Did America Have a Christian Founding?: Separating Modern Myth from Historical Truth

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Powerfully and thoroughly rebuts-claim by claim-the consistently errant assertions by a never-ending stream of prominent and popular commentators who report that the American Founding was a wholly secular and enlightenment affair. -BARRY ALAN SHAIN, professor of political science, Colgate University, and author of The Myth of American Individualism A fresh look at the very real extent to which Christian thought and belief played a vital role in the making of our country. -MAT THEW J. FRANCK, associate director, James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University Hall's lucid volume . . . corrects many modern misconceptions about [the founders'] political philosophy and achievements. -GEORGE H. NASH, historian, lecturer, and author of The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 Hall's beautifully written and immensely thoughtful new book should be read by anyone interested in the role of religion in the founding of the American Republic. -DAVID G. DALIN, senior research fellow, Brandeis University, and author of Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court, from Brandeis to Kagan Hall clearly shows what's most important: that Christian ideas profoundly influenced the Founders, and through them all of us. -DR. MARVIN OLASKY, editor in chief of World and author of Fighting for Liberty and Virtue Beautiful. . . . Fully debunks the pervasive myth that America's founders were deists. As I turned each page, my smile grew larger to know that here, in a single short book, history was being set aright. -RODNEY K. SMITH, Stirling Chair and director of the Center for Constitutional Studies, Utah Valley University, and author of James Madison: The Father of Religious Liberty A distinguished professor debunks the assertion that America's Founders were deists who desired the strict separation of church and state and instead shows that their political ideas were profoundly influenced by their Christian convictions. Many Americans have been taught a distorted, inaccurate account of our nation's founding, one that claims that the founders were deists who desired the strict separation of church and state and that the country's founding political ideas developed without reference to Christianity. In this revelatory, rigorously argued new book, Mark David Hall thoroughly debunks that modern myth and shows instead that the founders' political ideas were profoundly influenced by their Christian convictions. Drawing from hundreds of personal letters, public proclamations, early state constitutions and laws, and other original documents, Professor Hall makes the airtight case that America's founders were not deists; that they did not create a godless Constitution; that even Jefferson and Madison did not want a high wall separating church and state; that most founders believed the government should encourage Christianity; and that they embraced a robust understanding of religious liberty for biblical and theological reasons. In addition, Hall explains why and how the founders' views are absolutely relevant today. Did America Have a Christian Founding? is a compelling, utterly convincing closing argument in the debate about the role of faith in the nation's founding, making it clear that Christian thought was crucial to the nation's founding-and demonstrating that this benefits all of us, whatever our faith (or lack thereof).