If the Founders were generally men of faith, then it is illogical to believe that they would establish public policies either to prohibit or to inhibit expressions of the faith they cherished. On the other hand, if the contemporary portrayal is correct, and if as many now claims the Founders were by and large a collective group of atheists, agnostics, and deists, then it is logical that they would not want religious activities as a part of official public life. Therefore, a vital question to be answered in the current debate over the historical and constitutional role of public religious expressions is, “What was the overall religious disposition of the Founding Fathers?”
Before delving into an investigation of their religious nature, it is important first to establish what constitutes a “Founding Father.” As previously noted in the preface, for the purpose of this work, a “Founding Father” is one who exerted significant influence in, provided prominent leadership for, or had a substantial impact upon the birth, development, and establishment of America as an independent, self-governing nation. This obviously includes the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence, as well as the fourteen different Presidents who governed America from 1774 to 1789. Under America’s unicameral system prior to the Constitution, the President of the Continental Congress essentially served as the President of America.
Additionally, the handful of significant military leaders who provided leadership for, fought for, and secured our independence must be included. In other words, without the work of the fifty-six men who signed the Declaration, the fourteen Presidents of America who led the Continental Congress, or the three-dozen or so prominent military leaders, America as we know it undoubtedly would not exist today.
Included next are the fifty-five men at the Constitutional Convention as well as the major leaders responsible for the ratification of the Constitution on many occasions, these were the State Governors without whose efforts there would have been no United States of America. Therefore, without the work of the delegates at the Constitutional Convention and the leaders of the ratification movement, America would not have the form of government it has now enjoyed for over two centuries.
David Barton: We don't say, I wonder how we will apply this. I wonder how this really makes sense. It already does. Circle the word crowds