Letter in Phoenix New Times, November 12-18, 1986, p. 3


In Charles Gossard's letter ("Making Amens," October 22) he states that "we [Christian fundamentalists] have the same moral standards as our founding fathers and the framers of our Constitution." The following are some quotes from the founding fathers and framers of the Constitution which show that they were not Bible believers by any stretch of the imagination:

Thomas Jefferson wrote: "Question with boldness the existnece of God, I do not believe any of the Christian doctrines."

James Madison wrote: "During almost fifteen centuries the legal establishment known as Christianity has been on trial, and what have been the fruits, more or less, in all places? These are the fruits: pride, indolence, ignorance and arrogance and servility in the clergy. Ignorance, arrogance and servility in the laity, and in both clergy and laity, superstition, bigotry and persecution."

Thomas Paine wrote in his Age of Reason: "Whenever we read the obscene stories, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel."

The 1797 Treaty of Tripoli, ratified soon after John Adams became president, says in part: "As the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility of Musselmen [Muslims]; and as the said States have never entered into any war or acts of hostility against any Mahametan nation; it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

In addition, George Washington refused to take communion or kneel in church, and was called "only a Unitarian, if anything" by Episcopalian minister James Abercrombie; while Benjamin Franklin was a member of Dashwood's notorious "Hellfire Club."

Very few of the founding fathers were actually Christians. Most were deists who rejected the Bible as the word of God.

Jim Lippard