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The Founding Fathers and Deism
WallBuilders ^ | David Barton

Posted on 11/08/2004 11:41:14 AM PST by Conservative Coulter Fan

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1 posted on 11/08/2004 11:41:15 AM PST by Conservative Coulter Fan
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To: iheartusa


2 posted on 11/08/2004 11:42:24 AM PST by Conservative Coulter Fan (BURN IN HELL, MICHAEL MOORE!)
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To: Conservative Coulter Fan

Awesome. So it is a Christian nation, indeed. Thanks. : )

3 posted on 11/08/2004 11:45:37 AM PST by iheartusa (Searching the Internet far and wide to bring you thought-provoking controversy)
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To: Tailgunner Joe; mike182d; bmorrishome; Jn316; MississippiMan; all4one


4 posted on 11/08/2004 11:52:17 AM PST by Conservative Coulter Fan (BURN IN HELL, MICHAEL MOORE!)
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To: iheartusa


Most atheists are not intellectual giants, but come to their condition by way of moral dwarfism instead.

5 posted on 11/08/2004 11:52:54 AM PST by JFK_Lib
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To: Conservative Coulter Fan
Any portrayal of any handful of Founders as deists is inaccurate.

Dear David Barton, the term "deist" is code for Ancient Free and Accepted Masonry. A majority of the founding fathers were masons. The 18th century enlightenment was driven by those who saw the "light" of freemasonry; the architects of the bloody French revolution derived their inspiration from the "light of Masonry. This fact is repeated on the majority of Masonic web sites and in publications.

The term "deist' also delineated the relevance of Christ in the order of things for the Elightenment crowd. Take the Christ out of Christianitiy and you have the Enlightened secular Europe that is now flushing itself down the toilet of Islamic Jihad.

6 posted on 11/08/2004 11:55:44 AM PST by i.l.e.
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Funny, My dictionary, and everything I heve ever read previously defines a "Deist" as one who has a firm, reasoned belief in God.

Deist - From Deity which is synonymous with GOD.

IMHO, this article, while interesting and may add some impetus to the argument of the USA being "A Christian Nation" , is based on a highly flawed premise.

7 posted on 11/08/2004 11:56:51 AM PST by LegendHasIt
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To: Conservative Coulter Fan
Therefore, the range of a deist spans from those who believe there is no God, to those who believe in a distant, impersonal creator of the universe, to those who believe there is no way to know if God exists.

I had always understood a deist to be one who believes that God is the Creator and is watching the Great Drama of Humanity unfold (and judging us according to the roles we choose to play), but does not actively intervene in the activities of humanity.

In other words, one who believes that he isn't entitled to use the excuse "It was God's will" every time something untoward happens to him.

8 posted on 11/08/2004 11:58:27 AM PST by Mr. Jeeves
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To: Conservative Coulter Fan
David Limbaugh writes a thought provoking book called "Persecution" that takes what David Barton wrote and parallels our system of democracy with our Christianity. What he claims is that you cannot have Democracy without the free will that God grants his people. He also goes into depth discussing how the secular world tries to make Payne, Franklin, Jefferson, ect. deists. It is a great read. If you want to read the fallacy behind the separation of church and state go to and read about the court case- Everson v. Board of Ed.
9 posted on 11/08/2004 11:58:48 AM PST by NVD
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To: LegendHasIt

We are talking popular usage versus the dictionary here.

10 posted on 11/08/2004 12:00:27 PM PST by Drawsing (Congress doesn't need to see the light...they just need to feel the heat..Ronald Reagan)
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To: Mr. Jeeves

From my knowledge, a deist is one who believes in a god (any god--could be Christ or Allah). It seems to be a general term for someone who believes in a higher power.

11 posted on 11/08/2004 12:04:30 PM PST by NVD
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To: i.l.e.

You swung and missed.

12 posted on 11/08/2004 12:05:25 PM PST by VaBthang4 ("He Who Watches Over Israel Will Neither Slumber Nor Sleep")
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To: VaBthang4
Many of the most distinguished leaders of the American revolution--Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, Paine--were powerfully influenced by English and--to a lesser extent--French Enlightenment thought. The God who underwrites the concept of equality in the Declaration of Independence is the same deist God Rousseau worshipped, not that venerated in the traditional churches which still supported and defended monarchies all over Europe. Jefferson and Franklin both spent time in France--a natural ally because it was a traditional enemy of England--absorbing the influence of the French Enlightenment. The language of natural law, of inherent freedoms, of self-determination which seeped so deeply into the American grain was the language of the Enlightenment, though often coated with a light glaze of traditional religion, what has been called our "civil religion."

This is one reason that Americans should study the Enlightenment. It is in their bones. It has defined part of what they have dreamed of, what they aim to become. Separated geographically from most of the aristocrats against whom they were rebelling, their revolution was to be far less corrosive--and at first less influential--than that in France.

The History of the Deist Enlightenment is the history of America.

13 posted on 11/08/2004 12:09:20 PM PST by i.l.e.
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

Bump for your opinion...

