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Anti-Christian sentiments of American founding fathers

Greetings all. I happened upon a discussion on facebook (shitty site, I know) which contained some interesting quotations supposedly uttered by some of the pivotal creators of the USA. Here is the text in its entirety.

""america is a christian nation. you can just go to our founding fathers' documents" - sarah palin


hm. if i was as dumb as a typical fox news watcher i might believe that. but lets see what those founding fathers said.


"Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise"

"The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries."
- james madison

hm. maybe he's the minority. lets keep looking.

"As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?"

"God is an essence that we know nothing of. Until this awful blasphemy is got rid of, there will never be any liberal science in the world."

"This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it."
- John Adams


surely something's wrong here. lets keep looking.

"Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause. Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by the difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be depreciated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society."
-george washington

"Lighthouses are more helpful than churches."

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."
- Ben franklin

can't get more clearer than thomas jefferson.

"On the dogmas of religion, as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind."

"It is not to be understood that I am with him (Jesus Christ) in all his doctrines. I am a Materialist; he takes the side of Spiritualism, he preaches the efficacy of repentance toward forgiveness of sin; I require a counterpoise of good works to redeem it."

"I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature."

"Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the Common Law."
- Thomas Jefferson


"Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst."

"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church. Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all."
- Tomas Paine"

What are everyone's thoughts? Are any of these real? I know for a fact Washington and Hamilton didn't go to church regularly (if at all) but I've never heard of most of these quotations. If they are true, then it's certainly a kick in the nuts of the religious "right" Republican party (when in reality they're as moronic as the Democrats). Any feedback is much appreciated.

I couldn't find the word "God" anywhere in the constitution, but then there's this:

Quote from: Declaration of Independence
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights...

...We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies...

...And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Sounds christian to me. Maybe they were just speaking the language that the readers of this document would know?

Several of the founding fathers were freemasons, an organization which claims a belief in a supreme being, and may be affiliated with or even originated from the knight's templar, a christian organization and part of the catholic church.


I don't like Palin either, but it's apparent that the u.s. was founded on new testament principles, even if they held the church in disdain.

These are the same guys who were into democracy and egalitarianism, so anything they said should be taken with a grain of salt (to say the least).

Never compare our modern version of democracy and freedom to that of the first Americans.  When t hey said freedom, they meant doing things for yourself and standing or falling on your own, rather than the modern meaning of having all your privilages constantly protected by the government and having all the difficulties of life out-sourced to other indivivduals who are paid to carry your load. 

Perhaps the bill of rights is the birth of this ugliness in the modern meaning, though well intentioned.

I haven't heard the majority of those quotes, but I have heard that many of the founders were Deists. It doesn't surprise me to read Ben Franklin in particular criticizing the Church. I have heard that he participated in Satanic cults whose rituals featured orgies. (Perhaps he would've been into metal?)

I haven't heard the majority of those quotes, but I have heard that many of the founders were Deists. It doesn't surprise me to read Ben Franklin in particular criticizing the Church. I have heard that he participated in Satanic cults whose rituals featured orgies. (Perhaps he would've been into metal?)

In those day Deism was just atheism in disguise which you wore so you won't get ostracised by the mob. So throw out a few vague sentances relating to "god" and keep going about your business.

Why does any of it matter?

Why does any of it matter?

It doesn't, really. This is like when we play Nietzsche Says on this forum. It doesn't matter every detail of what they thought, just that the people in question had some good ideas.

Most truth-seeking men of intelligence tend to eschew dogmatic religious practice - but many don't quite make that leap to total atheism for a variety of reasons(especially in the 18th century, etc.). Ben Franklin was clearly among them - in "Poor Richard's Almanack" he writes a chapter called, "On Virtue, Vice, God, and Faith," that lays out his essentially "deist" ideals pretty clearly, makes reference to Jesus, but seems to steer clear of explcitly Christian dogma altogether.

The so-called "Founding Fathers" were an interesting assortment of men who possessed many beliefs, spiritual and political - sometimes they clashed(think Patrick Henry, Paine, etc.) and sometimes they were in lockstep. Not all that different from today, I suppose.   

Looks like most of these are context-removed:

"This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it."- John Adams

http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/quotations.html

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."
- Ben Franklin

The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason: the morning daylight appears plainer when you put out your candle. ~ Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1758, Chapter "On Virtue, Vice, God, And Faith"

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Faith

Looks like most of these are context-removed

not to wax fanatical, but it is interesting to me how revisionist history has transformed all of our most revered figures into godless pederasts.  discounting any seedy agenda for a moment, what's the cause of this?  we are told that upon closer inspection the figures of history aren't all they are cracked up to be, but isn't that true of any human being examined with a fine-tooth comb?  perhaps in a number of cases we are experiencing the reverse of what happened when the whole of history was supposedly filtered through a white-skinned lens: information is being deliberately distorted to present an alternate history.  call it a way of turning the tables.  the internet has certainly lent a hand to this in recent years with its obsessive devotion to increasingly streamlined data, data streamlined to the point of removing all substance and fact.  call it the twitter syndrome if you will.  it's one of the reasons I think the short-form version of anus reviews is a horrid idea.

just an observation

Is this a christian message board now?

Is this a christian message board now?

No, but I think it's made an important revelation:

Liberalism works by throwing out the past and replacing it with plastic.

A better solution is to take the best of the past and strengthen that, then use it to beat away the rest.

And of equal importance -- idiots will destroy any dogma. The problem may not be the ideology, but the idiots.

We have to remember that people coming to the New World were often doing so for religious liberty.  As such, it is of no surprise that many of America's Founding Fathers were skeptical of or bitter towards religious institutions.  However, this does not equate to anti-christianity.  Of the people mentioned, I believe Paine is the only one who could qualify as an atheist, although Jefferson was a naturalist.  Other than that, it would appear the others were at the very least "spiritual."

idiots will destroy any dogma.
So too genii.

It is interesting what you say about liberalism - I would describe christianity using those exact same words.