One J. Phillips writes an article featured in this morning's WorldNetDaily with three quotations from the Founding Fathers -- two from John Adams and one from Patrick Henry. The article typifies how Christian Nationalists misunderstand the Founding Fathers' words. When the Founding Fathers said "religion and morality" they meant "religion and morality," not necessarily orthodox biblical Christianity only. For instance, from those quotations Phillips summarizes the Founding Fathers' position:
When I saw these used recently it struck me that if they are not wrong then their Constitution will not work for those who exist today, because their moral and religious standard (i.e. God exists, we were created by God, the Bible is his word and therefore it should be printed and promoted with government funds and contrary positions are not in accord with the truth) is not our moral and religious standard.
The following is the email I sent to the author:
I read your article. While I can't speak for Patrick Henry whom I understand was an orthodox Christian, as an expert on John Adams' religion I can speak for him and you misunderstand his position. For instance, while he did believe:
1. "God exists," and
2. "we were created by God,"
he did not believe:
3. "the Bible is his word and therefore it should be printed and promoted with government funds and contrary positions are not in accord with the truth."
Rather as a theologically unitarian and universalist man he thought most or all religions were valid ways to God and the Bible was only a partially inspired book. Adams didn't have a problem with government support for "religion," but wouldn't limit it exclusively to biblical Christianity.
I've got plenty of quotations from him explaining how "religion and morality" exist within all sorts of pagan non-Christian religious systems, available upon request.