Faith of the Founders 

Christianity and the Founding of Our Republic 

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            Was America founded on Christian principles?  Not according to some modern writers.  For example, one person writes that “the men responsible for building the foundation of the United States had little use for Christianity, and many were strongly opposed to it….They were Deists who did not believe the bible was true.”1 The writer then supports his position with a list of “anti-Christian” quotations from the Founders.  Our conclusions about the Founders’ beliefs, however, must not be based merely on a list of their quotations.  Such analyses – although common – are superficial at best; isolated quotations cannot give us a full picture of the Founders’ beliefs.

            Rather, we should determine the Founders’ overall worldviews.  One’s worldview shapes everything he does, so if the Founding Fathers’ worldviews were Christian, the country they founded was founded on Christian principles. We should therefore trace the development of their worldviews by looking at the political theorists who influenced them and by analyzing the founding documents they penned. After we this, we may carefully examine their private correspondence for reflections of that worldview.   We will then see that America was indeed founded on Christian principles.

            First we should consider what we mean by the term, “Founding Fathers.”  A strict definition would include only the fifty-five delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention.  This definition, however, excludes men such as Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, and John Adams – men critical to the founding of our nation.  To determine if America was founded on Christian principles, our definition of “Founding Fathers” must include all the men who directly impacted the founding of American government.  We will look at the worldviews of not only the signers of the Constitution, but also the signers of the Declaration of Independence, state constitutions, and other founding documents.

           We will first trace the formation of the Founders' worldviews.  

Next section:   Influences on the Founding Fathers