Church and State

Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Category archives for Church and State

Robert Dale Owen on Romans 13

Folks interested in freethinking heritage may enjoy this. This is perhaps the first notable example of a freethinker using the revolution/Romans 13 argument, claiming the Founding for anti-biblical principles. Plenty of devout Christians during the American Founding thought the revolution sinfully broke Romans 13. And for that and other reasons they remained loyalists. As he…

Will “History” Ever End?

Writing in TNR, Mark Lilla informs that intellectuals in China seem genuinely interested in the theories of Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss. I know more about Strauss than Schmitt. My admiration for the Straussians must be strange. I don’t agree with the Straussian neo-conservatism that wants war abroad and religious conservatism at home. Yet, I…

Peter Lillback and the power of Glenn Beck

I got Peter Lillback’s George Washington’s Sacred Fire (that argues Washington an “orthodox Trinitarian Christian”) when it came out in 2006 and began blogging about it. I don’t know the exact numbers of its original run; I seem to remember it doing well with the “Christian America” crowd (WorldNetDaily et al.). Yet, I never saw…

Gouverneur Morris’ Sex Life

It was the most interesting of the Founders. I’m hoping that caught your attention. Ed and I have both linked to Dr. Gregg Frazer’s excellent paper he presented at the APSA 2008 Annual Meeting, Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts, entitled “Gouverneur Morris, Theistic Rationalist.” You should read the entire paper. You can read Ed’s post…

Richard Price

Richard Price, whom most folks have never of, profoundly influenced the American Founding. We blogged about him at American Creation here, here, here and here. His theology, along with Joseph Priestley’s, illustrates the kind of “Christianity” that disproportionately appealed to the Founding Fathers. I put Christianity in quotation marks because Price was a Unitarian of…

Ben Franklin v. Thomas Paine

Ben Franklin is one of those Founders most likely to be thought of as a “deist.” Now, perhaps that term, in some sense, describes Franklin’s creed, but not in the same sense that it describes Thomas Paine’s. At American Creation Tom Van Dyke has a good post on why Franklin was not a “deist” as…

Jefferson, Notes on the State of VA

You can access Thomas Jefferson’s book, Notes on the State of Virginia, here. In discussing rights and God, my co-blogger at American Creation Tom Van Dyke has repeatedly mentioned on these comment threads one of Jefferson’s passages from that book which you can read in context here. The following is the relevant passage from Jefferson’s…

More on Rights & God

I am happy with the discussion generated by my first post on rights and God. Here is some more food for thought. I think the Acton Institute does a credible job arguing a good scholarly case that religion or Christianity is necessary for human rights. I saw their special “The Birth of Freedom” at its…

Before his son Philip died in in 1801, Hamilton was, for all the years he did his work “Founding” America, like the other key Founders, a theistic rationalist. Douglass Adair and Marvin Harvey wrote an excellent article in the William & Mary Quarterly in 1955 entitled Was Alexander Hamilton a Christian Statesman? Adair and Harvey…

Liberty & God

America’s Founders believed political liberty derived from an unalienable — that is God given — natural right to liberty. The ones most notable for articulating this theory were not orthodox Trinitarian Christians who believed the Bible the infallible Word of God. And the Bible itself, from a strict literal interpretation, is entirely unconcerned with political…