In regards to Kevin Dufresne’s editorial titled “Freedom of vs. Freedom from” religion in the Constitution and how the nation was formed by Christians, Mr. Dufresne might be interested to know that most of the founding fathers were Enlightenment deists, raised as Christian but rejecting organized religion and Christianity’s promotion of revelation and miracles. Among them were Ben Franklin, George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and John Adams.
Further, the attitude of the age was one of enlightened reason, tolerance and free thought. Half a century after the establishment of the United States, an Episcopal clergyman from New York in October 1831 complained that not one president up to that date was “a professor of religion.”
Lastly, in 1796, the treaty with Tripoli stated that the United States was “not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” The treaty was written under the presidency of George Washington, signed under the presidency of John Adams, and unanimously ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1797.
The Christian extremists in this country must not have their way, if not for the sake of nonbelievers but for all the other religions practiced in the United States, like Islam, Hindu, Buddhism or Taoism. In the near future, Christians may not be in the majority. So for the sake of stability in our country, Mr. Dufresne must not make the Christian religion the foundation for our American principles. It was the European Enlightenment.