Jeff Schweitzer is a scientist and former White House Senior Policy Analyst. He holds a Ph.D. in marine biology/neurophysiology. He’s obviously a smart guy, but he needs to spend more time checking out the facts related to Christianity and the founding of America. America did not begin in 1787, and there’s more to the impact that Christianity had on the nation than the writings of five or six founders.
In this article, I will only be dealing with one item claimed by Dr. Schweitzer. I’ve addressed most of his claims elsewhere.
Recently, Schweitzer wrote “Founding Fathers: We Are Not a Christian Nation.” He immediately goes off track with the following quotation that he attributes to John Adams with no documentation (see image below):
“The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
John Adams neither said nor wrote this. The phrase “the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion” has been attributed to George Washington numerous times. A portion of the above quotation found its way on the cover of Liberty Magazine. The publisher gave the impression that George Washington wrote the words. Washington’s signature followed the excerpted line that read, “The United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”
The Encyclopedia of Philosophy concocts a story of how George Washington “acquiesced” to the radical deistic views of Joel Barlow, then American consul in Algiers. Here is how the story is told:
“In answer to a direct question from a Muslim potentate in Tripoli, Washington acquiesced in the declaration of Joel Barlow, then American Consul in Algiers, that ‘the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.’”1
This is pure fiction. Washington had no direct involvement with the Treaty. He had left office before the Treaty was signed.
So what is the origin of the citation?
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