The way the fundamentalists here in the good old US would have us believe it, the Founding Fathers were as fundamentalist in their religious belies as Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson. Actually, Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and many others were far from findamentalists. They were actually Deists, as were many of the other great minds of Europe in the late 18th century. Washington was a Freemason as was, I believe, Franklin. I’m not sure if Jefferson was or not, but it would not surprise me if he was.
Deism and Freemasonry are anathema to the findamentalists. whether Christian or Islamic. I guarantee you that the way these men, who are so often misused by the fundamentalist Christians here in the US to promote their vision of an American theocracy, understood God is far cry from the fundamnetalist revisionism.
One of the many things the findamentalists point to in American history to convince others to support their so-called ideals is that the words “In God We Trust” appear on our coins and paper money. They act as if the Founding Fathers put that there, but, in actuality, that motto was not adoptec until the Civil War. That information is direct from the Department of Treasury.
What the Founding Fathers did put om our money was the pyramid topped by the All-Seeing eye. Both have been symbols of Freemasonry for longer than they have been symbols of the USA. And there are other symbols of Freemasonry found in our governmental symbols.
Why the use of Freemasonry symbols? Because the Freemasons, especially during the time of the Revolution, were strong advocates of religious tolerance, freedom to worship and believe as one chooses, and for political freedom as well. Many of the “revolutionary” ideas these Founding Fathers expressed in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution are the same values found in Freemasonry and in Deist writing of that time period and earlier. Not in the Puritan charters!
The Founding Fathers were opposed to an American theocracy. They had seen what a state religion had done to England. Remember, many of the earliest colonies – Massachussetts, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania – were founded by religious dissenters. Of these three, only Massachussetts tried theocracy and look where that led them. I suspect the Founding Fathers remembered the lessons of the Puritan theocracy only too well. It’s too bad that our current crop of fundamentalists did not.