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Religious Perspectives in Nation Building - Essay Example

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Religious Perspectives in Nation Building

Benjamin Franklin is considered as one of the founding fathers of the United States of America. He is credited as foundational to the roots of American values and character, which combines the practical and democratic Puritan values of thrift, hard work, education, community spirit, self-governing institutions, and opposition to authoritarianism both political and religious, with the scientific and tolerant values of the Enlightenment (Isaacson p. 491). Thomas Jefferson is the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and became the third president of the United States in 1801. He is considered as one of the most influential founding fathers with his espousing the ideals of republicanism (Wiki).
William Bradford was already committed to the radical idea of the separatist movement since the age of 17 (Kelso). "The one side [the Reformers] laboured to have ye right worship of God & discipline of Christ established in ye church, according to ye simplicitie of ye gospell, without the mixture of mens inventions, and to have & to be ruled by ye laws of Gods word, dispensed in those offices, & by those officers of Pastors, Teachers, & Elders, &c. according to ye Scripturs. The other partie [the Church of England], though under many colours & pretences, endevored to have ye episcopall dignitie (affter ye popish maner) with their large power & jurisdiction still retained; with all those courts, cannons, & ceremonies, togeather with all such livings, revenues, & subordinate officers, with other such means as formerly upheld their antichristian greatnes, and enabled them with lordly & tyranous power to persecute ye poore servants of God" (Bradford). John Carver, a deacon of the separatist congregation and one of the prime organizers of the Mayflower voyage was very influential in Bradford's religious beliefs. Bradford also succeeded Carver as the governor of the Plymouth colony when the latter died (Kelso).
Benjamin Franklin was an important conservative figure in the American restoration movement, which sought to renew the entire Christian church based on the New Testament and disregarding the creeds of Catholicism, Orthodoxy, or Reformed Protestantism, which allegedly divided Christianity (Wiki). "I never doubted, for instance, the existence of the Deity; that he made the world, and govern'd it by his Providence; that the most acceptable service of God was the doing good to man; that our souls are immortal; and that all crime will be punished, and virtue rewarded, either here or hereafter. These I esteem'd the essentials of every religion; and, being to be found in all the religions we had in our country, I respected them all, tho' with different degrees of respect, as I found them more or less mix'd with other articles, which, without any tendency to inspire, promote, or confirm morality, serv'd principally to divide us, and make us unfriendly to one another" (Franklin). Samuel Rogers, noted Restoration movement preacher and elder moved to the community of the Franklin family and became influential in Benjamin Franklin's religious perspectives. Franklin, himself began preaching after Rogers' arrival, as well as began publishing religious publications such as the Reformer, Christian Age and ...Show more

Summary

William Bradford, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson are all prominent icons in the history of the United States of America. William Bradford was a leader of the separatist settlers of the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts and was among the pilgrims on the famous Mayflower…
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