CRAIGforCONGRESS

Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives

  
 

 

 

America, a Christian Nation
Christ, the Root of Our Liberties




The United States Supreme Court declared in 1892 that America is a Christian nation. This conclusion is inescapable. But in recent years there have been many attempts to escape the obvious:

  • Secular Humanists note the absence of Jesus Christ among the great lawgivers depicted in the Supreme Court.
  • They claim this proves that Jesus was no influence on American Law.
  • Jews sometimes downplay the Christian character of American law in favor of "Judeo-Christian" morality.

There are, of course, many other arguments, based on trivial inconsistencies, against the claim of the Highest Court in the nation. But the U.S. Supreme Court did not say that America was a perfectly Christian nation. Clearly:

  • America is not an atheistic nation, like the Soviet Union or Communist China.
  • America is not a Hindu nation, like Nepal or India.
  • America is not a Buddhist nation, like Tibet, Sri Lanka, or Thailand.
  • America is not a Cherokee nation, a Sioux nation, or a Navajo nation.
  • America is not a Muslim nation, like Iran.
    • Article IV of the Iranian constitution states that "all civil, penal, financial, economic, administrative, cultural, military, political, and other laws and regulations must be based on Islamic criteria."
    • Contrast this with the writings of John Locke, an influential American Founder. Locke's theory of government began with the Bible. He said first that all laws must conform to Scripture:

      [T]he Law of Nature stands as an eternal rule to all men, legislators as well as others. The rules that they make for other men's actions must . . . be conformable to the Law of Nature, i.e., to the will of God. [L]aws human must be made according to the general laws of Nature, and without contradiction to any positive law of Scripture, otherwise they are ill made.
      Locke, Two Treatises on Government, Bk II sec 135. (quoting Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity, 1.iii, § 9 )

      This thought is found in the Declaration of Independence ("the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God"). More specifically, the Bible requires that office-holders be men who "fear God." This excludes atheists, which is what Locke and every single state in the union did. The constitution he drafted for Carolina did not allow atheists to hold office. And in his Essay on Toleration, Locke specifically exempted the atheist from the civil protection of toleration:

      Lastly, those are not all to be tolerated who deny the being of God. Promises, covenants, and oaths, which are the bonds of human society, can have no hold upon an atheist. The taking away of God, though but even in thought, dissolves all; besides also, those that by their atheism undermine and destroy all religion, can have no pretence of religion whereupon to challenge the privilege of toleration.
      Chas Sherman ed., (NY: Appleton-Century, 1937) pp. 212-13

      By modern standards, Locke was clearly a Theocrat. Locke would have been no friend of the ACLU.

In 1892, the U.S. Supreme Court took half of its unanimous opinion to sketch out the Christian roots of America. It's an entire history course, one most Americans alive today never received in government-run schools. The evidence that America is a Christian nation is overwhelming.

Why is there such a vocal minority attempting to refute the claim of the Supreme Court? What do those who say "America is not a Christian nation" hope to gain? Do they want America to be more like Iran, Nepal, or the Soviet Union? What do they fear?

In a nutshell, they fear legal sanctions against their sins. They want to do things that have long been a crime, like commit adultery. In addition, they understandably fear attempts by the "Religious Right" to outlaw drugs, cigarettes, gambling, and other activities that the Religious Right thinks are inadvisable, but the Bible never made a crime.
The answer is "Liberty Under God."
A truly Christian nation is not a police state. Low crime and moral integrity are not fostered at the barrel of a gun.
90% of all parents want their children to be taught that God says not to kill, not to steal, not to lie, so that their children can become successful and respected adults. Liberty means abolishing federal control of education so that parents can choose a school that is Under God. When the U.S. Supreme Court removed voluntary prayer from public schools, one concurring Justice admitted that "Religion was once deemed to be a function of the public school system." It was, of course, the Christian religion, not the Hindu religion or the religion of Secular Humanism. This was a big reason why America was a Christian nation, and why it will become so again if the government's control over education is completely eliminated. Most American parents will teach their children "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" if given a choice. Unlike Democrats, who believe children are owned by the teachers' unions, and unlike the Republicans, who have vastly expanded the control of an atheistic federal government over education, Kevin Craig believes in educational choice. Liberty, not more government regulations, will make America a Christian nation again.


America's Purpose: Promote Christianity

If you haven't already read that link, please click through now. That page proves that America's original purpose was to promote the Christian Religion. What follows on this page is an answer to charges that this represents "anti-Semitism" or "anti-catholic bigotry."


Can a Jew be a Good American?

Secular Jews (but not Orthodox Jews) seem to be the biggest opponent of the idea that America is a Christian nation.

The U.S. Supreme Court has said that America is "a Christian nation." Many people find this, and the question above, to be offensive. "Aren't Jews Americans too?," they ask.

Certainly Jews can make a valuable contribution to American society, as the example of HAYM SALOMON demonstrates. Zillions of other examples could also be given. Jews can make America a better place.

In fact, probably the percentage of Jews who have made valuable contributions to America is higher than the percentage of "Christians" who are assets to America, rather than parasites. (A lot of "Christians" are Christian in name only. The same holds for many "Jews." I don't consider "secular Jews" to be Jews at all. I don't consider myself to be "anti-semitic" for saying that atheistic, socialistic, and communistic "Jews" have been a poison in America. They may not even be Semitic. Race is irrelevant.)

But what would America have become if it were a Jewish nation instead of a Christian nation? What if the vast majority of its population had been Jewish and only a minority had been Christian?

The question deserves a thoughtful answer, one which is neither "anti-semitic" nor one simply dismissing the very question as "anti-semitic."

America's Founding Fathers were inspired by the Old Testament Prophet Micah to create a nation where everyone could enjoy the safe and secure possession of his own Vine & Fig Tree.

How would a strict Jewish America have interpreted Micah's prophecy? Would it have been a day dominated by Levitical priests and ceremonies in a rebuilt temple?

When Jews become more Jewish they become more Levitical, or more Pharisaical; Judaism becomes a ghetto, or else it becomes "Zionism." When Jews became more American they became more Christian. (I speak now in the past tense, because America is no longer a Christian nation. Today, when Jews become more American they become more secular. Both Christians and God-fearing Jews are wary of the influence of secular Americanism on their children.)

