Essay on God's Nation

Essay on God's Nation

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God's Nation
The United States of America has long been known as a pious country with references to God in phrases such as "In God We Trust" and "One nation under God." Many evangelicals consider these clichés to be affirmations that the United States was founded on Christian ideals. Some historians and scholars also debate that America's Founding Fathers' underlying reason for the First Amendment's notion of separation of church and state was to prevent their new nation from becoming a puppet of a church, as was the case of the Anglican Church in England. What many people do not know is that a great majority of the Founders were not practicing Christians, but followed much more freethinking philosophical schools. Many liberal Enlightenment ideals and free thought were actually the true ideologies of America's Founding Fathers, not Christianity.
At the time of the American Revolution, which happened towards the end of the Enlightenment, many new philosophies questioned or challenged the dogma of the Christian Church. One very common philosophy that many of the Founding Fathers considered themselves subscribers to was Deism. Deism is considered a natural religion that does not altogether deny the existence of God, but argues against divinity and supernaturalism. Deists believe that their belief in God should only be founded in nature and reason. Many of the Founding Fathers including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, and James Madison all considered themselves Deists to some degree (Haught, 77-101). Some on the religious right have for years tried to dispel this truth with varying degrees of success.
One Founding Father and primary author of the Constitution, James Madison, was a s...


... middle of paper ...


... to be. The founding of our country had its roots in Enlightenment ideals which emphasized reason instead of faith. Political and religious institutions in the past decade have sought to align themselves with government powers in order to bring a moral authority to government affairs. Until these institutions realize and accept the true facts about America's founding, they will be destined to repeat the ceaseless strife on our own shores.


Works Cited
Haught, James A. 2000 Years of Disbelief. Prometheus Books, 1996.
Robertson, Pat. "Restore America to its Jeffersonian Ideals." PatRobertson.com. 3 March 2000.

Walker, Jim. "Little-Known U.S. Document Signed by President Adams Proclaims America's Government Is Secular." The Early America Review. Summer 1997. 23 Oct. 2005
Walker, Jim. "Thomas Jefferson on Christianity and Religion." NoBeliefs.com. 30 Oct. 2005

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