So I’m attending a little 4th of July get-together with my (former?) youth group, and decided to do a little atheist/American research in case the topic came up. Upon learning about the Treaty of Tripoli’s quote on the matter, I googled it and found a wonderfully insightful 5 year old article on the treaty by none other than (wait for it) Chuck Norris.
The article’s argument is to excuse the legal wording of the Treaty by stating the purpose of keeping peace with the Muslims, which confuses me, because if the new Americans truly believed in the providence and power of their god, especially after winning the Revolutionary War, wouldn’t they have the faith to go against a ‘false, heathen, hateful religion’ like Islam? The writers of the Treaty had every right and opportunity to make America a legally Christian nation, but instead chose to essentially abandon God in order to keep peace and save bloodshed.
The article goes on to try and, “argue,” the legality of the Treaty by citing several letters written by Christian people after the fact. The thing is, I have no intention of relinquishing my rights as a citizen because people older than me were religious in spite of the documentation stating that the nation itself wasn’t. Anyway, the point of this rant was for your insight, seeing as you might have more knowledge on the matter than I. Thanks. 8-)
Well, my first comment is an irrelevant one, and that is to say that Chuck Norris is an asshole that would and did get his ass beaten by atheist Bruce Lee. This means nothing as far as his arguments go, but I just felt the need to say it.
Second, this argument might be a useful one if the person who presented the Treaty was a Christian (President John Adams was a Unitarian, a religion that accepts Jesus as a prophet but not as the son of God), if the writers of the Constitution were Christian (it was based on a blueprint by James Madison, a deist), or even if the Constitution had in some way acknowledged Christianity (it does not).
So, one can’t argue that the Treaty of Tripoli was only written the way it was as an appeasement to the Muslims because there is no reason to believe that Christianity was the basis for the government in the first place.
There is, in all honesty, no reasonable arguments to say that the United States WAS in any sense founded on the Christian religion.