Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Tolerance in the Age of Ann Coulter--Op-Ed by Jon Meacham

Interesting op-ed the other day in the WaPo about church and state: "My own view is that the major Founders -- Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and George Washington -- were men of complex faiths. Raised in a largely Christian universe, they were shaped by Enlightenment ideas about the nature of God. Some were devout Christians; some were probably more deist than not; some were both, depending on the moment.

Whatever they were, they were united against an established national church. They wanted religion to be one factor in our public life, but not the dominant one. 'Whilst we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess and observe the religion which we believe to be of divine origin,' Madison wrote, 'we cannot deny an equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us.'"


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