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Saturday, November 5, 2011

~~~The Treaty Of Tripoli~~~Denial of Christianity as basis for US Government

The United States Was Founded On The Principles of Freedom For All

In accordance with the Treaty of Tripoli, our founding fathers never intended that Christianity, or any other religion for that matter, be the basis of governance of the United States. In other words, the pilgrims may have been Christian, but they landed on Plymouth Rock before there was a United States; they were still under the rule of the crown of England. In 1774, the thirteen colonies joined together to form the United States of America, and so began the American Revolution. In an effort to win their freedom from the crown of England, the colonies entered into war with Britain in 1775, in what has become known as the American Revolutionary War, or the American War of Independence. In July 1776, the Continental Congress issued the Declaration of Independence, officially severing ties with the British empire; the United States of America was now a country. Total freedom from England was won in 1783 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.

The United States Constitution was drafted on September 17, 1787 and ratified on June 21, 1788. The first amendment protects the freedom of religion, speech, the press, and the right to assemble and petition the government; with respect to religion, the amendment reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...."; Article VI further states that our Constitution "forbids a religious test as a requirement for holding a governmental position."

The term "separation of church and state" was, in fact, attributed to a metaphor by Thomas Jefferson, in which he wrote, "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State". Jefferson's words were used in the establishment clause for the first amendment.

The Treaty of Tripoli was signed in Tripoli on November 4, 1796. Presented by President John Adams to the Senate for a unanimous ratification on June 7, 1779. The treaty was the first of its kind between the United States and Tripolatania, and was intended as a diplomatic agreement between the two countries. The intent of the United States was to show tolerance toward the Muslim religion. Article 11 of the treaty states: "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

"The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." (Article 11, The Treaty Of Tripoli). We can surmise that, although the Pilgrims were Christians, when the United States became a country it was not founded on Christian religious principles, but on the principles of freedom for all. A belief system is a personal choice, and it will differ from one person to another. Yes, the individual members of Congress and the Senate have a right to believe, or not believe. However, in keeping with our Constitution and that of our founding fathers, the decision that they make in governance needs to be kept in respect to all that they serve.

Reference material (Wikipedia):