Thursday, June 13, 2013

Freedom from religion

The framers of the Constitution considered having an 'official' religion as had been the practice under British rule. The reason for this was that their ancestors had lived through the English civil war over religion. That was why almost to a man they were 'deists' who 'believed' that God created the universe and abstained from that point on. Really they were atheists, they just wanted to avoid being burned at the stake for witchcraft.

They decided upon the First Amendment on the faulty theory that the religious fanatics would remain confined to their tiny colonies. They couldn't envision the TV Evangelist.


Ronmac said...

Yeah but there already is an official state religion. It's called the "free market." It may not have any televangelists but it has something far worse. They're called economists.

Anonymous said...

Lambert (2003) has examined the religious affiliations and beliefs of the Founders. Of the 55 delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, 49 were Protestants, and two were Roman Catholics (D. Carroll, and Fitzsimons). Among the Protestant delegates to the Constitutional Convention, 28 were Church of England (or Episcopalian, after the American Revolutionary War was won), eight were Presbyterians, seven were Congregationalists, two were Lutherans, two were Dutch Reformed, and two were Methodists.

A few prominent Founding Fathers were anti-clerical Christians, such as Thomas Jefferson[19][20][21] (who created the so-called "Jefferson Bible") and Benjamin Franklin.[22] Others (most notably Thomas Paine) were deists, or at least held beliefs very similar to those of deists.[23]

prairie2 said...

It's not so easy to establish Religious affiliation from the period. Politicians belong to churches, that doesn't make them 'believers'. Washington belonged to a church but never once set foot in it.