February 25, 2005

Was the U.S. really founded as a "Christian nation"? Our nation was founded not on Christian principles but on Enlightenment ones. God only entered the picture as a very minor player, and Jesus Christ was conspicuously absent. . . . Though for public consumption the Founding Fathers identified themselves as Christians, they were, at least by today's standards, remarkably honest about their misgivings when it came to theological doctrine, and religion in general came very low on the list of their concerns and priorities--always excepting, that is, their determination to keep the new nation free from bondage to its rule.
  • Good article. As a companion piece I highly recommend Building A Bridge To The Eighteenth Century by Neil Postman, which this author seems to have taken to heart.
  • Great article, Hwingo, thanks.
  • I teach college history in the Bible Belt and I get this "our country was founded as a Christian nation" nonsense so often I finally went out and made a reading packet [self link] of the major religious writings of the founders. My students had been innoculated against the claims of "liberal professors" but reading the actual writings of the Founders seems to bring the point across. It is longish, about 13 pages, but it gathers all of the really relevant primary sources into one place, with brief introductions for context.
  • )))!!!
  • Ook, great links.
  • Well, duh. Sorry. Good link. But I've been hammering on this for years. The Tripoli is really some of the best evidence. I was incensed at a recent Dick Gordon show where the guest seemed to want to pretend that Jefferson and Madison were pro-religion, but when I called in I found out that it had been prerecorded. Arg.
  • Good article. Thanks.
  • Heya Hawthorne, that's a great link thanks. Need all the ammo we can get on this because this "Christian nation" thing is all over the place.
  • Opinion, masquerading as fact. But, it is an opinion piece, after all. If you define the "Founding Fathers" as those who signed the Declaration, Articles of Confederacy and/or the Constitution, and you read the autobiographies or biographies by these men's contemporaries (not the revisionist ones of today), read the 9-volume set from James Madison (The Writings of James Madison), etc., etc. - in other words, an honest, historical perspective - I believe you would come to a different, though unpopular here, conclusion. At least she had the decency to call them the "Founding Fathers" and not the liberally correct nom du jour, "Founders".
  • Yeah, because just calling them "Founders," that would have been sacrilege.
  • Hawthorne - I prefer the most respectful 'Thrusting Ur-phalli Founding Seminators'. Anything else is tantamount to castration of the Sacred Fatherland in whose fertile womb they manfully planted the seeds of .... /faints from testosterone overload
  • Yeah, my Congressman already got an earful out of that one. Of course, he also got an earful about the "Christmas Bill" and he still voted for it.
  • Gravel Is Still Running for President? asks America.