Evangelical Christianity in America is Dead

Sorry to all my Evangelical Christian friends, but it is true.

Since this form of Protestantism has a built in way out based on its structural granularity, so most evangelical Christians can say, “Oh, that’s not me, that’s not my church, that’s the other guy,” most of you (talking to the Evangelicals here) will believe for a time that you are not tarnished by your religious leaders sidling up to a man who appears by all accounts to be a sex abuser, thief, and general asshat. But you don’t really get to do that.

Imagine for a moment an alternative universe where Evangelical Christians were part of the mainstream Catholic Church instead of spread all around hiding under various and sundry rocks. Then, imagine that instead of Billy Bush it was The Pope on that bus. Imagine if The Pope totally sidled up to Donald Trump, chuckled when he talked about sexual assault, made public excuses for his hateful racist and sexist behavior, and all of that. And all the Catholics went along with this. Then, all the Catholics would be tainted. The next time a Catholic offered some sanctimonious prayer at a family gathering, or noted on the local neighborhood social networking site, “Good Catholic seeking spare furniture for friend,” or spoke out with reference to their own religion at a public meeting or came to the school board to ask the local middle school to provide a “campus” for their fake church, or used their religion to facilitate anything or cajole anyone, how would they would be regarded? As hypocrites, untrustworthy, annoying. They would be seen as members of a fake religion that pretends to be moral but is in fact entirely pernicious.

But since the Evangelicals are dispersed among myriad churches most of you think you can get away with being an Evangelical Christian while at the same time almost all of the leading Evangelicals embrace Trump. The structure of your religion builds in an excuse. You think.

But sorry, it doesn’t and you can’t do that. We are not letting you do that. People of religions not embracing Trump, and people of no religion at all, will from now on hold you in contempt. Your doing. You paid for this, supported this, failed to speak out or even turn away. And now, the rotten immoral core of your fake religion, which was there all along, is revealed for what it is.

Now, I know many individuals, maybe even most, who consider themselves to be Evangelical Christians are not themselves immoral and rotten to the core. Some of my best friends are perfectly fine people who for some reason count themselves as Evangelical Christians, and they are in fact fine people. So don’t yell at me for saying that. I never said that. But, your religion sucks, and at even the most basic organizational level it sucks, and at the higher level where you recognize and rely on for your political and social power, if not your daily teachings, it really really sucks. And this has been known for decades. If you didn’t know yourself you should have. It is your responsibility to not support a movement that condones sexual assault, rape, racism, attacks on the needy, attacks on the environment. But you failed to do so and for this you’ll be shunned.

If there was a hell you’d be going there too, perhaps, depending on the exact rules. But there isn’t so you get off easy on that one.

By the way, for the record, Donald Trump screwing a porn star who willingly went to bed with him is probably the absolute least of our worries, and is possibly the least objectionable thing he ever did. But, the moral majority would take this sort of thing, had a black man or a non-Christian or a Liberal done it, and resoundingly condemn. So there’s your irony I leave it for you to take the rest of the day to unpack it.

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62 thoughts on “Evangelical Christianity in America is Dead

  1. A very good argument can be made that Evangelical leaders haven’t uniformly condemned his racism because that is a key part of their philosophy. Same for his shitty treatment of women. The rest of it they can overlook because he is the correct race to be president (in their opinion).

    Here, in a very conservative section of Michigan, a surprisingly large number of the Catholic population is quite outspoken against him, what he’s done, and what he’s said he wants to do. The Dutch Reformed community is, if anything, concerned that he’s been “too liberal”.

  2. Says the atheist.

    I am sure all of the Evangelical Christians in the world will take your opinion under advisement.

    Of course, I wouldn’t be surprised if some (maybe many) will disagree with your opinions on this topic.

    Isn’t America great – we all get to believe what we want on issues of morality.

    I myself am Catholic and find that some in my religion actually have political views different from the Church they attend. For example, while I am pro-life (in line with Church position) I am pro-death penalty (against the Church position). Weird how some people separate church and state (politics).

    1. RickA, my atheism does not invalidate my argument, or the observations that everyone can make of the Evangelical community giving our deplorable president a pass.

    2. “For example, while I am pro-life”

      In the usual “I get to tell women what to do while they are pregnant but once the child is born I don’t give a shit — it’s that filthy whore’s problem” sense, per your libertarian view.

