Religious Prespectives of The Founding Fathers Of America.

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posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 11:36 AM
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I thought this would be interesting as these men were not bound to the political ideology of old Europe so why would they be to it's religious dogma's within traditional Christianity. I found it very interesting.

John Adams

Adams was raised a Congregationalist, but ultimately rejected many fundamental doctrines of conventional Christianity, such as the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus, becoming a Unitarian.


Robert Treat Paine

Paine was a Congregationalist and a devout Christian. He worked as a full-time Congregationalist clergyman, among other occupations, prior to signing the Declaration of Independence. Later he left Congregationalism and Calvinism and embraced Unitarianism, which during that era was an alternative denomination within Protestant Christianity. Paine was a firm believer in the divine origin of the Christian religion. He gave full credence to the scriptures, as a revelation from God, designed to instruct mankind in a knowledge of their duty, and to guide them in the way to eternal happiness.


Thomas Jefferson

President Thomas Jefferson was a Protestant. Jefferson was raised as an Episcopalian (Anglican). He was also influenced by English Deists and has often been identified by historians as a Deist. He held many beliefs in common with Unitarians of the time period, and sometimes wrote that he thought the whole country would become Unitarian.

His open mindedness towards other religions or no God is pretty amazing for the era he lived in, a true advocate of individual liberty in all areas.


The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury to my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg


Benjamin Franklin

In general, most Franklin scholars have found him to be quite moderate in his attitude toward religion. Typically, Alfred Owen Aldridge has described Franklin as a confirmed Deist, who, in contrast to more militant Deists like Tom Paine, did not attempt to "wither Christianity by ridicule or bludgeon it to death by argument."


27 were Congregationalists and here is what is said about them


Without higher courts to ensure doctrinal uniformity among the congregations, Congregationalists have been more diverse than other Reformed churches. Despite the efforts of Calvinists to maintain the dominance of their system, some Congregational churches, especially in the older settlements of New England, gradually developed leanings toward Arminianism, Unitarianism, Deism. By the 1750s, several Congregational preachers were teaching the possibility of universal salvation, an issue that caused considerable conflict among its adherents on the one side and hard-line Calvinists and sympathizers of the First Great Awakening on the other. In another strain of change, the first church in the United States with an openly Unitarian theology, the belief in the single personality of God, was established in Boston, Massachusetts in 1785 (in a former Anglican parish.) By 1800, all but one Congregational church in Boston had Unitarian preachers teaching the strict unity of God, the subordinate nature of Christ, and salvation by character. Harvard University, founded by Congregationalists, became a center of Unitarian training.


These independent minded men all of who were Christian had belief systems that generally were more advanced than others that lived during that time period.
edit on 17-1-2013 by Blue_Jay33 because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 12:08 PM
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reply to post by Blue_Jay33
 


I would like to add Thomas Paine:


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. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

- Age of Reason



posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 12:27 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


Paine was a deist, so remarks like that are not surprising.

Heck, Jefferson tried to rewrite the New Testament to fit into his "natural religion" deistic worldview.

But, 250 years on, Christianity is still around, and deists are in pretty short supply, so I guess that was a bit of a dead end out of the Age of Enlightenment.



posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 12:38 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Yes, it's kind of a shame really. In my opinion, the deist standpoint makes more sense metaphysically than any other interpretation of the universe, and it even allows for a higher degree of tolerance of other faiths. Even Voltaire's deism seems to have fallen on deaf ears despite the large influence he had during the enlightenment. I suppose it wasn't strict enough for the masses?



posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 01:03 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


Actually, I think it was do to the shortcomings of the Deists, not because it was an advantageous viewpoint. In that time, revealed religion was feeling the squeeze from the intelligentsia, who believed that what science and philosophy were uncovering was incompatible with said religion. Rather than reconcile the two, as most non-Fundamentalist Christians do today, they decided that there was a god out there, but that, in order to fit it in with the modern viewpoint, they needed to redefine what God was. The result, Natural Religion, only lasted as long as people didn't realize how ridiculous that conclusion was.

Though I have had personal experiences that belies it, there is something attractive about the detached Deist position, but when viewed with an eye toward when, how and why it became a theistic position, it seems even less likely to be valid -- being more of a "lowest common denominator" perspective than anything reasonable.



posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 04:07 PM
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reply to post by Blue_Jay33
 


Thomas Jefferson cut up his Bible because he didn't like most of it's verses.

What about Washington? Lincoln? That's a VERY cherry-picked group of founding fathers you selected.



posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 04:10 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


Voltaire was a moron. He mocked Sir Issac Newton for predicting one day man would fly in the skies to and fro from Scripture reading, claiming that Christianity made otherwise bright men like Newton raving fools because he claimed that Newton should know that if man travelled more than 60 miles per hour their skin would peel away.



posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 04:13 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen
reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


Actually, I think it was do to the shortcomings of the Deists, not because it was an advantageous viewpoint. In that time, revealed religion was feeling the squeeze from the intelligentsia, who believed that what science and philosophy were uncovering was incompatible with said religion. Rather than reconcile the two, as most non-Fundamentalist Christians do today, they decided that there was a god out there, but that, in order to fit it in with the modern viewpoint, they needed to redefine what God was. The result, Natural Religion, only lasted as long as people didn't realize how ridiculous that conclusion was.

Though I have had personal experiences that belies it, there is something attractive about the detached Deist position, but when viewed with an eye toward when, how and why it became a theistic position, it seems even less likely to be valid -- being more of a "lowest common denominator" perspective than anything reasonable.


Correct. Deists see the order and majesty of creation and see God in it, yet don't want a shred of accountability or righteousness.



posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 05:31 PM
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reply to post by Blue_Jay33
 


MORE INFO on the U.S presidents.

I agree with one of the other posters, very biased on the founding fathers selection.






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