Nothing is more nauseating than listening to some right-winger bloviate about the Founding Fathers' intentions when they established the precepts by which America should conduct itself. Idiots like Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, and Bill O'Reilly are constantly harping on America's traditional core values, rooted in the Christian beliefs of men like Washington, Jefferson and Hamilton. They were Christians, argue conservatives, and as such they implicitly included Christian values in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.
I got so sick of the carping that I finally looked up what the Founding Fathers had to say on the matter, and what I found is, as usual, O'Reilly, Beck and Coulter, et al, are lying. They have twisted the truth to suit their own warped agendas. Here's what the Founding Fathers really had to say:
Thomas Jefferson: “Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.”
James Madison: “The civil government … functions with complete success … by the total separation of the Church from the State.”
George Washington: “If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.” (Note to right wingers: What Washington meant here is persecution BY religious zealots, not OF religious zealots.)
John Adams: “The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”