Tag Archives: America’s Founding Fathers

Understanding America’s Founding

To understand what God has called the Church in America to do, we need to understand both the nature of the Church AND the nature of America. There’s a brief essay by Robert Reilly over at The Stream (False Founding: Was America Anti-Christian From the Beginning?) that offers us a good start to the latter task. Here’s a snippet.

In Christ,

+Fr Gregory

The notion that man gets to make up the meaning of the universe, “to define one’s own concept of existence,” would have been considered hilarious, if not certifiably insane, by the Founders. Only by abandoning the general principles of Christianity and natural law could one imagine liberty as “autonomy of self.”

According to its own understanding of itself, the American Founding was informed by principles that derive from a source higher than man or the state. It is life according to these higher principles that the Founders held of greatest importance. Its value was inestimably superior to anything encompassed by the state. As it is above, so it should be beyond the state’s purview.

Man’s supernatural destiny confined and properly ordered the state to its temporal duties. The idea of the complete subordination of the individual to the state was entirely incompatible with this supernaturally ordered view of man, derived from the Judaeo-Christian tradition. This is the perspective of the Founding.

In other words, the Founding is not the problem; it is the solution. We have not remained true to the Founding. That is the problem. What’s more, it is a suicidal blunder to denigrate the Founding in this way because those who do so automatically exclude themselves from the public arena by conceding it to their opponents — therefore accelerating the very decline they decry.

Read the rest here.