Religious extremists point to the Declaration of Independence as evidence that the United States was founded as a "christian" nation. This conclusion is based on the following sentences:
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
We therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States;...
The Declaration uses the words "colonies" and "states" interchangeably throughout.
There is no indication in the Declaration of Independence of any intention to support the christian religion. It consists, for the most part, of a detailed description of the tyrannical actions imposed by King George III.
The Declaration is not, and was never intended to be, the basis of our government. Our government was not formed until 13 years later when the Constitution was ratified and became effective in 1789. But religious extremists ignore the Constitution because it does not mention God or christianity, and makes it plain that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.