Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Agnostic Founders? NO!

There has been speculation about the religious tendencies of the country's founders for decades now. The questions have been, that despite their profession of faith in the public, were they the religious men they claimed to be, and considering the heavy influence of the Enlightenment in philosophic circles, how much did their faith really have to do with the creation of the country and our constitution?
Instapundit points to this new book by Brook Allen titled Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers. It's their intention to paint the framers of the nations beginnings in terms of skeptical men who were considered 'Deists' and not Christians.
And yet, Michael Novak points out that intellectuals attempting to do this are looking at the 18th century through the wrong lens.

Just the same, the 18th century was so very much more religious than our own that historians of the last hundred years, far more secular in education, have developed a project of their own, which is (to appropriate George Will’s words) “an intellectual hijacking” itself — one every bit “as audacious as the attempt to present America’s principal Founders as devout [read “evangelical”] Christians.” They want to show that these six principals were “skeptics,” at best Deists, certainly not real Christians, and that they privately held quite different religious views from those they displayed in public.

However, the terms Deist, Skeptic and "not Christian" are not equivalent, as the article points out. This article is the definitive argument for conservatives that the concepts behind our country's freedoms are based on Christian ideals.

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