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Poll: Who is your favorite (USA) founding father?

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  1. #1
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    Favorite Founding Fathers

    I've been reading Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton recently, and he's always been my favorite founding father, because of his combative yet cooperative personality (get what you want by convincing others to give it to you), his Federalist/nationalist (rather than states-power) views, and his brilliant mind for both policy and rhetoric.

    Who is your favorite founding father, and why?
    So...

    I finaggled my way into being able to do a Philosophy minor. I blame you, ODN.


  2. #2
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    Re: Favorite Founding Fathers

    welllllll...
    i'd say JFK [even though hes not way back in the day]
    he fought the cuban missile crisis...
    he fought for civil rights...
    i need to study him more...
    anyways thats my founding father

  3. #3
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    Re: Favorite Founding Fathers

    I'm not a Jeffersonian democrat point-for-point since I don't consider small government a necessity in every circumstance, but I appreciate his emphasis on the capacity of individuals to strive for excellence and his reasoning that democracy was the most effective way of actualizing this potential, something lacking in many of his more elitist and cynical peers. This Jeffersonian ideal is a good one and certainly the best conception of the American spirit I can think of. Plus, I empathize with his scholarly, classic-driven lifestyle.

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    Re: Favorite Founding Fathers


    I've been reading Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton recently, and he's always been my favorite founding father, because of his combative yet cooperative personality (get what you want by convincing others to give it to you), his Federalist/nationalist (rather than states-power) views, and his brilliant mind for both policy and rhetoric.
    That's a great book, isn't it?

    Hamilton's my favorite as well; another reason to prefer him is that he refused to own slaves.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Favorite Founding Fathers

    I like a lot of Hamilton's ideas compared to Jefferson's. He and Madison were great influences on the form our republic took. I've read some of the Federalist Papers and I intend to finish it eventually. Anyway, I'd say my favorites were Jay, Sam Adams and Henry. They were the three devout Christians among a more or less deistic group. And one can't help but admire Washington. His bravery, decency and composure led to his unanimous election.

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    Re: Favorite Founding Fathers

    Quote Originally Posted by dbogjohnson View Post
    welllllll...
    i'd say JFK [even though hes not way back in the day]
    he fought the cuban missile crisis...
    he fought for civil rights...
    i need to study him more...
    anyways thats my founding father
    you...you do know that JFK was not a founding father....

  7. #7
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    Re: Favorite Founding Fathers

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning View Post
    I like a lot of Hamilton's ideas compared to Jefferson's. He and Madison were great influences on the form our republic took. I've read some of the Federalist Papers and I intend to finish it eventually. Anyway, I'd say my favorites were Jay, Sam Adams and Henry. They were the three devout Christians among a more or less deistic group. And one can't help but admire Washington. His bravery, decency and composure led to his unanimous election.
    How funny. The only christian you actually mention is Patrick Henry. The rest were deists. As for Henry, he was actually the opposition rather than a founder. Henry opposed the disestablishment of religion in Virginia against Jefferson and Madison. He lost. He was never a member of the Continental Congress or the Congress of the United States. His only part was to support the Bill of Rights after he had lost his fight against the ratification of the Constitution.

    I know that grade school history books have made him famous, but he was actually a revolutionary rather than a founding father. He actually declined any national post under the Constitution. Washington twice offered. He was later the governor of Virginia but never actually achieved the national standing of those whom he opposed; Washington, Jefferson, (both John and Sam) Adams, Hamilton, Jay, Madison, et al.
    From The Treaty of Tripoli, Art. 11, negociated under Washington, passed unanimously by the senate, and signed by Adams -- "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;"

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    Re: Favorite Founding Fathers

    Quote Originally Posted by pandion;
    How funny. The only christian you actually mention is Patrick Henry.
    Support?

    Quote Originally Posted by pandion;
    The rest were deists. As for Henry, he was actually the opposition rather than a founder. Henry opposed the disestablishment of religion in Virginia against Jefferson and Madison. He lost. He was never a member of the Continental Congress or the Congress of the United States. His only part was to support the Bill of Rights after he had lost his fight against the ratification of the Constitution.
    I am curious, why do you HATE so passionately the idea that Christianity had a major influence in the formation of America?

  9. #9
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    Re: Favorite Founding Fathers

    Quote Originally Posted by pandion View Post
    How funny. The only christian you actually mention is Patrick Henry. The rest were deists.
    False. Sam Adams was a devout Christian, and so was John Jay. Jay was even president of the American Bible Society. And I forgot to mention Elias Boudinot, who although lesser known was a founding father, and probably the most evangelical of the several orthodox Christian founders. - http://www.britannica.com/eb/topic-5189/Samuel-Adams

    As for Henry, he was actually the opposition rather than a founder.
    I'm well aware of all that, thanks. I'm sure you will repeat a similar argument for Sam Adams, but that does not explain away John Jay, a writer of the Federalist Papers along with Madison and Hamilton.

    Why is it so unthinkable to you that some of the American founders were in fact sincere Christians? I do not deny the deistic leanings of many of them.

