founding faith providence politics and the birth of religious freedom in america

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Founding Faith

Author : Steven Waldman
ISBN : 9781588366740
Genre : Religion
File Size : 33. 49 MB
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The culture wars have distorted the dramatic story of how Americans came to worship freely. Many activists on the right maintain that the United States was founded as a “Christian nation.” Many on the left contend that the Founders were secular or Deist and that the First Amendment was designed to boldly separate church and state throughout the land. None of these claims are true, argues Beliefnet.com editor in chief Steven Waldman. With refreshing objectivity, Waldman narrates the real story of how our nation’s Founders forged a new approach to religious liberty, a revolutionary formula that promoted faith . . . by leaving it alone. 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. As the drama unfolds, Founding Faith vividly describes the religious development of five Founders. Benjamin Franklin melded the morality-focused Puritan theology of his youth and the reason-based Enlightenment philosophy of his adulthood. John Adams’s pungent views on religion–hatred of the Church of England and Roman Catholics–stoked his revolutionary fervor and shaped his political strategy. George Washington came to view religious tolerance as a military necessity. Thomas Jefferson pursued a dramatic quest to “rescue” Jesus, in part by editing the Bible. Finally, it was James Madison–the tactical leader of the battle for religious freedom–who crafted an integrated vision of how to prevent tyranny while encouraging religious vibrancy. The spiritual custody battle over the Founding Fathers and the role of religion in America continues today. Waldman provocatively argues that neither side in the culture war has accurately depicted the true origins of the First Amendment. He sets the record straight, revealing the real history of religious freedom to be dramatic, unexpected, paradoxical, and inspiring. An interactive library of the key writings by the Founding Father, on separation of church and state, personal faith, and religious liberty can be found at www.beliefnet.com/foundingfaith.

Christianity And The Constitution

Author : John Eidsmoe
ISBN : 0801052319
Genre : Religion
File Size : 71. 73 MB
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Using the writings of the founders and records of their conversations and activities, John Eidsmoe demonstrates the influence of Christianity on the political convictions of the founding fathers.

Endowed By Our Creator

Author : Michael I. Meyerson
ISBN : 9780300183498
Genre : Law
File Size : 84. 55 MB
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The debate over the framers' concept of freedom of religion has become heated and divisive. This scrupulously researched book sets aside the half-truths, omissions, and partisan arguments, and instead focuses on the actual writings and actions of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and others. Legal scholar Michael I. Meyerson investigates how the framers of the Constitution envisioned religious freedom and how they intended it to operate in the new republic. Endowed by Our Creator shows that the framers understood that the American government should not acknowledge religion in a way that favors any particular creed or denomination. Nevertheless, the framers believed that religion could instill virtue and help to unify a diverse nation. They created a spiritual public vocabulary, one that could communicate to all—including agnostics and atheists—that they were valued members of the political community. Through their writings and their decisions, the framers affirmed that respect for religious differences is a fundamental American value, Meyerson concludes. Now it is for us to determine whether religion will be used to alienate and divide or to inspire and unify our religiously diverse nation.

God And America S Leaders

Author : Brad O'Leary
ISBN : 1935071262
Genre : History
File Size : 62. 17 MB
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Were our Founding Fathers men of faith? This book puts the argument to rest ONCE AND FOR ALL. God and America's Leaders is an all-encompassing and expertly sourced collection of quotations by our Founding Fathers and past Presidents on matters of God and religion. Compiled by bestselling author and top political strategist Brad O'Leary, this invaluable resource leaves no doubt as to the religious nature of America's Founders. The words in this book should serve as intellectual and historical ammunition to document and defend America's Judeo Christian heritage, writes O'Leary in the Foreward. Though secular-humanist forces may try to expunge God from our daily lives, they can never rewrite history. Amen!

Founding Faith

Author : Steven Waldman
ISBN : 9780812974744
Genre : Religion
File Size : 20. 19 MB
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The co-founder of Beliefnet.com traces the origins and history of religious freedom in America, looking at the role of religion in the early republic, the ways religion promoted the American Revolution, the separation of church and state, and how the religious beliefs of the Founding Fathers affected the battle for religious freedom. Reprint.

