Richard Hughes, author of the new book Christian America and the Kingdom of God, was quoted yesterday in a San Antonio Express-News column on the debate in Texas over how Christianity’s role in the founding of America should be portrayed in public school textbooks.

“It is absolutely right to suggest that Puritans who settled New England came here with a vision for a Christian commonwealth. It is absolutely wrong to suggest that America’s founders had that same vision. They simply didn’t.”

Many of the Founding Fathers were connected with churches and many were not, he said. Letters written by Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, indicated he held the Christian church in utter contempt, the religion professor said. Jefferson viewed Jesus as a moral teacher but believed that churches had corrupted those teachings, Hughes said.

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