What Did The Founding Fathers Say About Christianity


The Founding Fathers were the individuals who were instrumental in the opening up of the United States of America, during the American Revolution. This period of time is often considered to be a foundational period for the nation, and is looked at as providing a basis for many of the societal norms and views that still influence the nation today. As such, it is important to look back at the words of the Founding Fathers in regards to Christianity, in order to get a sense of the impact that this religion had on the early stages of the nation. In order to understand this, it is important to look at both the controversial and the more accepted views of the Founding Fathers on Christianity.


One of the most prominent views expressed by the Founding Fathers in regards to Christianity is that of Deism. Deism is the belief that God, while having created the world, ultimately is not involved in the daily life of individuals, and instead is focused more on divine justice. This view was expressed by the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, who both expressed a strong belief in deism. In particular, Franklin expressed his views in regards to “a God of truth and justice, without partiality or cruelty”. These views helped to create a feeling of egalitarianism, which was a core principle during the period of the founding fathers.

Religious Freedom

The idea of religious freedom was also heavily expressed by the Founding Fathers. This is reflected in the 1st Amendment of the United States constitution, which was written by James Madison. This 1st Amendment, which was ratified in 1791, provides a strong guarantee of freedom of religion, and helped to create a nation where individuals were not persecuted on the grounds of what they believed in. This notion of religious freedom was echoed in the writings of Thomas Jefferson, who, in a letter to the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut, wrote “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion’.”

Separation of Church and State

Another major idea that was expressed by many of the Founding Fathers was that of the separation of Church and State. The rationale behind this idea was that while individuals should have the right to practice their faith, the government should not be able to use religion as a means of establishing an all-encompassing legal power. This view was held by the likes of Jefferson, who wrote in his book “Notes on the State of Virginia” that “No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever.” This idea of the separation of Church and State has become a key principle in the American political system.

The Role of Christianity

Despite their views on religious liberty, many of the Founding Fathers had a strong belief in the value of Christianity. In particular, George Washington and John Adams both expressed the view that Christianity was a positive influence in the nation, and that the teachings of the New Testament could help to create a more moral society. Adams in particular also expressed the view that Christianity could provide a moral compass for decision makers, stating that “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

The Role of Morality

In addition to their views on Christianity, the Founding Fathers also expressed the notion that morality was essential for building a successful nation. This is seen in the often cited quote from Pennsylvania politician Benjamin Rush, which reads “Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure…are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.” This view of morality being essential for the success of the United States has continued to this day, with many believing it to be key in the proper functioning of the nation.

Freedom of Belief

Finally, the Founding Fathers expressed the idea that individuals should be free to choose what they believed in, and not be subjected to religious control or coercion. This idea was made explicit in the Virginia statute of religious freedom, which was written by Thomas Jefferson and passed in 1786. This statute provides for religious freedom, and states that “all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities…” This statute helped to solidify the American value of allowing individuals to practice what they believed in.

The Influence of Christianity

The Founding Fathers had an incredibly varied set of views on Christianity, ranging from one end of the spectrum to the other. While some of the founders expressed the view that religion did not have an impact on the nation, many others held the view that Christianity and its teachings provided a moral foundation for the nation. Regardless, the founding fathers expressed a strong belief in the idea of religious freedom, and the notion that individuals should be free to practice whatever they believed in.

The Role of Faith

The Founding Fathers expressed the idea that faith was an integral part of life, and that it could be a driving force for individual success. For example, Benjamin Franklin believed that religious faith was essential for personal virtue, and his famous “Poor Richard’s Almanack” contained numerous references to the power of faith. George Washington also expressed the notion that faith was important, stating in his “Farewell Address” to the nation that “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”

Conclusion of the Founding Fathers about Christianity

Overall, the Founding Fathers had a wide range of views on Christianity, ranging from those who completely rejected its teachings to those who felt that it provided a powerful moral foundation for the nation. Regardless, they all agreed on the notion of religious freedom, and that individuals should be free to practice their faith without fear of persecution. The role of faith was particularly emphasized, as many of the Founding Fathers felt that it was an essential part of life and could help to provide individual success. These views have become a cornerstone of American society, and have had a powerful influence on the nation’s culture and its relations with religion.

Christianity and The Framers of The Constitution

In spite of their differences, the framers of the United States’ Constitution were united in their belief that Christianity was an important part of the country’s history, identity and success. In framing the Constitution, the founding fathers made sure that the rights of the American people included freedom of religion. As George Washington said in his “Farewell Address,” the nation must secure “both in the privileges and security of their religious profession and practice.” This meant ensuring that the various religions of the country would be respected and granted religious freedom.

Purpose of The Founding Fathers

The purpose of the Founding Fathers has been interpreted in different ways over the years, but one particular interpretation has gained a lot of attention. This interpretation characterizes the Founding Fathers’ intention to be rooted in the principles of freedom from religious persecution and intolerance, a sentiment made evident in their views on Christianity. As such, it is clear that the Founding Fathers intended the United States to be a country that respects and honors the rights of all its citizens, no matter their religious beliefs or practices.

Religious Freedom and The First Amendment

The core of the Founding Fathers’s views on Christianity is reflected in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. This amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This amendment provides individuals with the constitutional right to practice their religious beliefs free from government control, and is one that has helped to shape debates over religious liberty in the United States.

Religion in the Founding Fathers’ Writings

Religion, and Christianity in particular, is an important theme in the writings of the Founding Fathers. One of the most common themes expressed in their writings is the idea that faith and freedom are complementary concepts, and that individuals should be able to practice their faith without fear of persecution from the government. This view is expressed in many of the Founding Fathers’ writings, and is evident in their efforts to ensure religious freedom in the United States.

Legacy of The Founding Fathers

The legacy of the Founding Fathers is one that has a deep impact on the United States, and their views on Christianity have continued to be influential in shaping the nation’s politics, laws, and culture. Their views on religious freedom have been adopted in countries around the world, and have helped to create a society where individuals can practice their faith free from fear of government control. Overall, the views of the Founding Fathers on Christianity are important in understanding the nation’s past, present, and future.

Jennifer Johnson is an experienced author with a deep passion for exploring the spiritual traditions of different cultures and religions. She has been writing about religion and spirituality for the past ten years in both print and digital platforms, engaging readers in meaningful dialogue about the soul's journey through this life. With degrees in Comparative Religion and English Literature, she brings an insightful perspective to her work that bridges the gap between traditional knowledge and modern theories. A lifelong traveler, Jenn has lived in multiple countries exploring various paths to understanding faith, and her dedication to learning new things is palpable in every piece she creates.

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