President’s day is being celebrated today. I know some of my Christian friends like to say that we are not a Christian nation, while others claim that our country was founded on Christianity. I think that both of these viewpoints have some legitimacy, but both of them also miss the point a little bit.
An important part of how our country was founded included freedom to choose your religion. We still live by this today, as well we should. After all, God himself set up our existence to include free will. No one is made to choose Him, and I think it’s admirable that the framers of our country’s political system recognized this and emulated it when most of the nations they knew did not.
However, the founding fathers were not atheists. Although they had theological differences, each and every one of them had a faith in God that shaped their life and defined their beliefs and actions. The faith of the founders was specifically a Christian faith—this fact cannot be denied by anyone who studies history.
The faith of the framers and founders, including the early Presidents, was integral to how the country was formed and governed in the early years, and this country became a bastion of freedom and liberty, a place that people from other nations longed to come and be a part of.
Those who want to say we are not a Christian nation are playing a semantics game. Nobody has to be a Christian in this country, that’s true, but our government and framework were clearly formed according to Christian principles. That’s why it has worked so extraordinarily well (in my opinion).
Some people, including some Christians, want to move away from the faith part of the framework of this country. They want to change the way this country operates so that religion isn’t a part of it. Here’s the problem, though, the way I see it. Our country has been tremendously successful, and a big part of that is because Christian principles work for everyone who lives by them—even people who aren’t Christians!
Nobody has to actually be a Christian to objectively look at our nation and see that freedom and liberty are admirable, and also have created a society that works better than other types of governments. When politicians think about changing things, I would like to caution them to be careful about changing a system that has worked so well for so long (not that they are listening to me).
It’s easy to get theoretical about the way things should be. If our country was founded on freedom of religion, then we should eliminate any faith-based principles from the government, some theorize. But when you take away the framework that created such unprecedented freedom, you could very well be destroying the freedom that such a framework has created and preserved for over 200 years. I don’t think it’s necessary to do so to preserve people’s freedom to choose their religion (or not choose one, if they wish).
So are we a Christian nation? Were we created to be one? Maybe, maybe not. But our original form of government and our Constitution hold great value. I think it’s at least partly because of the faith in God on which it was founded. And I don’t think that necessitates changing things. In fact, I think it would be a grave mistake to abandon our founding principles just because they may be based on the faith of the founders.
I hope that gives you something to think about on President’s Day. Feel free to share your comments below. God bless you and God bless America!