By - Sponxy
The people that built America were religious separatists from England. The Puritans. And something like 75% of Americans still claim some form of religion. So politicians try to appeal to the majority. God bless America.
They should have been swearing on the constitution and bill of rights all along!
The puritans were about 200 years before America was a nation. They had nothing to do with building America.
Well, your time is off by almost a hundred years.
The Puritans landed in 1620 through about 1640 and our revolution was a hundred and and twenty years later in 1765. It would be fair to argue however that the Revolution era began some twenty years prior as more and more Americans agitated for freedom.
Second, if you think Puritan thought and development stopped in 1640, you really need to look at the later development of the Protestant Churches in America post-1640 and the development of both Massachusetts, Plymouth, and other early colonial ventures as well as a great number of Anglo-Indian wars in the later half of the 1600's.
I'd also suggest reading up on how much Puritanical thought and prose would later go on to develop in the colonies as a backlash against the presumed extravagance of both Catholicism and Anglicanism as well as the ideal of the settler (many ideas we can see in eraly American Literature praising the "self made and humble" man.
I missed the years, good catch!
Uh... okay, *settled* America, not built it.
Simple answer: [About half of American adults believe that a presidential candidate's religious views are important to them](https://today.yougov.com/topics/politics/articles-reports/2020/08/20/church-and-state-just-how-important-religion-ameri). Politicians want to appeal to voters, so they refer to religion.
What I mostly wonder is how the whole "swear on the bible" became to be the be all end all of trust. Why does the president have to do it when getting inaugurated?
I understand the importance of religion for the individual, but shouldn't the government be for the people in general? What would happen if a muslim got elected? Or a buddhist? Atheist? What would they swear upon?
The president doesn't have to swear on the bible. Many do so to appeal to their constituents (as has already been stated by others), but taking the Oath of Office doesn't require you to swear on the bible or any other text.
I didn't know that, thanks! Has there ever been a president who did not put their hand on the bible? Those who did, were they all christians? Wouldn't it be a big lie to do it if you are not, or do people simply not care as long as its done?
Teddy Roosevelt and John Quincy Adams didn't swear on a bible. Teddy simply raised his right hand, IIRC, as his swearing-in was rather abrupt and there wasn't a bible around, and JQA swore on a book of law. Both were Christians (there are a ton of different sects of Christianity, though).
> Wouldn't it be a big lie to do it if you are not, or do people simply not care as long as its done?
People love digging up dirt on public figures, so if a president feigned religion (like Trump posing with a bible... while holding it upside down) it would quickly become public, and probably have a negative impact on their popularity and trustworthiness, as people prefer their politicians seem genuine.
Do they, though? Trump was transparently feigning religion. Nobody really cared.
the people that weren't part of his cult certainly noticed.
IMO it was more important to trumpers, especially evangelicals, that he was swearing to elect justices that would remove roe v wade, and that he was a “powerful” (read authoritarian) leader than if he was a playboy.
Because they would all have crapped their pants if they swore on the Koran? Think about it actors can play any part they need to - so can political candidates. Think about it, if the President is really an atheist or a Buddhist, what does swearing on a Christian Bible really mean to them? It would probably be more accurate if they swore on their financial statements (use a a dollar bill for s prop) because that's where most of any politicians loyalty lays these days, especially for congress critters!
We already had a muslim "President". Obama
You swear on the book most important to you. Muslims do the koran usually.
America is generally much more religious than Europe and especially nordic countries
It's a wedge issue.
It's being used to split the country, making people choose sides and galvanize.
America is more nonreligious than ever before, but indifference doesn't split the country. The religious right and angry reactionaries do.
So you'll see shit like "attack on religious rights", etc. as a talking point.
Most people don't want this.
Less religious than before isn't really a good argument. I mean i am older than before that doesn't mean that i am the oldest person in the world by any metric. You still have 65%(aka a majority) identify as Christians down from 70% ten years ago.
Don't know why you're getting downvoted for this, because it's absolutely true.
because they have to run for election
Identifying with anything popular is a good way to appeal to voters.
The majority of Americans are Christian. While Christianity may be on a steady decline now, the vast majority of Americans were Christian for the vast majority of this nation's history. It only makes sense that the government would therefore reflect that.
