• Founding Faith

  • Providence, Politics, and the Birth of Religious Freedom in America
  • By: Steven Waldman
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (132 ratings)

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Founding Faith

By: Steven Waldman
Narrated by: David Colacci
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Publisher's Summary

The culture wars have distorted the dramatic story of how Americans came to worship freely. Many activists on the right maintain that the United States was founded as a "Christian nation". Many on the left contend that the Founders were secular or Deist and that the First Amendment was designed to boldly separate church and state throughout the land. None of these claims are true, argues Beliefnet.com editor in chief Steven Waldman. With refreshing objectivity, Waldman narrates the real story of how our nation's Founders forged a new approach to religious liberty, a revolutionary formula that promoted faith...by leaving it alone.

The spiritual custody battle over the Founding Fathers and the role of religion in America continues today. Waldman provocatively argues that neither side in the culture war has accurately depicted the true origins of the First Amendment. He sets the record straight, revealing the real history of religious freedom to be dramatic, unexpected, paradoxical, and inspiring.

©2008 Steven Waldman (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Founding Faith

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Eye-opening

Waldman gives a clear, enlightened insight into how the faith, politics and the personal beliefs of our founding fathers combined to bring us our unique form of religious freedom. He explains how the concept of the separation of church and state developed out of necessity as we came together as a nation. This is an easy listen that will change your view of the American Revolution.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

ACCURATE

This is my favorite book on one of my favorite subjects. These were great men and faith is the most important subject so what could be more interesting than finding out what the founding fathers believed? To know their faith will help when reading the founding documents and may be helpful to you in your personal faith. So what did Washington, Jefferson, Adams and Madison believe? Were they orthodox? We they unbelievers? Were they deists? If you read this book you will find out. I have read several other books on the subject but in my opinion this is the most enjoyable and the most accurate.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Extremes are generally incorrect

This book illustrates that our founding fathers were practical religious moderates. It is silly to believe that they were extremists in any direction. If they had been, the Constitution would be more specific. As it stands, it is a moderate document created through the application of political compromise. I wish the current batch of politicians would take a few notes.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Required Reading

This book should be required reading by all American citizens.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Must Read

This book provides essential insights for anyone interested in today’s Church/State debate. In particular he points out that the idea that because the founding generation was more religious than modern Americans, it does not necessarily follow that they wanted more involvement of government with religion. This is a subtle but essential point that often gets missed in today’s back and forth twitter diatribes. I highly recommend!

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So many questions answered

I enjoyed this book enormously. I have been interested in the faith of the founders. This single book shed light on the "first five" in thought and importance. Each has his own individual perspective. But, over time, perspectives grow and change. Waldman accounts for this evolution in his book. I like how he challenges "liberals" and "evangelicals" alike with myopic interpretations of history. The final part of the last chapter is purely speculative, answering how each of the five would interpret how the United States have "turned out". I very much enjoyed this thought experiment. I recommend this book to those interested in the foundation of religion in America and the religion of the Founders.

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Remarkable

What a remarkably researched and written piece of literature. I listened to many sections twice. Every American who cares about the future of thus country ought to read this book. It has changed the way I view my freedoms and religious liberty in general. I can't believe the author would have narrated the book any differently.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Founding Faith: the Birth of Religious Freedom

I enjoyed this audio quite a bit. I felt it provided a balance point of view on the impact Religion had on our Founding Fathers. A very good listen.