While the majority of America’s founders were Christians, they weren’t Christian the way most Americans – and especially most American Christians – understand Christianity today. “The majority of the Founders were religious rationalists or Unitarians.” Unitarianism is “a liberal Christian theological movement known for its belief in the unitary nature of God, and for its rejection of the doctrines of the Trinity, original sin, predestination, and of biblical inerrancy.” Of the professed Christians, three were Catholic – THREE – the rest were “raised in the three largest Christian traditions of colonial America—Anglicanism (as in the cases of John Jay, George Washington, and Edward Rutledge), Presbyterianism (Richard Stockton & the Rev. John Witherspoon), and Congregationalism (John Adams and Samuel Adams). Other Protestant groups included Quakers, Lutherans, and Dutch Reformed.
Deism was extremely popular among America’s credited founders. Deism “generally rejects revelation as a source of divine knowledge, and asserts that empirical reason and observation of the natural world are exclusively logical, reliable, and sufficient to determine the existence of a Supreme Being as the creator of the universe.” In his widely read The Age Of Reason, hard core deist Thomas Payne called Christianity “a fable” and denied “that the Almighty ever did communicate anything to man, by…speech,…language, or…vision.” Payne called his version of a deity “Nature’s God” – an idea that also features in the Declaration of Independence.
Deism was a progressive approach to God whereas more fundamentalist Christianity – like the kind Evangelicals practice – was both regressive and contrary to what the overwhelming majority of America’s founders had in mind when they imagined this country and its Constitution. The last thing on earth any of America’s founders would have anticipated – or wanted – is a Supreme Court of the Unites States being composed mostly of Catholics hell bent on shoving their Catholicism down America’s throat.
“Pastors and other writers who identify themselves as Evangelicals have claimed not only that most of the Founders held orthodox beliefs but also that some were born-again Christians.” This is categorically untrue and no matter how many times it gets repeated, it will never be true. That foolish, ignorant people accept it as true – that’s a problem. It’s the triumph of bullshit over truth and that can’t do anyone any good at the end of the day.
Or at the end of times.