Revolutionary War

The Founders and Religious Freedom: A Critical Look

By: Mark A. Noll

Thomas Kidd’s illuminating post synthesizes some of the conclusions he developed at length in his helpful book God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution. In my view he has accurately portrayed the central importance that religious liberty assumed for the American founders, especially as expressed in their ubiquitous linkage of “civil and religious liberty.”

Prof. Kidd’s reference to Isaac Backus and the Baptists does, however, complicate the history; it should also make citizens today careful about how we interpret the national founding. 

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