The Religion of our Founding Fathers and its Discontents

We’ve all heard pronouncements like, “America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles”  and “Our Founding Fathers were God-fearing Christians.” Was it? Were they? As with many popularized historical “facts,”  a closer look at the faith of our Founding Fathers reveals a variety of religious opinions that would make some people making such claims very uncomfortable. Meanwhile, their claims obscure a larger issue: Does it even matter what the Founding Fathers believed? Do we have to base our religious beliefs and the place of religious beliefs in society on what the founders of our nation believed?

Educator and author Mike Burkhimer has taught social studies in the Haverford School District for more than twenty-five years. He has authored four works on Abraham Lincoln and many articles and reviews. He has served as a member-at-large on the TPUUF Board of Trustees and currently leads our monthly Book Discussion program.