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Rationalists and Christians During Colonial Times

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 6 months ago

 Curious Mix



We often hear today that Christians should not impose their religion on others. “Practice your faith in the church and in your home, but don’t force it on anyone else.” This thinking is so far from the Founding Fathers’ intentions. Many supporters of the War for Independence were not Christians; they were rationalists. With Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson in leadership roles, rationalist influence was very much present in the Continental Congress. At the same time, traditional Christians were represented as well. The Continental Congress attempted to model the kind of cooperation between Christians and rationalists that it hoped would be practiced across the colonies. The Declaration of Independence refers to God four times: “Nature’s God,” “Creator,” “Supreme judge of the World,” and “Divine Providence.” These were rationalist terms that Christian congressman agreed to because they did not deny Christian truth. Interestingly, during the eight-year War of Independence, the annual Thanksgiving and fast-day proclamations issued by Congress and observed throughout the colonies were written with the knowledge that the majority of religious Americans were Christians. The proclamations regularly invoked the name of Jesus Christ and asked for His blessings upon the war effort.


American Vision P.O. Box 220, Powder Springs, GA 30127, 800-628-9460, www.americanvision.org . History Unwrapped by Gary DeMar.


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