You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. Jon Rowe continues to believe the distortion of five people whose beliefs are to be the only beliefs the two hundred-fifty Founding Fathers of the United States had, as well as being the only relevant view. Initially, this sounds incredible, but people actually believe this doctrine, neglecting the will of the most important framers, the men who ratified the founding documents. The views of James Madison:
He believed, as he repeatedly affirmed, that the meaning of a statute must be sought in the intentions of those who ratified it, not of those who drafted it--in the case of the First Amendment in the minds of the members of the state legislatures, not of the members of the First Federal Congress.James Hutson-Library of Congresshttp://www.loc.gov/loc/madison/hutson-paper.htm
Doesn't common sense say the "key founders" should be the people who ratify a doctrine, the Constitution, etc? Is James Madison correct or no?
the chief architect of the Constitution (Madison)>>
Explain how is Madison the chief architect? He isn't.
the author of the Declaration (Jefferson)>>
Jefferson wrote the rough draft, the principles of which were already known by Congress according to John Adams. Explain how and why Jefferson is the author? He isn't.
and the majority of the drafting board of the Declaration (Adams, Franklin, and Jefferson).>>
Jefferson called himself a Christian, where is the evidence he believed God was every religions god? Adams was a Christian while forming the nation:
But still I dread the Consequences...of my Honour, my Conscience, my Friends, my Country, my God, as the Scriptures inform us must be punished with nothing less than Hell Fire, eternal Torment. And this is so unequal a Price to pay for the Honours and Emoluments in the Power of a Minister or Governor, that I cannot prevail upon myself to think of it. The Duration of future Punishment terrifies me. If I could but deceive myself so far as to think Eternity a Moment only, I could comply, and be promoted.
Gregg Frazer adds Hamilton, Wilson, and G. Morris as theistic rationalists.>>
It seems the poster agrees with Frazer but what do these people have to say about the label? Alexander Hamilton was not a theistic rationalist! (emphasis added)
Alexander Hamilton wrote most likely in 1790-94 after the French Revolution: Opinions, for along time, have been gradually gaining ground, which threatens the foundations of religion, morality and society. An attack was first made upon the Christian revelation; for which natural religion was offered as the substitute. The Gospel was to be discarded as a gross imposture; but the being and attributes of a GOD, the obligations of piety, even the doctrine of a future state of rewards and punishments were to be retained and cherished.
I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man.
He posts no references regarding Wilson and Morris.
But what does it then say that when Washington, Madison, G. Morris, Hamilton, and Wilson talked about God, they purposefully did so in such a vague and generic way that you couldn’t distinguish their creed from either the orthodox Christians’ or the theistic rationalists’ like Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin?>>
The Born Again Christian framers spoke in those terms, all of them did.
and when it was widely known that many in elite Whig circles secretly trafficked in “infidel principles.”]>>
References please, for all the states.
Their systematic generic way of speaking about God certainly does nothing to forward the “Christian Nation” thesis as posited by Barton, Federer, and Kennedy.>>
It does if the born again Christians used the same terms. It shows that is the way they referred to God, no matter how they believed. The evidence is some of the terms are definitely biblical.
Regarding what the 200 and some odd Founding Fathers believed in as a whole, whether orthodox Christians or theistic rationalists constituted a statistical majority of the Founders is unknown>>
An absolute marvel! Consider what the ratifiers of the first amendment believed about religion:
Constitution of the State of North Carolina (1776), stated: There shall be no establishment of any one religious church or denomination in this State in preference to any other. Article XXXII That no person who shall deny the being of God, or the truth of the Protestant religion, or the divine authority of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding any office or place of trust or profit in the civil department within this State. (until 1876)
In 1835 the word “Protestant” was changed to “Christian.” [p.482]
Constitution of the State of Maryland (August 14, 1776), stated: Article XXXV That no other test or qualification ought to be required, on admission to any office of trust or profit, than such oath of support and fidelity to this State and such oath of office, as shall be directed by this Convention, or the Legislature of this State, and a declaration of a belief in the Christian religion.” That, as it is the duty of every man to worship God is such a manner as he thinks most acceptable to him; all persons professing the Christian religion, are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty; wherefore no person ought by any law to be molested… on account of his religious practice; unless, under the color [pretense] of religion, any man shall disturb the good order, peace or safety of the State, or shall infringe the laws of morality… yet the Legislature may, in their discretion, lay a general and equal tax, for the support of the Christian religion. (until 1851) [pp.420-421]
The Constitution of the State of Massachusetts (1780) stated: The Governor shall be chosen annually; and no person shall be eligible to this office, unless, at the time of his election… he shall declare himself to be of the Christian religion. Chapter VI, Article I [All persons elected to State office or to the Legislature must] make and subscribe the following declaration, viz. “I, _______, do declare, that I believe the Christian religion, and have firm persuasion of its truth.” Part I, Article III And every denomination of Christians, demeaning themselves peaceably, and as good subjects of the commonwealth, shall be equally under the protection of the law: and no subordination of any sect or denomination to another shall ever be established by law.” [p.429]
Constitution of the State of Vermont (1786), stated: Frame of Government, Section 9. And each member [of the Legislature], before he takes his seat, shall make and subscribe the following declaration, viz: “I do believe in one God, the Creator and Governor of the universe, the rewarder of the good and punisher of the wicked. And I do acknowledge the Scripture of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration, and own and profess the [Christian] religion. And no further or other religious test shall ever, hereafter, be required of any civil officer or magistrate in this State.” [p.623]
The Constitution of the State of Connecticut (until 1818), contained the wording: The People of this State… by the Providence of God… hath the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves as a free, sovereign, and independent State… and forasmuch as the free fruition of such liberties and privileges as humanity, civility, and Christianity call for, as is due to every man in his place and proportion… hath ever been, and will be the tranquility and stability of Churches and Commonwealth; and the denial thereof, the disturbances, if not the ruin of both. [p.179]
The ratifiers make it clear, the First Amendment granted freedom of conscience but the establishment clause only referred to Christianity.