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"In God, Some People Trust"

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Posted by Randall Terrell on November 6, 2002 16:14:13 UTC

When this country was founded, many, if not all colonies had religious restrictions upon who could settle in the colony. Most of these restrictions required some belief in Christ, some just in a monotheistic god. Those restrictions were widely ignored, but they were there. But the case can be clearly made that monotheism guided some of the Ideals of the founding fathers.

HOWEVER, and this is a big however, the 18th century was considered to be an "enlightened" age, in which scientific rationalism could explain everything. I would argue that the founding fathers, and in particular Jefferson, put away any particular religous belief and tried to draft Rational, rather than religous documents. These guys worked very hard to get away from religous bias It could be argued that the founding fathers were reacting against the religous restrictions that had been in place in this country from prior years--in which case it would be very hard to argue that they had intended this country to be christian.

There are a lot of references to "God" in early documents because most people concerned in their drafting and approval were, at least deists. From my point of view I find it interesting that these guys could believe in a "God" but not in "Jesus as the son of God." Either is pretty irrational to be. Anyway, they did mostly profess some belief in a God, just not a christian god.

"In God We Trust" was added to our coinage long after the founding of this country and I have no argument that, sometime after the Civil War, this country took a right turn in its politics that was exacerbated mostly during the Temperance Movement and the McCarthy eras. Neither of which lend much support to rightist politics as an effective form of government.

Keep in mind, "under God" was not added to the Pledge until the McCarthy era. That alone send chills up my spine.

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