This past fourth of July actor and comedian John Fugelsang went on a tirade about how America is not a Christian nation and how Jesus would be an awesome president that even Fugelsang himself would advocate. Although I did not agree with most of what he said I did agree with one thing: America is not a Christian nation. But I’ll come back to that later.
First, Fugelsang paints an early America that was borderline hostile to the idea of Christianity established in government. Although this may have been true in the sense of the founding documents, America was early on a strict Puritan nation. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote of America in the 1800s: “This civilization is the result of two quite distinct ingredients which anywhere else have often ended in war but which Americans have succeeded somehow to meld together in wondrous harmony; namely the spirit of religion and the spirit of liberty.” Keep in mind this is the same author that would also call Connecticut’s efforts to legislate out of biblical texts “bizarre.”
Second, Fugelsang brings up slavery and how Christians used it to justify and to oppose it. I’m not sure exactly what his efforts are in letting his viewers know that the bible was used on both sides of that argument, but I am sure that they only heard the first part. Now, I am not here to justify the Puritan stance on slavery. The Puritans, although strict religious men, were still sinners and got that part of their faith very wrong.
The argument of Puritans and slavery gets often quoted when today’s argument on abortion is brought up, as Fugelsang would later say that Jesus was a pro women’s right advocate. Although in principle abortion advocates take on a worse stance than slave owners did, liberals will never admit to it. The slavery argument was that blacks were not people, but rather they were property to be owned. The abortion argument is that the unborn are not people but rather they are options, and if you want to kill them then that is completely up to you (with the government’s help of course).
Lastly, Fugelsang says how we can easily become a Christian nation by following Jesus’ teachings after a few adjustments. How we should give all our money to the poor and take care of the sick and be kind to the immigrant because after all, Jesus was not an American citizen. I think we have a bit of a timeline glitch there, Mr. Fugelsang, because Jesus could not have been an American citizen seeing as how it was not around then. You’re about 1600 years off, my friend.