Thank You “Otter”

RevisedI recently read this Amazon review of my Was America Founded as a Christian Nation”: A Historical IntroductionIt is written by someone who goes by the name “Otter.” He or she titled the review “Equal Opportunity Disorientation.” I have no idea who this is, but I think “Otter” captures well what I was trying to do in this book:

If you’re anxious to score debating points in the debate about whether America was founded as a Christian nation, avoid this masterful book.

If you want to appreciate the complexity of the issue, and if you prefer the truth to zinging your opponents, this is your one-stop shop.

With terrific scholarship, Fea makes sure that neither side of the debate comes out without rethinking itself.

Most helpfully, Fea surveys the abuse of the historical evidence by those who would seek to either return America to its “Christian roots” or to minimize America’s religious heritage. The book aims at a thorough and meticulous understanding of America’s relationship with religion, especially in the Colonial and Revolutionary periods: what did the early European-Americans think about religion and the state? What did they see as religion’s relationship to Revolution, or to civil law? What’s the best understanding between religious rhetoric and institutional commitments? Fea draws on a wide range of sources to paint a picture of enormous depth and complexity.

Secularists will be satisfied to learn that Fea, an evangelical, is by no means convinced by Dominionist arguments; evangelicals will be delighted to know that Fea refuses the axiom that religion in early America was an accidental and unimportant feature of the 18th century, irrelevant to our understanding of the past. Neither side will be entirely happy to find that he calls them to a higher level of discussion than is usual.

For those who read Fea, this whole thing is going to take a lot more work.


We Have An Amazon Page!

Still too early to pre-order, but the book does appear to exist in the minds of the good folks at Eerdmans.  Here is a brief description of Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump:

“Believe me” may be the most commonly used phrase in Donald Trump’s lexicon. Whether about building a wall or protecting the Christian heritage, the refrain is constant. And to the surprise of many, about 80% percent of white evangelicals have believed Trump-at least enough to help propel him into the White House. Historian John Fea is not surprised-and in Believe Me he explains how we have arrived at this unprecedented moment in American politics. An evangelical Christian himself, Fea argues that the embrace of Donald Trump is the logical outcome of a long-standing evangelical approach to public life defined by the politics of fear, the pursuit of worldly power, and a nostalgic longing for an American past. In the process, Fea challenges his fellow believers to replace fear with hope, the pursuit of power with humility, and nostalgia with history.

Amazon Review of The Day: "Buy At Your Own Risk" and "This Entire Book is Disgusting"

It comes from someone named “gwest” who has apparently figured out my conspiratorial intentions behind Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?  I have copied it exactly as it appeared on

It seems Fea put this pathetic effort to make a deadline, due all the errors, lack of sources, misrepresentations, etc. Revisionism is throughout this embarrassment of a book.

If this book “is a historical primer for students” there should be a disclaimer that this garbage will mislead you by its betrayal of history.

The author says the framers “condoned slavery” yet the framers did the opposite by restricting voting rights to the south in order to eventually eliminate it. “Noll has refuted Christian America defenders?” Yet another reviewer wrote this book supported the Christian nation side. How did that happen?

The author is misleading about when our nation officially started, implying “1789?” Yet the author fails to document the framers told us specifically when the nation started by how they dated government documents. Moreover, the author shows his inferior knowledge of theology, claiming unitarians are christians.

The author’s claim that “Christians enter the past with the preconceived purposes of trying to find the religious roots of the United States” is just as ridiculous as his knowledge of the founding.

Fea’s ignorance is so alarming, he can’t even get the correct meaning of the first sentence in chapter one correct. He misquotes the treaty of Tripoli like secularists always do, as well as distorting the document’s punctuation, “the government of the United States is not in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”

There is no period after “religion.” In the original it’s a semicolon, showing the context is after “religion” The correct context is we are not a Christian nation like ones from the past, waging war against you.

If Fea can’t get his first sentence correct, the rest of this debacle has to be a disgrace, and it is.

Fea writes after 1789, the nation moved away from Calvinism, yet the 2nd great awakening was started by Calvinists, Timothy Dwight, and Jedidiah Morse, etc. Yet fea incorrectly claims “Baptists and Methodists the catalysts.”

There are historical errors, blatant distortions of history on almost every page including his childish claim that Jefferson won the election of 1800 because the federalists attacked his religious beliefs. Yet the truth is if Washington and Rutledge hadn’t died and Hamilton didn’t split the party, adams would have easily won, not to mention the sedition law.

Fea links David Ramsay as an early historian who didn’t describe the United States as a Christian nation, yet Ramsay was an evangelical who clearly believed we were a Christian nation.

His stupid statements have no foundation, like “many of the founders” were skeptics, without any sources or proof, is typical of the clueless secularists, promoting their drivel in schools. There are hardly any quotes from the founders about their faith.

Because his knowledge of history is so distorted, he makes outlandish claims like the colonies learned liberty from the British, yet the framers said they took it from the reformers, who in turn informed montesquieu, Locke, hooker, Blackstone, grotius, the glorious revolution of 1688, etc. The reformers understood liberty from the bible.

Fea boasts that the author of the Virginia resolves didn’t mention God or the bible, yet Patrick Henry was a Calvinist.

The entire book is filled with false colorings and distortions of the truth.

The lies never end! He says political thought of the stamp act was from the enlightenment, yet Dickinson, adams, Henry, otis and almost everyone else said the king violated covenant theology with God, not to mention the clergy.

Chapter six is a farce, as he continues to claim the revolution was political espoused by whigs, yet “whig” is a Calvinist term. The whigs at that time were almost all Presbyterians, including the black robbed clergy and they rejected the enlightenment.

His knowledge of natural rights is laughable too. Natural rights do not come from being Englishmen. They come from God, espoused in the declaration of independence.

Chapter seven is just as chimerical as six. He says “few clergy offered deep theological reflection on the political climate.” Lol! All of them mentioned romans 13 and old testament allusions throughout their sermons.

Fea even claims “nature’s God” in the declaration of independence is not the God of the bible, yet James Madison said it was, and deist Ethan Allen took ft. Ticonderoga “in the name of Jehovah”, as well as did the other Christians. Fea says that nature’s God is from the deists, yet even Franklin wrote nature’s God was Jehovah. Fea’s claim that nature’s God is generic Implys the same men that mentioned Jesus Christ in their state constitutions believed Jesus is a generic god.

Fea attempts to deceive, claiming George Washington was against the Virginia assessment bill, yet fails to say he was initially for the bill and only wanted the bill to die because of the uproar it caused. Fea is a blatant liar! He doesn’t tell the truth either as to why Henry’s bill didn’t have a final vote. fea quotes “the holy author of our religion” from Jefferson in 1786, not admitting he’s referring to Jesus Christ.

The entire book is disgusting! No wonder people dont know the truth about the founding. Buy at your own risk.