35 Years Ago in Free Inquiry

“… Puritanism is not the American tradition, it is one among many. From Anne Hutchinson down to Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and Adlai Stevenson, our history is rife with alternatives to orthodoxies sired during the Middle Ages and the Reformation, orthodoxies that are dependent upon a literal, uncritical view of the Bible.”

—Robert S. Alley, “The Bible as an Engine of American Foreign Policy,”
Free Inquiry, Volume 4, No. 3 (Summer 1984)

Editor’s Note: This was one of several papers presented at a Free Inquiry–sponsored symposium, “Armageddon and Biblical Apocalyptic: Are We Living in the Last Days?,” which was held in February 1984 at the University of Southern California at Los Angeles. The Summer 1984 issue republished most of those papers in its cover feature. Contributors included Free Inquiry founder Paul Kurtz; his close associates Vern Bullough, Gerald Larue, Robert Alley, and Joseph Barnhart; and Randel Helms, who would later write the influential book Gospel Fictions. Hal Lindsey, the author of Christian bestsellers such as The Late, Great Planet Earth, spoke at the symposium but did not permit Free Inquiry to publish his remarks.


“… Puritanism is not the American tradition, it is one among many. From Anne Hutchinson down to Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and Adlai Stevenson, our history is rife with alternatives to orthodoxies sired during the Middle Ages and the Reformation, orthodoxies that are dependent upon a literal, …

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