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View Diary: Real Talking Points: The Constitution, Religion and "A Christian Nation" (18 comments)

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  •  I went looking for the treaty of Tripoli (1+ / 0-)
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    Look what I found on a conservative website.

    So there was a commenter who made the statement that we were founded as a Christian nation and Christianity should continue to have a role.  Here was part of the response he received.

    “No, it did not. Ive already proven that. Treaty of Tripoli 1796 “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion” Signed by John Adams. get your facts straight.”

    ...So the question is; how do you respond to historical revisionism such as this?

    The real issue is the statement itself.  The above mentioned line was indeed in the treaty of 1797, but as you can imagine, that was not the only line.  Here is the surrounding text of article XI of that treaty:

    “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 [hatred] against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen [Muslims] and as the said States [America] have 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.”

    The second half (or rather 4/5ths) of the statement is pretty important.  “Is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion” is qualified with what that means in this instance.  The Americans knew the history of the wars between Muslims and Christians in Europe.  Wars fought over religion.  This statement in its entirety was expressing to these Muslim nations that America’s Christianity was different than that of Europe.  We had no intention of fighting a war solely based upon religion (although neither was Europe but not from the point of view of the Muslims).  It is also important to know that these Barbary countries were also fighting England, France, Spain, and Denmark during this time (because they were Christian…see a pattern).  Our diplomats wanted to distinguish the US and these counties in an effort to protect our merchant ships because at the time we did not have the naval power to protect them.

    What will those nutty revisionists try next? Clearly the phrase "not in any sense founded on the Christian religion" simply means "We're not like the other Christian nations". Context, people!
    You can't overstate the amount of denial these folks are willing to indulge in.

    One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain -Bob Marley

    by Darwinian Detritus on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 04:52:08 PM PDT

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