Originally Posted by rootb33r
Edison was also an atheist. As were most of the founding fathers.
You sure about that?
I found a very unbiased article that I thought was a good read.
So, were the Founding Fathers Christians?
They were certainly godly men who believed in a supreme being, but not everyone would subscribe to the Apostles' Creed.
Three things do seem clear to me:
First, we must always check our sources before making any claim--or passing one on.
Both revisionists and the religious right have tried to make the Founding Fathers fit their ideology. It gives neither side of the debate any credibility when quotes are found to be ficticious or grossly out of context.
For instance, I've seen articles proclaiming that Jefferson claimed to be "a real Christian" while conveniently avoiding his opinion that belief in Christ's divinity was "dung" (see contexts above).
Second, we must be careful with labels, especially "Christian."
One author claims that 51 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence held a "Christian worldview." He doesn't go on, however, to define what he means by Christian worldview. Would Jefferson and Franklin, who admired Christ's teachings, be included in the 51?
And third, we should be grateful that the Founding Fathers--whatever they believed--were so intent on making religious liberty a right for those of us who do subscribe to the Apostles' Creed and those who don't.
Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity in exclusion of all other religions may establish, with the same ease, any particular sect of Christians in exclusion of all other sects? That the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute threepence only of his property for the support of any one establishment may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?
Here is something else I thought was interesting.