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One nation, under God . . . .  We all know the words but while the sentiment is widely accepted, what was the founding fathers' intent?  As contemporary Christians, is it more important that we prove that we are a Christian nation - or that we act like we are?
Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?
Publication Date:
6/9/2010
Pages:
0
Session(s)
1
Product Type:
Internet Download
Adult Study
Product Number:
TC0430

In this one-session study participants will explore the question of whether America was founded as a Christian nation, examine the relationship between the religious views of the nation's founders and the instituting documents of the nation, and reflect on what difference it makes for the Christian citizen today.

Many Christians believe that America was founded as a uniquely Christian nation and have used this historical claim to justify policy on a host of moral and cultural issues facing the United States today. Others argue that, lacking a clear constitutional statement confirming a religious basis, this issue is moot and we best leave God out of it.

Were the founders themselves Christians? Did they set out to create a Christian nation? Perhaps more important, did the behavior, practice, and decisions of the founders and the governments that they established and presided over conform to the spiritual and moral teachings of Christianity as taught in the Bible? Are the actions of the founders consistent with the teachings of Jesus? Do they reflect biblical standards of Christian justice and compassion? Do they institute policies that respect outsiders and neighbors as human beings created in God's image and thus worthy of dignity and honor? And if they do, does it really matter why?

John Fea is Professor of American History and Chair of the History Department at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. He is a leading interpreter of American religious history and identity and has written for such media outlets as the Washington Post, Sojourners, Patheos.com, RealClearPolitics.com, and more. He blogs at www.TheWayofImprovement.com.

Martha Bettis-Gee is Associate for Child Advocacy in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).


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