There is a pretty interesting article about the founding fathers relationship with religion, and, therefore, the separation of church and state. All this bullshit about the country being founded by evangelicals is wrong, which I guess I sort of knew (Franklin, Jefferson and all that), but didn't really know with a lot of conviction, I suppose. I guess I figured when people talked about that they meant all the Pilgrims and such, not the founding fathers themselves. However, that's not the issue here. What stood out to me in the article (although I liked the whole thing) was this particular passage:
In June of 1797, just three months before Tyler’s novel was published, the American captives in North Africa were freed by the Treaty of Tripoli, signed by President John Adams. The treaty’s Article 11, an assurance that the United States would not engage in a vengeful holy war, read, “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian Religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”
I know we're not in a holy war or anything, and terrorism is a legitimate problem, but it's just an interesting comparison to George W's language about evil and such.
You can read the whole thing here. (That was just a tiny part of it, most of it is not about Muslim countries at all.)