Was America Founded As A Christian Nation Revised Edition

Author : John Fea
ISBN : 9781611646931
Genre : History
File Size : 74. 66 MB
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John Fea offers a thoroughly researched, evenhanded primer on whether America was founded to be a Christian nation, as many evangelicals assert, or a secular state, as others contend. He approaches the title's question from a historical perspective, helping readers see past the emotional rhetoric of today to the recorded facts of our past. This updated edition reports on the many issues that have arisen in recent years concerning religion's place in American society—including the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, contraception and the Affordable Care Act, and state-level restrictions on abortion—and demonstrates how they lead us to the question of whether the United States was or is a Christian nation. Fea relates the history of these and other developments, pointing to the underlying questions of national religious identity inherent in each. "We live in a sound-bite culture that makes it difficult to have any sustained dialogue on these historical issues," Fea writes in his preface. "It is easy for those who argue that America is a Christian nation (and those who do not) to appear on radio or television programs, quote from one of the founders or one of the nation's founding documents, and sway people to their positions. These kinds of arguments, which can often be contentious, do nothing to help us unravel a very complicated historical puzzle about the relationship between Christianity and America's founding."

Forged In Faith

Author : Rod Gragg
ISBN : 1439166927
Genre : History
File Size : 52. 9 MB
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This fascinating history, based on meticulous research into the correspondence and documentation of the founding fathers leading up to and encompassing the crafting of the Declaration of Independence, sheds light on how the Judeo-Christian worldview motivated America’s founding fathers, influenced national independence, inspired our foundational documents, and established the American nation. Written with the pacing and drama of an enticing drama, Forged in Faith is crafted for popular appeal with a compelling mix of dramatized story and action-driven narrative, yet with the authenticity and academic verity of historian Rod Gragg.

The Founding Fathers And The Place Of Religion In America

Author : Frank Lambert
ISBN : 1400825539
Genre : History
File Size : 72. 11 MB
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How did the United States, founded as colonies with explicitly religious aspirations, come to be the first modern state whose commitment to the separation of church and state was reflected in its constitution? Frank Lambert explains why this happened, offering in the process a synthesis of American history from the first British arrivals through Thomas Jefferson's controversial presidency. Lambert recognizes that two sets of spiritual fathers defined the place of religion in early America: what Lambert calls the Planting Fathers, who brought Old World ideas and dreams of building a "City upon a Hill," and the Founding Fathers, who determined the constitutional arrangement of religion in the new republic. While the former proselytized the "one true faith," the latter emphasized religious freedom over religious purity. Lambert locates this shift in the mid-eighteenth century. In the wake of evangelical revival, immigration by new dissenters, and population expansion, there emerged a marketplace of religion characterized by sectarian competition, pluralism, and widened choice. During the American Revolution, dissenters found sympathetic lawmakers who favored separating church and state, and the free marketplace of religion gained legal status as the Founders began the daunting task of uniting thirteen disparate colonies. To avoid discord in an increasingly pluralistic and contentious society, the Founders left the religious arena free of government intervention save for the guarantee of free exercise for all. Religious people and groups were also free to seek political influence, ensuring that religion's place in America would always be a contested one, but never a state-regulated one. An engaging and highly readable account of early American history, this book shows how religious freedom came to be recognized not merely as toleration of dissent but as a natural right to be enjoyed by all Americans.

Roger Williams And The Creation Of The American Soul

Author : John M. Barry
ISBN : 9780143122883
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 71. 68 MB
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A revelatory analysis of the 17th-century theologian's integral role in shaping early America's religion, political power and individual rights places his story against a backdrop of Puritanism and the English Civil War while providing coverage of such subjects as Edward Coke and the evolving debate on the separation of church and state. By the award-winning author of Rising Tide.

The Founding Fathers And The Debate Over Religion In Revolutionary America

Author : Matthew Harris
ISBN : 9780195326499
Genre : History
File Size : 28. 22 MB
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Whether America was founded as a Christian nation or as a secular republic is one of the most fiercely debated questions in American history. Historians Matthew Harris and Thomas Kidd offer an authoritative examination of the essential documents needed to understand this debate. The texts included in this volume - writings and speeches from both well-known and obscure early American thinkers - show that religion played a prominent yet fractious role in the era of the American Revolution. In their personal beliefs, the Founders ranged from profound skeptics like Thomas Paine to traditional Christians like Patrick Henry. Nevertheless, most of the Founding Fathers rallied around certain crucial religious principles, including the idea that people were "created" equal, the belief that religious freedom required the disestablishment of state-backed denominations, the necessity of virtue in a republic, and the role of Providence in guiding the affairs of nations. Harris and Kidd show that through the struggles of war and the framing of the Constitution, Americans sought to reconcile their dedication to religious vitality with their commitment to religious freedom.

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