We are often told that America is a country founded on Christian or Judeo-Christian values and SRSR agrees with that but would add that then as now, there is a difference between believing in Christian values and in being a Christian. The founding fathers were a group of complete individuals and their religious beliefs were quite varied.
George Washington was a Christian, a theist and a Mason. The last two descriptors, are not very popular with today's TV evangelists, some of whom would have us believe that George believed exactly what they do.
Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and other founding fathers, were even more radical in their beliefs and possibly can best be described as "secular humanists" a term despised by many TV preachers.
John Adams was a member of the Unitarian church, which is not thought very highly of by fundamentalists, for it's belief that it's members should, "follow the dictates of their own conscience." SRSR agrees that our consciences are not very reliable, but other people's consciences aren't either so don't let them be yours.
Thomas Jefferson "was intensely interested in theology, biblical study, and morality. He is most closely connected with the Episcopal Church, Unitarianism, and the religious philosophy of Deism. He wrote to a nephew, "Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear." In private letters, Jefferson refers to himself as "Christian" (1803), "a sect by myself" (1819), an "Epicurean" (1819), a "Materialist" (1820), and a "Unitarian by myself" (1825)." (The above paragraph is from Wikipedia.org on Nov. 2, 2010.)
Thomas Jefferson who is credited with much of the authorship of the Declaration of Independence and some of the Constitution (SRSR thinks George Mason and others deserve more credit than they receive), had his own very strong religious convictions.
Jefferson wrote his own version of the New Testament, where he tried to include only the passages that he considered to have actually come from Jesus. Reportedly he began it while President and completed it after his retirement. The book was published after his death as the The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth: The Jefferson Bible, and it is widely available on Amazon.com.
Jefferson explained why he wrote this book in a letter to John Adams dated January 24, 1814, a portion of the letter appears below:
"The whole history of these books (the gospels) is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from the cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are the fabric of very inferior minds. It is easy to separate those parts, as to pick diamonds from dunghills."
Abraham Lincoln's religious beliefs are also controversial and it is easy to find quotes from him, his wife and others who knew him supporting just about any conclusion one wants to reach regarding his faith.
U.S. Grant wrote in his memoirs, about the importance of the freedom to "follow the dictates of one's own conscience", when it comes to religion.
The Autumn moon and corn in Indiana.
Below are a few quotes that SRSR believes supports the idea that the founding fathers were not monolithically Christian, but I believe they were probably greatly influenced by Christianity... not to mention Free Masonry, Deism as well as other religious and secular traditions.
First Treaty of Tripoli (during the term of President George Washington) states in part:
"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."
The above treaty was ratified by all 23 of the 32 sitting Senators who were present for the June 7, 1796 vote 
"I have generally been dominated a Deist, the reality of which I never disputed, being conscious I am no Christian, except mere infant baptism makes me one; and as to being a Deist, I know not strictly speaking, whether I am one or not." - Ethan Allen
"In those parts of the world where learning and science has prevailed, miracles ceased; but in those parts that are barbarous and ignorant, miracles are still in vogue." - Ethan Allen to Thomas Jefferson
"I wish it (Christianity) were more productive of good works ... not holy day keeping, sermon hearing ... of making long prayers, filled with flatteries and compliments despised by wise men, and much less capable of pleasing Deity." - Benjamin Franklin
"As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupt changes, and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his divinity; tho' it is a question I do not dogmatize upon..." - Benjamin Franklin
"On the dogmas of religion, as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind." - Thomas Jefferson
"Whence arose all the horrid assassinations of whole nations of men, women, and infants, with which the Bible is filled; and the bloody persecutions, and tortures unto death, and religious wars, that since that time have laid Europe in blood and ashes; whence arose they, but from the impious thing called religion. and this mostrous belief that God has spoken to man?" - Thomas Paine
"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church." - Thomas Paine
"All national 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
"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!" - Patrick Henry (this quote is widely disputed)
"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." - George Washington (this quote is widely disputed)
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This site was last updated 09/11/12