Founders Were NOT Deists
Here we go again...yet another attempt at history revisionism. I was pleased, however, to see that you added the word “Commentary” to that diatribe “Experts: Founding fathers not necessarily Christian.” These people were anything but experts.
Their first mistake was drawing the above conclusion based on the fact that the Declaration of Independence was “vague” in references to God. I don’t believe “Nature’s God, Creator, Supreme Judge of the Word, and Divine Providence” can possibly be considered vague. In addition, there is no other God than the God of the Bible that these words refer to. If they had done the research they implied they did, they could have examined the documents, quotes, diaries, and decisions, of the founders, framers, courts and contemporaries. Since all of the above adhere to our country’s Christian foundation and propagation of the gospel, they probably felt that it was unnecessary to make the document a Biblical quotation. A trip through their writings, however, make if VERY clear that our Nation was and should always be, a Christian nation.
In fact, they derived our “three forms of government (Executive, Legislative & Judicial)” from Isaiah 33:22. In addition, they drew from Jeremiah 17 to implement the “Separation of Powers” and Ezra 7:24 to grant the church the tax exempt status [501(c)3]. According to the University of Houston, who collected 15,000 writings of the founding fathers (took 10 years), more than 34% of their quotes came right out of their Bibles and 60% came from authors who got their ideas from the Bible.
Their second mistake was referencing the “Treaty of Tripoli”. In it (allegedly) Article 11 states that, “the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion...” Most researchers are now aware that this article is NOT found in the treaty at all. Charles Bevans, who wrote “Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of American 1776-1959” - The U.S. State Department said “ ‘.....not in any sense founded on the Christian religion’, does not exist at all. There is no Article 11. The Arabic text which is between Articles 10 and 12 is in form a letter crude and flamboyant and withal quite unimportant, from the Dey of Algiers to the Pasha of Tripoli. How that script came to be written and to be regarded, as in the Barlow translation, as Article 11 of the treaty as there written, is a mystery and seemingly must remain so. Nothing in the diplomatic correspondence of the time throws any light whatever on the point.” The treaty, as originally written (1797), contains no such quote. Further, since piracy continued even WITH the treaty and America went to war with Tripoli in 1801, a second treaty was drafted (1806) and again...THAT original did not contain the false quote either.
What was REALLY interesting, was that they CHOSE to omit quotes from treaties that DID reference our Christian heritage: American/Great Britain Peace Treaty (“In the name of the Most Holy and Indivisible Trinity”), among others.
Their third mistake was stating that “Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Franklin could pass today for secular humanists.” They had to completely turn a blind eye to the thousands of quotes that came from these men to make a statement like that. Out of the 54 public declarations of denominational affiliations, only one claimed to be a Deist with no adherence to the Christian religion, and that was Franklin. He did, however, attend worship services and was a strong advocate of prayer and the assertion that God governed in the affairs of men.
By today’s standards, in light on the “only on Sunday” standards of many Christians....these guys were saints!