But the Founders had a more Christian interpretation of Micah. A Vine & Fig Tree society meant a diminished influence of priests and the temple. It meant "the Protestant work ethic" and Christian morality: "Liberty Under God."

Russell Kirk, in The Roots of American Order, explains:

     At the heart of Jesus' ethical teaching stands the Great Commandment: "Thou shalt love the Lord with thy whole heart, with thy whole soul, with thy whole strength, with thy whole mind, and thy neighbor as thyself." So it had been written in the Law of the Jews, and every devout Jew repeated twice daily this precept. But by "neighbor," the Jews understood their immediate associates—at most, the community of Jews; while by that word neighbor, Jesus meant all mankind.
     "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you": this "Golden Rule" enunciated by Jesus is the spirit in which Christians are to fulfill that commandment to love neighbors. In its negative form, the same precept was stated by Hillel, the great Jewish teacher who lived about Jesus' time: "Do not do unto others what you would not wish others to do unto you." It appears thus in other sacred writings of the Jews, and in other religions; in this negative expression, it was a saying of Confucius.
     But the positive injunction of Jesus is more compelling, and requires higher sacrifice. In this, as in much else, the teaching of Christ urges men to be active in the service of God. The Jewish belief of his time was that Jews must obey the Law strictly—doing their duties under the Law, but not being expected to exceed the letter of the Law. To follow in the steps of Jesus of Nazareth required courage, and stern rejection of much that the average sensual man held dear. Far more must Christ's followers give than Jews gave under the Law. Sincere disciples of Jesus must forsake worldly possessions; they must forsake even father and mother, if need be, to follow the Way. [p. 144]

On July 9, 1812, President James Madison proclaimed a day of prayer,

to be set apart for the devout purposes of rendering the Sovereign of the Universe and the Benefactor of Mankind the public homage due to His holy attributes; of acknowledging the transgressions which might justly provoke the manifestations of His divine displeasure; of seeking His merciful forgiveness and His assistance in the great duties of repentance and amendment, that He would inspire all nations with a love of justice and of concord and with a reverence for the unerring precept of our holy religion to do to others as they would require that others should do to them.

"Our holy religion," Madison says, and nobody blinked. Everyone knew America was a Christian nation, even "the Father of the Constitution."

While many have recognized that America was built on "Judeo-Christian" principles, and our laws were based on the Ten Commandments and the rest of God's Law in the Older Testament, Dr. Kirk notes the obvious:

Of course Puritanism, and the other forms of Calvinism in America, were Christian in essence, not renewed Judaism merely. (p.48)

What if Jesus Had Never Been Born? -- a review
From the Washington Times -- another review

The commander-in-chief directs that divine service be performed every Sunday at eleven o'clock in those brigades [in] which there are chaplains; those which have none [are] to attend the places of worship nearest to them. It is expected that officers of all ranks will by their attendance set an example to their men. While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian. The signal instances of providential goodness which we have experienced, and which have now almost crowned our labors with complete success, demand from us in a peculiar manner the warmest returns of gratitude and piety to the Supreme Author of all good.—
George, Washington, General Orders, May 2, 1778

Christ-friendly Jews


The Myth of the "Judeo-Christian Heritage"


The Myth of "Zionism"

[coming]


It would be appropriate to spend some time discussing the accommodation of Jews in a Christian nation, since the attack on the religion of the Founding Fathers has been spearheaded in large part by secular Jews, who are quick to make accusations of "anti-semitism." Jews in particular were welcomed in America. Benjamin Rush, who spearheaded the drive for Christianity to be taught in public schools (in the face of growing opposition from deistic and atheistic forces), commented thusly while describing a federal parade in Philadelphia:

The rabbi of the Jews locked in the arms of two ministers of the Gospel was a most delightful sight. There could not have been a more happy emblem.

To Elias Boudinot on July 9, 1788
Letters, Vol. I, p.474

George Washington's letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Savannah showed a similar warmth:

May the same wonder-working Deity who long since delivered the Hebrews from their Egyptian oppressors and planted them in the promised land, whose providential agency has lately been conspicuous in establishing these United States as an independent nation, still continue to water them with the dews of Heaven, and to make the inhabitants of every denomination participate in the temporal and spiritual blessings of that people whose God is Jehovah.

Writings, ed. Sparks 12:186. (May, 1790.)

As did his blessing in 1790 to the Hebrew congregation of Newport, Rhode Island;

May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants, while everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid. [Micah 4] May the Father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy.
—. Philip S. Foner, ed., George Washington: Selections from His Writings (New York: International Publishers, 1944), p. 87

George Washington's Vine & Fig Tree Longings.

Of the Hebrews, John Adams had declared:

I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation . . . . [They] preserve and propagate to all mankind the doctrine of a supreme, intelligent, wise, almighty Sovereign of the Universe, which I believe to be the great essential principle of all morality, and consequently of all civilization.

to F.A. Vanderkamp on February 16, 1809
Works, vol IX, p. 609-610

Madison's mentor John Witherspoon also complimented the Jews:

To the Jews were first committed the care of the sacred Writings . . . .  [Y]et was the providence of God particularly manifest in their preservation and purity. The Jews were so faithful in their important trust.

Introduction to The Holy Bible
(Trenton: Isaac Collins, 1791)

See the will of Elias Boudinot in the New Jersey State Archives. Excerpts in Geo.Adams Boyd, Elias Boudinot: Patriot and Statesman (Princeton Univ. Press, 1952) p. 261.

Elias Boudinot, President of Congress, was so fond of the "Hebrews" that he served as president of the "Society for Ameliorating the State of the Jews," and made personal provision to bring persecuted Jews to America where they could have an "asylum of safety" and have the opportunity, if they so chose, to inquire into Christianity "without fear or terror."


Subject: Re: America and the God of Abraham
Date: 3/26/99

In article <19990325152038.29964.00000014@ng-fa1.aol.com>, kathyp11@aol.com (Kathy P 11) writes:

>I looked at this header "America and the God of Abraham."  I saw Kevin
>rambling on about why he feels that America is a Christian nation, but he
>forgets:  The God of Abraham was first and foremost the God of the Jews.
>Gee, thanks for cutting us off from our own God, Kev!

Sorry Kathy, but the Jews cut themselves off from Abraham and his God when they rejected the Messiah promised to Abraham. I wonder if you really want to claim the God of the Founding Fathers as "your own God." I would hope so. I'm not trying to cut you off from Him.

I'm not a nazi. I have no animosity toward you. I like teachers. I'd be delighted to get together for a burger and a coke and talk about the subject.

But I did not cut you all off from your own God.

Matthew 3:9-10 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. {10} And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

The Jews and their temple were given the axe and destroyed by fire in A.D. 70

Matthew 8:11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
Luke 13:28 "There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out.

The Gentiles did not cut the Jews off from the God of Abraham, the Jews attempted to cut the Gentiles off. But the Gentiles heard the loving voice of God and joined the Kingdom, while the Pharisees were cast out of the Kingdom and gnashed their teeth unto death in A.D. 70.

Christmas is the fulfillment of the promises made to Abraham, as Mary sang:

Luke 1:46-47, 54-55 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
{47} And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
{55} As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

But the Jews of Jesus' day were Scrooges, and rejected God's Mercy:

Luke 13:10-17 Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. {11} And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. {12} But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, "Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity." {13] And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. {14} But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, "There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day." {15} The Lord then answered him and said, "Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? {16} "So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound; think of it; for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?" {17} And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.

The Jews denied what Abraham knew, that

"The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath."
Mark 2:27

The Jews did not have the mercy of Abraham, and condemned Abraham's Messiah to die:

Matthew 12:7-8 "But if you had known what this means, (Isa 1:11-17 Ho 6:6 Mic 6:6-8 ) 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless. {8} "For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."

In Remarks to Members of the Congregation of Temple Hillel and Jewish Community Leaders in Valley Stream, New York, October 26, 1984, President Reagan said:

And we're also remembering the guiding light of our Judeo-Christian tradition. All of us here today are descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, sons and daughters of the same God. I believe we are bound by faith in our God, by our love for family and neighborhood, by our deep desire for a more peaceful world, and by our commitment to protect the freedom which is our legacy as Americans. These values have given a renewed sense of worth to our lives. They are infusing America with confidence and optimism that many thought we had lost.
Public Papers of the Presidents, Reagan, 1984, p.1653

But the Jews who executed Jesus did not have faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, and John Witherspoon. They did not love their families (Matthew 15:4-9). They did not really desire a peaceful world, but only peace for themselves. In a spiritual sense, they were not sons of Abraham:

John 8:37-44 "I know that you are Abraham's descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My Word has no place in you.
{38} "I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father." {39} They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham.
{40} "But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this.
{43} "Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.
{44} "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.

John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad.

Romans 2:28-29 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;
{29} but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.

Please don't accuse me of being "anti-Semitic."
I am not against the descendants of Shem (or Ham or Japheth).
I am anti-Humanist, whether you are a "secular" Humanist or a secular "Jewish" Humanist.

I am a true Jew, a son of Abraham.

Those who founded America believed they were the true descendants of Abraham, and their settlement of America was the receiving of a promised land.

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vol.1, p.31 - p.32:

The emigrants, or, as they deservedly styled themselves, the Pilgrims, belonged to that English sect the austerity of whose principles had acquired for them the name of Puritans. Puritanism was not merely a religious doctrine, but it corresponded in many points with the most absolute democratic and republican theories. It was this tendency which had aroused its most dangerous adversaries. Persecuted by the Government of the mother-country, and disgusted by the habits of a society opposed to the rigor of their own principles, the Puritans went forth to seek some rude and unfrequented part of the world, where they could live according to their Own opinions, and worship God in freedom.

A few quotations will throw more light upon the spirit of these pious adventurers than all we can say of them. Nathaniel Morton, the historian of the first years of the settlement, thus opens his subject:

"Gentle Reader,—I have for some length of time looked upon it as a duty incumbent, especially on the immediate successors of those that have had so large experience of those many memorable and signal demonstrations of God's goodness, viz., the first beginners of this Plantation in New England, to commit to writing his gracious dispensations on that behalf; having so many inducements thereunto, not onely otherwise but so plentifully in the Sacred Scriptures: that so, what we have seen, and what our fathers have told us (Psalm lxxviii. 3, 4), we may not hide from our children, showing to the generations to come the praises of the Lord; that especially the seed of Abraham his servant, and the children of Jacob his chosen (Psalm cv. 5, 6), may remember his marvellous works in the beginning and progress of the planting of New England, his wonders and the judgments of his mouth; how that God brought a vine into this wilderness; that he cast out the heathen, and planted it; that he made room for it and caused it to take deep root; and it filled the land (Psalm lxxx. 8, 9). And not onely so, but also that he hath guided his people by his strength to his holy habitation and planted them in the mountain of his inheritance in respect of precious Gospel enjoyments: and that as especially God may have the glory of all unto whom it is most due; so also some rays of glory may reach the names of those blessed Saints that were the main instruments and the beginning of this happy enterprise."

It is impossible to read this opening paragraph without an involuntary feeling of religious awe; it breathes the very savor of Gospel antiquity. The sincerity of the author heightens his power of language. The band which to his eyes was a mere party of adventurers gone forth to seek their fortune beyond seas appears to the reader as the germ of a great nation wafted by Providence to a predestined shore.

Russell Kirk, writes in The Roots of American Order, p.48:

That said, nevertheless American political theory and institutions, and the American moral order, cannot be well understood, or maintained, or renewed, without repairing to the Law and the Prophets. "In God we trust," the motto of the United States, is a reaffirmation of the Covenants made with Noah and Abraham and Moses and the Children of Israel, down to the last days of prophecy. The earthly Jerusalem never was an immense city: far more Jews live in New York City today than there were inhabitants of all Palestine at the height of Solomon's glory. But the eternal Jerusalem, the city of spirit, still has more to do with American order than has [p.49] even Boston which the Puritans founded, or New York which the Dutch founded, or Washington which arose out of a political compromise between Jeffersonians and Hamiltonians. Faith and hope may endure when earthly cities are reduced to rubble: that, indeed, is a principal lesson from the experience of Israel under God.

