Founding Fathers
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What religions were the founding fathers?

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April 09, 2013 2:12PM

Answer Denominations of Founding Fathers

All have been either Deists or Christian. Many people falsely

believe that most of the Founding Fathers were Christian. They cite

long lists of statistics and religious denominations, claiming only

1.9% were non-Christian. This is false. The problem lies in that

many of the Founding Fathers were born into Christian families and

through some way or another, left the Christian faith. Some have

been accused of being atheists, and others held Unitarian

Universalist worldviews.

George Washington was a Deist, saying, ""Religious controversies

are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds

than those which spring from any other cause. I had hoped that

liberal and enlightened thought would have reconciled the

Christians so that their religious fights would not endanger the

peace of Society." - Letter to Sir Edward Newenham, June 22,


When he died, the minister of his Church stated very plainly, "Sir,

he was a Deist."

John Adams was a Unitarian. He once stated, "The divinity of Jesus

is made a convenient cover for absurdity."

Thomas Jefferson was a Deist. "Millions of innocent men, women, and

children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned,

tortured, fined, and imprisoned, yet we have not advanced one inch

toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make

one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites." - Notes

on Virginia

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the

Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be

classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of

Jupiter." - Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

James Madison was a Deist. He once said, "What influence, in face,

have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some

instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the

ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen

upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have

they been guardians of the liberties of the people."

James Monroe was a Deist. John Quincy Adams was a Unitarian.

While not a Founding Father, Abraham Lincoln was a practical

Atheist. "My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian

scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures have

become clearer and stronger with advancing years, and I see no

reason for thinking I shall ever change them." Lincoln in a letter

to Judge J.S. Wakefield, after the death of Willie Lincoln

"He was an avowed and open infidel, and sometimes bordered on

Atheism...He went further against Christian beliefs and doctrines

and principles than any man I ever heard." John T. Stuart,

Lincoln's first law partner

It is not nearly as important what religion the Founding Fathers

held to, if any, as it is what their political ideology was.

Because of their desire for freedom of every man to his essential

rights and liberties, America has become the great country that it


America was not, however, founded on Christianity.

"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded

on the Christian religion." John Adams, Treaty of Tripoly, article


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