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Founding fathers, the US was founded on Christianity, and a list of non-Christian founding fathers

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by dyanaprajna2011, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. dyanaprajna2011

    dyanaprajna2011 Dharmapala

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    Evangelical Christians believe that the US is a Christian nation, founded on Christian principals, and that all the founding fathers were Christians. But I found these lists interesting:

    Here's a listing of all the founding fathers who were either deists or Unitarian/Universalists/UU's:

    Deists:

    Abraham Lincoln (not really a founding father)
    Benjamin Franklin
    Ethan Allen
    George Washington
    James Madison
    Thomas Jefferson
    Thomas Paine

    UU's:

    John Adams
    John Q. Adams
    Susan B. Anthony (not really a founding father)
    Millard Fillmore
    Paul Revere
    Daniel Webster (not really a founding father)

    I wonder how they would have felt about all this "the US is a Christian nation" talk?
     
  2. technomage

    technomage Finding my own way

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    There are some Evangelical Christians who argue for these statements, but many of them are quite aware that our history is not as cut-and-dried as folks like David Barton try to make it out to be.
     
  3. CynthiaCypher

    CynthiaCypher Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't Franklin a member of the Hellfire Club?
     
  4. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Ov Fire and the Void
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    It's a rumor. Not proven.
     
  5. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Even more interesting, to me, is to wonder why the Founding Fathers are mentioned so often these days.

    The way some people talk, one would assume that there is something inherently wrong with disagreeing with the preferences of the Founding Fathers. Who were not really a particularly homogeneous group, if such relevant matters as the existence of institutional slavery are to be considered.

    People can love and respect their ancestors (literal, spiritual or otherwise) without making a point of turning to them for reference of matters where they were either outright wrong or not even in a fair position to take a proper stance.

    Or, to put it in another way: there is no shame in daring to know and even decide better than people that are neither aware of the circunstances you actually have to deal with nor willing to establish a society that would forever keep at their level of wisdom at best.

    To use a more mundane example, it is not wrong to be the son of a loving and respected father who was not a physician, become a physician oneself, and daring to trust one's medical judgement over that of the father mentioned. It is not something to be ashamed of.

    One could establish a cult that took as a premise that the Founding Fathers were of unusually high wisdom, I suppose. So high that it somehow made their choices and preferences applicable to societies and circunstances utterly alien to them, with levels of technology, complexity and personal challenges that they couldn't be fairly expected to even have a vague idea of, much less anticipating or understanding. I still find the idea a bit odd, yet it might as well be the stated belief of many who mention them.
     
    #5 LuisDantas, Mar 30, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
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  6. littleoldme

    littleoldme Member

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    I believe the idea that this country was founded on Christian principles is because of the abortion debate. That was what unified the various Christian sects that were opposed to the the pro choice argument. Then we saw an increase of the evangelical movement in the 80's and 90's, but now as it seems the nones are growing and the pews are diminishing, thankfully, as a response to the over compensation of the idea Gov't can make choices regarding a woman's body.
     
  7. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    I have seen it mentioned with regards to the Second Ammendment (utterly inadequately IMO), as well as atheist rights, freedom of religion, LGBT rights, and economical policies.

    Come to think of it, they are rarely mentioned in an adequate context.
     
    #7 LuisDantas, Mar 30, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014
  8. littleoldme

    littleoldme Member

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    actually in a democratic republic there is no context to were this idea can be applied to.
     
  9. jay86k

    jay86k New Member

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    I think Judeo-Christian philosophy had a strong influence on certain aspects of the foundation of the United States, but I would not say that the US was founded on Christianity. Over the years this country has done some very unchristian things and has had unchristian policies, some from the very beginning.

    Greek ideas clearly have also had strong influence government. I have even read that some of the founding fathers studied Native American govts, which may have had some influence on how they thought.
     
  10. CynthiaCypher

    CynthiaCypher Well-Known Member

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    What Judeo-Christian philosophy?
     
  11. nazz

    nazz Doubting Thomas

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    maybe they'd react with a double face palm?
     
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  12. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Good post.
     
  13. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Misanthropic Humanist

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    You better be careful, or else the Founding Fathers will rise from their graves and visit untold suffering upon you in the middle of the night. Beware angering the Founding Fathers and their immortal wrath.
     
  14. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    I think many did not want a government controlled by religious belief nor a religion controlled by the government.

    So religion had a big part of it, but it was freedom of belief. I believe the morality of Jesus had a lot of influence, Not so much the authority of the Christian Church.

    You talk of the founding fathers but there were a lot of people in the colonies that had to be convinced that God was on their side. So likely at least the perception of religious support was likely necessary.
     
  15. Sleeppy

    Sleeppy Fatalist. Christian. Pacifist.

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    Where did Deism and Unitarianism originate?
     
  16. FunctionalAtheist

    FunctionalAtheist Hammer of Reason

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    An interesting point is that both houses of congress unanimously ratified the treaty of tripoli which states "as the united states is in no way a christian nation." So to think that the us is founded on christian principles is no less than believing the founding fathers were bold faced liars to a man.
     
  17. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    You may wish to look up the term "non sequitur" and then, perhaps, read de Toqueville's Democracy in America.
     
  18. CynthiaCypher

    CynthiaCypher Well-Known Member

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    France and Poland.
     
  19. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I'm no scholar on this subject, but if I had to guess, I'd guess that perhaps the single most important Christian principle incorporated in the founding of the US was the notion that "all men are equal". That is, so far as I can figure out, that principle, which seems derived at least in some part from Judaism, is closely aligned with Christianity's notion of the equality of all souls before God.
     
  20. FunctionalAtheist

    FunctionalAtheist Hammer of Reason

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    Actually, no such desire can be found in me atm. Perhaps later.
     
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