The debates concerning the ratification of the Constitution recognized that as a Christian nation we were sons of Abraham, and had to answer to the God of Abraham for our actions:

Rev. Mr. BACKUS. Mr. President, I have said very little in this honorable Convention; but I now beg leave to offer a few thoughts upon some points in the Constitution proposed to us, and I shall begin with the exclusion of any religious test. Many appear to be much concerned about it; but nothing is more evident, both in reason and the Holy Scriptures, than that religion is ever a matter between God and individuals; and, therefore, no man or men can impose any religious test, without invading the essential prerogatives of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ministers first assumed this power under the Christian name; and then Constantine approved of the practice, when he adopted the profession of Christianity, as an engine of state policy. And let the history of all nations be searched from that day to this, and it will appear that the imposing of religious tests hath been the greatest engine of tyranny in the world. And I rejoice to see so many gentlemen, who are now giving in their rights of conscience in this great and important matter. Some serious minds discover a concern lest, if all religious tests [p.149] should be excluded, the Congress would hereafter establish Popery, or some other tyrannical way of worship. But it is most certain that no such way of worship can be established without any religious test.

Much, sir, hath been said about the importation of slaves into this country. I believe that, according to my capacity, no man abhors that wicked practice more than I do; I would gladly make use of all lawful means towards the abolishing of slavery in all parts of the land. But let us consider where we are, and what we are doing. In the Articles of Confederation, no provision was made to hinder the importation of slaves into any of these states; but a door is now open hereafter to do it, and each state is at liberty now to abolish slavery as soon as they please. And let us remember our former connection with Great Britain, from whom many in our land think we ought not to have revolted. How did they carry on the slave trade? I know that the bishop of Gloucester, in an annual sermon in London, in February, 1776, endeavored to justify their tyrannical claims of power over us by casting the reproach of the slave trade upon the Americans. But at the close of the war, the bishop of Chester, in an annual sermon, in February, 1783, ingenuously owned that their nation is the most deeply involved in the guilt of that trade of any nation in the world; and, also, that they have treated their slaves in the West Indies worse than the French or Spaniards have done theirs. Thus slavery grows more and more odious through the world; and, as an honorable gentleman said some days ago, "Though we cannot say that slavery is struck with an apoplexy, yet we may hope it will die with a consumption." And a main source, sir, of that iniquity, hath been an abuse of the covenant of circumcision, which gave the seed of Abraham to destroy the inhabitants of Canaan, and to take their houses, vineyards, and all their estates, as their own; and also to buy and hold others as servants. And, as Christian privileges are greater than those of the Hebrews were, many have imagined that they have a right to seize upon the lands of the heathen, and to destroy or enslave them as far as they could extend their power. And from thence the mystery of iniquity carried many into the practice of making merchandise of slaves and souls of men. But all ought to remember that, when God promised the land of Canaan to Abraham and his seed, he [p.150] let him know that they were not to take possession of that land until the iniquity of the Amorites was full; and then they did it under the immediate direction of Heaven; and they were as real executors of the judgment of God upon those heathens as any person ever was an executor of a criminal justly condemned. And in doing it they were not allowed to invade the lands of the Edomites, who sprang from Esau, who was not only of the seed of Abraham, but was born at the same birth with Israel; and yet they were not of that church. Neither were Israel allowed to invade the lands of the Moabites, or of the children of Ammon, who were of the seed of Lot. And no officer in Israel had any legislative power, but such as were immediately inspired. Even David, the man after God's own heart, had no legislative power, but only as he was inspired from above; and he is expressly called a prophet in the New Testament. And we are to remember that Abraham and his seed, for four hundred years, had no warrant to admit any stranger into that church, but by buying of him as a servant, with money. And it was a great privilege to be bought, and adopted into a religious family for seven years, and then to have their freedom. And that covenant was expressly repealed in various parts of the New Testament, and particularly in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, where it is said, "Ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." And again, "Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping of the commandments of God. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men." Thus the gospel sets all men upon a level, very contrary to the declaration of an honorable gentleman in this house, that "the Bible was contrived for the advantage of a particular order of men."
Debates in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, of the Adoption of the Federal Constitution
In Convention, Boston, Monday, February 4, 1788
Jonathan Elliot, Debates on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, Vol. 2, p.149

"The Politician," Gen. Eisenhower, had this to say:

Rosh Hashana is significant to every American for, in the deepest spiritual sense, we are all of the seed of Abraham and Isaac. Our moral code, the ideals that animate us, the faith in God that strengthens us--all these were most clearly and most inspiringly proclaimed many centuries ago by men of Jewish blood.
President Eisenhower, Statement by the President on the Occasion of Rosh Hashana. September 5, 1956,
Public Papers of the Presidents, 1956, No. 200, p.746.


Jews should welcome the creation and prosperity of a Christian nation like America. Christianity guarantees liberty through morality. The Founding Fathers all recognized this, and sensible Jews today recognize this:

Toward Tradition's Vision

Toward Tradition sees the United States as both the final guarantor of liberty and justice throughout the world, and the best home Diaspora Jews have ever known. We therefore believe that we have a duty to acknowledge the catastrophic failure of modern liberalism, and to join the conservative movement in rebuilding American civilization. While we wholeheartedly agree that conservatism is in the practical interests of the Jewish community (and that monolithic devotion to the Left is suicidal), we believe the more important point to stress is that Jewish principles are fundamentally conservative and that conservatism is superior morally to liberalism. Our argument with the Left is not on whether Judaism has a moral message to humanity but on what that message is.

No group has done more for the restoration of traditional morality than conservative Christians. We therefore believe that we, as American Jews, owe a great debt of honor and respect to our Christian brothers. We should strive to work together for the moral renewal of American civilization.

We also believe that the conservative movement needs us. Conservatives will continue, unfairly, to face charges of particularism. To refute such charges, as well as for its own long-term vitality, the movement must remain open and diverse. Conservatism needs the active participation of ethnic, racial, and religious minorities, including Jews. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, the over 3000-year-old Jewish religious tradition has much to offer the conservative movement intellectually. In fact, the Jewish emphasis on the constant fusing of the material and the spiritual makes it uniquely capable of carrying a practical moral message and of resolving intra-conservative rifts.

