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9/17/13 at 04:06 PM 4 Comments

The Roots of the Constitution

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Photo: Flickr/Beau B - Creative Commons

On this day in 1781 the American colonies adopted the Constitution which is still the law of the land. Some patriotic Americans celebrate September 17th as Constitution Day.

Secularists and Christians have been divided over the role that religion played in the founding of America.

Here are three perspectives on the United States Constitution and its origins.

The website Godless Geeks compares the Ten Commandments to the Constitution:

"We can easily see that only three of the Ten Commandments have corresponding laws, and not a single one of those is exclusive to Christianity. They are part of a purely religious document, which has no place in government buildings funded by taxpayers of all religions and none."

Adherents examines the religious backgrounds of the people responsible for the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution of the United States:

"Most of the [signers of the Constitution] married and fathered children. Sherman sired the largest family, numbering 15 by two wives... Three (Baldwin, Gilman, and Jenifer) were lifetime bachelors. In terms of religious affiliation, the men mirrored the overwhelmingly Protestant character of American religious life at the time and were members of various denominations."

Kerby Anderson writes that the Bible was commonly cited by the founding fathers of America:

"The influence of the Bible on the Constitution was profound but often not appreciated by secular historians and political theorists. Two decades ago, Constitutional scholars and political historians (including one of my professors at Georgetown University) assembled 15,000 writings from the Founding Era (1760-1805). They counted 3154 citations in these writings, and found that the book most frequently cited in that literature was the Bible. The writers from the Foundering Era quoted from the Bible 34 percent of the time. Even more interesting was that about three-fourths of all references to the Bible came from reprinted sermons from that era."

The website Bible Verses Constitution claims the Constitution is a form of idolatry:

"Identifying and repenting of the Constitution, as the national idol it represents, holds part of the answer for restoring America to her 17th-century Christian roots"

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