Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers

Front Cover
IVAN R DEE Incorporated, 2007 - History - 235 pages
20 Reviews
In her lively refutation of modern claims about America's religious origins, Brooke Allen looks back at the late eighteenth century and shows decisively that the United States was founded not on Christian principles at all but on Enlightenment ideas. Moral Minority presents a powerful case that the unique legal framework the Founding Fathers created was designed according to the humanist ideals of Enlightenment thinkers: God entered the picture only as a very minor player, and Jesus Christ was conspicuous by his absence. The guiding spirit of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, Ms. Allen explains, was not Jesus Christ but John Locke. In direct and accessible prose, she provides fascinating chapters on the religious lives of the six men she considers the key Founding Fathers: Franklin, Washington, John Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton. Far from being the conventional pious Christians we too often imagine, these men were skeptical intellectuals, in some cases not even Christians at all. Moral Minority presents unforgettable images of our iconic founders: Jefferson taking a razor to the Bible and cutting out every miraculous and supernatural occurrence; Washington rewriting speeches others had crafted for him, so as to omit all references to Jesus Christ; Franklin and Adams confiding their doubts about Christ's divinity; Madison expressing deep disapproval over the appointment of chaplains to Congress and the armed forces, and of what we would now call "faith-based" initiatives. Enlivened by generous portions of the founders' own incomparable prose, Moral Minority makes an impassioned and scintillating contribution to the ongoing debate more heated now than ever before over the separation of church and state and the role (or lack thereof) of religion in government.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
8
4 stars
9
3 stars
3
2 stars
0
1 star
0

Review: Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers

User Review  - Martha - Goodreads

I really enjoyed this. Interesting insights into the personalities of our founding fathers, and I kept wanting to write down quotes. Anyone who thinks everyone was religious back in the old days should read this. Unfortunately the people who most need to read this book will not. Read full review

Review: Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers

User Review  - Michael Miller - Goodreads

The first six chapters of Brooke Allen's Moral Minority examine the writings and speeches of six of the founding fathers: Franklin, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton. She helps bring ... Read full review

Related books

References from web pages

Moral Minority--America's Skeptical Founding Fathers -Britannica Blog
The Founders that I concentrated on in my book, Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers were the six I considered the most famous and influential: ...
www.britannica.com/ blogs/ 2007/ 04/ 635/

Thomas Riggins: The God Delusion and the Moral Minority ...
MORAL MINORITY: OUR SKEPTICAL FOUNDING FATHERS by Brooke Allen, Ivan R. Dee, 235 pp., reviewed by George F. Will in The New York Times Book Review for ...
www.selvesandothers.org/ article15385.html

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease - Fulltext: Volume 196(3 ...
Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers. [Department: Briefly Noted]. Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers. Brooke, Allen. (2006). ...
www.jonmd.com/ pt/ re/ jnmd/ fulltext.00005053-200803000-00021.htm;jsessionid=HcKB4q9Qnvs2pCvyT0C50V2Jch6h1W51WH7njcff1T...

Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers - Paulding.com
In the nytimes, Brooke Allen's new book Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers (click here for the Amazon pae), is reviewed in NY Times today by ...
www.paulding.com/ forum/ index.php?showtopic=81978

God of Our Fathers - New York Times
This irritates Brooke Allen, an author and critic who has distilled her annoyance into ''Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers. ...
query.nytimes.com/ gst/ fullpage.html?res=9506E4D91030F931A15753C1A9609C8B63& sec=& spon=& pagewanted=print

Barnes & Noble.com - Books: Moral Minority, by Brooke Allen ...
Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers, Allen, Brooke Allen, Hardcover, ANN, Book, ISBN: 1566636752, Constitutional Law, Politics & Government ...
search.barnesandnoble.com/ Moral-Minority/ Brooke-Allen/ e/ 9781566636759

History News Network
[HNN Editor: Brooke Allen is the author of Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers. Michael and Jane Novak are the authors of Washington's God. ...
hnn.us/ roundup/ entries/ 37500.html

Julia Sweeney's Discussion Forum View topic - Godless Constitution
I agree that "Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers" is a lightweight but fairly good contender, the only similar book to "A Godless Constitution" ...
www.juliasweeney.com/ forum/ viewtopic.php?f=11& t=28& p=430

The Problems Of Skeptic & Believer - September 27, 2006 - The New ...
The Problems Of Skeptic & Believer - September 27, 2006 - The New York Sun
www2.nysun.com/ article/ 40433

Townhall.com::Are the theocons taking over?::By William Rusher
Inside, on the page directly preceding the carry-over, the Book Review publishes a review by George Will of "Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers ...
www.townhall.com/ columnists/ WilliamRusher/ 2006/ 10/ 26/ are_the_theocons_taking_over

About the author (2007)

Brooke Allen's Twentieth-Century Attitudes was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She has also written Artistic License. Her critical writing appears frequently in the Times Book Review, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Criterion, The Hudson Review, The Nation, and The New Leader. She lives with her husband and two children in Brooklyn, New York.

Bibliographic information