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Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?

A history professor will explore this topic Thursday night at The University of Mary Washington.

John Fea, professor of history at Messiah College, will present the 2012 lecture, “Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?” on Thursday, January 26 at 7:30 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.

This event is the annual Jefferson Lecture on the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which commemorates Thomas Jefferson’s work to establish freedom of worship in the state.

UMW’s department of classics, philosophy and religion has sponsored the since 2002, the 225th anniversary of the writing of the work.

For details, click here or contact Craig Vasey, professor of classics, philosophy and religion,

at 540/654-1342.


  • Larry Linn

    My grandparents had to flee Northern Ireland after death threats
    because of conflicts between Christian Catholics and Christian Protestants. She
    was Protestant, and he was Catholic. When I became of age, I volunteered and
    joined the Army, and I served as an 11B Infantryman. Most of my time in the
    field was in squad or platoon size operations. When there were conflicts
    between the South Vietnamese Buddhists and Christian, we would have discussions
    about what we were fighting for. It always came back to the “Bill of Rights”.
    To me the most important was “Congress shall make no law respecting an
    establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”.

    What else did our Founding Fathers have to say about religion?

    “Question with boldness even the existence of a god.”
    - Thomas Jefferson (letter to Peter Carr, 10 August 1787):

    “All natural institutions of churches, whether Jewish,
    Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to
    terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.” Thomas
    Paine, The Age of Reason;

    “Religion and government will both exist in greater purity,
    the less they are mixed together”, James Madison.

    “Lighthouses are more helpful than Churches”, Benjamin Franklin.

    Our Founding Fathers never intended for the United States to be
    a religious nation.