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 The Founding Fathers' Religious Wisdom

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Aaron
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PostSubject: The Founding Fathers' Religious Wisdom   Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:08 pm

I just spotted this article and thought I'd share it here.

Quote :
In recent years, we have been told by a variety of conservatives that America’s founding fathers established the country under Christian doctrine—that we are a “Christian nation” and should operate accordingly.

This notion—that our country’s roots are explicitly Christian—is both foolish and wrong, for it devalues the Christian faith and disrespects the genius of the founding fathers. Christianity does not need to be endorsed by law or some fantasized re-interpretation of the Constitution in order to have meaning in people’s lives. Let’s face it. Will Christianity be seriously jeopardized if its followers learn that only one of the 56 founding fathers was a member of the clergy? Will their faith be dashed if they discover that James Madison objected to chaplains opening the proceedings of Congress with prayer? And more recently, will people ignore the Bible if the Ten Commandments aren’t posted in courtrooms or if the nativity scene in town squares shares space with a menorah? When people say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” at Wal-Mart, are they attacking Jesus? For Christians secure in their faith, the answer to all these questions should be a resounding “no.”

The genius of the founding fathers is they understood that Christianity could not only stand on its own but would thrive without being written into the laws and founding documents of the country. In fact, it was likely their own “faith” that led them to this conclusion. Many of the founding fathers—Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison and Monroe—practiced a faith called Deism. Deism is a philosophical belief in human reason as a reliable means of solving social and political problems. Deists believe in a supreme being who created the universe to operate solely by natural laws—and after creation, is absent from the world. This belief in reason over dogma helped guide the founders toward a system of government that respected faiths like Christianity, while purposely isolating both from encroaching on one another so as not to dilute the overall purpose and objectives of either.

The rest of the article is here...
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/01/christian_nation.html

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Paul Anthony

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PostSubject: Re: The Founding Fathers' Religious Wisdom   Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:28 pm

Thanks for the article. It says it well.
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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: The Founding Fathers' Religious Wisdom   Fri Jan 11, 2008 12:38 am

Yes, very well!
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The Paineful Truth

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PostSubject: Re: The Founding Fathers' Religious Wisdom   Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:24 am

Concerning his initial statement, "In recent years, we have been told by a variety of conservatives that America’s founding fathers established the country under Christian doctrine—that we are a “Christian nation” and should operate accordingly". I think the assertion that we were founded as a Christian nation has actually been increasingly discounted and challenged in recent years. I think things are looking up here, if not in the name of deism itself, at least it's in sync with deistic thought. Christians have been less and less able to rewrite our founding history and get away with it.

Unfortunately, without a positive deistic (or even atheistic) alternative, this merely channels most of the Christian spiritually lost into the ranks of those in spiritual/moral limbo.
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