Misrepresenting the Founding Fathers

In United States the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was written by two Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, in 1779 and was passed by the Virginia General Assembly into law. The statute declared that the imposition of religion by government officials is impious. In the statue Jefferson also argued that the imposition of anything on a human mind is wrong and what a person thinks is no business of the government.

Jefferson was able to pass this statute at the Federal level, but various states had religious tests and established churches for a long time, but eventually they too saw the light and fell in line with the point of view of Madison and Jefferson. According to Garry Wills, historian and Professor of History Emeritus at Northwestern University, the Founding Fathers were deists who believed in creation, providence and after life. They did not believe that Jesus was divine and you could get things by praying for them

United States was not created as a Christian nation and when it was launched did not have an official cult or official religion.  In fact that was the only new thing in the American Constitution since federalism, independent judiciary, bicameral legislature, and tripartite administration existed either in theory or practice. In England the King was the head of Church as well as the State, but United States had the separation of Church and State from the beginning and that was unprecedented for those times. Recently when the Dalai Lama was asked what he would do if he got control over Tibet he replied that he would enforce the separation of Church and State the American way.

Pandering to the Christian Right, Presidential candidate Sen. John McCain recently stated that United States was a Christian Nation. Looks like Sen. McCain needs to enroll for basic American history courses or read Head and Heart: American Christianities.

See Also: What Christian Nation?