The Religion Connection

The Nazis often used the Church to justify their politics, by using Christian symbols as Reich symbols, and, in other cases, replacing Christian symbols with Reich symbols, Nazism thus conflated Church and State as an ultra-nationalist political entity — the Nazi Germany embodied in the motto Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer (“One People, One Empire, One Leader”)

The First Amendment to the US Constitution calls for the separation of Church and State…

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Establishment Clause prohibits the federal, state or municipal establishment of an official religion or other preference for one religion over another, non-religion over religion, or religion over non-religion.

But, according to some Conservatives, the Establishment Clause solely prevents the government from establishing a state church, not from publicly acknowledging God. Sixty Seven Percent of Americans feel the United States is a “Christian nation.” With this view from the Religious Right, we see the last few years a push to allow “Prayer in Public Schools” as well as the addition of the “Under God” clause added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954.

Additionally we have most all Conservative Politicians continually referencing God and America being a “Christian” nation and founded on Christianity. This of course is in complete alignment with the beliefs of Adolf Hitler as previously noted: “Nazism thus conflated Church and State as an ultra-nationalist political entity.” Additionally, the Conservative beliefs that the United States was “Founded on or around Christianity” is false and in violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution.

In 1797 the Treaty of Tripoli was added as Article 11 and it stated:

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.

According to Frank Lambert, Professor of History at Purdue University, the assurances in Article 11 were “intended to allay the fears of the Muslim state by insisting that religion would not govern how the treaty was interpreted and enforced. President John Adams and the Senate made clear that the pact was between two sovereign states, not between two religious powers.

Supporters of the separation of church and state argue that this treaty, which was ratified by the Senate, confirms that the government of the United States was specifically intended to be religiously neutral. Yet even with all this as defined in the Constitution and subsequent Amendments and Articles, the Conservative Religious Right continue to push “Christianity” as the basis of the United States much like Adolf Hitler pushed in Germany.