Religious and Racial Equality

You Can Debunk Christian Nationalist Myths On Constitution Day – And Every Day

  Rob Boston


Saturday is Constitution Day, which marks the signing of the Constitution by the framers on Sept. 17, 1787. It’s a great opportunity to debunk some myths about our Constitution that are frequently spread by Christian nationalists.

Thankfully, Americans United has you covered:

  • Tired of hearing that separation of church and state is not in the Constitution? Just click right here.
  • Got an old friend from high school who keeps wrongly arguing on social media that America was founded to be a Christian nation? Here’s the info you need to take that down.
  • Is someone telling you that “In God We Trust” is merely a patriotic phrase that goes back to the founding period? That’s wrong. Learn the real story here.
  • What about the Pledge of Allegiance? It has the phrase the “under God” in it, which must be proof that the U.S. was intended to be an officially religious nation, right? Nope. That phrase was not in the original Pledge. Here are the facts.
  • Is America’s government based on the Bible? In a word, no.
  • But George Washington, the father of our country, was an evangelical Christian, right? He was a kind of Jerry Falwell in a powdered wig and stockings, correct? Hardly.
  • Are you looking to debunk some myths about religion in public schools? We’ve got a whole list here.

In a 1787 letter to James Madison, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Above all things I hope the education of the common people will be attended to; convinced that on their good sense we may rely with the most security for the preservation of a due degree of liberty.”

Jefferson’s words are a reminder that our religious liberty is only as secure as we make it. If the American people don’t understand the origins of the principle and how it has been applied – if they buy into Christian nationalist mythology instead of historical reality – religious freedom and its corollary, separation of church and state, will be very insecure indeed.

We all need to do our part to shore it up.

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