A comment that I felt needed to be brought to the forefront, as sometimes these things get lost as the comment chains get longer (plus I wanted to make sure it was read since sometimes people don’t always return to the comment chain to read subsequent posts):
USMCwife909, you’re not reading my comments very carefully because you’re only interested in telling me why I’m wrong. I clearly stated that, and I quote my own words for the refreshment of your memory:
It seems to me that James Madison, while speaking against establishment of religion by law, still managed to convey a missionary heart. A heart that firmly believed in God and His commandments, but believed that each man must come to know God of his own free will.
I am curious that you claim to be Christian, but then you say:
Christians have a desperate need for some reason to claim our nation’s fathers as their own.
If you are Christian, wouldn’t you be part of that group? Or are there two sets of Christians, and you belong to the open-minded, live and let live set? I hate to tell you this, but no matter how you try to twist the words of many of the founders of our nation (Please note, I said MANY, not all. Do not try to twist my words and say that I believe that ALL good men that helped formed our nation were Christian or think exactly as I do. I NEVER said that.), this nation was founded on Christian principles, based on their very words. They had a balanced view — the best foundation for our nation is one of Christian principles, but because they held the free will that God gave each and every man so precious, they promised to never establish a national religion. It’s so obvious what Madison said — he believed in the light of Christianity, the existence of false religions (directly in conflict with modern day liberals who profess “god, whatever your concept of him or her may be”), and man’s free will to accept or reject the light of Christianity. Yes, he was speaking against established state religion — but he was not denying his faith in doing so.
It’s a shame that you and so many others who profess to be Christian (and yet demonstrate so differently with your words and actions) twist the words of those who are dead and can’t speak for themselves. And I am amused that you set yourself up as an authority — “the quote cannot be found in any of Madison’s original writings.” Perhaps you just haven’t run across the document that contains it? Why should I believe you? I’m not going to bore my other readers with lengthy endnotes from Federer’s encyclopedia — I trust the volume and the copious amounts of research that went into it, and anyone who has questions regarding its veracity can research that on their own.