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 tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Muslim] 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.
~Treaty of Tripoli (Ratified unanimously by the U.S. Senate on June 7, 1797 and signed by President Adams)
I do struggle to understand how so many people continue to propagate this notion that America is a Christian nation. We’re not a Theocracy. Our founders expressly voted on such a resolution in fact. It’s called the Treaty of Tripoli …
For a great history lesson – read more HERE:
President Adams signed the treaty and proclaimed it to the nation on 10 June 1797. His statement on it was a bit unusual: “Now be it known, That I John Adams, President of the United States of America, having seen and considered the said Treaty do, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, accept, ratify, and confirm the same, and every clause and article thereof. And to the End that the said Treaty may be observed and performed with good Faith on the part of the United States, I have ordered the premises to be made public; And I do hereby enjoin and require all persons bearing office civil or military within the United States, and all other citizens or inhabitants thereof, faithfully to observe and fulfill the said Treaty and every clause and article thereof.”
What happened then? Did our heroes pay a heavy price? Skeptical that the public even knew about the treaty, I went to the periodicals reading room of the Library of Congress in, appropriately enough, the Madison Building. After some poking about I found out how to get access to newspapers of the 1790s, mostly on microfilm, but in a few cases I saw the actual papers of the day.
I found the treaty and Adams’ statement reprinted in full in three newspapers, two in Philadelphia and one in New York City and, in one case, held the actual newspaper (the Philadelphia Gazette and Universal Daily Advertiser for Saturday, 17 June 1797) in my hands. There is no record of any public outcry or complaint in subsequent editions of the papers.
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