When you click on a Sponsored Product ad, you will be taken to an Amazon detail page where you can learn more about the product and purchase it. To learn more about Amazon Sponsored Products, click here. Meticulously researched and eminently readable. Enthusiastically recommended for all collections. Davey Library Journal Ms.
Ray Olson Booklist Careful and provocative reading. Allen's book is welcome counterweight. Darryl Hart, Hillsdale College Allen's clear and intelligent eye is a pleasure. Peter Matthiessen, novelist and non-fiction writer, twice winner of the National Book Award Allen lucidly demolishes the fundamentalists' revisionist history of the Constitution.
An elegant and riveting defense. Heather MacDonald Well documented, exuberantly argued and quite persuasive. George Will, winner of the Pulitzer Prize The New York Times Allen provides honest answers to the questions about the religious beliefs and practices of Washington and the other key founders. Louis Post-Dispatch If our right-wing adversaries insist on claiming that Washington and Franklin actually wanted the United States to be a Christian theocracy, Allen's book certainly can help to refute that outrageous lie.
Emile Schepers People's Weekly World Her argument marks a salient starting point for an informed debate on a compelling topic. Those who call the U. She has also written Artistic License. She lives with her husband and two children in Brooklyn, New York. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Learn more about Amazon Prime. In her lively refutation of modern claims about America's religious origins, Brooke Allen looks back at the late eighteenth century and shows decisively that the United States was founded not on Christian principles at all but on Enlightenment ideas. Moral Minority presents a powerful case that the unique legal framework the Founding Fathers created was designed according to the humanist ideals of Enlightenment thinkers: God entered the picture only as a very minor player, and Jesus Christ was conspicuous by his absence.
The guiding spirit of the Declaration of Independence and the U.
Allen explains, was not Jesus Christ but John Locke. In direct and accessible prose, she provides fascinating chapters on the religious lives of the six men she considers the key Founding Fathers: Far from being the conventional pious Christians we too often imagine, these men were skeptical intellectuals, in some cases not even Christians at all. Moral Minority presents unforgettable images of our iconic founders: Jefferson taking a razor to the Bible and cutting out every miraculous and supernatural occurrence; Washington rewriting speeches others had crafted for him, so as to omit all references to Jesus Christ; Franklin and Adams confiding their doubts about Christ's divinity; Madison expressing deep disapproval over the appointment of chaplains to Congress and the armed forces, and of what we would now call "faith-based" initiatives.
Enlivened by generous portions of the founders' own incomparable prose, Moral Minority makes an impassioned and scintillating contribution to the ongoing debate—more heated now than ever before—over the separation of church and state and the role or lack thereof of religion in government. Read more Read less. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Literary Powers in Uncertain Times. Author of America Eminent Lives.
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Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention founding fathers church and state moral minority brooke allen highly recommend christian nation george washington united states separation of church american history read this book religious views locke paine divinity of jesus recommend this book john adams general and of christianity national religion religious freedom enlightenment thinkers.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. The author does a first class job of teasing out tibits of of history and providing as reasonably thorough, though not intensive summary of the views of the chief architects of the Constitution, and she keeps it entertaining to a point.
Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers: Brooke Allen: www.aloemixers.com: Books
The foundation of a building is not an after thought. MM is an entertaining read, useful as a source to those who are already familiar with the history, but it is not very well organized and to someone under the thumb of their pastor, not easily accessible as a reasoned argument. How many times have you heard the statement, "This country is based on the Christian values of our founding fathers? Most of our founding fathers would be appauled at the high percentage of this country that still believe in and practices fundamental Christianity.
While several of these men were clearly atheists, even those who were not were steadfast in their opinion that religion and religious beliefs and practices should play no role in our government. They were clear in their opinion that all American citizens should be free to practice any religion they choose or no religion at all without any effect on their status as full americans. They were, furthermore, crystal clear in belief that personal religions beliefs should play no role in the decision making function of government.
This was a brave book that Brooke Allen wrote, considering the fact that the vast majority of readers may simple not want to hear what this book has to say.
One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. It will not make the religious conservatives It will not make the religious conservatives very happy as they would like to present our founders as monolithic in their beliefs so as to support their present political stances. These men were children of the Enlightenment and a theocracy or at least a government strongly influenced by any religion was anathema to most of them.
Allen makes this case easily and clearly. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Great historical narrative on the religious skepticism of our founding fathers. Too many evangelicals and political light-weights Sarah Palin have the incorrect belief our founding fathers were tied to Christian beliefs. Many of them were Deists and a couple eschewed religious belief altogether, such as Jefferson and Franklin. A good book for those who like history.
One person found this helpful. When I went to school, it was so long ago that they still taught American history and Civics. I can't understand how a devout evangelical Christian could espouse unorthodox doctrines or belittle orthodox ones, like the deity of Christ or slanderous to Christ, which the six men in this book did.
Dec 29, Emily rated it it was amazing. Highly recommend this book. It really responds to the common assertion that the founders were Christians and this is a Christian nation. The answer the book gives is "yes The book really explains the importance of the separation of church and state to the founding fathers. After reading it, I had a much greater appreciation of the amazing ideali Highly recommend this book.
After reading it, I had a much greater appreciation of the amazing idealism and foresight of our founding fathers. Oct 12, Mandy rated it liked it Shelves: I didn't finish the book. Not because it wasn't interesting. It's just one of those books that those who need to read won't read it, or they'll read it and find a way to rationalize away it's points. If you find yourself in frequent arguments with those who think the founding fathers were perfect Christians then this book will help you back up your points on what kind of men they really were.
But I don't like having such arguments. Dec 11, Keith added it. The founding fathers were quite clear about separation of church and state; they advocated tolerance of different beliefs and religions, but did not adopt any national religion. All grew up in a religious context, but many were secularists and "deists" and believed that the great philosophers of history, the 17th and 18th centuries provided the basis for the American ethics and political system with its observance of "rights".
Dec 14, Dumbledore rated it really liked it. Very nicely explains, with extensive quotes that America was not founded as Christian country and no, many of the founding fathers were not even christians,or had very very relaxed beliefs about what Christianity is. Mar 29, William Schram rated it it was amazing Shelves: I enjoyed this book a great deal.
I was unaware of the advance of fundamentalism on our rights and the very frame of our Constitution. This book discusses the religious nature of six of the founding fathers of the United States of America: All of it is done through quoting their private letters and papers, the laws they helped to enact, and ideas they tried to spread. Some of the Founding Fat I enjoyed this book a great deal. Some of the Founding Fathers were quite devout, but a lot of them were Deists or Atheists.
Washington didn't even profess a religion and a lot of his history was distorted by Mason Locke Weems, a charlatan of the highest order that made up the Cherry tree story and a great many other things. The book is divided into eight chapters with an appendix and an index. Each chapter covers one Founding Father with chapter seven being about the follow-up of their deaths and chapter eight covering the history of the world that they lived in and that world's environment. For instance, a great issue was made on a lot of the pilgrims fleeing religious persecution, but most of the settlers were in it for the land and the money.
The ones that did escape religious persecution foisted their own ideals on others and demonized dissenters and those of other sects. Rather silly if you ask me, considering the fact that they were all supposedly Christians. In any case, I really enjoyed this book. I found it fascinating, and it introduced me to a couple of new Google searches. I was not aware that Maryland required belief in a God for public office up until of all times. I would read it again, but I have so many other books on my plate that it seems unlikely. Oct 22, D. Morrese rated it it was amazing.
I personally found nothing new or revealing in this short summary of the philosophical foundations of the United States or of the religious sentiments of the founding fathers.
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Allen points out quite accurately and succinctly that these great I personally found nothing new or revealing in this short summary of the philosophical foundations of the United States or of the religious sentiments of the founding fathers. Allen points out quite accurately and succinctly that these great men desired to create a nation that embodied the ideas and ideals of Enlightenment thinkers like Locke and Hume rather than those embodied in the Bible.
