1. Doug Indeap
    June 10, 2010

    While there may be reason to quibble about this or that bit of evidence about the religiosity of various founders, I agree with you that many of them were religious and Christian. Care should be taken, though, not to make too much of the founders’ individual religious beliefs. In assessing the nature of our government, the religiosity of the various founders, while informative, is largely beside the point. Whatever their religions, they drafted a Constitution that plainly establishes a secular government on the power of the people (not a deity) and says nothing substantive of god(s) or religion except in the First Amendment where the point is to confirm that each person enjoys religious liberty and that the government is not to take steps to establish religion and another provision precluding any religious test for public office. This is entirely consistent with the fact that some founders professed their religiosity and even their desire that Christianity remain the dominant religious influence in American society. Why? Because religious people who would like to see their religion flourish in society may well believe that separating religion and government will serve that end and, thus, in founding a government they may well intend to keep it separate from religion. It is entirely possible for thoroughly religious folk to found a secular government and keep it separate from religion. That, indeed, is just what the founders did.

    Care should be taken as well in relying on the work of David Barton, mentioned in the post. As revealed by Chris Rodda’s meticulous analysis, zealotry more than fact shapes his work, which is riddled with shoddy scholarship and downright dishonesty. See Chris Rodda, Liars for Jesus: The Religious Right’s Alternate Version of American History (2006) and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-rodda/glenn-becks-new-bff—-da_b_458515.html She presents Barton’s claims, reviews the evidence and explanations he offers, and then shines a bright light on the evidence omitted, misinterpreted, or even made up by Barton with documentation and references so complete one can readily assess the facts for one’s self without the need to take either Barton’s or Rodda’s word for it.

    • tom
      March 7, 2014

      You forget that the Constitution requires an oath of office or an affirmation (some Christians are against the term “oath”), and this implies a religious foundation based in moral principles from the Bible. Al;so, the ending of the Constitution acknowledges and affirms the deity of Jesus Christ. The founders actually supported what is called an “Enlightened Christianity that, however, allows for freedom of thought and speech (except for lewd speech), freedom of worship or not-worship, freedom of the press (except for pornography and inciting to crime/criminal violence), and freedom of assembly, backed up by the right to bear arms. Separation of religion and state, or Bible and State, much less separation of morality and state, does not exist under this framework.

      Dr. Tom Snyder, Editor, Culture Watch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *