Is The United States A Christian Nation Whose Rights Come From God?
The United States is often referred to as a Christian Nation or a nation whose rights come from God. The Declaration of Independence penned in 1776 gives good reason to suggest our founder’s belief in a Creator:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Is God a Christian nationalist?
We don’t all agree on a definition of this term, but those who believe in a God/Creator/Supreme Being aren’t always careful with their words. They are accused of attempting to establish a Christian nation, though they must agree we should respect one’s right to choose any faith or religion that doesn’t violate the rights of others (“unalienable Right to Liberty”). I doubt God is a Christian nationalist or sought to establish a Christian nation because of respect for freedom of belief. Besides, forced love is an oxymoron. Jesus came to influence others to love as they want to be loved, not to overthrow the Roman Empire to make it a God/Jesus/Christian empire.
Who do our rights come from?
I happen to have faith there is a Creator, but faith is an individual decision. Regardless of one’s belief, we aren’t clueless right from wrong. Such clues don’t come just from a Book. The majority of people born into this world didn’t have a Bible, and people knew right from wrong before the Bible. Rights neither come from a few individuals that happen to be in Government. Perfect rights or laws are those that demonstrate loving others like we want to be love. Even atheists would agree.
How do we determine what perfect, loving laws are?
We don’t all agree what the most loving actions are. It is a bit naïve for any nation to claim our values must be biblically based, as if all agree what the Bible says about abortion, gays, capital punishment, etc. See here. The equal rights of women with men in many Nations are denied because of a Book. Regardless of your faith, most rational beings agree on many universal moral values (murder, stealing). And no – climate control, immigration, taxes, health care, are not universal laws. The problem in the U.S. is debate is frowned up and attempts are made to quash contrary opinions.
How do we create a nation where “all are created equal with unalienable rights?
I believe the Declaration of Independence and Constitution makes the U.S. unique from most other countries. We all have “unalienable rights” and not rights according to Government or Dictators. In our Republic, the Government is limited in taking aways certain rights of the people. Our Democracy allows representation through voting, thought the Constitution and Bill of Rights safeguard individual rights such as freedom of speech, thus protection from majority power over the minority. A true debate of differing opinions is out best chance at arriving at the most caring decision for all concerned. Until we all ask ourselves “am I acting toward others like I want to be treated,” we seem destined to fail.
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