American Gospel: God, The Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation | Jon Meacham

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2020: Book #17

When they met in Philadelphia to begin the grand discussion, it all started with an argument.
The founding fathers started with an argument…about prayer.
Should the meetings be opened with prayer, by whom, and what kind of prayer?
We’ve been arguing ever since.

When those fleeing England came to America, they wanted to create a utopia of sorts.
A Christian / religious utopia.
In Virginia, if your child hadn’t been baptized as an Anglican, you could go to jail.
If you missed church, you could be whipped or spend six months in the gallows.

Allow me to quote Meacham, “Sex was of particular interest. Sodomy, incest, rape and adultery carried the death penalty, though fornication led only to serial whippings and the compulsory begging of forgiveness.”

How has America and its leaders used and wrestled with God since the founding of the nation?

That’s what Jon Meacham addresses in his book, “American Gospel: God, The Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation.”

Scholarly read.
Beautifully written.

You learn that many leaders saw America as the new Israel.

Sadly, America’s presidents have used God as a way to get votes.

The sections on Lincoln and Reagan are particularly interesting.

Who was Ronald Reagan’s political hero? Are you ready for this? FDR.

Jerry Falwell, the founding pastor of Thomas Road, shows up toward the end of the book.
His remarks on race and protesting in the 1960’s are very sad.

This book is a masterpiece.
I wish every American would read it.

I give it 5 stars out of a possible 5.

That’s book #17 for 2020.

35 more to go.

Leaders are readers.

If you want to be a better leader…be a reader.



Interested in purchasing this book?


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