26 September 2011

More On America's Christian Founding

In what are often transparent attempts to serve certain agendas, a number of historians and bloggers have tried to discredit the idea that the American Republic had a Judeo-Christian founding. Denying empirical evidence before their very eyes, creating straw men, and tossing out red herrings, these folks spread misinformation that, thus far, has really failed to gain much traction in the broader culture; though I would have to imagine that the notion is rather popular in many faculty lounges. A reader recently shared a link to an article which very succinctly dissects the straw men and red herrings and balances the whole topic with clarity and facts. Here's a couple of excerpts to whet your appetite:

Did America have a Christian Founding? Two popular answers to this query—“Of course not!” and “Absolutely!”—both distort the Founders’ views. There is in fact a great deal of evidence that America’s Founders were influenced by Christian ideas, and there are many ways in which the Founders’ views might inform contemporary political and legal controversies.

And the author makes the following observation, which is the same conclusion to which I came many years ago:

A final possibility is that the Founders were influenced by Christian ideas. Scholars have spent a great amount of time attempting to discern influence. Book after book has been written about whether the Founders were most influenced by *Lockean liberalism, classical republicanism, the Scottish Enlightenment, etc. I believe that this is the most reasonable way to approach the question “Did America have a Christian Founding?” In doing so, it is important to note that nominal Christians might be influenced by Christian ideas, just as it is possible for an orthodox Christian to be influenced by non-Christian ideas. I believe that an excellent case can be made that Christianity had a profound influence on the Founders.

Of course, this historian's article won't end the debate (and I don't necessarily agree with every point), but hopefully it will enlighten readers and clarify some of the opposing thoughts on the topic. Highly recommended.

*This would also be correctly defined as "classical" liberalism, though some have made the absolutely ridiculous and embarrassingly misinformed comparison to modern liberalism in America; which is better classified as socialism or leftist ideology. 


Thomas said...

Actually I really do think this closes the debate.
Facts are pesky little things that won't go away. The author gives plenty of evidence in that endeavor. This of course won't stop the whining and the moaning of the deconstructionists with their social(ist) agenda and indoctrination. Facts mean nothing to them and to debate you must use reason. I have yet to logically see a reasoned rebuttal to the easily recognized reality that, indeed, it was a "Judeo-Christian Founding".
I'm not big on organized religion but every time Occam's Razor or the scales of Justia are used in this debate, the evidence of a Judeo-Christian Founding is overwhelming.
To me, for a person to state otherwise it's comparable to say "The Soviet Union was not founded on 'The Communist Manifesto', 'Das Kapital' or the 'Hegelian Dialectic'."
As Sgt. Joe Friday used to say "Just the facts m'am."

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thomas - I would agree. The evidence is so overwhelming, its really beyond any debate. BTW, why are most government offices closed on Sunday?


Thomas said...

No work on Sunday, especially for bureaucrats?
I'm going to go out on a limb and say "Because this Nation was founded (or "socially constructed") on Judeo-Christian principals, concepts, beliefs, and *ahem* values, dating back to our common English colonial experience.
I hope that wasn't too long winded.