As a child growing up in the slums of the Bronx, New York, I was told that God had created the Bronx as his first official act of being a God and then got around to the rest of the world. It wasn’t until the second week the Lord realized he had forgotten Texas in his creation. The state of Texas has appointed a board to revise its history curriculum and among the bright people in this group is a man known as David Barton, who heads a Christian heritage group called WallBuilders. According to the Barton version of American history, the Constitution was written with God in mind and that “government exists primarily to protect God-given rights to every individual.” He wants all children, Christian, Muslim, Jewish or what have you, to become aware of the “motivational role” played by the Bible and Christianity in creating America.
As always in such claims about God in the founding of America, there is an element of accuracy. The Puritans certainly were motivated by their Christian beliefs, but those who wrote the Constitution shared an anti-established Church view of the world. Hamilton, Madison, Washington, Franklin, etc.. were not noted for pushing religion and took care to ensure the Constitution did NOT allow creation of an established religion. It is always amusing that individuals like Ronald Reagan who preached God and the Bible rarely went inside a church.
The influence of religion should be taught in any American history course. However, that includes teaching children the Founding Fathers disliked established churches, did not wish religion to control our lives and believed individuals had the right to think as they so desired in terms of God and religion. The word “God” rarely is noted in documents related to the establishment of the Constitution.