Finally, our country needs us. Both Christians and Jews believe God's promise to Abraham, "I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse." (Genesis 12:3) We must so conduct ourselves so that our countrymen will bless us; in blessing us, our fellow citizens will help insure the prosperity of our country.

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Toward Tradition
Contact Information
P.O. Box 58
Mercer Island, WA 98040
Phone: (206) 236-3046
Fax: (206) 236-3288
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Although Jews have more peace and freedom in America than they do in Secular Humanist nations like the Soviet Union, they were not allowed to hold public office in many states in the union at the time the Constitution was ratified, and if the Constitution had given the federal government the power to change state constitutions which excluded Jews from office, the Constitution would not have been ratified. The Supreme Court, egged on by the ACLU, has now altered the legal system in a way that would be repugnant to any true son of Abraham:

that brings to mind a quip by Cardinal Newman when an avowed atheist was elected to Parliament. Asked if it would not be a scandal for such a person to take the oath of office, thereby evoking the name of God, Newman replied that it really made no difference, since whenever the word "God" was used in that assembly, he had no idea of what the speaker had in mind; certainly not the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob Who became incarnate.

George Sire Johnston
A Civilization of Love: Some Notes on John Paul II's "Letter to Families"
Crisis Magazine, December 1994, p.34


American Jewish Leaders Agree with History

Jewish leaders, although firmly committed to their own faith, understand that by defending Christianity they are defending what has provided them their own religious liberty in America. For example, Jeff Jacoby, a Jewish columnist at the Boston Globe explains:

This is a Christian country – it was founded by Christians and built on broad Christian principles. Threatening? Far from it. It is in precisely this Christian country that Jews have known the most peaceful, prosperous, and successful existence in their long history. 64

Aaron Zelman (a Jewish author and head of a civil rights organization) similarly declares:

[C]hristian America is the best home our people have found in 2,000 years. . . . [T]his remains the most tolerant, prosperous, and safest home we could be blessed with. 65

Dennis Prager, a Jewish national columnist and popular talkshow host, warns:

If America abandons its Judeo-Christian values basis and the central role of the Jewish and Christian Bibles (its Founders’ guiding text), we are all in big trouble, including, most especially, America’s non-Christians. Just ask the Jews of secular Europe. 66

Prager further explained:

I believe that it is good that America is a Christian nation. . . . I have had the privilege of speaking in nearly every Jewish community in America over the last 30 years, and I have frequently argued in favor of this view. Recently, I spoke to the Jewish community of a small North Carolina city. When some in the audience mentioned their fear of rising religiosity among Christians, I asked these audience-members if they loved living in their city. All of them said they did. Is it a coincidence, I then asked, that the city you so love (for its wonderful people, its safety for your children, its fine schools, and its values that enable you to raise your children with confidence) is a highly Christian city? Too many Americans do not appreciate the connection between American greatness and American Christianity. 67

Don Feder, a Jewish columnist and long time writer for the Boston Herald, similarly acknowledges:

Clearly this nation was established by Christians. . . . As a Jew, I’m entirely comfortable with the concept of the Christian America. 68 The choice isn’t Christian America or nothing, but Christian America or a neo-pagan, hedonistic, rights-without-responsibilities, anti-family, culture-of-death America. As an American Jew. . . . [I] feel very much at home here. 69

In fact, Feder calls on Jews to defend the truth that America is a Christian Nation:

Jews – as Jews – must oppose revisionist efforts to deny our nation’s Christian heritage, must stand against the drive to decouple our laws from Judeo-Christian ethics, and must counter attacks on public expressions of the religion of most Americans – Christianity. Jews are safer in a Christian America than in a secular America. 70

Michael Medved, a Jewish national talkshow host and columnist, agrees that America is indeed a Christian nation:

The framers may not have mentioned Christianity in the Constitution but they clearly intended that charter of liberty to govern a society of fervent faith, freely encouraged by government for the benefit of all. Their noble and unprecedented experiment never involved a religion-free or faithless state but did indeed presuppose America’s unequivocal identity as a Christian nation. 71

Burt Prelutsky, a Jewish columnist for the Los Angeles Times (and a freelance writer for the New York Times, Washington Times, Sports Illustrated, and other national publications) and a patriotic Jewish American, gladly embraces America as a Christian nation and even resents the secularist post-modern attack on national Christian celebrations such as Christmas:

I never thought I’d live to see the day that Christmas would become a dirty word. . . .How is it, one well might ask, that in a Christian nation this is happening? And in case you find that designation objectionable, would you deny that India is a Hindu country, that Turkey is Muslim, that Poland is Catholic? That doesn’t mean those nations are theocracies. But when the overwhelming majority of a country’s population is of one religion, and most Americans happen to be one sort of Christian or another, only a darn fool would deny the obvious. . . . This is a Christian nation, my friends. And all of us are fortunate it is one, and that so many millions of Americans have seen fit to live up to the highest precepts of their religion. It should never be forgotten that, in the main, it was Christian soldiers who fought and died to defeat Nazi Germany and who liberated the concentration camps. Speaking as a member of a minority group – and one of the smaller ones at that – I say it behooves those of us who don’t accept Jesus Christ as our savior to show some gratitude to those who do, and to start respecting the values and traditions of the overwhelming majority of our fellow citizens, just as we keep insisting that they respect ours. Merry Christmas, my friends. 72

Orthodox Rabbi Daniel Lapin of the Jewish Policy Center unequivocally declares

[I] understand that I live . . . in a Christian nation, albeit one where I can follow my faith as long as it doesn’t conflict with the nation’s principles. The same option is open to all Americans and will be available only as long as this nation’s Christian roots are acknowledged and honored. 73

In fact, with foreboding he warns:

Without a vibrant and vital Christianity, America is doomed, and without America, the west is doomed. Which is why I, an Orthodox Jewish rabbi, devoted to Jewish survival, the Torah, and Israel am so terrified of American Christianity caving in. 74 God help Jews if America ever becomes a post-Christian society! Just think of Europe! 75

— — — ◊ ◊ ◊ — — —


64. Jeff Jacoby, “The freedom not to say ‘amen’,” Jewish World Review, February 1, 2001 (at: http://www.jewishworldreview.com/jeff/jacoby020101.asp).(Return)

