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Founding Fathers, Founding Faith


zeimusu_george_washington.jpgThe one thing about having a “Blog” is the fact you can write about anything that comes to mind. It’s like writing a newspaper editorial but without deadlines plus the added constraints of what will the newspaper advertisers have to say about the topic. “Blogs” are “open air journals” for all to read and decipher.

I was really interested in how many on Fox News approached last weeks National Prayer Day and what President Obama did or didn’t do. Unlike his predecessor, he did not invite evangelicals to the White House for a “really big show” and he played it low key, and if I might add, as he should have.

Both Jefferson and Madison rejected any sort of “National Prayer” and the fact being it wasn’t until Harry Truman, a Democrat, that the national Prayer Day was established.

Last Summer I read an interesting book, Stephen Waldman’s Founding Faith. It delves into the minds of the writers of the Constitution, especially Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, Washington along with Madison, and their thoughts on “separation of church and state.”

To best sum up what Founding Faith reveals is to quote the jacket cover fly page:

“This fast-paced narrative begins with earlier settlers’ stunningly unsuccessful efforts to create a Christian paradise, and concludes with the presidencies of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison, during which the men who had devised lofty principles regarding the proper relationship between church and state struggled to practice what they’d preached. We see how religion helped cause, and fuel, the Revolutionary War, and how the surprising alliance between Enlightenment philosophers such as Jefferson and Madison and evangelical Christians resulted in separation of church and state.”

I must admit to a lot of naivety in the fact that early “America” was so religiously intolerant towards each other and how brutal the punishment was for those who differed from “norm” in each of the colonies run by their individual sects, Pennsylvania Quakers (the most tolerant of “states”), Maryland Catholic, Virginia Anglican, Massachusetts Puritan and so on.

It seems we have reversed the rolls over the last 200 plus years. Early “churchmen” wanted the separation of church and state. They didn’t want politics to influence the church and now we seem to have “churchmen” wanting to have the church influence politics.

Waldman’s book is a good read.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 05/15/2009 8:36 am

    Lonnie, Please see previous posts: Leviticus “Touting” Colorado State Senator Won’t Need His Six Shooter. (2/26/09); A Bible In One Pocket And The Constitution In The Other. (2/28/09); In Your Heart, You Know He’s Right. (3/23/09); Obama, World Leaders And Scripture; The Far Right Should Take A Page out Of Their Own Book. (4/21/09).

  2. 05/15/2009 9:06 am

    I, too, believe Jesus will return. I don’t know when, but if it’s soon, I hope I have front row seats to see Him slap Lonnie upside the head and then instruct him to turn the other cheek.

  3. Sandie Britt permalink
    05/15/2009 9:09 am

    Ugghhh…Lonnie can go jump off a bridge.

    Nice blog, Tristan, as always. Your intelligence never ceases to amaze me 🙂

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