Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Episode 18 Independence Day

"As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion…" These words taken from Article XI of the United States treaty with Tripoli in 1796, provide a clear and direct answer to historical revisionists who claim America is a "Christian Nation." The doubtcasters discuss this document and others for a special Independence Day episode of RD.

To download this or any previous Reasonable Doubts episodes click here.


Anonymous said...

Quick comment on Obama reciting "under God" in the pledge: he was probably an atheist at the time. His mother was an atheist, and I believe Obama converted to Christianity later in life.

Unknown said...

Not so fast, when it comes to Locke. My understanding is that Locke was for tolerance of all religions, but not for tolerance of atheism, which he considered a threat to the community. See (hear) the Philosophy Bites podcast interview with John Dunn at

Fletcher said...

Tinyfrog, you may be right about that, I'm honestly not sure. Still, if he were an atheist at the time and converted later perhaps it was recitation of the pledge that brainwashed him and lead him to his ultimate conversion.

Okay, probably not.

Peter, good point. Pre-Darwin there were few that were tolerant of atheism. Thomas Paine vehemently denied any charges of atheism that were leveled at him, as did Jefferson. The Founding Fathers may have shared Locke's dislike of us godless heathens, but regardless of their personal feelings, the founding documents are strictly secular and do not discriminate against the non-religious in any way.

Anonymous said...

Just an aside. As an Atheist, Secular, Rational and (heaven forbid) republican (small r) Brit, I envy the fact that the US has a constitution at all when we have to get our rights by osmosis from the European Union. The Queen is the head of our established church and bishops sit in our house of lords. Finally, great podcasts. Thanks

jessie74 said...

Hey guys, just wanted to make a correction.

During the shout-out you said Biloxi, Missouri......I think that should have been Biloxi, Mississippi.