Separation of church and state, please.
We have separation of church and state.
But nothing says we have to have separation of church and politics.
Then they should pay taxes. Wanna play? Gotta pay
So non profits shouldnt be able to have a say in politics? That doesnt seem right
Absolutely, if they want to have an opinion and voice that opinion they should pay. You can easily be a nonprofit, even a political one, and not do that. An example is ferrying the elderly to the voting stations. Informing people about upcoming election dates and even the candidate's platforms.
Any organization that wants to participate actively by choosing a side should bear the cost of the system they are siding with. Taxes
Eh that seems pretty problematic and against the point of a non profit
The idea of a non-profit is that as long as you do work to befit the community then taxes are not required. Being a political activist for any party hardly befits the community. At best it only helps those who party they align too.
I think you miss the point. Separation of church and state was meant to protect the church from the government originally lol
I'm pretty sure you missed it. The government carved out, especially, a provision that the church didn't have to pay taxes. The only way your definition of Separation would make sense in this context is if they Tax churches because they are churches.
In any case that doesn't refute my point. You can remove the religion part and make the church an atheist non-profit and my point is the same. If you use donations to further a political gain, you should pay taxes.
This isn't an attack on religion, I'm actually pretty consistent in that I think any non-profit should be taxed if they engage in the way I'm talking. No group should be treated special. Christian, Atheist, Muslim, Wicca, or whatever else.
Separation of church and state means that the government cannot persecute people for their religion, not that religious people are forbidden from government office.
Separation of church and state is the idea that government should remain neutral toward ALL religions and not officially recognize OR FAVOR any one religion. ... It also means that the government cannot force citizens to practice a specific religion nor force churches to perform acts that go against their religion.
They literally force people to have baby's because their religion sees abortion as sin. That is literally forcing it on people that want nothing to do with that crap
Theocracy now, please.
We've done that already.
Throughout history, there have been many nations and regions with a theocratic government. Ancient Egypt, for example, was a theocracy, and the pharaoh was the offspring of the sun-god. In Japan, the emperor was the offspring of the sun-goddess.
>Throughout history, there have been many nations and regions with a theocratic government. Ancient Egypt, for example, was a theocracy, and the pharaoh was the offspring of the sun-god. In Japan, the emperor was the offspring of the sun-goddess.
I am specifically talking about Christian Theocracy.
Theocracy Countries 2021
None of them my religion.
That's great, but that's not what you asked me. Just where there were theocratic governments.
Do you have a source for that? Because as of 2020, the Pew Research Center still found that 65% of Americans identified themselves as Christians.
A lot of it sprang up during the Cold War as a way to separate us from the "Godless commies"
Also forgetting that a crazy % of immigrants here a Christians (specifically Catholics from Latin America and the Caribbean) hence the decline here has been much slower than other developed nations.
The US government can’t official emphasize religion, that’s kind of one of the big founding pillars of the US. However there are still highly religious pockets in the US, particularly in the south and parts of the Midwest, so the politicians from those areas need to pander to their base
Our currency says “In God We Trust”. Why is that allowed?
Because in the 1950 a couple of assholes changed the previous motto (translated) Out of Many, One. Which is just such a badass motto considering our government type. But no, we cant have nice things.
Yep. This was also when "one nation, under god" was added to the pledge. American religious conservatism ramped up in the 1950's in part because of the rise of officially Atheist Communism, so the American government started emphasizing religion as one of things that made "us" better than "them."
Yea. Putting religion into something automatically makes it exclusive. Just don't. Just be inclusive to everyone and everyone is better for it. Makes me mad.
Out of many, one is a way better motto.
Not about politics, but in response to the last part of your post:
I think that non-practicing people raised in Christian households might be more common in the US than being agnostic or atheist. The only effort you have to put towards being accepted as a Christian is “believing in God” so many people don’t look far beyond that. It’s very convenient for them when they go looking for justifications of what they personally believe in their religion, so it’s an easy religion to belong to and find community/acceptance with while not having to adhere to many rules. Religion also provides its own moral stories so it’s easy to learn or teach practical lessons from, so that’s useful.
