Paul's Reviews > Founding Faith: Providence, Politics, and the Birth of Religious Freedom in America

Founding Faith by Steven Waldman
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's review
Aug 06, 11

Few things are more divisive than the role of religion in American society, and particularly so when it comes to what what part the Founding Fathers "intended" it to play during the nation's birth. "Founding Faith" was an extremely well-balanced and informative work on a topic that's willfully misrepresented by probably about 85% of those discussing it in our public discourse.

While liberals and conservatives both selectively cite quotations in order to claim the Jeffersons, Washingtons, and Madisons as their own when it comes to the separation of church and state, talking about what "the Founding Fathers believed about religion" is something akin to talking about what the American people feel about religion:

There's no singular answer.

Waldman does an excellent job making clear just how unclear the Founders views were, both at the time and within the context of contemporary discussions on religion and society. Readers across the political and faith spectrum will find this a valuable read as it shows them how little they actually know about what "everyone knows" about our forefathers.
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