One of the more popularly held misconceptions about the Founding Fathers is that they were a bunch of atheists, and those that weren’t were only Deists, convinced that if there was a God that He merely created the Universe and set it in motion, then didn’t care a whit about what came about as a result.
They were, with only one or two debatable exceptions, Christians, believing in not only the Bible but the Christ described therein, and placing their faith in Him alone. They subscribed to the teachings of John Locke (among others) and believed that God not only created man but intended him to be free, and applied their religious beliefs to their politics. That application would label them extremists today, a title I believe many of them would find familiar, if not welcome.
To point out their beliefs and correct the common misconception, I’m starting a new feature, Just a bunch of atheists, which will, once a month, highlight a quote from one of the founders regarding their belief in the Almighty. We start with Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence from Pennsylvania.
“[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.” –Benjamin Rush, On the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic, 1806