    3. What argument?

      This post is a rant.

      It is nothing more than your personal opinion.

      Or did I miss the event where you were given power to declare the religion of millions of people dead?

    4. …we all get to believe what we want on issues of morality.

      That’s a bug, not a feature.

      Morality, whilst a somewhat philosophical expression of culture*, can still be defined with reference to objective, rational, and empirically-supportable criteria. People’s desires to believe whatever they want to believe are not so contrained, and it is for this reason that picking and choosing one’s own “moralities” is not the “great” thing that you promote it to be.

      It doesn’t surprise me that you subscribe to this self-indulgent tripe though, give that you want the ability to dictate that women can’t protect themselves from unwanted, potentially involuntary, and often life-threatening pregnancy, and that you also want the capacity to take people’s lives on the basis that someone’s determined that they are apaprently guilty of a crime.

      Your apparent view of ‘morality’ matches that of your approach to science – you take only what reinforces your personal ideologies and prejudices, and screw the rest of the planet.

      [*I was going to say something along the lines of ‘human thought/understanding’, but given that non-human speics can exhibit moral behaviours doing so would have been elitist and miseading. The more so because non-human expression of morality has an element of evolutionary selection and therefore a basis in objectivity.]

    5. This post is a rant.

      It is nothing more than your personal opinion.

      Actually it is more than personal opinon, because it contains induction and empirically-based statements that can be tested for veracity. If you think that it is “nothing more than… personal opinion” you should be able to mount a scientifically-constructed refutation that dismantles the inaccuracies of Greg’s assertions.

      I see nothing in anything that you’ve posted that does this, which doesn’t surprise me as empiricism and scientific method have never been your strong points (or indeed any points) in your approach to argument.

    6. “That’s a bug, not a feature.”

      This had me chuckling in agreement.
      Theres a sort of inherent conservatism about it actually. A sort of orthodoxy im ok with.

  3. Watch the horrible Franklin Graham (I never would have thought anyone in the family could a worse conman and thief than the old man, but Graham far exceeds his dad in sheer disgustingness) interview and listen to his stammering defense of President Trump and his lies about what the president has said, has not said, and more. Fits the tone of this blog post perfectly.

  4. dean:

    I love it when you try to read my mind.

    As usual, you are terrible at it.

    Let me try to read your mind:

    You want to kill babies both before and after birth.

    You want more fetal alcohol babies.

    You want more crack babies.

    You don’t think babies are people.

    How am I doing?

    1. Since I don’t support cutting programs that help women and the poor in general, your attempt is laughable. Since you have a history of attacking social programs, you don’t have any defense.

    2. So you think my mind-reading is laughable?

      I guess mind-reading is pretty tricky.

      Perhaps you should think about that when you try to do it in the future.

  5. Rick is one of those idiots that the late Isaac Asimov once referred to as demanding that we compensate for an increased birth rate by increasing the death rate through the waging of more foreign wars. Don’t bullshit us Rick with you’re insincere “I am pro-life” screeds. You are most certainly NOT pro-life. So don’t come on here with this right wing claptrap. The kinds of policies you advocate are nothing of the sort. I cringe whenever some anti-abortionist right wing loon claims to be ‘pro-life’. You might get away with this nonsense on some alt-right blog but not on here.

    1. RickA

      The issue is one of autonomy. Who gets to tell women what their reproductive rights are? Conservative vermin like you, or women themselves?

      It’s pretty simple really.

      ‘Pro life’ means pro male authoritarianism and anti-female self-determination. That’s why it is prevalent among religious and political conservatives, who share an authoritarian, patriarchal worldview.

  6. In the Bible, Jesus condemned adultery (Matthew 5:28), and those who profess to respect and follow the teachings of Jesus cannot condone adultery without losing their credibility as Christians.

    Now we see many religious leaders endorsing Trump and giving his adultery a pass. Regarding the new story of Trump’s tryst with Stormy Daniels, that took place soon after Melania gave birth to Barron Trump, and which Ms. Daniels recently confirmed, Family Research Council head Tony Perkins told Politico, “We kind of gave him—‘All right, you get a mulligan. You get a do-over here.’ ”

    Nor is Perkins alone. The roster includes Franklin Graham — and Vice President Mike Pence, himself an evangelical.

