What the Framers intended
After watching this humorous video on the diversity of opinion among members of the same religion, I got to thinking about how such a phenomenon applies more broadly to philosophy.
It’s true that in a medium like religious faith, it’s near impossible to tell who’s interpreting the moral, political, and historical claims of a particular tradition correctly. God tends, suspiciously, to agree with all of our personal opinions.
The same can be said for America’s Framers. Our nation is home to a wide variety of political philosophies, and I’d bet you would be hard-pressed to find many that don’t claim the Framers as tacit supporters. There’s a conservative Christian movement in Texas right now that aims to alter school curriculum and textbooks in order to teach children the true intent of the Founding Fathers – to create a strong, Christian nation that would carry out Jesus’s mandate on Earth. Meanwhile, Christopher Hitchens insists that the Founders were Enlightenment Deists, committed only to a vague, secularized spirituality and interested in avoiding the interference of religion with politics, science, and ethics.
The “American Tradition,” like its religious counterparts, is as contested as it is loved.