Founding fathers

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The religious right frequently uses quotes from the United States founding fathers that appear to made up out of whole cloth. These quotes purport to prove that the founding fathers were religious men intent on setting up a theocracy. The majority of these myths were created by David Barton of Wallbuilders.

  • "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!"
  • "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible."
  • "Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise. In this sense and to this extent, our civilizations and our institutions are emphatically Christian."
    • falsely attributed to Holy Trinity v. U. S. (Supreme Court case)
  • "We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves ... according to the Ten Commandments of God."
  • "Whosoever shall introduce into the public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world."
  • "The principles of all genuine liberty, and of wise laws and administrations are to be drown from the Bible and sustained by its authority. The man therefore who weakens or destroys the divine authority of that book may be assessory to all the public disorders which society is doomed to suffer."
  • "There are two powers only which are sufficient to control men, and secure the rights of individuals and a peaceable administration; these are the combined force of religion and law, and the force or fear of the bayonet."
  • "The only assurance of our nation's safety is to lay our foundation in morality and religion."
  • "The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next."
  • "I have always said and always will say that the studious perusal of the Sacred Volume will make us better citizens."

Web only, not made up by David Barton:

  • "Do not let any one claim to be a true American if they ever attempt to remove religion from politics."

Attitudes of Founding Fathers on Religion and Politics

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