Carol Platt Liebau

Monday, March 07, 2005

Indeed, the Founders saw the cultivation of religious sentiment as the ultimate safeguard of American liberty. They knew that liberty could only prosper among moral citizens, whose practice of self-government in their private lives was a necessary prerequisite for its exercise in public. They believed that even if it were possible for certain individuals to behave morally without believing in God, on the whole an entire citizenry could not long keep its moral bearings without the guidance of religious faith.

This is from a wonderful National Review piece by Christopher Levenick and Templeton Prize winner Michael Novak, which eviscerates a miserable article in The Nation titled "Our Godless Constitution."

At the time of our nation's founding, the American people were people of faith. They still are, today, as this piece by Harvard professor Samuel Huntington makes abundantly clear.

And our greatest political leaders have been men of faith. Don't believe it? Check out God & Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life, which explores how Reagan's religious faith played a key part in his (and our!) ultimately victorious battle over communism.


Blogger J said...

This is not only typical neo-con agit-prop, it's wrong. None of the Founding Fathers, including the more conservative ones such as Adams, were puritans or fundamentalists. Franklin, Jefferson and Madison were, if not outright skeptics, at best deists. One of Jefferson's closet associates was Thomas Paine; TJ also supported the French Revolution and had a bust of Voltaire and other skeptics in his study. He denounced the Book of Revelation and other sections of scripture as the work of a madman; and also claimed the Catholic church was an irrational injustice. Washington rarely attended church until he was aged, and there is still some debate whether he was a Christian at all. There's plenty more evidence of the FF's secularism (perhaps none more than Madison's secular document Constitution), but you, like your jackbooted cronies Burgess-Jackson and others, are not interested in evidence or reason, you're interested in power and control.

3:58 PM  
Blogger eLarson said...

you're interested in power and controlAnd you aren't?

7:18 AM  
Blogger J said...

"And our greatest political leaders have been men of faith."

Eh. Such as whom? Is Nixon better than say FDR because Nixon went to church more often? I think not. Lincoln himself was no biblethumping Baptist--more like a Unitarian, if not a skeptic, who had some harsh words for the fundamentalists of the time. The exact opposite could be argued, in fact--the greatest presidents have been those men who questioned their faith, and tended to think reason was superior to religion. Examples? Jefferson for one. And Lincoln.

3:34 PM  

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