It is a popular tactic of the ‘Christian right'(who are much to the left of unreconstructed reactionaries like myself) to declare that we are a nation founded on Christian principles. Focus on the Family’s Adventures in Odyssey radio program, for example, states this in nearly every episode that deals with our history. Some even go so far as to call us a ‘Christian Nation’.
Our Founders disagreed. Jefferson, for instance, was a Deist who often attacked Christian beliefs. Of more importance, neither the Senate of 1797 nor President John Adams(also one of our Founding Fathers) had any apparent problem approving the Treaty of Tripoli, whose 11th article reads:
Art. 11. 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 tranquillity, 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.(emphasis mine)
That’s right! According to John Adams, our first Vice President and second President, the Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion. Our current president has reaffirmed this sentiment, famously remarking ‘We are not a Christian nation’.
Furthermore, though the majority of the inhabitants of this country may still call themselves Christian and may still attend church services every Sunday(maybe), I see nothing in our laws, with their allowance of abortion on demand, their solemnization of homosexual unions, their orders against prayer in public schools, and their presumption to threaten churches in an attempt to keep them quiet on political matters, nor in our culture, where whoredom and deviance are not only tolerated but glorified, that gives me cause to name us a ‘Christian nation’.
Yet another reason to remain your friendly neighborhood whacko monarchist, and an eternal friend of Liechtenstein. All hail the Fürst!
An edit on 5/10/2011: My words regarding school prayer were not 100% accurate. Prayer in public schools is not generally prohibited(I cannot speak universally). Any official prayers are prohibited. Further, distributing Christian messages has been prohibited in at least one jurisdiction and the Supreme Court of These United States has let it stand. See here.