A lot of Christians like to say that America is a Christian nation, or that it was built on Christian values. That’s just a tad simplistic. America owes a lot more of it’s cultural debts to the secularists and other freethinkers, those who embodied Enlightenment thinking. Thomas Jefferson, e.g., author of the Declaration of Independence, was a deist (that is, he vaguely believed in some creator, but not the Christian god who intervened in the world and answered prayers). He did not believe in the miracles of the Bible, and was very critical of organized religion. He also crafted Virginia’s freedom of religion act, which the separation of the church and state of the nation was based upon. It’s ironic, but a guy like Jefferson could never be called a “Christian” today by most conservatives, and never chosen as a Republican presidential nominee, despite that conservative Repubicans never fail to evoke his name whenever it fits their agenda.
Categories: Daniel Turner