McCain’s American History 101

Oh, this is frightening. I get that it’s been a while since McCain’s picked up a history book, but he is either seriously mistaken about the history of our country, its founders, and its constitution, or he is pathetically pandering to the enormous number of Christian voters. Either way, any modicum of respect I might have mustered for my home-state’s senator (not much to begin with) flew out the window when I saw this video.

Some of the more disturbing quotes from this two-and-a-half minute spiel (for a real party, read the full transcript):

I would probably have to say yes, that the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation.

Um, hi. Yes, Senator McCain – did you ever pick up a copy of the Constitution? Would you mind pointing out the section that declares our nation to be Christian? They seem to have left that out of the history books I read when I went to school… (Incidentally, the question posed was: “A recent poll found that 55 percent of Americans believe the U.S. Constitution establishes a Christian nation. What do you think?”)

We welcome the poor, the tired, the huddled masses. But when they come here they know that they are in a nation founded on Christian principles.

If so, then someone has been severely misinforming our immigrants. If that’s the case, why don’t we send them to Christian-principles training, rather than taking the time to deal with all the cultural-sensitivity nonsense, huh?

From the transcript (didn’t make the cut in this particular video version):

We were founded as a nation on Judeo-Christian principles. There’s very little debate about that.

Way to keep your finger on the pulse of the nation, there, Senator. I thought I’d been hearing quite a bit of rumbling about that, but it must not be coming from anyone important or any voters that matter. After all, if it’s in the Constitution, what debate can there be? So, where is that article again?

Also from the transcript:

Our Founding Fathers believed in separation of church and state and they stated it unequivocally. But, they also continued to emphasize the Christian principle. In God We Trust or [all men are] created equal—every statement that they made had to do with the belief in a Divine Creator

First of all, Thomas Jefferson – and many of the founding fathers – was a deist. Deists were not – and are not – Christians. Deists believe in a God or Creator, but they do not believe that this Being has any oversight in human lives. Something like how a mansion’s architect will probably never have to deal with the broken-down dishwasher twenty years after the house is erected, but still has appreciable skills visible in the design of the house nonetheless.

Second, “In God We Trust” never even showed up on our currency until after our Founding Fathers were in the ground. This is according to the U.S. Mint’s History of “In God We Trust” page:

The Congress passed the Act of April 22, 1864. This legislation changed the composition of the one-cent coin and authorized the minting of the two-cent coin. The Mint Director was directed to develop the designs for these coins for final approval of the Secretary. IN GOD WE TRUST first appeared on the 1864 two-cent coin.

It didn’t even show up on paper money until nearly a century later:

The first paper currency bearing the motto entered circulation on October 1, 1957.

This was in response to the phrase being [regrettably] made our nation’s official motto in 1956. Until then, the de facto motto (which also appears on most currency, and on the nation’s official seal) was E Pluribus Unum, Latin for From Many, One. Isn’t it sad how contradictory those to statements are?

Anyway… moving on. A little more from McCain:

But I think the number one issue people should make [in the] selection of the President of the United States is, ‘Will this person carry on in the Judeo Christian principled tradition that has made this nation the greatest experiment in the history of mankind?

Shouldn’t the number one question be, “Will this person make the best decisions for America’s residents and future, regardless of the person’s faith?” I can think of a few people who profess to live by Judeo-Christian principles that I would most certainly not ever want to see leading this country.

I am concerned that McCain will only be making decisions for the population that worships his God, and has little interest in the cultural and religious melting pot that is America.