Wednesday, June 01, 2005

"Another Way to Think About Secular Humanism"

James Oakes original postand comments in reaction to it offer a nice little historiography all its own of the secular/religious history battle. For me, perhaps the most important point was made at the beginning.
When people argue about secular humanism and religion in American history they usually end up throwing quotations at each other. Jefferson called for a "wall of separation" between church and state, but Washington said he never made a decision without consulting his God, and so forth.
The fact is that most of the Founders were too complicated (and too wordy!) to easily pigeonhole and there is simply enough to selectively pull a needed backup quote for anyone. It's still fun though, isn't it?

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