A group blog to promote discussion, debate and insight into the history, particularly religious, of America's founding. Any observations, questions, or comments relating to the blog's theme are welcomed.
Though I like what Glen Beck has to say - I actually met him at BYU in Utah a few years back - I have to disagree with a few of his points. First, when Glen Beck states that we are "one Nation Under God" - a phrase that I personally have no problem with but believe a lot of people misunderstand its origins - he is forgetting the fact that this "national motto" came into being NOT with our founders, but in 1956. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a congressional bill - which had been pushed by controversial Senator Joe McCarthy - into law, proclaiming the phrase "In God We Trust" to be the national motto. This is where I disagree with Beck. He claims that our founders were the ones that embraced this motto. In actuality, the phrase E Pluribus Unum - which means "from many, one" - was the phrase our founders adopted for the National Seal in 1782. For almost 200 years, this was the accepted "motto" of the United States. Glen Beck is right when he states that our founders were very careful about language in the Constitution, Dec. of Ind., etc. Jefferson was very careful in choosing very neutral words like "Nature's God" and "Divine Providence." The Constitution also has NO reference to God - unless you count Article 6 Section 3, which states that no religious test should be required for a government position. Glen Beck's points about Benjamin Franklin's creed are right, but I think they overshoot what Franklin really believed. As we all know, Franklin openly questioned the divinity of Jesus - and Christianity - in his letter to Ezra Stiles. Beck is right to point out that Franklin - and the rest of the founders for that matter - deeply believed in morality and decency as being paramount to their republic. However, Beck's statistics that point out the Christian population of America are irrelevant. In the end, I do find myself in agreement with a lot of what Beck has to say. However, I disagree with his reasoning.
I concur with your analysis of Mr. Beck's position. Well stated.
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