  10. #10
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    Re: Favorite Founding Fathers

    Quote Originally Posted by princefigs View Post
    I am curious, why do you HATE so passionately the idea that Christianity had a major influence in the formation of America?
    What are you talking about? I just find it funny how the christian nation crown tries to make them all christians. I'm surprised that Kevin Browning didn't claim Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, and Franklin. A lot of the christian nation crowd does that.

    I said nothing about christians having a major influence. Not christianity so much, since deism was a bit more important.

    I did a lot of research, but unfortunately didn't take notes. I was able to identify from various books the religion of several founders. John Adams was, of course a Unitarian, as was Jefferson later in life (probably due to Adams' influence) Jefferson was a deist until much after his Presidency. Sam Adams, Ethan Allen, Joel Barlow, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Hancock, John Jay, Rufus King, James Madison, James Monroe, Gouverneur Morris, Lewis Morris, Thomas Paine, Elihu Palmer, Charles Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Paul Revere, Benjamin Rush, and George Washington were all deists. George Clinton may have been a deist (maybe not). Charles and Daniel Carroll were both Roman Catholic, as was Thomas Fitzsimmons. I have no doubt that most of the rest of the 90 men who signed the Declaration and the Constitution, as well as the 16 members of the Constitutional Congress who did not sign were christians, at least in name, i.e., they were members of the established churches in their state. However, you should remember that the established christian churches were opposed to the ratification of the Constitution. It's godless, you know. In fact, Luther Martin, James McClurg, James McHenry, and George Wythe walked out of the Constitutional Convention for that reason. But you'll believe what you want to.


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning View Post
    False. Sam Adams was a devout Christian, and so was John Jay. Jay was even president of the American Bible Society.
    Why does that make Jay a christian?
    And I forgot to mention Elias Boudinot, who although lesser known was a founding father, and probably the most evangelical of the several orthodox Christian founders. - http://www.britannica.com/eb/topic-5189/Samuel-Adams
    Not according to the histories that I read.
    I'm well aware of all that, thanks.
    Please be honest. You wouldn't have claimed someone who opposed the founding of the country as a founding father if you had known.
    I'm sure you will repeat a similar argument for Sam Adams, but that does not explain away John Jay, a writer of the Federalist Papers along with Madison and Hamilton.
    All of whom were deists.
    Why is it so unthinkable to you that some of the American founders were in fact sincere Christians? I do not deny the deistic leanings of many of them.
    But I made no claims that there were no christian founders. Why do you find it necessary to misrepresent what I said? Is that a characteristic of all christians? It certainly seems so.

    Read some history.
    Last edited by pandion; April 6th, 2008 at 04:09 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    From The Treaty of Tripoli, Art. 11, negociated under Washington, passed unanimously by the senate, and signed by Adams -- "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;"

  11. #11
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    Re: Favorite Founding Fathers

    My favorite is probably Hamilton. I've always been astounded by his brilliance in economics.

    Regarding John Jay-
    Christian or not, Jay was a chump. Ever heard of Jay's Treaty?

  12. #12
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    Re: Favorite Founding Fathers

    Quote Originally Posted by pandion View Post
    Why does that make Jay a christian?
    Are you kidding? Its purpose is to study, translate and distribute Bibles, for the purpose of evangelism. http://www.bibles.com/

    Please be honest. You wouldn't have claimed someone who opposed the founding of the country as a founding father if you had known.
    Henry was primarily responsible for Virginia entering the Revolution. He was a founder. His later opposition to federalism does not mean that he did not participate in the founding of the Confederate States, the precursor of the United States.

    Read some history.
    Could you be a bit more polite please? I'm not insulting you. And if you must get into ad hominems, for the record I'm about to complete a bachelors degree in history, concentration in American history.

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    Re: Favorite Founding Fathers

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning View Post
    Could you be a bit more polite please? I'm not insulting you.
    You misrepresented what I said and now take offense because I pointed it out. Now you add to that your failure to take responsibility for your actions. I saw no apology for you failure to read carefully (I assume) that caused you to misrepresent what I said. Or maybe you just don't understand why a statement such as "Madison was a deist" is not a claim that "none of the founding fathers was christian." Is that the problem?
    And if you must get into ad hominems,
    Learn what an ad hominem is
    for the record I'm about to complete a bachelors degree in history, concentration in American history.
    And they didn't teach you about the religion of any of the founders. Next you're going to be telling me that Franklin was a christian because he proposed that the Constitutional Convention should begin each session with a prayer.
    From The Treaty of Tripoli, Art. 11, negociated under Washington, passed unanimously by the senate, and signed by Adams -- "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;"

  14. #14
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    Re: Favorite Founding Fathers

    Are you kidding? Its purpose is to study, translate and distribute Bibles, for the purpose of evangelism.
    That's no proof of his Christianity. It was a common (although to my mind, poorly thought out and lazy) theory among deists that the best virtues possible for the masses could be passed along via religion. The truth was for grand intellects whose lives revolved around studying, commoners would only abstain from thievery and other vices if they had metaphysical motivations (aka, reward and punishment). That's why the arch-deist Voltaire made his servants attend mass. Up to that date, the idea of a society operating free of religious influence was unthinkable -- deists had no grand project in mind for spreading their view. They kept it in as narrow a family as possible (for the most part, deists only wanted smart, socially prominent people to agree with them).

