Where our Founding Fathers really ultra religious?
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30-08-2011, 07:10 PM
Where our Founding Fathers really ultra religious?
The new 'fad' is the FF of the US were complete and utter Christians. I mean they wanted religion to be apart of the government, and the Treaty of Tripoli was a lie to appease Muslims, etc.

Does anyone have any non biased information on what religion the FF truly were?

PS. If anyone is curious, the site that says they were religious is http://www.wallbuilders.com/ (search for them on there, try to not laugh)
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30-08-2011, 07:32 PM
RE: Where our Founding Fathers really ultra religious?
The Founders of the US were all raised as Christians. Every single one of them. Not all of them were staunch believers although some of them certainly were. Thomas Jefferson was accused of being an atheist (the horror!!) but he was at least a deist. Washington was a Christian but was absolutely against the idea of a Christian theocratic state. If you look up the various letters written by Washington, Adams and Jefferson you can find a few examples of them rejecting the idea of any formal official religion for the US. Jefferson is credited with coining the phrase "separation of church and state" in his letter to the Danbury Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut in 1801.

Benjamin Franklin was also probably a deist, although he claimed to be a Christian he did and said many things that were contrary to him being a true Christian. However, during the Constitutional Convention he did put forth a motion for their to be a daily prayer and that motion was rejected by the majority. That should tell you something.

Now, there were absolutely members of the delegation that wrote the Constitution who favored the idea of maybe not a Christian theocracy but a Christian government. That idea was also rejected.

I don't have any good citations or sources for you. I'm a history buff who reads a lot. As for that site, many of the founders were religious but that does not equate to wanting religion a part of government. Most of them seemed to understand the question of "who's religion" was going to become an issue. The protestant/catholic schism that forced so many of their ancestors from England to the new world was still very fresh in their minds. The idea that they would risk that kind of bloody fight after what they went through to win their freedom is just not consistent with the historical record.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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31-08-2011, 05:54 AM
RE: Where our Founding Fathers really ultra religious?
I would recommend Susan Jacoby's book Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism. She's an atheist herself, but tries to present an unbiased look at the beliefs and trends in belief throughout American history. It's well referenced and draws on many primary sources.
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31-08-2011, 07:55 AM
RE: Where our Founding Fathers really ultra religious?
While this site would be seen as biased it is also referenced so that you can look up the information from what they are saying. http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html

Lincoln was slandered as an atheist while running for presidency, in fact many of the founding fathers were slandered at one time or another. Realize too that going against the crown was a symbol of opposition to religious authority. that someone has been called an atheist is not a real proof but some have denounced things like christianity or Jesus.

The general consensus among the founding fathers proved to be that religion is not the answer to government. During the time that they lived it was acceptable to be a deist so many seemed to fit that role. Often most of them would disagree with a doctrine. It is important to realize that even if one of the founding fathers had been born in a non christian home a hallmark of being an educated person of the time was knowledge of the bible.

It is very difficult to determine which quotes are truth and which are not. Take for instance the fact that Jefferson's words in the declaration of independence that all men are created equal, that among their inalienable rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness was revised to include references to god at a later date.

Just remember that the people who wrote the constitution were humans and are expected to have said and done some contradictory things either way. They existed in a heavily christian society that accepted jews and deists, and that they were as BnW mentioned born into christian homes. To really discuss whether they were christian or not requires a better definition of what a christian is than the one we have. What we can determine is that their focus in making the constitution and related documents was not to put control and power into the hands of religion whether they were in support or opposition of it.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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31-08-2011, 09:30 AM
RE: Where our Founding Fathers really ultra religious?
Lilith

The Declaration never mentions "god" but instead mentions mans "Creator". There is a distinction and Jefferson was very deliberate in his choice of words.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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31-08-2011, 09:32 AM
RE: Where our Founding Fathers really ultra religious?
I know he was. I'm just mentioning that he originally did not discuss all men being created in any way. It was later revised due to popular interest in the change. He lead with born which apparently wasn't enough.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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31-08-2011, 10:09 AM
RE: Where our Founding Fathers really ultra religious?
Our 'founding fathers' had a variety of religious views. Some where Christian, some where deist, some had a vague idea of god, but hated religion. However, all of them agreed to keep religion a private matter and out of the government.

So in the end, it really doesn't matter if our founding fathers were bible thumpers or militant atheists, our nation is secular, based on the ideas of enlightenment era philosophers, such as John Locke.

I agree with John Addams, The United States of America is not a Christian nation. And no matter how many Christians we have in our nation, we will remain a secular nation. Truly I don't think any religious type law will ever get passed, even with the most conservative right wingers... it may get tossed around, but never passed.

And if it does... well... Sweden is lovely this time of year.. Cool

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31-08-2011, 03:00 PM
RE: Where our Founding Fathers really ultra religious?
The excellent Reasonable Doubts podcast had some discussion on this issue. I believe it's episode 18.

Why won't God heal amputees?
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