The letter regarding “Faith and the Politician” (9-30) raised great questions about our founding documents and the writers’ religious beliefs.
The Constitution is the basis for both law and our government’s framework. It was created by men tired of British rule, the European feudal divine right of kings, the state’s abuse of human rights and freedoms and the church’s interference. It is a literal document interpreted many different ways by our high courts, constitutional scholars, professors and U.S. citizens. The Founders’ wisdom was to allow differing interpretations, made possible by the actual document itself.
The word “Creator” in our Declaration is a generic term that can include a Christian God, a Jewish Jehovah, an Islamic Allah or even the Hindu goddess Shiva.
Thomas Jefferson published his own self-edited version of the gospels and wrote that “the church’s meddlings have caused good men to reject the whole in disgust.” George Washington was a Grand Master in the Masonic Lodge and attended church once a month but left by the back door to avoid communion. Benjamin Franklin found dogma “unintelligible” and vowed early on to shun “Christian assemblies.”
John Adams was a Protestant Unitarian. During his term, the Senate ratified a “Treaty of Peace and Friendship with Tripoli” and Article XI stated that “America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”
Misinformation, hearsay and wishful thinking are not factual history, but while our Founders may not all have been practicing Christians, they were far from being “anti-religious.”