Luke Seitz’s recent letter states “This country was not founded as a Christian nation.” True, there is revisionist history under way that seeks to promote our founding fathers as secularists. I am a descendant of both William Bradford, who arrived on the Mayflower and became governor of the Plymouth Colony, and the Rev. Thomas Hooker, known as Father of the Connecticut Constitution. I have studied this subject and firmly embrace this country as a Christian nation.
The line he refers to as proof of his belief was actually meant to prevent the establishment of a specific religious denomination as the government-sponsored religion. That status would allow politicians to directly tax the citizens to support the single church and possibly close down other religious beliefs, as had been the practice in Europe. In Virginia, that government-sponsored religion would probably have been the Anglican Church (Episcopal) as many of the political leaders were of that persuasion.
I suggest Seitz read “A Son of Thunder: Patrick Henry and the American Republic” by Henry Mayer, as it deals extensively with this subject. Henry (“Give me liberty or give me death”) was one of Virginia’s brightest minds in the Revolutionary War era. He had a Baptist mother and an Anglican father and this was an important issue to him. He was a very religious man and a staunch advocate for not having a government-sponsored religion of any kind.
Lincoln Merrill Jr.