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Judeo-Christian Principles December 29, 2011

Posted by jetson in Personal.
Tags: , , , , , ,

I’ve talked about this idea before. The argument that the United States was founded on Judeo-Christian principles is brought up quite often. The more I think about the argument, I have to consider that it might be true. I mean, Christianity was popular when the U.S. got started, and it could be argued that the “principles”, which I take to mean morals, were based on Biblical beliefs. But so what?

So what if the U.S. was founded on those principles? It’s not like we are still living in that time period, where women were second class citizens in their own country, and black families were literally slaves, and reduced to almost animals within societies that held their Bibles high and proud during this period. We’ve changed, and we’ve changed for the better.

Do we get to claim that the principles we were founded upon were actually quite bad? Or will this turn into yet another excuse from those who believe those principles were something to be proud of, or perhaps even return to? No matter how you slice it, the U.S. was explicitly endorsing some morals that have since been abolished completely, because they were literally awful, in every way.

To tear families from foreign countries, rip them apart, and feed them into the slave trade to American businesses and families is so disgusting, it would simply never be tolerated today. It has been cited as one of the main reasons for the Civil War in the U.S. Two sides of the argument, holding their Bibles in the air, while proclaiming that slavery was OK, and slavery was not OK, and then going to war over it.

To treat women as second class citizens has very strong Biblical roots. There is plenty of scripture that supports misogyny, and placing women in subservient roles within the family. Today, women have equal rights, they can vote, and they can work alongside men in competition for the same jobs that were once restricted. It took time, but we evolved away from the founding principles that the United States was founded upon, and for good reason – they were horrible. And by the way, women have not yet gained equal status to men in certain measures, such as income for the same jobs as men.

If I were a Christian, I don’t think I would make the argument. It does not look good when considered for a few minutes. Of course, there are still some Christians who are not happy with the equal rights for women, and the abolishment of slavery (luckily, they have been marginalized). But we still have active hatred and bigotry against gays, and non-believers. So we are still battling some of the same principles that sprung from the pages of the Bible, according to some Christians.

In the end, it may be true that the U.S. was founded upon Judeo-Christian principles. But luckily, those principles have been replaced with better ones. Since human morals evolve over time, based on prevailing tolerances and standards set by those societies, we can be sure that they will continue changing, and continue to make things better for each of us. And hopefully we can stop arguing over how the country was founded, as though it is something we should aspire to. Yikes!



1. befuddled2 - December 29, 2011

My question in regards to this is which Judeo Christian principles are they talking about and where in the Bible are these principles found?

When I read the Bible I do not find anything there about democracy – only kings and theocracies.

When I read the Bible I do not find anything there about freedom of religion and belief – only killing those who disagree and worship other gods.

When I read the Bible I do not find anything there that is found in our Constitution.

I find it interesting that it took the challenge of the Enlightenment to bring about democracy. Until then we had the divine right of kings and royalty.

I have yet to get a really good answer on this from those Christians who say that our country is based on Judeo Christian principles. However, what you mentioned in regards to slavery, the rights of women, etc do seem to be very much in line with much of what I have read in the Bible were it to be taken literally.

jetson - December 29, 2011

Well, you make a good point, but one that is generally lost on those who believe that Judeo-Christian principles are good, and should be given credit for the founding of the U.S. They have literally conflated those principles, with ones that they personally find offensive, for various reasons, and chosen to argue that we, as a a nation, at one time collectively agreed with each other.

Apparently, time has withered away our collective agreement, and there are now plenty of people who can clearly see that whatever we started with, must be abolished, and replaced with something better.

More to your point, I have to agree that I have not found anything in the Bible that resembles what the United States was truly founded upon. And in my opinion, this is precisely why some theists get so emotional over it. This country was founded specifically to remove religious tyranny. And today, many Christians would openly agree to hang the Ten Commandments in every court room, as though that would bring us closer to our founding as a nation, and cause society to be so much better than we are today. Right.

2. odessaodonnell5037 - April 8, 2016


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