The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism Is Un-American

The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism Is Un-American


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Do “In God We Trust,” the Declaration of Independence, and other historical “evidence” prove that America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles? Are the Ten Commandments the basis for American law? A constitutional attorney dives into the debate about religion’s role in America’s founding.
In today’s contentious political climate, understanding religion’s role in American government is more important than ever. Christian nationalists assert that our nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and advocate an agenda based on this popular historical claim. But is this belief true? The Founding Myth answers the question once and for all. Andrew L. Seidel, a constitutional attorney at the Freedom from Religion Foundation, builds his case point by point, comparing the Ten Commandments to the Constitution and contrasting biblical doctrine with America’s founding philosophy, showing that the Bible contradicts the Declaration of Independence’s central tenets. Thoroughly researched, this persuasively argued and fascinating book proves that America was not built on the Bible and that Christian nationalism is, in fact, un-American.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781454933274
Publisher: Sterling
Publication date: 05/14/2019
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 37,652
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Andrew L. Seidel lives in Madison, WI, and works as a constitutional attorney at the Freedom from Religion Foundation (, litigating cases involving religion and the Constitution. He has appeared on Fox and Friends, MSNBC, and TheO’Reilly Factor; numerous radio shows; speaks and writes extensively about religious freedom; and has been profiled on BBC News, BuzzFeed, International Business Times, and more. Learn more about Andrew at: @AndrewLSeidel on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Table of Contents

Foreword vi

Preface x

Introduction: Prelude to an Argument 1

Usage Note 22

Part I The Founders, Independence, and the Colonies

1 Interesting and irrelevant, the Religion of the Founders 26

2 "Religion and Morality": Religion for the Masses, Reason for the Founders 40

3 Declaring Independence from Judeo-Christianity 53

4 Referrals: The Declaration's References to a Higher Power 68

5 Christian Settlements: Colonizing the Continent, Not Building a Nation 91

Part II United States v. The Bible

6 Biblical Influence 110

7 Christian Arrogance and the Golden Rule 119

8 Biblical Obedience or American Freedom? 123

9 Crime and Punishment: Biblical Vengeance or American Justice? 128

10 Redemption and Original Sin or Personal Responsibility and the Presumption of Innocence 138

11 The American Experiment: Religious Faith or Reason? 145

12 A Monarchy and "the morrow" or a Republic and "our posterity" 152

Part III The Ten Commandments v. The Constitution

13 Which Ten? 160

14 The Threat Display: The First Commandment 172

15 Punishing the Innocent: The Second Commandment 179

16 Suppressed Speech: The Third Commandment 186

17 Forced Rest: The Fourth Commandment 194

18 On Family Honor: The Fifth Commandment 203

19 Unoriginal and Tribal: The Sixth, Eighth, and Ninth Commandments 208

20 Perverting Sex and Love: The Seventh Commandment 221

21 Misogyny, Slavery, Thoughtcrime, and Anti-Capitalism: The Tenth Commandment 229

32 The Ten Commandments: A Religious, Not a Moral Code 241

Part IV American Verbiage

23 Argument by Idiom 252

24 "In God We Trust": The Belligerent Motto 260

25 "One nation under God": The Divisive Motto 275

26 "God bless America": The Diversionary Motto 289

Conclusion: Take alarm, this is the first experiment on our Liberties 294

Acknowledgments 298

Notes 299

Index 332

Picture Credits 338

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The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism Is Un-American 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
WilJay 19 hours ago
Mr. Seidel carefully and methodically destroys the myth, point-by-point, that this country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. That the Founding Fathers were somehow pious and wanted this to be a Christian nation. Absolutely false! Such a good read. As a scientist, I would love to see/hear a debate with the "other side" pressing their argument (in other words, a Christian Nationalist); I'm pretty confident which facts will still be standing at the end. Great work, sir! #realityisknownthroughreason
BlackRose4970 7 days ago
This book is a scathing argument against Christian Nationalism backed up by facts. The author has extensively researched his premises and has written an engaging book which pulls the reader in.