Historian and evangelical Robert Tracy McKenzie here provides discussion of a case of “willful gullibility,” something we are all prone to but which we need to beware of when seeking to understand the past:
It is understandable for American Christians to be curious about Christianity’s influence on the founding of the United States and its framework of government, but all kinds of historical snares await us when we explore the question. Even with the best of intentions, we will be tempted, subconsciously at least, to distort what we see in order to find what we are looking for. Like human beings generally, we naturally want to harmonize the various facets of our identity, in this case, to think of our loyalty to Christ as reconcilable with the other attachments that are important to us. For many American Christians, to be specific, this has translated into the insistence that the United States be viewed as a Christian nation built on Christian principles embodied in fundamentally Christian founding documents.
When it comes to the Constitution, a common strategy has been to insist that the overwhelming preponderance…
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