Letter To The Editor: Are We A Christian Nation?

By VERNON N. KERR
Los Alamos
 
Are We A Christian Nation? It depends upon the definition. Would we be a Christian Nation defined by a legislative fiat? No! That is expressly forbidden by our constitution in the first amendment to it. Lawmakers shall make no law with respect to religion.

There are 13 countries that do have an official state religion where the church is an integral part of their government. We have no national religion. In fact, one of the reasons the pioneering people who came to America was to escape such a mandated system of beliefs, faith and practices.  Freedom of religion is a basic right of all citizens under our constitution with the Bill of Rights.

Some protestant colonies, early on, assessed taxes upon their citizens to support their churches … a practice that ceased with adoption of the constitution. We are free to believe what we wish without government interference.

It was the practice of religious faith in Christianity that carried our national forefathers to achieve the basic values and moral courage to write and propose the basic form of government that we have – though those of our countrymen who are not Christian still benefit from those basic tenants that give us the core of our national ethos.

The original draft of the constitution did not have the freedom of religion in it and the colonies refused to ratify it until the Bill of Rights was added.

Nonetheless, the question still stands for reason that it may not be the law but the principles and moral basis of the type of government that we have that determines whether or not we are a Christian nation.

The people who formed the original 13 colonies all came to escape religious persecution so that their highest concerns were the teachings of Jesus Christ and for which they were willing to risk all that they were and all that they had to seek out and colonize an unknown land.

These values were imbedded in the process by which the men in the constitutional convention set forth the basis of our government. All men were created equal; all men were imbued with his God given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

These rights were not granted by man for man is a sinner and could not be trusted. Therefore no kings, no emperors, or hereditary chiefs. One has the right to hold property and to defend it along with their lives.

 With Martin Luther’s theses nailed to the door of the church each individual Christian assumed  the right to interpret scripture and to seek out God on his own, sanctifying the individual Christian.

Christ was asked as to the greatest law and he answered that the first and greatest law is to love the Lord our God with all or mind, all our heart and all our soul. And the second law is that we love one another as we would ourselves.

When we forget what Jesus said as to the law we will perish as a nation.

Yes, we are a Christian nation under God.

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