    Kind of reminds me of the Jewish attitude toward the conversion of Gentiles.

  15. #15
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    Re: Favorite Founding Fathers

    Quote Originally Posted by pandion View Post
    Next you're going to be telling me that Franklin was a christian because he proposed that the Constitutional Convention should begin each session with a prayer.
    You have completely ignored the evidence I provided showing that Jay and Sam Adams were orthodox Christians. Why?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    That's no proof of his Christianity.
    Did you look at the link I provided? If not, please do.

    Anyway, here is another site which clearly explains that he was a Christian, citing his own writings.

    http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=64

    "Almost all nations have peace or war at the will and pleasure of rulers whom they do not elect, and who are not always wise or virtuous. Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." - John Jay
    Last edited by KevinBrowning; April 10th, 2008 at 08:00 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Re: Favorite Founding Fathers

    you...you do know that JFK was not a founding father
    he will be in my eyes, i dont think you can really define founding father acuretly
    even the dictionary gives a very broad definition

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    Re: Favorite Founding Fathers

    Quote Originally Posted by dbogjohnson View Post
    he will be in my eyes, i dont think you can really define founding father acuretly
    even the dictionary gives a very broad definition
    But not that broad.

    According to Merriam-Webster:

    founding father: an originator of an institution or movement
    Founding Father: a leading figure in the founding of the United States; specifically : a member of the American Constitutional Convention of 1787

    Personally, I include other important men of the Revolution and the signers of the Declaration of Independence, not just the Constitutional Convention, men like John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. To include anyoone who was a member of the Constitutional Convention would also include as Founding Fathers the several christians who walked out because the Constitution was godless and not based on christianity.
    From The Treaty of Tripoli, Art. 11, negociated under Washington, passed unanimously by the senate, and signed by Adams -- "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;"

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    Re: Favorite Founding Fathers

    Quote Originally Posted by pandion
    To include anyoone who was a member of the Constitutional Convention would also include as Founding Fathers the several christians who walked out because the Constitution was godless and not based on christianity.
    Support? I've never heard of people leaving the Constitutional Convention because it was "godless"...
    So...

    I finaggled my way into being able to do a Philosophy minor. I blame you, ODN.


  19. #19
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    Re: Favorite Founding Fathers

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning View Post
    I like a lot of Hamilton's ideas compared to Jefferson's. He and Madison were great influences on the form our republic took. I've read some of the Federalist Papers and I intend to finish it eventually. Anyway, I'd say my favorites were Jay, Sam Adams and Henry. They were the three devout Christians among a more or less deistic group. And one can't help but admire Washington. His bravery, decency and composure led to his unanimous election.
    I prefer Jefferson over Hamilton; Hamilton was not horrible, but in general I like Jefferson's belief system a lot more.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hope View Post
    I've been reading Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton recently, and he's always been my favorite founding father, because of his combative yet cooperative personality (get what you want by convincing others to give it to you), his Federalist/nationalist (rather than states-power) views, and his brilliant mind for both policy and rhetoric.

    Who is your favorite founding father, and why?
    Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, equally.


    The two complimented each other perfectly; Jefferson was nervous about a Federal government, but Madison embraced it. However, Jefferson realized the needs for declared civil rights and liberties --one of Jefferson's most brilliant insights. Madison later sided with Jefferson after the constitution was created, and argued for maximizing civil liberties.

    George Washington was a very respectable man, as well. His adamant opposition to slavery is a very moving portrait, especially some of the stories about the friendship he shared with his slaved, whom he freed later.



    Quote Originally Posted by princefigs View Post
    I am curious, why do you HATE so passionately the idea that Christianity had a major influence in the formation of America?
    He probably abhors the non-sensible notion that Christianity influenced freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the concept of a Federalist government, and a constitution establishing rights for citizens and the general powers of those in charge.
    Last edited by GoldPhoenix; April 10th, 2008 at 04:16 PM. Reason: I hate that damn automerge crap.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

  20. #20
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    Re: Favorite Founding Fathers

    I prefer Jefferson over Hamilton; Hamilton was not horrible, but in general I like Jefferson's belief system a lot more.
    After all, Jefferson did own slaves.


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    He probably abhors the non-sensible notion that Christianity influenced freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the concept of a Federalist government, and a constitution establishing rights for citizens and the general powers of those in charge.
    So...you don't think religion influenced the desire for freedom of religion?

    You don't think the Ten Commandments, as a paradigm of a moral code, influenced anyone to actually write down the Bill of Rights, which some people opposed having in writing?
    Last edited by CliveStaples; April 10th, 2008 at 05:20 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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