Friday, February 5, 2010

Treaty of Tripoli in Modern Terms

It's common to hear from Christian revisionists that America is a "Christian Nation" founded on Christian values, and other unsupported claims.  I've already covered this in another entry, so I won't go through it again.

Instead, today I wanted to take a look at the document known as the Treaty of Tripoli.  This was a peace treaty between the US and the Bey of Tripoli in 1797.  The treaty was unanimously approved by the Senate and signed by President John Adams and proudly proclaimed to the nation.

The relevant part of the treaty is Article 11, which states in its entirety:
   "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

America is not a Christian nation -- it can't be.  The laws of this country are at odds with the laws the Christian God.  If the above isn't clear enough, let's break it down in modern terms:
   "The USA is NOT a Christian nation. It has laws that protect all religion, Christianity, Islam, or any other. America welcomes people of all faiths with open arms and does not actively engage in prejudice or hostility based on religion or creed. Both parties signing this treaty of friendship agree that actions and diplomatic discussions will not be hindered by matters of religion or faith-based opinions."

Doesn't that sound like a great place to live?  Whether or not Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Ray Comfort, or George Bush agrees with sentiments expressed in the treaty, the Constitution backs it up.  America was founded on freedom.  Anyone can be an American.  Any American can have any religion they want, or none at all.  The government can't and should not uphold one religion, because doing so pushes all others down.  Equality, freedom, and opportunity is the name of the US game, not the laws of Jesus or his Heavenly Father.