Attention Republicans: Let Me Prove to You That the United States is Not a Theocracy

There’s a line I’ve often used when describing how I feel the typical mind of a Republican works. It’s my belief that reality for many of these conservatives isn’t determined by what’s real, but instead by what they want to be real. And I feel that one of the easiest ways to prove this theory is by looking at their continued, and constant, push to try to force the United States into a theocracy.

In fact, most conservatives tend to believe that the United States is indeed a “Christian nation.”

They believe this based on factual evidence that supports the complete opposite of what it is that they want to be real.

Many will point to our Pledge of Allegiance and the phrase “one nation under God” as “proof” that this nation is founded upon Christian principles. The reality is, our pledge wasn’t written until the late-1800’s and its original text did not include the words “one nation under God.” They weren’t added until 1954.

Then some will point to our Declaration of Independence and the phrase “endowed by their Creator”  or “the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them” as proof that our Founding Fathers intended for this nation to be based on Christianity. Well, at least when they use this to support their theocratic beliefs, they’re using something from the right time period. Unfortunately, they’re also proving that they’re not aware that the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution are two completely different things. The Declaration of Independence is a declaration of war. It has nothing to do with what rights are given to each and every American citizen.

The third piece of evidence the theocracy pushers often use to support their belief that this is a “Christian nation” is our nation’s motto of “In God We Trust.” Which I will admit is quite the compelling piece of evidence – until you do a simple Google search. That’s when you’re realize that “In God We Trust” didn’t first appear on our currency until 1864 and didn’t become our nation’s motto until 1956.

And let’s not forget our Constitution itself. A document that has absolutely zero mentions of “the Creator,” “God,” “Christianity,” “Jesus Christ,” the Bible,” or anything at all to do with religion outside of our First Amendment which establishes a very clear-cut precedent that our laws cannot be based on religion.

It’s like I’ve said before, the fact that any and all references to a singular religion such as Christianity were excluded from our Constitution wasn’t by accident, but by design.

After all, how could these men have been such devout, Christian followers yet not include a single reference to their religion anywhere in the Constitution if they really wanted this to be a “Christian nation”?

You mean to tell me if Republicans could rewrite our Constitution right now that they would leave out any and all mention of Christianity in that Constitution? That they would instead assume that people would “just know” that they meant for the nation to be based on Christianity.

That doesn’t even make sense.

Most modern day conservatives want the Ten Commandments placed at every government building, prayers before every daily legislative session starts and marriage to be defined by the Bible. There’s no way in hell that people who believe in such things would have written a document as detailed as our original Constitution and leave out any mention of their religion if they wanted a nation based upon it.

So it goes back to what I said about the absence of any religious language. These words weren’t omitted by accident, but by deliberate design by our Founding Fathers.

And when it comes to the right for each American to have “free exercise of religion,” we do have that right. As Americans, we can follow whatever religion we’d like. As Americans, we can be Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Mormon or whatever. And we can also practice that religion as much (or as little) as we’d like. But what we cannot do, and what our Constitution is supposed to prohibit, is for laws to be passed that force one person’s religion onto someone else. 

Which is exactly what Republicans are constantly trying to do. The moment even one American is forced to abide by a single law based upon religious principles that they do not follow, that is a clear and blatant violation of their First Amendment rights.

So, in the argument over whether or not this nation was founded to be a “Christian nation,” people like myself have our Constitution and its lack of any reference to Christianity on our side, and Republicans have – well – practically nothing. Because our rights are set by the words written in our Constitution, not the conjecture of those who wished they lived in a theocracy, but don’t.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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