Saturday, March 15, 2008

Waldman on Key Founders' Middleground:

From Brayton. Steven Waldman has two essays on TPMCafe that illustrate the nuanced middle ground position of America's key Founders on religion for which I have been arguing over the past few years. The first shows why America's key Founders weren't strict Deists. The second shows why they weren't orthodox Christians.

Regarding the proper term to call America's key Founders, as I commented on Brayton's blog:

If we define both Christianity and Deism broadly, then America's key Founders were both Christians and Deists at the same time or to use David L. Holmes' term "Christian-Deists." If we define Christianity and Deism narrowly, then they were neither; hence Gregg Frazer's term "theistic rationalists." What is unfair is when either the secular left or the religious right try to define one term broadly and the other narrowly to "capture" each Founder in its own group.

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