By Ruth Clark, San Juan Capistrano
A bloody Revolutionary War was fought by our founding fathers for freedom of religion and freedom from religious control, especially from the Anglican Church of England and the Catholic Church in France. Thousands of Huguenots, Protestant reformers from France, were massacred by the religious authorities, and many of those who survived escaped and landed here in America to be free from religious and political control by the Catholics.
The United States was settled by people seeking to worship God in their own way. Belief in God was important to the founding fathers, many of whom were Masons, including the first 13 presidents. However, Christianity was never mentioned as the only religion to be practiced in this new county. In fact, that kind of oppression was exactly what they were escaping from.
America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion. The Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11, in particular, makes this very clear. Ratified unanimously by the U.S. Senate and signed by President John Adams, it became the law of the land on June 10, 1797. Here is an excerpt. You can read the entire treaty online:
“As the government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…”
“In God We Trust” has only been the motto of this country since 1956. Prior to that, “E Pluribus Unum,” or “Out of Many, One,” served as our unofficial motto. What has happened to our sense of unity as a nation, no matter how diverse our heritage or beliefs? I say we simply keep all religion out of politics. It causes disharmony and division.