As some of you know, I have spent a lot of time thinking (and even doing a bit of writing) about the whole question of whether or not the United States was founded as a “Christian nation.” For the past couple of years I have been speaking about this topic to a variety of audiences in my role as a Pennsylvania Commonwealth Speaker. (The Way of Improvement Leads Home does not explore this question specifically, but the book does cover extensively the relationship between Fithian’s Presbyterian Christianity and the American Revolution).
One of the most popular books extolling the “Christian nation” view of American history is Peter Marshall and David Manuel’s The Light and the Glory. In this month’s Touchstone I reflect a bit on the thirtieth anniversary of this book. The editors chose to subtitle the piece, “The Perils of Providential History” and I think it really captures what I am trying to convey in the essay.