There are some who simply can't seem to let historical facts speak for themselves. While some aspects of our history remain (and probably always will) open to interpretation, others are quite evident and beyond debate. On 4 June 1998, the Library of Congress opened an exhibition titled, Religion and the Founding of the American Republic. Ironically enough (at least to some), the exhibit opened in the Library's Thomas Jefferson Building. The curator of the exhibition was (is?) James H. Hutson, who is also the author of a companion text by the same title. The following is taken from Dr. Hutson's preface. The bracketed comments are mine:
The overall picture that emerges from the exhibition will not surprise students of the Founding period. [If only that part were true]. George Washington proclaimed in his Farewell Address in 1796 that religion [Which religion would you suppose Washington was speaking of?], as the source of morality, was "a necessary spring of popular government." Tocqueville observed in 1835 in Democracy in America that Americans believed religion to be "indispensable to the maintenance of republican government," and to the flourishing of the unique civil society that--somewhat to his surprise-- was making democracy work in a large country. How, or if, religion was to be encouraged by the state and whether the health of religion was to be left entirely to private endeavors were difficult questions which confronted the Founders, and which the present exhibition seeks to explore.Viewers may be surprised by the evidence presented in the exhibition of the extent to which federal facilities were placed at the disposal of religion after the Founders moved the government to Washington in 1800. Based on extensive research, the curator has stated, with what appears to be ample justification, that on Sundays during the first years in Washington "the state became the church." Perhaps more surprising still is the enthusiasm with which Thomas Jefferson supported this development. (Emphasis mine)
This text, and the exhibit, is not the ranting of Glenn Beck or some Tea Party spokesman (nor is it the ludicrous raving of an ACLU attorney or a leftist academic). This is the Library of Congress. For "scholars" and pseudo-historians to suggest that the Founders did not intend to build a constitutional republic supported by Judeo-Christian principles is so outrageous as to be embarrassing. It reveals either a gross ignorance and misunderstanding of the easily accessible facts or a deliberate attempt to rewrite history.