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/01/23/tony-perkins-evangelicals-donald-trump-stormy-daniels-216498

    There’s no getting around it: People who condone adultery in others cannot honestly call themselves faithful followers of Jesus.

    1. But I bet you are against the death penalty.

      Most people, capable of examining facts and implications, are against it. It’s just people who value gut-level revenge with no concern for effectiveness who are its staunchest supporters.

    2. All true, but the reality is that Perkins, Graham, Pence, whichever Falwell is currently in charge of the fake university his daddy started, and others of their ilk, haven’t really tried to be Christians: they’ve modeled businesses around Christianity and sided their bigotries and lies with Christianity’s terms.

    3. No person ever put to death has committed another crime.

      You revel in logical fallacy don’t you? Do you honestly think that this is a justifiable reason for having the death penalty?

      Some points…

      1) Many people put to death have been innocent of crime.

      2) There are other ways of keeping criminals from committing further crimes.

      3) If you (even implicitly) condone as inevitable-but-acceptable the killing of innocent people as ‘criminals’, then you have no right to preach on the abortion of fetuses for the many more justifiable reasons that exist.

  7. The death penalty is shown to have no effect on crime rates. demanding stone age punishment due to your lack of intellect is indefensible.

    1. In the United States the death penalty is constitutional, and it is up to each state and the Federal government if it is imposed. Some states use it, some don’t.

      Deterrence is just one reason for punishment, but not the only one.

      Vengeance is another reason to punish criminals.

      I don’t care whether crime rates are lowered by capital punishment or incarceration or any type of punishment.

      Once you decide capital punishment is available as a penalty in your State or at the Federal level, it is up to the State or Federal government to decide what crimes to apply capital punishment for.

      Michigan decided to abolish the death penalty (as did Minnesota), so you should be happy.

      Other states get to make their own decision.

      I think the death penalty is constitutional and therefore available for states to chose to apply (or not), as they see fit.

    2. Yup, no real defense or concern about the unbalanced application, etc. Just what we expect from simpletons.

    3. “Vengeance is another reason to punish criminals.”
      Golly its wierd to see these words written down. Im not really sure such a concept is quantified by a beak considering sentencing if a jury has convicted.
      Perhaps an impact statement by victim.
      ” Ive had heaps stolen off me by that arsehole corrupt white collar prick. I feel vengeful ”
      Beak ” Er, ok, i will take that into consideration in sentencing “.
      Seems a tad odd.

      What about if the victim is dead? Can the court assume vengeance on the victims behalf????
      Defence making early anticipatry move… ” The deceased was not of a vengeful nature yer honour, and we have witnesses to attest to that ”
      Prosecution … ” The deceased was full of spite and vengance yer honour ” .
      Hahahahahaha as if.

      Jeez, what if a jury finds not guilty!!!???
      Victim ” Bloody heck! My vengeance was misplaced and i dont where to place it now”.

    4. Vengeance is another reason to punish criminals.

      I was going to comment on this yesterday but heatstroke forced me to bed before I could post.

      I agree with Li D – it’s extraordinarily strange to see an appearently educated person advocating for state-organised vengeance. Not only is it at odds with the central tenet of the religion on which the USA is based, and to which so many of its people cleave so vervently, it makes no sense for third parties (whether individuals or states) to be participants in vengeance.

      It does, however, say a lot about the persons who advocate it…

    5. Just something else quickly about vengeance in the context of christianity.
      I will paraphrase that religions sacred book because im not terribly familiar with it.
      Vengeance is mine alone , says god.
      ( This implies to me a strong faith, and its advice to drop ones emotions from a matter at hand )
      and
      Turn the other cheek.
      ( i think this is a sort of showing of strength as a victim ).
      Im not sure if these are out of the book christians nicked from the jewish mob ( which makes christian anti semites particularly fucked in the head btw)
      or the jesus book.

      Dunno what buddists and muslims and hindus and Micronesians and whatnot think about vengeance.
      Probably all pretty similar i imagine.
      Any insights from your African travels on this Greg?

    6. Bernard and Li:

      I am surprised that you object to vengeance.

      What do you think jail or prison is?

      It is state ordered punishment (i.e. vengeance) for breaking the law.

      They don’t call it a penal code for nothing.

      The death penalty is just a more severe punishment, for heinous crimes, imposed in jurisdictions which provide for the death penalty.

