Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A Christian Document?

Is the Constitution a Christian document? That is what a post at Morning Studies, a Christian blog, debates. The author says that the Constitution is not a Christian document, but then goes on to say that this is a problem that needs to be fixed. He says that we, as a nation, have moved away from a covenant with God and that now “the judgment of God is at the door.”

The author, disagreeing with several Christian writers, also says that he disagrees with “their assertion that the founding fathers were operating from a Christian world view.” Further in the article, he mentions the sources of many of the ideas included in our Constitution stating the role of the republic (and Pagan) governments of Sparta, Athens, Rome and Carthage.

Christian Fundementalism today seem to forget that this document wasn’t just slapped together to apease the masses, but a document which each part was highly debated with thoughts to the consequences of their actions and ideas reaching far into the future.

James Madison’s notes, the only record we have of what really went on during the the Constitutional Convention, show that religion was metioned during the convention and that they believed had to be careful of its use in the document. This qoute, taken from a speech from Ben Franklin on September 17, 1787, illustrates this:

Most men indeed as well as most sects in Religion, think themselves in possession of all truth, and that wherever others differ from them it is so far error. Steele a Protestant in a Dedication tells the Pope, that the only difference between our Churches in their opinions of the certainty of their doctrines is, the Church of Rome is infallible and the Church of England is never in the wrong. But though many private persons think almost as highly of their own infallibility as of that of their sect, few express it so naturally as a certain french lady, who in a dispute with her sister, said "I don't know how it happens, Sister but I meet with no body but myself, that's always in the right — Il n'y a que moi qui a toujours raison."

If everyone thinks they possess the Truth, and those “truths” differ, then who is right? Keeping religion separate from politics was one way the founding fathers came up with to keep one religious sect from taking over the country and running it into the ground. And that’s what helps to make this country great. But, of course, that is just my opinion.

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