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What Were the Founding Fathers Really Thinking?

We talk a lot in the USA about what the Founding Fathers wanted. They left plenty of writings behind for us to analyze so it’s actually not that hard to figure out what they were doing, but it might not be what you think.

Spiritually but not Religiously

While the majority of the Founding Fathers were spiritual, by the standards of their time many were not overly religious. They were deists, what we might now consider humanism Columbus OH or your area. They believed in a god and a greater good, but they weren’t particular about which church you should attend to get there. In fact, they built that lack of particularity into the Constitution. Most of our familiar references to God (“under God” in the pledge and “in God we trust” on the money) were added much later.

Idealistically but Practically

There is a popular belief that the Founding Fathers were all dreamers and idealists. In a sense, they were. They were daring to dream big and imagine a kind of government that no one had thought of before. That said, they were also profoundly pragmatic. Many compromises were written into the Constitution in order to ensure it had the popular support needed to pass.

With an Eye to the Future

Perhaps most importantly, though, the Founding Fathers were very much working with an eye towards the future. They wanted to be sure that the documents they created would last and in order to do that, they made them flexible. The Constitution was intended to change with the times. They knew that the needs of future generations would be different from their own and that the world would change in ways they couldn’t foresee.

Ultimately, what the founding fathers intended was for future generations to make their own choices. Believe it or not, your opinion right now matters far more than the Founding Fathers’ opinions back then.

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