  8. I am afraid Yank evangelicals have lost of thought of biblical knowledge.

    Tim Keller wrote recently on this topic and with much sadness. Just like the Israelites of old evangelicals simply want to copy wordly ways and claim them for their own.

    The Death penalty is simply punishment fitting the crime.
    A ma or woman kills another whom is born in the image of god. There can be only one punishment.

    You must be terribly sure they committed the crime however!

    1. Yeah, but owning slaves, stoning women who weren’t virgins at marriage, and genocide are all biggies for the Bible too. Amazing how hypocritical cafeteria christian loons are.

  9. now now – just calm down: “let he who has never been spanked by a porn diva while his 3rd wife was pregnant with his 5th child cast the first stone” First Ironicles 4:20

    Actually- having grown up Southern Baptist I confess to more than a little schadenfreude watching yet one more Holy Roller completely compromise all his hitherto vocal morality: you know – about how I have been supposed to behave lo these many decades now….. and you are right Greg- there is no taking them seriously going forward. The last True Christian was Jimmy Carter. The rest can just take up Scaramucci’s suggested sexual positions….

    1. Not sure I can say anymore what those “beliefs” are- seems a shifting ground: slavery? interracial marriage? “evolution” etc….

      I find the entertainment in the squirm and angst as the Evangelicals prop up a leader who so blatantly flaunts such ‘sacred’ sins as infidelity or wealth worship or just plain lying….

    2. You don’t agree with the religious beliefs, but you want them to act on those same religious beliefs…

      Again and again with the logical fallacies.

      One does not have to agree with another’s belief in a sky fairy in order to be digusted that the believer hypocritically fails to uphold many (or even all…) of the tenets ascribed to the sky fairy’s apparent teachings – to wit:

      1) forgiveness,
      2) equality (in the sight of the sky fairy…)
      3) faithfulness
      4) honesty in speech
      5) eschewing theft
      6) generosity
      7) …

      The hypocricy is even more appalling – and galling – given that these are all secularly sanctioned social norms as well, but apparently it’s OK for our role models to fail to model them.

  10. Slavers in O/T times were people who were bankrupt and could not pay. Maybe you heard of forgiveness of debt??

    Stoning because the woman is not a virgin?? you have been watching too many movies.

    Genocide? People who had been guilty of murdering others without gicving any mercy is genocide??

    Strange values

  11. Interesting that libertarian loons like RickA are happy to promote right wing policies on the environment that are likely to have a profoundly significant effect on the unborn populations of the future. Let’s hope you didn’t vote Republican Rick, or your vile hypocrisy becomes even more apparent.

    As for the death penalty, I assume this also applies to the political classes who pursued foreign policies or even granted individual acts of aggression that they knew were going to result in civilian deaths. Or how about corporate CEOs who knowingly break environmental laws by for example illegally dumping toxic wastes where people die as a result of exposure to them.

    I am sure that Rick fully agreed that most of the neocons in the Bush administration who planned and executed the Iraq war, the “supreme international crime” according to the Nuremberg Code and which violated the UN Charter and even US constitutional law, should be sent to the electric chair.

    But no! Rick confines his despicable support for the death penalty to the poor and destitute who commit crimes at home. The elite classes are wholly exempt.

    1. Jeff:

      I think that anybody who is convicted of a crime, sentenced to die and has exhausted all their appeals, should be executed.

      It doesn’t matter what class or party they fall into, or their sex, raise, religion or national origin.

  12. “And ye shall use as a symbol of your religion the image of a man, your savior, who has been tortured to death. And you shall blind yourselves to any knowledge imparted by this symbol; you shall be blind to the evils of torture and murder and punishment; and you shall keep rage and contempt in your hearts, and show no empathy for others.”

    Is that from the book of Ironicles or Pronuouns? Can’t quite remember…

    1. that verse goes on : and when thou hast lain with a lusty harlot, thou shalt be sure to praise her thusly : “you remind me of my hot daughter” ….

  13. Oh I remember that one! ” And thou shalt known no boundaries of decency or normalcy, and shalt run around with thy staff aloft , in thou tighty whiteys, whilst proclaiming thy daughters worthy of thy lust “Don’t you think my daughter’s hot? She’s hot, right?””.