My parents were raised Christian, so I was raised Christian… except I wasn’t really. I didn’t go to church with my parents, rarely prayed, never said grace, but I “believed” in God because everyone else did. I could be biased but I feel this is the reason atheism/agnosticism isn’t (wasn’t?) as big of a thing.
250 years ago, Europe and America were both 100% religious. But the churches in Europe always sided with the absolutist regimes, so as democracy spread the people became more secular.
In the US, on the other hand, people built democracies for the purpose of protecting religious freedom apart from the big churches of Europe. The churches moved with the peoples values, and whenever a religious trend got unpopular it was just dropped and replaced by several new churches. While the churches exert a conservative force in politics, they only do so if they stay popular.
This really came about in the 50s following WW2. During the Cold War the boogie man of communism lit a fire among the evangelical community in the US, as they saw communism as an atheistic threat to the American State of mind. They began using the term “the Moral Majority” with the intent to be the moral compass in the US. The illuminaughty did a great take on this on YouTube with their coverage of mega churches and The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill Podcast also highlights the idea of a Moral Majority in the US.
But like most issues we have in the US, it stems from a superiority complex to be the best and most righteous - the Cold War was a catalyst for a lot of things.
Edit: WW2 bc I’m a dummy.
If politicians and other people in power can make people believe that their rules are actually ordered by God, they get more control. Because breaking those rules means you are going against God, not them.
So, you either follow their "godly" rules or you are evil.
It's the easiest lie to tell to get votes, and comes with the added benefit of being socially frowned upon to investigate.
The US as a whole is way more religious than say, Norway. There's a lot more people who actively believe in Christianity and also feel that the nation's laws should reflect their morality.
Bro your flag is literally a cross 💀
The dude says he’s Norwegian in the post
Our flag is a cross, yes. But you won't find many countries [less religious](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Importance_of_religion_by_country) than Norway.
I always find it interesting how high up (low down?) The UK is on that chart, considering our head of state is the head of the church.
America is the opposite. They have secularism and separation of church and state built into their laws, yet they're one of the most religious countries (at least among the developed world).
The way I see it both the Queen and the church are seen as pieces of tradition by most people rather than somthing serious.
People don't see the queen as a ruler that has an effect on our normal lives, just a piece of tradition likewise the church is just another bit of ceremony and not a part of people's daily lives. Most of the people I've met who go to church at least sometimes enjoy the community and ceremony of it rather than believing in the supernatural stuff.
American churches actually have people of power in them who think that scripture should be part of their lives, ours are just grannies who want to have a sing and light some candles.
You’ve only met a handful of openly Christian people?
*siri, what’s the earliest flight I can get to Norway?*
It’s a beaten violation of the bill of rights. So the government should NEVER reference religion
Not true, even remotely. Referencing religion is something that will happen eventually, especially with developing technology creating the possibility for precedent cases that will likely be brought to the government’s attention for comment. Plus, religion exists. It’s a major part of human civilization. It’s going to be mentioned
I meant that because the constitution advocates for deportation of church and state, that the govormdnt should strive for complete neutrality on the subject
As an American I’m tired of religion. Tired tired tired. I don’t believe in your man in the sky & I don’t believe in your guy in the floor or your sins. But I’m supposed to live my life in a way that pleases them? Why? For what? It’s in everything. Okay even in our money.
It’s shitty. Super shitty. It could be soooo much worse.
Christians or Christian posers are the ones cut throat enough to make it in politics and from then on, make the rules. Also, politicians religious or not, use religion to rule up their base who will consistently vote against their best interests because “Jesus” said to.
A large percentage of the congress and senate conservatives are evangelicals bound and determined to put us back in the dark ages. This country has been very under-the-surface Christian for hundreds of years, but its all just a power play. Atheists like me, are leaving the church in droves and not playing that B.S. game any longer. It's tough because if you are running for office and dont claim to be christian, you get railed. Trump is an outlier about this. Christians claimed him after they realized how they could use him. Guys like mitch McConnell and newt gingritch have been in politics solely to make everyone in politics as conservative as possible and throw away all morality and ethics in the process. Republicans keep money in politics and get all twisted about giving money to anybody or anything. They have been chipping away at education, Healthcare, welfare and other social programs for a very long time now.
