James Meacham Quote

“At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the amendments, the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged, not any one sect. Any attempt to level and discard all religion would have been viewed with universal indignation.”

~ James Meacham

House Committee on the Judiciary (3/27/1854)

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

One of the founding concepts and principles that made this country great; and, the violation there of is one of the concepts and principles that is destroying this once great country.

jim k, austin

Jefferson and Franklin would not be called "Christian" by the fundamentalist definition of the word. Jefferson had no truck with the doctrine of the "trinity" and Franklin doubted the devinity of Jesus.

E Archer, NYC

America retains a puritanical attitude because that is the foundation of the original colonists who came to practice their form of Christianity without persecution from others. The word 'Christianity' is too general, for me, as each new 'Christian' sect is formed from the dissent of a previous one. Even today new forms of 'Christianity' appear because of the 'errors' of the last. But as far as I can tell, organized religion (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc.) is a form of control that claims 'morality' as its core. While I do believe that a nation can only be free if the people are honest, compassionate, and helpful (virtues claimed by most faiths), but ancient Rome, too, depended upon the people believing in the watchful eyes of the gods and the blessings and curses that they could bestow to keep the people in line -- that hasn't changed. The real question is whether we as a people can embrace these virtues without promises or threats of eternal paradise or damnation.

Ken, Allyn, WA

The answer, Archer, is no. People are naturally SOB's and that will not change. People will naturally take every advantage for themselves and their relations that they can get away with and that primitive nature will always underlie peoples' more altruistic behaviors. As long as there are people there will be theft, murder, and war. That is why there will always be the need for government, whether it is government of a church or a secular government. The question is always going to be how big and how much control is necessary to bring out the better nature of most people while being least limiting of freedom.


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