65. Aaron Zelman, “An open letter to my Christian friends,” Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (at: http://www.jpfo.org/filegen-a-m/christian-selfdefense.htm).(Return)

66. Dennis Prager, “America founded to be free, not secular,” Townhall.com, January 3, 2007 (at: http://townhall.com/columnists/DennisPrager/2007/01/03/america_founded_to_be_free,_not_secular).(Return)

67. Dennis Prager, “Books, Arts & Manners: God & His Enemies – Review,” BNet, March 22, 1999.(Return)

68. Don Feder, A Jewish Conservative Looks at Pagan America (Lafayette: Huntington House Publishers, 1993), pp. 59-60. (Return)

69. Don Feder, “Yes – Once and For All – American is a Christian Nation,” DonFeder.com, February 16, 2005.(Return)

70. Don Feder, “The Jewish Case for Merry Christmas,” Front Page Magazine, December 7, 2006 (at: http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=1166).(Return)

71. Michael Medved, “The Founders Intended a Christian, not Secular, Society,” Townhall.com, October 3, 2007 (at: http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/MichaelMedved/2007/10/03/the_founders_intended_a_christian,_not_secular,_society).(Return)

72. Burt Prelutsky, “The Jewish grinch who stole Christmas,” Townhall.com, December 11, 2006 (at: http://townhall.com/columnists/BurtPrelutsky/2006/12/11/the_jewish_grinch_who_stole_christmas).(Return)

73. Daniel Lapin, America’s Real War (Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, 1999), p. 116. (Return)

74. Rabbi Daniel Lapin, “A Rabbi’s Call to American Christians – Wake Up! You’re Under Attack,” End Time Prophetic Division, January 19, 2007 (at: http://www.etpv.org/2007/acwuyua.html).(Return)

75. Rabbi Daniel Lapin, “Which Jews does the ADL really represent?” WorldNetDaily, August 25, 2006 (at: http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=51671).(Return)


In the same way that American Jews have been Christianized, so have American Catholics. The United States was not just a "Christian Nation," it was a Protestant nation.

The GEORGIA Constitution of 1777 said:

Article VI. The representatives shall be chosen out of the residents in each county . . . and they shall be of the Protestant religion. . . .

The Massachusetts Constitution of 1780:

Article III. . . . the people of this commonwealth have a right to invest their legislature with power to authorize and require ... the several towns, parishes, precincts, and other bodies politics, or religious societies, to make suitable provision, at their own ex­pense, for the institution of the public worship of GOD, and for the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion, and morality, in all cases where such provision shall not be made voluntarily.
    And the people of this commonwealth have also a right to . . . enjoin upon all the subjects an attendance upon the instruc­tions of the public teachers aforesaid. . . .
    And all moneys paid by the subject to the support of public worship . . . shall, if he require it, be uniformly applied to the support of the public teacher or teachers of his own religious sect or denomination, provided there be any on whose instructions he attends; otherwise it may be paid toward the support of the teacher or teachers of the parish or precinct in which the said moneys are raised.
    And every denomination of Christians, demeaning themselves peaceably, and as good subjects of the commonwealth, shall be equally under the protection of the law; and no subordination of any one sect or denomination to another shall ever be established by law.

The language was used in the NEW HAMPSHIRE Constitution of 1784

The NEW JERSEY Constitution of 1776:

      Article XVIII. That no person shall ever, within this Colony, be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping Almighty place of worship, contrary to his own faith and judgment; nor shall any person within this Colony, ever be obliged to pay tithes, taxes, or any other rates, for the purpose of building or repairing any church or churches, place or places of worship, or for the mainte­nance of any minister or ministry, contrary to what he believes to be right, or has deliberately or voluntarily engaged himself to perform.
      Article XIX. That there shall be no establishment of any one religious sect in this Province, in preference to another: and that no Protestant inhabitant of this Colony shall be denied the enjoyment of any civil right, merely on account of his religious principles; but that all persons, professing a belief in the faith of any Protestant sect.. . shall be capable of being elected into any office of profit or trust, or being a member of either branch of the Legislature.

The North Carolina Constitution of 1776:

Article XXXII. That no person, who shall deny the being of God or the truth of the Protestant religion, or the divine authority either of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any office or place of trust or profit in the civil department within this State.

In the South Carolina Constitution of 1778, only Protestants could hold public office, and:

Article XXXVIII. That all persons and religious societies who acknowledge that there is one God, and a future state of rewards and punishments, and that God is publicly to be worshipped, shall be freely tolerated. The Christian Protestant religion shall be deemed, and is hereby constituted and declared to be, the established religion of this State. . . . the respective societies of the Church of England that are already formed in this State for the purpose of religious worship, shall still continue incorporate and hold the religious property now in their possession. And that whenever fifteen or more male persons, not under twenty-one years of age, professing the Christian Protestant religion, and agreeing to unite themselves in a society for the purposes of religious worship, they shall (on complying with the terms hereinaf­ter mentioned) be ... esteemed and regarded in law as of the established religion of the State, and on a petition to the legislature shall be entitled to be incorporated and to enjoy equal privileges ... each society so petitioning shall have agreed to and subscribed in a book the following five articles, without which no agreement or union of men upon pretence of religion, shall entitle them to be incorporated and esteemed as a church of the established religion in this State:
1st. That there is one eternal God, and a future state of rewards and punishments.
2d. That God is publicly to be worshipped.
3d. That the Christian religion is the true religion.
4th. That the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are of divine inspiration, and are the rule of faith and practice.
5th. That it is lawful and the duty of every man being thereunto called by those that govern, to bear witness to the truth....
No person shall, by law, be obliged to pay towards the maintenance and support of a religious worship that he does not freely join in, or has not voluntarily engaged to support. But the churches, chapels, parsonages, glebes, and all other property now belonging to any societies of the Church of England, or any other religious societies, shall remain and be secured to them forever.

The 1777 Vermont Frame of Government, Section 9:

 ... And each member [of the legislature], before he takes his seat, shall make and subscribe the following declaration, viz.: “I do believe in one God, the Creator and Governor of the universe, the rewarder of the good and pun-isher of the wicked. And I do acknowledge the scriptures of the old and new testament to be given by divine inspiration, and own and profess the protestant religion.”