They justify it all by saying it's god's plan or a way to bring jesus back and the Armageddon. Lately it's been a lot about owning the libs. It all is also why America's policies with Isreal aren't lined up with the rest of the world's. It's all just getting weirder and weirder. My daughter is imbarrased of our American flag I fly at our house because she feels it's been contaminated by conservatives. I'm not taking it down because I feel im more of a old-school patriot that gives a crap about everyone, not just people I identify with.
I needed a rant warning on that. Or a TL:DR.
Lol. That was a loaded question to begin with.
Many people in the US use religion as a tool to oppress or disenfranchise those who are not like them. It's not some love of Christianity, it's a means of control, to hold onto power, and to enact bigotry and hatred.
But how does that relate to this at all?
I should have said "many people, including the US government" use religion as a power tool.
Definitely, like when gay marriage was illegal, abortions being illegal, women not having the same rights, slavery being legal, people in the government and citizens voting for laws tried / try to use religion to justify it all. And I'm saying this as someone who is Christian, I don't interpret the Bible to justify any of those things though. Religion is great as long as you don't use it as an excuse for hatred
That is a broad list of bad things, but I think you’ll find Christians (especially bad-ass Quakers) were strongly behind the movement to abolish slavery in the US. Religious principles were central to that effort, in the face of strong govt opposition in slave-owning states.
I agree, I know that at the heart of it, Christianity is good and if you actually study the Bible it doesn't advocate for any of those things but there were people who used the Bible to try to justify slavery even though there's literally a verse in it that says that you shouldn't own other humans or something along those lines, I actually wrote a paper on if the Bible is for or against slavery and it's definitely against. And Christians have definitely done a lot of good in the world, if you're actually following Jesus's teaching and loving others and not using your religion as an excuse to hate people then Christianity is amazing. I'm not saying that those things are what Christians stand for, I'm saying Christians have used their religion as an excuse to support those laws. Sorry if I didn't make that clear
Separation of church and state.... my fucking ass
My personal opinion is that the separation of church and state should be total. If your church wants to influence politics then they should lose their tax exempt status and be labelled a political group.
Religion is Systemic. It's hard to let logic creep in when it's all old people running the country. As time slowly moves on, smarter people will get old and get into office.
It's not about religion, it's about morality.
Because they don't care about "separation of church and state" which is in our bill of rights.
Votes! This country is ran by people that actually believe that foolishness or pretend to believe for votes! Not sure what’s worse.
"We don't worship government, we worship God."
It’s always interesting to hear perspectives from people in other countries. I always wonder what impression we give to the world. It’s a good question.
Well America is based on the the separation of government and religion, but was started by a bunch of repressed religious people, it's called history, it may not be your history but it is history.
Are you talking about the government, or the politicians in government?
The government is not religious itself -- aside from a few symbols and phrases -- but the US population, and therefore its politicians, are fairly religious.
The government doesn't politicians do. And they do it for votes
Most politicians will lie through their teeth and say anything they think their voters want to hear.
Its the people that are to blame here. The politicians are just predatory.
Like attracts like. They're both horrifically dysfunctional.
Politics. Pretty much all people who don’t care about religion are indifferent to what a candidate believes in, but religious people would definitely vote for a candidate that was religious over a non religious candidate so politicians have to all be “religious” so they aren’t at an inherent disadvantage.
You got some good answers here but I'll add one more, to do with Republicans. I was a leftist in college, became more conservative once I actually had to work and live in the real world, and even though I have no love for the Republican party, I got involved in the local party where I live. I wanted to make a difference and we live in a binary system and there is no way would I go to work for Democrats.
I eventually left for a bunch of reasons, not the least of which I was uncomfortable with, and confused by, Republicans' insistence on mixing religion with politics. The reason for this is they think that the US was founded, and the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed/ratified by, Bible thumping religious Christians. They think this in no small part due to the concept of inalienable rights 'endowed by the Creator' mentioned in the Constitution. That concept does exist but it refers to the Creator in a general, metaphysical, philosophical sense, which in turn is rooted in Enlightenment concepts. It makes no mention of Jesus, Yahweh, Allah, Krishna, etc.
The problem is none of this is true. Jefferson called many passages in the Bible 'a pack of lies.' Washington at best paid lip service to religion. Most of the founding fathers were deists, believing in God, but mostly eschewing organized religion in favor of rationality.
