Modern American religious liberty stems from Witherspoon’s thought and his influence on his students.
Christian political engagement must return to a sometimes adversarial posture with society at large. The key is that for the first time in nearly a century conservative Protestant political thought is not hemmed in by the cartoonish biblicism inherited from the Fundamentalists, but has a robust intellectual ecosystem based in Protestant ressourcement and the reclamation of Protestant natural law theory.
Throughout the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and the first half of the Twentieth Centuries the American education regime gave the Christian Scriptures an influential–if not preeminent–place in the national education regime. In the Twenty-First Century, even in the Bible Belt, the notion that religion and particularly the Bible have a place in public education elicits howls of theocracy and fretting over “separation of church and state.”
When "Christian nationalism" and "white Evangelical" are increasingly nothing more than imprecise and vaporous taxonomies it’s important to not concede certain rhetorical anathemas to what is actually contemporary political partisanship disguised as scholarship.