The Myth of the Christian Nation

Posted: July 27, 2013 in politics, religion
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Matt Barber is another syndicated columnist for WND. Anyone who follows Right Wing Watch is very familiar with him, as there’s a story about him almost weekly. For example, he’s claimed Obama is a dictator, the first pro-choice person was Satan, transgender rights would mean the abolition of civil rights, and so on. Fits right in with WND.

Barber’s latest syndicated column (and you can sign up to get his commentaries in your e-mail!) is, “‘Separation’ Nonsense from the Lying Secularists” and begins with this:

Anti-Christian extremist groups like the ACLU, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and People for the American Way hate God.

They also hate America.

True America.

These “progressive” outfits – along with like-minded politicos, judges, Hollywood elitists and left-wing media-types – hate that this great nation was expressly founded upon the bedrock precepts of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

The claim that America is a Christian (or Judeo-Christian) nation is a farce that is often claimed by the religious right – or really even most politicians on the right side of the political spectrum. Indeed, I would hazard to guess that many independents and even liberals may think this is true. Let me be very clear: It’s not. I’ll just provide one link to RationalWiki and let the reader do more research if this is a new concept.

So, he starts off with a lie. He also starts off with the “No True Scotsman Fallacy” or “Toupee Fallacy” by starting out saying that it’s only “True America” that is Judeo-Christian … those who aren’t aren’t “True America[ns].”

He continues by basically cherry-picking from documents written by the Founding Fathers — it’s typical for anyone who’s seen this argument before.

What I find interesting is that the top-rated comment at the moment is AGAINST Barber’s argument. I’ve been following the page for about a day now and this started out as the lowest comment (1 down-vote) last night, rose to second this afternoon (5 up, 1 down), and it’s now the top (8 up, 1 down). “sblock5” writes:

Mr. Barber leaves a lot out in his commentary. What is most striking is that for all of those state constitution models that the Framers of the US Constitution could have used, they chose to write a completely God-free Constitution with no mention of God, or his blessings, etc. That was not by accident. They knew what they were leaving out. And later in the 1860s, when religious groups asked Congress to amend the constitution to add in that sort of omitted language, Congress refused. So, contrary to Mr. Barber’s argument. the United States government was intentionally founded as a secular government.

Furthermore, the ban against establishment of a particular sect of religion in the First Amendment is no longer limited only to Congress, even though Mr. Barber implies that states and municipalities are free from the restraint in the Establishment Clause. As he probably knows, the 14th Amendment extended the Bill of Rights to the individual States as well as the federal government as part of the “privileges and immunities” of American citizenship (the “incorporation doctrine”). Mr. Barber surely supports the application of the incorporation doctrine by the courts to require that the Illinois state government is subject to the Second Amendment even though the Second Amendment (like the others) originally applied only to the federal government. Rights such as the right against self-incrimination, and trial by jury, and due process and protection against confiscation of property all now apply to the states as well. And so does the ban on establishment of Christianity by state action. No matter how much some people would like to impose their particular religious views on the rest of the Country, that is not the American way, and the Framers of the Constitution made sure that it wouldn’t happen.

Unsurprisingly for WND, but surprisingly for the top-rated comment, there are those who argue the point. In particular, “Daug_em” has some issues. I’m only going to quote the end: “You spew such typical commie nonsense.” It has 5 up-votes and 2 down. To which “Avidan Geistrov” replies, “bah you say ‘commie’ like it’s a bad thing.” 1 up-vote, 2 down.

Infighting is fun!

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