At one Church which I attend, the priest often prays that America will repent of her sins and return to God. Many Christians lament that America is forgetting her Christian heritage. Certainly there can be no doubt that the majority of the founding fathers of our nation were Christian. Our laws were most certainly based upon Judeo-Christian values found in the Bible, i.e., the ten commandments.
But has America ever been a truly Christian nation living by Christian principles?
Many point to the statement found in the Declaration of Independence that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." Certainly that is a Christian belief. But it should be noted that even as Thomas Jefferson wrote this sentence, he owned slaves who were most definitely denied their "certain unalienable rights."
All women, no matter their race, were considered second class citizens at the time of our nation's founding. Women were not allowed to vote or even own property. The first state to allow women to own property in their own names was Mississippi in 1839. Despite this, women were not able to apply for credit until the Equal Credit Opportunity Act in 1974. Women did not receive the right to vote until 1919, and only after a long hard fight against a male establishment.
Our nation was also engaged in a vicious battle against the country's original inhabitants, the American Indian. We slaughtered them in great numbers, took away their land and pushed them onto reservations. The infamous Trail of Tears is just one example of this. This was a forced march in which 4,000 Cherokee people died of cold, hunger, and disease on their way to the western lands.
The 1857 Dredd Scott decision of the Supreme Court declared that that black people were not and never could be American citizens. In fact, in 1787, our Constitution was amended to state that slaves were only 3/5 human. The Supreme Court has declared that the unborn have no rights at all, allowing them to be murdered for any reason. We put all Japanese Americans, even if they were American born, in concentration camps in WWII, completely depriving them of all rights.
In 1932 the US government sponsored a program entitled, "Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male." As the CDC website explains:
The study initially involved 600 black men – 399 with syphilis, 201 who did not have the disease. The study was conducted without the benefit of patients’ informed consent. Researchers told the men they were being treated for “bad blood,” a local term used to describe several ailments, including syphilis, anemia, and fatigue. In truth, they did not receive the proper treatment needed to cure their illness. . . Although originally projected to last 6 months, the study actually went on for 40 years.
. . .
The men were never given adequate treatment for their disease. Even when penicillin became the drug of choice for syphilis in 1947, researchers did not offer it to the subjects. The advisory panel found nothing to show that subjects were ever given the choice of quitting the study, even when this new, highly effective treatment became widely used.Without their consent or knowledge, these men were used as human guinea pigs to study the effects of syphilis. They were allowed to die horrible painful deaths at the hands of the US Government. This is only one of many, many experiments done on human beings by the US Government, again depriving people of their rights.
Are these the marks of a Christian nation?
I could go on and on. The United States of America has committed countless evils in her 240 year history. Yes, of course, this country has also done many good things. And certainly there have been and are many millions of good Christian people. But I am not talking about individuals. I am talking about the US Government.
Christianity says that the meek will inherit the earth. Blessed are the poor in spirit. The first shall be last and the last shall be first. But the engine of the US is Capitalism, in which all of these Christian values are dumped on their head. One the strongest survive in the United States. For a good part of our history, many American children worked in factories for as much as 70 hours per week. Our government did not even enact child labor laws until 1918, but even then the Supreme Court struck down these laws declaring them unconstitutional. Congress did not pass the Fair Labor Standards Act until 1938, only 79 years ago. Sweat shops were the law of the land for most of our history, with unsafe, unsanitary conditions and often 6 or 7 day work weeks with 12 hour days.
All of this was completely legal until some people finally stood up to fight against these injustices. And almost always the US Government fought back to maintain the status quo, condemning millions of American citizens to a dismal existence.
Is there anything even remotely *Christian* about any of this? Should we even mention the US Stock Market, the *engine" of Capitalism, and all the harm this has caused the average American?
As I have previously written, Our Lord never taught his followers to in any way become involved in the governments of this world. As He plainly said, His Kingdom is not of this world. There are no governments in this world - not even the United States government - that belong to the Kingdom of God, The United States Government is a government of fallen man. It is not led by the Holy Spirit in any sense of the word. It is strictly a creation of man. There is no spiritual component to our government. It has never been, is not now and never will be "Christian." Nor was it ever intended to be Christian. The founding fathers created our government to be completely apart from ALL religion, as John Adams so eloquently stated.
America cannot return to God because we were never led by God in the first place. I will most definitely agree that the American form of government is the best that man can offer. And that actually proves my point. Man, apart from God, cannot even come close to being Christian. Man, apart from God, will always oppress and destroy his fellow man and eventually destroy himself. All politics is against Christianity, whether it be the political Left or the political Right. As Proverbs 14:12 states, "There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.."
Our job as followers of Christ is not to save our fallen human governments. Our job is to save the people. No human government can stand because none are of God. We need to face the reality that this is as just as true for the United States Government as it has been throughout human history.
Our salvation is not in politics. Our salvation is in Jesus Christ.