The federal constitution of 1789 did not require these state constitutions to be altered. Those who wrote the federal constitution returned home and in many cases wrote new state constitutions with the same provisions as these.

These Founding Fathers have been attacked by some secularists as "anti-Catholic bigots." Even David Barton's use of John Jay, co-author of the Federalist Papers and Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, has been attacked because Jay is said to be an "anti-Catholic bigot."

It was Thomas Paine, in Common Sense, that made the most pointed criticism of Roman Catholicism in his exposition of 1 Samuel chapter 8:

That the Almighty hath here entered his protest against monarchical government, is true, or the scripture is false. And a man hath good reason to believe that there is as much of kingcraft, as priestcraft, in withholding the scripture from the public in Popish countries. For monarchy in every instance is the Popery of government.

Paine and Jay were not writing against catholic religion (liturgy) so much as they were against catholic politics. Jay's position was well stated some years ago by a Secular Humanist named Paul Blanshard, in a book on American Freedom and Catholic Power. It is truly ironic that Secularists would now turn around and welcome "papists" with open arms, and sweep both Blanshard and Jay under the carpet.

This is not anti-catholic bigotry, any more than what was said above is "anti-semitism." The question we now turn to is not whether a Bible-believing, Trinitarian Christian who happens to be a member of the Roman Catholic Church is actually a real Christian. The question is whether Jay and other Founding Fathers were justified in drawing a distinction between Christian nations and Catholic nations. I personally believe that Bible-believing Trinitarians who are members of the Roman Catholic church are Christians. And I would rather have public offices filled by a catholic like Joan Andrews (who was imprisoned for a decade by anti-Christian Secular Humanist bigots for protesting abortion) than a "church-going Southern Baptist" like Bill Clinton. The Founding Fathers, regardless of whether they believed an individual papist could be a Christian, wrote laws excluding them from public office because they believed papist political principles were antithetical to the American principles of liberty. Papal political theory, according to the Founders, was monarchical, and subversive of the form of government established in this country. To accuse John Jay or other Founders of "bigotry" is simply a demonstration of one's ignorance of historical and political realities

The Founders agreed with the theories of Max Weber or R.H. Tawney (which would be written generations later) whose works explore the relationship between The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (to use the title of Weber's thesis). The Founding Fathers knew all of this. They knew that Catholic countries were backward, economically and politically. The distinction between catholic and Christian nations emerged in the following way on a "Separation of Church and State" bulletin board:

In article <19990125223809.14196.00003500@ng-fa1.aol.com>, kathyp11@aol.com (Kathy P 11) writes that since I have so many complaints about our government, I should leave America:

><<There are plenty of other politically Christian nations to choose from,
>after all.>>
>
>And Kevin replied:

><<Really? I sure can't think of any.>>
>
>How about the U.K., Mexico, and Italy to name a few.

I responded:

Mexico and Italy are at best roman catholic nations, not Christian nations,
and they are actually mafia or drug cartel nations.
I grant the U.K. but wouldn't describe that as "plenty of nations."

In article <19990126225652.24022.00003730@ng03.aol.com>, witchward@aol.com (Witchward) writes:

>I hate to burst your bubble, Kevin, but by definition, Roman Catholicism IS a
>Christian religion, ergo, Roman Catholic nations ARE Christian Nations!

My response:

The question is not whether a person who is a member of the Roman Catholic Church can have his sins atoned for by Jesus. The question is whether the political principles of papism are compatible with the political principles of a Christian nation like America. The Founding Fathers were virtually unanimous in their answer: NO. Even those men who were members of the Roman Catholic Church and signed America's founding documents downplayed their political allegiance to the Pope, in much the same way John F. Kennedy did during his presidential campaign. They adhered to Protestant principles of freedom, not monarchical principles of papal submission.

Alexis de Tocqueville remarked that "Puritanism . . . was scarcely less a political than a religious doctrine." The Puritans established schools because they believed that knowledge of the Bible would lead to political liberty. Papists believed that the laity should not study the Bible, because they might get out from under papal domination. Tocqueville says of the Puritans of 1642:

But it is by the attention it pays to Public Education that the original character of American civilization is at once placed in the clearest light. "It being," says the law, "one chief project of Satan to keep men from the knowledge of the Scripture by persuading from the use of tongues, to the end that learning may not be buried in the graves of our forefathers, in church and commonwealth, the Lord assisting our endeavors..." Here follow clauses establishing schools in every township, and obliging the inhabitants, under pain of heavy fines, to support them. Schools of a superior kind were founded in the same manner in the more populous districts. The municipal authorities were bound to enforce the sending of children to school by their parents; they were empowered to inflict fines upon all who refused compliance; and in case of continued resistance society assumed the place of the parent, took possession of the child, and deprived the father of those natural rights which he used to so bad a purpose. The reader will undoubtedly have remarked the preamble of these enactments: in America religion is the road to knowledge, and the observance of the divine laws leads man to civil freedom.

The Puritan religion, says de Tocqueville,

perceives that civil liberty affords a noble exercise to the faculties of man, and that the political world is a field prepared by the Creator for the efforts of the intelligence. Contented with the freedom and the power which it enjoys in its own sphere, and with the place which it occupies, the empire of religion is never more surely established than when it reigns in the hearts of men unsupported by aught beside its native strength. Religion is no less the companion of liberty in all its battles and its triumphs; the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims. The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law and the surest pledge of freedom.