  14. Re Bernard J. ” Not only is it at odds with the central tenet of the religion on which the USA is based”

    I take issue with that. It’s usually part of the rightwing attempt to inject sectarian religion into public policy and even public education. The “founding fathers” as we call them in the U. S. were not all Christians (or Jews for that matter). Some, perhaps even many, seem to have been deists.

    Certainly, the major documents for which they were responsible do not reflect a belief in the divinity of Jesus nor do they favor any particular religion. The brief mention reference “… endowed by their Creator …” in the Declaration of Independence is pretty generic and was likely a way to justify the Rebellion to the general public rather than instigated by deep religious conviction.

    It would not surprise me if many of the Fathers were of an opinion similar to that of Cicero. He expressed skepticism about the reality of deities but considered belief in them a good thing for the general population. That would explain the support given by the Fathers to the custom of prayers being offered at the beginnings of public governmental meetings. This seems to fit awkwardly with later establishment clause in the Constitution.

  15. Greg: I think you missed a salient point. Religion of all stripes is a good, GOOD business. I note that throughout history the priests of whatever religion seemed to live off the fat of the land (and High Priests most of all).

    I do disagree with your position as an atheist. As an agnostic I am open to proof if it exists that there is a sentient creator. I think science does accept a creation (big bang, brames) with the ultimate creating force yet to be determined. So let them call it God or whatever.

    Hope you and family are doing well.

    JImB

  16. I am surprised that you object to vengeance.

    What do you think jail or prison is?

    Imprisonment is punishment meted out by agents of the government to those who have committed some crime against persons or the state.

    Vengeance is something else altogether, it is target punishment, usually extreme, by a victim, or agents directed by the victim, on the perpetrator of a crime.

    You claim to be a lawyer, well I thought a lawyer would be better with words and meanings. Your clients should take care.

    If you consider yourself a Christian, I guess a Catholic would, then you should be familiar with Deuteronomy and Romans.

    1. Here is the definition of vengeance:

      “punishment inflicted or retribution exacted for an injury or wrong”.

      So you can see that vengeance is punishment, and therefore can be exacted by the State when they punish a criminal for their crime.

      So the State is exacting vengeance when it punishes a criminal for their crime.

      I am not sure why you bring religion into it.

    2. Here are the four justifications for criminal punishment:

      “There are four types of justification for punishment – retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, and societal protection.”

      Retribution is one of the reasons listed, which also falls into the definition of vengeance.

      Punishment, retribution and vengeance are all part and parcel of why we put criminals into jail or prison.

    3. Vengeance is MINE, sayeth the Lord…

      It’s not for the state to be carrying out judicial murders – inevitably including miscarriages of justice – just to keep vicious conservative nutters happy.

  17. Summary of the author’s argument in Paragraph 6 (as coach): https://tinyurl.com/hqwsx2q
    It’s also funny to read Bernard January 26, 2018 at 8:03 pm rely on induction, the concept that the future will be like the past, while denying a Creator that has declared the foundations for induction.

    From an atheistic perspective, if chaos rules the universe, why should we all expect atoms to behave in any reliable way? Francis Bacon’s religious belief in an orderly Creator brought forth ye olde Scientific Method. Bacon wasn’t American, was he?

    1. You say micro, I say macro.

      And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you don’t know what you’re talking about yourself.

  18. “For vengeance is yours sayeth the lordie! Hurt others if it satisfies you sadistic impulses. Recognize not any scientific evidence that suggests it is better to heal or re-educate your errant neighbor than to try to psychologically maim them. Blind your eyes to the fact that prisons train future criminals; that the justice system often imprisons the innocent, and that prisons suck at rehabilitation. Belittle any science and psychology that tries to understand the causes of crime because, you know, its more fun to be righteous bastards, to play good and evil, and besides, thinking sucks. Also, be completely stupid about really violent criminals who should be imprisoned for societal protection, and let them quickly go back out onto the streets to create more mayhem; while transgressors of minor behavioral infractions are imprisoned for decades. Support mindless violence in your culture. Amen.”

    Book of Meh 2:29

  19. Tyvor Wynn: Certainly, the major documents for which they were responsible do not reflect a belief in the divinity of Jesus nor do they favor any particular religion.

    True, and they were often excoriated for this by the preachers of the time — such as the Reverend Dr. John Mason of New York, who called Jefferson a “confirmed infidel.”

