Theistic Rationalism

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In The Religious Beliefs of America’s Founders: Reason, Revelation, and Revolution by Gregg L. Frazer, Frazer is explaining that many of the Founding Fathers were not Christian or Atheist or even that they are not Deist, as is commonly argued, they were Theistic Rationalist. Frazer does this by firstly pointing out that Theistic Rationalism was a major belief during the foundering of the United States. Since Theistic Rationalism was a major belief, the Founders were also influenced by many authors who were Theistic Rationalist. Frazer successfully contest that John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington were all Theistic Rationalist. Frazer explains that Theistic Rationalism is the prominent belief in the Founding …show more content…
Frazer tells us that Jefferson was more Rationalist than many may argue. To start off, Frazer points out that Jefferson rationally explains the existence of God and the Creation, he even brings in John 1:3 in how Jesus helped with the creation the exact beliefs of Jesus and his power differs though. To further support Frazer’s claim that Jefferson was not a Deist, he simply states that Jefferson himself never claimed to be a Deist but rather a Christian. One last thing to refute the claim that Jefferson is a Deist is that Jefferson says that God watches and approves of us, a Deist does not believe that God interacts with the world. Given these examples it is reasonable to agree that Frazer is also right in the Jefferson is more of a Theistic Rationalist in that he believes in a God who interacts with the world and it can be explained rationally. But as previously state, Jefferson is famous for taking scissors to the New Testament and literally cutting out what he does not agree with, primarily the virgin birth of Jesus …show more content…
It is recorded by sources that Washington believed in the power of prayer. He asked his soldiers, Congress and even the newly born United States to join him in prayer. As previously stated, a true Deist would not believe in the power of prayer, it is a waste of time to them. Although Washington may have asked for prayers he did not fully believe in the Christian God. Washington’s own granddaughter, Nelly Custis, says that they would leave early on communion Sundays. It is logical to conclude from this that Washington did not fully believe in Christianity because if he did not partake one of the fundamental parts of a Christian church service he probably did not fully believe. Washington believed in the doctrine that people should be free to decide their way to heaven. It should be dictated by their consciences and personal beliefs. This is more Theistic Rationalism because Washington is saying that yes there is a God that interacts with the world he can be reached by any rational and reasonable way. These examples also support Frazer’s claim that George Washington was also more Theistic Rationalist than Deist and Christian. Frazer is able to successfully support his thesis that the Founding Fathers were not Christian, Atheist or Deist, but rather Theistic Rationalist. Frazer explained why, by point out that Theistic Rationalism was a major belief at the time of the Founding of the

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