With apologies to our international readers, I’m revisiting my hang up with a particular part of U. S. history.Â It’s the partÂ where many Christian apologists sayÂ the founding fathers meantÂ for the U. S. to be a “Christian nation.”
When I’ve raised this issue before, that thereÂ is not evidenceÂ of the founding fathers putting into the record intentions for the U. S. to be a Christian nation, I’ve been bombarded with quotes from speeches and private correspondence.Â Â These quotes have no importance.Â They do not reflect the founding fathers at their offices or in the halls of Congress making an effort to accomplish some Christian end.
I looked for evidence of a Christian intention in the book, The Summer of 1787.Â This wasÂ about the debates leading up to signing the Constitution.Â Â No one spoke of a Christian intention there.
During aÂ weekend road trip, I finished a new book, Ratification; The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788, by Pauline Maier.Â I bought the book to see if there was discussion of the “Christian nation” argument during the long and difficult process of ratification.
TheÂ author went from state to state, combing through the surviving newpaper accounts, letters and public records.Â Â As much as we admire the Constitution today, it was looked on as a terrible document by perhaps 40 percent of the public in the years 1787-8.Â
The author must have looked at several thousand pieces records in telling the story.Â With the exception of small parts of The Federalists Papers, which she concluded were not very important in the effort, she did not mention anyone else discussing religion at all, let alone proclaiming a preference for a “Christian nation.”
So, I’m still looking.