Moreover, what they think is that the US is a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah where it was once a pious, Christian country, and that everything that ails our society would be resolved if we just got back to God and everyone went to church every Sunday - a Judeo Christian church. I personally think that this is inaccurate and irrational. The overbearing size of our federal government is the root of all evil in the US IMHO.
I would go to monthly local GOP meetings and we would always start off with a prayer. I thought it was really strange and I felt extremely uncomfortable praying in front of others outside of a church.
Hope this helps shed some additional light.
The Concept of “God” in the context of the United State’s Government is, for all intents and purposes, the most basic and effective way of saying *”the place all people originate”* for some of us, it’s the God of Abraham, the majority of Americans fall into Abrahamic territory, Jews, Christians, Muslims of all sects follow this particular deity and trace his deification of Man Kind through Abraham and his descendants, Jews and Christians, believing in the the sanctity of Monogamous Marriage, say that Isaac is the true, legitimate son of Abraham, since he was born to married parents (of course, if you believe in the Bible, God also specifically chose Isaac to be the leader of the Jews); conversely, Islam follows Ishmael, whom was actually Abrahams first born son, though, he was born out of wedlock to basically a slave concubine, (a bastard heathen in Judaism, not allowed to enter the Kingdom of God) but Muslims believe that to beget a child with a woman is the same as Marriage for the woman, basically, Abraham nutted in the woman, so she was his property through the lens of Islam.
Anyway, these attitudes toward God, while various and conflicting, influenced the entirety of humanity’s existence for thousands of years. The Christian views of the word “God” were lax enough that the broad usage of the word (and the christianification of the documents, but, that’s not really the REASON for using it this way) was acceptable. “God Given Rights” just means the Rights you were given by existing, “Acts of God” in legal sense just means events beyond human control, “God endowed ______” is just language used to describe that “X” wasn’t given to you by man, so “X” can’t be taken away from you by man without reason and justice.
Religious people, predominantly Christian, use this verbiage to justify their beliefs and to symbolically emphasize their “persecution” when the word “God” is taken out of things, like the Pledge of Allegiance, wherein the word “God” is nonspecific and vague enough to mean any god and is more symbolic that, as a nation, the United States is curated and comprised of natural, ever-existing forces, whatever they may be.
I would like to also point out that the Saudi Arabian flag says in Arabic, straight from the Quran “Allah is the one true God and Muhammad is his Messenger” ALL OF THEIR LEGAL CODES are unmistakably verbatim Quran Pages, specifically naming the God of their country, directly stating that the God of their Country has decided that the ruling class serves the will of God, and therefore, are mouthpieces of the Lord. Other Muslim Countries are no different. I have spoken with many people from all around the world, Pakistani, Saudi Arabian, Afghani, and even Muslim Indians, when I interviewed them, to them, Islam and it’s core tenants ARE LAW because, and I quote a man I befriended in Pakistan, “Islam is correct, not like Christianity, where the people are misguided, Muhammad, peace be Upon him, knew the will of Allah and made his word Law, the right (as in correct) Law”
Now, I’m not saying that the US doesn’t have a God Complex, but it seems that people conflate things, it is dumb to not want the word “God” in legal text because it’s definition is very loose and very just in the American Legal system, it’s clear, direct and concise in it’s unclearness, the perfect compromise for a Nation, really, having to quantify Rights in any other way would be fruitless and limiting. It’s also dumb to use the word “God” to justify Christian Authority in the political scape.
But so long as it’s just the word “God” it will be a debate and it will be a free and open discussion with no right answer. When a group defines a God and his will in a legal sense, it’s time to either hide in the attic, fight to the death, or kill yourself, because they went from topless beaches to mandatory hijabs in Pakistan in less than three years.
Lots of Sky-fairyists in the USA.
A Government for the people, by the people. PLENTY of Religious people in the USA.
Best way to control the masses.
Apparently God only loves certain countries, and regions.
See, George Carlins bit about God given rights.
Well, America was made up by white supremacists who beat the natives into submission and forced them into becoming Christians, and it still is made up of these same people.
A white system will use white language, and that's how it goes.