Friday, July 11, 2014

New Republic: "The Dangerous Lies We Tell About America's Founding"

Here. A taste:
To conclude that America is a “Christian nation,” as numerous Christian conservatives insist, underestimates both the radicalness of the ideas on which the republic was founded and, more crucially, the source of our continuing national strength. That power, according to Stewart, is the ability of liberalism to effect progress—however slowly—through ideas like equality, freedom, and popular sovereignty. 
Stewart, best known for his philosophical history of Leibniz and Spinoza, The Courtier and the Heretic, gives deism the gift of serious historical roots. He traces this strain of radical philosophy from Epicurus, via Lucretius, to Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, and through to the ideas of Jefferson, as evidenced in the Declaration of Independence.

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