"Why would the Baptists of 1800 support a man whom opponents called a 'howling atheist,' while some Baptists today refuse to support Romney because of his Mormonism?"

When Baptists voted for a heretic

When Thomas Jefferson won the presidency in 1800, Baptists represented one of his most reliable constituencies. Jefferson’s Baptist supporters knew that the president did not share their evangelical faith, yet they saw him as a great friend of religious liberty. After Jefferson was inaugurated, the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut wrote him and said they had “reason to believe that America’s God has raised you up to fill the chair of state out of that good will which he bears to the millions which you preside over.”

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