“We are a Christian nation, founded on Judeo-Christian principles.” How many times have you heard that? Where do you hear it? From your preacher? Politicians? News casters and pundits? It is repeated in all those places, but does all this repetition make it true? No. No amount of repetition forges any lie into truth.
The Puritans came to the New World to escape religious persecution well before we forged ourselves into the United States. Settling in Massachusetts, they quickly established themselves as the ruling religion, persecuting all others. Remember the Salem witch trials? The other colonies fared no better. Unless you were Catholic you could not run for office in Maryland, but just across the Potomac River in Virginia only Anglicans could serve. Meanwhile in Europe, people had been killing each other for a hundred years over which version of God was correct and should control the governments.
Our Founders wanted nothing to do with that legacy. In fact Thomas Jefferson’s proudest accomplishment was getting his Freedom of Religion Bill passed into law in the Virginia Colony, remarking that ‘Hindoos and Mohamudans' could now serve in elected office. The other delegates agreed and made freedom of religion part of the Constitution of the United States of America.
Although there are still a lot of Christians in our nation, that in no way makes us a Christian nation. Our first treaty, signed by two of those founders, made that clear when it said, “The United States of America is in no way founded on the Christian Religion.” After all, Christianity is about subservience and obedience, not liberty and freedom.
Freedom of religion means that when we walk out of our homes, churches, synagogues, mosques and temples we are equal, with no religion being superior, or demanding special privilege and obedience from others. That freedom was a bold, new experiment; we were the first nation that answers not to an invisible supernatural being and its archaic rules, but only to each other. We the people - not a god - bless America by treating the diversity of all our fellow citizens with respect.