On April 17 a letter writer made the astonishing claim that America's founders were essentially "humanists" and "socialists." Humanists are atheists with a special contempt for Christianity. The founders, however, based the Declaration of Independence squarely on the reality that all persons are "created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights." They appealed to "the laws of nature and nature's God." They presented their case for freedom to the "supreme judge" of the earth, and risked their honor and destiny on "divine providence." All the delegates signed these statements.
At the Constitutional Convention, during a phase of indecision, Benjamin Franklin, often mistakenly labeled a deist, eloquently urged that the assembly bring in local pastors to begin each day with supplicatory prayer. The delegates agreed, and it was done.
The writings of James Madison, George Washington, and others abound with references to our duties to a supreme being.
Were these men socialists? A major theme of the revolution was unjust taxes. Franklin became a wealthy printer and book seller. Washington and Jefferson owned plantations. They were capitalists. None dreamed of giving their properties to the government.
The writer flunks American and constitutional history.