What Judeo Christian values was America founded on?
Jurgen Habermas, the most influential agnostic philosopher of our time:
“Universalistic egalitarianism, from which sprang the ideals of freedom and a collective life in solidarity, the autonomous conduct of life and emancipation, the individual morality of conscience, human rights and democracy, is the direct legacy of the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love. This legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the object of continual critical appropriation and reinterpretation. To this day, there is no alternative to it. And in light of the current challenges of a post-national constellation, we continue to draw on the substance of this heritage. Everything else is just idle postmodern talk.”
(Jürgen Habermas – ““, Polity Press, 2006, pp. 150-151, translation of an interview from 1999).
You can read more about the influence of Christianity on culture:
Christianity was responsible for the founding of our first colleges and universities, including Harvard. Thats why the seal of Harvard reads VERITAS. What does veritas mean in Latin? Veritas means truth.
But founding Harvard isn’t that big of a deal, because not that many smart people come from Harvard and that Zukerberg and the founder of Quora went there isn’t that of a deal either.
Every city with San in the title was founded because of Christians. That means the vast majority of Texas, Christians. The vast majority of California, including San Fransisco and San Diego. Christians. Ergo, Christians founded the backbone of Silicon Valley. Thats no small feat.
And there is a ton of philanthropy and community service done by Christians both in church and beyond the walls of church.
Christians were responsible for the founding of thousands of hospitals. Specifically hospitals with Methodist or Saint or Baptist in the title were likely founded and funded by Christians—who did so because they were passionate about giving back and contributing.
The Declaration of Independence was written by spiritual deist, sure, but the language is quite emphatic and specific. It echoes over the past 200 years with a roar of independence, freedom, and is animated with a theological underpinning from its very first words. Our founding was emphatically Christian.
We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
That kickstarted the experiment known as the American experiment. If not for there words, the core values of America would have have likely been far, far, far more British and far, far, far less independent. And that influence over time, year over year would have been far less and far more blandly British and less uniquely American.
I find it interesting that the greatest critics of Christianity find themselves in Brittain, without a full understanding of the history, culture, and dynamics and ultimately the political philosophies of our founders. For instance, Jefferson basically stole those words from John Locke, and his Second Treatise on Government, who definitely wrote with a Christian perspective, albeit one with a rationalist edge as well (Life, liberty, and property versus life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—his influences sings through the rythms text. And Second Treatise speaks to the implicit contract of government that the Declaration speaks to.). No John Locke, and Jeffersons’ words and even logic would have been totally different—and America would likely have been more like a blueprint of France or Brittian, and not uniquely American.
But reading about the ultimate influences of Christianity on history and specifically the culture of America is worth checking out: