06 February 2014

If the Christian Right had been in control...

If the Christian Right had been in control of the colonies as so many of its propagandists often claim…

Our Constitution would’ve proclaimed America a Christian Nation from the very beginning. 

Of course, the Constitution never would have been written in the first place because if the Christian Right had indeed been in charge, there wouldn’t have been an uprising, much less a revolution.  There is far too much emphasis in the Christian Right on obedience to authority to allow that. 

The Declaration of Independence would have never have been written either, especially since its chief author, Thomas Jefferson, was barely even Unitarian, if that.

The publication of Common Sense would have been suppressed, its copies burned, and its author, Thomas Paine, tarred, feathered, and ridden out of town on a rail.  Then he would have been hung for his writings advocating the rights of the working class and women and  the abolition of slavery, all of which he’d done before the outbreak of the Revolution.

George Washington, a practicing Anglican (and later Episcopalian) but a freethinking practicing Anglican/Episcopalian, would not have been “Father of our Country” because, besides the fact that we’d still have the monarch in London, England, as its head-of-state, Washington wouldn’t have been politically correct under the lash of theocratist Christian rule.

The freethinking Ben Franklin would have fled to France, probably in company with Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, if they knew what was good for them.

John Adams, a Congregationalist-turned-Unitarian would have returned to England and probably ended in prison or hanged, drawn, and quartered for having participated in an attempted democratic revolution inspired by Tom Paine, if, that is, Paine had escaped the Christianist hangman in the colonies.

Sam Adams would have been hanged, drawn, and quartered, either by the British or by the Christianist government in the colonies.

The French Revolution may never have happened.  Irish republicanism, which had Tom Paine as its mentor, may not have gotten off the ground.

Slavery would never have been abolished.  In fact, it probably would have spread across the continent and to each newly acquired territory.  Of course, that’s assuming American independence, which, as stated above, might not have happened at that early stage if America were a Christian Nation.  However, once Mother England demanded an end to slavery, America would doubtlessly have risen up to defend, preserve, and propagate the property rights of men to hold other humans as property in the name of Christianity.

A religious civil war would have been inevitable.  The official state-supported religion in the colonies of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and New York was Anglicanism, or the Church of England.  The official state-supported religion of Massachusetts Bay (including Maine), Connecticut, and New Hampshire was Congregational, from Calvinist Puritanism.  Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Rhode Island had no official state-supported religion and would have been considered the battleground.  Imagine the worst of the religious wars of the Reformation (both of the movement against Rome and of the movement within itself) and the millennium and a half long feud between Sunni and Shia Muslims combined, then multiply exponentially.  Religion mixing with state has nothing to do with salvation of anyone and everything to do with power.

At the time of the American Revolution, the Scottish Episcopal Church was not in communion with the Church of England.  Often mistaken to be an outgrowth of English domination of Scotland, it is equally a direct descendant of the original Scottish Church to the current Church of Scotland, only being the one that adopted episcopal (by bishops) rather than presbyterian (by presbyters, “elders”) church polity. 

Until the end of the Penal Laws in Ireland, the Scottish Episcopalians shared the same status, or rather lack of status, that other non-Catholic, non-Anglican churches had under rule from London.  These, along with Puritans (Congregationalists), Separatists (such as the Pilgrims of New Plymouth), Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Quakers, etc., were all lumped together as “Dissenters”, while members of the Church of England were the only sect recognized as “Protestants”.


It was because of this that after Independence the American church sought to have its candidates for episcopal office consecrated by Scottish bishops, since they did not swear an oath to the Crown, and it is for this reason that the American church took the name Episcopalian.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well said, Chuck.

Dennis Burke said...

Yes, indeed! It is Feb 2014... what card should be played now? Iron cleaveth not to clay!!!