Over the yars I have noticed that the influences of politics, religion, etc have managed to infiltrate the study of history. There may be no better example of this than the historiography of the American Revolution. One only needs to brouse youtube to realize how polarizing people have become over a variety of issues. It is irresponsible to "tweak" history to fit a particular agenda, but it is being done every day. The religious right in this country strives to depict our Founding Fathers as hard-core Christians (in a very modern sense by the way), while the liberal left has made our Founders out to be purely motivated by secularism.
To be honest, I am outraged at both the religious right and the liberal left. They both see no need for compromise or for an objective view of historical events. Instead, they both inject their own doctrine by misquoting or misrepresenting those of the past.
The reality is that our nation's founders were NOT what we wish them to be. Colonial America was a completely different word. Social structures, religious and political ideologies, and cultural norms were very different then than they are today. To compare the two only leads to problems. If you were to ask a colonial citizen what their definition of "patriotism" "liberty" "freedom" or "independence" was, they would give a very different answer than somebody who has lived in our modern world. Our concepts about God, religion, politics, freedom, equality, society, gender and America have all changed. It's about time people understood that.