14 posted on 11/08/2004 12:11:19 PM PST by Alex Murphy (Psalm 73)
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To: i.l.e.
·Jefferson urged local governments to make land available specifically for Christian purposes;

·In an 1803 federal Indian treaty, Jefferson willingly agreed to provide $300 to “assist the said Kaskaskia tribe in the erection of a church” and to provide “annually for seven years $100 towards the support of a Catholic priest.” He also signed three separate acts setting aside government lands for the sole use of religious groups and setting aside government lands so that Moravian missionaries might be assisted in “promoting Christianity.”

·When Washington D. C. became the national capital in 1800, Congress voted that the Capitol building would also serve as a church building. President Jefferson chose to attend church each Sunday at the Capitol and even provided the service with paid government musicians to assist in its worship. Jefferson also began similar Christian services in his own Executive Branch, both at the Treasury Building and at the War Office.

·Jefferson praised the use of a local courthouse as a meeting place for Christian services;

·Jefferson assured a Christian religious school that it would receive “the patronage of the government”;

·Jefferson proposed that the Great Seal of the United States depict a story from the Bible and include the word “God” in its motto;

·While President, Jefferson closed his presidential documents with the phrase, “In the year of our Lord Christ; by the President; Thomas Jefferson.”

Furthermore, Jefferson would especially disagree with those who believe that public prayers should be non-sectarian and omit specific references to Jesus. Jefferson believed that every individual should pray according to his own beliefs. As Jefferson explained:

[The] liberty to worship our Creator in the way we think most agreeable to His will [is] a liberty deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be its best support. (emphasis added)

Critics, therefore, would be particularly troubled by President Jefferson’s words that:

No nation has ever existed or been governed without religion. Nor can be. The Christian religion is the best religion that has been given to man and I, as Chief Magistrate of this nation, am bound to give it the sanction of my example.
15 posted on 11/08/2004 12:19:38 PM PST by Conservative Coulter Fan (BURN IN HELL, MICHAEL MOORE!)
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To: Conservative Coulter Fan

I think David Barton is guilty of selective reading.

I have studied Paine's writings in depth. Especially the
New Age of Reason, parts 1 and 2, wherein Paine roundly
blasts christianity, and does in fact and in word declare
himself a deist.

I usually believe what a person says about himself.

16 posted on 11/08/2004 12:20:41 PM PST by Al Gator
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To: i.l.e.
James Madison also encouraged public officials to declare openly and publicly their Christian beliefs and testimony — as when he wrote to William Bradford (who became Attorney General under President George Washington):

I have sometimes thought there could not be a stronger testimony in favor of religion or against temporal enjoyments, even the most rational and manly, than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and [who] are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare their unsatisfactoriness by becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ; and I wish you may give in your evidence in this way.

Additionally, throughout his Presidency, Madison issued several proclamations for public days of prayer, fasting, and thanksgiving, [18] and like Jefferson, President Madison also attended church at the Capitol, thus publicly endorsing religion in official arenas.

So, not only did Jefferson and Madison endorse religion in the public arena, they were even willing publicly to endorse Christian prayers in the public arena rather than the bland politically-correct civic prayers desired by critics of public prayers.

The Founders on Public Religious Expression
Read Article
17 posted on 11/08/2004 12:21:57 PM PST by Conservative Coulter Fan (BURN IN HELL, MICHAEL MOORE!)
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To: Conservative Coulter Fan
With all due respect to and appreciation for Mr. Barton I must take exception to the oft repeated myth that America's founders were Christian. Unlike those he criticizes in his letter, I have, over the past four years, read more than ten thousand pages of primary source documents (including the writings of Jefferson and Madison).

For example, in an 1831 letter to Willam Short, Jefferson wrote

"Abstracting what is really his [Jesus] from the rubbish in which it is buried [the New Testament], easily distinguished by its lustre from the dross of his biographers [Matthew, Mark, Luke, John], and as separable from that as the diamond from the dunghill ... The establishment of the innocent and genuine character of this benevolent moralist [!] and the rescuing it form the imputation of imposture, which has resulted form artificial systems, [these artificial systems Jefferson footnotes as "the immaculate conception of Jesus, his deification, the creation of the world by him, his miraculous powers, his resurrection and visible ascension, ... the Trinity, original sin, atonement, regeneration, election, orders of Hierarchy, &c."] invented by ultra-Christian sects, unauthorized by a single word ever uttered by him, is a most desirable object, and one to which Priestly [father of Unitarianism] has successfully devoted his labors and learning."

Mr. Barton and his ilk, however sincere, produce and perpetuate myths founded on sloppy scholarship which yield careless (if not slanted) assertions.

As Christians we are obliged to speak the truth in all circumstances. The Cause of Christ is not helped when overzealous conservative writers seek to "return the nation to its biblical foundation" by doing what they so often charge liberals with -- rewriting history. The facts are what they are. The words and deeds of the leading men of the American revolution are readily accessible to any one who will take the time to search them out.

18 posted on 11/08/2004 12:23:14 PM PST by Credo_ut_intelligam
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To: JFK_Lib

Well, 5 whole posts before started insulting non-believers.

19 posted on 11/08/2004 12:23:20 PM PST by Melas
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To: LegendHasIt
In dictionaries like Websters, Funk & Wagnalls, Century, and others, the terms "deist," "agnostic," and "atheist" appear as synonyms.

As you stated Legend, this premise is RIDICULOUS. The similarities between deists and atheists are comparable to those between GWB and Michael Moore.

20 posted on 11/08/2004 12:25:19 PM PST by Shryke
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