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Religion & the Founding: MSW's Wrap Up

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Last week, I looked at five books all of which, in different ways, had significant bearing on the relationship of religion to the American founding. Too often, secularists have ignored the influence of religion in late colonial and early Republican America. Too often, Christians have sought to claim the founding as a Christian event. Both efforts have a grain of truth but a pound of falsehood. What are the takeaways from the book we surveyed?

Religion & the Founding: Holmes' "The Faiths of the Founding Fathers"

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The final book in this series on religion and the founding comes from David Holmes, Professor of Religious Studies at the College of William and Mary. The Faiths of the Founding Fathers, unlike the four previous volumes, is scholarly but more accessible and could easily be read by a high school age student. As we shall see, it does not delve as deeply as one would want into the thorny issues of religion and society, but it does provide both the appropriate frames, and concise pictures within those frames, of individual founders and what they believed.

NYTimes Ed Board Channels Emily's List

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The New York Times published an editorial yesterday asserting that the Supreme Court's order in the Wheaton college case last week undercut their own logic in the then-two-days-old Hobby Lobby decision. I think they are wrong. But, you would think the editorial board of the nation's newspaper of record might have given a bit of thought to their complaint.

Religion & the Founding: Curran's "Papist Devils''

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As we have seen in the past three days, religion, and specifically anti-Catholicism, were in the air the colonial Americans breathed and played a significant role in shaping the ideology that led to the American Revolution. Ours was a Revolution driven by ideas. But, those ideas maintained their currency largely because events conspired to keep the fires of anti-Catholic bigotry hot. Today, I will look at an important new book by Robert Emmett Curran, Papist Devils, Catholic in British America, 1574-1783.

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August 1-14, 2014

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