America Was Not Founded on Christianity, but Many of Us Remember the Times When We Thought It Was

For much of American history, xianity adversely affected every American's life. Many of us remember those times and can make our own lists of the ways xianity made people unhappy.

Here are several of many instances. When my parents were approaching the age to marry, the government jailed people who told couples how to avoid pregnancy. When I was approaching the age to marry, the only sex education was in the printed porn kids passed around. Husbands were supposed to know what to do and wives weren't allowed to say what they liked. If a movie showed a married couple's bedroom, viewers knew the two slept in twin beds that were several feet apart.

Many xians want to restore those times and they're reminding me of the above. They're reminding me too that the law allowed only pharmacies to open on Sundays. Within miles of where I lived there was one pharmacy. The other 20 or so stores in town, even the large food store and a small one, were closed.

America wasn't founded on xianity but xians made the laws. Xianity, like the Catholicism I knew until I quit it, needed people to be unhappy. Today many xians want to return America to that.

I'm old enough that I won't be around much longer. If today's young people let xians return America to those unhappy times, then from wherever my little heap of chemicals is, I will do what I can to get a few thunderbolts hurled.

The Tripoli Treaty's Section 11 explains it: ...the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.

Don't you young folk forget that; Don't you let xians restore the America I knew. Let me RIP.

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Today's Xians work hard to misrepresent America's early years. Their efforts founder on truth's rocks and shoals.

Many early Americans, including James Madison and other founding fathers, became deists who did not believe in the divinity of Christ and instead viewed reason as the source of religious knowledge. From the perspective of today, this seems unsurprising and in keeping with the Enlightenment philosophy of the time. But at the time it was highly controversial -- Christian pastors excoriated deists as heretics and "infidels" and some deists asserted their deist faith in opposition to Christianity -- taking actions designed to taunt Christians and attending "infidel conventions":

"[While] individual proponents of deism stressed different principles, ... nearly all deists agreed on two basic points. They accepted the existence of a God in one form or another, but they rejected Trinitarian theology. Jesus, in their view, was
only a human, not the son of God. Second, all deists de­nied that the Christian Bible contained a special, divine revelation of God's will. At its core, deism was a complete rejection of supernatural revelation in favor of reason as the only source of true religious knowledge. Some deists used these positions to offer moderate calls for the reformation of Chris­tianity. Yet others hoped that deism would entirely overturn Christianity; indeed they believed that deism would destroy all religious systems that included supernatural or metaphysical teachings. ...

"[And] by all accounts, [the] infidelity [of deism] was on the rise. Specifically, more, not fewer, Americans publicly announced their deism be­tween the 1770s and  1830s.

"Thomas Thompson was one such deist. He was born in 1775 on the eve of American independence and by 1829 had abandoned Christianity. Perhaps he embraced deism after reading Thomas Paine's Age of Reason, published in 1794 when Thompson was nineteen. Or maybe Thompson reacted to Fed­eralist attacks on Thomas Jefferson's [lack of] piety during the contentious election of 1800 by committing himself to  the very opinions that the Federalists feared. Thompson may have found the  emotional highs of evangelical revivals and their demands for new birth experiences too psychologically taxing. Re­gardless, by 1829 he was moderator at the Hall of  Science, a prominent two-story building with Greek columns on Broome Street in New York.

"Located in a former church, the Hall of Science was a venue for critics of Christianity to debate their ideas and a site where Sunday morning gatherings were held as alternatives to church services. The hall's proprietors adorned its win­dows with pictures of  Thomas Paine and William Godwin in order to taunt visitors and employees of the  Bible repository located directly across the street. Before Thompson died in Brooklyn in 1852, he had attended 'infidel conventions' in Saratoga Springs, New York, in  1836 and much larger ones in New York City in 1845 and 1846, where he was appointed manager of the organization that hosted the meetings. Thompson also served as trea­surer of the Paine Monument Fund, and as trustee and treasurer of the Free Enquirer's Library Association. The latter organization formed to counter Christian tract societies by publishing and circulating inexpensive editions of writings critical of Christianity, including The Age of Reason and atheistic works by eighteenth-century French philosophes.

Excerpted from Eric R. Schlereth's An Age of Infidels: The Politics of Religious Controversy in the Early United States. Publisher: University of Pennsylvania, Copyright 2013 by the University of Pennsylvania Press, Pages: 4-8.

I obtained it from where you can sign up to receive, via a free brief daily email, an excerpt or quote they view as interesting or noteworthy, offered with commentary to provide context.

Now that ( is a nice little daily something which may actually be OF USE to me, by comparison with the "Cat of the Day" or daily astrology report I used to get.  Thanks for mentioning that, Tom!




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