#12 Mark David Hall on Religion and the Founding Fathers
Date: July 1st, 2018

When I first started this podcast back in 2010, I was just coming off the publication of my book The Political Origins of Religious Liberty and had a renewed fascination with American colonial history.  Given that our podcast was beginning in June of 2010, I thought having a regular series about religion and US history would be a great idea around July 4th.  It turned out that Prof. Mark David Hall of George Fox University was the perfect guest for this task.  Mark gave us a great perspective on how the debates about religious freedom at the time of the Founding resonated up through today’s debates about the role of religion in US society.  I also had the pleasure of driving down to Oregon to interview him and he became a regular guest on the show.  At one point in time, we had a really neat debate with a few other scholars as to whether or not Christians should have participated in the American Revolutionary War, a podcast that gets noted in the honorable mentions below.  (To my surprise, there was a great deal of scholarly opposition and indifference to taking up arms against the British during the American Revolution.  I was on the side of armed rebellion in this debate.)  I grew to really appreciate his work and the work of his frequent co-author, Daniel Dreisbach (who after much coaxing we did get on the program a couple times).  One other fun tidbit:  I later interviewed Mark on the political thought of Roger Sherman.  This was shortly after the Seattle Seahawks picked up a spunky cornerback from Stanford University and I ended up saying “Richard Sherman” several times during that interview.

Throughout the eight years, I have tried to feature certain podcasts that were thematic for certain holidays, namely July 4th, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  I tried to do this for the holidays of other faith traditions, but was usually too slow on the draw in trying to schedule them so they would air during the week of the holiday.  Most of the podcasts had to be scheduled weeks in advance to maintain a queue.  I probably need to get better at reading the religious holiday schedule. (And, yes, I do know that July 4th is not a religious holiday.)  This episode could possibly be ranked at #11 or #10, but since it will re-run on July 1 just before July 4, I figured it was destiny that it take the twelfth position.

One thing to note about these early interviews was that I would provide a lengthy introduction into the topic, setting up the frame for the discussion.  I abandoned this practice about four or five years later as that portion of writing the “question script” for the interview was the most time consuming.

Original Podcast Link.

HONORABLE MENTIONS (Podcasts of a Related Nature that Were in my Top 15%)

Should Christians Have Fought in the US War of Independence?

Daniel Dreisbach on Religious Rhetoric in the Founding Era.

Thomas Kidd on Benjamin Franklin’s Faith.

John Fea on Religion and the American Founding.

Chris Beneke on Religion, Economics, and the Founding (a quasi-debate with Tony’s perspective).

Tracy McKenzie on the First Thanksgiving.

Leave a Reply

Listen or Download This Episode
Search The Podcast
To search the podcast, type a term and click the Search button.

Connect With Us