The 'Infidels' and 'Atheists' Who Founded America
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
America’s founders—not only Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin, but Thomas Paine, Ethan Allen, and Thomas Young, the forgotten Founder who kicked off the Boston Tea Party—were called as “infidels” and “atheists” in their own time. The ideas that inspired them were largely ancient, pagan, and continental. Matthew Stewart looks at the philosophical ideas that inspired America’s revolutionaries. His book Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic, uncovers the true meanings of “Nature’s God,” “self-evident,” and many other phrases crucial to our understanding of the American experiment.