It has become commonplace in American political discourse for Christian evangelicals to assert that the United States was founded as a "Christian nation" and that in recent decades secularists have gained control and distorted our nation's founding traditions and values. In this lecture, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor Geoffrey Stone examines the beliefs of the Framers on this question. What did they think about Christianity, about the role of Christianity in the American nation, and about the relationship between religion generally and self-governance? The answers to these questions are important not only to constitutional interpretation, but even more fundamentally to an understanding of who we are – and who we are supposed to be – as a nation.
This talk was recorded April 21, 2008 as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas lecture series.