‪What The Founding Fathers Believed – both sides of the debate‬‏

Photo and quotes below are from a New York Times 2010 article titled: How Christian were the Founders?

Have you ever been in the middle of this debate? Here’s some info from around the web that contributes to this debate:

(1) One excellent article, arguing in favor for the faith of the founding fathers, and showing discrepancies and fallacies with the video can be found here-  Response to “The Hidden Faith of the Founding Fathers” — Who Were They Hiding It From? Written by John Eldsmoe, theologian and constitution expert.

(2) Bill Fortenberry – A game of smoke and mirrors – A Further Refutation of Chris Pinto here. http://www.increasinglearning.com/smoke-and-mirrors.html

(3) An interesting article  from 2010, in New York Times.:

Christian activists argue that American-history textbooks basically ignore religion — to the point that they distort history outright — and mainline religious historians tend to agree with them on this. “In American history, religion is all over the place, and wherever it appears, you should tell the story and do it appropriately,” says Martin Marty, emeritus professor at the University of Chicago, past president of the American Academy of Religion and the American Society of Church History and perhaps the unofficial dean of American religious historians. “The goal should be natural inclusion. You couldn’t tell the story of the Pilgrims or the Puritans or the Dutch in New York without religion.” Though conservatives would argue otherwise, James Kracht said the absence of religion is not part of a secularist agenda: “I don’t think religion has been purposely taken out of U.S. history, but I do think textbook companies have been cautious in discussing religious beliefs and possibly getting in trouble with some groups.”

Here are some early colonial texts have long been included in courses: „The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut declare that the state was founded “to maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus.” The language in the Mayflower Compact — a document that McLeroy and several others involved in the Texas process are especially fond of — describes the Pilgrims’ journey as being “for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith” and thus instills the idea that America was founded as a project for the spread of Christianity.”

The same New York Times article describes Bartons’s beliefs and agenda, an agenda which Chris Pinto in his film, is fighting against:

Barton wrote that students should be taught the following principles which, in his reading, derive directly from the Declaration of Independence: “1. There is a fixed moral law derived from God and nature. 2. There is a Creator. 3. The Creator gives to man certain unalienable rights. 4. Government exists primarily to protect God-given rights to every individual. 5. Below God-given rights and moral laws, government is directed by the consent of the governed.”

…(another) expert, Daniel L. Dreisbach, a professor of justice, law and society at American University who has written extensively on First Amendment issues, stressed, in his recommendations to the guideline writers about how to frame the revolutionary period for students, that the founders were overwhelmingly Christian; that the deistic tendencies of a few — like Jefferson — were an anomaly; and that most Americans in the era were not just Christians but that “98 percent or more of Americans of European descent identified with Protestantism.”

The result of all the arguments comes down to those that want to use ‘separation of church and state’ as a wall to keep religion out:

If the fight between the “Christian nation” advocates and mainstream thinkers could be focused onto a single element, it would be the “wall of separation” phrase. Christian thinkers like to point out that it does not appear in the Constitution, nor in any other legal document — letters that presidents write to their supporters are not legal decrees. Besides which, after the phrase left Jefferson’s pen it more or less disappeared for a century and a half — until Justice Hugo Black of the Supreme Court dug it out of history’s dustbin in 1947. It then slowly worked its way into the American lexicon and American life, helping to subtly mold the way we think about religion in society. To conservative Christians, there is no separation of church and state, and there never was. The concept, they say, is a modern secular fiction. There is no legal justification, therefore, for disallowing crucifixes in government buildings or school prayer.

So, here is the video The Secret Faith of the Founding Fathers by Chris Pinto of Adullam Films.

VIDEO by kegslinger (3 hours)

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