rural past that was widespread in German society after the trauma of World War One and the following economic collapse. Sort of a German “Little House on the Prairie”. And this was part of the appeal to the electorate. (Then of course, once elected came the Reichstag Fire, the Coup-from-Within, and the first of many Blood Purges…)

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sorry, but I don’t see American politics in any sort of similar matter at all. I was taught civics in the 5th grade. We still sung Jesus songs in public school. We knew Columbus came here to spread the gospel. We knew this was an UNDER GOD country. Even if it was added words from a previous generation. This was in public school, before all the atheists took over what American values are to be defined as. In the 7th – 9th grade, our football coach would PRAY in the locker room with us before a game. He was a highly respected teacher, and when he retired from the school district he became a preacher. He passed away just a few years back. Everybody loved that man.

        As I see it, it is the atheists that are imposing their non-belief on us, and we are just trying to RECLAIM it back from what they took away.

        Do you really think that our founding fathers would have approved of gay marriage? Is that what they meant by FREEDOM?

        Atheists seem to think that our 1st Amendment states freedom FROM religion, when that word isn’t even there. How are words that isn’t even there, put there?

        If they are NOT religious, then that 1st Amendment DOES NOT APPLY TO THEM. That’s how I see it, anyway. IF at some point that they do become religious, THEN that would apply to them.

        Ed Chapman


      • Good question. I guess we need to go back to our founders to ask them what they meant.

        The British are coming, the British are coming is the only thing that comes to mind at the moment.

        But I think it would have to do with journalists that write newspaper articles, who are supposed to do investigative reporting.

        Ed Chapman


      • Wondering,

        After doing some research, RECENT Supreme Court interpretations has opened up the word PRESS to be just about anything in print, by anyone, whether it be fact or opinion or even false stuff, and bloggers are included. Funny thing, tho, is that Twitter, Facebook, etc., do not follow those same Supreme Court rulings, therefore, they supress free speech that the government can’t. Interesting to say the least.

        Ed Chapman


      • However, let’s move on to the 2nd Amendment that EVERY CITIZEN has the right to bear arms.

        A couple of points. You can choose not to excersize those rights, but you still have those rights whether you excersize them or not.

        And this is a right that you can forfeit. It’s not taken away by the government at all. It’s forfeited.

        lost or surrendered as a penalty for wrongdoing or neglect. Wrongdoing or Neglect is the key words here, which bring about a PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for PERSONAL actions or behavior.

        So, you have the right to NOT excersize freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of excersizing religion (thereof), but you have those rights. You can choose NOT to have freedom.

        But to impose your choice on others…to me, that’s a no-no! For atheists to impose their choice not to excersize is not supposed to infringe on my right to excersize. Just because they don’t like others excersizing their rights, that isn’t a part of the equation that they get to determine or decide for others.

        Ed Chapman


  3. I’m sorry, but I don’t see American politics in any sort of similar matter at all. I was taught civics in the 5 th grade. We still sung Jesus songs in public school. We knew Columbus came here to spread the gospel. We knew this was an UNDER GOD country. Even if it was added words from a previous generation. This was in public school, before all the atheists took over what American values are to be defined as.


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