Selective Amnesia Surround the Role of Religion in the Founding of the United States

By Paul Levesque.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Certain religious leaders, self appointed experts, and media personalities in the United States have declared that “the United States was founded as a Christian Nation.” In order to make such a pronouncement, a substantial portion of the historical record must be denied, radically reinterpreted, or simply forgotten. Greater nuance is necessary when due respect is given to the recollection of history.

Unavoidably, the scholarship surrounding this question has become politicized. In some cases this has added another layer of arguments being proffered via selective retrieval of historical facts.

The answer to the question of whether or not the United States was “founded as a Christian nation” hinges on one’s interpretation of “founded,” “Christian,” and “nation.” This paper will investigate the context and various meanings of these terms and provide a review of the pertinent academic literature (some more politicized than others) as well as a glance at representative figures who offer popularized accounts.

Keywords: Politics, Religion, Christian Nation, Religious Right, Founding of the United States

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 11, pp.9-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 578.223KB).

Dr. Paul Levesque

Associate Professor, Department of Comparative Religion, California State University Fullerton, Fullerton, California, USA

Studied as a Basselin Scholar in the School of Philosophy at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. Holds Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Louvain, Belgium. Author of the book: Symbols of Transcendence: Religious Expression in the Thought of Louis Dupré, 1997. Articles on religion in academic journals. Papers presented at international, national, and regional conferences.

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