Subject: Another Christian Nation resolution Date: 29 Jan 90 16:42:55 GMT This weekend, my
From: scott@qip.UUCP (Scott Gibson)
Subject: Another Christian Nation resolution
Date: 29 Jan 90 16:42:55 GMT
Reply-To: scott@qip.UUCP (Scott Gibson)
Organization: Anasazi Inc, Phoenix AZ
This weekend, my local paper (the Phoenix Gaxette) published several articles
as a result of the activities of a group of Arizona Republicans. While the
issue here is largely political, it deals with the impact of religion on
These Arizonans drafted a resolution for endorsement by the state Republican
party that asserts that the United States is a Christian nation. The
resolution contains the following key items:
1) That a diligent study of the Bible and its principles must be applied
to law and government.
2) That Republicans are bound to immediately take steps to restore prayer to
3) That Republicans should oppose any taxation of religious institutions.
4) That the state Republican chairman should annually evaluate Republican
legislators on these issues.
I find points 1 and 4 to be, perhaps, the most dangerous concepts in the
resolution. The efforts in 2 and 3 are quite familiar; but I do not
recall ever before seeing an open call to incorporate the Bible into
The state party chairman rejected this resolution, and the sponsors
eventually withdrew the resolution, leaving open the possibility that they
will reintroduce it (or a similar one) next year.
What I also found interesting was the evidence cited in support of this
resolution by its founders and backers.
A county Republican party head says that America has "a Christian heritage
that is historically and factually correct. This draws from the very
first settlers. You had Christians setting up various colonies. You had
to fit in, blend in wherever you went. We need to forget this biz we
learned in schools that the founders were deists and agnostics."
I find this quotation somewhat muddled. The first line is ambiguous; is
it "correct" that we have a Christian heritage, or is he saying that the
heritage itself is "correct"? The comments about "...fit in, blend in..."
seem out of place; he appears to be saying that the Christian heritage was
in fact *forced* on people by circumstance.
The speaker cites Anne Neamon, founder of Citizens for God and Country,
in Washington D.C., as the source of much of the evidence he quotes.
Neamon is said to wonder why Congress has not passed legislation ensuring
the survival of Christianity. She says "The religious complexion of this
nation is 96 percent Christian. ...There is no issue of pluralism, of
a diversified society or a seperation of church and state. These things
are alien, enemy doctrine."
The historical evidence she presents to show that the US is historically
Christian seems rather vague, to me. She points to the date of the
Constitution "...in the year of our Lord..." signature as evidence that
the founders were Christians (rather than simply Europeans, all of whom
used this dating convention). She points to currency: "In God We Trust",
without providing any background on when the practice of including this
phrase on currency actually started.
She concludes her arguments with comments that her campaign is racial
as well as religious. She points out that blacks do not share our
Christian heritage. While admitting that blacks have rights, she
continues "...People with no loyalties to Western Civilization have
no loyalties to anything other than thier own heritage..." She further
singles out Jews and evangelists as untrustworthy, as they both have money.
Other quotes of interest that caught my eye -
Annetta Conant, who started the Arizona Christian resolution drive:
"There is no country in the world where non-Christians rule and where
there is freedom of religion."
"Since school prayer went out in 1963, morality has gone down the tubes.
Crime has gone rampant. It's as if people are thumbing their nose at
the Ten Commandments."
She concludes by adding that God may well rain fire and lightening on
such a society.
David Hinchcliffe, Pinal county Republican chairman:
"If it is good enough for Lincoln and George Bush, why can't we
talk about it in Arizona?"
He quotes the following line from Lincoln's 1864 inaugural address:
"Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on
him who had never yet forsaken this favored land, are still
competent to adjust in the best way, all our present difficulties."
In general, I found the points presented by those in support of this to be
shallow; although, to be kind, this may be the fault of the newspaper in
not presenting their case well.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank