"America is a good Christian Nation".
While I can't speak for the Virginia colonists that pre-date our own Pilgrims, New England at least was allegedly founded on the basis of religious freedom. Those pilgrims worshiped at a different church than the rest of their neighbors back in the old country and were persecuted because of it - so they left to seek a new life and freedom to impose their own rules.
Glossing over centuries of religious persecution in the New World (look up Mary Dyer
), we eventually reach the revolution. Our Founding Fathers were perhaps a bit wiser than their forebears, and eventually included the following statement in the documents and rules we use to run the government to this day:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...
In no way, shape, or form does this prohibit the people from worshiping, or indeed, even creating closed societies where outsiders are still viewed with suspicion. (Mormon, Amish, Hasidic, Scientology, etc...) It's supposed to prevent the government from imposing religious morals on the rest of society, no matter what the source of those church-based beliefs. It does not legislate away reverence....which is completely different from religion.
But how did we ever reach the point where a significant subset of the population believes that we are a "Christian nation"? I bet you could guess, but instead I'll have you read this passage from another historical document
"We, the people of the Confederate States, each state acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a permanent federal government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity â€” invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God â€” do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederate States of America."
Sure it sounds
familiar, but you'll note the blatant reference to "Almighty God" in the founding document of an enemy of the United States.
It's been more than 150 years since their defeat. One could only imagine what a current Confederate States of America would look like today. A white ruling class, black servant class, and followers of Allah, Buddha, Confucius, and even Moses are looked down upon and even ostracized.
Come to think of it, that sounds awfully familiar anyway.