God bless America: The theology of the Fourth of July

"The most important sentence is probably the one that says,
'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.'
So, that idea that all men have certain unalienable rights
that came from their Creator - God - is what I call the 'Theology of the Fourth of July'."
-Ira Stoll


Independence Day gives us an opportunity to reflect on the ideological tug-of-war about religious freedom in America. The Declaration of Independence is the topic of this episode. What can we make of the references to religion and God in the text?

Our guest this week is author and academic Ira Stoll.  He's the author of the books Samuel Adams: A Life, and JFK, Conservative. He's also the managing editor of Education Next, an education policy journal published by Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.