No, America is Still Not a Christian Nation: A Myth Comprehensively Quashed in ‘Free Inquiry’


For Immediate Release: November 19, 2019
Contact: Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
press@centerforinquiry.org - (207) 358-9785

A conservative pastor recently gained attention for posting a video of himself in which he burns a book refuting the myth of America’s founding as a so-called “Christian nation,” a myth that religious conservatives seem determined to uphold no matter the historical facts. In defiance of the itchy Zippo fingers of Christian nationalists, the latest issue of Free Inquiry magazine lays out a nearly-exhaustive listing of the reasons the United States is, and always has been, a secular nation. 

In a comprehensive refutation of religious-right pseudo-history, Prof. Brian Bolton encapsulates the myriad claims and purported evidence about America’s alleged Christian founding, addressing each one in systematic fashion. Among his many points, Bolton explains how a majority of the Founders rejected the idea of officially recognizing Christianity; how a specifically-Christian god is never invoked, as opposed to a vague “ceremonial” deity; and that the only themes incorporated within the founding documents that occur in the Bible are that of patriarchalism, slavery, separation of church and state, and affirmation of oaths.

Perhaps most importantly, and most damning to the Christian-nation myth, is the character of the founders themselves. “All the founders were advocates of religious tolerance and freedom of conscience,” writes Bolton. 

Also in the December 2019/January 2020 issue of Free Inquiry

  • Free Inquiry Editor Tom Flynn peers once again into the “chasm” between organized secularism and the larger population of America’s religiously unaffiliated, now wondering whether there is anything to be gained by focusing the movement’s efforts on recruiting a largely apathetic demographic. 
  • Robyn Blumner, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry, reviews the Supreme Court’s failure to maintain the wall of separation in the Bladensburg cross case, warning that it indicates that Americans are “more likely to be force-fed religion as a component of citizenship.”
  • Barry Kosmin looks at the strange dichotomy between the rise of the nonreligious and the simultaneous retreat of secular governments around the world. 
  • Karen I. Shragg sounds the alarm of overpopulation, warning that climate change is merely a “subset” problem that stems from the environmental impact of the growing billions of human beings.

Read all this and much more in the latest issue of Free Inquiry, available in print and online. Subscribe today.

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at centerforinquiry.org.