    1. Chris/Tyvor, Have you read the quotes that are etched in stone at the Jefferson Memorial? https://tinyurl.com/yc9cfmwh

      Northeast Portico

      “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free. Establish the law for educating the common people. This it is the business of the state to effect and on a general plan.”

      -Excerpted from multiple sources: “A Summary View of the Rights of British America,” “Notes on the State of Virginia,” “The Autobiography,” letter to George Wythe (1790), letter to George Washington (1786).

    1. I would encourage people to read the full texts.
      It may be difficult to argue that the excerpts are not proper summaries of the thoughts being expressed.

  20. Jefferson was an avowed deist – his cut n paste version of the Bible [given to Senator elects up til the 1950s BTW] omits anything he found “contrary to reason “: miracles as well as the resurrection. I am not surprised that he would have had a “clockmaker” view of God- ‘Origin of Species ‘ was not published til 1859 and , although there were plenty of atheists around, its a good guess, that like his views on slavery, Jefferson was decidedly a man of his times….

    Trying to ascribe some divine origin for one’s morality is a suspect exercise at any rate- keep going back in history and “your god” will have been merely an appropriation of some one else’ s previous “god” [and don’t even get me started on all the convenient sherry picking evangelicals do with their own avowed “word of God” sheesh….

  21. We should remember that the most of the Founding Fathers (for lack of a better succinct term) had been brought up in a culture in which the tradition of divine-right kingship was not completely dead. They also knew something of the divisiveness that sectarian religion could cause. They had enough common sense and political savvy to be aware of (1) the need to have a more noble justification for a radical rebellion for representative government than “we don’t like the current British king and government,” and (2) that most of the people they needed to support the Revolution and serve in an army were believers in a supreme being and so could be more easily moved by arguments with a generally but not sectarian religious flavor. The result: a lot of public (and semi-private) mention of God without any sectarian details that might cause friction between groups.

    At least that seems a reasonable position to me.

    1. I would argue something very different about their motivations and justifications.

      There were two kinds of “patriots” (layers, really). The wealthy who had been involved in extensive land speculation in the west that the British were interfering with significantly, and the common folk who were involved in the other end of that fight, seeing their rightful property and opportunity being taken away by, or threatened by, Native Americans, the French, etc. and in some cases, probably seen some threat to slavery from the British as well.

      The rabble carried out heinous acts such as tarring and feathering loyalists, finding caches of pro-British documents and burning them, even killing some Tories. The upper class, the “founding father” group, had to lower their idyllic views and reshape their investment-protection schemes to line up with the rabble, to get them to fight.

      And there was more than just that.

      But between all those things, I don’t see any kind of belief in higher purpose or higher authority playing any real role in the actual on the ground activities that are fairly well documented across the colonies over several years leading up to the actual war, during the entire thing, and during the subsequent constitutional phase. It just isn’t there in the documents in any substantial way. It isn’t what people were saying, or fighting about. And they were talking!

  22. Re Greg Laden: “I would argue something very different about their motivations and justifications.”

    I have read a number of books written for general audiences on the period but have not made any special study of American Colonial times and the American Revolution or read any original sources so I am in no position to argue strongly against your position. In fact, I may be quite wrong in my position.

    I thought though that I had made it clear that I thought the Founding Fathers were taking a pragmatic approach to mounting a revolution and saying and doing things for those reasons — propagandizing in order to marshal support. I did not say or mean that they had no other motivations. I am old enough to be aware that peoples’ higher values are often compromised by more practical considerations, including the economic.

    So, just as a comment I offer the following:
    (1) Despite whatever economic incentives they may have had, it seems to be the fact that the Founding Fathers were risking their lives in fomenting a revolution. I’ve read a fair amount of UK history and have found no indication that English governments had a record of mercy in such matters at the time. That to me argues for more than a simple economic interest; higher motives perhaps.
    (2) The American revolutionaries not only needed to stir up a large number of colonists in their favor to have any chance of success, but also needed the support of foreign nations, specifically those which self-identified as Christian nations (for various practical reasons if nothing else). I should think that republicanism would be a hard enough sell to countries ruled by monarchs; “godless” republicanism would not sell at all. Hence a lot of talk about God. Didn’t Ethan Allen order the surrender of Fort Ticonderoga “in the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress”? Not a Founding Father but a sign of the times perhaps.

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