Founding faith Print
By James V. Schall, S.J.   
Thursday, 18 June 2009

"Nature's God," as Jefferson and the other founders conceived of Him, was the cause or source of a natural order that included a human order, a law of nature that applied to human affairs. Many of the founders were learned men, good men. Reading them today, one is struck not by their lack of interest in God questions, on moral questions, but rather by their overwhelming concern with those questions. Most had considerable sympathy for Christian theology. But they were worried about religious controversy. They thus wanted to privatize religion for political reasons. They wanted to get people to live together without worrying about their theological differences. But paradoxically, they did not think this "living together" was possible without an ethic that looked very much like the Christian ethic of the New Testament.

 

Other Articles By This Author