Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli clearly states that...

Signed and ratified by the founding fathers in 1797, Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli clearly states that "The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..."

ARTICLE 11.

As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

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Left wing liberal media rewrite?
I was conversing with a religious friend of mine, brought up article 11 and got this in return:

THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS—1775
This body officially called all citizens to fast and pray and confess their sins that God might bless them.
Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

I always love to see this on the web as there are several things that atheist fail to take in account. First, sentence ends in a semicolon and leave out much of the intended meaning of article. Second, they know nothing about the early American history with Barbary Coast Pirates.
If the first sentence ended in a period things would be different, but it ends in a semicolon which means the sentence continues to the next and is connected. This means the context and meaning is also connected. That is why President Adams and Congress of 1797 weren’t in an uproar over the statement. The second part of eleven clearly states we don’t discriminate against Muslims. This is clearly a reflection of freedom of religion from first Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

The second part is that they leave out early American history. At the time of the signing of the Treaty of Tripoli the United States had literally no Navy to protect its commerce in the Mediterranean from the Barbary Pirates. Congress commission of six frigates in the Naval Act of 1794, but the first of the six, The Philadelphia, was not completed until May of 1797. The Treaty of Tripoli was ratified in June of 1797. That means that Ambassador Barlow was negotiation the year before with no military might to support his diplomacy. Does that leave the US with a disadvantage at the bargaining table? Yes.

Let’s look at later treaties like 1805 Treaty with Tripoli. Article 11 references to US not being Christian Nation is absent. But if you look at Article 14 of 1805 treaty and it reads, “The government of the United States of American has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility of Musselmen.” This is a nice paraphrase of original Article 11 in 1797. It is also should be noted that the US had a full Navy at this time patrolling the Mediterranean, minus the Philadelphia which burned in the Tripoli Harbor in 1804.

Finally, let’s look at other later treaties signed by the United States. In 1822, the United States ratified the Convention for Indemnity Under Award of Emperor of Russia as to the True Construction of the First Article of the Treaty of December 24, 1814. In the preamble it states, “In the name of the Most Holy and Indivisible Trinity.” Christianity is the only religion that teaches trinity view of God. If the 1797 makes the US secular, I guess the 1822 treaty supersedes it and makes the US Christian Nation again.
"First, sentence ends in a semicolon and leave out much of the intended meaning of article. "
How does that change the meaning of the statement that we are not in ANY sense founded on a Christian religion?

"Second, they know nothing about the early American history with Barbary Coast Pirates."
Um.. so fucking what?
As much as I would love to use the answer of "Don't you know about the Pirates?!" in everyday life (seriously, in like.. every situation imaginable) I don't see any baring on how that would change the fact that there is documented proof that we were not and never have been founded by Christians.
Many of the founding fathers were DEISTS...and pretty damn outspoken against Christianity.

"Finally, let’s look at other later treaties signed by the United States. In 1822, the United States ratified the Convention for Indemnity Under Award of Emperor of Russia as to the True Construction of the First Article of the Treaty of December 24, 1814. In the preamble it states, “In the name of the Most Holy and Indivisible Trinity.” Christianity is the only religion that teaches trinity view of God. If the 1797 makes the US secular, I guess the 1822 treaty supersedes it and makes the US Christian Nation again."
Heh.. actually, swearing a treaty in the name of something doesn't mean the country is forced to be that religion.. it only means that if the treaty is broken, the alliance to that 'something' can be called into question. If I swear 'on my honor' it doesn't mean I'm perfectly honorable, does it? I'm sure plenty of liars swear on their honor every day.
And um.. didn't we have this thing called a Cold War?
Doesn't THAT supersede our vow before the Trinity? Guess it ain't so revered after all.
Misty-
If this was a common statement for treaties of the United States, why does this not appear in any of the other treaties then or after? The treaties in the same time period with Morocco and Algeria don’t have this statement. As stated earlier, it wasn’t in the 1805 Treaty with Tripoli. Barlow was at a huge diplomatic disadvantage with negotiating with the Pasha of Tripoli. The Pasha made many demands with us and the European superpowers of the day.

As for this nation having nothing to do with Christianity, or having an influence on it, you are fooling yourself. I should remind you that this is the United States of America. States had a lot more power early on and federal government had a limited role. So what did the early States say about Christianity, let’s look at the Constitution of Massachusetts of 1780:

"It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society, publicly and at stated seasons, to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe."

"Any person chosen governor, lieutenant-governor, councillor, senator, or representative, and accepting the trust, shall, before he proceed to execute the duties of his place or office, make and subscribe the following declaration, viz:
"I, A.B., do declare that I believe the Christian religion, and have a firm persuasion of its truth; and that I am seized and possessed, in my own right, of the property required by the constitution, as one qualification for the office or place to which I am elected.""

Hmm, that is not very secular statements.

This is just few examples of many. The other State Constitutions of the first States have “God” and “Christian” statements, if you care to read them.

As for the Constitution, here is what University of Houston researchers found:
“According to the American Political Review (189, 1984), research was done by a group of political science professors from the University of Houston. They examined 15,000 documents, then narrowed them down to 3,154 writings they felt had some impact on the life and history of this nation. They found:
"The Holy Bible was found to have directly contributed to 34% of all quotes by the Founding Fathers. This was discovered after reviewing 15,000 items from the Founding Fathers (including newspaper articles, pamphlets, books, monographs, etc.). The other main sources that the Founders quoted include: Montesquieu, Blackstone, Locke, Pufendorf, etc., who themselves took 60% of their quotes directly from the Bible. Direct and indirect quotes combined reveal that 94% of all the quotes of the Founding Fathers are derived from the Bible."”
First - the Constitution of Massachusetts of 1780 was written by Puritans - people who put churches at the centers of their communities, spied on their neighbors and kicked Anne Hutchinson and her ENTIRE FAMILY out of town because she was a woman who said that it was okay to interpret the bible personally and that you didn't need an intermediary to talk to god or to interpret the bible, and that you were crazy if you thought god could speak to you.

Second, using the Constitution of an individual state as an example representative for the whole country is about as effective an argument as saying that my opinion can represent yours, which, judging by our vastly differing views - is wholly ineffective.

Also, Article IV, paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution reads, "The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

Secular.

Furthermore, the paragraph in Article VI immediately preceding the one I just referenced in the United States Constitution reads, "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

So, even if a state were to have a constitution which required some religious test or oath of office, it would be rendered an offense of the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land.

Furthermore, is it not wholly impossible to think that, when scribing a treaty with a nation with an established religion, that a nation without an established religion might begin with a phrase that would appeal to them? Even if that were not the case, there are instances where the United States Supreme Court has ruled that such phrases are merely ceremonial in nature and do not lend themselves to governmental support or endorsement of religion or religious activity. See Aronow v. United States (1970) .

"The Holy Bible directly contributed to 34% of all quotes by the Founding Fathers."

If this statistic is accurate, what then, do you propose? That we revert ourselves back in time and force people to pretend to believe in a religion they don't support? That we ignore basic facts that we have uncovered through the process of the scientific method?

This nation was built on ideals. It was built on the backs of slaves, on the oppression of millions and with the hopes that some day, society would progress to a point where people were truly equal, where no one individual would be forced to subscribe to the beliefs of another - where you can be Christian, I can be atheist, and the guy sitting right beside me can be Hindu and we don't have to enslave one another.

Colonists came here to escape religious oppression, to worship as they pleased, not to force anyone else to do as much. At the time of settlement, there were places in Europe where being catholic could get you killed. What would that have said for atheists? Even deism was a dangerous idea.
"It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society, publicly and at stated seasons, to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe."
Yeah, how much more generic can you get? It doesn't say "worship Jesus Christ." That phrase is totally deistic in manner and wording.

"Any person chosen governor, lieutenant-governor, councillor, senator, or representative, and accepting the trust, shall, before he proceed to execute the duties of his place or office, make and subscribe the following declaration, viz: "I, A.B., do declare that I believe the Christian religion, and have a firm persuasion of its truth; and that I am seized and possessed, in my own right, of the property required by the constitution, as one qualification for the office or place to which I am elected.""
And that's completely unconstitutional.
1) See what Ashli and Johnny said. I was at work, but they pretty much summed it up for me.
2) Thanks for the straw men, but no. I stated that because an oath is taken in the name of a deity, it A) doesn't make that deity real, and B) doesn't even mean that deity is revered. It's just words said to make your promise carry more weight.The fact of it is we have documented proof that says that "Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;" utterly trumps any general reference to god, Jesus or the Flying Spaghetti Monster that might appear in later documents, unless those documents specifically say that America is now officially declared a theocratic society. THAT would supersede those words...nothing less.
3) In the past, the states had more power than the federal government, true enough. But then we had the Whiskey Rebellion, the civil war and a shitload of Supreme Court cases that pretty much negated state power when it conflicted with the Constitution.
We no longer live in the 17, 18, 0r even 19 hundreds. The laws from that time do not apply to us today.
You are completely ignoring history and the original argument at hand. Was there a strong influence of Religion (namely Christianity) on the founding of the United States? Religion was a touchy subject then and now. Don't you think they left it so bland in the US constitution so the States could make there own rules around religion were it was more localized to form of Christianity practiced there?

The New England colonists were largely Puritans, who led very strict lives.
The Middle colonists were a mixture of religions, including Quakers (led by William Penn), Catholics, Lutherans, Jews, and others.
The Southern colonists had a mixture of religions as well, including Baptists and Anglicans.

So you say Massachusetts doesn’t count because they are puritans. Here are a several more State Constitutions.

Delaware Constitution 1776:
“ART. 22. " I, A B. do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration."”

New Jersey Constitution 1776
“XVIII. That no person shall ever, within this Colony, be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping Almighty God”

Maryland 1776
“XXXIII. That, as it is the duty of every man to worship God in such manner as he thinks most acceptable to him; all persons, professing the Christian religion, are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty;”

North Carolina 1776
“32. That no person who shall deny the being of God, or the truth of the Protestant religion, or the divine authority of either the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall b e capable of holding any office, or place of trust or profit, in the civil department, within this State.”

Pennsylvania 1776
“I do believe in one God, the creator and governor of the universe, the rewarder of the good and the punisher of the wicked. And I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine inspiration”


I guess a leopard can’t change its spots. Sorry, that’s from the Bible too. Jer 13:23
And all of those have been ruled unconstitutional.

Federal was setup loose enough to allow individual states to do much of their own regulation. But clearly said that they could not establish a state religion; and clearly said that if/when the fed did step in, that it overruled the states.
Again, you are missing the point. I never said anything about "State Religion" or if it is constitutional today. There was an influence and presents of Religion (namely Christianity) in the founding of America. I don’t know why you are in such denial. Thinking that it totally and utterly absent in the founding of America is nonsense. Western civilization was built on two pillars: one in Athens and one in Jerusalem.

Karl Marx said "a people separated from their heritage are easily persuaded".
I've never said there was no Christian influence in the founding. Its common knowledge that the various flavors of Christianity are the majority in the US, and have always been.

You are trying to overlay Christian intent in the entire founding though. If there was truly Christian intent there surely would have been some mention of "Jesus Christ" instead of the generic deistic uses of "Creator." And the founding fathers clearly set that all citizens be free to practice the religion of their choice; NOT the Christian flavor of their choice.

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