But, Lynn, democracy predates Christianity by at least half a millenium. I must agree that Christianity's "all men created equal" ethos did (eventually) contribute to the development of liberal western philosophies such as the Enlightenment.
Out of curiosity, who are the three founding fathers who weren't orthodox Christians? Because I would put that number a lot higher than three. Many wouldn't even "qualify" as Christians according to modern Evalgelicals and Fundamentalists because many were deists but, like you, did not believe that Jesus Christ was (a) God. Washington and Jefferson, among others, were deists. Heck, Jefferson had the audacity to edit his own version of the Bible in which he removed anything that seemed magical or miraculous. (I mentioned that before, didn't I?) In fact, Lynn, the very Jefferson quote you mentioned above was if read in it's entirety and in context an affirmation that Jesus Christ was NOT (a) God. Instead, Jefferson was defining a "True Christian" as someone who followed the TEACHINGS of Jesus as opposed to someone who thought that he was (a) God. His surviving letters are VERY explicit about this. Thus he was primarily interested in established historical facts about Jesus and records of the actual words he spoke, without all of the mysticism- and thus his edition of the Bible.
The modern Fundamentalist movement wasn't founded until the nineteen centuery. Thus the Congressional Bible resolution that you mentioned. But the U.S. wasn't FOUNDED that way. It may have de facto operated as a Christian nation early in its history, but the Enlightenment was definitely present in the way the Constitution and other documents were phrased. I do not consider MINISTER William H. McGuffey an authority on this matter. He obviously had his biases- as do we all. :o) But I think that he was talking about American society more than American government, anyway. Undoubtedly, the U.S. has strong Christian roots- but its government, while a child of the (arguably Christian) Enlightenment, was never meant to be a watered-down theocracy.
Patrick Henry, OTOH, was indeed a bit of a Christian crusader- and in fact he annoyed a lot of the other Founding Fathers with his zealotry. But then he didn't sign the Constitution, did he? He refused to attend, because he didn't like the way that he saw the Convention heading. Though in his defense he WAS instrumental in forcing the adoption of the Bill of Rights, because he thought that the Constitution gave too much power to the federal government and feared that the presidency would devolve into a monarchy. But he was a orator and firebrand more than a politician, though, despite serving (badly) as governor of Virginia at one point.
Almost all of the surviving writings of the Founding Fathers affirm that the U.S. was not meant to be a Christian nation, per se, though it's populace was majority Christian. This was, in fact, written into law (again) in the form of the Treaty of Tripoli in 1797, signed by President Adams, and duely ratified by congress:
"...the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..."
Of course, several of the other Barbary Treaties mention God incessantly- but those ones were composed by the Barbary States involved rather than a U.S. diplomat, and usually in Turkish... But most of the quotations thrown about that are meant to support the proposition that the U.S. was meant from its inception to be a Christian nation are almost always taken out of context, or were musings upon American society and NOT government. When one examines the musings actually regarding the establishment of the U.S. government this house of cards collapses.
Speaking of Adams, he was indeed a devout Unitarian, as you mentioned. But, recall, Unitarians don't believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. They believed he was a divinely inspired prophet, like Moses- a majority belief among Christians until the fourth century. Or, alternately, some believed that he was some demigod-like entity superior to humans and angels but still subordinate to God. (Adams, it appears, was in the "human prophet" camp.) As their name implies, they believed in a Unity, and denied the Trinity. They believe that the doctrine of the Trinity does violence to the proposition that there is but one God. In fact they have been defined as "Christian deists." There are some modern branches of Unitarianism that don't consider THEMSELVES Christians. Adams once wrote that the world might be better off with no religion in it- then admittedly backed down from that statement a bit, because as bad as was a world with religion, he feared that one without it might be worse.
Well... Honestly, all of the Founding Fathers were undoubtably devout at one Christian sect or another. They couldn't be powerful men if they weren't. It's just that many of those sects had belief systems that are a bit... unexpected... to our modern Evangelical/Fundamentalist-influenced sensibilities.
Washington was almost certainly a deist, despite self- serving propaganda to the contrary spead by parson Mason Weems in his fraudulent biography and propagated ever since. When put to the question after Washington's death, one of Washington's own pastors said that though it pained him to admit it he had to answer honestly- Washington was a deist.
Speaking of honesty- for the record- in addition to Patrick Henry a few more Founding Fathers who were very orthodox Christians include John Jay, Samuel Adams, and Elias Boudinot. In addition, a lot of the deistic Founding Fathers had, oddly, extremely orthodox spouses. (It has been proposed by scholars- very convincingly- that social forces of the time tended to push women of that social stratum heavily towards orthodoxy. They could gain some small influence through their churches, but were otherwise almost powerless in public life.) But these were still almost all men of the Enlightenment- thus no established religion in the U.S. (Several states, OTOH, did have established state religions. In Virginia it was Anglicanism and in much of New England it was the Congregationalist Church of the Puritans, for instance. Rhode Island and Pennsylvania stand out as bastions of tolerance.)
Can you tell that colonial and revolutionary American history is one of my little hobbies? :o)
Anyway, I remain a BIG Bill of Rights guy- tip of my hat to ol' Patrick Henry- to include Freedom of Religion. I will die to defend any American's right to believe what they want to believe. But I'm also a stalwart champion of the Separation of Church and State, because it is the only possible way that a non-theocracy can operate fairly. (Yes, capital letters.) And I do not wish to live in a theocracy. They tend to be brutal and repressive.
So, in brief, IMO the U.S. government is more accurately thought of as based upon Enlightenment thought than based upon Christian thought, per se.
I LOVE talking about religion. I find it fascinating. And, often, I learn something new that fits in with my personal beliefs. I understand if others refrain, though, for fear of fanning flames...
I'll back you up, though, that a LOT of people who call themselves Christian behave in an exceedingly un-Christian fashion. Usually, they are the superior, obnoxious, self-righteous ones, too. I generally try to annoy them at any opportunity, but it never works, because they KNOW that they are righteous...