Discussion on the Role of Religion in the Founders' Lives

Discussion on the Role of Religion in the Founders’ Lives

Dear Please use Religion and Politics in the US seventh edition by Kenneth D Wald and Allison Calhoun-Brown chapter 3 and 4 pages 39-107 as one of your references:

M2 Discussion on the Role of Religion in the Founders’ Lives
An undated engraving portrait of James Madison the fourth president of the US from 1809 to 1817. (AP Photo) This is an undated picture of a sketch of inventor scientist and a signer of the US Constitution, Benjamin Franklin. (AP Photo)
This is an oil painting of Thomas Jefferson by Gilbert Stuart in 1805 AP photo
This is a monochrome copy of an oil painting of Alexander Hamilton by John Trumbull. (AP Photo, Courtesy New York Public Library)

Top left: James Madison, 4th President of the US;
Top right: Benjamin Franklin, scientist, inventor, signer of the Declaration of Independence;
Bottom left: painting of Thomas Jefferson by Gilbert Stuart, 1805;
Bottom right: Alexander Hamilton by John Trumbull. (Photos AP)

Despite what appears to be a strong emphasis on religious pluralism and freedom, and the notion of the separation of church and state, the Founders actually believed in and encouraged the role of religion in public and private life. Despite what appears to be a strong emphasis on religious pluralism and freedom, and the notion of the separation of church and state, the Founders actually believed in and encouraged the role of religion in public and private life. In fact, the Founders most likely did not explicitly intended that religion and politics should be separated. As Spalding (2007) explains in his article, The Meaning of Religious Libertyopens in a new window, the main tenet that guided their thinking was that of morality.

It was thought that personal morality was an essential quality needed in order for leaders to discharge their responsibilities with integrity and uprightness. In fact, the collective morality of society was also critical in order that a civilized and orderly society could be maintained. Some equate this thinking with modern Conservatism, as Nash (2010) points out in his article, Reappraising the Right: The Past and Future of American Conservatismopens in a new window.

Review the articles above and reflect on the role religion may have played in the psychological, social, and economic lives of the Founders – and their view of the essential connection between religion and morality. In today’s world, how has the concept of morality changed or stayed the same?

Please post an initial response to the question(s) above, then reply to at least two different peers over the course of the module. Remember, in order for class discussions to be meaningful, you must participate regularly and consistently.M2 Overview & Article Links
Religion and the Founding
Design drawing for stained glass window showing the Founding Fathers as late-18th century gentlemen consulting a scroll before paneled doors Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington DC 20540 USA
Design drawing for stained glass window showing the Founding Fathers as late-18th century gentlemen consulting a scroll before paneled doors. Designed by J & R Lamb Studios. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.
This module will provide an historical framework within which to understand modern politics and religion by tracing the connections between religious perspectives in colonial America and later political thought.

Module Objectives
By the end of this module you should be able to:

Define the reasons for the historical foundations of the Church-State conflict.
Name and describe the doctrines of accommodationism and separationism as they pertain to establishment.
Explain the theological views of the Founders (Puritans, Evangelicals, Republicans, and Enlightenment exponents) on religious liberty that were critical to constitutional formation.
Discuss the “essential rights and liberties” of religion.
Summarize the key historical points of the separation of Church and State, and its importance in modern politics.
Learning Activities
Required Readings:
Text: Wald and Calhoun:
Chapter 3: Religion and American Political Culture
Chapter 4: Religion and the State
M2 Content Guides:
Religious Perspectives in Colonial America
Religion and Early Democracy
The Establishment and Disestablishment of Religion in American Culture
Articles
McConnell, M.W. (2003). Establishment and disestablishment at the founding: Part I: Establishment of religionopens in a new window. William & Mary Law Review 44(5).
The following two articles are for the M2 Discussion:
Spaulding (2007) The Meaning of Religious Libertyopens in a new window
Nash (2010) Reappraising the Right: The Past and Future of American Conservatismopens in a new window.
Optional Resources:
Exhibition: Religion and the Founding of the American Republicopens in a new window
PBS Video Program: God in Americaopens in a new window
History.com. (2009). Puritanismopens in a new window (A&E Networks)
News:
CNN Belief Blogopens in a new window
M2 Discussion: