Thursday, February 24, 2005

BROOKE ALLEN IN THE NATION completely dismantles the notion, much trumpeted by George W. Bush and his radical Christian religious right supporters, that the writers and signers of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers had Christian principles in mind when they formed the governing structure of the United States. She says the Founding Fathers were inspired by the Enlightenment in Europe, not by Jesus of Nazareth.

Our Constitution makes no mention whatever of God. The omission was too obvious to have been anything but deliberate, in spite of Alexander Hamilton's flippant responses when asked about it: According to one account, he said that the new nation was not in need of "foreign aid"; according to another, he simply said "we forgot." But as Hamilton's biographer Ron Chernow points out, Hamilton never forgot anything important.
One would have to conclude (or at least, I conclude) that George W. Bush and his cronies have more in common with the religious establishment in England that the American colonists were fleeing, than with the philosophy and intentions of men like Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison, Franklin, et al.

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