They had studied the Bible of course and had commented on it extensively but this was largely to point out its flaws. The founders opposed the idea of a national religion of any kind and intentionally separated Church and State in the formation of the U. Dec 05, itpdx rated it really liked it Shelves: Allen's premise is that some of the founding fathers particularly Franklin, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton were not necessarily Christian.
And that the Constitution was not based on Christian principles but on Enlightenment philosophy. And that they definitely intended there to be a "wall of separation" between church and state. Allen tells us of these founding fathers' as well as some of their religious colleagues dislike of the religious wars and persecution in England and Europe Allen's premise is that some of the founding fathers particularly Franklin, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton were not necessarily Christian.
Allen tells us of these founding fathers' as well as some of their religious colleagues dislike of the religious wars and persecution in England and Europe. It is interesting to see Jefferson include Judaism and Islam among religions that can be accommodated but no consideration of the Native American indigenous beliefs or of the vestiges of African religions that had survived the Middle Passage.
I think the understanding that many different sects were easier to handle than two or three dominant ones is something for us to pay attention to in the Middle East. Nov 25, Gary rated it really liked it. This book easily refutes the current conservative line that our Founding Fathers were Christians and that the Constitution is based on Biblical principles. Much of the Right's case is based on a website wherein the author lists the churches that our Founding Fathers belonged to.
Allen freely admits that most of these men belonged to some church or another at some time in their lives, she demonstrates that MOST were not Christians in the contemporary sense of the word. By quoting th This book easily refutes the current conservative line that our Founding Fathers were Christians and that the Constitution is based on Biblical principles.
By quoting their actual writings! Franklin, Madison and Jefferson in particular were prolific writers who didn't shy away from talking about religion. As far as the Constitution goes, it is no accident that it doesn't say anything about God or Jesus. Dec 27, Bruce rated it it was amazing Shelves: A very interesting book and a must read for anyone who really cares about what the founding fathers thought about church and state.
If one considers John Adams, Ben Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton founding fathers this book provides information from their papers and personal letters which should direct one in the search for original intent. The chapter on Hamilton is extremely enlightening and actually interpretive of current 21st century hap A very interesting book and a must read for anyone who really cares about what the founding fathers thought about church and state. The chapter on Hamilton is extremely enlightening and actually interpretive of current 21st century happenings.
The author also has a chapter dealing with "The World that Produced the Founding Fathers" which gives a context to how their thinking was affected by world events. I thoroughly enjoyed this work and recommend it to all. Jan 10, Joe rated it really liked it Shelves: Using copious examples of their own writings, the author makes a watertight case for the fact that the Founders were at best Deists or, in the case of Jefferson and Madison, outright atheists , and that any suggestion that they would have associated themselves with modern, evangelical religion, is absurd.
The Founders were indeed inspired men, but theirs is an inspiration of individual liberty, civic faith, and natural truth; not revealed truth, and intellectual tyranny. Intelligent, quick and, apparently, well researched work on the background of six of the principle founding fathers on the narrow issue of their religious beliefs, development how religion specifically 'Christianity was kept out of the Constitution.
Each chapter reads like a magazine article with good reason as the author writes for magazines and this makes it a quick read. But do not think that being a 'quick read' means an 'easy read'. To be 'slowly chewed and digested'.
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Great counter-argum Intelligent, quick and, apparently, well researched work on the background of six of the principle founding fathers on the narrow issue of their religious beliefs, development how religion specifically 'Christianity was kept out of the Constitution. Great counter-argument to those that think our Constitution, government, and founding fathers are 'for' Christians.
This one will stay on my shelf. Feb 05, Jim rated it really liked it. Very readable account of how religious freedom barely made it into the Constitution, and how American culture has always been hostile to the separation of Church and State. Dec 20, Joshua rated it liked it.
Great information especially to counter the lies about this being a "Christian Nation" or that there is no separation of church and state. This book uses the founding fathers' own writings to clearly show they intended a complete separation of church and state. The reason I gave it only three stars is because it was difficult to read.