The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God
Founding Fathers Would Howl If Called Christian

 The following is taken from the book "Toward The Mystery" by Rev. William Edelen. He is an active ordained Presbyterian and Congregational minister for 30 years. Adjunct professor of Religious Studies and Anthropology, University of Puget Sound Tacoma, Washington.

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Founding Fathers Would Howl If Called Christian

In few other areas of American history is there such a distortion of facts as there is regarding the religious orientation of our Founding Fathers.

A recent Guest Opinion columnist wrote in The Idaho Statesman that: "200 years ago, having religion meant one's life had been drastically altered by the saving lordship of Jesus Christ. Our country was founded by 'born again' men of heart and mind." Those statements are absurd.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin (and even Abraham Lincoln, another of our most admired Presidents) must be turning over in their graves and weeping at such a perversion of their beliefs.

Our most distinguished Founding Fathers did not believe in a "personal" God ... they did not believe that the Bible was anything other than literature ... and they had an almost contempt for the Christian clergy and Christian doctrine. "God" was to them "nature's god"; an impersonal form, or "providence." Thomas Paine said it for all of them in these words: "Men and books lie. Only nature does not lie."

In the interest of truth and integrity, I will let these brilliant men speak for themselves:

George Washington refused to ever take communion (looking upon it as superstition), refused to recite liturgy and refused to kneel. Historians classify him as a deist, as did his contemporaries. He never, at any time, professed any "Christian" doctrine or dogma. Episcopalian Bishop Wilson declared Washington to be "only a Unitarian if anything." Historians say that Washington recommended and concurred with American Consul Joel Barlow's statement, written in the Treaty of Peace and Friendship that: "The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion."

John Adams wrote "This is my religion ... joy and exaltation in my own existence ... so go ahead and snarl ... bite ... howl, you Calvinistic divines and all you who say I am no Christian. I say you are not Christian." Regarding the trinity, he wrote this to Jefferson, "Tom, had you and I been 40 days with Moses, and beheld the great God, and even if God himself had tried to tell us that three was one ... and one equals three, you and I would never have believed it. We would never fall victims to such lies."

Thomas Jefferson, the sole author of the Declaration of Independence (outside of minor word changes), called the Bible a "dunghill" and said that to remove a few of the teachings of Jesus was to "remove the few diamonds from the dunghill." Other quotes: "Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man" and "The authors of the gospels were unlettered and ignorant men and the teachings of Jesus have come to us mutilated, misstated and unintelligible."

Benjamin Franklin wrote: "I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies."

James Madison wrote: "During almost 15 centuries the legal establishment known as Christianity has been on trial, and what have been its fruits, more or less in all places? THESE ARE THE FRUITS: Pride, indolence, ignorance and arrogance in the clergy. Ignorance ... arrogance and servility in the laity and IN BOTH CLERGY AND LAITY superstition, bigotry, and persecution."

Thomas Paine, who inspired both James Madison and Abraham Lincoln, wrote: "When I see throughout this book, called the Bible, a history of the grossest vices and a collection of the most paltry and contemptible tales and stories, I could not so dishonor my Creator by calling it by His name."

Abraham Lincoln said: "I have never united myself to any church because I could not give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian doctrine and dogma which characterize their articles of belief and confession of faith. When any church will require only the Great Commandment (the Jewish Shema) for belief, then I will join that church." Lincoln would never be baptized ... he would never make any profession of "Christian" faith ... he would never affiliate with any church or denomination ... he never subscribed to any liturgy or ritual. His own wife said, "My husband is not a Christian but is a religious man, I think."

Perhaps the point is made for those who would care to pursue it further prior to making statements that will cause the enlightened to blush with embarrassment.

A show of hands on how many would like our Founding Fathers' religious orientation to have been different is not going to change the facts. In the interest of integrity, let us not be celebrating what never was, for there is much we can celebrate that was. The wells of significant, profound and enriching "religion" ran far deeper in most of these men than in a great many orthodox Christians ... of both yesterday and today.

Too many of us are like the priests in Galileo's day who refused to look through the telescope for fear of what they might see. And too many of us are like the lady who, when first told about evolution, responded with, "Well, let us pray to God that it is not true, but IF IT IS TRUE, then let us pray to God nobody ever hears about it."

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See Also:

Founding Fathers Would Howl If Called Christian

Christian Founding Fathers? Some Quotes.

Christian Founding Fathers?



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