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Reeves, Trans. vol.1, p.40 - p.41

The roots of America's "democratic republic" are in Puritanism, and they conflict with papism. Another great American historian, George Bancroft, in History of the United States, vol.1, p.317 - p.318, says:

The principles of Puritanism proclaimed the civil magistrate subordinate to the authority of religion. . . . In the firmness with which their conviction was held, the Puritans did not yield to the Catholics; and, if the will of God is the criterion of justice, both were, in one sense, in the right. The question arises, Who shall be the interpreter of that will? In the Roman Catholic Church, the office was claimed by the infallible pontiff, who, as the self-constituted guardian of the oppressed, insisted on the power of dethroning kings, repealing laws, and subverting dynasties. The principle thus asserted could not but become subservient to the temporal ambition of the clergy. Puritanism conceded no such power to its spiritual guides; the church existed independent of its pastor, who owed his office to its free choice; the will of the majority was its law; and each one of the brethren possessed equal rights with the elders. The right, exercised by each congregation, of electing its own ministers was in itself a moral revolution; religion was now with the people, not over the people. Puritanism exalted the laity. Every individual who had experienced the raptures of devotion, every believer, who in moments of ecstasy had felt the assurance of the favor of God, was in his own eyes a consecrated person, chosen to do the noblest and godliest deeds. For him the wonderful counsels of the Almighty had appointed a Saviour; for him the laws of nature had been suspended and controlled, the heavens had opened, earth had quaked, the sun had veiled his face, and Christ had died and had risen again; for him prophets and apostles had revealed to the world the oracles and the will of God. Before Heaven he prostrated himself in the dust; looking out upon mankind, how could he but respect himself, whom God had chosen and redeemed? He cherished hope; he possessed faith; as he walked the earth, his heart was in the skies. Angels hovered round his path, charged to minister to his soul; spirits of darkness vainly leagued together to tempt him from his allegiance. His burning piety could use no liturgy; his penitence revealed itself to no confessor. He knew no superior in holiness. He could as little become the slave of priestcraft as of a despot. He was himself a judge of the orthodoxy of the elders; and, if he feared the invisible powers of the air, of darkness, and of hell, he feared nothing on earth. Puritanism constituted not the Christian clergy, but the Christian people, the interpreter of the divine will; and the issue of Puritanism was popular sovereignty.

George Bancroft, History of the United States, Vol.4, p.81:

Protestantism, in the sphere of politics, had hitherto been the representative of that increase of popular liberty which had grown out of free inquiry, while the Catholic church, under the early influence of Roman law and the temporal sovereignty of the Roman pontiff, had inclined to monarchical power.

Therefore, Catholics were generally excluded from political office, just as any Confederate might have been unable to get elected in post-Civil War America. The 1776 Constitution of North Carolina (§32) prohibited from office those who denied "the truth of the Protestant religion," because they held "religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State."

Jonathan Elliot, Debates on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, Vol. 4, p.191, records the Debates in the Convention of North Carolina, Wednesday, July 30, 1788

Mr. HENRY ABBOT, after a short exordium, which was not distinctly heard, proceeded thus: Some are afraid, Mr. Chairman, that, should the Constitution be received, they would be deprived of the privilege of worshipping God according to their consciences, which would be taking from them a benefit they enjoy under the present constitution. They wish to know if their religious and civil liberties be secured under this system, or whether the general government may not make laws infringing their religious liberties. The worthy member from Edenton mentioned sundry political reasons why treaties should he the supreme law of the land It is feared, by some people, that, by the power of [p.192] making treaties, they might make a treaty engaging with foreign powers to adopt the Roman Catholic religion in the United States, which would prevent the people from worshipping God according to their own consciences.

Loyalty to the Pope was considered treasonous, and also inconsistent with loyalty to a republican form of government. John Adams and the framers of the Massachusetts constitution explained:

[W]e have . . . found ourselves obliged . . . to provide for the exclusion of these from offices who will not disclaim these principles of spiritual jurisdiction which Roman Catholics in some centuries have held and which are subversive of a free government established by the people.
John Adams and John Bowdoin, An Address of the Convention for Framing A New Constitution of Government for the State of Massachusetts-Bay to their Constituents (Boston: White and Adams, 1780), p. 17.

They were not alone. The greatest authority on the US Constitution, founder of Harvard Law School and Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, explains the rationale: It was their political loyalty to the Pope.

[If] men quarrel with the ecclesiastical establishment, the civil magistrate has nothing to do with it unless their tenets and practice are such as threaten ruin or disturbance to the state. He is bound, indeed, to protect . . . papists . . . . But while they acknowledge a foreign power superior to the sovereignty of the kingdom, they cannot complain if the laws of that kingdom will not treat them upon the footing of good subjects.
Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (Boston: Hilliard, Gray & Co., 1833) vol. III, p.383 §400.

It is no surprise that Virginia was one of the last states to separate state and clergy, because Episcopalianism is merely a modified papism. As George Bancroft wrote in History of the United States, Vol.3, p.327-28:

Its [Massachusetts'] ecclesiastical polity was in like manner republican. The great mass were Congregationalists, of whom each church formed an assembly by voluntary agreement, self-constituted, self-supported, and independent. They were clear that no person or church had power over another church. There was not a Roman Catholic altar in the place; the usages of "papists" were looked upon as worn-out superstitions, fit only for the ignorant. But the people were not merely the fiercest enemies of "popery and slavery," they were Protestants even against Protestantism; and, though the English church was tolerated, Boston kept up the fight against prelacy. Its ministers were still its prophets and its guides; its pulpit, in which now that Mayhew was no more Cooper was admired above all others for eloquence and patriotism, inflamed by its weekly appeals alike the fervor of piety and of liberty. In the "Boston Gazette" it enjoyed a free press, which gave currency to its conclusions on the natural right of man to self-government.
EPOCH SECOND Britain Estranges America -- From 1763 to 1774
Chapter 25: The King and Parliament Against the Town of Boston, Hillsborough Secretary for the Colonies, October 1768-February 1769

Thomas Paine (who in 1776 was not an atheist) wrote against Popery in Common Sense. After discussing the Bible and its condemnation of monarchy, (1 Samuel 8) Paine says,

These portions of scripture are direct and positive. They admit of no equivocal construction. That the Almighty hath here entered his protest against monarchical government, is true, or the scripture is false. And a man hath good reason to believe that there is as much of kingcraft, as priestcraft, in withholding the scripture from the public in Popish countries. For monarchy in every instance is the Popery of government.

Finally, for Catholics, "religion" is liturgy, ritual, bead-counting, and ceremony.
For Christians,

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
James 1:27

This is the religion which created literacy, hospitals, orphanages, and other charities which were lauded by the U.S. Supreme Court as evidence that America is a Christian nation and which distinguish a Christian nation from slavish and medieval Catholic nations.