The arguments about whether or not the United States was founded on Biblical principles, or even more striking, was it meant to be a Christian Nation? have been so numerous and have gone on so long that they are not only tedious but silly. A survey of the writing of the founders reveals religious backgrounds that are Christian. A survey of signers of the Declaration of Independence reveals the same. Historian and Political Science Professor Mark David Hall writing for the Heritage Foundation says, “America’s Founders were committed to the idea that religion (by which virtually all of them meant Christianity) was necessary for public happiness and political prosperity. This view was so widespread that James Hutson has called it “the Founders’ syllogism.” ( The key question with respect to particular establishments
at the state level was whether they helped or hurt the faith.
A syllogism a form of reasoning in which a conclusion is drawn (whether validly or not) from two given or assumed propositions (premises), each of which shares a term with the conclusion, and shares a common or middle term not present in the conclusion (e.g., all the world loves a lover; I love you; therefore all the world loves me).
Barbara J. Elliot wrote in the Imaginative Conservative (February 2011) an articel called faith and the American Founding – “The founders’ syllogism was this: a republic requires virtue for freedom to be sustainable. Virtue requires faith to be sustainable. Therefore, the republic requires faith to be sustainable. But the government cannot require faith or virtue – in fact it is incapable of inculcating either. That must come from the private, voluntary sector.”Share this on: