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The founding of the United States

SNP1
Posts: 2,403
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2/27/2014 11:40:13 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I always hear people say that the Founding Fathers were Christians and that the US was founded on Christianity. Here are some quotes from some of the Key Founding Fathers about their belief:

John Adams, "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it."

Benjamin Franklin, "My parents had early given me religious impressions, and brought me through my childhood piously in the dissenting [puritan]way. But I was scarce fifteen, when, after doubting by turns of several points, as I found them disputed in the different books I read, I began to doubt of Revelation itself. Some books against Deism fell into my hands; they were said to be the substance of sermons preached at Boyle's lectures. [Robert Boyle (1627-1691) was a British physicist who endowed the Boyle Lectures for defense of Christianity.]It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough deist"

Thomas Jefferson, "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus."

James Madison, "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise....During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution."

George Washington, The Reverend Doctor James Abercrombie, rector of the church Washington had attended with his wife, said, "Sir, Washington was a Deist." There is much dispute to George Washington's beliefs though as he was smart enough to always avoid publicizing his religion.

I agree that John Jay and Alexander Hamilton were Christians, but to attribute the Founding Fathers as being Christian is wrong. Looking at the Key Founding Fathers we can see that there were quite a bit of deists.

It is even more wrong to say that the United States is a Christian nation. Here are some quotes from Founding Fathers about the US:

John Adams, "The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion."

George Washington, "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 Musselmen,--and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mohammedan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever interrupt the harmony existing between the two countries."

If you have said that the Founding Fathers were Christian, stop. If you have said the US is a nation founded on Christianity, stop. People have to remember that Christianity has taken a strong holding on this country. It would be expected that quotes taken out of context would be put everywhere to support Christianity and the Founding Fathers. When you want to find the truth you have to look deeper, not just at the surface.
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bubbatheclown
Posts: 1,258
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2/27/2014 4:46:48 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/27/2014 11:40:13 AM, SNP1 wrote:
I always hear people say that the Founding Fathers were Christians and that the US was founded on Christianity. Here are some quotes from some of the Key Founding Fathers about their belief:

John Adams, "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it."

Benjamin Franklin, "My parents had early given me religious impressions, and brought me through my childhood piously in the dissenting [puritan]way. But I was scarce fifteen, when, after doubting by turns of several points, as I found them disputed in the different books I read, I began to doubt of Revelation itself. Some books against Deism fell into my hands; they were said to be the substance of sermons preached at Boyle's lectures. [Robert Boyle (1627-1691) was a British physicist who endowed the Boyle Lectures for defense of Christianity.]It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough deist"

Thomas Jefferson, "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus."

James Madison, "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise....During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution."

George Washington, The Reverend Doctor James Abercrombie, rector of the church Washington had attended with his wife, said, "Sir, Washington was a Deist." There is much dispute to George Washington's beliefs though as he was smart enough to always avoid publicizing his religion.

I agree that John Jay and Alexander Hamilton were Christians, but to attribute the Founding Fathers as being Christian is wrong. Looking at the Key Founding Fathers we can see that there were quite a bit of deists.

It is even more wrong to say that the United States is a Christian nation. Here are some quotes from Founding Fathers about the US:

John Adams, "The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion."

George Washington, "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 Musselmen,--and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mohammedan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever interrupt the harmony existing between the two countries."


If you have said that the Founding Fathers were Christian, stop. If you have said the US is a nation founded on Christianity, stop. People have to remember that Christianity has taken a strong holding on this country. It would be expected that quotes taken out of context would be put everywhere to support Christianity and the Founding Fathers. When you want to find the truth you have to look deeper, not just at the surface.

I admit that many of our Founding Fathers were Deists instead of Christians, though most of them probably were Christians.
However, what makes a Christian nation? What makes a secular nation? Is a Christian nation a nation with a Christian majority, or is it a nation where Christian values are enforced by society and perhaps by law?
If it's the first one, America was, and still is, a nation with a Christian majority. If it's the second, then don't forget that for the first 200 years of our existence, nobody had a problem with Christianity being taught in schools or the Ten Commandments being displayed in Courthouses. When slavery was an issue, both the abolitionists and those who advocated it used the Bible to support their cases. Prohibition had much to do with Biblical values.
By either of these definitions, Christianity was, in a sense, a Christian nation, By the first definition it still is, though not by the second.

But does it really matter today what kind of nation the Founding Fathers wanted? We are America today, and thus it is our responsibility to decide what kind of America we want. Just remember that whatever we sow our children will reap.