Guest post: God was voted out of the Constitution

Originally a comment by Papito on The unbridled pursuit of personal appetites.

Barr is, of course, historically ignorant. Our country was explicitly founded without a state religion, and declared by our founding fathers not to be a Christian nation. God was literally voted out of the Constitution.

Several of our founding fathers, for example Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin,Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, John Adams, and George Washington, were more philosophical Deists, or outright atheists, than Christians.

Let’s see what Washington had to say on the matter:

The blessed Religion revealed in the word of will remain an eternal and awful monument to prove that the best Institutions may be abused by human depravity; and that they may even, in some instances, be made subservient to the vilest of purposes.


There is nothing which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.

Washington never wrote about God, or Christ, only about such things as “the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men,” and “the benign parent of the human race.”

Not good enough? How about John Adams? “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” Adams was a materialist:

When once we quit the basis of sensation, all is in the wind. To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise: but I believe I am supported in my creed of materialism by Locke, Tracy, and Stewart.


As the government of the United States 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 [Muslims] … it is declared … that no pretext arising from religious opinion shall ever product an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries…. The United States is not a Christian nation any more than it is a Jewish or a Mohammedan nation.

Thomas Paine, of course, wrote an entire book on the subject, The Age of Reason.

What Barr is trying to do in his historical revisionism is to lay the groundwork, or establish a justification for, removing the franchise from non-Christians, or making non-Christians second-class citizens. He, like many of his ilk, want to remake America as a Dominionist nation. In this, he goes directly contrary to the intentions of the Founding Fathers. America was founded as a nation by people fleeing from religious oppression, not people seeking to create new religious oppression. But, as you said, to hear such a scoundrel as Barr talk about morality beggars belief.

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