There has been a lot said about the Christian beliefs of the Founding Fathers. Two books have answered many of the questions of their real beliefs. The first is called “Faith of the Founding Fathers” by David L. Holmes(http://www.amazon.com/Faiths-Founding-Fathers-David-Holmes/dp/0195300920/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1300658042&sr=1-5). Mr. Holmes goes step by step through each Founding Father(Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Madison & Monroe) to outline their actions, their beliefs, their letters and other significant evidence as to their real beliefs. Most of the evidence does not backup an idea of a Christian Nation or Fundamentalism. In fact, several of America’s leaders were Unitarian or Deist in belief. Thomas Jefferson compiled his own version of the Bible which today is called the “Jefferson Bible”. Three that professed a more Orthodox Christianity were Samual Adams, Elias Boudinot, & John Jay.
The other book is called “American Gospel” by Jon Meacham(http://www.amazon.com/American-Gospel-Founding-Fathers-Making/dp/0812976665/ref=pd_sim_b_5). This book more or less reinforces some of the ideas of the first book with more and different evidence. The Founding Fathers were not devoted to a purely Christian Nation as some people believe today. The most compelling evidence is the “Treaty of Tripoli”. This was a treaty to end the pirating of the Barbary Pirates. Initiated by Washington and completed by Adams it contained language to allay the fears of these Barbary Muslims that America had any designs of a Christian Crusade. Article 11 of this treaty has these words, “America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,…..”. This was ratified by the Senate in 1797. No apparent evidence exists that shows any public outcry or disturbance. The Founding Fathers really believed in religious freedom and expression.
Make no mistake that the Founding Fathers were in fact very religious and spiritual minded individuals that tried to live by their beliefs. In fact, what comes across the most in these two books is each and every Founding Father lived and believed what they thought was right regardless of what others thought. That takes a lot of courage. If only we could act on the same faith that they possessed.
My practical mindset knows that nothing I’ve written here will hardly change one iota of anyone’s opinion. Still in all I pursue the truth of things as they really are, not as I wish them to be.
“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.”
-Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan