"Here's my question: do you honestly believe that the entire American Revolution hung on religion? Or more specifically on the interpretation of Romans 13? Or could it be that early colonial Americans, like any group of people, got really pissed off at the repeated perceived abuses of the British and were ready to throw down as a result? And didn’t really need too much justification to break out a can of whoop-ass on their European brethren? Bible or no bible, preacher or no preacher, natural law or no natural law, this fight was a’gonna happen. Yes, religion is an important factor, and the purpose of our blog is sound, but let’s not assume that it was the ONLY factor."
As far as Romans 13 goes I think it was important to the people who cared about what God thought. How many people was that? I have no idea but we do know that the group that worried the King the most was the Presbyterians, the Declaration of Independence was amended to be more attractive to Calvinists, and Adams is quoted as stating that Mayhew's sermon was a key to the Revolution. As I have stated numerous times, it probably was a large and influential faction.
With that stated, this is not the focus of my series of posts on Christian ideas that help shape the founding and what role interpostion/resistance theory had to play in this. Nor is it to state that religion was the only thing that mattered to the colonists. The focus of these posts is what the founding actually did hang on: the foundations of inalienable rights. This following comment from Tom Van Dyke sums up what I have been trying to get at better than I can:
"As for K of I's key point, my own interest in religion and the Founding comes down to this key point, the origin of the concepts of rights and liberty. It's not just about Aquinas, and I've been very surprised to see the road lead through Calvinism as well, although neither are their final destination, the Founding.
But the question remains, in 2010, just as when Jefferson first asked,
'And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath?'"Attempts by modern secularists to separate inalienable rights from their theological roots are not only futile they are historically inaccurate. This is David Barton's larger point that often gets pushed aside with petty arguments on minor points. Shame on those who do it.