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MYTH: THE PHANTOM PETITION
MYTH: The United States of America is a “Christian Nation”
FACT: The U.S. Constitution is a secular document. It begins, “We the people,” and contains no mention of “God” or “Christianity.” Its only references to religion are exclusionary, such as, “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust” (Art. VI), and “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” (First Amendment). The presidential oath of office, the only oath detailed in the Constitution, does not contain the phrase “so help me God” or any requirement to swear on a bible (Art. II, Sec. 7).
If we are a Christian nation, why doesn’t our Constitution say so? In 1797 America made a treaty with Tripoli, declaring that “the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” This reassurance to Islam was written under Washington’s presidency, and approved by the Senate under John Adams.
For more, read the Freedom From Religion Foundations Nontract No. 6
MYTH: The laws of the U.S. are based on the Ten Commandments
FACT: The first four Commandments are religious edicts having nothing to do with law or ethical behavior. Only three (homicide, theft, and perjury) are relevant to current American law, and have existed in cultures long before Moses. The Supreme Court has ruled that posting the Ten Commandments in public schools is unconstitutional.
Our secular laws, based on the human principle of “justice for all,” provide protection against crimes, and our civil government enforces them through a secular criminal justice system.
MYTH: One must believe in God or at least be religious in order to be considered “moral.”
FACT: Religiosity in no way guarantees that a person will be moral or act morally. The prisons in this country are full of Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc. Conversely, many non-believers live exemplary lives following ethical, moral standards.
For more, visit this site
MYTH: The words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and “In God We Trust” on coins and paper money, in addition to it being the National Motto, prove this country was founded on Christian principles
FACT: The words, “under God,” did not appear in the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954, when Congress, under McCarthyism, inserted them. Likewise, “In God We Trust” was absent from paper currency before 1956. It appeared on some coins earlier, as did other sundry phrases, such as “Mind Your Business.” The original U.S. motto, chosen by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, is E Pluribus Unum (“Of Many, One”), celebrating plurality, not theocracy.
Furthermore, as Justice Brennan wrote in his dissent in Lynch v. Donnelly, “I would suggest that such practices as the designation of “In God We Trust” as our national motto, or the references to God contained in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag can best be understood, in Dean Rostow’s apt phrase, as a form a “ceremonial deism,” protected from Establishment Clause scrutiny chiefly because they have lost through rote repetition any significant religious content.” (emphasis added)
MYTH: Creation can be proven scientifically
FACT: The Bone Pit, Greene’s Creationism Truth Filter, Is it real science?, The Talk.Origins Archive
MYTH: The Bible explicitly condemns abortion
FACT: There is NO MENTION of abortion in the Bible
MYTH: James Madison said, “We have staked the whole of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
FACT: This quote appears nowhere in the writings of Madison. It was debunked years ago by Madison scholars and even many Religious Right leaders have admitted that the quote can’t be substantiated. This inaccurate Madison Ten Commandments quote was circulated among the Religious Right chiefly by David Barton, a Texas man who peddles a revisionist history arguing that the United States was founded as a “Christian nation.” In 1996, Barton admitted that the quote is bogus and recommended that people stop using it.