Monday, August 16, 2010

FLASHBACK: Section 11 in Treaty of Tripoli Says U.S. Government is Not Founded on Christian Religion (1796)

Click the picture above to read the Treaty of Tripoli (or officially, Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli of Barbary). The provision at issue is Section 11, which states:

"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,—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."

There is some issue whether the original treaty (which was written in Arabic) was properly translated, but nevertheless, the translated treaty is the document that was approved by Congress.

1 comment:

William R. Bowen said...

Many have tried to make much of Article XI of the Treaty of Tripoli to imply that America is not a Christian nation. I make the argument that the treaty does not support the thesis of a secular America. See