Given the current debate over the Christian underpinnings of our nation, I’m surprised I never heard of the Treaty with Tripoli before. Or perhaps I did hear of it and simply forgot. Plausible.

If you follow the link to the text of the treaty, look for article 11. That is the section that rates the most discussion.

It 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.

Wikipedia link on the treaty

From Wikipedia:

The prime significance of this article that is often misunderstood or downplayed is that it stated categorically that the United States of America is not founded upon the Christian religion, and that this treaty, with that statement intact, was read before and passed unanimously by the United States Senate, and was signed by the President of the United States without a hint of controversy or discord, and remains the earliest and most definitive statement from what could be called a fair and representative sampling of the “Founding Fathers” regarding the secular nature of American government.

It’s worth reading this short essay about the treaty as well.

Very interesting!

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