Is Christian nationalism un-American?

Author: SkepticalOne ,

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  • SkepticalOne
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    Christian nationalism holds that the US was founded on "Judeo-Christian" principles. "Judeo-Christian" seems nonsensical to begin with (Judaism is Judaism because it rejects Christianity and vice versa). Regardless, principles in the holy texts of Judaism and Christianity are so distinctly different than those embodied in America's founding documents that to suggest a link between them is to grossly misrepresent America.

    Rather than waste time defending against arguments that might not be used, I leave it to proponents to define "Judeo-Christian principles" and provide arguments. Perhaps, each respondent may limit themselves to one or two of their best arguments, and let's do our best to keep it civil folks!





  • Mharman
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    --> @SkepticalOne
    So you’re  telling me that our Christian founding fathers who believe our right came from God created a country whose values are based off of secularism? Something’s wrong with your logic here.


    So let’s cut to the chase. You believe the Bible is anti-freedom, correct?

  • SkepticalOne
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    --> @Mharman
    founding fathers [...]  believe our right came from God 
    This assertion is refuted by the first three words of the Constitution: We the people.

    What does "Judeo-Christian principles" mean to you?
  • Stronn
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    --> @SkepticalOne
    What made the U.S. unique is that it was the first nation founded on the principles of the Enlightenment. The founding fathers explicitly rejected longstanding religious principles such as the divine right of kings and the acquisition of knowledge through revelation instead of reason, and emphasized the natural rights of individuals.

  • SkepticalOne
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    --> @Stronn
    👍👍👍
  • Dr.Franklin
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    The founding fathers put this country on Rome
  • keithprosser
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    --> @SkepticalOne @Stronn
    So what went wrong?

    Our new PM recently said he was not a serious practising Christian

    I think it will be a while before a US president says that!  More to the point, in the UK its no big deal, despite our retaining of a queen who reigns by divine right!   

    In simple terms, the majority of rank-and-file Christians equate 'being Christian' with 'being nice'.   The flip side of that is the bizarre notion that if you aren't Christian you can't be nice!  I've noticed many Christians have real problems getting their head around humanism.  They are so convinced that being nice and kind are 'Judeao-Christian' values that they truly think anyone who is not a believer must be a egotistical hedonist.

    IMO, "judeao-christian principles" have nothing to with doctrine or dogma; it relates to the way that religion has claimed ownership of niceness.





  • SkepticalOne
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    --> @keithprosser
    IMO, "judeao-christian principles" have nothing to with doctrine or dogma; it relates to the way that religion has claimed ownership of niceness.
    That may be true, but I don't think CN are referring to niceness when they speak of JCP as the basis of the American government. 

  • SkepticalOne
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    --> @Dr.Franklin
    The founding fathers put this country on Rome
    Meaning unclear.
  • keithprosser
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    --> @SkepticalOne
    What's CN?
  • SkepticalOne
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    --> @keithprosser
    Christian Nationalists
  • Castin
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    I guess for me this depends on how much of their holy text they're really holding on to. What they think still applies and what they think is just backstory. The worst offender is of course the Old Testament, which Christians have a complicated relationship with, in my experience. They've left it behind and yet not left it behind.
  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @Stronn
    The Enlightenment wasn't an anti-religious or anti-Christian movement.

    Where do you get the reason over revelation by the way? Reason is why people choose to align with various religions. Thinking that reason would only lead to atheism isn't any better than any religion or philosophy that might claim authority like in a European theocracy. Leads to the same result if not worse.

  • ludofl3x
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    --> @Mharman
    Can you point to the words "Christian," "Judeo-CHristian," "Bible," "Talmud," or "Christian God" in any of the fundamental documents of the nation? Because it would have been easy to write "Christian God" rather than "creator." Right? Just find any one of those markers in the COnstitution, the Declaration of Independence, or the Bill of Rights. I'll wait. Here, I'll even help:

  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @SkepticalOne
    IMO, "judeao-christian principles" have nothing to with doctrine or dogma; it relates to the way that religion has claimed ownership of niceness.
    That may be true, but I don't think CN are referring to niceness when they speak of JCP as the basis of the American government.
    What do you think they're referring to?

    Who exactly are these Christian nationalists?
  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @SkepticalOne
    founding fathers [...]  believe our right came from God 
    This assertion is refuted by the first three words of the Constitution: We the people.

    What does "Judeo-Christian principles" mean to you?
    This is not refuted at all. It's a personal belief a Christian is fully entitled to. Wouldn't you agree?

    As far as what JCP means to me?

    Without looking it up, I would say it's fairly similar to Humanist principles. For instance, our love for our family members, although natural, is a product of our creator. An atheist would see it a product of something like human instinct (or whatever: meaning I don't won't to take this off topic).

    But this should have you jumping for joy I would think.

    Isn't it wonderful that we can share legally this magnificent pluralistic society, some crediting human charity to God, some strictly to human tendencies?



  • SkepticalOne
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    Some CN seems to equate the 10 commandments to JCP (Judeo Christian Principles), and this would make sense since this is a well both faths might draw from.

    "We the people" stands above any personal beliefs any specific founder may have had about god(s) and their role in our government. The Constitution lays out what they agreed on and that is a government which derives its power from the people.

    Love your family seems a valuable sentiment, but not one that generally need be mandated. How do you see this value at the basis of US government? Are you aware there are passages which would stand against this in the Bible?
  • keithprosser
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    Reason is why people choose to align with various religions. Thinking that reason would only lead to atheism isn't any better than any religion or philosophy that might claim authority like in a European theocracy. Leads to the same result if not worse.
    I put it to you that what has happened is that religion has claimed ownership of niceness.  There is a superficial rationale behind that notion:  if there is no god, what reason do people have not to be selfish hedonists?   Especially in America the idea that an atheist can't be a good person is widespread - millions of Americans would not vote an atheist for president.  (In the UK being religious is more of a handicap to polical ambition!)

    Christian Nationalism is based on the idea that niceness comes from religion and nastiness from irreligion.  It trades on the notion that the past was better because it was more religious, ignoring the reality that the past was not better than the present and progress was achived through secularisation.  

    Christian Nationalism harks back to a mythical golden age (ie the 1950's of 'Happy Days',not the reality)and is opposed to change of any sort.  Abortion is opposed because in those mythical days nice girls didn't get pregnant, gays hadn't been invented and women were content to be 'home-makers'.

    Thus CN appeals to those who favour stability over progress. But its stability to the point of stasis and intellectual stagnation.

  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @Castin

    I guess for me this depends on how much of their holy text they're really holding on to. What they think still applies and what they think is just backstory. The worst offender is of course the Old Testament, which Christians have a complicated relationship with, in my experience. They've left it behind and yet not left it behind.

    The problem I as a Christian might have with the Old Testament is not it's inclusion, but with the idea that harsh laws are at times, under certain circumstances, are necessary. I may not even see them as necessary, but I know I don't possess enough wisdom to make that call.

    To give a more contemporary example, was it justifiable for the Army to shoot a soldier for cowardice in the line of duty? I think that was harsh myself. But I can't claim it wasn't necessary. It's quite possible that these unusual strict laws not imposed on civilians (we wouldn't execute a football player who shows fear of tackling) might have been necessary in some of our victories.

    There is a distinction between the transient nation of Israel, and the rest of Christendom. Just as there is a distinction between the military, and civilian society.

  • SkepticalOne
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    Where do you get the reason over revelation by the way? Reason is why people choose to align with various religions. Thinking that reason would only lead to atheism isn't any better than any religion or philosophy that might claim authority like in a European theocracy. Leads to the same result if not worse.
    Stronn isnt making any claims about atheism - he is talking about the Constitution. Given there is no mention of god(s) in it, it follows our founding document was not built upon revelation.

  • Mharman
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    --> @ludofl3x
    You said it yourself. “Creator”.

    What are you trying to argue here?

  • Mharman
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    --> @Castin @keithprosser @ludofl3x @SkepticalOne @Stronn
    You should read the Constitution AND other documents by the founders.

    You’ll find that they intended for a secular government by, of, and for the people, a people of Judeo-Christian culture.
  • ludofl3x
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    --> @Mharman
    Which creator is specified? And where does it refer to "people of a Judeo-Christian culture", exactly? Are you arguing they simply forgot to add that?
  • Mharman
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    --> @ludofl3x
    The founders were all Christian men, so it would be God. What other creator could it possibly be?
  • Mharman
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    --> @ludofl3x
    How about you read The Federalist