Benjamin Franklin: Not So Nonreligious Or Just Smart?

Benjamin Franklin is a remarkable figure in American history. Many consider him to be quite a nonreligious person, but if one analyzes some of the advice he gave his friends, one might actually find out that he defended Christianity, no matter how weird it sounds.

Recently, the Inquisitr recalled the main facts from Benjamin Franklin's biography.

"Benjamin Franklin was born in 1706 and he died in 1790 as a statesman, author, publisher, inventor, scientist, and diplomat. His role in the revolution and independence of America is so significant because he is the only founding father to have signed all four key documents establishing the United States: the Declaration of Independence (1776); the Treaty of Alliance with France (1978); the Treaty of Paris, establishing peace with Great Britain (1783); and the United States Constitution (1787)."

During his life, Franklin hadn't shown particular devotion towards religion. Nevertheless, when his friend Thomas Paine, who was an American Deist, decided to publish his work on Deism and Christianity, called The Age of Reason, and sent it to Franklin, who was a printer at the time. Franklin, though being a Deist himself, strictly advised Paine against his decision. According to Charisma News, Franklin warned his friend that he might regret publishing his work in a while (and he was right -- Thomas Paine did repent his views later).

"Franklin read Paine's manuscript in which he attacked the idea of a providential, caring God and other aspects of orthodox Christian doctrine. He responded in very strong language, urging Paine not to print the book or even allow anyone else to see it. He warned:

'I would advise you, therefore... to burn this piece before it is seen by any other person; whereby you will save yourself a great deal of mortification by the enemies it may raise against you, and perhaps a good deal of regret and repentance. If men are so wicked with religion [Christianity], what would they be if without it.'"

It's still hard to define whether Benjamin Franklin was far more religious than people tend to think or was it just common sense speaking in him. According to Deism, God does exist, but he doesn't care about his people since the creation of the world. Only a person with a steady mind and brave heart could live with such thought – and Benjamin Franklin understood this perfectly. Most people need to think that there's someone who cares about them, or they just won't be able to carry on at all.

[Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]