“…U.S. … NOT IN ANY SENSE FOUNDED ON THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION…”**
**Article II, TreatyOfTripoli1796
Nowhere does the Constitution say: “The United States is a Christian Nation”, or anything even close to that. In fact, the words “Jesus Christ, Christianity, Bible, Creator, Divine, and God” are never mentioned in the Constitution– not even once. Nowhere in the Constitution is religion mentioned, except in exclusionary terms. When the Founders wrote the nation’s Constitution, they specified that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” (Article 6, section 3) This provision was radical in its day– giving equal citizenship to believers and non-believers alike. They wanted to ensure that no religion could make the claim of being the official, national religion, such as England had.
The Declaration of Independence gives us important insight into the opinions of the Founding Fathers. Thomas Jefferson wrote that the power of the government is derived from the governed. Up until that time, it was claimed that kings ruled nations by the authority of God. The Declaration was a radical departure from the idea that the power to rule over other people comes from god. It was a letter from the Colonies to the English King, stating their intentions to seperate themselves. The Declaration is not a governing document. It mentions “Nature’s God” and “Divine Providence”– but as you will soon see, that’s the language of Deism, not Christianity.
**The 1796 Treaty with Tripoli states that the United States was **”not in any sense founded on the Christian religion” (see the image on the right). This was not an idle statement meant to satisfy muslims– they believed it and meant it. This treaty was written under the presidency of George Washington and signed under the presidency of John Adams.